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Old 08-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gl1100 challenging first starts

I threw a new Walmart battery in the wing and I was hoping that would cure my tough to start issue. The first start of the day takes me like 15 minutes of messing with the choke and rubbing the tank for good luck. It fires up after a few tries on a fresh charged battery but sometimes it doesn't and just kills the battery after a few minutes of trial and error. I'm pretty positive I need a carb sync since my idle is pretty choppy so could that be the culprit? I've been through the carbs all is well and all the idle mix screws are at factory spec. Also the petcock is on when starting haha. Plugs are new and gapped to spec. Coils are fine. Do I need a much more powerful battery? Had ordered a pc680 but due to sturgis it never shipped and I grew impatient and cancelled the order.


Thanks in advance. You guys are saving my arse pretty regularly. And the bike DOES start, eventually. And once it's warm it starts up instantly.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A carb sync might help if it hasn't been done in a long time.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Most of the time hard starting is due to weak ignition. Carb synch would have little if any effect on it. Check the resistance through the entire secondary from the #1 plug cap to #2 and from #3 to #4. If you get any reading below 30K ohms it is probably OK, if not check the plug caps, wires and coils individually.
Or do this Coil alternative for GL1100s (probably 1200s too)
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Most of the time hard starting is due to weak ignition. Carb synch would have little if any effect on it. Check the resistance through the entire secondary from the #1 plug cap to #2 and from #3 to #4. If you get any reading below 30K ohms it is probably OK, if not check the plug caps, wires and coils individually.
Or do this Coil alternative for GL1100s (probably 1200s too)
Had my new battery on the charger for a few hours, bike fired right up after 2 tries. However, when I shut the bike off hot and try to start it again while the fan is on, it BARELY has enough balls to crank. Not sure if that's a lame battery or a bad stator.

Also that coil alternative looks awesome. From what I read in that thread for my specific bike it is really simple. How much do you think that conversion costs roughly? I wouldn't mind doing it just as preventative maintenance. Especially if it makes starting reliable and instant.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joemang View Post
Had my new battery on the charger for a few hours, bike fired right up after 2 tries. However, when I shut the bike off hot and try to start it again while the fan is on, it BARELY has enough balls to crank. Not sure if that's a lame battery or a bad stator.

Also that coil alternative looks awesome. From what I read in that thread for my specific bike it is really simple. How much do you think that conversion costs roughly? I wouldn't mind doing it just as preventative maintenance. Especially if it makes starting reliable and instant.

You will have to do some testing to determine what the hot crank problem is. First check that it is charging, with a volt meter on the battery see if the voltage goes up from what it shows with the key off with the engine at 3000 RPM. Then check if the voltage drops below 10.5 when cranking with a fully charged battery. If so have the battery tested.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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take the starter off and clean it. simple. common. predictable
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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take the starter off and clean it. simple. common. predictable
Went to do this today and gave up after I realized I either needed to remove the headers, or go buy a wobble socket for the back bolt. Will do this once I get around to grabbing some wobbles.


This is off-topic: The bike is an 83 with almost 13k actual miles. I do understand the general consensus with timing belts is to change them if you're not sure when it was last done, if at all. My question is: Mileage wise, the belts should be fine right? The only factor that could be pointing towards inspecting/replacing them is the age of the belts, correct? It runs like it should, no belt noise, pinging, knocking, awful MPG, etc. I ask all this because I am not sure if I feel comfortable replacing them, especially if I don't need to. The DIY threads make it look simple, but I don't want to be the one to punch a hole in a piston either. On the contrary, I can't afford to pay someone either at the moment. The bike's miles were put on it between 83-93 and then it sat for years so I could see that being a problem for the belts.

EDIT: I ordered Gates belts just now. $42 is affordable and gives peace of mind. I will just have to take my sweet ass time changing them to make sure I do it properly, or boom goes the wing.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The main thing to remember when replacing the belts is to put it on #1 TDC and DO NOT move anything, check that the marks line up on the cam pulleys and change the belts, DO NOT turn the crank or cams while the belts are off except the right cam will move clockwise some but just move it back and hold it in place with a wrench.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The main thing to remember when replacing the belts is to put it on #1 TDC and DO NOT move anything, check that the marks line up on the cam pulleys and change the belts, DO NOT turn the crank or cams while the belts are off except the right cam will move clockwise some but just move it back and hold it in place with a wrench.
Yeah I figured as much. Is it safe to measure the belt tension by measuring the deflection (5-7mm) or should I go by feel? I read the belt gets tighter when warm due to motor expansion so do I need to compensate for that?
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Just let the tensioner springs do their job. after installing the belts the left side should be good tensioned as it sits but on the right side turn the engine clockwise about 3 notches of the pulleys then loosen and retighten the tensioner. Turn the engine 2 full turns and check the marks. Then they should have the 5 to 7mm of slack on the side opposite the tensioner.
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