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Last year I called several mechanics at Hondadealerships about their opinions on using additives for my1998 Goldwing SE. It was slow to warm up anda little sluggish.

I heard varying opinions, some mechanics condemned all additives, others said no problem to a certain brand...then I spokewith a mechanicat University Honda in Seattle, theFIRST Honda motorcycle dealership in the state, so I figured he's got a reputation to protect.

He told me to try a specific additive to help keep the fuel system clean on my GL. He said he uses the product, from Redline called"SI-1",in all of his bikes. The stuff isexpensive ($8 per 15 oz bottle) I tried it... only 2 capfuls as I fill up. The difference was dramatic and nearly immediate.Theengine seems to runsmoother andstronger. I use it with every other tankful of gasnow.

What is the general consensus on using a gasoline additive such as this?
 

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No harm at all. But the real question you need to get answered is why the bike ran sluggish in the first place. Sometimes additives just mack the problem instead of fixing it.
 

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wingfriend wrote:
Last year I called several mechanics at Hondadealerships about their opinions on using additives for my1998 Goldwing SE. It was slow to warm up anda little sluggish.

I heard varying opinions, some mechanics condemned all additives, others said no problem to a certain brand...then I spokewith a mechanicat University Honda in Seattle, theFIRST Honda motorcycle dealership in the state, so I figured he's got a reputation to protect.

He told me to try a specific additive to help keep the fuel system clean on my GL. He said he uses the product, from Redline called"SI-1",in all of his bikes. The stuff isexpensive ($8 per 15 oz bottle) I tried it... only 2 capfuls as I fill up. The difference was dramatic and nearly immediate.Theengine seems to runsmoother andstronger. I use it with every other tankful of gasnow.

What is the general consensus on using a gasoline additive such as this?

wingfriend< as a rule fuel additives are not needed & in some cases can actually damage fuel pump diaphragms or internal carb parts like soften floats or damage rubber seals, hoses or diaphragms.

Some fuel additives can work a little & even remove some varnish or gum blockage.. ‘Sea Foam’ does seem to do some good IF you have a heavily varnished fuel system or gummed up injector.. In most cases those additives can break enough gum loose to actually plug fuel filters & fuel screens..

I'm not sure what happened in your case but possibly a plugged injector was partially cleaned or your fuel filter was plugged & the additive addition allowed it to pass more fuel (at least temporarily)..

Most modern gasoline’s do contain some injector cleaners & other detergent additives to HELP keep the fuel system somewhat cleaned out.. Plugged injectors & coked up throttle plates were a big problem for the auto companies a few years ago & many fuel additives were tested to be used as an alternative to dealer repair but so far none have worked well enough to get the auto company’s OK..

Even “dry gas” or other alcohol in the fuel can dislodge fuel system varnish & vgunk & either clean (or break free & plug) the fuel system.

If what you tried worked for you then keep using it.. About the only additives I personally use are some fuel stabilizer for winter storage & a very slight amount of 2-cycle engine oil in the gasoline (very slight amount) in my bikes that are only ridden occasionally as that contains some fuel stabilizer & also keeps the fuel system from rusting up while sitting..

I kind of live by the old farm equipment saying that was written on old time fuel caps (use fresh fuel & keep it clean).. If you live by that rule you shouldn’t need any additional additives..

JDC
 

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BenMC hit the mark... these machines don't come from the factory with additives in the tank or crankcase. Something occured on your bike to cause the poor performance and typically, once you cease using the additive, the problem re-occurs.

Be sure the fuel system (tank, lines, throttle bodies, filter etc.) are all clean or new.That also includes the air filter and any emmision controls. Checkthe spark plugs for cleanliness, operation and gap.

Honda has a basic maintenance shedule at a given mileage or monthly interval.. Has that been performed? After all the basics have been covered, you can move on to some diagnosing which is more in depth.. If an additive is all that's needed to get the bike running great,, then it's something simple and can be remedied quickly....
 

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You can go either way with fuel additives. But stay away from any oil additives, usually very bad news for clutch plates!!
 

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wingfriend wrote:
the FIRST Honda motorcycle dealership in the state, so I figured he's got a reputation to protect.

I tried it... only 2 capfuls as I fill up. The difference was dramatic and nearly immediate. The engine seems to run smoother and stronger. I use it with every other tankful of gas now.

What is the general consensus on using a gasoline additive such as this?
The general concensus is right, theres a problem to find and fix. There is no "fountain of youth."

Honda dealers have only Hondas interest to protect, and thats by Franchise regulations - they are usually not there for you.
American Honda is known for "quick fixes" to cover up design flaws and miscellaneous failures to dodge warranty claims. GL1200 stator plug was a famous one.

