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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All four of the plugs look very close to this one. The bike smells rich when first started cold. But the plug dont look rich at all.
Please give me your opinions about these plugs?
The plugs have about 600 miles on them

 

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Hard to tell from that angle, but it looks a little bit lean. Can you post a pic from a bit closer to the plug?
 

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Looks dandy to me.
 

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All bikes sold in USA after 1978 or manufactured after 1978 have to be emission controlled. The spark plugs look much leaner than they did say in 1973. With 600 miles on those plugs…. that one looks correct. I used to have to pull the plugs at 600 miles for inspection on the 1st service. That's the correct color.
 

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It looks too lean to me, after 600 miles I would expect a medium tan color. In fact I would expect a medium tan color after 100 miles. That's how I test plugs, unless I believe it may be way too lean. I put in new ones, ride 100 miles, and pull them. If they are white, then the mixture is too lean. It is true that manufacturers have been jetting engines too lean for some time, due to the EPA, the way to fix that is to use larger jets and open the pilot screws up a bit. If that plug has been in there for 600 miles, at least you don't appear to have a problem with oil consumption. Using the choke could make it run rich to begin with, but that would also show up on the plug. That insulator looks completely white.
 

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All four of the plugs look very close to this one. The bike smells rich when first started cold. But the plug dont look rich at all.
Please give me your opinions about these plugs?
The plugs have about 600 miles on them

I agree looks lean not rich as you asked.... If your only smelling fuel at start up and with the plugs looking like that if you have a carborated bike you probably have a stuck float or needle makeing fuel seep into a cylender when not running, therefore giving you a startup ritch smell. I would try shutting the fuel off when parking it and see if the smell stops.
 

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Opinion?
Plugs look clean. Fingers look dirty.
BA-dah DUMP!
.
I would also guess leftover fuel in the exhaust system.
Probably from leaky needle.
.
My 83 Wing did that also. I did a (messy) back-flush through the float bowl drain and it took care of most problems like sputtering and stuck floats but it was not a long term fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do turn the fuel off when I turn the motor off. Doesnt change anything and it smells rich when cold. They are total white and I agree they look lean. The bike still has popping in the carbs and other issues. I have tired two tanks full with a bottle of cleaner in each tank. that and the synco all helped a little. So last thing left is to the pull the carbs and clean them.
 

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If the plugs have been drilled out of the mixture screws open (CCW) each one 1/2 turn and see if that helps the popping issue.
It is going to smell rich cold, it can't burn the fuel efficiently until it gets some heat in the engine. It is not a modern fuel injected engine with catalytic converters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The rich smell didnt start till after I synced the carbs. And I know all about old school bikes and cars with out injection and convertors. I've always had older bikes and cars. Just havent had one yet that I've had this much trouble tuning. But I have always had a weakness for classics.
 

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Ron, if the rich smell started after you syncing the carbs then I would think another look at the carb sync would be a good place to start. Are you sure the sync was done right? Was the sync off very much when you started the job?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The carbs weren't even close before I synced them. And the right to left set screw and spring were missing. I replaced the screw and spring and then balanced the carbs. After balancing they were very close to being prefectly inline with each other. I plan on balancing them again next week.
All said it has a lot more power from a stop and at the top end then before I balanced them. But it still feels rough and like it's missing ?

Thanks
 

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Don't want to hijack your thread but rather to offer a comparison.

Just rebuilt carbs and such on my 84 interstate.
Lots of issues.

Took it for second ride last night, ambient temp was from about 52 falling to 40's over the hour I rode her.

I am at sea level and was riding along the water front.

Noticed 3 or 4 pops out of 1 carb across the first 20 minutes. Once descending a hill at 25mph as I hit the bottom and started to accelerate got a slight pop out the tail pipe. Came to a stop at the final bottom of the hill she was idling clean and smooth. As I started out I got a small pop like lean condition.

I proceeded from there, speeds were up to about 40 mph but since this is a waterfront road with housing most was 25-30mph. I purposefully kept it in high gears low rpm as this is where I had major problems. On two very slow hard corners at about 25mph, rpms ~2k as I rolled a little more throttle got a slight carb pop.

All of this time the engine temp gauge was still in that lower segment that is a narrower line. Thermostat had probably not opened yet.

Once I cleared that last corner I got to speed up some and she got to warm-up.

I rode that segment two more times and couldn't get it to spit or pop again but temp gauge was also just about halfway or better.

I had done the shim trick on my slides when I had them down and I do see she still runs a little lean just off idle just by feel.

I remember these engines always tended to be a little cold blooded and once they get to full temp they run great.

I must comment that where I am at I have a lot of low speed hills that I pull, they are a good test for how an engine runs across various loads including long decelerations. Other than the pops when she wasn't fully warmed up I seem to be pretty close.

My needles were set at 3.5 -360 degree turns out from seated on all 4 and Carbs sync just about exact.

Again not trying to hijack, just offering my perspective on similar bike and mods as yours running in a different climate.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Andy, that was helpful, not sure about the slide trick and needles being 360 degrees out?
Mine does run slightly better once warm, but it still needs help.
I get a lot of popping at low rpm like you were talking about, either cold or warm same thing.
 

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If it is popping on accel, it could be a coil breaking down, or plug wire arcing to ground.
However, you need to put this carb thing to rest. If/when it backfires, slowly give it a little choke and see if the pop goes away and/or the power level seems to increase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If it is popping on accel, it could be a coil breaking down, or plug wire arcing to ground.
However, you need to put this carb thing to rest. If/when it backfires, slowly give it a little choke and see if the pop goes away and/or the power level seems to increase.
Popping only happens during low rpm cruising along. Choke does make it run slightly better, not a big difference.
 

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Popping only happens during low rpm cruising along. Choke does make it run slightly better, not a big difference.
If the choke makes a difference, it's too lean. Vacuum leak, dirty passages.
If by "low rpm", you're talking 2500 or less, I'm gone. It's a motorcycle engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If the choke makes a difference, it's too lean. Vacuum leak, dirty passages.
If by "low rpm", you're talking 2500 or less, I'm gone. It's a motorcycle engine.
Yes popping happens at or below 2500 rpm, not sure what you mean by
"I'm gone. It's a motorcycle engine."
All my motorcycle expreince has been with sport bikes or v twins. All motorcycle motors have their quarks just not sure what the gl1200 are?
 

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You're lugging it. Generally speaking, these motors don't develop any reasonable power until they hit 3,000 or more. Any driveability complaint below 2500 is pretty much "self induced".
It may just be my opinion, but I have four wings. They all run like scalded dogs, once you get the r's up. Anything below 3 grand, I don't worry about. You are out of it's power band.
The 1500 is better suited to low end torque.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You're lugging it. Generally speaking, these motors don't develop any reasonable power until they hit 3,000 or more. Any driveability complaint below 2500 is pretty much "self induced".
It may just be my opinion, but I have four wings. They all run like scalded dogs, once you get the r's up. Anything below 3 grand, I don't worry about. You are out of it's power band.
The 1500 is better suited to low end torque.
Honestly didnt know that? I was told these motors should be crusied around 2500 and maxed at about 5000k.
So in your opinion what rpm does these motor most like to ran? 3500-6000?
My old suzuki 750 ran best at 4500 but started making real power at 6000 and maxed at 10k.
 
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