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Had an interesting thing happen to me today and can't quite figure out what happened. Maybe some of the other gurus know what it is.

Towardthe end of a 100 mile ride I entered the freeway for the last few miles to home. The bike, a '77 GL1000, was running great - real strong, lots of power, and smooth. As I passed a line of trucks at around 80-90 MPH the engine suddenly quit. Luckily I had enough momentum to pull in front of one of the trucks and onto the right shoulder.

As soon as it happened, instinctively I switched to reserve, but of course (hindsight) the engine stopped too suddenly to be running out of gas, and I had only gone around 100 miles on a full tank... too soon tobe out of fuel.

After pulling over the bike started just fine and I made it the rest of the way without the bike dying. The bike, however, did seem to run a little rougher after the incident.

I haven'tchecked anything to the bike yet... probably won't get to it until next weekend. It still has the old breaker-point ignition system (I haven't sprung for electronic yet), but has new Honda points and condenser, and a fresh carb and air cut-off valverebuild.
 

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It's electrical... I can tell you that almost for sure. Was going to say pickup coils, but you are on points. Check your engine kill switch and ignition switch for any signs of overheating. Did anything else die on the bike at the same time? Radio, lights, etc? Check all of your fuses. Look for any signs of heat or arcing at the connection points. Replace them all just for the heck of it. (Sometimes a fuse can wear out, and make intermittent contact) Check your fusable link for any signs of heat, or fracture.
 

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Did it lose only engine power, or lights as well?Important to "divide and conquer."

It had no pulse coils, its a breaker system. The "bullet connectors" were (are) bad for relaxing and separating and killing the ignition. Go up the line from the breaker points and see if there are any. "Bullets" are individual round connector pairs.

If it lost all, probably a bad connector on the start solenoid. The GL 1000's Ive done electrical work on have had very bad wiring due to age. This is a common problem on the GL1200's "dies in the intersection."
 

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Dave Campbell wrote:
This is a common problem on the GL1200's "dies in the intersection."

Yep , and a real pain to diagnose those pick up coils, you pull the plug and there's plenty of spark, engine won't start , back fires a lot - so you think fuel problem......so iyou pull a few pipes off , blow through eveything seems OK put it back together, the bike starts and runs great......so you are now convinced it was petrol. Then the engine starts to warm through again as you pack everything up again and set off, 2 miles down the road the pick up coils get hot again and stop working AGAIN!

Don't ya just love GOLDWINGS.....:D



BB
 

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Everything else stayed on... didn't lose electrical power. I'll check those connectors. As you said, it's old and maybe those connecors between the condenser, points, etc are a little on the loose side. Heat may be a factor, but it was a cool 50 degrees F, and it seemed that everything stayed pretty cool. Also forgot to mention that I replaced the battery just before this ride, but it was fully charged and probably not a factor.


No pickup coils... old breaker point ignition.
 

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According to my diagram, there are four "bullets" at the points, another connector to the coils and a 3 ohm resistor that feeds the coils, a break anywherewill kill it.
 

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Thanks Dave,

I'll check all the connections this weekend. Maybe I'll solder the connections that don't need to be broken very often (such as the one's not needed for replacing points/condenser).
 

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Marco: I had a similar experience with my '88 GL1500. I had ridden about 100 miles and it was quite cool, about 40-45 degrees F. I was traveling at freeway speed and the engine just began cutting out similar to what you would feel if a vehicle runs out of gas...that sputtering and surging. This happened a number of times until my ride was done. Most often it just idled down, but one timethe engineactually died. I coasted to a stop, revved the motor a time or two then took off again. The bike ran fine for a mile or so, then it started all over again.

This has happened on 3 separate occasions, each time the air temperature was cool, about that 40-45 degree range. When it's hot, no problems. I can't say if any ofthe electricals went out or were affected. The time the engine killed, it started right up again.

I haven't had the problem looked at, but am wondering if anyone has any advice about what I should be telling my mechanic. Thanks for any help.
 

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Thanks tlbek,

I probably won't have a chance to look at if for a couple weeks, but think I have it narrowed down to two things. The engine stopped suddenly - didn't sputter, orhave the slow loss of power one might expect when running out of fuel, so I'm leaning more toward an electrical/ignition problem.

However, it could still be fuel-related. The fuel pump on the bike is not the best... it was repaired at one pointusing hi-temp RTV on the diaphragm and I haven't had a chance to replace it yet (or more bluntly - don't fix it if it isn't broke). Some ofthe RTV material may have come loose and clogged the output. Knowing about this repair, I installed a coarse screen filter between the pump and carbs and there is no RTV material in the filter, but after the incident the filter was only about half-full of fuel when it is normally full... hmm.

I was riding the bike pretty hard just previous towhat happenedand it could have used the fuel in the float bowls faster than the pump (possibly with a partial obstruction) could supply it. Just a possibility. Another possibility could be vapor lock... if the fuel lines get too hot, the fuel in them could vaporize and starve the carbs of liquid fuel - not very likely in this situation since it happened in cool weather and I've ridden the bike inmuch warmer weather with no problems. Also not likelybecause at the time of the incident fuel flow was high (full-throttle condition) not giving the fuel a chance to heat up.

Regardless, my plan is to beef up the wiring in the ignition system with solder joints where appropriate, check all of the ignition components electrically to ensure they are all within specs, and to replace the fuel pump with a better unit as soon as possible (I think an 1100 fuel pump will fit the 1000).
 

