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Found it! Dyna wire short caused weak/dead cylinder 1, GL1000

1319 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  CaptainMidnight85
Just wanted to track back. I had gotten some advice on a 78 to look at the carburetors. Dreading this I went back through everything else one more time, and when tracing the wires from the dyna module, I found an ugly repair with heat shrink tubing and a few frayed wires coming out of it. And another terminal that had fried somehow and melted the plastic around it. Once I cleaned up these areas and sliced them together I tested the bike and b00m, #3 came back to life. There may still be some carb issues that I will get to when I need the transport less frequently.

So, just to note: the wire short appears to have still allowed an intermittent spark to get to the combustion chamber, however the plug was completely oil-fouled and the header coming out of that cylinder stayed damn cold. Bike still ran so-so, so cylinder didn't seem completely dead. Anyway - just in case someone has the same thing happen, there it is.

Anyone know if I can get a replacement part or should I work on a permanent fix using the parts I have? Also, any advice on what could have caused that plastic terminal to melt (it definitely came from the inside not the outside)... Is there a problem with the resistor maybe? or could the short have caused other things to overheat? I'm not an electrician, just a tinkerer.

This bike has really been sort of poorly patched together over the years, but I have made good progress on her so far; I love the 1000 almost as much as my previous 1100. Thanks!
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sure glad to see that your not giving up on the old gal! i`ll bet you get to know her real well when your done and yep it`s worth it too !!
Glad you got that problem sorted.
Are you saying that the ignition wire was the problem? Not sure which wirres you are talking about.
The plug boots are replacable and worth replacing. The resistors on the inside can and do go bad, getting brittle and falling apart into pieces. My '78 is my example of this.
I suggest 1100 coils in that you can replace the ignition wires. A 1000 coil doesn't allow for replacement.
Simple upgrades can be had in using the 1100 coils with the Dyna, dual-spring anode clips inside the boots for the plugs, solid wire, eliminating resistance, etc..

I'm not certain if all newer NGK plug boots have removable anode screws or not. The newer ones I've purchased lately do not. Which means: no removing the resistors and changing that value, and no replacing the screw with a dual-clip design. IMO, a rebuild of servicable boots is perfectly acceptable if 4 can be found in decent shape. Maybe some NOS NGK's on a shelf somewhere. It wasn't that long ago that I started noticing the change in their clips, ...maybe a year or so ago.
I've thought of asking NGK what the deal is with the clip design change.
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Thanks for the support, and Captain - the detailed response.

Sorry for my vagary - the wire harness for the dyna itself has a short in the wire. The harness looks like it has been spliced together over the years, so maybe an entire new set of wires is in order. Should I put in an entire new electronic ignition, or do you think this is repairable? I'll post pics when I get home. Doing this all from cell phone since my laptop was stolen....
If you are sure this fixed the problem why replace the entire module? $130.00. Just replace the wiring from the module out. (No splices)
The Dyna module pair individually fires each coil > each coil is firing two cylinders. One module = 2 cylinders.
One cylinder has the apparent problem.
IF... there is a ignition problem related to cylinder #3 it must be on the secondary side > from the coil output to the plug for that particular cylinder.

Can test the coil, trim the ignition wire back 1/4" or so, disassemble the boot and service, clean and regap the sparkplug, ...and try again.
Cannot replace the #3 ignition wire.
Must ensure all primary wiring is good-to-go before any secondary testing can be done.

Oil-Fouled? I'd do a compression check. Maybe a leak-down test depending on the compression check. Then I'd start looking at the vacume signal on that cylinder. I might even juggle the order of leak-down and vacume testing. Oil-fouling is a seperate issue and generally related to engine wear and not ignition failure.

What does the tailpipe residue look like?

Good, clear, clean pictures are worth their weight in GOLD around here. The more the better. Example below:


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