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Discussion Starter #1
I promise not to bring this up again -- but thought you might find this of interest. :wink:

I had a call from the dealer I purchased me '03 Wing from. He wanted to schedule the ECM change out. I had already taken care of it with another dealer but decided to engage him in conversation about what the ECM really did to correct the problem.

His response was the same I had gotten from another dealer, i.e. unless the engine has puked all over the pavement -- you never experienced a real overheating problem. Only a few Wings had that problem. Most just gave the impression via the temp reading that it was overheating. In fact, the engine was not overheated and the new ECM simply made a change to the way the temp guage reads and a slight modification to the engine when riding at parade speed.

What a temendous expense Honda incurred to change the way the temp guage reads.

That's what I've learned -- and so far, I believe it.

I promise to not bring this up again! :s27:

-gene
 

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ECM Change

You shouldn't feel bad bringing this up. There are a lot of us who have get to have the ECM change done and are always interested in learning more.

I'm bringing my bike in Friday to leave it to have the ECM done. I'm actually interested in having all the Honda recommendations performed so that there is not any chance that something might happen and Honda saw the bike wasn't inspected.

Now, I'll ask and if I can get the work done and leave the ECM alone, I will but I would like to see some type of fix that doesn't peg out my temp gauge.
 

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I'll let you know what I learn on this, mine went in the shop this morning for the ECM and the frame fix. While mine has never overheated, I've read far more positives about the ECM change than bad. Several say it helps the bike run smoother and it shifts better. We'll see.........
 

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CleanGene said:
... Most just gave the impression via the temp reading that it was overheating. In fact, the engine was not overheated and the new ECM simply made a change to the way the temp guage reads and a slight modification to the engine when riding at parade speed....
Personally, I think the part about the temp gauge is B.S.

If the radiators are handling the heat load the temperature reading on the gauge will be stable. When the temperature reading starts to rise, that means the thermostat is wide open and the radiators are no longer able to dump all of the excess heat into the air. Just below the center of the gauge was about 195° as I recall, (I wish I had written the info down when it was available) and each mark above that was a significant increase.

If the rider has a clue, he understands that the temperature gauge is telling him something: the engine is overheating. It used to be known that the gauge would go all the way to the top before the engine would lose coolant. On some Wings that routinely overheated, measurements were made to correlate the reading on the gauge with the actual temperature of the coolant using an infrared thermometer probe. Basically, it was found that the gauge was completely reliable.

Since the temperature gauge was proven to be reliable I'm sorry to hear that they messed with it at all. If they were truly able to make this backa$$ cooling system/ECM work properly they wouldn't have had to make any changes to the temperature gauge. Now, I wonder if it is anything more than an Idiot Light.

(Ahhh... I feel better now! :D) One of these days I'll probably have to get mine done, but I'm gonna put it off as long as possible. :?

JMHO <-- that chould be part of my signature! :D
 

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Different Opinion

Bob: Although I appreciate and respect your comments on the overheating, I've been there with a friend running his wing with the gauge starting to peak and a digital thermometer showed an entirely different story.

There are also known cases of a resistor problem with the thermostat.

Not sure where your data comes from, but there seems to be a lot on both sides of the coin on this particular topic.
 

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Re: Different Opinion

mcallery said:
Bob: Although I appreciate and respect your comments on the overheating, I've been there with a friend running his wing with the gauge starting to peak and a digital thermometer showed an entirely different story.

There are also known cases of a resistor problem with the thermostat.

Not sure where your data comes from, but there seems to be a lot on both sides of the coin on this particular topic.
Questions: Was your friends Wing pre-ECM and pre-gauge harness change? Are you saying the coolant temperature didn't rise when the gauge did?

Thermostats don't have resistors. They are a totally mechanical device.

The data I speak of was posted on the old GL1800riders.com board. I wish the data were still available. It would be good to run the same test again on a modified Wing.
 

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If those who are concerned go to the NHTSA reports from Honda they will find that SB-13 includes much more than simply changing out the ECM.

Honda has admited that there were a number of deffective heads cast with known faults in them and one of the checks it to test for Volume Displacement to identify and replace those heads. Another inspection is to look at the Left Radiator exit to see if there is any sign of corrosion caused by faulty wiring that is known to have pluged up some due to putting an electrical charge on the Radiator thus causing the dammage. In inspecting the wiring above the Left Raditor they are to re-route the sub harness that causes the problem is it is found out of position.

