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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I picked up a used 82 GL1100 with 40k on it for a deal figuring it would be a great chance for me to work on a bike without fear of harming my other primary bike that I do not want to tinker on.

The issues started during the test drive, I ran out of gas. Thank you kind sir for not fueling the bike... It was a process but I managed to fill it up and get it home.

At the same time, the bike was knocking like crazy at low RPMs. It would stall out after dropping below 1k RPM and knock faster up until 3k RPM. Sometimes it would idle like crap, sometimes I couldn't accelerate wihout the RPM bogging down or randomly taking off like a rocket. Did it have a bad rod? Was it going to explode? No idea! So I remove the false gas tank to find that she is completely out of coolant... So I fill her up.

After much research in these forums I am pointed to the direction of carbs being dirty. I figured that I likely was dealing with some nasty fuel issues anyway so I decide to pull the carbs. iPhone in hand with this forum open I work on the carbs; removing, cleaning, replacing. No change in her behavior, but I am happy to say I managed my first carb job with minimal swearing.

Following another recommendation on these forums I decided to run her from cold and feel the headers. Ah-ha! I find a cold one (while drinking a cold one coincidentally) and pull the plug to see that it's very black and burnt. At a couple dollars a piece I decide to pull the all and replace them. Still no changes are seen in her behavior but all headers are hot now.

Reading deeper into the knocking I learn from here that it is a sign of carbs being out of sync. Not a problem, poor mans manometer here I come! Tube, scrap wood, and heavy oil and the carbs are now in sync! That was today and I noticed that she doesn't really knock much at all now. I can actually go into first and let out the clutch with only a slight knock instead of a machine gun stutter and stall. Empowered I actually get her of of the driveway without her dying on me.

I get her out on the road and she goes, but apparently all is not well just yet. At home she idles poorly and jumps around from 600 rpm to 2000 rpm or more. Once in a while there is a loud pop! from the exhaust. Most importantly, and dangerously, she does not accelerate or maintain for beans after the first 20 mph or so. Once I hit a certain speed the throttle doesn't seem to respond, it's hard to explain, but its sort of an rpm fluctuation that makes me have to keep twisting the throttle more to simply go the same speed. Randomly she will take off like a rocket while I am giving more throttle, jumping to 7k rpm in a heartbeat. I sprayed some WD40 around the engine when I got home because I swore I heard a vacuum leak and sure enough the rpm jumped up.

My question is, am I chasing the gold at the end of the rainbow here? I do enjoy tinkering but we had planned to take her on our vacation the end of next week. Is it feasible that this vacuum leak is causing the remaining issues or does it sound like there may be more issues here?

Thanks!
 

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Good read.:)

There is always next year.:)

Start with a compression test of motor. Then check spark quality. Then check fuel delivery system.

Then it will be back into the carbs and vacuum issues.

A sync is not a cure all, it is the icing on the cake when all else is done and engine is running half way decent.
 

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If it has a vacuum leak the carb synch will have to be redone after you fix it.A lot of maintenance and checking will need to be done before trusting it on a trip.
 

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TJBond; [I said:
Is it feasible that this vacuum leak is causing the remaining issues[/I]

Yes.

However, as the others have noted...it's a 31 year old motorcycle and chances are, at this point you may still have issues enough to make a trip...iffy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
At this point I am wondering if going to a shop makes sense? Then again, not to knock any of the folks that work at shops, I actually have less faith in many shops than I do in my own small subset of abilities.

That being said I thank you all for reading my lengthy post and offering your insights and expertise! I have already sourced a compression tester tool from my family owned local garage and decided to run a check before I do anything else. I figure if she starts puffing air out like crazy then it may make more sense to just part her out and try again with a different bike. (Or maybe this is a chance to rip into an engine!)

If the engine has compression then I will probably keep working at her for a while and see where I can get. I will post back over the weekend to update.
 

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Remember, for the test you want all the plugs out, the engine warm and the throttle wide open.

Oh, and the kill switch off.
 

