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GL1500 stall

9566 Views 78 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  toolcraft4100
I just bought a used 1991 1500 with 93,000 miles. It seems to be in pretty good shape, but the PO has no service records and the bike needs some attention. The price was right, but I should have looked her over better and test-rode her longer.
Last night I was riding with a passenger (maybe 350lbs. total). Temps were in the high sixties and we got into some traffic. Sat and idled for several minutes at a time. Went maybe a mile idling at lights and creeping along. Several times the bike stalled or almost stalled when taking off from a stop. Seemed to idle ok and ran ok once we got moving. Started right up when I killed it, but I'm not sure what the stalling means. The temp guage needle was pointed straight up when we were in traffic and dropped back down when we got moving again.
Where should I start troubleshooting?

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thanks and response

the bike sat all winter with less than two gallons of gas. I drove it 20 miles or so and filled the tank. Had about 100 miles on on the full tank when I experienced the stalling last night. The bike has the "ring of fire" lights on the front wheel and the two driving lights down low on the faining. No other accessories.
Good questions...I think I was running the driving lights but not the r.o.f. and there is a lighted red-to-yellow battery indicator between the sound system area and the ignition switch. I was not paying any attention to it though. I am new to the bike (my other bike is a GL1000) and I was focussed on the traffic and assuring my passenger that all was well. (And holding the big girl up!)
I will hook my multimeter up to the battery and see what it indicates before I start it and thoughout the rpm range.
The PO indicated that he had to charge the battery a couple weeks ago when he decided to sell the bike after it sat all winter with no trickle charger.
I have no clue regarding what alternator is in it and I have no service manual, yet.
Sounds like new plugs are in my immediate future.
Is there more than one good choice for new plugs?

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I have got to get this sorted out! I sat at a stoplight yesterday on an uphill incline and killed the engine twice before I could get going. And turning at intersections is hard because of the uneven and unpredictable throttle response. None of this was evident when I test-drove the bike.
I added a bottle of seafoam yesterday to a full tank of gas. She'll probably sit all day today and hopefully tomorrow I can run most of the tank through.
When I get back from vacation next week I'll replace the plugs and the fuel filter.


the bike idles at about 750 rpms and does surge, if by surging you mean that it fluctuates or kinda "pulses".
I poured in the full bottle of Seafoam, filled the tank, rode it back to work and then home which was about 3 miles. I did not let it sit and idle for more than a minute or two at any time.
I appreciate all the advice.

What RPM does the engine idle at and is it smooth with no surging? Check charging voltage at idle and 2k RPM.
I clipped the multimeter directly to the battery and before I turned the key it read 12.3
when I turned the key on: 11.3
set the choke to full and she started right up. At 2500, choke on full: 14.12
After about 2 and a half minutes I went opened the choke and she idled at 750 and 13.9 volts.
After idling for 10 minutes: 13.8
I'm not sure I heard the surging today the way I remembered it before, but when I slowly twist the throttle it will slowly come up to just under 1000 and then jump to 1500. After 10 minutes of idling it would jump to more like 1250.
At 2000 rpm I read a steady 14.2
When I turned off the key the volts read 13.2.
My limited knowledge and skills lead me to believe I have a fuel problem perhaps more than a electrical/ignition problem.
What do you think?

If the complaint is the engine stalling at idle or take, try and give the engine a little choke to increase rpms. see if stall and surging is better.

Forget about the electrically alternator system for now. If the system voltage were to go so low to affect the ignition or ECM, you surely would not be able to restart as you stated. I don't see the draw or drain even at idle for long periods of time and your fans were not kicking in.

Yes, intersection turns with an engine not running smooth and delayed throttle response can be miserable.

Hopefully, sea-foam will help otherwise be looking real hard at the carb. many other things can be going on. Vacuum leaks, but your idle is low.

Does engine respond to quick throttle response, or does is hesitate, stumble, or stall? That would be for neutral and riding.

Try choking it a little to see if this can mask some of your problems.
thanks for your reply!
running with the choke halfway on definately masks the symptoms.
And a quick twist of the throttle does make it hesitate or stumble.
thanks again

Your idle is set too low.
Correcting that alone should solve most of the problem.
Thank you, that's good news. Is the throttle adjustment on the carb end of the throttle cable? If so I guess I can start learning how to remove GL1500 body panels.

thank you

thanks for all the excellent advice. I turned up the idle speed, but it does not want to stay at 850. If I turn it up so it idles at 850+/- it jumps up to like 1250 or 1500 after I open the throttle (the idle stays high, does not drop back down).
If I put it in gear, even while holding the clutch, the idle will drop back down though. I hope all that makes sense. I'm hoping to run the seafoam through it tomorrow, too.