Reading further into the Reports from Honda to the NHTSA you will find that the ECM is a minor part of SB-13 and will only Delay the OH condition by 5 to 10 minutes in Honda's very rigid controlled and limited testing on their Test Track and Lab. From what I have read in the reports there was no attempt at Real World off track testing to verify their own reports of the reported delay which may in fact be much less or even much more for some of us.

The item that changes the Temp Gauge reading is an addition of a Resistor in the Sub-Harness for the Gauge to correct for Known Deffects in the Heads on the first 2 years production runs. Depending on the VIN and if you have the Left Head preplaced a selection of different Sub-Harnesses will be installed if needed.

It isn't as simple as some would make it out to be and it is NOT a Fix only and Delay before OH while operating at the wrong speeds per Honda. Even Honda admits that in their reports.

It seems that Honda has been telling the truth all along that the GL-1800 "Wasn't Ment To Be Operated At Low Speeds".

At this point in time Honda has put out so many stories as to what changes the ECM does that it is impossable to figure out what they actually did. One story is that they Increased the Fuel at low speed or Reduced it while another is that they Retarded the Ignition Timing, another says they Advanced the Ignition Timing and yet others state any number of combinations of the above. Who knows the truth, I don't and Honda won't tell in any official printed documentation.

One very frustrating thing about SB-13 is that some Dealers are stating that the ECM Swap will cure any number of problems that they are unable to figure out. Those Dealers are using SB-13 as a Generic Cop Out for trouble analysis and are pinning their Customers hopes for any number of Warranty items to getting it done at some time in the future when their number comes up for the "Fix".

IMHO most riders don't need SB-13 and forcing it on them in the hopes it will cure every other deffect they may have is going to cause more trouble than leaving it alone will.

Jerry

ps, The Temp Gauge is very close to accurate as many of us have found by measuring the Coolant Temp at the inlet to the Radiators. Even on the '01s those of us with Industry Standard IR Gauges have found that when the needle hits the Red Zone the actual Coolant Temp is 265 deg which is at the point where the Pressure Cap can release. Note that it takes several minutes to fill the overflow bottle when the Cap starts venting ( you can't hear it ) and you may never know that you have filled it if it isn't allowed to continue past the full point. When the engine is shut off it will suck the coolant back into the system if everything is working correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jerry,

Nicely done. Probably the most thorough comments I've read on the subject. As you say, we may never really know the truth about the OH problem and what the ECM change really does -- I know I'm glad I had it done (just for the peace of mind). If I ever have a true OH problem, at least I can say I did all that Honda said I should.

I have been unable to ride enough to tell if there's any meaningful change in shifting or performance (at any speed). Frankly, I don't think my senses are that finely tuned.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity to share and learn from fellow Wingers!

-gene
 

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Some one on the other board did test a Gl1800 with the ECM and temperature harness change. He stated that the new harness allows the gauge to stay at "normal" temp. position on the gauge until the coolant temperature reaches 225 degrees F. Then the tempearure starts to climb as it did before only at a slower rate. I personally think this sucks. I would like to have a gauge that is more linear. Not one that all of a sudden says"Gotcha." This is the fix that Honda has dictated for us to live with. In my opinion it is a "bandaid" fix at best. Instead of correcting the fan direction which to me seems the whole dam problem. I can't think of another water cooled engine that has the fans work in the direction of the GL1800. Another of Honda's better ideas! :roll:
 

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I haven't had the ecm done and I am still on the fence. My bike has never over heated but did rise once in construction while my partners bike pegged in the red. She runs great and gets great gas milage average
is 45 mpg uncorrected. So I may just leave her alone cause it aint broke.
What would you do :?:
 

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Gladiator said:
Some one on the other board did test a Gl1800 with the ECM and temperature harness change. He stated that the new harness allows the gauge to stay at "normal" temp. position on the gauge until the coolant temperature reaches 225 degrees F. Then the tempearure starts to climb as it did before only at a slower rate. I personally think this sucks. I would like to have a gauge that is more linear. Not one that all of a sudden says"Gotcha." ...
Thanks for the additional info. :s27:

