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Discussion Starter #1
Right guys I have a bit of a strange problem that I could do with some help with please

When I purchased my GL1500 last year it came complete with a trailer and, not knowing if the electrics where working properly, decided to check the wiring connections at the socket using my multi-meter. Now, for some strange reason the bike will not start. This is a Canadian spec machine where the lights should come on when the ignition is switched on, but everything is dim. I have also noticed that when the ignition is switched off, the lights remain on, although very dimly.

The other strange thing is that I can hear slight crackling through the speakers when switching the ignition on or off, even though the radio / cassette unit is not attached to the bike. I have checked the battery, which is fully charged, and all the fuses and confirm they are all fine. I just have no idea what could have happened and where to start checking. I am at a real loss here. I am not brilliant at detailing problems but hope this will give you a basic idea of the problem.

Any advice would be really useful

:|:crying2:
 

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Check the battery connections and connect the meter to the battery and turn the switch on checking if the battery is actually holding it's voltage with a load on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Check the battery connections and connect the meter to the battery and turn the switch on checking if the battery is actually holding it's voltage with a load on it.
Hi Dave

I was thinking about that a little earlier. I've just removed the battery and charging it at the moment with the Optimate and will give that a go in a bit. Whilst I was just sorting the charging I noticed also that the neutral warning light was flashing on and off every second or so. Can also hear the relay clicking at the same time. Don't know if this has a bearing on the issue?
 

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Check the battery connections and connect the meter to the battery and turn the switch on checking if the battery is actually holding it's voltage with a load on it.
Dave, I think you might have missed his mention that when the ignition is off the lights stay on like relay is burned together etc.


I have also noticed that when the ignition is switched off, the lights remain on, although very dimly.
I wonder if you have a wire that is hot in the trailer wiring that you shorted to another that backfeeds the ignition switch ettc. I would eliminate the trailer wiring temporarily. Make sure all the fuses and relays are good. With the ignition off there is almost no power available to much of anything other than the ignition switch normally.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dave, I think you might have missed his mention that when the ignition is off the lights stay on like relay is burned together etc.


I have also noticed that when the ignition is switched off, the lights remain on, although very dimly.
I wonder if you have a wire that is hot in the trailer wiring that you shorted to another that backfeeds the ignition switch ettc. I would eliminate the trailer wiring temporarily. Make sure all the fuses and relays are good. With the ignition off there is almost no power available to much of anything other than the ignition switch normally.
Hi Redwing52

I have fully charged the battery but as soon as I put it on the bike it starts to discharge. More when I turn ignition on. If it discharges immediately it suggests to me that there could be a short somewhere? It is supposed to be a brand new gel battery, although I only have the sellers word for this. I think my first step is to make sure the battery is charged to the max and have it tested at our local car spares shop. They can put the 'dropper' on it to make sure its holding the charge.

I also thought that maybe I have unknowingly shorted a wire to the trailer wiring socket? If the battery holds charge I'll have to try and trace the wiring loom and disconnect it. Mind you, thinking more about this, there really shouldn't be anywhere to short it to? There is only connections for earth, indicators, tail lights, brake lights and fog lights. All I did was put the negative probe of the multi-meter to the earth pin and the red probe to the corresponding circuit I was testing. Shouldn't have caused any issues from this really!!
 

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Chris,

As redwing52 indicated, eliminate the trailer wiring first.

Have you checked the following:

1. # 11 ignition/cruise fuse.


2. 30-amp fuse.


3. # 6 ignition/cruise relay.

Just a start..............
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Chris,

As redwing52 indicated, eliminate the trailer wiring first.

Have you checked the following:

1. # 11 ignition/cruise fuse.


2. 30-amp fuse.


3. # 6 ignition/cruise relay.

Just a start..............
Hi Dave & Redwing

Yes. I've checked the 30amp fuse at the starter relay, and all fuses, which are all okay and I've swapped over various relay's just to check as I no longer have spares. I have just been out to the bike again. The battery is now fully charged and confirm as soon as I turn the ignition switch to the on position the voltage starts to drop.

I did manage to start it whilst there was sufficient power in the battery. It certainly looks like it could be a problem with the trailer wiring? Not being familiar with this I will have to remove the saddlebags and top box and see where it all goes. Not looking forward to that. :frown2:
 

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Usally trailer wiring is tapped in behind the saddle bad lower covers. Left and right must come off. Easy job.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Usally trailer wiring is tapped in behind the saddle bad lower covers. Left and right must come off. Easy job.
Thanks for the info redwing.

I've just been giving this some thought and wondered if I've inadvertently shorted out the integral relays that could be incorporated within the trailer wiring loom? If it is a protected type? I'll have more time tomorrow to investigate further. This would be the only logical solution in my humble opinion at this stage!
 

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Chris, The trailer wiring is normally connected up under the trunk. You would remove the panel under the trunk (4 screws).

There is a Red connector at each rear corner where the trailer wiring harness is connected in series.

This is how it is normally wired but who knows how yours might have been connected.......!!

Did you replace the Tail Main Relay # 3 and check its contacts.....??

That relay always has "load" power (even with the ignition OFF).

If by chance you did something to short the "coil contacts" on that relay together, you would have a drain on the battery (even with the ignition OFF). And a lot more drain when the ignition was turned ON.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Chris, The trailer wiring is normally connected up under the trunk. You would remove the panel under the trunk (4 screws).

