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Well, as my retired mechanic father inlaw says' "who cares! just ride it!" He was a farm kid in the 30s and 40s and rode Harleys because they were cheaper than cars! Imagine...a used working Harley being cheaper than a junker car... :cheeky1:

I have a 79 GL1000 and I have just finished a carb overhaul.

Thanks everyone for the help.

I had to reset one float 1 mm or so and all of the rest were ok. All new orings. My plastic buttons on the carb cv tops are all cracked but have rtv smeared over them and are probably sealed.

But we noticed this minor surging today, so we wonder that the engine behaves so close to normal if it should just be left alone. It has a really strong mix of winter fuel stabilizer (4x normal mix) and we don't know if this could be affecting the engine. Really though, the surge is barely noticeable... Ideas anyone? Thank you, Jim :waving:
 

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I had the same problem after rebuilding my GL1000 carbs. It went away after carefully balancing the carbs.

Other than that, it could be that compression is low or not the same on all cylinders. Since you just got it running, and it hasn't been on the roadverly long, run the crap out of it tohelp re-seat the rings. You might also want to run the engine for ten minutes with some of that kerosene-type motor flush stuff, then change the oil.
 

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If the carb balancing doesn't work(or before balancing), try checking all of your vacuum hoses for integrity, as well as, check for vacuum leaks in the intake system. You can use a propane torch(unlit and outdoors) to do this check by aiming the unlit torch at all potential leak locations and listening or observing for a difference in engine rpm.

Vic
 

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Thanks Vic and Marco, I didn't say that I haven't synced (duh) the carbs yet...or before the sync set the valve clearances... Could this be part of the problem?
 

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Yep, I'd take care of all the tune-up issues and synch the carbs... That should take care of it.

Like Vic says, you could also check for vacuum leaks, but I'm sure you replaced all fiveof the vacuum hoses, replaced the runner-to-head O-rings, replaced the plenum gasket (if you split it), replaced the plenum-to-carb O-rings (if they were removed), and inspected the rubber boots between the carbs and runners.

If you did all the above and the problem persists, check compression. One or two cylinders much lower than the others can cause this.

If compression or vacuum leaksare not the cause, take the carbs off and re-check the float levels and condition of the floats. Somepeople even go so far as to weigh each float to make sure they are a good match. Float level on the GL1000 is critical. On the '75 to '77 it's 21mm (may be the same on your '78)-EXACTLY 21mm. Don't let this vary by more than a half millimeter. It's measured from the top of the ridge on the carb body that surrounds the bowl gasket, to the bottom of the float. This is with the float slightly pushing the float valve closed, but not enough pressure to compress the little spring-rod in the valve pin. Check both halves of the float. If they are uneven they can be bent slightly to line up.
 

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Before you get into rebuilding that engine, K.I.S.S. Keep it simple. Try flushing out the "fuel stabilizer" before syncing or adjusting the carbs. I have had all kinds of bikes in all kinds of weather, and have never needed "fuel stabilizer". (unless your running with the fuel cap off in Sumatra during the monsoon season.) Before syncing, check the carb slides for "out of round" condition. This is a common cause for uneven idle on high milage bikes.
 
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