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After 10 days of waiting for a carrier to pick up a contract to move my 86 Aspencade from Jacksonville, FL to Corpus Christi, TX, I said ‘to hell with it’, got a flight to Jacksonville and threw a leg over my ‘new’ ride to make the 1,300 mile trip back to Texas.

My first clue that things weren’t 100% perfect was when the seller showed up on the bike, and the bike was running - - - . Hmmm. Now he had told me (pre-sale) the sidecar with two headlights and three tail-lights, overloaded the charging capacity, but everything worked ‘just fine’ with the sidecar electrics disconnected.

The first thing I did was to turn the bike off, and try to restart it - - - which (of course) didn’t happen. With a little eye-to-eye discussion, the seller admitted that the bike needed a jump to start - - every time. Now that may have been due to the el-cheapo lawn-mower battery he had installed - - but never-the-less, he was prepared. He popped a side cover and there was a ‘jiffy-start’, a pair of jumper cables, AND a second battery, all charged-up! Right, wrong or indifferent, this guy DID know how to back-up start problems!

So we got the beast running again with the jiffy start, and I headed down the road. The front suspension was ‘bottomed’, and even minor bumps hit so hard they knocked the mirrors out of alignment. Still, the price was right, and I wasn’t looking for ‘like-new’. The state of the paint and rubber made the advertised 31,500 miles look real.

The engine was strong - - no skips or misses, and ran through the gears without a hitch. Cruising at 60 or 70 was smooth as glass.

The first planned stop for the night was Tallahassee, about 160 miles. Plenty to shake down a new bike, and I didn’t want to do too much at night riding on an untested bike. The first ‘meltdown’ happened about an hour later.

Loss of power - - that ain’t right. Turn signal for the next exit - - no turn signals. That ain’t right. Horn – Gwaak. That ain’t right! No headlight - - THAT ain’t right! Skip, pop, flashing display - - meltdown. By that time I was off I-10, on a two-lane road under construction.

Have you ever noticed those concrete construction barriers about 4’ high, with a little lip at the bottom? Well, if you are new to riding with a sidecar, and your first instinct when things go wrong is to move as far to the right as you can, I can tell you those barriers are perfect for catching a sidecar wheel and dumping you over in the middle of traffic on your left side.

While I was pinned under the bike fumbling for the kill switch, a couple of cars went by entirely too close to my inert body.

And then things got better. There were flashing red lights - - - from a fireman who just happened to be behind me, and saw me dump the bike. He got traffic stopped in time to keep me from becoming roadkill. We got the bike back up and in less than a minute, his flashing reds were joined by some blue and red flashers form a county sheriff, who just happened to be going in the same direction.

It took about 15 seconds to come up with a plan. The sheriff said, ‘There’s a school at the bottom of the hill. I’ll stop traffic, the fireman will help you get it turned around, coast into the schoolyard, I’ll give you a ride to a motel, and you can figure out what to do in the morning’. Yee ha! Sounds good to me! But you know - - - -

When you are on a bike that won’t start, and you are traveling downhill, instinct says, drop it in second, pop the clutch, and see what happens - - - - which I did. Shazam! New bike! Lights, horn, turn signals. All back. No problems.

So we met up in the schoolyard, and I thought about trying to find anyone who knew what a ’86 Goldwing was in this little Florida town, much less how to get it to Texas. No scratches on me - - - and no scratches on the bike, either (no idea how that happened). So I asked my new best friends what they thought about having a run at Tallahassee, which was still a couple of hours away - - - and they thought I should go for it. Can you believe that? Three professionals standing around in the middle of a disaster, and not two sound gray cells to rub together! Unbelievable.

Down the road. The second meltdown came about an hour later - - power loss (it didn’t take long from first symptom - - decreased power – to wheezing and snorting, to dead. Clutch in - - pop clutch - - - back on the road.