I wouldn't mind getting the ECM changed as long as they didn't mess with the temperature gauge! I feel confident with what my gauge is telling me now, and if the new ECM mapping improves the temperature control, then great! I would go for that. 8)

Mine has never hit the top, thankfully. But, stuck in a traffic jam in hot weather I saw it go up about 1½ divisions (one mark above the middle). I planned to pull over and shut it down if it hit the top mark because, unfortunately, we had a slight headwind which interfered with the fans whether we were stopped or moving slowly. At the time I appreciated the fact I could at least keep track of what was happening in the engine and felt confident I could avoid the loss of coolant. :!:

Now, apparently, temperature gauges may no longer be a good indicator of the imminent loss of coolant in front of your rear tire. Apart from equipment failure the engine should not overheat. And hopefully, the other changes that Honda made will improve the operation of the cooling system and will prevent loss of coolant, making the changes to the gauge a relatively minor issue. :?

Anyway, I still have time before the ECM campaign expires, and we'll see how things go during the summer of 2004 ... especially with those that have had the ECM fix done. :?:

In conclusion, I sincerely hope that those of you that have had problems with overheating in the past have a permanent fix to their problems. :D
 

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Gladiator said:
This is the fix that Honda has dictated for us to live with. In my opinion it is a "bandaid" fix at best. Instead of correcting the fan direction which to me seems the whole dam problem. I can't think of another water cooled engine that has the fans work in the direction of the GL1800. Another of Honda's better ideas! :roll:
Not trying to start anything (especially with a guy named GLADIATOR :shock: !!)... :lol:

First, I don't know much about engineering, bike design, production, and all that, I'll admit that. But I'd imagine Honda probably employs one or two people in each catagory who know a little.

I'd also guess that Honda spent a dollar or two looking at the problem, most likely using more advanced equipment than any of us will ever get our hands on.

So, while it might be blind faith, I'd like to think that they looked at all the available fixes, and decided this was the right way to go. I am sure they had 1000 people tell them that all they had to do was reverse the fan direction. If it were that easy, why wouldn't they just have done that? Much easier than replacing the ECM, testing the heads, and all that.

I also know Honda has a couple lawyers and PR folk who have influence on their decisions, so I am not completely blind to the ways of big business. I know just because things are the right way to do it, they may not get done. But with the big s**t sandwich Honda had to eat with the OH issue and their handling of it, I've gotta side with Honda and their wealth of knowledge, capabilities, the $$ they've got to put into testing and engineering a fix, that this is more than a band-aid.

I just don't get the theory that switching the fan direction is the cure, or Honda would have done it.

My opinion isn't based on any technical knowledge, isn't backed by testing, and doesn't have any references to back it up. Maybe I am a blind sheep being led to the slaughter, but it seems like common sense to me. 8)

Just my 2¢ Keep the change :D
 

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2nd work on ECm changeout

I have to agree with Mike on this one. Maybe it is blind faith that is leading some of us. 8) I had my ECM changed last fall after it got close to the top of the gauge in stop and go rush hour traffic in St. Paul. Granted I have not had the opportunity to test the new one yet, but I will soon at Daytona. :clap2: Then I will have some basis to decide if Honda did the correct thing or just placed a "bandaid" on my bike. :weeping:

Mike - keep your head down - a lot of us have been where you are now and we want you to get back here to ride. :flg:
 

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getting your old ecm back

when i had thie ecm change out dopne i asked my dealer if i could have the old one also he said all i had to do was wait 90 days and as long as honda did not come and claim it it was mine free of charge ..so i now have my old one also but i dont have access to a dyno .as i would like to do a fuel and ingnition map from the dyno for both cems and see what the real difference is jusat a though to those out there that might have more resources at hand than i do .....
 

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As some of you know, the gauge needle deflection is the result of electro-magnetism. Some gauges did not respond linearly throughout their entire range, and the condition varied slightly between model years. That's why there are four different sub-harnesses for different model years and depending on whether the left head was found to be good or bad. Sub-harnesses will not be installed on any 2003 model. Late 2001 non-ABS with bad left heads and all 2001 ABS with bad left heads also receive no sub-harness.

