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I have a '88 GL1500 and some time ago I fitted a 4 degree trigger wheel. It felt like it made a difference at low revs to help the hesitation that the early 1500's were prone to. However, recently I have noticed that it is preigniting (pinking, or pinging - depends where you come form), even from 3000 revs in top gear if I give it a reasonable amount of throttle. I am sure it wasn't like that when I first installed the trigger wheel and I even think it is getting worse. The minimum octane we can purchase here is 91 and that is what I have been using.
I can easily change it back to the original trigger wheel but I don't really think that is the problem. Can anyone suggest another reason for the ignition being overly advanced on acceleration.
 

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Al, when the trigger wheel was new a few years ago, lots of owners complained of poor running problems like yours. Most of them went back to stock and that's why you don't see the trigger wheel being so enthusiastically talked about now.
 

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Thanks for your reply and I appreciate what you are saying. It's just that it was working fine for some time - no detonation when it was first installed, because it was one thing I was looking for. I have just looked up my records and I installed it exactly 1 year ago and I have done 7000 miles since. I noticed a bit of pinging a few mo0nths ago but it was not that bad but now I am sure that the detonation is getting slowly worse. When I rode it today it was very audile even when pulling away at 3000 revs in OD.

I can't understand how the trigger wheel would have that effect. I would expect it to cause problems right from the start if it was going to.

I am wondering if the plugs are starting to wear out. Anybody got any thoughts about whether that would cause these symptoms.

And before anybody asks - No, I haven't looked at them yet. The thought only just occured to me and I thought I might get some advice before I take all that plastic off to get at the plugs.

Thanks
 

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alanz wrote:
I have a '88 GL1500 and some time ago I fitted a 4 degree trigger wheel. It felt like it made a difference at low revs to help the hesitation that the early 1500's were prone to. However, recently I have noticed that it is preigniting (pinking, or pinging - depends where you come form), even from 3000 revs in top gear if I give it a reasonable amount of throttle. I am sure it wasn't like that when I first installed the trigger wheel and I even think it is getting worse. The minimum octane we can purchase here is 91 and that is what I have been using.
I can easily change it back to the original trigger wheel but I don't really think that is the problem. Can anyone suggest another reason for the ignition being overly advanced on acceleration.
Alanz, it could be many things from the bike running a little hotter, to a little carbon build up in the combustion chambers, to some wear on the cam parts, to somevarnish plugging of the carb intermediate jets, to a fuel volatility problem.. Maybe that 4° timing wheel is just too much advance for your bike.

I'm not sure where your fuel comes from, or how it's refined for summer & winter usage but here in the US our fuel is blended differently for different seasons with the winter blend having a much higher vapor pressure (that starts easier in cold weather).. Do to the hurricane damage in New Orleans the government here in the US has allowed some of the winter blend to be sold this summer to alleviate the high fuel prices & lack of availability.. If that same fuel has found it's way to your area it will spark knock like crazy in hot weather if your spark advance is close to max or your compression is a little higher than normal.

There is also the possibility that what youare buying as 92 octane isn't really 92as stated & has been mixed with regular to either make more profit or because the 92 wasn't available at the time..

Twisty
 

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Posted: Sat Sep 24th, 2005 02:45 am





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Hey vic,

Can you read my post a bit further down the main list - re pre-ignition -and offer any suggstions.

Could this be my plugs starting to break down causing the engine to ping when under load.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.








____________________
Al
1988 GL1500 - Phantom Grey
There are several factors that may have changed which could account for the pinging that is there now but wasn't before.

Fuel quality, dirty or plugged fuel jets, incorrect spark plugs or wrong heat range,carbon build up in the combustion chamber, engine operating temperature, as well as, elevation and barometric pressure can contribute to pinging.

Tire pressure if too low causes the engine to work harder, brake calipers which may be seized and dragging could also contribute and increased weight on the bike would all affect the engine's loading on acceleration and may cause pinging. Driving habits can also contribute to pinging if you are lugging the engine.

I suggest that you check all of these items to ascertain that they are all correct and proper and if everything is correct you can try to clean the combustion chambers by running the bike hard or using a combustion chamber cleaner such as G.M.'S Top Cleaner. If this does not help then try an octane booster or switch to a higher octane fuel. If the octane booster or fuelmakes the difference I would suggest that you remove the 4 degree advance wheel and reinstall the stock one even though itmay decrease your fuel economy and performance.

