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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I got my hands on this CL175 approx six months ago... I replaced the coil, condenser, battery, plugs and wires. Rebuilt the carbs. It started and ran great.

It then had unfortunately been neglected for about 6 months and sat while life happened.

Now, after I charged up the battery, I couldn’t even get the green Neautral light to come on. I was going over all the wiring and checking what the issue could be, and all of a sudden it came on. I tried starting the bike for about 5 mins (kick), no luck.

When I flipped on the headlight switch to see if that worked, the green Neautral light turned off... Now back to where I started.

The battery is reading solid 12V.

Do ignition switches go bad from sitting?

What else can I check or trouble shoot?
 

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So I got my hands on this CL175 approx six months ago... I replaced the coil, condenser, battery, plugs and wires. Rebuilt the carbs. It started and ran great.

It then had unfortunately been neglected for about 6 months and sat while life happened.

Now, after I charged up the battery, I couldn’t even get the green Neautral light to come on. I was going over all the wiring and checking what the issue could be, and all of a sudden it came on. I tried starting the bike for about 5 mins (kick), no luck.

When I flipped on the headlight switch to see if that worked, the green Neautral light turned off... Now back to where I started.

The battery is reading solid 12V.

Do ignition switches go bad from sitting?

What else can I check or trouble shoot?
Do the headlight and horn work? If not, check your fuse. If they do, check that you've got 12v going into the coils.

Have you checked for spark?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Checked the fuse, it looks great.

The lights and horn do not work... It’s like the key is off.

When I tried to turn on the headlight when the system was actually getting power (the Neautral gear light was on), as soon as I hit the headlight switch, it all shut down again (the Neautral light turned off as is the key had been turned or the battery died).
 

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Sounds like a dead battery to me.
 

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Checked the fuse, it looks great.

The lights and horn do not work... It’s like the key is off.

When I tried to turn on the headlight when the system was actually getting power (the Neautral gear light was on), as soon as I hit the headlight switch, it all shut down again (the Neautral light turned off as is the key had been turned or the battery died).
Time to bust out the multimeter.
- put the negative needle on the negative battery terminal and the positive probe on the positive terminal. You should get i over 12v.
- keep the negative needle where it is and touch the positive probe to both sides of the fuse. You should get 12v on both ends. If not, your fuse/connection is bad.
- test the ignition switch by putting the positive probe on the wire leaving the switch with the key on. Should read 12v unless your switch is bad, which I doubt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you to everyone who is chiming in.

Ok so I busted out the multimeter...

12.4V (battery at terminals)
11.96V and 11.88V (either side of fuse terminals)

Ignition switch has four wires (brown, brown/white, red, black)...

Ignition in OFF position, only red wire has power (11.75V)
Ignition in ON position, both the red and black wires get power (red 11.70V and black 11.65V).

So looks like the ignition switch is okay? Or should those brown wires be getting power too?

If the coil was fried, would the headlights/horn and Neautral gear light still work?

How/what else can I check?
.
 

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Thank you to everyone who is chiming in.

Ok so I busted out the multimeter...

12.4V (battery at terminals)
11.96V and 11.88V (either side of fuse terminals)

Ignition switch has four wires (brown, brown/white, red, black)...

Ignition in OFF position, only red wire has power (11.75V)
Ignition in ON position, both the red and black wires get power (red 11.70V and black 11.65V).

So looks like the ignition switch is okay? Or should those brown wires be getting power too?

If the coil was fried, would the headlights/horn and Neautral gear light still work?

How/what else can I check?
.
Check that there's a ground cable running from the negative battery terminal to the frame.

If I'm reading the wiring diagram correctly (below), your horn and ignition coil should work at this point since the black wire is carrying current. Have you tried the horn with the key on? You should also be able to test for spark ( something is odd how you're not measuring 12.4 everywhere). Don't keep the key on long or you're going to fry the coil.

The horn, headlights and neutral switch should all work regardless of the coil as long as you've got power going through the brown white and your ground wires and switches are ok.

Weird thing is that the link below suggests the cl175 uses a 6v system. If you're not sure whether yours is 12v or 6v, take a bulb out of one of the signals and see what it says on the side. If it's a 6v system you've got the wrong battery and should change it before proceeding (Although the switch could still be faulty.) Do this first.

http://www.hondatwins.net/forums/showthread.php?t=34206
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Checked the blinker bulb, it is an 1156 13V bulb, which suggests that this is a 12V (I believe the CD175 came with a 6V, which is why a popular mod exists of upgrading them to 12V like the CB/CL).

Should there be two wires connected directly to the negative terminal? (One to the harness and one directly to the frame?).

Also what is weird is that it was working briefly, and shut down again when I turned on the headlight switch.

Should those two brown wires coming from the ignition switch have power?? (Neither of mine do).
 

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If you are absolutely certain that your battery is OK ( Bike was OK six months ago, batteries can die in that time, appear to recharge but don't hold that charge ), one thing you could check is the connector from the ignition switch to the main loom.

