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Get a set of hemostats. 8in. at least. Makes unhooking and reattaching the cable ends at the bellcrank easy peasy.
I never had any trouble with that after the housing ends are off the bracket.
 
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Discussion Starter #22
Quick version of how I set float level. You can figure the details. I clamp the carb in a vice safely but not too tight. Then I put a piece of fuel line on the inlet and blow air past the needle and seat. Slowly rotate the carb until you just can't blow through the hose. Measure adjust repeat.

Many use a single wire from a wire brush to make sure the low speed circuits are clear. When done if you spray carb cleaner in the low sped jet you should see the cleaner come out each of the low speed circuit ports.
awesome! Thanks for the tip! I will make sure I do it properly this time and look into how to do it right, thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Approximate doesn't cut it on those, exact is just close enough. I hear you on the cables, they can be routed outside the frame to make it easier but they have a little bit of a bend I don't like doing it that way.
yeah I’m pretty sure that is the case then. I’ll do some research to see how I can install them properly this time! Thanks for the advice, it’s much appreciated! And alright, and I guess in the long run once the carbs are set the position of the throttle cable shouldn’t matter anymore. It’s just in the most inconvenient place it seems when working on the bike
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I agree with Dave, Two questions. Did you turn the carbs upside down to set the float level? That is not the right thing to do and will make the float level low causing the symptoms you describe.


You mentioned the low speed jet but did you make sure the low speed circuits were not varnished as well/ Usually just a cleaner will not open the varnished idle circuit. You need to get in there with a fine wire etc. to get them open. Both of the mentioned issues are common mistakes and will cause the symptoms you describe. I bet the bike runs better with the choke on.

As duster said a vacuum leak is also possible but my money would be on the 2 issues listed. Keep in mind I have been wrong before. Lots of times. :p
Quick version of how I set float level. You can figure the details. I clamp the carb in a vice safely but not too tight. Then I put a piece of fuel line on the inlet and blow air past the needle and seat. Slowly rotate the carb until you just can't blow through the hose. Measure adjust repeat.

Many use a single wire from a wire brush to make sure the low speed circuits are clear. When done if you spray carb cleaner in the low sped jet you should see the cleaner come out each of the low speed circuit ports.
So today I took the bike apart again and checked the carbs! My float levels where horrible! I followed a good tutorial and set them to spec at 15.5mm. I did this with all the carbs. Finally put the bike back together to test the work I had done and it is indeed running better. It no longer bogs down when throttled or spits air from the carbs. Unfortunately now the popping is happening at idle out of the left exhaust. Furthermore its also streaming white smoke the entire time. What could I have done wrong or should check next? Thank you for everything you've done so far!
 

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white smoke indicates that water is getting into the cylinder.
to me, that indicates a leaking head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
white smoke indicates that water is getting into the cylinder.
to me, that indicates a leaking head gasket.
Oh damn, I really hope that is not the case. The smoke seemed to go away after messing with the idle mixture screws, but it is till backfiring for somereason.
 

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#1, it is very common for bikes that are parked on the Side Stand and left overnight or longer, to puff out white smoke, or a bluish white for a few minutes, until the left side gets clear of the oil that has seeped into the cylinders.

If the bike is running good enough, take it out for a ride and go 15 minutes or more, if the smoke disappears, the head gaskets are okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Alright thank you! After I had it running for a bit the smoke seemed to disappear so I’m assuming it was just oil that had collected. But the bike is still backfiring at idle, hopefully when I figure out how to fix that I can take the bike for a ride! Thanks again :)
 

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Alright thank you! After I had it running for a bit the smoke seemed to disappear so I’m assuming it was just oil that had collected. But the bike is still backfiring at idle, hopefully when I figure out how to fix that I can take the bike for a ride! Thanks again :)
When you say backfiring at idle do you mean real backfire or popping in the exhaust caused by afterburn? If it is popping in the exhaust I would take the bike for a couple of mile ride. Give it a chance to get up to temperature and it should clean up the plugs from all the idling and issues they have endured. After the ride adjust the low speed jers to get the best idle possible. If the fuel mixture is rich or lean can cause popping (afterburn) in the exhaustIt sounds like you might be getting closer. 🆒 😎
 

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Discussion Starter #31
When you say backfiring at idle do you mean real backfire or popping in the exhaust caused by afterburn? If it is popping in the exhaust I would take the bike for a couple of mile ride. Give it a chance to get up to temperature and it should clean up the plugs from all the idling and issues they have endured. After the ride adjust the low speed jers to get the best idle possible. If the fuel mixture is rich or lean can cause popping (afterburn) in the exhaustIt sounds like you might be getting closer. 🆒 😎
Awesome! and yeah my bad, when I say backfire I mean popping. But it is a constant popping noise from the left exhaust pipe when idling. If I rev the bike or keep it in higher RPMs the popping only happens occasionally. Thanks for the idea, I am going to try messing with the screws tomorrow. Whats the easiest way to turn them? its almost impossible for me to stick a flat head tip to twist it with good clearance.
 