Letting the engine ping on a continual basis can severely damage the engine and lead to very expensive repairs.

Vic
 

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Thanks for the replies, guys.

I'll work through the lists and see what I come up with. On reflection it was much worse after I had filledthe tank. Maybe a bad batch of fuel although that is not common, here, in New Zealand. Guess it could happen though.

I think our fuel comes from Indonesia or in that region somewhere. Not sure if they change the blend for the seasons as we don't have such drastic changes in temperature throughout the year.

Everything else has been pretty much the same. Tires are checked regularly, and I was riding solo so the load was less than normal.

I think I will drain the tank and try a different fuel to see if that makes a difference and then try a top end cleaner.

Thanks for your help.

Al
 

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I can't see carbon being a problem. So many countries now just supply unleaded and I've seen a number of cars and motorcycles with over 100,000 miles with no carbon build up at all, when the heads were finally lifted. It's a big improement on the old days when we would be scraping spoonfuls of carbon off the pistons every 20k miles!
 

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Hi Eamon,

I don't think carbon will be a problem, either.

Today I pulled all the plastic off and started checking a few things.

The plugs seemed fine and they certainly hadn't carboned up, however I replaced them with new DPR8EA-9's and that made no difference.

Checked the timing at idle and it was perfect. Put a vacuum gauge on the ECM and that appeared to be working although there is no way of telling if it is advancing the ignition too far.

Put the original trigger wheel back in and although that has reduced the pinging considerably I can still hear it when I load it up even at higher revs.

Still open to any other suggestions if anyone has any more ideas.

Thanks,



Al Campbell
 

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Al... Carbon can definetly be a factor in these bikes.. You won't necessarily see it on the plugs, because the tips get much hotter than the piston top and cylinder head. The build up everyone is talking about is on these surfaces.. Also, whenever ignition timimg is mechanically advanced, a cooler spark plug should be installed to prevent detonation. Detonation occurs when there is a hot ember sitting in the cylinder when the piston is on the compression stroke and the fuel mixture is ignited prematurely. Pre-ignition is spark timing too far advanced during the compression stroke which ignites the mixture before the piston reaches TDC. There is a difference and quite often gets confused.

Without knowing the condition of your engine, and sensing that these problems basically began with the trigger wheel, may I suggest dropping the spark plug temp range one number colder. You will not lose any power or performance and will be able to run the trigger wheel with the 4 degree advance..

The other alternative is to pull one head and check the piston and head for carbon build-up. You will be amazed at what can be there. If one side is carboned up, you can bet the other is too...

Let us know what yor final outcome is.. Thanks...
 

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Renegade has it right for the most part. Pre ignition is hot metal or carbon ignitingthe fuel/air before the scheduledignition sequencelights the fire.Detonation occurs when excessive heat and pressure in the combustion chamber cause the air/fuel mixture to auto ignite. This produces multiple flame fronts within the combustion chamber instead of a single flame kernel. When these multiple flame frontsmeet, they do so with an explosive force that produces a sudden rise in cylinder pressureand is heard as a sharp metallic pinging or knocking noise. The sledgehammer-like shock waves created by detonationare extremely hard on the head gasket, piston, rings, spark plugs and rod bearings and ifthe pinging is left to go on for more than a fewsecondsitcan actually destroy an engine.

The Gold Wing is a heavy bike that is usually operated at low RPM's which can greatly contributeto carbon build up because the combustion chamber temperature doesn't get hot enough to burn off the excess carbon. If you ad in incorrectly adjusted carbs, leaky valve seals and oil getting past the rings the propensity for carbon build up compounds.

I have seen some Gold Wing cylinder heads that were so carboned up that I had a hard time believing that the engine could run well at all.

G.M.'s Top Cleaner has done a great job for me in the in the past. Jusy go to any General Motor's dealer parts counter and ask for a can of their top cleaner and follow the instructions on the can. NOTE: When you use the Top Cleaner do it someplace where the neighbors won't notice or mind because it does make a lot smoke during the process.

Vic

P.S. Forgot to give you the part number in case the parts person is a newbie, here it is:

GM Top Engine Cleaner , Part No. 1052626.

Basically you run a bit of the Top Cleaner through the intake until the engine starts to run rough, thenrun the engine at 2000 RPM, then pour the cleaner in until the engine stalls. The idea is to soak the combustion chamber with the cleaner ( but don't hydrolock the engine )and let it sit overnight so it can do its job of softening the carbon. The next morning start the bike and watch the smoke as the carbon flies out the exhaust.

