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Okay, I have a stumper for you all. I have a '96 Goldwing 1500 (25k miles) that is experiencing what appears to be a fuel delivery problem. Over the past 4 years it has quit several times for no reason, seemingly more often lately.

Here's the deal: I live in the foothills of Colorado and ride up in the mountains as often as I can. The bike runs great for miles and miles, then will hesitate a little, maybe stumble, then run great if I crank the throttle. After another minute or so, the bike just dies out completely. Choking it seems to help for a bit, but eventually it will just quit. Even going downhill (push-starting) at 35-40mph it will not start.

After sitting 3-5 minutes the bike will start with full choke (dies without it), and soon enough is running great again. It can run 50, 100, 500, or 1,000+ miles without stumbling again. Today it quit twice in 5 miles, then ran pretty well for the 50 miles home.

Here are the typical conditions each time it happens:

+hot weather
+higher elevations (10,000 feet, but not always)
+half a tank of fuel (filled at lower elevation)
+slower riding (35-45mph)
+usually quits when going downhill (but not always)

I've replaced the fuel filter (EMCO, just read the threads about that, so will get rid of that ASAP). Also did air filter, cruise and sub filters while I was in there.

Would the vacuum petcock cause such problems? NO signs of leakage or corrosion, all looks good. My assumption is that if the engine is running, the valve is opening. If it fails, does it fail open or closed?

If the fuel pump is failing, will it get sporadic, or simply fail and be done? That's always been my understanding with fuel pumps -- either they work or they don't.

Any ideas? I don't dare take it anywhere until I get this figured out. Sooner or later it WON'T start up again.

I appreciate any advice anyone might have. Thanks.


dwlarson
 

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Have you tried opening the gas cap when it dies? It may not be venting causing a vacuum in the tank. Would be worse at high elevation, I think.
 

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I have tried that, even today when the stumbling first developed. It quit twice after that. (I opened the cap at 7500' for good luck and again at 10,500'. Didn't seem to help.)
 

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Perhaps you could try a fuel pump test and see how much the pump is actually outputting - I believe that there is a procedure for that in the service manual... It sounds very symptomatic of a weak or failing fuel pump...

I believe that fuel pumps get at least some of cooling from fuel in the gas tank... If yours is exhibiting this condition with 1/2 tank of fuel, it just may be that the fuel pump is acting up with a bit more heat as the fuel supply goes down... Most of the issues you mention seem to fit the fuel pump theory except maybe the 35-45 MPH item... I would expect the condition to be worse at higher speeds when a larger volume of fuel is being called for, but who knows???

I'm not a fuel pump expert but it sounds plausible to me... Venting might also be an issue - is there another wing owner close to you where you could switch fuel caps with him and see if that helps???

Thinking out loud here for a bit, it may be improper float levels in the carbs too but if you haven't had them worked on recently that theory wouldn't apply unless the bike had been sitting for a while...

If it were mine, I think I would run the fuel pump delivery test and see what that looked like and go from there...

Les
 

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I would suspect the fuel pump. You can have a "weak fuel pump syndrome". Works fine till it gets warm? I would definately be focused on the pump tests. JMO jimsjinx
 

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What the others posted here. I had a fuel delivery problem too. First it was a failing
fuel pump. Then I did a sloppy job of rebuilding the auto petcock. Discovered the petcock problem after installing the fuel pump. It sounds like you are in the early stages
of a fuel pump failure. You might check the petcock while you are at it. If it does not have enough vacuum to open up then it shuts fuel off. Bypassing the petcock is easy
to see if that is the source of the problem.
 

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-Definitely try bypassing the fuel petcock, to see if that's the problem.
 

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Here is a link to a thread about how to bypass the fuel valve. I would bypass it to see it that is the trouble but don't leave it like that. Easy to do and then you know if that is the trouble or not. Sounds more like a fuel pump going bad to me.

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/118665.html
 

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Sounds like a weak fuel pump. Happens to these bikes...



I just did mine after experiencing similar symptoms last fall in Colorado (Eisenhower Tunnel Hill) and again this summer in Central Illinois.



The fuel pump test requires you to hold the receptacle ABOVE the fuel tank to verify the flow amount.



The 1500 tank will GRAVITY FEED until it is about 1/2 empty then the fuel pump is required to keep the gas moving. If the pump is weak it wil not move enough fuel...Then the bike starves for fuel....Once it cools off and the demand is less the fuel pump can refill the carb bowls and you are off and running..for a while...



Replacing the fuel pump assembly will be costly - the part is close to $350. But the fuel pump rebuild is doable for any one with a little courage and reasonable mechanic skills (Know which way to turn the wrench).This will save you a lot of money...



There is ample information in the archives here to get you going..or Google 1500 Fuel Pump and read - read- read.



