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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was restoring a GL1200 LTD and everything was ok until this morning. I started the bike, left it running for ~15 mins and turned it off. That's the last time I remember the electrical was working.

Then I noticed some grease on left front braking disc so I sprayed some brake cleaners on it and wiped it off.
After that when I tried to start it again, I see no power at all. Checked the starter relay fuse and it was blown.
I put the spare on it and it blows instantly and ignition switch was off. If I short it using a screw driver when turning the ignition to acc the battery voltmeter still works at least (I only short it for couple of seconds to avoid a fire)

Don't know if left it idling for 15min causing the engine too hot and melted some nearby wiring coats? I don't think spraying some brake cleaner on the brakes would blow the starter relay fuse.
So my guess is I am having a short circuit somewhere in the bike? Does anyone have experience quickly locating the issue?
Thanks!
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's the original dogbone fuse. I put the spare fuse on and it blown instantly with ignition off.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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23,086 Posts
Obviously, there's a short somewhere. Hopefully someone good with wires will show up soon.
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Obviously, there a short somewhere. Hopefully someone good with wires will show up soon.
Absolutely. Maybe the wire coat melted somewhere and the wire touches the metal. I would like to first figure out where I should start. If it was a fuse for a specific electrical instrument then things would be easier. But a blown starter relay fuse, does it mean somewhere near the battery, or it could be anywhere?
 

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Could be almost anywhere between the relay and the voltage regulator & the ignition switch.
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Could be almost anywhere between the relay and the voltage regulator & the ignition switch.
Thank you for the input. I'm referring to the wiring diagram and trying to locate the problem.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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3,511 Posts
Me personally, I'd start at the regulator connectors. Look for signs of overheating on the connectors and specifically the red and red/white wires coming out and connecting to the 30amp main fuse. That location and also the three yellow stator wire connector have a tendency to overheat and burn due to age and the current load being put on them.. You'll have to remove the tank fairing but that'll give you access to check the red, red/white wires between the regulator and the starter solenoid. Also you might wanna check the in-line 30amp sub-main fuse while you're looking around in there! It's located behind the starter solenoid and traces up to a connector just ahead of the seat, left side next to the frame..

Let us know what else you need!
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Me personally, I'd start at the regulator connectors. Look for signs of overheating on the connectors and specifically the red and red/white wires coming out and connecting to the 30amp main fuse. That location and also the three yellow stator wire connector have a tendency to overheat and burn due to age and the current load being put on them.. You'll have to remove the tank fairing but that'll give you access to check the red, red/white wires between the regulator and the starter solenoid. Also you might wanna check the in-line 30amp sub-main fuse while you're looking around in there! It's located behind the starter solenoid and traces up to a connector just ahead of the seat, left side next to the frame..

Let us know what else you need!
Thanks. I checked the sub-main fuse and it's good.
I checked the regulator connector, The two green connectors were burnt. I searched online and seems they are ground wires. However after disconnecting the regulator coupler I still see voltage between the main fuse terminals. Does that mean there's somewhere else shorting the circuit?
I am searching the internet on how to deal with this situation. I may try cutting the green wires off the coupler and connect them with another connector or weld them together.
 

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The green wires are ground wires and join into a single green ground just after disappearing into the wiring harness. The same goes for the red/white wires in the connector. These join into one and go to the starter solenoid. The red wire and the red white wire at the starter solenoid are bonded/joined together in the wiring harness. This joint is directly below the gas fill cap in the wiring harness. This joint is the reason the red/white wires are live at the connector - wiring harness side - at all times. I removed the RR and stator wiring when I installed the external alt mod a few years back, and in doing so found out how the wiring was connected. This is what it looks like:
power junction - 2.jpg

The Honda wiring is similar to all models and years as depicted in this pic:

gl1200 charge system schematic - 1.JPG

The reason the red and red/white wires are connected is that after the battery has been topped up to a full charge state, the majority of the power produced goes into operating the electrical system bypassing the starter solenoid.

You mention the main fuse blows without the key on. The red wire is a direct power wire to the ignition switch, and should be good. I would disconnect the RR connectors - both - and install a new fuse. Does the fuse still blow?

With the RR connectors disconnected, I would disconnect the red/white wire from the starter solenoid. This should isolate the RR wiring from the starter solenoid fuse. Does the fuse still blow when new?

I would next go through the wiring harness, find where the red and red/white wires are joined and cut out the splice where these wires are joined. Connect the red wires together, and the red/white wires together. Will not affect the operation of the bike. Doing this will isolate where a possible fault is - on the ignition circuit or the RR charging circuit.

Another way to investigate is to peel back the wiring harness covering at the RR. Check to make sure there are no bare wires, specifically the green ground wire(s) and the red/*********** wires.

A rosoepec mentions there is a second 30 amp fuse, a white wire connected to the battery terminal of the starter solenoid, follow this and check the dog bone fuse as well. This wire provides power to the CFI system. If it is blown, the engine will not start.

