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...going north on US97 juuuuust about 50 miles south of Alturas, Ca. There was NOTHIN. Engine just died. Battery bug showed good so it wasn't like my last snafu in BC with the alternator. Remembering stuff from this forum, I removed the gas cap to the sound of a loud sucking noise (almost like the government makes). Usually it's a pressure release noise. Anyhow, then the engine started. 13 miles later it died again. Pulled gas cap and wouldn't start immediately but when I was experimenting with spare plug on rear, left cylinder, fired up, gave me a shock that knocked me on my 87 year old ass and got us going again. Next time it died, I turned off the ignition, unlocked the cap door and relieved the pressure (or vacuum - couldn't tell which) while still moving (clutch in). Turned ignition on, let clutch out and it fired right back up. After that I kept the cap door open and every few miles would loosen the cap and retighten it. That got me home to the Seattle area without another engine death.

This bike is a 99 GL1500SE which I bought from the original owner in California. So the bike has some smog stuff that others don't. I'm pretty sure there's a charcoal canister down under the engine. So can anyone give me a clue as to how to proceed to fix this problem? Do I need a new gas cap? Can it be repaired? Do I need a new charcoal canister? Can it be chucked and bypassed? Any information would be appreciated.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Try cleaning the cap. Just soak it in fuel system cleaner or the equivalent. Seafoam? Maybe MMO. I used the cheap stuff and soaked it for two days. A lot of crap came out.
 

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PM hawggy he was having the same problem with his 1500 when we were in Florida last winter.

It would always happen to him when the level of the gas in the tank got down to less than a third of a tank.

When he filled the tank up it would be fine.

Very odd
 

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tlbranth
After reading this topic I found it very interesting & it is something that I will be looking out for in the future as I also have a 1999 GL1500se with 73000 miles on it.
But I am even more surprised at your age - you have given me inspiration that someone can still handle and hold up a 1500 wing at 87 or are you kidding us all.
All The Best
Keith.
 

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Last night I had the same issue tank was about half full. I thought it might be the fuel pump I could'nt get any speed it died several times and would barely pull it's self.
What does soaking the gas cab do for it?:baffled:
 

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I just drill a hole, no more suction or pressure issues.
 

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My problem is on very hot days and gas tank at 1/3 or less the gas begins to boil and vapors occur. The fuel pump cannot process vapor.



Fill the tank and all problems go away..A dealer I contacted about it suggested a heat absorbant material be placed between the engine and the gas tank.



I am just living with it..If I am in extreme heat..I do not let the tank go below 1/2.



Hope this helps.
 

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I would start by cleaning the vent on the cap...blow air through it and the hose...
It may be a weak fuel pump. There is a lot of information here on the forum that would help figure that one out...
The GL1500 will gravity feed fuel until it is below 1/2 tank then the fuel pump must help deliver the fuel uphill to the petcock and beyond. The pump gets hot sitting in the low fuel level as the fuel begins to heat from sitting above the engine. The pump is old and weak and can not keep up with the flow of fuel required (especially when there is a vacuum)...
Not hard to R&R the pump - a new assembly is available OEM for about $350. but there are alternatives out there to just replace the pump itself ...
Search the forum for more answers....



 

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Probably the Kill Switch on either the handle bar or the kickstand.

The one on the bar often has the terminal screws coming loose... so actually put a screwdriver on them, to verify that they're tight.
 

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Mine had the same type of issue and it turned out to be a bad tip over switch. The engine would just die and all I had to do was to clcye the ignition switch, and away I'd go. My 1500 also made a noise of hissing sound from pressure or vacuum when the cap was removed. It seems to be normal.
 

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Keith Davidson wrote:
tlbranth
After reading this topic I found it very interesting & it is something that I will be looking out for in the future as I also have a 1999 GL1500se with 73000 miles on it.
But I am even more surprised at your age - you have given me inspiration that someone can still handle and hold up a 1500 wing at 87 or are you kidding us all.
All The Best
Keith.
No Keith, I'm 67. The 87 is an expression a group of friends came up with in high school and we've used it ever since.
 

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It's interesting that the problem seems to occur ant lower fuel levels as several of you have mentioned. I figured if the problem was the pump pulling against a vacuum that it'd be worse at full tank but that wasn't the case. The temperature was about 80 degF. I'd ridden earlier on the trip at 100 degF with no problems (other than the permanent mating of me with my underwear). So weak pump? Blocked cap? I'll look further. Thanks everyone for your input.
 

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tlbranth wrote:
......Engine just died....
> To confirm, the engine died without any warning signs? eg No sputtering, loss of power, etc beforehand?
 

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I am not familiar with the 1500, but I have a 1200 and it is the ONLY bike I've ever had that ever made the swoosh sound whenever I remove the cap. I thought it had something to do with the fuel injection, but was looking at a diagram on the tank, and it clearly shows a vent hose, so I will have to check it out. It has never quit running.

As to the CA emissions CRAP, get that stuff off there. What it is, is a charcoal cannister designed to catch the fumes from the tank vent to prevent them from escaping into the atmosphere, like they are suppposed to, and then the engine is supposed to burn them when it is running. But it is a seriously flawed system, and if you ever fill the tank full, it will fill the cannister with liquid gas, effectively plugging up the vent. I have removed and recycled about 20 of them (put them in the blue recycle can). The tank needs to be vented to the atmosphere in order to get fuel out of it. I have seen gas tanks on bikes both crushed and blown up like a balloon, because the vent got plugged up, and the same thing happened that happens to an unvented gas can when left in the sun.
 

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ALEX BERECZKY wrote:
tlbranth wrote:
......Engine just died....
> To confirm, the engine died without any warning signs? eg No sputtering, loss of power, etc beforehand?
It sputtered, pulled back a bit and then stopped. It was not sudden like an electrical failure. The sputter was short though, maybe one second's worth.
 

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tlbranth wrote:
It sputtered, pulled back a bit and then stopped. It was not sudden like an electrical failure. The sputter was short though, maybe one second's worth.
> If it was fuel-related, then the engine would not quit that fast... I've run out of gas many times.. the engine will often run for 1 minute after first acting funny, due to leaning out.

> I'll stick with the idea that it's the kill switch on handle bar or side stand.
 

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Monkey with a Football
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Fuel pump.
 

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ALEX BERECZKY wrote:
tlbranth wrote:
It sputtered, pulled back a bit and then stopped. It was not sudden like an electrical failure. The sputter was short though, maybe one second's worth.
> If it was fuel-related, then the engine would not quit that fast... I've run out of gas many times.. the engine will often run for 1 minute after first acting funny, due to leaning out.

> I'll stick with the idea that it's the kill switch on handle bar or side stand.
Actually it felt just like my CB750 does when it runs out of fuel. It's a splutter followed quickly by death. It felt to me like fuel.
 
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