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It should only take about 45 mins. for the initial compression, spark and fuel tests. With it running slowly pull one plug wire at a time and listen for the spark jumping from wire to plug, they should all jump the same amount. Then with your OHM meter measure resistance through wires and coils. Pull the fuel feed hose off rack and crank into container for volume and crud test. All done.:)

Then it is time to do some diagnosis for vacuum leaks and cylinder firing conditions, rich or lean.

The tip off for me was no swearing, how deep did you go into the carbs and what was the history of the bike, did it set for awhile.
 

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With the symptoms you described, I'd bet good money your compression and spark will be fine. Fortunately you've got access to a compression tester and it's not tough to do.

The low coolant concerns me a little. How much did you need to add to fill it? You may be looking at a water pump or head gasket replacement. Lots of information on these if you do a search here.

You could bring it to a shop but between your skills and the help of some really great gurus here I truly believe you could have it running great.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Plugs out, kill switch, and wide open throttle, got it! Thanks again.

The history of the bike is interesting... I am former LEO and found out that it once belonged to another former LEO that passed away in a semi-nearby town. He died from illness and the bike was essentially forgotten about. Upon finding it again it was sold to the guy I bought it from. He only put 3k miles on it in the 4 years he had it and then I came along.

I terms of the tests to run, the compression and fuel tests seem simple, but you lost me at the coils. Where are they on this bike? I also was wondering if the timing was off somehow on the bike, but that's another thing I know nothin about.

Finally, the carb swearing... I removed nearly everything from each. Bowls, jets, floats, etc. I won't claim to know what I am doing, but I have always enjoyed small engine repairs and rebuilt a riding law mower engine from the ground up last year for the first time. (I can also read directions!) I'm a computer nerd by trade so working with tiny parts and even tinier tools is something I am pretty familiar with. To my surprise the carbs were actually pretty clean. Also the family garage that I mentioned is actually my family. Grandfather owns it and works there with my father. I grew up helping with brake jobs and the like, so I've some automobile knowledge that seems applicable to motorcycles.

Steve: Thanks! I am hoping to do just that, learn from your charity, and maybe help others at the same time. It was bone dry, not a drop. I noticed after the 15 mile ride home. The engine didn't seem to overheat, it wasn't a very long ride home.
 

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You never know the true history on a used machine and what could have been screwed up previously without a cursory or more in depth checking of a few things. The reason why it looked clean is because the PO might already have cleaned what could be seen but never did the internals.:?

Timing is electronic no concern there from your description of winding up fast at times. Two coils one for the front pair of cylinders and the other for the rear pair. One test lead in one plug wire the other on its brother on the other side of engine (one pair), should not read over 30k ohms and your good to go for the time being.

Before pulling apart carbs 1st time some checking should have been done on the rack, it gives clues to the person doing the rack what to look for with regard to repair. Back to the lean-rich, vacuum leaks scenario.

A can of Cyclo carb clean spray will fit the bill here along with a pair of pliers to pinch off vacuum lines. Did you check the two vacuum diaphraghms on the bottom of the plenum. Then there is boot and O ring condition along with slide difficulties, vacuum hose condition and routing, sticking enrichment/choke, etc. etc.

Like any mechanical problem you got to hit it in a methodical approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Today was a wash out, literally. In Massachusetts we have all sorts of flash flood warnings going on. I've reluctantly halted work on the bike today, not because I will melt, but for fear of water going into places it shouldn't on the bike as I tinker outside.

I am going to run the compression and coil tests tomorrow. The plenum did have strange gaskets. (Just to make sure, there are 4 round plenum gaskets, one on each carb, correct?) they were odd to say the least, more of a hard plastic ring that fit in perfectly. They appeared to be manufactured that way with a lip on them. When I sprayed for leaks I purposely sprayed all around that area and heard no change in rpm.

