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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last weekend I got caught in a massive traffic jam on I-77
in North Carolina. Was stuck in traffic in 90 degree temps for over an hour and a half. The bike was up to the 60% mark with the fans running full bore. Finally got through but it wasn't clutching right but after driving at 60 for a few miles that started working normally. Then BOOM it just died nothing clutch out, Power gauge said battery was ok. Put it in neutral coasted to the side of the road. As far as I could tell no fuses blown (I carry a digital multimeter in the bike). The fuel filter was full of fuel I thought maybe the kill switch had gone bad. Checked it and it was good.
The bike would crank over but would not start. Someone comming back from Wing-Ding stopped to help and a Harley rider also, people are really nice. We finally discovered that the fuel hose on the engine side of the Fuel Filter was full of air for about an inch. Bled it out and the bike just ran fine no problems the rest of the 600 miles home.
Has anyone ever seen anything like this before.
 

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Last weekend I got caught in a massive traffic jam on I-77
in North Carolina. Was stuck in traffic in 90 degree temps for over an hour and a half. The bike was up to the 60% mark with the fans running full bore. Finally got through but it wasn't clutching right but after driving at 60 for a few miles that started working normally. Then BOOM it just died nothing clutch out, Power gauge said battery was ok. Put it in neutral coasted to the side of the road. As far as I could tell no fuses blown (I carry a digital multimeter in the bike). The fuel filter was full of fuel I thought maybe the kill switch had gone bad. Checked it and it was good.
The bike would crank over but would not start. Someone comming back from Wing-Ding stopped to help and a Harley rider also, people are really nice. We finally discovered that the fuel hose on the engine side of the Fuel Filter was full of air for about an inch. Bled it out and the bike just ran fine no problems the rest of the 600 miles home.
Has anyone ever seen anything like this before.
I had a similar incident a few years back. Was in New Mexico..stopped to see a friend, was on a return trip to GA. After the stop, we continued on..looking for a campsite and a gas station..when the bike just stopped dead. Coasted to the side of the road (pulling a Bunkhouse trailer). Tried different things..engine would crank..but not start. Opened the tank to check fuel level and the fuel cap....cranked the engine a couple times and it started right up. Never had it happen again!
 

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Vapor lock is a possibility.

Some guys have written here previously that the fuel in their tank was literally boiling and could be seen bubbling away with the cap removed.

Why would one guys fuel boil and not everyone else. Likely answer is the engine is idling a little on the lean side. The tank is right above the exhaust collector box and a leaner running engine will skyrocket exhaust temps thus heating the tank more with no airflow as in a traffic situation.

And if you are one of the guys who has drilled a hole in the fuel cap that also might contribute to the problem.

If fuel acts like water, when raising pressure of water it also raises boiling point. If the tank is not doing its little pressure thing the boiling point may be decreased.

Do the cardboard test at idle.:coollep:

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums.../426066-1500-fuel-mixture-diagnosis-test.html
 

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Sorry guys. I'm not buying a sudden shut down or "Boom it just quit" as a fuel starvation problem. Something may have gotten hot and failed, but these aren't fuel symptoms.
 

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Sorry guys. I'm not buying a sudden shut down or "Boom it just quit" as a fuel starvation problem. Something may have gotten hot and failed, but these aren't fuel symptoms.
Well, you were not there to observe what happened...I was. The bike was running, the engine stumbled and then stopped. Trying to restart, nothing happened...opened the tank by removing the cap, tried starting a couple times and on the third try, it started. End of story...no boiling gas, tank was close to empty, but still had gas for 40-50 miles. The bike had been stopped for about two hours prior to the incident...was visiting a friend....so nothing was hot...it was as IF I had run out of gas...but still had gas in the tank.
 

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On a heat related fuel subject, has anyone noticed a medium pitched hum---almost a buzz in hot weather after shutting off the motor that will stop when relieving pressure by opening the fuel cap? No operational problems to speak of, but I smell lite gas fumes for a short time after parking my 94 SE in the garage on a hot day.
 

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Well, you were not there to observe what happened...I was. The bike was running, the engine stumbled and then stopped. Trying to restart, nothing happened...opened the tank by removing the cap, tried starting a couple times and on the third try, it started. End of story...no boiling gas, tank was close to empty, but still had gas for 40-50 miles. The bike had been stopped for about two hours prior to the incident...was visiting a friend....so nothing was hot...it was as IF I had run out of gas...but still had gas in the tank.
You didn't say stumbled and stopped. You said stopped dead. It easier to diagnose when the story doesn't change.
 

