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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

So i have recently purchased my very first motorcycle which is a 1980 Goldwing 1100. The bike is running great despite one problem. Now i am not super mechanical because i havent exposed myself to it but very motivated to learn. I have had a few issues starting the bike from time to time. So far it seems like it happens after i have rode the bike for a while. At first i thought it could be the battery, had trouble starting it after a 1hr ride or so when i stopped for gas. Lights came on but didnt seem like it would crank enough to get started in some instances lights would come on and all i would get is a "click" when trying to start it when i pushed on the clutch. Both times this happened the bike started after getting a boost. My other thoughts was wiring as it seemed like if i shook the bike or fiddled with the negative wire it would crank. I charged the battery and it worked well for a while but i had to replace the battery as the negative post were corroded or maybe even melted perhaps from the boost. I replaced the battery and took it out last night. Fired right up and worked well got home and left it in the driveway because i wanted to go back out before dark. Went to start it and seemed like the starter wasnt working not even a "click" wheeled it into the garage and was going to test the battery today, went out to the garage this morning and it fired right up. Now i am wondering if there is a loose wire, the wiring is getting warm, maybe alternator isnt allowing the battery to hold a charge, possibly the starter is getting warm or what i really think it might be based on other posts is if it needs a new solenoid coil?

looking for any suggestions.
 

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You wouldn't be the first to replace a starter instead of the starter solenoid.
A bad (intermittent) solenoid may see nothing from a jump-start.
I just went through this with someone in my garage here at the house.
Testing it? My experience has it working or not. What I've noticed in this though is the amount of time it takes for the solenoid to switch contacts once energized. Instantaneous is what should happen. If any portion of a second can be counted once the start button is depressed to when the solenoid clicks, then it is probably bad.

Is there a electrical test for this? I don't know.

Sure, could be other things, but since I just went through this... ..

As a result, I keep GL10/11/aftermarket solenoids around for testing.
 

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My first inclination would be to remove and clean out the starter. See http://www.goldwingfacts.com/starterrefresh.htm. These starters are completely sealed and the carbon dust builds up so much that the current to the armatuer gets bled off. It seems to be worse when its warm.
 

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I had the same problem with my 83, new starter brushes took care of it.
 

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Welcome to the forum cole_trickle
As with fgh and Dave, clean the starter first. It'll make a big difference.
Then if it's still happening, replace the solenoid or atleast the replace the dogbone fuse on the stock solenoid with a atc fuse holder and a 30 amp fuse.

Warning : STAY AWAY! from Saber Cycle for parts! They are cheap prices.... but the quality is very poor and short life spans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
so i just went and picked up a new solenoid its a "rick's motorsport electronic solenoid" with a blade fuse. also put in the new harness that come with it and changed the wire terminals on two of wires as they had melted or were stuck in the old harness. There was power to the bike but not even a click. The lights were starting to dim a bit when i pushed the start button. a bit odd as the bike has seemed to start sometime when it was cool. Whoever seems start less and less even when cool. I have put the battery on to charge again as it was a new battery that i needed to fill with acid myself perhaps the initial charge was not enough. i will let it charge for a while and probably use a OHM meter to take a reading of the battery tomorrow and maybe take it for a ride then test again. Maybe alternator is shot? After that i guess i will have to clean the starter. Guess the bright side is im getting my hands dirty and learning a thing or two.
 

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While you're in there taking things apart clean all the grounds, particularly where the heavy ground wire is attached to the frame.

Cleaning the starter and replacing the brushes is a good idea and not at all hard to do.
 

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... I have put the battery on to charge again as it was a new battery that i needed to fill with acid myself perhaps the initial charge was not enough.
Since we're in a learning mode ...

A new lead/acid battery (the kind that you fill with electrolyte) have a certain quality to them.
They are already charged.

The process of manufacture has the batteries fully charged.
They are assembled, filled with electrolyte, charged, then drained and washed. The plates still retain the "charge" even though the battery has been drained of its electrolyte, washed and dried.

When you buy the battery of the shelf ...and add the electrolyte at home, ...if the battery is allowed to sit for a short period after re-filling with electrolyte you will have more-than-sufficient amperage to start your engine.

Wet-cell batteries can be stored dry almost indefinitely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So cleaned the starter and put it back on the bike. Still wouldn't turn over. We could however jump it by bypassing the solenoid and the starter turner, so not thinking it's the starter. I have tried a few combinations for the wiring of the solenoid because I noticed the aftermarket solenoid has the "battery" and " motor" posts on the opposite side of the solenoid....???? Wondering If it could be one of the 4 wires; green, yellow, red (solid), red(stripe). Could it be a clutch switch or wiring to the clutch( looks frayed) because I noticed the lights dim without pushing the clutch when I hit the start button....
 

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The 4 wires on the solenoid can be wrong when installing an aftermarket part. You have to check which is which. The 2 terminals that have power all the time are to be connected to the red and red/white wires, either one to either terminal, the other 2 wires go to the other 2 terminals, either one to either terminal.
 

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So cleaned the starter and put it back on the bike. Still wouldn't turn over. We could however jump it by bypassing the solenoid and the starter turner, so not thinking it's the starter.
...starter turner?

I have tried a few combinations for the wiring of the solenoid because I noticed the aftermarket solenoid has the "battery" and " motor" posts on the opposite side of the solenoid....????
B (battery) and M (motor) connections make no difference. Attach the cables for the physical fit and don't worry about the B and M being backwards. Does not matter.