thanks again. just got back from a week-long vacation where I did not touch a computer the whole time. I'm gonna run this tank with seafoam through the carbs and see if that helps at all. Hopefully this weekend I'll pull some plastic off her to change oil, filter and plugs. Maybe get enough plastic off to access the carbs. The idle adjustment is real sticky and I don't see how it can be lubed from the knob end.
What am I looking for as far as vacuum tubes? Are there multiple vacuum tubes connected to the carbs?

making some progress

I had planned to ride a full tank of gas through this bike before I started any teardown, but it's no fun to ride if you can't pull away from a stoplight with authority or turn a corner with a little style.
So I pulled off everything down to the air filter (found alot of improvised and missing fasteners and sloppy electrical tape), started the engine and looked down into the carbs. When I twisted the throttle fuel would drip out of the brass nozzles the protrude into the throat of each carb. I assume the fuel should come out in more of a spray or at least a squirt.
Does this condition indicate a specific problem?

Thank You

Yes Hogan there should be a quick spray out those brass nozzles. Must be plugged carbs. Try putting Seafoam directly into the carbs from the line out of the vacuum petcock going to the carbs then idle it a minute to get it in the carbs to soak a couple days. Might help.
newday777, I really appreciate your expert advice and that of the other forum members. Thanks for your patience and expertise.
Is it possible, given the construction of the 1500 carbs, to clean those nozzles from the outside, like with one of those very tiny carb jet cleaner tools that you insert into the jet?

There is a pump diaphragm which determines your amount of fuel discharged from the nozzles, that is the likely culprit.

That problem will not cure the surging of RPM at idle which is a lean condition caused by plugged carbs or vacuum leaks.
Pump Diaphram, that's a new term for me. I need to get a shop manual.
I'm not gonna be able to access any vacuum lines until I remove that plate or tray that the air filter sits in and I am reluctant to do that until I have some diagrams and instructions. I guess I'll button her back up and run some treated gas through her and hope that fixes the problem(s).

DeepSeaDiver;2142770Suck said:
I love that quote! And I don't believe in magic.
I observed that fuel was dripping from those brass nozzles in the carb throats whenever I twisted the throttle at idle and I thought certainly that was the problem with my bike. So I took a small-diameter vacuum hose, pushed it onto each nozzle and shot carb spray cleaner in the other end. Then I changed the oil and installed new plugs. When I started the bike I could twist the throttle and see a strong spray of fuel directly into the carb! Awesome!
But the next day when I rode it the problem was basically the same.
So I guess I'll start looking at vacuum hose replacement. Starting with the one you describe.
still at it

This may be your problem. A surging idle that fluctuates from 850 or so RPM's to over 1,000, consistently at a stop light, is indicative of the manifold equalization pressure hose (or whatever its called) collapsing and definitely having a hole in the 90 degree bend.
This condition will cause hesitation, or stumble on acceleration from a dead stop. There is a noticeably louder "exhaust sound" coming from the top of the engine, and/or whistling at low RPM's and decreased MPG's.
It is an easy fix if you are mechanically inclined. You do have to remove a lot of plastic (might as well do the sub filters while you are in there) and move the carbs out of the way. I did not completely remove the carbs, just the cables in the front, rocked that carbs out of the manifold boots, and bungeed them up and to the left. Replaced the tube with high pressure fuel tubing from Autozone and put everything back together. While in there I removed the boots, cleaned, and coated them with "Hose Helper". They slid right back into place. Remember this, there are two sets of clamps, one for the manilfold, one for the bottom of the carbs, both Phillips head.
I also removed the "fine adjustment " knurled knob cable completely apart, cleaned and lubed it, replaced it, and now I don't need to touch it or the choke to start. And it purrs at 70 to 80 mph. What a difference.
Jim Martino's web site is the go to site to perform this easy, and I think if you have a 1500, must do fix. Do it now or suffer later.
DSD, thanks for the advice and the pics. I rode the bike Saturday morning and it seems to run fine at first, but after a mile or so I had to do some stoplights and parked a few times and the symptoms returned. If I can keep rolling I can let out the clutch in first gear and take off with just a little hesitation, but if I have to come to a complete stop it wants to stall when I let out the clutch. If I grab the clutch again, immediately after letting it out, revi t up and let it out again, it will go. I had this down to a science, but it doesn't work well when I'm stopped facing uphill!I removed all the plastic and the air filter and tray.

