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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1982 gl500, 22000 miles. She starts when cold with the starter button, but when hot, I have to use the screwdriver across the two bolts on the selinoid under the seat. Question: What part do i replace to fix this? AND, can I use parts from another model Honda that is still in production? If so, which one?

Thanks for the help.

JOhn
 

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Have you tried wiggling the starter button when trying it hot? This is a simple circuit, the starter button sends 12 volts to the solenoid's coil, which then pulls a set of contacts electromagnetically together. That completes the circuit between the two large terminals on the solenoid. I would guess that the solenoid is going bad. It is possible to open them up and clean the contacts, but hardly worth the effort. Any 12 volt solenoid with the two coil wires will work, even one off a lawn mower. But finding one that fits in the same spot is the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. Yes, I took the start button assembly apart and cleaned all contacts there and the starting problems remain. I did not take apart the selinoid for a cleaning, I may do this soon.

Is there any test I can do that will tell me if the problem is in my start button or in my selinoid?

The battery is new by the way.

John
 

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When you try to start it when hot, do you hear a distinct click at the solenoid? That would indicate that the electromagnet is working, but that the contacts inside are not completing the circuit. Other than that, I suppose you could remove the cable going to the starting motor and check for voltage at that terminal on the solenoid when trying to crank. Likely as not you will see voltage there either from jiggling the solenoid or the fact that it may be making a minimal contact, enough to show voltage, but not enough to carry the 60-80 amps that the starting motor requires.



The hardest part on disassembling these is getting the two small wires thru the top of the case. Once you do that, then it is a piece of cake. The two big terminals can be swapped from one side to the other and present a new contact face, and the disk can also be inverted and reassembled. Just be careful getting those two wires thru, they carry the current for the coil part of the solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again for your help. When I press the start button, there is no noise. It is dead quiet. With this said, is my selinoid dead? Should I not waste my time cleaning it and just buy a new one?

John
 

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Take the solenoid off and hook the two small wires the battery's terminals. Or you could also jumper it in place. If the solenoid then clicks, or the engine cranks, you must have a glitch in the circuit from the switch to the solenoid. This will bypass any safety items, so make sure the bike is in neutral if you try jumpering. You don't even need the key on either. I don't have a wiring diagram close, but you really would only have to jump one wire. I just don't know which one.
 

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I'd avoid that one. It looks just like the one Public Guardian had trouble with that we analyzed on the old forum. This one is not simply a plug-in replacement, as the terminals are on the opposite side compared to the stock solenoid and the heavy gauge cables will not reach.



Further, to use this solenoid the wiring harness connector must be modified by cutting off the keying tab so that it will plug in. When this is done there is a good chance the connector will be plugged in backwards. Then the main fuse blows every time the ignition switch is turned on.



The replacement Honda solenoid looks similar but it is quality unit that is designed properly. The only problem is it costs around $70.
 

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John, do you have a multimeter? If so, we can talk you through the troubleshooting process to isolate the exact problem. If not, it would be a good thing to have anyway. A cheap one only costs a few bucks and will work fine. See this.



It would also be a good idea to edit your signature to show your bike's year and model.
 

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I found this excerpt from a thread on the old forum using Google's cached capability.



10-30-2009, 4:54 PM

PG's solenoid arrived today.



First, the new solenoid was inspected to see how it was connected internally and how that compared with the stock solenoid. They are connected identically, although the Motor and Battery posts are swapped in position. In this photo, the new solenoid is on the left and one from a 1983 GL650 is on the right.







Two of the four connector tabs on the new solenoid are not visible because the fuse is blocking their view. The battery cable is still attached on the GL650 solenoid.



An ohmmeter check confirmed they were wired the same. Both coils measured about 3 ohms. A 12 volt bench power supply was then used to activate each solenoid. A click was heard when the contacts closed. Both coils drew about the same current.



Since everything was looking good so far, the next thing was to try it out on a bike. The naked 1981 GL500 was easiest to get to so it was used.





This is when things started to get aggravating. The starter cable was not long enough to allow the solenoid to mount in place. Maybe the terminal lug could have been bent and it might have fit, but since this was just for a temporary test I chose not to do so. Note this likely would not have been an issue if the Battery and Motor post locations had not been swapped in the new solenoid.





This photo shows the next installation issue. If the cable connector housing is not modified by removing the retention/keying material it will interfere with the fuse. (The fuse is not installed in this photo.) If this were truly a plug-in replacement it should not be necessary to modify the cable housing. The connector's keying function prevents the connector from being plugged in backwards. It also helps to keep the connector from coming loose due to vibration. Again, I chose not to make any modifications for testing.





The fuse was held in place across its contact terminals from underneath for testing.



Testing went well. The bike was started many times with no problems.



I believe the diode and wiring may have smoked on PG's bike when the connector was plugged in backwards. The wiring diagram indicates the short circuit path in that case is through the diode. The main fuse should have blown, but it may not have been fast enough to protect the diode and comparatively light gauge wiring.



Swapping the Battery and Motor cables would not have caused any damage.



The solenoid will be mailed back to PG within the next few days.



In summary, this particular replacement solenoid looks like a good idea although the implementation certainly has room for improvement.
 
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