Warning: Do not do this in your garageunless you have a monster ventilation system or else you will choke yourself to death from the smoke.
 

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Thanks guys,

Looks like it is getting closer and closer to having to take one of the heads off for a look. Obviously want to leave that as a last resort.

Will try to see if our GM dealers carry the Top Cleaner that Vic is talking about.

Cheers

Al
 

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Rather than pulling a head to check for carbon you could pull an intake elbow or the exhaust manifold and open the valve ( but don't hit the piston)and use a flashlightto check for carbon, but, I still think that using the Top Cleaner I mentioned above will be a whole lot easier and cheaper. It works if you do it right. See my earlier post for the instructions I added.

Vic
 

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alanz wrote:
Thanks guys,

Looks like it is getting closer and closer to having to take one of the heads off for a look. Obviously want to leave that as a last resort.

Will try to see if our GM dealers carry the Top Cleaner that Vic is talking about.

Cheers

Al
Al, before going into it too far just run a compression check.. If it runs to the high side of specs (or higher)for your altitude then maybe you have a carbon problem.. If it is near the mid to low end of specs than I doubt you have much carbon build up.. Be sure it is warm & the throttle is open a ways to get a good test..

Have you tried a different brand of premium gasoline yet?

How about replacing the fuel filter? If it is plugging the carbs will run a bit lean under full power..

Twisty
 

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Goldwinger1984 wrote:
Renegade has it right for the most part. Pre ignition is hot metal or carbon ignitingthe fuel/air before the scheduledignition sequencelights the fire.Detonation occurs when excessive heat and pressure in the combustion chamber cause the air/fuel mixture to auto ignite. This produces multiple flame fronts within the combustion chamber instead of a single flame kernel. When these multiple flame frontsmeet, they do so with an explosive force that produces a sudden rise in cylinder pressureand is heard as a sharp metallic pinging or knocking noise. The sledgehammer-like shock waves created by detonationare extremely hard on the head gasket, piston, rings, spark plugs and rod bearings and ifthe pinging is left to go on for more than a fewsecondsitcan actually destroy an engine.

The Gold Wing is a heavy bike that is usually operated at low RPM's which can greatly contributeto carbon build up because the combustion chamber temperature doesn't get hot enough to burn off the excess carbon. If you ad in incorrectly adjusted carbs, leaky valve seals and oil getting past the rings the propensity for carbon build up compounds.

I have seen some Gold Wing cylinder heads that were so carboned up that I had a hard time believing that the engine could run well at all.

G.M.'s Top Cleaner has done a great job for me in the in the past. Jusy go to any General Motor's dealer parts counter and ask for a can of their top cleaner and follow the instructions on the can. NOTE: When you use the Top Cleaner do it someplace where the neighbors won't notice or mind because it does make a lot smoke during the process.

Vic

P.S. Forgot to give you the part number in case the parts person is a newbie, here it is:

GM Top Engine Cleaner , Part No. 1052626.

Basically you run a bit of the Top Cleaner through the intake until the engine starts to run rough, thenrun the engine at 2000 RPM, then pour the cleaner in until the engine stalls. The idea is to soak the combustion chamber with the cleaner ( but don't hydrolock the engine )and let it sit overnight so it can do its job of softening the carbon. The next morning start the bike and watch the smoke as the carbon flies out the exhaust.

Warning: Do not do this in your garageunless you have a monster ventilation system or else you will choke yourself to death from the smoke.

I must be getting old because I forgot to mention that you pour the Top Cleaner in through the air filter opening to the intake manifold. Remove the air filter top and element, clean up the area around the base of the air filter housing and pour the cleaner into the intake draft while the engine is running. It's very easy and extremely effective.

Vic
 

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Vic,

Tried to source the Top Cleaner from the local GM dealer but they don't stock it and hadn't heard of it. Our GM stuff is all Aussie Holden (great cars) not American.

However I did find a similar product made for Yamaha marine engines. Sounds like it does the same thing and this is also applied by spraying down the intake.

It is recommended that you change the oil, filter and plugs after using it so it might take me a little while to organise that.

Twisty,

Thanks for your advice also. I was thinking about the compression test but I will have to try and source a compression gauge that will fit down the hole. Mind you if it is carbon, it may only be a hot spot rather than over-compression. Is that possible or am I oversimplifying it?