Wondering If it could be one of the 4 wires; green, yellow, red (solid), red(stripe).
Yeap, could be. Jump the spade connectors on the solenoid directly to find out.

Could it be a clutch switch or wiring to the clutch( looks frayed)
The switch and the wiring are two different concerns. If the switch has failed, then perfect wiring really wouldn't matter. If there is a short in the wiring due to fraying, then a perfect switch is useless. Test the switch and service it if needed and correct the frayed wiring.

because I noticed the lights dim without pushing the clutch when I hit the start button....
The lights dim or the headlight goes out when pushing the start button? The headlight is going to go out when the start button is depressed no matter what. If your running lights are dimming along with the headlight going out when the start button is depressed, then there is a current draw and you need to go back to the battery and start over from there. Does the solenoid click when this happens? You may not hear it but you may feel it.
How did you get the factory plug into the new solenoid? Did you have to cut the locking ring off?
What harness comes with a new starter solenoid?
...
 

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.



B (battery) and M (motor) connections make no difference. Attach the cables for the physical fit and don't worry about the B and M being backwards. Does not matter.











...

Yes it does matter, the powered spade terminals are connected to the B terminal, if the battery is connected to the M terminal there will be no power to the electrical system.
 

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You are correct Dave.
I should've slowed down and added this:
...remove the spade terminals from the factory plug and make a ring terminal pigtail (for the battery + post) with two male spade connectors for the two red wires.

I posted in another thread about the same thing... that most (all in my case) of the aftermarket starter relays are physically shorter (the coil portion is shorter) and the replacement won't sit properly in the rubber holder because it won't fully reach it. A longer battery cable is the easy answer once into it this far, ...but not so easy. I always suggest a used OE relay from somewhere; parts bike, eBay, etc., ...because of this shorter coil problem.

Careful when buying relays off of eBay. I've bought them as listed for a given bike only to have not just the B/M posts reversed, ..but also the plug pinout. Reverse that pinout 180* and wiring will smoke-n-fry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
....sorry meant Starter turned (typo)

-How do i jump the spade connectors directly?

-I'll have to see if i can check the clutch switch as the clutch itself hasn't given me any issues.

-Just the headlight dims so i guess that is normal.

- No now the solenoid doesn't click however last week it did.

Not sure what the locking ring is, i pulled the old wires out of the old harness and put new terminals on them. Right now i dont have any harness on, just the terminal directly into the plug they fit tight and snug. Electrical works. might use the harness after once things have been sorted out.

-So tonight i tried the old battery cable with the new solenoid because as described below it didnt sit in the rubber mount. but still no luck....

-Power is going to the solenoid as i tested it and the light came on, however when i tested the terminal on the starter there is no power going to it. Strange since i can jump it.... hoping i didnt fry the new solenoid when i first installed it, i smelt something when i did and i notice the fuse was blown....

I'll have to see how difficult it is to check the clutch handle switch as that is another thing prob worth checking out....

You gents are great for helping me with this....thanks!
 

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Don't worry about the clutch switch yet. If the neutral light comes on when in neutral and you get power to the yellow/red wire when you push the button and ground on the green/red your start circuit is good. Then with the trans in gear and the clutch pulled it should ground the green/red wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So i have a line on a new starter however the more i think about it this isn't the core issues. Also on a side note i know the alternator works as my reading before i took it for a ride today was 12(i know its low probably because of all the testing) and when i returned it was 13.50 or something like that....

The fact is that the power is not getting to the starter when i test the starter directly. However when i jump the solenoid( screw driver to the 2 posts) the starter turns over and would probably start if i held it. So maybe i fried the new solenoid when i first installed it. Bummer!

Also keep in mind there is no "clicking" of the solenoid now....

I tested all four wires running to the solenoid and i have power going to the red (solid), red(stripe). But no power going to the green and yellow. These were tested just when there was power running on the bike and not with the start button engaged.

From what i can see in the wiring diagram:

-Red Strip goes to the Regulator/rectifier
-Solid Red goes to the ignition switch
-Green goes clutch switch
-Yellow goes starter switch

Is there any tests i can run on the wiring to solenoid to narrow it down?

Thanks guys for your continued patience.
 

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Test the solenoid.
Use the picture for guidance.

Apply power to the coil portion of the solenoid. Does not matter which poles get positive/negative but, you are applying power to the poles (male spade connectors) nearest the (B)attery and (M)otor posts.

Have a meter on the B and M posts and set it to RX1 resistance. Again, polarity doesn't matter.

Look for full needle deflection (or as near to zero in a digital) when you apply power to the coil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
PROBLEM SOLVED.... For now. It was the clutch switch. We jumped the two wires and it fired right up. Believe it or not we used a staple to bridge the two terminal and wrapped with electrical tape. Just need to remember to make sure it is in neutral. Will monitor the heat on the tape and also thought about checking the battery later to make sure it isn't drawing any power. Part is back ordered in the local shop at $26.

I'm pleased. Personal thanks is due to all but for now I need to ride my naked goldwing.

Thanks
Cole_Trickle
 

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I'm done. If you won't pay attention I can't help.
 

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PROBLEM SOLVED.... It was the clutch switch.
Just service the switch then. It's repairable, right? Probably just dirty contacts. They're all just about the same...

Pic is of a front brake switch:
 

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