Let us know what you find. Good Luck.
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The green wires are ground wires and join into a single green ground just after disappearing into the wiring harness. The same goes for the red/white wires in the connector. These join into one and go to the starter solenoid. The red wire and the red white wire at the starter solenoid are bonded/joined together in the wiring harness. This joint is directly below the gas fill cap in the wiring harness. This joint is the reason the red/white wires are live at the connector - wiring harness side - at all times. I removed the RR and stator wiring when I installed the external alt mod a few years back, and in doing so found out how the wiring was connected. This is what it looks like:
View attachment 325954

The Honda wiring is similar to all models and years as depicted in this pic:

View attachment 325955

The reason the red and red/white wires are connected is that after the battery has been topped up to a full charge state, the majority of the power produced goes into operating the electrical system bypassing the starter solenoid.

You mention the main fuse blows without the key on. The red wire is a direct power wire to the ignition switch, and should be good. I would disconnect the RR connectors - both - and install a new fuse. Does the fuse still blow?

With the RR connectors disconnected, I would disconnect the red/white wire from the starter solenoid. This should isolate the RR wiring from the starter solenoid fuse. Does the fuse still blow when new?

I would next go through the wiring harness, find where the red and red/white wires are joined and cut out the splice where these wires are joined. Connect the red wires together, and the red/white wires together. Will not affect the operation of the bike. Doing this will isolate where a possible fault is - on the ignition circuit or the RR charging circuit.

Another way to investigate is to peel back the wiring harness covering at the RR. Check to make sure there are no bare wires, specifically the green ground wire(s) and the red/*** wires.

A rosoepec mentions there is a second 30 amp fuse, a white wire connected to the battery terminal of the starter solenoid, follow this and check the dog bone fuse as well. This wire provides power to the CFI system. If it is blown, the engine will not start.

Let us know what you find. Good Luck.

Thanks for the input. I used a multimeter to measure the voltage between fuse terminals instead of burning more fuses. Theoretically if key is in OFF (which creates an open circuit at the switch) position there shouldn't be voltage between the fuse terminals, right? After diagnosing it for another couple of hours, here's the findings:
1. If I disconnect the RR connector and the fuse terminals still show 12V. I only found one connector to the rectifier/regulator. I don't see another connector to RR somehow.
2. I disconnected red/red-white wires from starter solenoid and didn't read voltage between fuse terminals. So the issue should be within the red/red-white wires I guess.
3. For the second 30amp fuse, are you saying the sub-main fuse behind the starter solenoid? That one is good. The symptom that I currently have is no power at all because the main fuse blown. And main fuse blows even with key in OFF position.

I think next step would be removing the wiring harness and peel it to find the location of something burnt/melted etc.
Any thoughts?
 

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While it's possible, it's not likely that the short is buried deep in the harness. Most likely it will be something you can locate by external inspection. Either rodent damage, two or four leg variety, or something melted or rubbed through. The red/white wire goes right to the RR, and the red wire goes to the ignition switch. Hook them up one at a time to narrow down your search. Follow the wiring diagram and I'm sure you will sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
While it's possible, it's not likely that the short is buried deep in the harness. Most likely it will be something you can locate by external inspection. Either rodent damage, two or four leg variety, or something melted or rubbed through. The red/white wire goes right to the RR, and the red wire goes to the ignition switch. Hook them up one at a time to narrow down your search. Follow the wiring diagram and I'm sure you will sort it out.
Thanks for the help. The red/red-white wires are joint together in the harness as per the diagram which sucks in terms of locating the problem
 

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The two red/white wires should be connected, but not the plain red one. It only joins up at the starter solenoid. Once you can id if it is the red or the red/white, you will know where to look next. My guess is the red is the problem one since you said disconnecting the RR had no effect. But you need to test to be sure.

 

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Ok, I see some diagrams have those red, red/white bonded while others don't. If yours is bonded, you can pull the plug off the ignition switch to help track the fault.
 

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Try un plugging the ignition switch, wouldnt be the first time one of those shorted out and you will see 12 across a removed fuse
 

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The '85 Limited Edition wiring is different. This splice is shown in the Electrical Troubleshooting Manual for the Limited Edition.

There should be two connectors for the RR on the Limited Edition. A picture would be good.

The sub-main fuse is the one I/we are mentioning.

To isolate the RR from the ignition circuit, find the red and red/white wire joint and cut it out. Join the wires back together, red to red, red/white to red/white. This will isolate the charging and ignition circuits. Nice of Honda to put this in, but not required to operate the electrical system. If you're a purist you can always put this join back in after. Having mentioned this, I do not believe that the wiring harness is the issue.

If you haven't already, you can remove the front fairing, makes it easier to access the different wiring, components. Once you have done this a couple of times, quite easy. Have a friend come by to assist, fairing is not heavy per say, but awkward.

