95 GL1500SE Restart Problem - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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95 GL1500SE Restart Problem

My '95 GL1500SE has always cold-started instantly. Amost before you could get your thumb off Start button.

However, beginning late last Fall, the bike began giving me problems with starting after a ride long enough to bring it to normal operating temperature. If, after turning it off, I were to return a short time later and try to restart it, the starter motor would spin rapidly for 5 to 10 seconds or more and eventually the motor would begin to sputter and finally start. On a couple of occassions it just ran the battery down without starting at all. Edit: The spinning starter sounds exactly like the Kill Switch is in the Kill position. There is no sound that the bike's motor is turning over.

I did very little riding during the Winter and found that the problem is continuing this Spring.

Recently, I've put a $120 new battery in the bike, then I spent $240 for a new starter and $275 for installation as well. End result... no difference. My mechanic was the lead technician for the local Honda dealership until it closed a year or so ago. He did some research and called to tell me he believes the "one-way clutch" (Sprague clutch?) will need to be replaced and that will require the motor to come out of the bike to get to the clutch. With $635 already invested in the problem, I can only guess at what that will cost.

Spoiler alert: Members of goldwingdocs.com and/or goldwingowners.com may have seen my similar post for this problem.

So, I posted this problem on goldwingdocs.com and goldwingowners.com a couple weeks ago and received some interesting questions as well as suggestions as to alternatives that I might try before biting the bullet. The most interesting was the "SeaFoam trick", explained by Trike Lady. With older bikes, evidently there were successes by draining the oil, replace the filter, add three quarts of new oil, add a half a can (8oz.) of SeaFoam to the oil, then top off the oil to the full mark.

Next, take the bike out for a good ride, 50 miles or so, then repeat the oil-change process. The thinking was that since the Sprague clutch was located in the rear it didn't get the oil flow that other parts did. Therefore dirt, crud and some carbon from blow-by could build up on the clutch and cause it to malfunction. The SeaFoam would help loosen the dirt and free-up the clutch and mix with the oil so that it could be filtered and drained. They said to expect the oil to probably be black and dirty.

Next repeat the process again and if necessary again. I've done that.

Though the oil after the first SeaFoam ride looked pretty clean to me and restarting didn't seem any different, I changed the oil and filter, added SeaFoam again and took another trip. This time, after returning, I set a timer for 15 minutes and attempted to start the bike while hot. It started, but only after some slight starter spinning. At the 30 minute mark another attempt. Longer spinning, but started. Forty-five minute mark, less spinning then started. At the 1 hour mark, the bike started almost immediately. After the next 15 minute mark the bike was back to starting instantly. So, the problem seems to be between the 30 and 45 minute mark as she's cooling down.

I ran through the process a third time but decided to let the SeaFoam remain in the oil for a couple days while I accumulated about 175 miles of riding before another oil and filter change with no Seafoam as a final effort.

I must say though, I do see improvement. Even though there is still some starter spinning, it is a lot shorter and the bike has so far always started.

At about $8 a quart for Castrol GTX 10 W 40, $10 for a filter and $5 for half a can of Seafoam, that's about $47.00 for each of the three test runs and a final change. I'm going to continue to monitor the situation and hope that it continues to improve, but I'm bracing myself for the inevitable.

Sorry for the long narrative and thanks for reading this far, but I thought I should explain my efforts before asking for help here. I'm hoping if someone here may have had the same experience they might have other ideas I might try before biting the bullet.

Any suggestions or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,
Bill

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Last edited by Signdude8771; 05-17-2019 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Added Kill Switch comparison.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 09:19 PM
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You have an older Wing, have you looked into dismantleing the starter switch to clean and lube?
If not you may try spraying electrical contact cleaner in the switches crevasses then blast with a high pressure compressed air, repeat a few times AND all the while working the switches (battery disconnected for safety of course).
If that worked there is electrical contact spray lube, repeat as above.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 09:47 PM
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You should have ran it longer the first time with the seafoam, 50 miles is not enough, 100 maybe, more is better. And you should have opted for cheaper oil for this after all it wasn't going to be in there for long.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Signdude8771 View Post
My '95 GL1500SE has always cold-started instantly. Amost before you could get your thumb off Start button.