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What's common on the two ignition coils?Doesn't that bike have two sets of points and two coils?I tend to like the possibility of fuel problems especially if you were able to restart right away. Carb ice is a possibility in the temp range you were riding in especially if the humidity was high. Although usually icing shows up by a slow loss of power and increasing roughness. Let us know what you finally determine.

:stumped:
 

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Yep, I'm thinking more and more a fuel problem. Like you said, two sets of points and two coils. Unless there's something wrong with the ignition switch or something else common to both sides...?

By the way, it just happened again today when I was moving the bike to a friend's place for storage. This time, however,the bike wasn't even warmed up and I was putting along at 30 MPH on surface streets. Same thing - simply died. Pulled over and she started first kick and gave no further problems. Temperature was 45F and only 5 minutes into the ride. I don't think carb icing is the problem... wasn't very humid and it wasn't running long enough. Also, it has a stock air intake system, filter, etc. I've heard of carb icing on the single-carb modified wings, but not on the stock one's.

I'll keep you informed as to what I find, althoughit might be a whileuntil I can dig into it.
 

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The ignition is common through the 3-ohm dropping resistor. On the fuel pump side, if youre in a bind, Ive used the automotive 4-6 psi. electric pumps from NAPA (square blob with solenoid) on my GL1200, worked fine except the ignition system wont regulate it likethe stock system.
 

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Axelwik,in a bike that's been around since 1977, a remote possibilty you may want to consider is rust in the gas tank. What happens is that rust becomes fine powder and at high speeds the fuel flow rate is such that the powdered particles actually get pulled up and clog the filter, but, when flow rate slows, the particles fall off the filter and allow flow to resume again.

A quick check for this is to use a long magnet inserted into the fuel tank bottom, when you draw the magnet out you'll see particles of rust on the magnet.

Hopefully, you just have an electrical problem. That's a lot cheaper and easier to fix.

Vic
 

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Thanks for the input. Dave, I was lucky and found a fuel pump on ebay from an 1100... should have it in a few weeks. When I change that, I'll also change the fuel filter. Good idea with the electric pump.

Vic, I took the fuel tank out about 5 months ago and removed all the rust - kept it full of fuel ever since - shouldn't be any rust, but I'll still check the filter and probably change it when I change the fuel pump.

I used to have an oldpickup truck with a lot of rust in the tank. It would lose power and I'd pull over and change the fuel filter. It happened so often that I kept extra fuel filters under the hood along with a screwdriver. That old truck wasn't worth the effort and expense of a new fuel tank.
 

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Problems like that can be a real headache Marco. Bike cuts out and then when you go to check it out it's better, until next time. I wish you luck sorting this one out.
 

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Axelwick,

I think Dave's suggestion is a good one. I had a MGA that crapped out on me one night going home from work. I tapped a screwdriver handle on the pump and it clicked a few times. Luckily on an MGA the pump is located where you can reach it under way after removing a panel behind the seat. I tapped the thing every few seconds for half an hour to get home. Lucas Electric a definition of crummy!! Good thing Spitfires didn't use their stuff!

You might try disconnecting the fuel line and see how long the pump will pump fuel into a bucket without quitting.
 

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Sometimes I used to dread it when repairing F-16's.Sometimes the pilot would come back from flying andsay something like, "It only happened when I was pulling 6 G's at 40,000 feet and I was inverted." Pretty hard to troubleshoot.

When I get a chance to work on the bike, I'll just use the old shotgun approach - check everything in the system, and if in doubt replace suspect components.
 

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axelwik, you should have asked the pilot to take you up on a test drive and try to duplicate the incident. LOL I would love to have a chance at a test ride in one of those things.

Hope you easily locate the problem with your Wing.

Good luck, Vic
 

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Vic, I've done that a couple of times when the airplane was a B or D-Model (two-seater), but most F-16's are single-seaters.

It's a very fun airplane to fly... very precise and solid as a rock. Actually very easy to fly... easier than the Pitts Specials and old warbirds I had a chance to fly when I was younger. The newerversions of the F-16 like the block-50 are the best since the engine puts out the most thrust and there are no limitations as to where you place the throttle anywhere in the flight envelope (unlike earlier versions where one had to worry about compressor stalls and afterburner blowouts). The flight control system on the later versions is digital fly-by-wire vs. the old analog fly-by-wire, which makes for a much smoother and precise feel. It's like really being in a real Star Wars fighter...or better.

That said, however, maintenance is a bear. There's a lot of technology packed into a very small package. When something breaks, one must usually remove other unrelated components to replace the component in question. That leads to more operational checks added to what one must do for the original problem. Added to this is the lack of parts availability, leading to cannibalizations from other aircraft, leading to twice the work and twice the time it should take. Add to this is that most F-16's are getting long in the tooth, more than 15 years old, and are breaking for things that have never been seen before. Not so pleasant for the mechanic.
 

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Marco, I distinctly recall making a landing in a Pitts S2A Special and breaking off the tail wheel. On those things you landed by getting close to the ground and guessing distance because the lower wing blinded any view of the runway. I can almost imagine an F16 landing itself electronically, but, I wouldn't want to be the guy who has to read the electronics schematics, nor, be the guy responsible for making the engines run properly. That's a heavy load on any person's brain. I'll stick to Gold Wings, but, I have to say that I admire a person like you who can take up that challenge and keep those birds in the air for our safety and security. Thank you.

Vic
 
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