I also think that I need to correct what I was trying to say before about the spike in rpm on the road. That "spike" is actually what the bike should feel like, powerful and purring along. The way it normally runs is sluggish and all over the place. There is practically no throttle response and it takes a good time to fight to get her up to 50mph. Once in a very rare while while fighting she will "kick in" and take off as I imagine she is supposed to with the throttle nearly wide open.
 

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I am going to run the compression and coil tests tomorrow. The plenum did have strange gaskets. (Just to make sure, there are 4 round plenum gaskets, one on each carb, correct?) they were odd to say the least, more of a hard plastic ring that fit in perfectly. They appeared to be manufactured that way with a lip on them. When I sprayed for leaks I purposely sprayed all around that area and heard no change in rpm.

I also think that I need to correct what I was trying to say before about the spike in rpm on the road. That "spike" is actually what the bike should feel like, powerful and purring along. The way it normally runs is sluggish and all over the place. There is practically no throttle response and it takes a good time to fight to get her up to 50mph. Once in a very rare while while fighting she will "kick in" and take off as I imagine she is supposed to with the throttle nearly wide open.
I think you looked at the slide caps, they are on top of all 4 carbs and have a hard plastic circular flat seal with a lip. The plenum gasket is in the center between all 4 carbs. What you have is a fuel delivery or carb problem.
 

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Just for information, it is not a good idea to just pull spark plug wires to do testing without grounding them, either directly or with another plug. Keep in mind that this is a "wasted spark" system and firing is in pairs... In fact 1/3 are in series (not parallel); likewise 2/4. If the insulation is good, pulling a plug wire should actually dump two cylinders (either 1 and 3 or 2 and 4), but what usually is the case, there are cracks in the insulation (either visible or inside the coil) that allow sparks to jump at unwanted places and even do damage...

My read is that you still have fuel/carb problems... did you pull the idle jets when you did the cleaning?
 

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Ran out of gas? Does Gas gauge not work?
Completely out of coolant? EEK
Does engine have oil in it? :ROFL:

When buying any vehicle I expect to actually run, or get running, the fluids are something I check before even test driving, normally.

I check it has coolant and that there is not oil in it.
Oil, if its decent or like grease, or has water in it.
Gas, so I don't end up walking on the test drive.
Brake fluid so I don't eat a tree! :ROFL:

So have you checked the fuel filter yet to be sure it's not plugged up and starving the carbs? Is the fuel pump pumping good?
In some ways it sounds like besides a vacuum leak you might be running out of gas still?

"Most importantly, and dangerously, she does not accelerate or maintain for beans after the first 20 mph or so. Once I hit a certain speed the throttle doesn't seem to respond,"

So how does she run up to that 20mph? Does she run any better after you have to stop a minute and start out again? Like lower rpms when the carb bowls can try to fill slowly with gas just seeping in? Does she run better at first when first started and bowls may be full, then start acting up worse?
Any vacuum leaks do need to be fixed of course, but most of the ones I have had seem to cause more of a constant type problem over the rpm range, where as it kinda sounds as if your getting more problems at higher rpms than lower rpms when riding, which could mean your not getting enough fuel to the carbs.

After you found she had no coolant and filled her, have you checked to see if she is still full or if that coolant is going elsewhere?

I think you probably have a nice project bike to tinker with, but as far as your question goes I'd take that other PRIMARY bike you have on the vacation and plan to leave this project at home till you know more what you have and can get the work done it may need.

Do you know if or when the timing belts may have been changed? If not, that should be done soon also. It's an interference engine and if a belt breaks that engine will be shot. Belts rot with age not just miles of wear.

About the coolant?
You say,
"It was bone dry, not a drop. I noticed after the 15 mile ride home. The engine didn't seem to overheat, it wasn't a very long ride home."

15 miles IS a pretty long ride when you have 0 coolant! Not sure with it running so bad how you can tell it did not seem to overheat. If you were looking at the gauge, often with no coolant a gauge will not show to be hot.
Have you checked your oil for coolant since you filled the coolant? Checked for oil in coolant? Any steam or smoke from exhaust now?
Pulled the plug and looked at it where that one burnt black one had been?
 

