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The Bike sat for two seasons inside, it was cleaned up. It had previously run fine. The previous owner put way to much oil in it. When I got it I noticed it was running rough and only on two cylinders. I have since replaced the carbs, the coils and tried differant spark plug wires, corrected the oil . I switched the wires to the coils and it will fire on the oppsite side but still only one cylinder. I do have spark on both sides but it appears to be weak.....what is the spark to look like? I have an occasional short somewhere that causes the horn and brake light not to work, I suspect this to be a groung problem but I am not sure where to find and check alll the ground connections. The only thing I haven't checked is the pulse generator. I think I will have to remove the rear wheel to check this is this correct? I am ready to...:gunhead:
 

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to have fire you need 3 things.... fuel, air and spark

some things come to mind:

lack of air (I doubt it)

lack of fuel (which cylinders run?) you could have two gummed up carbs but it sounds like you have thought of that already

lack of fire... each coil runs two sparks... a good spark will be blue a weak more yellow.... it is not clear on your desription if the problem isolates to one coil or not... bad ignitor, could be, but once again usually that will isolate to one coil

is the problem one one side of the bike (like left, where a lot of oil could have gotten into the cylinders as it sat?
 

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there is a connection in the wireing harness that could be your problem . in front of the battery there are two connections . one has a three wire . the other has a two wire connection .it comes from the right side of the engine .sitting on the bike . or so it would appear from the left side. check and make sure the connection is CLEAN and TIGHT . you are concerned with the two wire connection at this time .
 

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frankenpak, you need to make it more clear which cylinders are firing, or not firing. I can't picture what you mean by "switched the wires to the coils and it will fire on the opposite side". One coil fires the front 2 cylinders and the other fires the rear 2. Someone may need to correct me but if I remember right the right coil is the front 1&2, the left is the rear 3&4. From what I can decipher from your description you may have the plug wires mixed up on the coils.
 

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What I meant by switching the wires to the coils was to see if one of the coils were bad, when I did this the oppsite cylinder would fire, so both cylinders will fire so I thought this would be a coil problem, when I replaced the coils with used coils I still have the problem....maybe the different coils are bad also????
 

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I know what you are saying but use numbers to ID the plugs not firing..like 1/2 or 1/3.

The spark should be a nice fat white spark..but don't pull the plug away from ground while your testing it's bad for the system.

Also change your plugs or at least switch them with known good ones.

Are the non firing plugs wet?
 

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While your troubleshooting & the members are trying to help you, use a volt meter & confirm that you are getting 12 volt power to both coils from your wiring harness. Than confirm to us which cylinders are firing like both front, both rear or only one side of engine.

A new set of plugs would help to eliminate possible problems. You can also un screw your plug boots from the plug wire & inspect the solid core in the end of the wire for corosion. Trim back the wire slightly & re fasten the plug boots by screwing them into the wire.

I would buy 4 new ones because they have resistors in them that can also effect spark!

Can you explain in more detail what was done to your carbs please! Lots of info helps everyone narrow it down! I guarentee your problem is short lived once someone here gets the right piece of the puzzle!
 

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The oil was put in after it had sat, I corrected this about a week later. How I noticed this problem was by discovering that the left side exaust was cold. When I interchanged the two coils the symptom change to the right side, causing me to think it was a bad coil, but after reading clymer repair it stated the possibilty of a pulse generator. I am thankful for all the advice I am receving and will take all the advice and try it. Everybody has been more than helpful. I have all winter to fix this. Come summer I want to be riding this thing. I will continue to post what I am discovering with this new project....Thank you everybody, you guy's are very helpful.
 

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First thing to do is throw that clymer manual away. Next thing is to go get it and throw it farther. Again, one coil fires the front cylinders, the other coil fires the rear cylinders, not one side or the other. You problem is simply the plug wires are connected to the coils incorrectly.
 

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That was funny, but right now it's the only manuel I have. Anyway The right side of the bike (right as if you are sitting on the bike) should be spark plug wire # 1 towards the front of the bike. I ran it to the right coil right side. Next to that is wire #3. I ran that to the left coil right side. On the left side of the bike is wire # 2 towards the front.I ran that to the right coil left side. Next to that will be wire # 4. Iran that to the left coil left side. (note ) I am refering to the # 1 and # 2 plug wires as being in the location towards the front of the bike. I hope this isn't too confusing. There is a simular hook up on page 15 under title universal coil wiring. Whats crazy is the wiring diagram shows something differant.....it shows the wires going direct from coil to plug whear as the other diagram shows them cris crosing as I have them.
 

