Pulsating Electrical System

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  • GL1800 (Pre-2012): Pulsating Electrical System

    Hello this is my second post and I have a problem. When you first start the 2006 gold wing up the lights do not pulsate. In approx. 15 to 20 seconds the lights get bright and the lights pulsate. All lights and displays on the motorcycle pulsate. Just to check and see if the alternator or battery was bad. With the motorcycle running and lights pulsating I unhooked the positive post to the battery. This makes no change and the motor stays running. Can someone give me some direction to where to look next. I usually try to figure out the solution myself but this one has me stumped.

  • #2
    Coozwing, I would like more info..in order to assist you. Example...how many MILES are on this bike ? Have you added any electrical accessories to the bike, that "may" have been installed incorrectly, loose, become detached, etc.

    Cruiseman is on the right track, as generally it is the battery, and if this is the OEM battery, from 9 years ago, then it is time to replace anyway.

    I say this politely, as I know you are asking for help in a moment that can be frustrating...but if the original poster of a problem can give US as much information as possible, WE can then give you an answer in a faster, more qualified manner.

    The problems with your '06 bike are most likely...in order of probability...

    # 1...the battery
    # 2...the alternator/brushes
    # 3...loose ground
    # 4...that yaahoo that installed the headlight modulator on your bike, hooked it up to the entire wiring system, and now all lights and instruments are pulsating

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    • #3
      Thank you for your comment. The motorcycle has 152,000 miles on it, no modulator, battery is 22 months old. Haven't checked brushes yet. James

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)


      • #4
        Coozwing, welcome. You may have read this elsewhere (as I have) but it seems 130,000-140,000 miles seems to be a range where a lot of alternators begin to fail. This isn't true in all cases; mine has 160,000+ miles and (luckily) have not had issues as yet. Should you need an alternator, below is some information on one source.

        KEN HEMING
        3701 E. 69TH. AVE.
        MERRILLVILLE, IN.
        46410-3963
        219-947-4038
        [email protected]
        http://myplace.frontier.com/~hemi-roid/

        Good Luck.

        Edit: to add to what MMR said in his #3.

        1) clean and tighten the battery cables and make sure connections to the alternator are tight.
        2) check the ground on the right side of the engine close to the reverse actuator cables.
        3) check the large ground under the gas tank

        .Click image for larger version

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        Richard
        Darksider #390
        Murgie's FAQ

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        • #5
          Usually electrical pulsations come from the alternator, specifically the voltage regulator.
          2007 Crucible Orange Metallic
          2009 Kawasaki Red Concours 14
          AMA Life Member 0672853
          IBA Member 8846 Premier
          NRA Life Member

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          • #6
            Originally posted by orangecrate View Post
            Usually electrical pulsations come from the alternator, specifically the voltage regulator.
            I agree, most of the time this is a symptom of a bad alternator, but a bad ground can cause it as well.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Techdude2000 View Post

              I agree, most of the time this is a symptom of a bad alternator, but a bad ground can cause it as well.
              Techdude, wow! SO glad to see your posts on this forum! Your very wise words of wisdom on all matters concerning our beloved GL1800s is the only thing I missed about that "other forum". Thanks for signing up and a BIG WELCOME to you sir. Looking forward to MANY more posts from you.

              This forum gets better all the time.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Techdude2000 View Post

                I agree, most of the time this is a symptom of a bad alternator, but a bad ground can cause it as well.
                Welcome Rob, Good to see you here! I have a different handle here. Yeah, I know a bad ground is a possibility, but for me if I were going to take a chance, I would most likely change out the alternator first since he has152,000 miles on the bike. The borrowed time thing.
                2007 Crucible Orange Metallic
                2009 Kawasaki Red Concours 14
                AMA Life Member 0672853
                IBA Member 8846 Premier
                NRA Life Member

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                • #9
                  Welcome to the Forum Techdude2000, and thanks for all your time you contribute troubleshooting our problems!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by coozwing View Post
                    Hello this is my second post and I have a problem. When you first start the 2006 gold wing up the lights do not pulsate. In approx. 15 to 20 seconds the lights get bright and the lights pulsate. All lights and displays on the motorcycle pulsate. Just to check and see if the alternator or battery was bad. With the motorcycle running and lights pulsating I unhooked the positive post to the battery. This makes no change and the motor stays running. Can someone give me some direction to where to look next. I usually try to figure out the solution myself but this one has me stumped.
                    What you described is a voltage regulator going south on you. I have rebuilt both my own and a friends who suffered the same fate as you have (I know where to get the OEM regulators)

                    But as Rob/Techdude (Welcome Rob) eluded to. you should make sure your battery and other ground connections are tight first. you always start with the easy stuff first.


                    Do you work on your own bike? The reason I ask is I have two spare alts on my shelf.

                    I can loan you a test alt to confirm the alt issue, if you pay shipping both ways?


                    If you have a voltage meter. connect it and see if the voltage spikes up/down while the bike is running and the lights are pulsating. lets up know what you see?


                    PM me if interested with your shipping info.

                    Rocky

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                    • #11
                      I see you already have been given some good advice. WELCOME to the forum.. I would like to also say HELLO to Rocky. Nice to see you back Rocky. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry

                      IBA #57814
                      SaddleSore 1075 Miles in 24 hours (certified)
                      BunBurner 1632 Miles in 36 hours (certified)
                      Prowler #81
                      Double Darksider # 792
                      Alaska 2012 / 2014

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