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83 - "Clunking" sound

388 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  BigBro1
83 – 1100 with 38k miles, first ride this spring …. Awsome! Ran like new, never missed a beat. Had to let it set outside one night uncovered and you guessed it, it rained. Started it up and whow it sounded like every part in the engine\tranny was going to come through the housings. Idles “OK”, but with a clunk here and there. When I start to throttle up it sounds bad, really bad, like a barrel full of rocks. What would make this change “overnight”. It doesn’t seem like anything mechanical would happen that quickly……….Any ideas?
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Sitting outside or getting rained on didn't likely have anything to do with it, with one exception. Rain could have shorted out the ignition system, and one or more cylinders might not be firing right. Goldwing engines sound that way when all cylinders are not firing, at least the four cylinder ones. Check for a spark at all four plugs first. Also if you do not know their condition, check the belts. In 30 years, even with such low mileage it is possible for them to be badly deteriorated, also the tensioners could be stuck. Hopefully the belts did not slip. If the belt cover seal is bad, water could have gotten in there as well, and a wet worn out belt is more likely to slip than a dry one.
There are drain holes for the recesses the plugs go into. They get plugged and will cause the charge that is supposed to fire the plug to go to ground first. Get a wire or compressed air and clean them out.

Hope this helps!
My 82 sits in the rain all the time for 3 years now, never hurt it.
Like others said probably water around the plugs or similar problem.
Do you hear anything like a spark arcing, if the plug wires are weak and wet they could be arcing out before the spark gets to the plugs also.
If you move an arcing wire and it no longer shorts you will get spark to the plug when testing, but of course when you put back the wire and it arcs again you'll lose spark again. If that may be the problem run it in the dark and watch for any arcing along each wire and listen for the snapping sound also. Be sure to check around the coils too for arcing.

If you don't know if or when the timing belts wear changed, change them! If they are 30 years old they may look like new but break anytime. Belts go bad with age, not just miles, and they can still look new. If a belt breaks you do major damage to the engine! Best to just spend the $20-$30 for new belts and take time to change them.

I really doubt the belts slipped though even if they got wet, they are a cogged belt on a cogged pulley, not a V type or flat. It could happen but unlikely.
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Thanks for the information. I had no idea it could possibly be an electrical problem. Belts are new, so it looks like a water problem, I hope thats it, I'll check it out carefully tonight. Thanks again, these forums are great for help,Thanks again..........JPC
To second the water drains in the heads.

I had put mine together recently from winter maintenance. She ran well so I decided to give her a little wash down. Suddenly she went to banging and knocking like you mention.

I shut her off and then started pulling the plug caps. #4 was completely filled to the brim with water shorting everything out.

Took a small section of steel welding rod ran it through the drain hole in the bottom Water cleared, did the same to the other 3. let her air dry about ten minutes then put caps back on and away she ran nice and quiet.
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