When I first got my CL175, it would randomly cut out, all electrics dead. I traced it to the connector arrowed in my photo below. I replaced this with the later type connector, problem solved.

DSCF1673.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry! Misread your post (you answered my question). I don’t have that connector... also my ignition switch is mounted to the frame (not up by the handle bars).

So I put a new freshly charged 12ah battery in... The green light came on! Horn worked, but when I hit the light switch, again everything died.

I disconnected the battery and reconmected, nothing for a few moments, then everything came on again. I tried starting the bike, no go.

I checked for spark, and I only seem to be getting spark on the right side (no spark or super small occasional spark on the left).

I’m guessing the coil is fried after all?

Would that explain the whole system shorting out and shutting down when I turn the headlight on?
 

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That is the connector for the ignition switch. It works by pins mating into tubes, which doesn't make good contact once worn. I could get the bike going again by waggling the connector. Later connectors use the much more reliable spade type connectors.

Reason I mention the battery - My Cb600 Hornet had a fairly new battery the other year, spent last winter on a battery tender. Battery registered over 12v when fitted in the spring, but died as soon as any load put on it. New battery, problem solved.

EDIT Just read your last post. Yes, a previous owner had moved the ignition switch, probably strained the connector. I've put it back where it's meant to be.


You'd expect the fuse to blow if there was a short circuit somewhere ?
 

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Sorry! Misread your post (you answered my question). I don’t have that connector... also my ignition switch is mounted to the frame (not up by the handle bars).

So I put a new freshly charged 12ah battery in... The green light came on! Horn worked, but when I hit the light switch, again everything died.

I disconnected the battery and reconmected, nothing for a few moments, then everything came on again. I tried starting the bike, no go.

I checked for spark, and I only seem to be getting spark on the right side (no spark or super small occasional spark on the left).

I’m guessing the coil is fried after all?

Would that explain the whole system shorting out and shutting down when I turn the headlight on?
Those connections look a little sketchy. Are those bare connections going to the ignition switch? Those connections need to be taped up to avoid shorts. And what's that jumper from the black all about? The PO might have messed up the wiring so you should go through and check for bad connections, bare wires, etc kind of sounds like a bad ground wire to me which could be likely if you have bare wires juggling around the bucket/ frame.

You should be able to get lights etc with bad coils/no coils, so I doubt they're the electrical gremlin you're after.Typically the coil only sends power to the plugs. Check your wiring diagram to confirm.

You could have a bad coil but you need to check the coil itself to confirm since a number of things can cause even a good coil to not spark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Those bare wires got exposed when I unpeeled the tape from the bundle to see if the connections were ok and to check if the ignition switch was working properly (with multimeter). I had them exposed for the photo.

The bike was running fine prior to sitting for 6 months... What could have possibly happened?

In order to eliminate the bad battery possibility, I tried with a freshly charged (new) 12ah battery... Still no spark on left side when I check for spark (storing spark on right). And, when I turn on the headlight switch, everything shuts down as if the battery died.

What could that possibly be?

Also, how can I diagnose the no spark on one side issue? (Could it be related?)
 

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In my experience, lots of stuff can happen in 6 months to disable a bike - batteries can easily go bad and no longer hold a charge, critical connections between wires can oxidize (including points), mice snack on wires, etc.

Starting with a freshly charged battery is key for diagnosing electrical problems. Some points won't fire with a weak battery, so you risk chasing your tail unless you test with a battery you know is charged up. If I'm chasing a lighting gremlin, I tend to disconnect the coils to avoid frying them.

The headlight switch thing is a little odd. I'd guess there's a short somewhere in the headlight circuit or that it's somehow wired incorrectly. I would find all the wires coming from your headlight in your wiring diagram (3 I think), open up the bucket and manually check the wires and connections. You're looking for worn wires, loose connections, dirty connections, or headlight bulb wires plugging into the wrong places for starters. I'd do a close inspection of all the wires in the bucket to find your short before tackling the coils. Maybe check the brown wire going back to your tail light to see if that's damaged.

Testing the coil:

There's just one coil with two plug wires, right? There are loads of youtube videos on how to test a coil with a multimeter. One easy thing you can do is swap the spark plugs to see if the left plug is an issue. You can also remove the left spark plug boot and cut a little of the spark plug wire down and then reinstall the boot to insure there's a good connection and test again.
 

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Also, the contacts inside the ignition switch can get corroded or sometimes even slightly burned from high load due to poor connection. Those old ignition switches come apart rather easily, you pull the plastic cover off the back of the switch and then bend the indented tabs away from the backing plate where the wires are soldered on and the plate comes out. Sometimes a little cleanup is all that's necessary, or they may be in bad enough shape that it needs to be replaced
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok so I tested the coil:

4.0 ohms between leads
23.7 ohms between plug caps

Do those ohm levels sound right?

Can dirty connections somewhere result in a short when I turn on the headlight?

It seems now that there is no spark on either side!
 
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