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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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OK, the story is, Bikes sits a couple months because I am pissed at it...err, no...because I want to clean it up, change the oil, insert new plugs and $60 worth of filters. I do this every 10 thousand miles, more or less. This time takes a long time because I want to do some refinishing and repair on some hail damaged pieces. Oh, and because it's 110 degrees in my garage and I ain't gonna work in those conditions.

When I finally restart, the bike runs well enough and then runs out of fuel. I put some fuel in, but now the bike runs, for all the world like it is still running out of fuel!??

It only takes me a week of thinking about it, and it occurs to me this morningthat maybe the tank wasn't out of fuel...maybe the lines themselves are out ofgas because of the new fuel filter. Maybe I need to force feed the filter to fill it up.

However...one thing disturbs me. In my search for "why", I looked at the new plugs, and the number two plug looked like it was running very rich!?? You know, all sooty and stuff.

A stuck float wouldn't surprize me, but if the bike was really not getting enough fuel to run correctly, could that #2 cylinder still be getting too much?
 

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Not on topic, but a guy near me has quite a few 1100, and 1200 Gold Wings as parts bikes. I thought of Dennis when I saw his ad. Let me know if you want his phone nuber.
Tom Bishop
`98 S.E.
 

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This is kind of a shot in the dark, but you could have stuck floats on all 4 carbs? Three stuck closed, one stuck open. Like I said, a total shot in the dark. But one thing I can recomend is picking up a window air conditionerand sticking it in the wall of your garage. Besttool I ever bought.
 

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Do you hear the fuel pump clicking when you turn the key on and does it sound like it normally does? And if it does run at least some does the pump ever slow down like it has built pressure?
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Well, I got it running by taking the fuel line off the petcock, stuffing a funnel in it and hand feeding the beast until the carbs, pump and filter were full of gas. It spit and spewed gas out the hose as it belched air bubbles, but now I know it's getting fuel. It is still running on three though. When it cools a little I will look at the plugs again.

Damn, I'm getting tired of wrenchin' instead of ridin'.
 

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Bike...and Dennis wrote:
It spit and spewed gas out the hose as it belched air bubbles, but now I know it's getting fuel.
Sounds to me like a stuck check valve in the pump.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Ken Bergen wrote:
Bike...and Dennis wrote:
It spit and spewed gas out the hose as it belched air bubbles, but now I know it's getting fuel.
Sounds to me like a stuck check valve in the pump.
Would that cause it to run poorly? Can I test the valve?
 

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Bike...and Dennis wrote:
Ken Bergen wrote:
Bike...and Dennis wrote:
It spit and spewed gas out the hose as it belched air bubbles, but now I know it's getting fuel.
Sounds to me like a stuck check valve in the pump.
Would that cause it to run poorly? Can I test the valve?
If the pump is pulling fuel from the tank then pushing it back through a stuck valve then you'll get very little to the carburetors.:shock:

I've never heard of a test specific to a Wing pump but if you can blow back through the pump you have a problem.
 

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Well, I put cleaner in it and changed the plugs...just in case...and ran it and fiddled with it and cussed at it. Everything short of pulling the carbs again.

The way I figure it is, as the bike ran out of gas, the floats dropped in the bowls and when they finally got gas, the float in the #2 carb was stuck and didn't come back up.So I tapped it and pulled thedrain plug and tried to jiggle it loose with a paper clip, and cussed at it, and...nuthin'.

I figured that, if I could turn the carbs upside down, gravity would be my friend and the float would get un-stuck. Short of standing the whole bike on its trunk and fairing, I couldn't come up with a good plan, so, I took the carbs off. AGAIN!

 

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There is atleast two adjustments that used to be done on the float level. One was float height and that still remains the same. The other adjustment was float drop. It too had a tab to bend to limit float drop. The purpose was to prevent what you are describing. If there is no flaot drop adjustment the float bowl will limit how far the float can drop and therefore the issue of dislodging the needle from the seat can't be an issue. If the float drops all the way to the bottom of the bowl the needle is still safely in the confines of the seat. I bet some of the oldtimers (like me) will remember the float drop adjustment but I don't think if is an issue for your bike. I wonder if you ran out of gas, got a gulp of trash from the tank and plugged the screens that are just above the seat. Except for the sooted one. Sooted plugs are not uncommon when just starting a cold motor. The issue might be with the clean plugs if it was cold when you started it.
 