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Just for information, it is not a good idea to just pull spark plug wires to do testing without grounding them, either directly or with another plug.
That is an old wives tale, shared secondary windings will dump excess spark onto other cylinder.

This is not an early GM HEI ignition which might blow the rotor with a lead removed.:)
 

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There are no shared secondary windings on the Japanese shared-coil waste-spark systems, the coil wires are attached to opposite ends of the coil winding and the spark plugs are simply in series. The current travels out one plug, through the engine, and back into the other plug to get back to the coil. One plug is always firing with the "wrong" polarity, but it works. If you lift the wire on one side, it will kill the mating plug, since the circuit is now open.
 

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There are no shared secondary windings on the Japanese shared-coil waste-spark systems, the coil wires are attached to opposite ends of the coil winding and the spark plugs are simply in series. The current travels out one plug, through the engine, and back into the other plug to get back to the coil. One plug is always firing with the "wrong" polarity, but it works. If you lift the wire on one side, it will kill the mating plug, since the circuit is now open.
I suggest you do a test. Remove ONE plug lead and start your engine. Now remove its brother on the other side, note any change in the way it is running.:)

:popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, looks like I have my work cut out for me in answering questions! Apologies if I mix up terminology here. Another thing that I realized might be important is the left exhaust is pretty much wide open because its come apart at a seam. Previous owner tried to repair... poorly. Could this be throwing off fuel air mixture and giving me issue? Any way to test this?

Chromo: Thanks for all of your questions! Here is the "low down." The gas gauge does not function as you might of expected. There is oil in the engine and the coolant has not leaked out since I filled it. In terms of checking when buying a vehicle, I did check the brakes at least. I also made the incorrect assumption that everyone keeps gas in their motorcycle enough to run it. I did not however realize that the guy had put the petcock on reserve when he fired the bike up for me.

Last night I was looking into issues more and came to conclude the same thing you stated about fuel. I figure the fuel that I had been pulling from the bottom of the tank was bad and, though I cleaned all the carb jets which surprisingly came out easy. I am wondering if it is the fuel filter or pump as it feels to me like she is starving for gas.

The guy put 1300 into the bike when he first got it a few years ago and gave me the receipt, I will post that information shortly.

The plug that replaced the black one is now tan or white, this plug is in the location where I believe my vacuum leak is and where the rpm changed when I sprayed wd40.

The only smoke is generally a white puff when the bike is started on occasion which I understand to be pretty normal with a goldwing of this age. The coolant looks to be the same color as it was when I put it in the bike, I am planning to do an oil change on her and can let you know my oil findings at that time.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Here is the work he had completed:

Rebuild caliper front & rear brakes
Sync carbs
Replace fork seals
Mount and Balancd front and rear tires

Here are all of the items he purchased:
Fork seals
Fork oil
Brake caliper items
Diaphragm
4 o-rings
Brake pads (front and rear)
Front and rear tires
Brake fluid
Banjo Seals

There is a note at the bottom that states: paid in full - runs a little rough
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry for rapid fire posting but I ran some tests today and found that there do not appear to be any vacuum leaks. I sprayed again and determined with help from my father (car mechanic) that the rpm changes I noted were not due to a vacuum leak but were just normal fluctuations. The pressure in each cylinder at cold was around 75 or 80 but we also did not have the correct adapter and were using a universal fit rubber one. So I would say that everything is fine there for an engine of this age? (At least from what I have read of course!)

The coils also seemed to be fine as well, and we surmised the plugs were firing appropriately due to how well the bike idled today with seafoam in the tank and carbs overnight.

However, in pulling off the fuel filter and giving her the old blow test there was definitely some resistance there. I am soon going to head outside and test the fuel pump as well to see if it may also be causing grief.

I'm looking around for a fuel filter the closest shop quoted me at $25 and said it would be here mid next week. This seems pretty high in price to me and I am wondering if any fuel filter would do the job?
 
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