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Discussion Starter #1
My friend was riding his 2012 when he heard a strange buzz coming from the engine. Said it sounded like a fan hitting a radiator but faster. So he stopped and got off the bike and turned it off. It didn't stop running! Then, a bit of smoke came from under the left side seat. It died. It would not restart. When he pulled the side side cover and looked at the battery, his negative battery terminal was MELTED! So he left it where it was and went home. Next day, he was able to jump start it and ride it home (about a mile). He drilled what was left of the post and hooked it up, but it won't start. It weakly cranks over. He got a new battery and charged it for 24 hours then installed it. When he went to start it, it did the same thing. Weakly cranked then went to clicking like the battery is dead, which the new one was.

Wash rinse repeat. Charged both batteries and jumped it repeatedly. Same result. the battery gets immediately drained. falls to 9 volts on crank even if it's being jumped from a running vehicle.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.
 

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" jumped it repeatedly" ( after it was smoking!!)) OK!!

I will just take a amateurish stab at it. First I would remove seat and find out exactly where smoke is coming from, battery or relays or whatever looks damaged. & just guessing without more info.

I would start with the starting circuit & charging circuit (alternator & starter could make faster buzzing noises than engine), then I would remove whatever to get to the starting solenoids and check those to be sure they are not welded together. Then try to get a look or reading on the starter & alternator. Then check fuse box and relay box for damages .

A "Stickey" I think on the Tech board mentions something about the starter on a few wings in the past not shutting off.

Next I would probably call a world famous motorcycle electrical gru like WALDO!!!! and see if he or Techdude or Fred, could help. cause it does sound like something is seriously wrong with the electrical system!!! I WOULD NOT give it any more POWER!!! but that's just me!!!

Good luck and sure hope it didn't melt anything serious. keep us informed with more info maybe we could figger somting out..
 

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Hey, I’m getting better for I too thought it was the starter system and it’s relays. Had a trike do it at the old Davis Rally and we were able to get the battery disconnected before total meltdown. Relay was too hot to touch. He wouldn’t trust any parking lot fix up and had it towed to the dealer. If I remember right they replaced the starter also because it showed more draw after all was done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It only smoked once. Probably from the battery. Thanks guys. Will let you know the results. He started and rode it today for awhile, but it won't restart and shows the same symptoms.
 
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Sounds like the relay contacts welded and the starter stayed energized, burning out the starter.

I agree. The buzzing noise he heard was probably the starter running. Either the relay contacts welded and left the starter running until it burned up, or the starter sprag clutch failed and it stayed engaged and turned the starter motor into a generator which cooked the battery. Either way, I'll bet that when he pulls the starter he finds the source of the smoke. The windings in the starter motor are probably burned up and shorting now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update. In checking the relays, both are shorted showing 0 resistance between the terminals battery in or out. Since the starter does crank, we are hoping it's still ok. BTW - No electrical guru am I but when he first called me I told him his starter relays were probably fried. I had two which I bought when they went up in price. Both are #1. He just picked them up.. We will see the extent of the injury beyond that once he puts them in.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, the relays were good, but the starter was burned up. Progress so far.... old starter out new starter in. but the new starter has the cable lug on the wrong side!! So..... you can see it in one pic it's there on the bottom, but in the other pic it's nowhere to be seen. He's getting another starter overnighted but the guy sending it doesn't know where the terminal lug is located. One thing after another. Put the tank in, forgot the bracket on the bottom. That's the latest news in the saga. Unfortunately I cannot be there to help.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Ok, the relays were good, but the starter was burned up. Progress so far.... old starter out new starter in. but the new starter has the cable lug on the wrong side!! So..... you can see it in one pic it's there on the bottom, but in the other pic it's nowhere to be seen. He's getting another starter overnighted but the guy sending it doesn't know where the terminal lug is located. One thing after another. Put the tank in, forgot the bracket on the bottom. That's the latest news in the saga. Unfortunately I cannot be there to help.
Thanks for the update Waldo. Are these rebuilt starters? If so, be careful, there’s some out there with a cold rolled pin or setscrew in the drive gear that can come out. The OEM doesn’t have either and only uses a snap ring to hold the shaft and gears together on the outside. The hazard to the rebuilds with the pin or setscrew is it coming loose and falling into the engine.
 