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If you use a car/truck experiences these bikes can confound you. I have to remind myself at times there are some unique issues that would not be common to a car. The fact that the tank is right over the hot engine and not in the cool back of a car. The same can apply to fuel lines. The carbs are somewhat protected by the foam rubber baffle deal but still I have percolation on very hot days. With all that said my opinion is that more likely the fuel had a chance to cool while you were wrenching and in fact that is why its started. Some air in fuel filters and fuel lines that run high in the vehicle is probably normal in any loop that is higher than the carb inlet especially if the hoses other end is below the inlet at any point. Sort of the same as the banjo fitting on the 1200's brake system but air in a fuel system is not an issue.
The buzzing that was mentioned is normal and there are threads that talk about it also. It is the fuel cap venting excess tank pressure from the hot expanded gas.
 

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I don't buy this "vapor-lock" stuff either.

...probably because it hasn't happened to me yet though.

That's my Karma; ...let me get into this thread hot-n-heavy and sure enough, ..it'll happen to me as well.

So, .... ... . See 'Ya!
 

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What is the boiling point of fuel Cap and is it higher or lower with ethanol compared to fuel of old. And is it affected by pressure.

Someone knew a lot about fuel from previous post reading and think it was you. Apologies if I got it mixed up.
 

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Normally I would agree with Captain Midnight. No way, but if you think about it more??? In the new cars with the pump in the tank. (like the 1500's right?) In cars it just doesn't happen. The entire fuel line is under 20 or 30 PSI fuel pressure and the boiling point (vapor point) is too high for even the hottest weather.

The bike has several things working against it. First the tank is right over the engine so it gets lots of heat. Cars are nice and cool in the back.

Instead of 20 or 30 PSI fuel pressure like a car (that really raises the boiling point) the wing has only a little pressure.
Cars have most of the fuel line routed away from heat and then stainless line where heat is under the hood. The 1500 has most of the fuel lines exposed to engine heat as well as the carbs. (and tank as I said earlier) So given the hot day, sitting in stalled traffic, all the issues I listed above, I certainly wouldn't be too surprised. Now I have to put one of those disclaimers. Just my opinion. :)

The boiling point of gas can be as low as 85 or 90 degrees. That's one of the reasons they have summer and winter blend. Raise the vapor point for gas. In the old days the gas pumps at the station had the pump on the island and they would suck the fuel out of the tank below. (now there are under ground pumps and above ground dispensers but the term has stayed) Vapor lock was very common then as vacuum ;owners the boiling point just like pressure raises it. Can you remember in the old days the station owners hosing down the asphalt over the tank. It wasn't necessarily just to keep thing clean. He had to cool the area to be able to get the fuel sucked out of the ground. Yes ethanol boils even easier. Ever notice how quick an injury dries when alcohol is put on it? The little pressure that the tank hold helps some but it ain't much. I'm just guessing but I think it's like 1 5/8 degrees for every PSI of pressure but don't quote me on that number but that is the jest of it. So 3 or 4 PSI is no big deal(our bikes) then again cars with 30 PSI is significant. Remember vapor lock when the fuel pump was on the engine and it had to suck fuel the length of the car? (lowering the vapor point even lower) The only thing was they had no ethanol back then.
 

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I could see it happening. Carb equipped cars with their typical 4-5 psi fuel pressures were not immune to vapor lock. I believe back in the day there was more than one factory service campaign to reroute fuel lines for a no start/vapor lock problem.

The GW has 2 psi, throw in the possibility of a weak pump and it now might be 1 psi and if the big thick OEM fuel line has been replaced with a cheap lawn mower line anything is possible and more likely.:)

Lean engine, weak pump, drilled cap, ethanol and cheap line. Combined together it could be the perfect storm. Lot of ifs but you never know until you start to dig into it.
 

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Vapor-Lock is a reality for carbureted 'Wings.
Vapor-Lock on anything fuel-injected is all but impossible in any vehicle.

KARMA - ...so now I wait. haha. '78 has been down for two days for service. What's next?

I'm hiding from this thread! HIDING!
 

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Back in the day some new vehicles had foil looking heat shielding from the factory in the engine compartment wrapped around the fuel lines.

My brain just kicked in on those old memories.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will say the exact conditions when my bike died are as follows
1. Was doing about 60 miles an hour
2. Was driving up hill
3. Cruise control was not on
4. Previously I had been stuck in traffic only moving at about 3 to 5 miles an hour for over a hour and a half and it may have been 2 hours.
5. Bike Temp Guage was between the 50 to 60% range
6. Fans had been on for over an hour full blast.
7. Had just started moving was less than 2 miles from Traffic Jam.
8. Bike just quit, no stumble, no warnings one moment it had full
power next the tach dropped to zero.
9. I tried to restart by letting clutch back in , No Luck.
10. Coasted to the side of the road.
11. Put bike on center stand I have a battery guage it was reading
around 13 volts, checked all the fuses, (I carry a multimeter)
12. Starter turned with no problems sounded normal except it
wouldn't start,
13. As I said before I checked the kill switch it was working ok.
14. I was down about 2 Gallons so I had plenty of gasoline.
15. Twisting the fuel filter I could see a lot of air in the outlet hose.
16. Released hose clamp a lot of air came out before fuel started
flowing.
17. After that bike started immediately and there were no further
problems for the rest of my trip home which at that point was
around 500 miles.
 

