Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
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.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,388 Posts
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.
 

·
Junior Grue
Joined
·
8,153 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
706 Posts
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
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,388 Posts
A video to clear up exactly what is happening would be very useful.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,615 Posts
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.
 

·
It aint rocket science
Joined
·
3,809 Posts
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.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,360 Posts
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?:smile2: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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
and you should have opted for cheaper oil for this after all it wasn't going to be in there for long.

I considered STP at $3.79/Qt, but also considering the SeaFoam was already cutting the oil a little and I didn't want to risk anymore problems by skimping on the oil. :laugh:



Thanks for the note.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
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.


Thanks for the note John.



Not being familiar with the term "Bump Start", but on the chance you were referring to just bumping the starter button rather than "pressing" it, I gave the idea a shot. WORKED LIKE A DREAM!!!


I repeated my testing process. I took the bike out for over an hour and put about 75 miles on it. When I returned I set my timer for 15 minutes and then, after every 15 minutes for the next two hours (eight tests), I returned to the bike, turned on the ignition with NO choke and just tapped the starter switch. After every eight 15 minute intervals, from hot to almost cool, she started instantly. No spinning sounds.



After the 1 hour test worked perfectly, I turned it off, then immediately turned the ignition back on and "pressed" the starter button as I would normally do and though she started right away, there was still the sound of the starter spinning down for a second or two.


SO... where am I??? :laugh: Apparently??? the Sprague Clutch is doing it's job properly! And if, as you said, the carburaters are doing their job right, what might be causing the initial problem with all the spinning when hitting the starter switch for about a second?

The two links you referred to both referenced '83 GL1100s. I'm not familiar with their starter motors. Are they the same as the '95 GL1500s?

I can't thank you enough for your suggestion. At least now, I can leave the house and feel I can get back by bump starting. However, I would sure feel better if I knew for sure what's causing the difficulty if I don't bump start.



Thanks so much.
Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the note CrystalPistol and DriverRider.



Not being a mechanic, I have to agree with you and DriverRider with the issue of load/no load drain on the battery while the starter was spinning.



On the occasion when the battery ran dead, is wasn't all that short a time. I was holding the starter button for maybe 10 seconds at a time, multiple times. I had been off the bike for about 40 minutes that time. I put my battery charger on the bike overnight and of course she started instantly the next morning. Little did I know at the time, that if I had just waited maybe another 1/2 hour she would have started pretty quickly. That's also the point where I began paying attention to when the problem was happening.



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.


I usually set the choke to about 1/2 to 3/4 anytime it's a cold start. I have never needed to choke at all if the bike is still warm or has been ridden within the last 5-6 hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
Glad you figured something out just bumping the starter button, but just to clarify, what is usually meant by "Bump Start" is pushing the bike or rolling down a hill and letting out the clutch in gear.... :)
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,388 Posts
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.


Thanks for the note John.



Not being familiar with the term "Bump Start", but on the chance you were referring to just bumping the starter button rather than "pressing" it, I gave the idea a shot. WORKED LIKE A DREAM!!!


I repeated my testing process. I took the bike out for over an hour and put about 75 miles on it. When I returned I set my timer for 15 minutes and then, after every 15 minutes for the next two hours (eight tests), I returned to the bike, turned on the ignition with NO choke and just tapped the starter switch. After every eight 15 minute intervals, from hot to almost cool, she started instantly. No spinning sounds.



After the 1 hour test worked perfectly, I turned it off, then immediately turned the ignition back on and "pressed" the starter button as I would normally do and though she started right away, there was still the sound of the starter spinning down for a second or two.


SO... where am I??? :laugh: Apparently??? the Sprague Clutch is doing it's job properly! And if, as you said, the carburaters are doing their job right, what might be causing the initial problem with all the spinning when hitting the starter switch for about a second?

The two links you referred to both referenced '83 GL1100s. I'm not familiar with their starter motors. Are they the same as the '95 GL1500s?

I can't thank you enough for your suggestion. At least now, I can leave the house and feel I can get back by bump starting. However, I would sure feel better if I knew for sure what's causing the difficulty if I don't bump start.



Thanks so much.
Bill
Even after all that we still don't know if you are hearing the starter spinning without engaging the engine or the sound of the engine turning but not starting.
And no, bump starting does not mean bumping the start button, I refer to it as roll starting or hill side starter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
DaveO, sounds like he's got the "low voltage at the ECM" problem if it starts reliably when he pushes the starter button just momentarily rather than holding it down for 10 seconds.....

SignDude, it might be time to upgrade to an AGM battery. Can you measure the voltage on your battery while pressing the Start button?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hills???

:surprise:
Glad you figured something out just bumping the starter button, but just to clarify, what is usually meant by "Bump Start" is pushing the bike or rolling down a hill and letting out the clutch in gear.... :)

Sorry 'bout that!!! I live on the Eastern Shore of MD. I'd have to trailer my bike over the Chesapeake Bay to find a hill. We're at about 23' above sea level here. :ROFL:


Over on another site, this suggestion was made:


What happens if you hit the start button then quickly release instead of holding it in? On many of the older bikes this is the standard start procedure as the coils are weak on most of the old bikes and releasing the start button allows full current to the coils.
That's where I got the idea that that was "bump starting".


That person is suggesting my problem could well be with the coils. At this point, since I can get the bike restarted, I'd still like to find what is causing the starter spinning problem so I can get it fixed. Since bumping the start button is working, I'm hoping that this also means the problem is NOT with the sprague clutch.



Many thanks for the comments. Any and all comments and suggestions are much appreciated.


Bill
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,763 Posts
I'm leaning towards battery or the start switch... If the battery is low enough it will spin the motor but not start... Sometimes when the battery is low, releasing the start button allows the battery to surge back up in voltage and supplies enough voltage to the electronics to start...

Do you know what the battery voltage is when cranking and not cranking??? A bad or intermittent kill switch may cause this no start condition as the 1500 will still turn over when the kill switch is in the off position...

Les
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,368 Posts
Your bike has three ignition coils. I don't think you have a coil issue.....!!:grin3:

:surprise:


Sorry 'bout that!!! I live on the Eastern Shore of MD. I'd have to trailer my bike over the Chesapeake Bay to find a hill. We're at about 23' above sea level here. :ROFL:


Over on another site, this suggestion was made:



That's where I got the idea that that was "bump starting".


That person is suggesting my problem could well be with the coils. At this point, since I can get the bike restarted, I'd still like to find what is causing the starter spinning problem so I can get it fixed. Since bumping the start button is working, I'm hoping that this also means the problem is NOT with the sprague clutch.



Many thanks for the comments. Any and all comments and suggestions are much appreciated.


Bill
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top