Your comment about the fuel filter has also just rung a bell. I record all my fuel consumption figures and at about the time when this pinging got really noticeable I noted that the fuel consumption had jumped from 40 mpg (Imperial) to 44 mpg. This was basically from one tank to the next and I was patting myself on the back because I thought it was my skillful driving that was saving me some gas. I have since put about 6 tanks of gas through and they have all been about the same even when I took it for a bit of a blast to try to clean it out.

I will see if I can get a replacement one and check it out.

Will let you know how I get on in the next day or two.

Al from New Zealand
 

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alanz wrote:
Twisty,

Thanks for your advice also. I was thinking about the compression test but I will have to try and source a compression gauge that will fit down the hole. Mind you if it is carbon, it may only be a hot spot rather than over-compression. Is that possible or am I oversimplifying it?

Your comment about the fuel filter has also just rung a bell. I record all my fuel consumption figures and at about the time when this pinging got really noticeable I noted that the fuel consumption had jumped from 40 mpg (Imperial) to 44 mpg. This was basically from one tank to the next and I was patting myself on the back because I thought it was my skillful driving that was saving me some gas. I have since put about 6 tanks of gas through and they have all been about the same even when I took it for a bit of a blast to try to clean it out.

I will see if I can get a replacement one and check it out.

Will let you know how I get on in the next day or two.
Al, if you are not showing any carbon deposits on the spark plugs I doubt you have enough carbon in those cylinders to have carbon hot spots.. Carbon hot spots also usually doesn't give you initial accel spark knock but shows itself as a knock aftera hard workout like climbing a hill or after a while ona long acceleration.

Your problem sounds more like either the fuel in your area has changed, or for some reason you are now running a little leaner than you were.

If you aren't burning any oil (it doesn't take much to produce carbon), aren't using any fuel additives like MMO,& are using unleaded fuel I doubt you have much carbon build-up..

Anybody in your area have a bikedyno with a fuel/air sniffer that works? If so, just have them run your bike at 4th & 5h gear throttleroll ons & check the fuel/air ratio..

If you haven't changed that fuel filter in a while that might be a good place to start.

Have you called your local fuel inspection or whoever controls the fuel quality & measurement in your area to see if something has changed in the fuel supply in your area?

Twisty
 

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Twisty,

Thanks for that - more things I can look at.

I will check the fuel filter in the morning - time for bed over here, now.

Will let you know how I get on, thanks.
 

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Al, sometimes armchair Gurus can get a guy running around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to get a problem diagnosed on his bike. Diagnosing a bike's troubles from a keyboard is easy and fun for the guy giving the suggestions but not so easy for the guy who has to do the actual work, especially if you happen to live in New Zealand where most bike supplies aren't as easy to access as they are in North America.

Trya can of the Yamaha cleaner and clean out the combustion chambers. It won't hurt anything, it's cheap and may help make things right againand changing the oil, filter and plugswon't hurt anything either. With the high cost of fuel and repair coststhese days it may well pay to keep these items clean and fresh. What is the price of a liter of gasoline over there? Over here it ranges in the $1.25 + area presently, but fluctuates up to $1.70./liter.

One thing I forgot to have you check is the condition of the vacuumhoses on your bike. On an '88 there is a possibility that some of the vacuum hoses could be cracked, collapsed, disconnected or swelled. If these vacuum hoses are malfunctioning they can cause air leaks which can lean out the mixture and/or causeother problems as well. I have seen some instances where vacuum lines looked OK when cold but when the the engine warmed up the hose collapsed, closed tight and would not allow the vaccum to release until the engine cooled down again. I have also seen instances where vacuum lines became rock hard and brittle and held the vacuum until full throttle acceleration and a bump in the road caused the vacuum hose to leak. Check over the integrity ofall the vacuum hoses carefully and if any give you an inkling of doubt in regard to their condition replace them with good quality hose designed for this application.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Vic
 

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I've had a 'look' at my vaccuum hoses and they seem to be ok, however, that is only the ones that I can see. As everyone, here, knows they go all over the place and you can't check them all until you pull the bike apart. I will add it to my list. I realise this is going to take some time.

You are right about the supply of parts. The Gold Wing is not the most common bike over here and the parts supply is not good and very expensive. I tend to buy from the US over the Internet but that can take a bit of time.

The cost of fuel here is NZ$1.52 = CAN$1.21 = US$1.03.

So that actually compares pretty well with your prices. We thought we were hard done by because the prices have skyrocketed. Guess it is happening everywhere.
 
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