1981 GL1100 will not run - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Statesville, NC
Year: 1981
Make: Honda
Model: GL1100
Posts: 5
1981 GL1100 will not run

Hi everyone. This is my first post and I'm hoping for lots of help.

I've had a lot of bikes and British cars through the years and consider myself a pretty good mechanic, but my recent purchase of an 81 GL1100 that had been sitting for a long time has me stumped. Since it had been sitting, I knew from experience I had to go through the carbs to get it going. I cleaned the main jets, needles, seats, and everything else thoroughly, along with setting the float levels. I put everything back together and the bike ran, but would not idle. I took the carbs back off and extracted the idle jets per the forums here, or possibly from another source. They were clogged and I had to use a tiny drill bit to clear the main hole and fine wire to clear the other holes. I put it back together, again being very careful everything was clean, and adjusted the floats correctly. The bike will now barely start if I use about half throttle and then will only just chug, chug, chug, chug after it finally does kick over. If you let off the throttle, the bike immediately dies. I know it's getting fuel, it just doesn't seem it has the spark to get going. All four intake tubes are very cold to the touch when it's trying to run. I've been through the carbs four times with the same result each time. The third time I changed floats, needles, seats. The bike still will not run.

These are the things I've done to try to get the bike running.

New NGK spark plugs. Gap is correct
Have good spark on all four cylinders
All plugs have a dark sooty appearance, but are not wet. I know that indicates a rich condition, but I've seen bikes and cars fire off with worse looking plugs
Compression is well within tolerance at about 150 lbs on each cylinder
Adjusted valves. Clearances are correct. Made absolutely sure I was at TDC on cylinder #1 before adjusting. Engine was cold.
Original coils were not giving resistance readings that were in tolerance with the manual. I swapped the old coils for a different set from an '81 that are in spec, ohms wise.
Plug wires are not crossed. Believe me, I've checked.
Voltage at the battery is about 11.2 when starter is engaged
Fuel delivery is good. All carbs have fuel. No excess fuel in the plenum
Pulse coil resistance is within tolerance at 530 ohms
Both spark units have been tested per the manual and check out fine

I'm not usually stumped with mechanical things, but this bike has done it. Can anyone offer suggestions for something I must be missing?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 03:35 PM
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How small a drill bit did you use in the low speed jets? They are a very small jet, .35mm which is about .0125"

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Statesville, NC
Year: 1981
Make: Honda
Model: GL1100
Posts: 5
I'm not really sure. I know the shaft of the bit fit into the hole nicely.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-17-2019, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Statesville, NC
Year: 1981
Make: Honda
Model: GL1100
Posts: 5
What about the possibility of a severely clogged exhaust? It just seems the bike can't breathe. There was a lot of rust and smoke coming out of the pipes when the bike first ran. I know the air going in is good, fuel delivery is good, spark seems good, no flooding issues, compression is good, valves are good. It seems that just leaves getting the exhaust out the pipes.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Alberton, , South Africa
Year: 1983 and 1990
Make: Honda
Model: 83 1100 Bitsa(sort of interstate) and 90 1500SE (Canadian Origin)
Posts: 33
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any leaks in vaccuum side of inlet manifold?

1st ride Suzuki 50
2nd Silver Wing GL500 I S
Current GL 1100 Bitsa and 90 1500SE
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 11:44 AM
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Location: Glendale, Arizona, USA
Model: 1987 GL1200 Interstate 290,000 miles
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What kind of air cleaner are you using?

I know my 1200 is real particular about that and won't run without one.

Why ain't we ridin'?
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