If you decide to tackle this project save yourself some agggravation and do not try to re-use the old fuel pump assmebly gasket..The new one is about $20 to your door and it will seal a lot better (this is the voice of bad experience speaking-heed my warning).



The old rubber parts are not reliable for sealing...



Good Luck
 

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Yeah, the way this is all shaping up, it's sounding more like fuel pump to me. I'll do a flow test on it after I run the tank down a bit. I hope that a weak pump will show itself when it's cool and not just hot.

Thanks for the tip about the gasket -- I assumed (wrongly) that it came with the new pump assembly, but apparently not. If it is the pump, anybody know if any decent places online to order an OEM unit and save some $$? Local dealer is really high...
 

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Here are a fwe pictures of my rebuild that may help...











 

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The top 2 photos show the threaded stud I BROKE OFF (ham-fisted) when I tried to stop the old gasket leaking by over tightening the nut....I was luckily able to drill it out and replace it..

The next 2 pictures are of the OLD assmbly after it came out.

3rd pictures is the rebuilt pump assmbly. I used the RPEREZ rebuild kit (not available currently) It did not require the re-use of the breather tube so there is one hose missing on the rebuilt

Last pictuer is a comparison of the old vs new gasket...
 

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Wingsconson,

Was there a problem using the old gasket (eg Fuel Pump not working), or was it just a nusance (eg Fuel smell when parked)?
 

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ALEX BERECZKY wrote:
Wingsconson,

Was there a problem using the old gasket (eg Fuel Pump not working), or was it just a nusance (eg Fuel smell when parked)?
Alex



It leaked ...I left the bike on the side stand all day at work after filling on the way to work...I came out to a small puddle of gas on the ground...



I couldn't geet the old one to re-seal properly..Then in my heavy hadnedness I snapped off one of the mounting studs ..more torque is better ..right..>? :thumbsdown:



I managed to drill and replace hte old stud (M6 rod) and a new gasket and all

is well...had I simply replaced the gasket right away I would've never snapped off the stud nor leaked onto the praking lot at work....



Just saying........:?
 

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Thanks for the pictures and advice. I'll try to learn from your experience and not overtighten the nuts. :whoops:
 

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dwl; have been seeing this a lot lately ; loss of fuel at high altitude; 1500 .?
My personal opinion is hot fuel boil at altitude in the bottom of the tank were the pump picks up the fuel.????
Most posters descibe all is well until high altitude then fuel starvation.???
Suggest high alltivation fuel boiling and pump cavitation.?
My 2 cents. only.
 

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machinehead wrote:
dwl; have been seeing this a lot lately ; loss of fuel at high altitude; 1500 .?
My personal opinion is hot fuel boil at altitude in the bottom of the tank were the pump picks up the fuel.????
Most posters descibe all is well until high altitude then fuel starvation.???
Suggest high alltivation fuel boiling and pump cavitation.?
My 2 cents. only.
Mostly accurate except for the time I was in central Ilinois in June 2011 and it died on my...

Weak full pump syndrome comes when certain conditions prevail.



Old weak pump (At 90K+ in my case)

Less than 1/2 tank (more like 1/3rd left)

HOT - once in Colorado at 85-90 degrees and altitude 11K feet and once in central Illinois approaching 100

Running hard - canyon carving all morning and then climb the Eisenhower Tunnel hill at 70+ MPH and in Illinois at 75+ on the I system



The fuel pump is weak to start...it gets less effcient when the fuel is HOT (at altitude hot and thin) - it feeds just fine at over 1/2 tank thanks to gravity then the pump must work the fuel up to the vacuum petcock and down into the carbs - It cannot pump as refill the carbs as fast as it is consumed by the engine AND evaporation (vaporizing due to heat).



Solution is a new fuel pump -

The easy way is to buy a new OEM unit from Honda for around $350

The less expensive way is to rebuild the existing assembly and get a new better pump....($129 for th erebuild kit for me plus the $20 gasket).



All of this is MY experience on MY bike - Your experience may be different..But if it matches mine....??:?



 

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After reading all the replies, I'm surprised no one thought the emgo particles may have clogged the system, could be at the petcock or the carbs. Did you clean the petcock out? We used to be able to get a rebuild kit from K&L for it but I heard they quit making it. You might find one at a local shop if they have it in stock.
Did you do the pump volume check? Results are?
If you need oem parts, pm me and I'll send you a discount code for this labor day weekend sale online.(doing this on my phone from my son's in WI, bad memory)
I was through your parts when you first posted this(just saw this post). Did the 9 North from Silverthorne then down the 14 through the canyon (great road!)into Greeley and into Loveland to spend a few days at a friend's and some more riding before headed out the slabs to get here.
 
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