Workbench July 2014

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stu and bike

Technical Questions and Answers


Bashful Speedo

Stu,

Enjoyed your reply for “The Tires Go Round and Round (But the Speedo isn’t Accurate).” Mine is a 2001 GL1800A with about 36,000 miles. My problem is a bashful speedo that freezes in position whenever the sun is shining on it. Temperature does not aff ect it, only direct sunlight. Once in the shade, it works well. One of the local dealers told me to change the plastic face, but that didn’t cure it. Calling the Honda service line, they recommended a new instrument cluster for $800-plus. So for the last couple of years, my Garmin GPS is my speedo, except when I forget it at home. Any ideas as to how I can get it repaired?

Henry Zukow
via email

Hi Henry,
I used to get a lot of questions regarding older Wing models, the answers to which could be found in some dusty, obscure, 20-year-old service bulletin — a bulletin that no working mechanic at the time of the question would have reason to have read. Your bike is a 2001 model and I have to thank you for shocking me into the realization that the extended model run is resulting in the same phenomenon. Service bulletins should be initialled as having been read by every tech in a shop before being fi led. But it’s now 13 years after the fact and most — if not all — the techs now in that shop were in grade school or high school when American Honda resolved this issue. Perhaps that’s why the sticking needle didn’t ring a bell and sent someone digging through the service bulletin binder. The fact that the speedometer for 2001 models doesn’t show up as a replacement part on the parts fiche makes it even less likely you’d get the correct answer from the dealership. Regarding AH’s tech folks, the ones who knew where all the bodies were buried, they are also probably long gone. Maybe the model specialist would remember this issue, but that would require actually asking him.

Honda Service Bulletin GL1800 No. 8, dated December 2001, clearly describes the symptoms of your problem as well as the cause and cure, which is not a replacement of the complete instrument cluster. The cure is replacement of the speedometer with an updated unit at a retail cost of around $62. Of course, if you need dealer installation, that would increase the cost considerably. The replacement part number for your 2001 ABS model is 37200-MCA-971. For the non- ABS bikes, it’s 37200-MCA-671. Incidentally, these updated speedometers became standard issue on 2002 through 2005 models, and I’ve confirmed that, as of this writing, both units are still available and in stock.

Stu


Stu,

Thank you very much. I ordered a new speedo from Bikebandit. com yesterday. I was surprised that the person on the Honda help line didn’t know about being able to order just the speedo instead of a whole cluster. Thank you again for the great advice.

Henry Zukow
via email

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One Response to “Workbench July 2014”

  1. Ralph Jacobsen

    I have a 2000 SE and have had problems with the headlight not coming on. If I wiggle the starter button, it will usually come on. This happens more frequently after humid weather or after riding in the rain. The dealer says that the cluster must be replaced and cannot be opened up. They say that there are springs that would fly out and be impossible to get back in, Is that true or can the cluster be safely taken apart and lubed and put back together.

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