Cleaning electrical connections

Help Support ClassicGoldWings:

D-50Dave

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
16
Location
Branford, CT
On my ride home from work tonight, I had no headlight. :shock: Highbeam, lowbeam, no difference. I have running lights on the engine guard, so I got home safely. I checked the fuse, still good. I had this happen once before and it turned out to be the starter button. I've dug in and its pretty dirty. What can I use that I would have around the house? Will carb cleaner hurt the plastic? Rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip? Thanx, Dave
 

AApple

Well-known member
Administrator
Moderator
CGW Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2009
Messages
8,977
Reaction score
46
Location
Duncanville, Texas
My Bike Models
1981 GL1100 Innerstate("The Turd"), 1996 GL1500 Innerstate
Carb or brake cleaner will likely mar the plastic. I would suggest either an electrical contact cleaner, or spray it with WD-40, and use the Q-tip to wipe it off. If you have compressed air, blow it out to make sure all the debris gets removed. :yes:
 

chilidawg

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Oct 8, 2011
Messages
683
Reaction score
1
Location
Spring Texas
The notoriously problematic double pole, double throw switch in the handlebar starter button is there so that the two biggest current draw events that the bike has, do not occur at the same time, namely, the starter motor and the headlight.

If your bike starts well and you know you have a good battery, and/or you reduce your headlight output by just 20 watts, by for instance installing an HID or LED headlight, you really don't need it.

It can be eliminated completely very simply by jumping out the Black & Brown and the Black & White wires in the right hand switch.

Just saying, because it worked for me.
 

D-50Dave

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
16
Location
Branford, CT
I have a flasher relay in the high beam circuit so my headlight will flash when I'm in town. (it came this way) I go down to low beam when I hit the highway. I got this bike from a settlement from being hit head on by a cage that made a left into me because she couldn't see me. When I found this safety feature had been added, I took it as a sign. I think if I were to try and upgrade the headlight bulb, I'd make more headaches for myself than its worth. I'll just clean it and move forward. Thanx, Dave
 

desertrefugee

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
2,030
Reaction score
13
Location
Chandler, Arizona
I always dress or burnish the contacts before I apply terminal cleaner to them. Sometimes you get oxidation or crud build up on there that doesn’t always respond just to the cleaner. Need physical action.
 

D-50Dave

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
16
Location
Branford, CT
So I've cleaned the inside of the starter switch and got it back together. I think I'm missing something. The lights come on, sometimes. The starter kicks in, sometimes. Below the orange plastic piece, there are 4 copper squares inlaid in the case. The orange plastic piece has 2 springs, the larger keeps the button pushed out, and the smaller rides on the copper squares. Is there another piece between the small springs and the contacts? Thanx, Dave
 

pidjones

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,396
Reaction score
3
Location
Clinton, TN
You might just want to go with a replacement switch bottom. Emgo makes them and they seem readily available. I used one on one of my GL1000s with good success. Keep your key section.
 

pidjones

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,396
Reaction score
3
Location
Clinton, TN
The emgo should work. Just use your bike's wiring diagram and match function (not necessarily color) to the new switch.
 

D-50Dave

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
16
Location
Branford, CT
Where does the oem switch end on my Interstate? I'm just wondering how much dismantling will be necessary. I'm also going to need a lot of hand-holding. I'm terrible with electronic systems. Thanx, Dave
 

pidjones

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,396
Reaction score
3
Location
Clinton, TN
[url=https://www.classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=219629#p219629:310scvd2 said:
D-50Dave » Tue Oct 13, 2020 6:29 am[/url]":310scvd2]
Where does the oem switch end on my Interstate? I'm just wondering how much dismantling will be necessary. I'm also going to need a lot of hand-holding. I'm terrible with electronic systems. Thanx, Dave
If you don't have the wiring diagram and FSM for your bike, get them now. Best to find someone with that same model to lead you through the rest.
 

D-50Dave

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
1,018
Reaction score
16
Location
Branford, CT
So the Emgo arrived the other day.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/192295527603?c ... coQAvD_BwE
6 wires for 3 functions. OFF/RUN/OFF, starter button, ON/OFF (for headlight?)
Pulled this out of storage. Came with the bike in '89.
DSC02694.JPG

I wish I had younger eyes and/or it was in color.
DSC02696.JPG

9 wires out of the OEM switch. HELP!
DSC02697.JPG

It looks like they go to a plug. Where would I find that? Thanx, Dave
 

pidjones

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Jul 4, 2013
Messages
1,396
Reaction score
3
Location
Clinton, TN
Front stop swtch is a pass-through from the hand brake. The jumpered connection is for Euro models to power their headlight - you can jumper it in the plug. Get a mating plug from Vintage Connections.
 

saganaga

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
682
Reaction score
28
Location
Minnesota
[url=https://classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=219752#p219752:376ixf0d said:
D-50Dave » October 23rd, 2020, 6:39 pm[/url]":376ixf0d]
I wish I had younger eyes and/or it was in color.

For future reference, a google image search will turn up a colorized wiring diagram.
 

kerryb

Well-known member
CGW Supporter
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Messages
806
Reaction score
16
Location
Buffalo, NY
[url=https://classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=219778#p219778:7l2zddt8 said:
D-50Dave » Tue Oct 27, 2020 5:47 am[/url]":7l2zddt8]
Where does the plug hide on the bike?
A good place to start might be a picture of the bike we (you) are working on.
The plug you seek is probably in a box mounted on the front fork tubes behind the head light. I haven't worked on an '81, but I've rebuilt an '83 and a '79 which were pretty similar.
Before you take any more stuff apart, you might try cleaning the original switch parts in white vinegar. To make that easy, place the vinegar in a ziplock bag and find a way to get the electric parts to be cleaned to hang in the vinegar in the bag. Vinegar is an acid so it will attack the metal but not the plastic. I can't guarantee that it won't affect the color of the housing though, (never tested that). Check the progress morning and night, remove when surfaces wipe off clean.

If you start to look for the plug, follow the wires coming out of the switch by running your finger along them to where they go into something else. If, as you say , you aren't good with electrics yet, then label everything with masking tape BEFORE you take it apart. Then you have a good chance of being able to put it back together. When I work on electrical, I start with a bright work light, a good magnifying glass (to read the diagram) and a can of brake cleaner and a rag to clean the wires to see what color they are. The switch from Emgo will have the colors pretty close to stock, but you may have to guess at one or two because of different shades.
 
Top