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I've hear/read several different things about color of smoke from an ailing motor. Blue smoke is fairly unanimously agreed upon--oil getting burned. But blue? Maybe my color perception is bad, but I only see it as white. Is it just a tint of blue?



What about White? Too Lean? To rich? I've also heard that too rich in mixture results in black smoke. I know that when I let fire to to a bucket with a little gas in the bottom, I get black sooty residue... But then someone says white is an indication of too rich. And of course, lotsa mention that white is coolant burning.

I've got lotsa white smoke--alternates and lasts for more than a few minutes. But, I'm not losing any coolant, it's all there still. I'm kind of suspecting I've got a ring problem, or maybe a valve stuck, spring broke, or similar.

What about Green smoke? Where do I get some of that?
 

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BobinAZ wrote:
What about Green smoke? Where do I get some of that?
:cheeky1::cheeky1:...Can't help you with the green smoke. I can say that just because the smoke appears white doesn't mean it is coolant. You have to use your nose too. If you smoke is white and it smells kinda sweet then it could be coolant. I have an old Chevy pickup with bad valve guide seals. Sometimes when I start it after sitting for several days I get a huge cloud of white smoke. It is not coolant!

Black smoke is usually a sign of a really rich condition. But then use your nose too. It will smell rich. A blueish white smoke could well mean oil burning. I have an old air cooled bike that will blow a lot of white smoke from the exhaust when first started on a cool morning or when it is damp out. That is moisture that has collected in the exhaust. It quits as soon as the exhaust drys up. It has no smell....
 

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Green smoke means it has swallowed and burned a frog or a little green man. It could burn coolant from the radiator and not loose any from the reservoir if the radiator cap is bad or the hose to the reservoir has a hole in it.
 

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Green smoke and that awful brown color that is heavier than air and slowly sneaks up on you.........that means it is time to lay off the beans and brats for a couple days. :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:.

I think reading between the lines, you are saying it alternates from either side and it finally does subside.

I would suspect worn valve guides, letting oil into the cylinders. I would think that is what it is.

Kit
 

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Using your nose is a good suggestion. Trying to discribe what 'smells sweet' or 'smells rich' is kind of tough. Like discribing a color. But you can get an idea of what is meant fairly easily. On you engine, at the intake manifolds, remove one of the 'carb sync screws'. Use an eye-dropper with some coolant in it and a helper to rev up the engine. The engine will miss badly but it's only a test. You'll smell the sweetness of the coolant burning in the exhaust system.
Do the same thing with some gas in the eye-dropper. You'll feel how the rich mixture can burn you eyes in addition to smelling rich.
Keep in mind that it won't take very much coolant to produce a hugh cloud of smoke. Probably a drop or two.
 

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Thanks for the tips, especially on using the eye dropper to get an idea of what to smell for. No doubt, it's kind of a bad smell, definitely a lot like sitting in the cab of a pickup truck that has an exhaust leak right at the headers. Also, The radiator is losing NO fluids that I can tell, whenever I crack the cap on it, it's full, and the overflow starts to overfill it. Every once in a while too, at startup, the starter 'locks' up, but I believe it's the motor doing the locking. I have to roll it in 2nd/3rd gear backwards for a complete revolution or two before the starter will move the motor past that 'lockup' spot. That's got me a little worried, maybe something 'floating' around inside? I hope not.

Does the white smoke subside? Sometimes, but sometimes it lasts an entire 20-30 minute run, eventually, I get tired of the smoke and the embarrasment, it's sometimes very bad.
 

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You need to get in the habit of turning your fuel petcock OFF when not riding. The engine locking when you try to start it sounds like hydrolock. That is...fuel will dribble past the float needle and flood a cylinder. You could have dirty or bad float needles or seats, or it could be they just happen to get a tiny peice of trash under them. Honda did not incorperate an overflow system into the carb bowls for some reason. So the gas has no where to go except into the cylinders
 

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Pour some coolant down the carb and watch what happens.