Spent the night in Tallahassee, and then my ‘long leg’ – Tallahassee to Geismar, LA - - about 460 miles. I had three more meltdowns similar to meltdown #2. Not fun, but not too drastic either. Lots of revving and backfires, followed by smooth sailing. Made it into Geismar, and spent the night with my brother. After a good meal and a relaxing evening, it occurred to me that the problem was an overload/overheating problem - - or a ‘time-oriented’ problem, like occur with electronic circuits - - errors accumulate until the circuit throws-up, and then needs a ‘power-off’ reset. If that were the case, when I saw a meltdown coming, all I had to do was pull the clutch, hit the kill switch, turn the kill switch back on, release the clutch, and be on my way.

I got to test the theory the next morning on my way to Houston. It worked just fine. When the display flashed, I executed the ‘meltdown avoidance maneuver’, and it worked without a hitch.

A night in Houston with yet another brother (convenient how they are spaced-out like that) and down to Corpus Christi with three more meltdown threats.

So what is going on? I have read the posts on pulse sensors, but I understand those only apply to fuel injected models. Also read the suggestion to solder around the terminal block, which I plan to do - - . I think the alternator is working - - - in fact the wimpy little battery actually started the bike after my Houston stop. I will get a decent battery. If there is a voltage regulator associated with the charging system, that seems like a reasonable candidate.

Any thoughts? Other than ‘get a new hobby’? My wife already suggested that one. He, he, he. Not going to happen - - - .

Rick CorpusKid Kelley
 

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It seems like you're determined to make her run!!!:clapper:



The first thing I'd do is get a new battery for her, charge it up and perform the stator test's described in this thread:



http://www.gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=4232



If the stator test's good, you've probably got a bad regulator and that's not too hard to replace. If the stator's bad there's 2 ways to go. Either replace the stator which is a pain cuz the engine has to be pulled out, OR, go with the Poor Boy external alternator conversion. If ya need some info on that PM me and I'll hook ya up!!



Good luck with her!!
 

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Congratulation on your new bike and sorry about your problems. I have a 87 Aspencade and did the Alternator Conversion, and some other improvements.
After the charging system quit, I had similar symptoms
The symptoms you describe could be from low voltage conditions or bad contact.


My suggestions:

First,keep it simple.

New correct and charged battery.
Check battery ground cable and connection for corrosion wire break ect.

There is a blade fuse (actually the main fuse) on the starter solenoid, notorious for causing problems due to age.
I eliminated mine and replaced it with a fuseable link.

This wire continues to the fuse block, unfortunately there is a plug inline, a possible bad connection.

Check all fuses and their connection.

Check Voltage at battery, should be 12V or better, than follow up to the fuse block. You should not see more than 0.5v loss. Repeat this check with the ignition turned on.
Again with checking base Voltage at battery and all connections to the fuse block. You should see a drop in base voltage with the draw of the electrical system but voltage should stay above 11v

With the bike engine running at 2000rpm you should see 13.7v at battery, if the charging system works.

Hope this will help you diagnose your problem.
However with a bike of this vintage and unknown previous mods and repairs you may have other problems.
ie. the three yellow wire terminal in the charging system next to the battery and the connection at the rectifier/regulator ect.

Helmut
 

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look for a plastic connector beside your battery with 3 yellow wires in it.

Cut the connector out, Re sodder & shrink tube over the connection.
 

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Your story gave me goose bumps.My first bike was teh same deal. Bike was running when I got there and would not start when trying to restart.
the seller made things right as I assured him the deal would not happen. He lowered his aking price $300 for starter and whatever else may be needed.
I only had to do 150 miles but they were nerve wrecking. Glad you made it ok and scratchlesss.

Once you preform the stator test and check your 3 wires you mayalso want to check your ign switch and the solenoid plug on the right side of the battery tosee if th eplugs got hot and started fusing together.
Update wiith some more pics please.
 

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After you check the charging system I would have a look at the pulse generators which are located under the timing belt covers on your bike. The way you describe roughness and backfiring followed by smooth running again is sometimes a symptom of pg failure. They are easy to check and replace if necessary, Test procedures are laid out in the manual, which by the way, you can download from this site if you dont have one. Good luck......once you get the problem fixed you will have a nice bike....Let us know how you make out.................GM
 

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OK - - Next phase.