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Awesome! and yeah my bad, when I say backfire I mean popping. But it is a constant popping noise from the left exhaust pipe when idling. If I rev the bike or keep it in higher RPMs the popping only happens occasionally. Thanks for the idea, I am going to try messing with the screws tomorrow. Whats the easiest way to turn them? its almost impossible for me to stick a flat head tip to twist it with good clearance.
You state that this was a recent purchase. Now with the carbs working (fine turning not withstanding) and your description of left pipe popping. It is time to do a compression test and a cylinder leakage test to confirm the engines state of health. That popping could be as serious as a bad valve or as minimal as an exhaust leak. But learning what it’s compression readings are and if any cylinder leaking is excessive will be either peace of mind or a starting point to ‘bike surgery’. Did this bike sit for a long time? Ride it some, for testing, and keep an eye on your coolant level too (reported steam from exhaust). 1100’s are fun, high rev-ing engines.
 

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You state that this was a recent purchase. Now with the carbs working (fine turning not withstanding) and your description of left pipe popping. It is time to do a compression test and a cylinder leakage test to confirm the engines state of health. That popping could be as serious as a bad valve or as minimal as an exhaust leak. But learning what it’s compression readings are and if any cylinder leaking is excessive will be either peace of mind or a starting point to ‘bike surgery’. Did this bike sit for a long time? Ride it some, for testing, and keep an eye on your coolant level too (reported steam from exhaust). 1100’s are fun, high rev-ing engines.
thanks for the information! The bike may have been have been sitting for a while but I was told it was started every once in a while. I’ve been adjusting the bike and now the popping is not as frequent but can come out of either pipe. I don’t have the tools rn to run a compression test, but when I get back from college I will be doing one! But based on what I’ve been doing with the bike it almost seems like the bike is just not getting enough fuel? I’m not too knowledgeable on these bikes, but could a clogged fuel filter or petcock or even a bad fuel pump cause the popping symptoms?? I’ve noticed some surface rust within the tank and am wondering if that could clog anything. And I’m too scared to ride the bike while it’s in a lean state so I haven’t considered taking it for a spin yet. Also the white smokes seems to go away once the bike runs for a little. Anyways thanks for the help so far!
 

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Okay sweet! I’m going to see if I can get something like that soon. Also the o rings seemed pretty decent under the valves, tho I should probably check for vacuum leaks anyways!
O-rings under what valves? I was referring to the o-rings under the intake runners.
 

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I have a 1981 Honda GL1100 that I recently bought to hopefully get running good. Initially the bike had dirty carbs and couldn't idle below 2500rpms without choke because the pilot jets where clogged. Otherwise the bike was rideable and I even drove it back home over 130 miles! Now to the present where all I did was rebuild the carbs with new pieces, cleaned them out (they looked pretty nasty), and put it back together. Now the bike can idle fine at 1000 rpms, but when given throttle it back fires horribly and bogs down and even spits out of the air intake. I don't know how I made the bike so much worse but any help would be great. Thank you!
I had the same problem with my 86 1200! I took the carbs off and saw one of the jets looked like a q-tip with rust? on the tip and the bowls were nasty! Got a ultrasonic cleaner and a gallon of Gunk carb cleaner and rebuilt all 4 with Randakks kit, and it backfired worse than before. Turns out they don’t make the anti backfire diafram anymore, just the slow air cutoff. Talked to an old guy who’s been working on bikes his whole life, and he told me to block off the vacuum line to the anti backfire valve, and the bike runs GREAT now! I don’t even need the choke to start it now ( although it’s in the 80’s here, so I’ll know more in the fall.) Also I told him I didn’t understand how or why the bike fired right up without the choke with just the headers on and the muffler assembly off, and he confirmed the exhaust was blocked also, so I drilled out the rivets and it took some work, but was able to remove the baffles, then shake everything out. Put new gaskets on the entire exhaust and the bike has a nice deep tone, not much louder than stock, but just enough. I’ve had no problems since. That’s my 2 cents. Good luck with yours!
 

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thanks for the information! The bike may have been have been sitting for a while but I was told it was started every once in a while. I’ve been adjusting the bike and now the popping is not as frequent but can come out of either pipe. I don’t have the tools rn to run a compression test, but when I get back from college I will be doing one! But based on what I’ve been doing with the bike it almost seems like the bike is just not getting enough fuel? I’m not too knowledgeable on these bikes, but could a clogged fuel filter or petcock or even a bad fuel pump cause the popping symptoms?? I’ve noticed some surface rust within the tank and am wondering if that could clog anything. And I’m too scared to ride the bike while it’s in a lean state so I haven’t considered taking it for a spin yet. Also the white smokes seems to go away once the bike runs for a little. Anyways thanks for the help so far!
You know, you make a good point. If you can’t confirm a clean tank and in tank filter. Remove the tank tip it sideways (if you have gas in it ) and remove the petcock. It should be obvious if it is clogged or compromised. On some old Honda’s up here we leave that filter out and use an inline filter, see through kind, so we can know at a glance what we need to do.
 

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I have a 1981 Honda GL1100 that I recently bought to hopefully get running good. Initially the bike had dirty carbs and couldn't idle below 2500rpms without choke because the pilot jets where clogged. Otherwise the bike was rideable and I even drove it back home over 130 miles! Now to the present where all I did was rebuild the carbs with new pieces, cleaned them out (they looked pretty nasty), and put it back together. Now the bike can idle fine at 1000 rpms, but when given throttle it back fires horribly and bogs down and even spits out of the air intake. I don't know how I made the bike so much worse but any help would be great. Thank you!
I had this happen to me I used c foam and mystery oil and it straighten it self out after driving it some ..
 
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