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I have a '96 gl1500se that starts great when its dry, but won't start cold in or after the rain until it dries out for awhile. The bike will restart in the rain easily when its already been running & warmed up. When its cold & wet I can smell the gas coming out the exhaust & sometimes it backfires.
 

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Check your battery , - the 1500 wont start if the battery is a little weak (not enough current for the ignition), and your batteri is weaker when cold .
An AGM type is the best choice .


I have an agm battery & a voltmeter on the bike, the battery is decent. I can start the bike in 15*f & dry conditions, just not if the bike is wet even in 40*f on a cold engine.
 

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From what you say it sounds like the engine cranks when you try to start it but does not fire, hence the smell of gas. I would start by checking the main dog bone fuse hasn't got a crack. I would also make sure the kill switch is working properly. A test for the kill switch is to see if the 'cruise on' (should be pressed in) light is lit when you turn on the ignition. Does sound like something isn't making contact when it shrinks in the cold. The 2 contacts in the kill switch can sometimes need tightening so it may be worth checking that anyway, as the problem is intermittent, even if your cruise light does light up. There are 2 crosshead screws in the kill switch which may need snugging up.
 

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From what you say it sounds like the engine cranks when you try to start it but does not fire, hence the smell of gas. I would start by checking the main dog bone fuse hasn't got a crack. I would also make sure the kill switch is working properly. A test for the kill switch is to see if the 'cruise on' (should be pressed in) light is lit when you turn on the ignition. Does sound like something isn't making contact when it shrinks in the cold. The 2 contacts in the kill switch can sometimes need tightening so it may be worth checking that anyway, as the problem is intermittent, even if your cruise light does light up. There are 2 crosshead screws in the kill switch which may need snugging up.
Since the bike is a later model (>1992) the 55A fuse is out of the ignition circuit, so it can't be the problem.

I suspect some bad spark plug wires or spark plug caps are getting wet and grounding themselves.
 

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It sounds like you have a bad or corroded connection. A few things can cause this problem, metal shrinks when it's cold so you might get a bad contact. If you have connections that have corrosion the humidity can give a bad connection to the contacts. Check most of the grounds you can get at and clean contacts.
 

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I am not sure if the 1500's have plug drain holes like the 1100's if it does check and make sure they are not plugged this can ground out the plugs when wet and as soon as it dries out problem disappears.
 

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As others have said. the symptoms are typical of a leaking ignition system. Wires will probably fix the issue. If not coils and wires. Look the coils over real good. If they look fine then change the wires only.
 

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My pickup was having trouble starting in damp weather. I tried spraying a little WD40 (water displacement) on the plug wires, and cap. So far so good.
gumbyred
 

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My pickup was having trouble starting in damp weather. I tried spraying a little WD40 (water displacement) on the plug wires, and cap. So far so good.
gumbyred
That is what WD40 was designed to do.
The other uses that are suggested by the "WD40 FAN CLUB" I put less than no faith in.:surprise:
 

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I saw a pretty cool demonstration at the local NAPA store about WD40. The guy had an old drill where the entire commutator and brushes were open and revealed. He sprayed the Comm real good with WD40 and turned the drill on. Then submerged the drill and his hand in the water. Yes it was 120 volt drill. :)
 

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I saw a pretty cool demonstration at the local NAPA store about WD40. The guy had an old drill where the entire commutator and brushes were open and revealed. He sprayed the Comm real good with WD40 and turned the drill on. Then submerged the drill and his hand in the water. Yes it was 120 volt drill. :)
I would not try it. There may be a trick in the water, if it is the pure water it will not conduct the electricity.
 
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