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Discussion Starter #1
2003 GL1800A with 136xxx miles. For the past month, I've had the dash/instrument lights flicker off and the tach, speedo and fuel gauge go to zero then come back on and work for 2-3 days or 15 minutes and do it again. This morning I started the bike in the dark and no instrument lights, gauges on zero. Also, the factory fog lights are not on. I searched the threads on electrical problems and didn't find anything exactly like this one. This afternoon after work, I pulled the seat and side covers off and started checking fuses and relays. I should note that everything else on the bike works. Headlights, tailights, turn signals, brake lights, emergency flashers. The bike starts and runs just fine

I found all fuses were good, I was told that the instruments get their power from the tail light relay. The tail lights are on but I swapped the relay with another and still no dash lights. I pulled the battery and checked the voltage outside the bike, 12.44 volts and it has been starting just fine. Really cranks hard even though the battery is at least 5 years old. Cleaned the terminals while I was there.

I've got the top shelter off because it was time to change the air filter anyway. Any ideas on what to consider next? I didn't find any chaffing or burned wires. Nothing obvious anyway.

Give me some thoughts please.

Thanks
Larry
 

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Two separate problems maybe.

The control switch for the fog lights , quite common for it to go bad. Or stick or just corrode.

The other lights, could be as simple as loose connector behind the meter panel. Not making contact would cause all that, as would dirt, corrosion, or bad contact.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Check for corrosion or a loose connection in this plug assembly under the left fairing pocket. C7 carries the power to the gauges and rain likes to work it's way into these connectors from the vent above. The brown/white wire will be of interest for the gauge power. If you don't find an issue there, you will have to pull the gauge assembly out and check the plugs on it's back side.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you TechDude. I will have a look this afternoon after work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I give, what's the trick on getting that connector apart? I'm pretty good with this stuff but that one has me a little stumped. I'm not sure how that locking mechanism works.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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I use a small screw driver and push down in the lock on the side. They are tough. Can you see any indication of water damage on the wires going into the top of the connector?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I've checked all the connections in the picture and there is NO corrosion on any connection. I checked continuity using my Fluke meter on top and bottom of the connectors and all check out fine.

There is no voltage on the Brown/White wire. It seems to me that it's not getting supplied from it's origin. Where does power for the gauges originiate? Is it one of the relays under the seat? Which one?

Also, the factory fog lights don't work either. They would blink out with the gauges when this happened during riding. Where do they get their power? There was a small relay under the left pocket hooked to the fog light harness and it was a little corroded. I cleaned it up and still no help.

Help! I don't want to put the top shelter back on just to take it to the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, here's a Gremlin for ya. I checked the relays by applying power to the 3-4 terminals and checked continuity on the 1-2 terminals and all is good. I swapped some of the like realys around and still no dash lights or fog lights.

So out of desperation, I had the bike running, no dash lights and I honked the horn and about 1 second later, the dash lights came on, the gauges started working and the fog lights came back on. I wish I could have a picture of my face when that happened. I let the bike run a couple of minutes and shut it off. Waited a bit and turned the ignition back on and everything seems normal. Started the bike perfectly and all gauges and lights function perfectly.

So what do we think about the horn honking starting the lights and gauges back up. Think I've got something going on in the left grip controls? How would anything over there affect what just happened?
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Sorry, I haven't been online, been eating a little mexican... yea, no one was holding his legs. :lol::lol::lol:

Let me get into the schematics and see why that happened. I'll be right back.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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Have you had anything done to the left side controls or the cover removed on that side of the handlebars? The power for the gauges also runs up to power the turn signal switch. This power wire runs thru C23 on the right side of the bike under the right fairing pocket in the plugs just like the left side plugs. Another corrosion inspection is in order on that side. Here is the power distribution created by this wire from the tail relay:

 