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Dennis, I had similar performance from my 1200 and it finally wouldn't run at all. Started checking things like fuel filter and pump and relay and couldn't find the problem. If I let it sit overnight it would start but wouldn't run very long and would quit. Come to find out the fuel pump was cutting out and I finally caught it not pumping. I can relate to your gas everywhere comment. Anyway I replaced the pump with a after market one from O'Reiley that was recommended by one of the forum members, I can get the part number if you like, it's a inline pump and mounts real easy and looks nice. I can't believe how the engine runs. I often wondered why this 1200 didn't have the power I expected, now it runs like a scalded dog.
 

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Why not just take the fuel line off on the carb. side of the pump and check the flow, since the bike is running the pump should be working.

Jim
 

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What I've seen before like your describing… carbs run out of fuel, the floats drop down and get stuck. Usually they have a metal tang that acts as a 'stop' to prevent this from happening but I've seen it happen….. so that's my shot in the dark.
 

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Well, now I'm really depressed. I couldn't find any fault with the carbs so I put them back on and it is still missing. :gunhead:
 

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Grab a bucket, pull the fuel line, and check to see how your flow is? If the carbs are good it's gotta be something simple, like one of those dern gremlins :smiler:. I'm thinkin' agummed up pump or lines.Maybe pull the petcock and see if the inlet screen isgummed up?
 

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redwing52 wrote:
There is atleast two adjustments that used to be done on the float level. One was float height and that still remains the same. The other adjustment was float drop. It too had a tab to bend to limit float drop. The purpose was to prevent what you are describing. If there is no flaot drop adjustment the float bowl will limit how far the float can drop and therefore the issue of dislodging the needle from the seat can't be an issue. If the float drops all the way to the bottom of the bowl the needle is still safely in the confines of the seat. I bet some of the oldtimers (like me) will remember the float drop adjustment but I don't think if is an issue for your bike. I wonder if you ran out of gas, got a gulp of trash from the tank and plugged the screens that are just above the seat. Except for the sooted one. Sooted plugs are not uncommon when just starting a cold motor. The issue might be with the clean plugs if it was cold when you started it.
Honda doesn't give a float drop setting so on the 1100 carbs I have worked on I just set them so the floats drop to even with the bottom of the main jet, seems like a reasonable setting. Otherwise they just drop down on the bottom of the bowl and if there is some sticky sludge there they could stick.
 

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I think you are jumping to conclusions. Start at the beginning and do this. Pull all of the plugs and hook them to the wires and lay them on the valve covers. Then spin the engine and confirm that you do indeed have spark on all 4 and it looks good. I'm thinking since your problem doesn't seem to be fuel related it could be spark. I'm thinking either a bad coil, which would cause 1 and 2 to misfire, or a wire. This could be as simple as a loose or dirty connection to the right side coil. If your tach is still working then you know the pulse gens are probably still good. Also check the pulse gens wiring especially the connector up by the ECM under the shelter. My 85 kept pulling that connector loose when I replaced the shelter. Well until I tie-wrapped the connector together.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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I am getting fuel now. And I've checked and am getting spark on all 4. This is the Twilight Zone.

I will start again.
 

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Vacuum? Crank case breather? Compression? Jumped time? After that I'd start hitting my head on the wall... hard. I hate to say it, but I don't envy you right now.:action: If it were me working on it, I'd assume I did something dumb and knocked something loose, that happens a lot for me.
 

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There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Twilight Zone. :doh:

Well, at least you didn't get took by a mechanic. My bike still leaks oil after I replaced the valve cover gasket (that the mechanic changed 1st). Looks like it may still be the cam seal leaking that the mechanic supposedly changed also. Anytime I ride, I get oil on my right foot. I feel like I'm riding a Harley with the oil smell. I have a good mechanic looking at it next week.
 
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