If you have aftermarket additions such as driving lights and such remove any wiring that has been added to the electrical system. Better to add a new accessory fuse block for any add ons. These additions can complicate troubleshooting, may also get rid of your issue.

I have a few mods on my bike such as a side stand safety switch, electronic connections front/rear, manual rad fan switch and the likes. Been adding over a few years but always to an accessory fuse block I have located in the rear trunk. Did a complete engine rebuild and painting of the bike over the last year - had to keep busy - and redid the wiring. Can get out of hand. Here are some pics of the additional wiring I had to clean up and the end result. I keep the bike electrical system and my additional requirements separate:
Wiring Rats Nest.jpg
Wiring Rats Nest - Cleaned Up 1.jpg
Wiring Rats Nest - Cleaned Up 2.jpg

I use OEM style connectors and expandable wire sleeve, makes for a nice install and keeps everything in order, additions require a lot of wiring. I like the black sleeve with the red traces - minimizes tape use. You can see in the last pic where the wires go into the rear trunk to the accessory fuse block.

Good luck.
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Ok, I see some diagrams have those red, red/white bonded while others don't. If yours is bonded, you can pull the plug off the ignition switch to help track the fault.
Try un plugging the ignition switch, wouldnt be the first time one of those shorted out and you will see 12 across a removed fuse
The '85 Limited Edition wiring is different. This splice is shown in the Electrical Troubleshooting Manual for the Limited Edition.

There should be two connectors for the RR on the Limited Edition. A picture would be good.

The sub-main fuse is the one I/we are mentioning.

To isolate the RR from the ignition circuit, find the red and red/white wire joint and cut it out. Join the wires back together, red to red, red/white to red/white. This will isolate the charging and ignition circuits. Nice of Honda to put this in, but not required to operate the electrical system. If you're a purist you can always put this join back in after. Having mentioned this, I do not believe that the wiring harness is the issue.

If you haven't already, you can remove the front fairing, makes it easier to access the different wiring, components. Once you have done this a couple of times, quite easy. Have a friend come by to assist, fairing is not heavy per say, but awkward.

If you have aftermarket additions such as driving lights and such remove any wiring that has been added to the electrical system. Better to add a new accessory fuse block for any add ons. These additions can complicate troubleshooting, may also get rid of your issue.

I have a few mods on my bike such as a side stand safety switch, electronic connections front/rear, manual rad fan switch and the likes. Been adding over a few years but always to an accessory fuse block I have located in the rear trunk. Did a complete engine rebuild and painting of the bike over the last year - had to keep busy - and redid the wiring. Can get out of hand. Here are some pics of the additional wiring I had to clean up and the end result. I keep the bike electrical system and my additional requirements separate:
View attachment 325963
View attachment 325964
View attachment 325965

I use OEM style connectors and expandable wire sleeve, makes for a nice install and keeps everything in order, additions require a lot of wiring. I like the black sleeve with the red traces - minimizes tape use. You can see in the last pic where the wires go into the rear trunk to the accessory fuse block.

Good luck.
After some more hours here is what I do:
This is the wiring diagram:
325979


Here is what I did:
  1. Removed the battery
  2. Pulled the in-line fuse shown at left-center to create a open circuit there.
    1. It connects to radio and travel computer. These two components are grounded so there will be current through these two devices and they're not controlled by ignition switch. So I would like to disconnect them in order not to interfere with the diagnosis.
  3. These couplers are connected:
    1. C84 the coupler to in-line capacitor (shown between RR and starter relay)
    2. C80 the coupler to ignition switch (always OFF, aka open circuit there)
  4. Install a new main fuse in starter relay
  5. Test continuity between two battery terminals when RR coupler is connected or disconnected (C82):
    1. If RR coupler is disconnected, there is no continuity between battery terminals, which is expected. And I think this tells me that there are no red/red-white wiring coats melted/rubbed through anywhere in this diagram.
    2. If RR coupler is connected, I see continuity between battery ternminals. This is somewhere confusing. Should it have continuity
Therefore I think I should check if RR is still working. As I mentioned, one of the green terminals in the RR coupler is burned. Here are some pics:
Please ignore the burned yellow wire. One of the previous owners hardwired three yellow wires as a fix.
IMG_8241.JPG
IMG_8242.JPG
IMG_8243.JPG

Next step would be testing the RR according to the manual and see if it still works. Maybe some diodes inside has burned and causing the short circuit?
But the question is, why would the ground wire burn in the first place? I don't want to burn any other RRs.
 

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1985 GL1200 LTD, 1985 GL1200 LTD
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One other thing is, The electrical troubleshooting manuals I found for GL1200L all missing dozens of pages including the page 157 for RR. Does anyone has a electrical troubleshooting manual which contains these pages?
Thanks.
 

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One other thing is, The electrical troubleshooting manuals I found for GL1200L all missing dozens of pages including the page 157 for RR. Does anyone has a electrical troubleshooting manual which contains these pages?
Thanks.
PM sent
 
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