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i've cleaned the whole fuel system recently -- new set of carbs that were rebuilt, new fuel filter, tank cleaned. The bike has been 'popping' a bit out the tailpipe, but due to moisture left from cleaning tank. A little gasline treatment was improving that.I've had to hold the starter button down longer and longer recent days to get it to fire, while pumping on the throttle or pulling out choke, Then it idles/runs fine. New plug boots.After parking for an hour downtown tonite, the bike wouldn't fire. It cranks over, but doesn't light up. I pulled the fuel lines, opened the petcock and fuel vent cap and gas flowed. Blew through the line/filter, clear. Pumped the fuel pump with kill switch off, pumps gas.Pulled a plug wire and inserted a brand new plug, laid it against head -- no spark. Would my coils just die like that? I've got to go back in a few hours to either tow it or fix it. Tried bump starting and it wouldn't turn over.Check for voltage at coils with ohmeter? Check for power to kill switch/ignition with testlight? Test power to electronic ignition unit? What else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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I replaced my throttle cables when carbs went on. Maybe loose connection created at kill switch?
 

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does sound like the problem is somewhere in the ignition system. Do you still have the stock points and condensor, or has the bike been changed over to an electronic ignition system? I cannot imagine coils just going like that, but certainly an electronic replacement for the points can, consesors also can go, but usually you get just a weak spark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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electronic ignition
 

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Check the ballast resistor, check that power is getting to the coils, check or replace the condenser, make sure the points didn't fall way out of adjustment, and check to see if the starter button is defective. The starter button bypasses the ballast resistor when it's pushed to give the coils more voltage (of course you should still have been able to bump-start it if this was bad).

First I'd try bypassing the ballast resistor. If that doesn't work I'd check all the other connections for the ignition system. If that doesn't work I'd start checking the components like coils, condenser, points... not much more to it except the kill switch.
 

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I also did the kill switch a time a two. If it is not kill switch, I am going to say it has to be the ignition. I am leaning towards electronic ignition box. I would check output of the box with meter. Then just follow it backwards until you find the problem. Could be something as simple as a loose wire or a bad box.
If it is bad box, I am a proponent of points for just this reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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axel, how do i bypass the ballast resistor?
 

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mag wrote:
axel, how do i bypass the ballast resistor?
A couple ways to do it. You could use a wire with two clip leads and simply connect one to one side of the resistor and the other to the other side. This way the current flows through the wire instead of the resistor.

Another way is to disconnect the wiresfrom the resistor and connect them together, leaving the resistor out of the circuit.

Don't run the bike too many miles without a ballast resistor or you'll rapidly wear out the points.
 

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I just re-read your post... looks like you have electronic ignition. A friend of mine had the same problem and was stranded in Mexico until he figured out that his electronic ignition wasn't getting power.

The power lead for the electronic ignition was connected to his tail light circuit and when his tail light cirduit went out, so did his ignition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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thanks all. I've spent all day diagnosing, testing. I tested all electrics, diodes, coils, bypassed ballast. Turns out it was the aftermarket electronic ignition. Just bought a Martek with CDI, used. Bike runs awesome, except i need to do timing again, and with sooty plugs,  it won't hold idle. Just charging the bike's battery and getting fresh plugs, then i'll return to the beach where the bike is and hopefully ride home. It sounds SO smooth now with new ignition. Wow.
 
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