Could be easier to disconnect a vacuum hose (fuel petcock) and suck from a little cup.:shock::goofygrin:
 

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You did not say you were running around the neighborhood leaving smoke signals. :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1: Kit
 

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Many folks have a hard time distinguishing White from Grey from Light Blue. Dark is unburned fuel...[too rich on fuel, too lean on air, or weak spark.

White is often steam & disipates quickly in the air. If you use the 60/40 antifreeze mix, it will smell sweet in the garage [don't run it inside for more than 30 seconds].

If you don't smell burning antifreeze, then your engine is probably burning oil from wear. Also, if you have too much oil in the crankcase, it will burn off & cause some light colored smoke.

Check dipstick for signs of water.

30 minutes of light colored exhaust means it is burning oil. Never use any additives in oil, none of them help.
 

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You did not say you were running around the neighborhood leaving smoke signals. :cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1: Kit
No No No, it'sa modified mosquito killing machine.:clapper:

Or maybe an addedwater injection system for enhanced performance. :baffled:
 

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Hydrolock huh? That'd be swell if that were the problem. As for the jet needles, and seats--I just rebuilt these four carbs last week, new needles, but not seats. The "seats" for these needles is the actual carb aluminum body, right? A tiny pinhole just in front of the outward butterfly? When I first took a look at these carbs, all 4 needles were fully seated. Could this have been an attempt to make up for someone screwing up the seats? I'm going to tighten all four needles to the seat, but not too hard, just to see if maybe that helps.

As for oil additives, how about Sea Foam? I've read so many fella here claim that they'd just about trade their wives for some sea foam. I've used a few cans of the stuff, seems to be good stuff too. I was thinking of, if because my valves are carbon junked heavily, that sea foam in the oil might clean then up?

Dip stick for my oil? I wish, I've got this lame little window on the casing, I can't ever tell for sure where the oil level is, even after turning the little wiper blade, still cant see in. It needs a back lighting window, or something. I'd love to have a dip stick like the old CX 500/650s had, that was a piece of cake. Even with a flashlight, I can't read my oil level.
 

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I think I have one, drip stick, $20 and it's yours. I think they sell for new at $25. plus shipping JC Whitney

http://tinyurl.com/62h4rl here you go.
 

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Kit, ahh yes, good reading between the lines. I know what I meant to say, but looking back at what I typed, didn't quite relay that well. Yes, the smoke alternates between pipes, mostly on the left.

RB, yes, yes, consider that dipstick sold! As soon as I get this gal rolling well again at least, I wouldn't wanna meet up with a choking/wheezing/smell ride.

And, last but definitely not least, RetiredinTime... Clearly, your mother raised a genius. :) After not tinkering on it for about 12 hours, I pulled the two left plugs. At first glance, I though it was just a bubble of fuel in the cylinder. Then I realized the whole danged cylinders were filled all the way to the plugs, not even ANY air in there. I left the kill switch off, and cranked it with the plugs still out. It all shot out, with much more force and volume than I was expecting. By hydrolock, I'm now starting to understand---liquid gas doesn't compress well does it? Effectively, could have like a solid block of steel in there. And my rolling it backwards a few revolutions put the cylinder travel in reverse, a couple valves here and there and the gas gets pushed out the exhaust. This high volume of liquid gas would start to vaporize with either what little combustion was occurring, or from, vaporization by being highly pressured out the pipe?

So, hydolock, whew... I was really thinking, as RetiredinTime and Kit Carson mentioned, worn valvle guides, or was think a spring broke. What's it caused by again? obviously, fuel getting past the carbs. Is that a solid indicator of needle valve or it's seat being worn/damaged? I know I can get more needle valves, but how about the seat?

I'm feeling much better about this now.
 

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The float valves are leaking..turn off your gas when stopped and It will solve it for now. The float valves have a rubber tip and many have had problems with anything but OEM replacements..the seat can usually be cleaned with no problem it a brass seat. So it's pull the carbs and get new float valves..you can check them off the bike on a bench with a fuel source hung above the carbs. Several threads on how to do it and I have pics.

Now I'll have to find it!!!!
 

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Right on. I can live with that. Thanks! With that, I'm going to ride her into work today. Will report back soon.

Thanks!
 
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