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GL1800 Doctor
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It's not the relay or you would definitely loose your tail lights. It could be a pinched wire in the cover on the bottom of the handlebar. Maybe the horn circuit and this circuit have a short between them. It may be one of the terminal blocks that are buried in the harness and represented by the big nodes or dots at the wire junctions. These are trouble waiting to happen.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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This terminal block that connects all of these wires coming from the relay is not shown in the 01-05 service manual, but the equivalent one on the 06-08 bikes is shown in this picture(C25), at least it's location in the harness is pointed out. I'm betting the older bikes have the same terminal block in the same location. If you don't find any corrosion issues in the right side plugs or pinched wires in the handlebar, this might be a good place to start digging for the intermittent power.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank for all your reasearch. I'm going to check out all those areas today. I finally have time to work on it some more. I'll report back what I find. Thank you again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I finally had some time to check out everything you pointed out. Other than just lots of grime in the under seat connections, everything was normal looking. I did pull all the connections apart and blow them out with my air gun and replug them. The left hand grip really didn't show anything either. I'm still a little stumped but the lights and gauges were working so I put everything back together for a check ride. Rode around for a while and all seemed normal and as I was backing into the garage, the gauges and lights blinked out again. So I'm thinking well crap. I've looked this thing over top to bottom. I've read where old batteries in Goldwings cause weird problems so I was just about to replace the battery. During my check ride, I was smelling anti-freeze and saw some dripping on the right side of the motor just below the radiator cap. I pulled the right pocket out and one of the overflow tubes has a broken tab so I had to order a new filler neck and dig the broken nipple out of the small hose that routes to the left side radiator. As I'm at the dealership, I talk to the service manager (who is a huge Goldwing guy) about my problems and not until I told him I had the factory Honda foglights and harness did he start smiling. Seems like he had a very similar if not the same problem on his 2006. His is a highly electrically modded Wing and he originally thought it was one of his mods causing the problem. Long story short, it was the low beam relay. So now, I've got a relay on order with Hal along with the filler neck that nobody in town had. I'll install those next week and give further updates. Keep your fingers crossed.
Thanks again for all your investigation work.
 

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fog lights

I have no power to the fog lights on my 02. Replaced the switch with the RS replacement. Thanks for that one, it works really well. Took lights out & put power to them, they are OK. On a search now. Haven't found any old threads with reference to this yet.
Thanks again..
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update - Today after more investigations.

The Honda Service manager said the low beam relay was the culprit. I ordered one from Hal and replaced it. That still did not fix my problem. I read on this board many times that batteries at the end of their life cause all kinds of various gremlins to surface. As my battery is the original 8 year old battery, I replaced it with a new OEM Battery.

All appeared well for 4 days. The bike worked perfectly with absolutely no hiccups whatsoever....then..... I go out to get on the bike, turn the key and no dash lights, no instrument power AND no running lights front or rear. This is new to the equation. I rode the bike back to the house (70 miles) that night with the emergency flashers so people would see me at night. I had brake lights and turn signals. I turned the bike back on when I got to the house and nothing had changed.


This brought me back to what I was told about the dash lights getting their power from the tail light relay. I bought a relay from the local Honda dealer and replaced the tail light relay too.

The next day when I went out to work on the bike and replace the tail light relay, just for grins I turned the bike on and all was "Normal". Like there was never a problem at all. I'm thinking at this point, maybe the relay is just weak so I shut it off and replaced the tail light relay. I started the bike after changing the relay and all seemed normal. This morning I start the bike to come to work and ride 70 miles to work and the gauges and dash lights blinked (about 40 miles just like my original problem 2 months ago. I started the bike at lunch today and no gauges, gauge lights or running lights. I am basically back to square one. A lot of stuff looked at, touched, replaced, ohmed and I still have a broken bike that's really beginning to tick me off.

Anybody got any suggestions now? I just hate to take it into the dealer for a problem like this because they're going to charge a stupid amount of money to solve it but that may be my only choice at this point.
Thanks
 

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If it's not fixed yet, try installing a new 15A fuse for fuse #5. It may not be totally blown, but it may be cracked.

If the problem happens again, it's easy to check whether the taillights are on or off by looking at the front amber position lights. They get the same power the taillights get.

If the tail/position lights do go on and off with the gauges then either the power going thru the taillight relay is being interrupted, or there is a problem on the coil side of the relay, either in the ground or power from the key switch.
 

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Check this connector way back at the end of the seat. Honda grounds the entire trunk area through a single 16g wire. Mine went bad. All sorts of weird stuff went on. Can't hurt. You've been everywhere else.

 
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