Fuel tank confusion


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Goldenroad66
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:52 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000

Fuel tank confusion

Postby Goldenroad66 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:50 pm



I glanced through the owners manual for my 79' GL1000 and it says the tank holds 5 gallons. I fill up right before the fuel gauge line hits the reserve region so I know there's about .8 gallons in the reserve. I was shocked at the pump when I filled up because it's completely full at 2.21 gallons. So with res this tank apparently holds about 3 gallons.. That doesn't sound right does it? I get about 80 miles per tank before res which also doesn't sound right unless it is a 3gallon tank.. The bike runs like it's brand spanking new so I don't believe anythings and there's no visible leaks. Unless the gas tank was changed (seller did not mention and I don't know why they would??) what's going on?



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artgrantz
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Re: Fuel tank confusion

Postby artgrantz » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:40 am

The fuel gauges on the 1000s are very innacurate. With the petcock in the normal position run until the engine begins to sputter. Switch the petcock to reserve then find a nearby gas station. Fill the tank and see what it holds. Of course you need to do this in a populated area with lots of gas stations, not out on some lonely road. You should be able to go more than 150 miles before you switch to reserve.

Goldenroad66
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:52 pm
Location: Dallas, Texas
Motorcycle: 1979 GL1000

Re: Fuel tank confusion

Postby Goldenroad66 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:19 pm

Worst case scenario, if the same thing happens and the bike begins to sputter at about 85 miles into the tank, then what could be the issue?

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artgrantz
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Motorcycle: Current: 2008 GL1800
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85 GL1200 I
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Re: Fuel tank confusion

Postby artgrantz » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:37 pm

Goldenroad66 wrote:Worst case scenario, if the same thing happens and the bike begins to sputter at about 85 miles into the tank, then what could be the issue?

The only thing I can think of is damage to the tank. If the tank had a large dent in it that would diminish the capacity somewhat but it wold have to be a big dent to displace 2 or 3 gallons of fuel.
Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can help you.
Let us know what happens when you run the test. Would be a good idea to have someone follow you with a gas can just in case.

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Placerville
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Motorcycle: 1976 Naked Yellow

Re: Fuel tank confusion

Postby Placerville » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:50 am

The fuel gauges on these bikes aren't inaccurate. In fact, they work very well. The problem is the sending units. They're windings are somewhat delicate and their very fine wires can break over time. When the sending unit malfunctions, the gauge will not read properly. So, stop using your gauge to diagnose the problem. The advice given by 'artrantz' is your best course of action. Fill the tank to the top. Ride it until it sputters (switch to reserve) and then fill the tank. You're going to find that you'll put in about 4 gallons. I seriously doubt that your tank's been replace or that there's anything wrong with it e.g., it's 'dented'.

After you find that you're getting about 150 miles before your tank needs to be moved to 'reserve', you can either live with your defective sending unit and (subsequent) inaccurate gauge or, you can replace/repair your sending unit.

Below is a picture of your fuel sending unit with the cover in place (top) and removed (bottom). On the bottom photo, note the small winding and little arm that moves across it's face. The sending units float (not pictured) moves the big arm up and down which, in turn, moves the little arm back and forth over the winding. This increases and decreases the ohms which moves the fuel gauge needle up and down.

Note the two little wires coming off of either end of the winding and that the one on the left is broken broken and not connected to the solder point below. When one of those wires is broken, your gauge will not work properly. When both are broken, the gauge won't work at all. So, from your description, it's very possible that your sending unit has a broken wire which can be fixed. Once you complete the simple fuel test above, re-post and I can give you some details on how to remove, inspect and repair your sending unit.





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