The repair sub-harness for the 1800 is the same part used to correct the same gauge response problem on some Honda cars. Even the plugs are the same. This is not a scam; it's part of a series of measures taken to both eliminate a problem and also eliminate the perception of a problem on bikes where none actually exists.

Given all the fear and conspiracy theory swirling around this temp gauge thing, I wouldn't be surprised to see Honda remove the temperature gauge entirely on future models and replace it with a simple idiot light and sending unit set to trigger on at around 230 degrees. If ignorance is bliss, we'd be a blissful bunch then, eh? And think of the wonderful aftermarket in temp gauges for our favorite vendors!

Though the Product Improvement Campaign of TSB #13 is voluntary, it expires on June 19, 2006. After that, it'll be a very expensive customer-pay modification if you change your mind. Stop procrastinating; your bike may suffer a loss of resale value after June, 2006 if the TSB hasn't been performed.

Stu O
 

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Mike if you go to the documents that Honda files with the NHTSA you will see that Honda of Japan came up with a complete fix that involves larger radiators mounted at an angle with larger outboard fans moving air outward and back in the normal air flow direction rather than forward against the incomming air.

In reading the Honda Documments it is very clear that the existing SB-13 is simply a band-aid that they feel will minimise the problem for most. It is not a complete fix but simply the cheapest way they wanted to go with.

They stated that if they implimented the complete corrective measure suggested by enginners in Japan that the massive changes would involve new body work, which everyone would notice & ask for the same, would force them to modify all existing bikes at the much higher $$$ thus it was put on the do later if at all list.

American Honda stated that they would not use that correction due to the expense involved and might consider doing it on model year 5 or the '05 models. American Honda didn't make a firm comittment to do that so only time will tell what they do on upcomming models.

Perhaps Stu O.'s guess that they may only put on an idiot gauge will happen which would be OK if they actually follow through with the other changes their own experts told them would fully correct the deffect.

Jerry
 

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Jerry Roebke said:
Mike if you go to the documents that Honda files with the NHTSA you will see that Honda of Japan came up with a complete fix that involves larger radiators mounted at an angle with larger outboard fans moving air outward and back in the normal air flow direction rather than forward against the incomming air.
Jerry
Jerry,
I do remember reading that. That is far from "correcting the fan direction." Maybe the fix wasn't the optimal fix, but it seems to work.

I'm just gonna go ahead and jump out of this, because I don't want to start this whole issue up again. It has been hashed... rehashed... and then hashed a little bit more. :crazy:

don't make me no never mind if they blow or suck... I love mine!! :D
 

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Jerry Roebke said:
Perhaps Stu O.'s guess that they may only put on an idiot gauge will happen which would be OK if they actually follow through with the other changes their own experts told them would fully correct the deffect.
It wasn't a guess, Jerry. I only said that I wouldn't be surprised. And though your info about the Japanese engineers' opinions is correct, the action Honda took is effective and reasonable in my opinion. We all believe the cooling system's design is a major factor in this problem, but it would be unreasonable, again in my opinion, to expect major structural and system design changes applied to almost 50,000 vehicles already in service. Expect to see changes to the cooling system and fairing implemented for '05. Maybe other exciting changes as well.

Stu
 

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My ECM was changed in late summer. I noticed a marked change in performance at low throttle settings. The bike is now very smooth with a rainy day feel. I am pleased with this as I didn't like the jerkyness before. I can feel a change to the original mapping when going past 1/4 throttle.

The OH problem is more easily managable. While some of this is due to the wiring harness I do see a delay before the gauge starts to move up.

Before the season starts I plan to reverse the fan wiring. I know this will not be fully effective with the fan blade pitch set for forward. Most of my OH problems have been when hill climbing at slow speed. Reversing the fans may solve this problem. At least the stagnation will be gone. This will not solve the "tail wind" version of OH but should not make it worse either.

Reversed fans looked great on paper. The paper is never ridden at 15mph or with a strong tail wind. IMHO the fan direction is the root cause of the problem. SB13 did not address the cause.
 

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Mike, did you read the overheating report from Honda on NHTSA? They are the ones that talk about reversing fans etc. I'm sure every one has a different opinion, but when I read the report, I get that they are the ones that indicates that the fix is not the best one but the one that was most economical.
 
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