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Clyinder layout, top of pic is front of engine. The hoses in that pic are the hoses attached from a synch gauge, you can ignore those.








Coil and plugs

 

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Thanks for the diagram........if the plug numbers are same as the cylinders, then it looks to me I have them right ? or is my hook up wrong? The plugs give the appearence of going to the same coil.....in other words the wires on the right go to the coil on the right and vice versa.....or is it the way I have it:?
 

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Your description is confusing and hard to decipher as to where you ran each plug wire. Descibe it as from the coils to the plugs, not the other way around and I might be able to understand it better. Use the top pic as your reference as to which plugs you ran to from the coils.

As the digram shows, 1 coil drives the front plugs and the other coil drives the rear plugs.
 

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I think I understand the description and it sounds right but contradicts your other posts. So does it have spark to all the plugs, the front or the rear plugs, left or right? If it sparks weak and only on one side the plug wires or the caps are suspect since each coil fires 2 plugs. If only the front cylinders or the rear cylinders fire then we can start diagnosis from there. I really doubt the pulse generators are bad since that is very rare on a 1100.
 

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Good New's, im not sure what happened but the bike is now running on all four cylinders....I noticed a lot of smoke at first, but it is getting less. I am sure it needs some choke and carb adjustments, as it runs a bit rough with some poping and back fire. This bike was over filled with oil, so much so the oil was in the carbarator filter area. I don't know what thiswill doto an engine, can't be good. I have a way to go to get this bike running right. I have learned more in two months than most would learn in a year. This forum is the place. I will have to say the problem was in the coils.:)
 

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Well, I'd pull all the plugs out, leave them attached to the cables, make sure all 4 are grounded and turn it over. Check for spark at all plugs, get spark at all plugs then it's a gas probelm. Now if you still get spark for only 2 and they run off the same coil then I'd begin to suspect a bad coil or a bad power lead to that coil. Since you say you tried a different set of coils then I'd start by tracing the power lead to the coils, see which one is dead.

Each coil has to leads going to them. One is a common lead black/yellow coming off a resistor. Since 1 coil fires I think you can elimate the resistor as the problem. The other leads are a blue one and a yellow, both solid in color. Those lead back to the spark units. Determine if one of those leads are dead.


I see you finally posted back while I was still typing this. good to hear it's hitting on all 4 cylinders.
 

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Again thanks.....I checked each plug....only I did it using one plug, the spark was nice and blue. I now suspect the possibility of a carb adjustment, reason being I bought a used carb off e-bay. They came off a bike having only 23000 miles, they looked clean and good but could be out of adjustment being installed on a differant bike. I have the old carbs and they look as tho oil had gotten in them. Also I noticed the choke is not properly adjusted. As I continue to resolve some of these issues , I will keep you posted. You along with all the others have been helpful. With what knowledge I am receving I may be able to offer someone else some insite.
 

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Now that the HT leads are sorted, number them 1,2,3,4 using wire markers and numer them at the bottom and top of the HT leads, a simple thing but adds confidence to trial and error. Also keep the coil primary and secondary clean. Especially the secondary because of the high induced voltagse
 

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frankenpak,

Congrads! so far. If I am correct, from right to left on the coil, it is numbered 1,2,3, and 4. The firing order is 1,3,2,4 on an 80-81 GL1100. If I am not correct, someone please intervene. I would aslo get rid of the clymer manual. To many mistakes in it. In some places, it even contradicts itself.

Thanks,

Good Luck

Nightrider1

frankenpak wrote:



The oil was put in after it had sat, I corrected this about a week later. How I noticed this problem was by discovering that the left side exaust was cold. When I interchanged the two coils the symptom change to the right side, causing me to think it was a bad coil, but after reading clymer repair it stated the possibilty of a pulse generator. I am thankful for all the advice I am receving and will take all the advice and try it. Everybody has been more than helpful. I have all winter to fix this. Come summer I want to be riding this thing. I will continue to post what I am discovering with this new project....Thank you everybody, you guy's are very helpful.
 
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