Cooling fan - is it an amps thing - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Cooling fan - is it an amps thing

Puzzled - 1986 Honda Goldwing Apencade. Fan won't kick on...

When I let her sit and idle (950 rpms),,, I've reinstalled dash cluster just so I can watch the temp reading,,, it takes a while but she will heat up amd go to 4-5 bars...

At that point, with a volt meter connected to the female end of the fan plug, the voltage will go from a wandering zero to about 14.5 volts.

When I hard wire the fan to the battery fan will kick right on and run strong, bars will drop and temp will come down fast. At 3-4 bars the volt meter will return to zero. I've done this test more than once. Let it get hot a again, no fan, and the volts will kick in as tested with meter. The switch seems to work.

When I plug in the fan like normal and goose the volt meter into the back of the plug, I will also get a reading of 14.5v when the switch kicks in at 4-5 bars. NO FAN... Is my problem an amps problem?

What say you?
Much appreciation for guidance and suggestions - in advance...

ps... since last posting I've removed carbs and did away with all the SAS stuff. Installed new jets and rings. Put it back together and fired right up. A smooth 900-950 rpms is the norm. Purrrrz. Timing seems right.

Brakes redone with all new seals including masters.... Coolant system cleaned, flushed and washed out. Went the DexCool way. Still no thermostat,,, for now.

Thanks all!
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 12:39 PM
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Likely just a failing temp switch, it grounds the - (neg) side of fan when temp reaches design point, but they can go bad and not activate.


You should have a thermostat.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 01:34 PM
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If the temp is up to a point where you get voltage at the fan of 14.5 how are you testing for voltage? Do you have both probes on the fan plug?
If you have both probes in the fan plug you almost have to have a bad connection at the fan/fan plug as you must have a hot and ground there/ The circuit is very simple. You should have power at the one wire at all times with the key on. If you have 14.5 at temp that means the therm switch is good and supplying ground. That is assuming you have the fan plugged in, both probes at the fan plug. The fact that you see 14.5 volts is a giva away that there is an issue. With the fan connected and running you would most likely see 12 volts or so at the back of the fan plug.
If you can't figure it out let us know how things are configured when you take your testt. That is, do you have the fan plugged in and where are the probes located. You clearly have voltage so it has to be an amp (lack of current) problem. Usually that is a connection or component issue.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Red.

There are two connectors, spade type, female ends, that would - when placed - connect to the male ends on the back of the fan. A short lead sandwiched back there behind the rad and fan assembly.

I have probed both the front and the back of the female end plug. I don't know which is which but I plug the red from my meter into one and the black to the other. I'll get nothing (no voltage) until the temp rises high enough, then 14.5 when it reaches a certain temp. It will do this plugged into the fan and when not. When it is plugged in,,, I basically back probe them. When not, into the face of the plug, down into the female spade halves.

I have NO idea what to do about an amp issue.
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 06:37 PM
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maybe a ground problem? if the voltage is there its what I would think
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Ground where, tho?

When I use the battery as leads does this solve the provlem lack of ground for the fan that the OEM plug does/cannot? Is it a poor or no ground if the plug seems to work as a ground when my meter leads are using the plug connectioms as leads? If that question makes any sense...?

When I use the pos and neg in the plug, I get 14v when the switch kicks in. Or is it that the bad ground on the fan side of things?
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 08:01 PM
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hmmm, good question, when you said you jumped from battery I assumed from pos and neg from battery. but if you used tester on both leads of harness and it works, maybe 1 of the 2 wires is not tight enough on the fan terminal. I assumed you were grounding the neg lead to the frame and testing from pos only
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 09:12 PM
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Jay,
Tell me if I am right. If you take two wire, one hot and one ground, hook them to the two terminals on the fan it runs. Is that right? So you know the fan is good.

You describe probing the connection with your volt meter and getting no voltage until the engine gets up to temperature. Then you get battery voltage. The reason you get no voltage at low temperature is because the thermostatic switch is not closed. Therefore you have no ground. If you have no ground your meter will read zero volts. The engine gets up to temp and the thermostatic switch closes and you get 14.5 volts because you now have a ground from the switch. All of that is perfect.

Voltage by itself does not mean a functioning fan will work. Think about your house and your house fan. You can have a perfect fan and 120 volts at the wall socket. If the connection between the fan and socket is not good the fan will not run. Voltage can be compared to pressure. If there is no place for it to go (like a good path to the fan) current can not flow. You certainly seem to have a bad connection somewhere and from what I am hearing from you it seems like the problem is real close to the fan connector.

There is another thing that can cause issues and confusion. That is if there is a connection that is not "good enough." Imagine there is a very poor connection. The equivalent of just having one strand of wire still connected. When you test with the voltmeter the load is so light the volt meter reads normal because even the single strand of wire will satisfy the tiny load the meter puts on the wire. When you put the load of the fan on the single strand can not pass enough current to power the fan.

I will ask a question that is important that I asked before. The fan must be plugged together. The engine running and warm enough for the switch to trip. Fan should be running now but you say it isn't. Back probe the two wires at the connector on the bike side of the connector. What is the voltage? Now back probe the connector on the fan side of the connector. What voltage do you get?
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 12:29 AM
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Maybe the motor isn't getting hot enough to trigger the switch.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 05:51 AM Thread Starter
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Good point. I have not back probed on the fan side of the connector while plugged in and "grtting" the 14v, at all. Only the bike side... I guess I assumed (And ya know what they SAY about assuming) that because the battery would run it jumpering on the fan side, that there was/would be the 14.5 volts making it to the appliance. I will make that check.

Also, just the other day, working on an 86 Porsche, I had a blinker that just would not,,, blink. I probed the socket the best I could and would get something like 12+volts. A blinking 12v. I was about to pull the whole damn front end apart to get at the back side of the socket. By chance I took a little dremel wheel and cleaned an old crusty fuse - and A few others. POOF, low and behold, blinker-ing. I intend to replace all 45 fuses.

Also, it's just a matter of 2-3 feet at the most, mostly accessible, so I think what I need to do is trace the wire back and maybe replace the whole lot of it. Couldn't hurt...?

Thank you for all the thoughtful suggestions people. Got a loooong ways to go and time to get there - like Smokey and The Bandit.
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