Starter Woes

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade

Starter Woes

Post by txfireag » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:30 pm

I’ve researched this for days and finally managed a couple minutes to do a little diagnosis. A few weeks/months ago I tried to start bike (86 Aspy) and it turned over once or twice and just sort of died. I smelled smoke and saw light smoke coming from near battery. I found solder from the negative post had melted and dropped on my driveway (no idea why there was solder on the negative - I didn’t do that). Ever since then, I get full electrical (new-ish battery always on maintainer) function but when I try to start, I just get a solenoid click and starter doesn’t even try. No voltage drop and nothing changes with a new battery. Using jumper cables and a new battery I can’t get the starter to spin.

So starter is about to come out. Two questions/issues I have:

When I jiggle my kill switch real fast, my fuel pump clicks every 5-10 “jiggles”. It has a loud click normally (it’s going out) but why would kill switch affect this?

Is an eBay starter rebuild kit a good one?

WHen removing the positive from the starter stud, I didn’t have a thin wrench and tried needle nose to hold that nut. The stud spun maybe 1/4 turn. Is that bad and if so, what can I do about it?


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Re: Starter Woes

Post by DenverWinger » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:11 am

Sounds like the starter brushes are toast, service definitely indicated.

The power connection bolt having turned may be a problem, there's a thick flat wire inside soldered to the head of that bolt, it feeds power to the motor field windings. With a little luck you'll be able to straighten that out and be OK. Unlucky and the flat wire broke loose from the bolt. You'll be able to see what shape things are in after you have the starter end cap off and remove the brush plate. Your Friendly Neighborhood Local Automotive Starter/Alternator rebuild shop can probably fix that for you at a small $ if needed. Honda starter brushes should still be available.

Local shop here only charged me $30 to put new brushes in starter for GF's '83 Virago when I couldn't find anything but Chinese parts for it.

I wouldn't worry about fuel pump when cycling the kill switch. With the power going off and on, each time power comes on fuel pump is trying to "prime" the carbs for starting.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:


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Re: Starter Woes

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:38 am

The battery cable that "leaked" solder has likely failed. When it starts to corrode internally, it creates a bit of resistance. Draw a large current (i.e. starter motor) through a resistor, it heats up. The more it heats up, the more resistance it offers. It can easily heat up to the point where it will melt the solder holding the lug to the cables.

This is not normally something that can be fixed - the cable will have to be replaced.

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Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:40 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Starter Woes

Post by txfireag » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:58 pm

Thanks for all the info, guys. I have new brushes coming and will replace those first and see what the inside of the starter looks like.

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