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It looks like a rebuild starter. The winding housing is reinstalled in a different clock position. It could be loosened up and turned as the mounting bolts are on the outside. But it should be right from the get go. That just tells me that it's poor quality control.
 

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It looks like a rebuild starter. The winding housing is reinstalled in a different clock position. It could be loosened up and turned as the mounting bolts are on the outside. But it should be right from the get go. That just tells me that it's poor quality control.
That’s a good point. In the past, I’ve rebuilt a few starters and I always marked the ends and housing before disassembly so they went back together exactly as they came apart. I know this won’t be easy if you are painting the barrel, but it’s still doable. :frown2: If I had this issue, I would inspect for the previous mentioned setscrew situation and would either, reuse the old drive gear end if the setscrew is present or remove the screws and turn the gear end around to the proper clock position if it doesn’t have the screw or pin.
 

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That’s a good point. In the past, I’ve rebuilt a few starters and I always marked the ends and housing before disassembly so they went back together exactly as they came apart. I know this won’t be easy if you are painting the barrel, but it’s still doable. :frown2: If I had this issue, I would inspect for the previous mentioned setscrew situation and would either, reuse the old drive gear end if the setscrew is present or remove the screws and turn the gear end around to the proper clock position if it doesn’t have the screw or pin.
Yup, who ever is doing it, just remember that the brushes and the windings are "timed" and must move/turn together. Or the thing won't work at all. Worked at a rebuild shop for 7 years.
 

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Yup, who ever is doing it, just remember that the brushes and the windings are "timed" and must move/turn together. Or the thing won't work at all. Worked at a rebuild shop for 7 years.
In this case, I would only turn the gear head and leave the brush cap and barrel where they’re at. Actually, I would probably take it all apart and see what else they didn’t do quite right. :serious:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yup. The guy's is cheap. $25K for a bike and save. But, $600 for a starter is steep. Will keep you posted. I am not involved in the project since I'm in SC.
 

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Yup. The guy's is cheap. $25K for a bike and save. But, $600 for a starter is steep. Will keep you posted. I am not involved in the project since I'm in SC.
I understand, just pass along to him the concern about the setscrew or pin. If it has one and it comes loose, it could damage something major in the gears below it and he will be doing this job all over because he will be stranded where it happens. :frown2: I appreciate you trying to help a fellow biker long distance, trust me, it takes patience! :wink2:
 

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He might be better off to return the rebuilt starter for a refund and then go by a new starter from Honda. If it were me, I'd cut my losses now instead of ending up on a trip somewhere with yet another failed starter that can't be easily replaced on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I understand, just pass along to him the concern about the setscrew or pin. If it has one and it comes loose, it could damage something major in the gears below it and he will be doing this job all over because he will be stranded where it happens. :frown2: I appreciate you trying to help a fellow biker long distance, trust me, it takes patience! :wink2:
I did. Copy and paste.

He might be better off to return the rebuilt starter for a refund and then go by a new starter from Honda. If it were me, I'd cut my losses now instead of ending up on a trip somewhere with yet another failed starter that can't be easily replaced on the road.
That will never happen sorry to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bump. All starting issues have been resolved. It was necessary to put in a new pulse sensor behind the timing cover. Bike runs good, starts faster than it used to. two problems remain. It will not go into reverse. Lights go out as they should but it won't engage. Cruise will not work anymore also.

Any ideas will be welcome. Thanks for your help.
 

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Bump. All starting issues have been resolved. It was necessary to put in a new pulse sensor behind the timing cover. Bike runs good, starts faster than it used to. two problems remain. It will not go into reverse. Lights go out as they should but it won't engage. Cruise will not work anymore also.

Any ideas will be welcome. Thanks for your help.
Does he get a good reverse light on the dash? If so, what does it do when he pushes the starter/reverse button? If no reverse light, have him just turn on the key and hit the reverse shift switch, see if he can hear the actuator run for a couple of seconds? He can pull the right engine cover and watch the cables at the rear of the engine too. No sound and no movement means his actuator isn’t running.
 
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