Error in Genuine Honda GoldWing GL1200 1984-1987 Service Manual

You might consider this item: GL1200 Carburetor Repair Manual written by Howard Halasz

This Tech Tip is provided courtesy of Howard Halasz – noted early ‘Wing Guru. Howard is a frequent contributor of technical columns and other information to GWRRA’s Wing World Magazine

Here’s the Problem…

All 4 cylinder Gold Wings – GL1000, GL1100, and GL1200 – use the right hand coil to fire the two front cylinders (1 & 2) and the left hand coil to fire the two rear cylinders (3 & 4).

 

The firing order for the GL1100s and GL1200s is 1-3-2-4, the same as it is for the GL1000s. The only difference is that the 1000s have mechanical ignitions driven off of the left camshafts while the 1100s and 1200s have electronic ignitions driven off of the crankshafts.

The error that I found – for which I would like to offer a correction – in the Genuine Honda 1984-1987 GL1200 Service Manual occurs in Chapter 15, Ignition, Page 15-5, which states the following:

“NOTE: When installing the coils, the B/W and Bl/Y wires go to the left coil (2-4). The B/W and Y/Bl wires go to the right coil (1-3). Coil polarity has no effect on performance.”

I feel this quote should be corrected to read the following:.

“NOTE: When installing the coils, the B/W and Bl/Y wires go to the left coil (3-4). The B/W and Y/Bl wires go to the right coil (1-2). Coil polarity has no effect on performance.”

Here’s Why…

Although the B/W, Bl/Y, B/W, and Y/Bl primary 12 volt wiring is correct, in my opinion the first quote suggests that the right coil fires the right cylinders 1&3 and the left coil fires the left cylinders 2&4.

If the spark plug wires are connected to coils and plugs as the Genuine Honda 1984-1987 GL1200 Service Manual suggests, the engine will run on two cylinders only – 1 and 4! Spark plugs 2 and 3 would spark only when pistons 2 and 3 are at bottom dead center. However, the wiring diagrams in Chapter 19 at the back of the manual indicate the correct wiring from the coils to the spark plugs.

If you use Page 15-5 to connect the coils to the spark plugs, your GL1200 Gold Wing will chug along like a steam locomotive. (The GL1200s really have no inherent ignition flaws.)

In my opinion then, the Clymer Manual is also incorrect (on Page 198) where it states “There are 2 ignition coils; one fires the plugs for the No. 1 and No. 3 cylinders and the other fires the plugs for the No. 2 and No. 4 cylinders.”

I believe the correct statement should read:.

“There are 2 ignition coils; one fires the plugs for the No. 1 and No. 2 cylinders and the other fires the plugs for the No. 3 and No. 4 cylinders.”

[However, the wiring diagrams in the Clymer manual (Chapter 15, starting on Page 387) are correct.]

FIGURE 1 (Below) – Here, the red spark plug wires indicate what I feel both the Clymer and Honda manuals suggest (and is incorrect).

Spark Plug WiresFIGURE 1 – Wrong Spark Plug Wiring Diagram

FIGURE 2 (Below) – This shows what I believe is the correct spark plug wiring.

SparkPlugWiresRightFIGURE 2 – Correct Spark Plug Wiring Diagram

FIGURE 3 (Below) – This shows the correct coil connections from the wiring harness.

Cylinder Coil WiringFIGURE 3 – Correct Coil Connections

Howard Halasz, Wing World Technical Contributor – Houston, TX

Note from Randakk: A version of this Tech Tip is also published in the June, 2009 edition of WingWorld.

Comments

  1. Kyle Davidson says:

    Thanks, I disconnected mine long ago, tried to mark it with sharpie and it smudged off, and I forgot how to reconnect them. Good thing I didn’t go to the manual!

  2. albert logwood says:

    thanks for that info,

  3. This guy is absolutely correct….
    I have a 1986 goldwing and 2 people previously owned and worked on and had it in to the shop twice and nobody could fix it. And going off of the two manuals I was about to make the same mistake but I caught it.

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