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Hello all,

Was just told this is the best site on the web for GW's. No kidding, go it in an email. After some browsing, it could be true :) I am trying to be a conscienscious first poster, and give all the facts that I can. This GL1100A I have has 39k miles. It wasn't maintained well for it's miles. I'm right on the verge of pulling the carbs for rebuild. But it appears from reading the other threads and Dave Cambells website that the electrical issues go far deeper than I imagined for GW's. I'm hoping to actually find some of these gremlins lurking in my bike so I get the diagnosis right.

Another driving experience is going up a 1.5 mile grade nearby, the bike refuses to go over 80mph. In fact at full throttle I had to decrease the throttle to hold 80mph. It was acting like there was no fuel flow. I use this grade to test my 35-40 year old cars, and they fly up the grade.

First off the spark plugs that came in the engine showed a light tan on 3 and white on the 4th. I think the white one was cyl #3. Bad omen me thinks. The new plugs are showing all white on the right side, I still need to check the left side. Replaced the fuel filter but it was not plugged when I blew through it. A vaccum and flow/pressure check of the fuel pump showed it was ok at 2.0 psi output with good volume as well. Hmmm. This engine backfires like mad thru the carbs when cold. It's aweful. The primary chain takes such a beating.

Did find that the vacuum advance diaphram may be leaking as it won't hold any vacuum. The hose goes straight from #3 carb to the advance module. The hose does not leak. If I squeeze the hand pump rapidly I can get the vacuum advance to speed the engine idle up a bit. At 33mpg most of the time and 40mpg on a couple of all freeway drives, I think it could be improved. That's with no passenger or trailer or electrical loads.

Here are the symptoms from Dave's page that I see daily:

- hard to start and backfire when cold
- engine temperature spike up when you stop or run hot in parades (does get hotter sitting for just a minute)
- "valve noise" (it isnt)
- charging voltage less than 14.5 volts DC (about 12v at idle, 14.5 above idle)

Opinions?

Mike
 
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Hey mikep_95133, :waving:Your very welcome to the best Goldwing site this side of paradise. :clapper: This site hosts a number of members who hold the rank of "Guru" and a number of these guys would be qualified to build a :15red::1000liteblue: :18red:from the ground up. :weightlifter:I applied for one these positions myselfbut the Administrator who is known as wingnut, :coollep:told me to keep taken the tablets. :whip:The wingnut is the man who sponsersall the bills to maintain this site, :clapper: their is another guy calledwexman who is super moderator :crying:now he is better know as the Hatchet Man, :whip: so just be careful what you put in your post. :stumped:Hope you visit often and ride safe. :jumper:

:leprechaun: :18red: :leprechaun:
 

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The charging voltage sound about right. Fuel consumptioncould be a bit better (usualy 36 or better around town andmid 40's on the open road) but isn't all that bad on your bike.I'd be inclined to start with basics and balance the carbs first. You didn't say if the bike ran well before or if you bought it in this condition. A bad vacuum module will cause havoc on a GL1100, so you might be onto something there. I think you will need to sort that after balancing the carbs before you look elsewhere and I'd also say that your problems are carb related instead of electrical.
 

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Hi Jason,

I did in fact balance the carbs with a Carbtune II gage set. Nice gages BTW. It made it run even worse (leaner). Re-checked in a week and they were still sync'd from idle to 3500 rpm.

Acceleration is poor too throughout the rpm range.

The bike has run poorly since the day I got it.

Plugging the now useless advance carb port didn't stop it from running lean or poorly.

Lean is just how it feels, I could be totally wrong.

Mike

This is a California GW as far as I know.
 

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as I understand it, the california wings have washers welded into the exhaust headers to build substantial backpreassure, and keep the bike from passing 75 MPH. Find them, knock them out, and you will be on the route to bliss. One thing though, Higher flow = leaner mixture. You need to get that sorted out soon, otherwise you are looking at a holed piston. I would start by resetting the idle screws according to the clymer manual. If that doesn't help things, a full-on rebuild of the carbs may be in order. Plugged jets = lean mixture too.
 

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If the exhausts are restricted then the bike wouldn't do over 80 on the flat either, not just going up hills. Balancing carbs doesn't make them run lean, because balancing just brings all the butterflies opening at exactly the same time and doesn't affect the mixture.
I'm no expert, but the vacuum module is looking suspect at the moment.
 

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mikep_95133 wrote:
spark plugs ...showed a light tan on 3 and white on the 4th. I think the white one was cyl #3. Bad omen me thinks. The new plugs are showing all white on the right side, I still need to check the left side. A vaccum and flow/pressure check of the fuel pump showed it was ok at 2.0 psi output with good volume as well. Hmmm. This engine backfires like mad thru the carbs when cold.
White is where I tune all my spark plugs, it indicates no (or little) unburnt fuel. Check the plugs with an ohm meter from terminal to center electrode, should get around 5000 ohms. ive seen Champion spark plugs with resistors that went open circuit and made it run bad.