There is a Red connector at each rear corner where the trailer wiring harness is connected in series.

This is how it is normally wired but who knows how yours might have been connected.......!!

Did you replace the Tail Main Relay # 3 and check its contacts.....??

That relay always has "load" power (even with the ignition OFF).

If by chance you did something to short the "coil contacts" on that relay together, you would have a drain on the battery (even with the ignition OFF). And a lot more drain when the ignition was turned ON.
Hi Dave

This was one of my thoughts earlier on so I swapped the tail/main relay for one of the others in the relay box (I don't have any spare relays to hand) and it was still the same. I'll take the top box off in the morning and check out what the wiring is like for the trailer. Is there any way I could check the operation of the relays while I'm at it do you know?
 

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Chris,



You may have two problems , but often solving one fixes the other.



But if were me I would go after the Battery drain problem first.



Here is how I would go about it without a wire diagram.



Tools Needed :

1. Test Light ( with incandescent type bulb , not an L.E.D.)

safest way for someone that has never done this before .

2. optional an Ammeter ------ask me how to use if you do not know


Test Light method:



Disconnect the negative battery cable

Hook up the alligator clip end to the negative cable of bike
Use another alligator jumper wire and hook it up to the pointy part of test light.

Hook the other end of the jumper wire to the battery.



Now you essentially just put the test light in series.



With the key off , if you have a draw on the system the light will be Lit.



Now if Lit , first disconnect the trailer plug . If light goes out then your problem is in trailer wiring. (but it could be bike side)


If light stays Lit , go to your fuse box , pull each fuse one at a time until the light goes out.



Sometimes the light will go dimmer after pulling a fuse .



Keep track of this if this happens. But continue on until light goes completely out.



This will tell you the exact circuit(s) the problem is in .



Then troubleshoot that circuit or circuits.


p.s. you may have more than one fuse box on the bike
you may have inline fuses as well



if all else fails , you have disconnected each fuse one at a time , and the test light is still lit then disconnect the alternator or voltage regulator ( if separate of alternator).



You might try disconnect starter solenoid too if have one.



Alternators can go bad in such a way , that it will draw on a system , and no fuse to pull.


Unfortunatley I am not familiar with your bike I have a GL1800
But I do have a Valkyrie with the 1500 but less than 10,000 miles and never needed to troubleshoot yet.
 

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If your bike has a trailer isolater harness it is a likely source of your problem. It would have a red wire from the battery + and should have a fuse you could remove and see if it solves the problem.
 

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I would check any additional cables coming from the battery, i got mine a couple of years ago & when i lifted the seat there were several redundant cables cut off under it, i also had to rewire the trailer & replace the lights as reflectors were tarnished inside.
If its drawing power from the battery with the ignition off its likely to be something directly connected to the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would check any additional cables coming from the battery, i got mine a couple of years ago & when i lifted the seat there were several redundant cables cut off under it, i also had to rewire the trailer & replace the lights as reflectors were tarnished inside.
If its drawing power from the battery with the ignition off its likely to be something directly connected to the battery.
Hi Bill

Yes. This bike was like that when I first had it. Lots of wires (like a plate of spaghetti) going everywhere. One thing I have learned since having a 'Wing is 'parasitic drains' so I removed all extra wiring from the battery. I don't have anything extra connected to this at the moment. In fact, what I am attempting to do is familiarise myself with all the wiring that has been fitted, removing anything that is redundant and replacing all that needs to be replaced. Hence my reason for checking the trailer socket in the first instance!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If your bike has a trailer isolater harness it is a likely source of your problem. It would have a red wire from the battery + and should have a fuse you could remove and see if it solves the problem.
Thanks Dave

I am intending to check this out very shortly. I'll remove the top box and see what wiring is attached to the trailer socket. Be in touch
 

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Do you have a colour wiring diagram?
One was posted a while ago, very helpful piece of info, if you cant find it on here i can send it later
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Do you have a colour wiring diagram?
One was posted a while ago, very helpful piece of info, if you cant find it on here i can send it later
Yes Bill. I have it somewhere on my laptop. If I'm stuck I'll be in touch. Thanks
 

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"Removing the top box" is not as easy as it sounds. As suggested above, I would take out the half dozen screws and remove the bottom cover from the trunk - it encircles the trunk and pannier latches. That's going to give an idea of what's been messed with. Also above, the small cover covers on the bottom rear of the panniers may hide some surprises.

No one has mentioned checking the starter button. Known to get sticky and cause starter and headlight issues.
 

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"Removing the top box" is not as easy as it sounds. As suggested above, I would take out the half dozen screws and remove the bottom cover from the trunk - it encircles the trunk and pannier latches. That's going to give an idea of what's been messed with. Also above, the small cover covers on the bottom rear of the panniers may hide some surprises.

No one has mentioned checking the starter button. Known to get sticky and cause starter and headlight issues.



If you Unbolt the Top Box/Trunk (via 4 screws, from inside trunk), then you can lift it up enough (~1-2") to access all the wiring beneath... without actually removing the trunk.
You'll have to first remove the big U-shaped cover on the lower/rear of trunk, and the saddle bags too for side-access
 
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