Additives? Nitromethane and castor oil is my favorite (wont mention the others)... THAT makes em run :whip: Some of the "good stuff" the R/C modellers use. 40% nitro and castor oil does the trick.:cool: USed to carry a gallon of it in the trunk and got strange looks at teh gas station when pouring it in the tank. Made the engine run cooler.
 

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The problem was thatI boughtmy 19981500 GL last year with 29k miles on it. It seemed to take a longer than recommended time to warm up...ie:accelerate without sputtering and coughing. I had the 28k FULL tuneup doneto it....dealer changed all fluids, plugs, balanced carbs, etc. The bike wasSTILLsluggish on the road (ie, after initial warm up, still sputtering a bit).

I spoke toa few otherGL owners and another mechanic who owns a 2000 1500 GL; they seem to agree that the 1500 is very slow to warm upfrom a cold engine; ie coughing and sputtering sometimes IF ITS NOT QUITE READY DESPITE SEVERAL MINUTES with choke full on. Since I started using the additive, I get more power - faster -from the cold engine.
 

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Classic signs of crappy ignition.:( Like Led Zepplin said "The Song Remains the Same" This has happened to every Honda ive ever owned, especially the Goldwings.
 

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Goldwinger1984 wrote:
wingfriend, I'm wondering if your thermostat is possibly sticking open and causing the engine to take longer to warm up.

Vic
I'd wonder about the thermostat too. My 1993 warms up quickly, within a minute and doesn't hesitate. I'm obviously riding in similar temps to you. My bike has nearly three times the mileage on it at 89,000
 

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wingfriend wrote:


IF ITS NOT QUITE READY DESPITE SEVERAL MINUTES with choke full on. Since I started using the additive, I get more power - faster - from the cold engine.
[/quote]

Then it cannot be the thermostat because the choke is intended to compensate for a cold engine. Thermostat is one of the first things I yank and toss on a goldwing
 

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Dave ,

When you say you "yank and toss" the thermastat on wings, do you mean replace with a fresh one or run without one? Because I am thinking of taking mine out completely,,,,Here the hot weather is real. I know it might take longer to warm up, but I am in no rush for that anyway...

Dean
 

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Thermostat and radiator puke tank both went in the trash after it was tuned properly. It would not get hot no matter how hard I ran it so the puke tank was useless.:cool: They followed the other 20 pounds of needless parts removed and thrown in the bin.

Thermostat is a favorite "whipping boy" when one is not sure what the problem is. Tstat failures are rare, Ive not seen one in 30 years of wrenching. Theres nothing to fail except the wax comes out and it wont open.
 

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dean_3326 wrote:
Dave ,

When you say you "yank and toss" the thermostat on wings, do you mean replace with a fresh one or run without one? Because I am thinking of taking mine out completely,,,,Here the hot weather is real. I know it might take longer to warm up, but I am in no rush for that anyway...

Dean
Don't know why manufacturers would bother to put thermostats in every watercooled engine ever made, do you? Damn fools must just be making money for their friends who make such worthless things in the first place. Thermostats are important to try to keep and engine at a consistent temperature so that oil has the proper viscosity, carburation works as designed, engine clearances are held constant, cold weather running is acceptable, and a few other things I haven't thought of. There are lots of myths about thermostats.

Number one has to be that taking one out will make the engine run cooler. Horsecrap! If the thermostat is operating properly once it opens, it's open and the flow through the radiator is nearly unrestricted. If the small amount of restriction an open thermostat causes raises the heat level in the coolant, there's no reserve capability in the system and there's something else wrong. Honda engineers ain't dumb or you'd be riding one of those finely engineeredPOS HDs.

Number two myth is that putting in a lower temp rated thermostat will make an engine run cooler. More Horsecrap. It just means the engine will operate at less than designed temperature on cold days.

So by all means, take out the thermostat on your bike, your car, and maybe it would be a good idea to take out the one on your central heating.

:whip::whip::whip:
 

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exavid wrote:
dean_3326 wrote:
Number one has to be that taking one out will make the engine run cooler. Horsecrap! If the thermostat is operating properly once it opens, it's open and the flow through the radiator is nearly unrestricted. If the small amount of restriction an open thermostat causes raises the heat level in the coolant, there's no reserve capability in the system and there's something else wrong. Honda engineers ain't dumb or you'd be riding one of those finely engineeredPOS HDs.

Number two myth is that putting in a lower temp rated thermostat will make an engine run cooler. More Horsecrap. It just means the engine will operate at less than designed temperature on cold days.

So by all means, take out the thermostat on your bike, your car, and maybe it would be a good idea to take out the one on your central heating.


exavid, I have to agree with you there.. I have even seen some cases on certain automobile cooling systems that removing the T-Stat actually increases the engine temperature in hot weather & heavy work loads as the T-Stat is used as a flow restrictor in some installations & removing it allows the coolant to flow through the radiator so fast it doesn't have time to shed all it BTU's...