These first two pics show both ends of the vacuum hose that connects the two intake mainifolds. I found no rubber under the carbs and it looks like someone has already replaced this hose. I sprayed carb cleaner on the hose when the bike was idling and blew propane at it and noticed no change in rpms. Could it be that without clips on the ends it still leaks above idle?I'm still hoping to find a solution short of replacing every vacuum hose to catch the one(s) that leaks or rebuilding the carbs. I had planned to remove the hose you refer to in your post, but now I'm not sure if it is the culprit.Any thoughts?Thank you.HoganJr


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more pics

Hello again! I also noticed a couple of vacuum hoses that were capped off with a screw or bolt. I'm attaching some pics of them. Can anyone tell me if they are supposed to be unconnected or if I need to find where they go?I also took a few longer shots of the carbs in case something stands out to you experts that may indicate why I have this problem.Any advice is greatly appreciated.The last pic just shows a shot under the carbs between intakes for 3 and 5 where someone has obviosly been in there and put a hose clamp on something. Maybe this is another clueThanks Again.HoganJr


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That is just what can be seen from above, it is probably equally bad under the carbs.

Plan of attack would be to pull carbs and check underneath for other problems. With carbs out go through them completely as we know it surges at idle and is caused by vacuum leaks or plugged carbs, with removal of pilot tamper proof caps. Reconnect everthing previously removed as originally installed testing components underneath where you used to have a mat, fire it up and diagnose more from there. Hopefully, testing of components under mat will not neccistate removal of carbs a second time. You will need a service manual and vacuum diagrams.

Different years had manifold vacuum lines on different intake runners and should be pinched off prior to pulling the carbs checking for downstream leaks one last time.
Thanks alot for the plan-of-attack. I'm gonna get in touch with the party I bought this bike from and pursue returning the bike to him for a full refund. At the very least he owes me a fuel valve. I don't think the bike is safe and rideable without that.
If I still own the bike later this week I'll order a rebuild kit and start checking vacuum lines.

update and more questions

I had a cordial conversation with the PO last night and told him I was very disappointed by his lack of disclosure on some issues that affect the value and driveability of the bike and that I'd prefer for him to reverse the deal. Did not get any real traction there, but I put it out there for him to hear and now I'm ready to own this thing.
I have a couple of questions, though, if you all will help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it.
1. Is there testing I need to do on the vacuum tubes before I remove the carbs, or is carb removal my next step? Most of the vacuum lines end up underneath or behind the carbs. It's difficult to see both ends of any of them.
2. Are auto fuel valves readily available on ebay? Should I buy a new one from a dealer? Can I find one used and rebuild it? Is there a popular "workaround" for the afv?
3. Does anyone know of a salvage yard within an hour or two of central Indiana where I could pick some GL1500 parts?
4. Do I need a 1991 Shop Manual to correctly track the components of the fuel systems or will the 1994 Manual that I have work?

Than You

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thank you

Thanks for all the information and tips. I have a vacuum pump with guage and the '94 Shop Manual, that should be enough to get me started on hose testing and carb removal.
Actually, I plan to take DriverRider's advice and reconnect the plugged off vacuum hoses and test drive before I do any more teardown. I found another yellow hose right next to the first one that was plugged off. I have studied the sparsely labeled diagram of the shot air system in the manual and am having difficulty seeing where the hoses go and matching what I see on the bike to what I see in the book. Hopefully I can get these hoses reconnected, ride it, and record what I experience. Maybe a miracle will occur. Is it important to test drive with the airbox off and hoses plugged? It does not take much to reinstall it.
Barring a miracle I will order the Randakk rebuild kit.
Another question: I discovered the air pre-filter that filters the air supply to the carb-jet solenoids (I believe all that terminology is correct). The filter element was dry, brittle and had a hole in the middle. It turned to powder when I handled it. Could unfiltered air or particles of filter media contaminate the solenoids and effect the carb performance?
If I buy new bulk vacuum hose at the auto parts store are there key words I need to use to assure I get the right product?
Thanks to all for your help

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WOW... almost wish you lived a little closer to me.. Ide tell ya to bring it out and "side by side" compare to mine...

I hate dealing with vacuum problems...

Good Luck
I'd like to find someone in this area who rides a 1500. My GL1000 has 5 vacuum hoses for a total length of less that a foot and a half.

You can easily replace the vacuum petcock with a 12V fuel valve. Lots of them available inexpensively. Just wire it to a 12V source that's switched on with the ignition switch. Here's a link. All you'd need to do would be to screw in a couple of appropriately sized hose barbs in each end. Those you can get from most auto parts or hardware store.
that's good me one less thing to be concerned about. Regarding the vacuum hose: I want to go home with exactly what I came looking for when I go the the auto parts store. And relying on the counter personell isn't alway a recipe for success.

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