I made it 1300 miles by turning the bike off, then on again whenever the low voltage condition occured. Evidently that was enough to "reset" whatever was wrong. Whatever WAS wrong, it was causing low voltage - - ie, the charging system wasn't charging.

I did the 'solder bypass' on the three yellow wire connector block. I checked and re-connected all wires to the battery. Now it is broken. It doesn't charge, and it doesn't care whetherI turn it off and on again. It just won't charge. Period. You start at 12V, and go downhill from there. When it gets to 8 or 9vdc, it quits.

If I have read previous posts correctly, the next step is to disconnect the Rectifier/voltage regulator, and measure the inputs from the three yellow wires - - - (ie stator output) they should be 60-70vac each (to ground). If those check good, the stator is working, and it is the voltage regulator? Is that right? How exactly do the pulse generators come into play?

Thanks for hanging in there with me on this one.

Rick
 

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Do not test stator wires to ground. They get checked yellow to yellow as far as I remember. Do a search or stator testing in the search bar to confirm this.
 

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You can check the alternator ourput at the regulator/rectifier plug. Check any two alternator leads, should get 45/55 v.a.c.(a-b,b-c,a-c), with bike running. You need to have similar voltage on all three legs. With the engine and key off, you can check for continuety between the three wires, and check to ground for shorts.



The pulse generators provide a crankshaft posistion signal to the electronic ignition to fire the coils at the proper time. They usually fail when they get hot and you loose spark until the engine cools down.



Sounds more like you have a charging problem. I don't know what the deal is with the kill switch and flashing display, maybe a connection or frayed wire being righted by the vibration/sudden jolt of a moving re-start. :gunhead:
 

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Hey Shooter & Hatchetman - - -

Thanks for the help. Will get on to the voltage checks this morning.

Just FYI - - - The display flashes when the voltage gets too low - - - It's kind of a 'I'm getting ready to die' message - - - . If there is some kind of overload protection on the rectifier/regulator, for heat or current, then maybe (maybe)the power-off reset kept it going for awhile - - - . (I'm trying to talk myself out of needing a stator).

Will update the post when I have it figured out.
 

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I know this sounds stupid, but check the ignition switch. I'm not sure if the 1200 is the same as the 1000 but the plastic back of the switch where the wires hook into is removeable on the 1000. I've had mine loosen off & even with a new one it doesn't always make contact so I've wired it in place. Now I have no problem.

If this looses contact then the bike will die. You could also be having a problem/short with the kill switch.

To me it sounds like a bad connection. Get your tester out & wiggle/check everything related.
 

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MikesBike wrote:
Did you replace the battery with the right type?
Not yet. I'm waiting for the new battery to come in from 'batterystuff', but I did charge-up two batteries and hooked them in paralell to make sure I had enough 'juice'. When I looked at voltage across the terminals with the bike running, the needle never budged from 12- - - idle to low rev, to 3 or 4K - - - there was just nothing coming out of the charging system - - -
 

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I got the seat & tank cover off, located and removed the rectifier/regulator - - -

First:

The rectifier/regulator looked just like the one at http://www.usedgoldwingparts.com/regulators.html - not orig, so the previous owner had at least given changing-out the rectifier a try - -

I checked the diodes - - they are good (I also made-up a power-point diagram of the connections and checks, but couldn't figure out how to include it in the post. So if you want that, let me know, and I will send it)

At least part of the problem is the connectors, which look like crapola. Lots of corrosion & crud. What do you do with that?? I could cut them out and solder around them, but there isn't a lot of slack in the lines. I would like to remove the bad leads and replace individual terminals, but they are difficult or impossible to remove. I couldn't figure out how to remove them from the connector block.

I tried to check the 3 phase ac input, and didn't see any voltage coming in on any phase (any of the yellows), but the connectors are so crappy I don't really know if the voltage is coming out of the stator and getting lost in bad connectors, or if the stator is bad.

