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Sitting on the bike, the posts facing toward you
Right coil is #1 and #2
Left coil is #3 and #4
1 and 3 cylinders one the right side of the bike.
From memory,
far right is #1
center right is #2
center left is #3
far left is #4
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1200 firing order

Sitting on the bike, the posts facing toward you
Right coil is #1 and #2
Left coil is #3 and #4
1 and 3 cylinders one the right side of the bike.
From memory,
far right is #1
center right is #2
center left is #3
far left is #4
I changed my firing order to what you wrote and still #4 & 3 don't fire at idle. I pull the plug wires off and it don't make any difference.
 

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Check the connection on the left coil. Make sure the black/white has a good connection.
Measure the voltage while running to determine if the coil is finding a ground. If it is, you probably have a bad coil.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Is it actually running rough and trying to die, or seems to be OK except for the lack of difference? We've seen several on this forum that removing a plug wire doesn't seem to change much, yet the machine idles and runs out pretty well, considering age and abuse.
Mine doesn't change much when the #1 plug is pulled. A worn cam, I suspect, as new carbs didn't change the symptom and compression is A+.
 

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I changed my firing order to what you wrote and still #4 & 3 don't fire at idle. I pull the plug wires off and it don't make any difference.
Are you saying no spark at idle but is there at higher RPM's? Have you physically checked for spark or have just pulled plug wires with no change and concluded no ign?

Without knowing more, does it have compression in those cylinders, are they getting fuel?:?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do have a good spark at idle, good compression, if I pull #1 or #2 it will die . I am getting a good blue spark on all of them. could it be the carbs need adjustment?
 

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That would be a safe bet.;)
 

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Now you find out whether its rich or lean. But first you find out if those have vacuum leaks or share something vacuum related like a decel valve or afterburn valve, whatever the 1200 guys call it.:)

What do the plugs look like, black or white. Most likely white and lean (plugged) so while running remove the sync port screw and spray a little carb clean in there. If there is a change for the better in the engine running, confirmed. Then button that up and do the same to the other side, confirmed.

Try pilot adjustments for any change in running and check for completely closed throttle valves if it is only an idle issue.

Repair.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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I do have a good spark at idle, good compression, if I pull #1 or #2 it will die . I am getting a good blue spark on all of them. could it be the carbs need adjustment?
Yes, it may mean a carb has an issue, but my bet is no. If you don't have any other symptoms and it idles smoothly, why mess that up?
 

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I do have a good spark at idle, good compression, if I pull #1 or #2 it will die . I am getting a good blue spark on all of them. could it be the carbs need adjustment?
If you're satisfied that it's not a spark issue as you stated before, then pulling one plug wire will not cause the engine to die. You have a problem to resolve.
But you still haven't told us what your symptoms are.
Does it idle rough?
Does it smooth out above a certain rpm?
It sounds like the front cylinders are doing the work, and the rears are loafing. Possible sync, possible idle circuits.
 

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.Mine doesn't change much when the #1 plug is pulled. A worn cam, I suspect, as new carbs didn't change the symptom and compression is A+.
When pulling a plug wire to a cylinder does not affect the running that is a symptom of a problem. You always start with the basics, compression, ignition and carbureation with sound diagnostic procedures and test equipment along with the knowledge to apply it to a given problem.

Pushing the 300k miles bike has, you start looking at other problem areas in high mileage units for a weak cylinder such as a weak valve spring, worn guide, worn rocker or adjuster, or a lash adjuster that is partially collapsed from a possible lower than normal oil pressure with that mileage, all more likely than a worn lobe which can be confirmed very easily with a micrometer or dial indicator and a visual inspection. All of these items will probably show a comparable static compression test result, only with the engine up to speed does it become apparent.

And all the above can be checked easily with the right tools, knowledge and experience on how to use them.

If you are ever out my way drop in and we should be able to figure out the reason for bikes discomfort.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
does any one know, why does my Haynes manual say for firing order,1-3-2-4 and I was told to set it at 4-3-2-1 ? it runs the same both ways. crappy.
 

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My understanding is that the 1200 has a dead spark, meaning it sparks both cylinders on each side at the same time just wasting the spark on the exaust stroke... of course I could be wrong. Point is, firing order shouldn't matter. Sonds like the issue is elsewhere.

Like the man said, a good list of symptoms goes a long way.
 

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does any one know, why does my Haynes manual say for firing order,1-3-2-4 and I was told to set it at 4-3-2-1 ? it runs the same both ways. crappy.
Limited knowledge of the 1200 but will try to give a couple pointers.

Getting hung up on a firing order of an electronic controlled ign system is pointless. Pulse generators or crankshaft position sensor tells an ign module or ECM when to fire the coils. If wiring is correct between components it will fire correctly assuming plug leads are connected to correct coils which should be spelled out very clearly somewhere in the manuals. If the "firing order" was incorrect you would be getting backfires just like in yesteryears distributor of a V8 engine where you needed to know where the no 1 cylinder was on the distributor cap and set the rest of the plug wires accordingly to the rotation direction of the rotor.

If you still want to persue this then get a timing light and check timing. There should be a section in the manual telling you how to do this for each coil and pair of cylinders. If timing is spot on your "firing order" is correct.
 
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