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I can remember people snapping clothes pins on the fuel lines thinking that would dissipate the heat. I always had doubts about that but who knows. Drag racers used a "cool can." A coil of copper tube inside a coffee can. Then route the fuel through it and fill the can with ice. Had to chuckle at those who put it way up front of the car. Fuel would vaporize before it got to the cool can.
 

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I can't help myself...

Some thoughts below only because a 1500's induction is nearly identical to a single carb conversion in basic operation.

5. Bike Temp Guage was between the 50 to 60% range
6. Fans had been on for over an hour full blast.
This seems fishy in itself. Having your gauge read mid-way yet having the fan run continuously doesn't sound right to me. I'd be checking the cooling system...

7. Had just started moving was less than 2 miles from Traffic Jam.
8. Bike just quit, no stumble, no warnings one moment it had full
power next the tach dropped to zero.
A single carb conversion that runs out of fuel will do this exact same thing. Ask me how I know....

17. After that bike started immediately and there were no further
problems for the rest of my trip home which at that point was
around 500 miles.
A single carb conversion that now has fuel will start-up just like this, ...as described.
_____

So, whether via vapor-lock or some other reason, I see similarities out of my own experience for the basics of what happened to your bike. Your carbs sure sound like they ran dry and then filled again. Being a singular event with no other instances, I'd have to say you probably had fuel go from liquid to vapor prior to hitting the carbs. Discount the heat issues, you obviously ran out of gas (which obviously you didn't)... So, what's left? Something choking both float needles at exactly the same time? I don't think so...
_____

OK - I'm really done now 'cause Darth Vader is somewhere near. I feel 'em closing-in.. ;)
 

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I will say the exact conditions when my bike died are as follows

8. Bike just quit, no stumble, no warnings one moment it had full
power next the tach dropped to zero.
When the just drops to zero, then the engine shut down immediately. Probably control unit or other electronic device overheated.
I suspect the "air" you saw in the fuel lines was a product of no fuel flow because the engine died. (fuel pump stopped, fuel vaporized).
This happens all the time in the industry. You have a heat related failure, check a myriad of possibilities, the component cools down and everything works again, leaving you with questions and suppositions.
Vapor lock due to heat on a running engine would exhibit lack of power, stumble, and eventual dying as the fuel pump struggles to pump gas/vapor.
The fact that the tach dropped to zero indicates ignition.
 

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...except for my first vehicle, a '79 Chevy Big 10. That thing would lock frequently. I was 15/16 and it was smarter than me back then. Left me stranded enough that I learned to fear it.

1/2 ton truck with 454. Stock except for side exit exhaust.

It would die instantly. No warning of any kind. Just died. 15 minutes later life was good again, ...every time.

I know. It's not a Goldwing. But that is my experience (my only experience) with a vapor-lock issue.

PS - I should add that I had a '84 Fiero; a 2M4 4-cylinder. First year. That was a throttle-body engine. 2.-something. I don't remember exactly. It had a recall due to the fuel line running too close to the exhaust manifold. I had done nothing about the recall and sold the car. The new owner did nothing either and the line melted catching the rear of the car on fire. I never had a fuel issue with it, meaning no vapor-lock. It was injected and the pressure was too high to allow for it to happen. If it were carbureted the problem would've been resolved prior to leaving the proving grounds... Raising the fuel pressure also raises the boiling point, but this is really a non-issue at 2-4 psi as this is not enough pressure to affect boiling temperature. The alcohol is more of a issue than pressure. All alcohol solvents evaporate faster than gasoline does. Ethanol is no different (even at 10% by volume).

The real answer would be to install a return line to the tank. Where to install the return line so that pressure is relieved and keeps the bowls filled would be like debating oil.

____

The "cool-can" is real-deal problem solver. In the trunk is where I've used them.
Today, ...the ricers have replaced us old-school types that've used cool-cans with their fancy CO2 sprayers. Kids... Eghhh. What do they know about anything rear-wheel drive anyways. That in itself is old-school now-a-days. Absurd. I still can't believe I have a Civic (it's really Baby's car, as it stays with her. Ha!)...
 
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