I SHOULD HAVE checked stator voltage before I soldered around the connector next to the battery to see if I had good voltage going up to the rectifier. It isn't really clear how many connectors the stator output goes through before it gets to the rectifier - - - -

I will employ an old Navy trick to check for voltage on a line where there is no convenient place to tie-in a meter - - stick a straight pin through the line, and use alligator clips from the pin to the meter leads - - - works fine on low voltage line. If you use that, remember to tape the pin hole when you are done.

To complicate it a little more, it looks like the previous owner added a Panasonic noise supressor unit between the stator output and rectifier input. I'm not sure what that means, but will chase stator voltage to find out what is going on. If I have voltage going into the noise supressor, and none coming out, then I will live without noise supression.

One of the yellow leads on the rectifier connector got so hot it melted its way through the nylon connector (on the rectifier/regulator side). The corresponding terminal on the side that connected to the noise supressor was corroded and 'gunked-up'.

Any idea what the black lead is for?? It measures infinity resistance to all other leads, and to the body of the rectifier - - - . Since it is black I assumed it was/is a 'courtesy' chassis ground for anything down-line that might need a ground.

1. Find out if I have sattor voltage
2. If I have it, find out why it isnt getting to the rectifier - - .

I will make this bike run. I will make this bike run. I will make this bike run.
 

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Don't worry. To every problem there IS a solution!!



First,, testing the Stator. I'd cut the three yellow wires back to where you have unburn't wire and then strip about 1" of insulation off of each wire.



Label each one A, B, and C. with the bike not running test each one for short's by having your meter set to read resistance and touch each leg with a meter probe with the other touching ground. You should read infinite resistance. If you read 0 resistance you have a short and the stator is toast.



With your meter set to read resistance check across each leg, A-B, B-C, C-A. You should read 1-3 ohm's resistance between each leg. If you read infinite resistance that leg is open and the stator is toast.



If both test's came out good, next is the AC voltage test.



Put the bike on the centerstand. Next make sure the three yellow wires are not touching anything and crank the bike. Have a helper rev the bike to 2500-3000rpm's and, with your meter set to read at least 120vac,check leg A to B and note the voltage. Then check B to C and note the voltage. Finaly check C to A and note the voltage. Compare the three readings. They should be within about 5vac of each other and should be between 50-70vac.



If all these test's are good, you've got a good stator!!



Quote:



"At least part of the problem is the connectors, which look like crapola. Lots of corrosion & crud. What do you do with that?? I could cut them out and solder around them, but there isn't a lot of slack in the lines. I would like to remove the bad leads and replace individual terminals, but they are difficult or impossible to remove. I couldn't figure out how to remove them from the connector block."



When I installed the regulator in mine I cut the regulator connectors out and soldered ALL the regulator wires. No problems that way!!



Quote:



"I SHOULD HAVE checked stator voltage before I soldered around the connector next to the battery to see if I had good voltage going up to the rectifier. It isn't really clear how many connectors the stator output goes through before it gets to the rectifier - - - - "



There's only 2. The one at the stator and the one at the regulator.



Quote:



"To complicate it a little more, it looks like the previous owner added a Panasonic noise supressor unit between the stator output and rectifier input. I'm not sure what that means, but will chase stator voltage to find out what is going on. If I have voltage going into the noise supressor, and none coming out, then I will live without noise supression".



I'd take that out!



Quote:



"Any idea what the black lead is for?? It measures infinity resistance to all other leads, and to the body of the rectifier - - - . Since it is black I assumed it was/is a 'courtesy' chassis ground for anything down-line that might need a ground."



Never assume anything!!! According to my schematic the black wire is a hot wire from the ignition, (Fuse #4). Green is the ground wire on that li'l Beastie!!



Quote:



"I will make this bike run. I will make this bike run. I will make this bike run."





Yes You Will!!!!!!!!!:coollep::coollep:
 

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Hmmm - - Open stator winding - - - imagine that.

So now the question is - - aftermarket stator, or external 'kit' - - Please weigh-in.

Regards,

Rick
 

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Start looking into the "Poor boy" kit. You dont have to pull the motor because it's mounted externally & driven off your front pully. It looks cool & gives your bike way more electrical power.

If your alt fails in the future, your down time is less than 1 hour!!!
 
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