Without a T-Stat,, slow warm-ups & the need for longer fuel enrichment can play havoc with engine oil pollution,, piston ring wear due to washed cylinder walls,, proper cylinder & head gasket sealing due to not complete cylinder expansion,, coked up exhaust valves,, & oil remaining thick in cold weather..



If T-Stats weren't really needed they wouldn't be there as that would be another point of improved profit for the MoCo & we all know how profit hungry the MoCo's are..



As far as removing the overflow bottle: that's not a very sound idea either.. That means there has to be a dead air space in the cooling system to allow expansion (usually the top of the radiator & that not only allows the coolant to aerate as it circulates but any air bubbles in the coolant impede cooling (or at least impedeeven cooling), it also means oxygen in the cooling system & that really hastens early cooling system rust & decay..

There is also the fact that the newer long life antifreeze (used in a lot of aluminum block cooling systems) has a hard timeworking as designed if air is allowed to enter the cooling system.. Most of the early reported problems with the long life antifreeze were traced back to low coolant levels & air entering the cooling system..



JDC
 

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Leaving a thermostat out of an internal combustion engine is something an unknowing teenager would do thinking that he would get more horsepower, while not realizing that he is causing damage to an otherwise good engine and actually lowering horsepower. JDC also raises an extremely valid point about coolant flow traveling too fast to collect heat which is another reason to use a thermostat.

Engines are designed to operate at specific thermal efficiencies and without the thermostat they simply cannot do so. Oil viscocities, mating parts clearances, metal alloys etc., are all designed to work properly at certain temperatures and that's exactly what a thermostat does, it keeps the engine running as close as possible to optimum temperature for utmost reliability, fuel economy and horsepower.

Even all out race cars use a thermostat in the form of a restrictor plate(so it can't stick open or closed during a race)which goes under the gooseneck to keep engine temp optimum.

Another item that unknowledgable wrenches do away with is the overflow or "puke tank." This item is absolutely critical, particularly on a very hot day. When you fill your radiator to the top when cold it has to go someplace when it expands after heating, without the overflow tank it goes on the ground, with the overflow tank, once the engine cools the coolant goes back into the engine and so the cycle goes on without making a mess.

A thermostat is very inexpensive, yet can cause severe consequences if it's not working correctly. Typically if an engine overheats severely the thermostat spring weakens causing it to stay open slightly and some even have failsafes that stays open deliberately after an overheating.

If you want your engine to last long keep a proper heat range thermostat in your engine and remember that a thermostat needs checking occasionally just like anyother part on your Wing.

Vic
 

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Appreciate the "opinions" guys, but Ive been there and done that. What I write is not opinion, its test results.

"Another item that unknowledgable wrenches do away with is the overflow or "puke tank." This item is absolutely critical, particularly on a very hot day. "

No its only vital for those that cannot tune an engine. Like Vic.
 

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Well, I sure wish someone could properly tune engines at all automotive factories. I guess my Dodge Cummins needs retuning too. The whole reason expansion bottles became standard equipment on all liquid cooled engines in the sixties is as Vic mentioned, to allow the system to operate without any air. The modern system allows any trapped air to be 'burped' out and when cooling down, suck solid air free coolant back in. The old cars used the top of the radiator for expansion, it over filled they just spit it out through the overflow tube onto the ground. Keeping air out of the system reduces corrosion and rust, prevents cavitation in the water pump, prevents airlocking, and enhances heat transfer since minute airbubbles don't conduct heat well. If you have a full system without an expansion tank, the only place for the increased volume of coolant to go is to stretch the hoses and radiator unless vented off by the radiator cap.
 

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Sothe thermostat is not responsible for my GL's cold-blooded nature...what would be the typical culprit?

What's your guess on thelengthy warm up periods of 4 or so minutes with chokeFULL on? Keep in mind I just had the 28k service done 3k miles ago. My GL is not the only one to have this problem, so I'm told by a Honda mechanic at a dealership...and another mechanic who runs his own repair shop .
 

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I havethe samewarm uptime also. Take into concideration where 'we' live. Are you in the mountains? Also, the temperature here is mild compared to elsewhere. Correct me if I'm wrong but our bikes weren't designed to run while cold so 'we' in the NW probably just have to wait for an extra minute or two.

I don't usually start my bike and ride it immediately. I put on my gear while the bike is running/warming up. The very few times I have, I get definate sluggish actions. ALL of my vehicles are the same way (car-Dodge, van-GMC, truck-GMC). I have considered the warm-up time to be normal. I close my choke slowly over the ~4 - 5 minute wait. By the time I get on my gear, the bike is ready to go. Plenty of power with no sluggish actions.

Just my .02
 
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