However, beginning late last Fall, the bike began giving me problems with starting after a ride long enough to bring it to normal operating temperature. If, after turning it off, I were to return a short time later and try to restart it,the starter motor would spin rapidly for 5 to 10 seconds or more and eventually the motor would begin to sputter and finally start. On a couple of occassions it just ran the battery down without starting at all.
That sounds like a carburetor problem not a starter clutch problem.

Advise given here is free and comes with no warranty "Caveat emptor"

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 01:22 AM
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From what you say about the starter spinning fast but "there is no sound that the bike's motor is turning over" I would suspect the starter first. I know you have changed it but you don't say whether it is an OEM starter. Cheaper makes can cause this problem. Next time it won't start try bump starting the bike. If it starts easily and runs well after bumping it should prove the carbs are doing their job right and your problem is not fuel related.

Have a look at this thread from another forum where a guy with the same problem explains how his starter proved to be the fault even though the starter had been changed.

https://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7316

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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 06:10 AM
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A video to clear up exactly what is happening would be very useful.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:20 AM
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You stated that it sounded like the kill switch was in the off position. If so then that is not a starter or sprague clutch problem. Look elsewhere.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 07:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Signdude8771 View Post
My '95 GL1500SE has always cold-started instantly. Amost before you could get your thumb off Start button.

However, beginning late last Fall, the bike began giving me problems with starting after a ride long enough to bring it to normal operating temperature. If, after turning it off, I were to return a short time later and try to restart it, the starter motor would spin rapidly for 5 to 10 seconds or more and eventually the motor would begin to sputter and finally start. On a couple of occassions it just ran the battery down without starting at all. Edit: The spinning starter sounds exactly like the Kill Switch is in the Kill position. There is no sound that the bike's motor is turning over.
Thanks again,
Bill

???? I would have to assume the engine is turning over if the battery were going dead while cranking. A starter motor with no load would only draw maybe 20A and not drain a battery in short order.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 11:46 AM
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A video would help. It is hard to troubleshoot an issue when even the symptoms are not clear.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 05-18-2019, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Signdude8771 View Post
My '95 GL1500SE has always cold-started instantly. Amost before you could get your thumb off Start button.

However, beginning late last Fall, the bike began giving me problems with starting after a ride long enough to bring it to normal operating temperature.If, after turning it off, I were to return a short time later and try to restart it, the starter motor would spin rapidly for 5 to 10 seconds or more and eventually the motor would begin to sputter and finally start. On a couple of occassions it just ran the battery down without starting at all. Edit: The spinning starter sounds exactly like the Kill Switch is in the Kill position. There is no sound that the bike's motor is turning over.
I read the whole initial post, I just didn't quote it all.


Judging by your bold text and the part I bolded in red above, it seems to me that the starter clutch is OK likely, a free spinning starter under no load and a starter spinning a non starting engine are two very different sounds. In other words, sounds to me like the bike engine is turning over, it's just not starting. A starter under no load also draws very little current compared to one under load.


The fact that it starts so fast cold and not so well "hot", makes me think the choke or enrichment is setup too far rich (think: "choke on"). Even if a warm day, mine need a little choke when the engine is cold, but "leap to life" with no choke applied once warmed up.


You have considered choke setting I guess?I only asked as it reads as if you maybe once set the choke, and never kicked it off with thumb. A 1500's choke enrichens fuel mix, it doesn't choke off air intake. A 1500 will run with choke fully applied, but use more fuel and be hard to start when warm, easily flooded when warm, and start OK when cold.


How is mileage?

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