Jump a wire from battery + thru a fuse to both ignition coils +, thats how I first eliminated the backfiring in my first 1200. Cheap and easy test. Then if that helps, you know its electrical.
 

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Mike,

You didn't mention ignition timing. Is okay? How about the exhaust system, not plugged with crud or restricted?Have you checked the timing belts for proper timing and tension?

Jump itwith a 25 or 30 amp fuse, all you the fuse does is protect the battery and jump wire against a short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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The only exhaust check I made was to put my hand over the tailpipes. The left's output pressure did not feel as solid as the right. That led to a compression check that showed all 4 cyl's at 140psi cold.

So far the checklist is:

1) check timing
2) check exhaust flow (do the pipes need to be removed?)
3) fused coil jumper
4) timing belts
5) plug impedance

I can start on it all in a few days after a business trip.

Thanks gents!

Mike
 

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Dave,

I would strongly discorage others from jetting to the point of white. Tan is an indication of a stoichiometric mixture, and white is an indication of a lean mix. For someone who pays extreme attention to their machine, and is careful, a slightly lean mixture is ok, but if you have extra O2 in the mix, well let me explain it to everyone else.

Ever use a cutting torch? If not, this is how it works. You heat the metal up to a nice hot temp, and then hit a bypass valve that floods the hot metal with pure oxygen. This causes a sustained oxidation reaction where the metal literally burns away. (That's what burning is, oxidation.) The same thing can happen in your engine. If you have spare oxygen after the flame has propigated through the combustion chamber, it will try and react with something else. After a while, a small pit will form on the top of your piston wherever there is a hot-spot. This pit will work it's way through the hardened exterior of the cylinder, and to the nice fleshy interior. As the pit grows to a hole, compression will drop until the hole burns all the way through the piston. All of a sudden, you will have a huge cloud of smoke following you, and the engine will loose power.

I always err to the slightly rich side, browm rather than tan, just to make sure that there is no chance of hole-ing a piston. This wing is odd in construction though. Every other bike I have owned had the carbs seperate from the engine, so if they overflowed, they would just piss on the ground. These wing carbs will just piss into the engine, and eat things from the inside out. Seems like a really weak design choice, but who am I to argue with an engineer with a degree?
 

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philcsand, the other strange thing about holing a piston is how it blows out every possible weakgasket and seal in the engine because the compressed fuel/air mixture, when ignited, explodes into the crankcase with the force of dynamite.

Vic
 

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While changing the leaking left valve cover gasket this morning, I pulled the 2 left spark plugs and they are white as well. So all 4 are white. Don't know why 3 of the set that came with the bike were tan. Shoot, forgot to test the plug resistors too. Just got tired of it leaking oil on my left boot.

Mike
 

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Sure sounds like you'll be removing your carbs in the very near future and removing all the dirt and who knows what from the jets and float bowl. Also check your fuel pump output just in case it's starving the engine for fuel.

Vic
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Agreed, the carbs sure sound like they need attention.

See my first post for the pump particulars that I checked.

Mike
 

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Rebuild the carbs... The following site has some great information on the subject, including how to fix the problem thatthe olderGL1000's had ('75-'77). Lack of power in the low to medium RPM range. These bikes, especially the '77, are famous for running too lean in the low RPM range. Honda, at that time, was trying to meet ever more stringent emissions standards by jetting the carbs on the lean side.

http://www.randakks.com/TechTips.htm
 

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I agree that carbs need to get done. It's just that my alternative transportation gets 10 mpg average. Even at a crummy 30mpg over the weekend, the 83A is still triple the mileage or 1/3 the cost. So it's hard to stop driving the bike. When this commute of 100 miles per day is over in a couple days, I'll tear them down. The thing is I wonder if the previous owner had them rejetted as I only got the gasket/needle/seat repair kits not the full blown jet kits.

Are the stock jet sizes documented anywhere?

There is a decal on the tail light of a place in Washington state that I need to call and see if there are any service records. Gotta run!

Mike
 

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They're documented in the Honda service manual - maybe others as well. Be careful, however,with the Clymer manual. The Clymer has some of the jets mixed up... the two jets under the kidney-shaped plate (primary and secondary air jets)are backwards in some of these manuals.

What year is your GL1000? I have a Honda manual that covers '75 and '76. I'll send you the jet sizes if yours is one of those.

You should probably rebuild the air cutoff valve while you're at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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Thanks for the offer of the jet sizes. My bike is a 1983 GL1100A, so it's got a little different carb hardware. I have read about the Clymer issues. Since I have the factory manual and I will document the process with pics, then I stand a reasonable chance getting it back together correctly.

Mike
 

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Okay... I must have misread that it's an 1100. Good luck with it.
 
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