Hard starting


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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portugeezer
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Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1982 Gl500
1984 Honda Magna V30

Hard starting

Postby portugeezer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:08 am



Near the end of the season I started having an issue starting the bike. If I left it outside overnight in the morning it wouldn't start at all. If I got it started it would run a few seconds then die. Sometimes it wouldn't start back up at all. Once it had been started and warmed up I could ride it and it would restart again without problems until it sat again. I'm getting ready to do some other work to it. I plan to reset the valves. I haven't touched them for about 9,000 miles. I'm wondering about my coils. Thinking about doing the Neon coil conversion but not sure about how to connect the wiring. What about the battery? If it's too weak will it still crank without a problem? When it doesn't start it slows down rather quickly. Just not sure where to look. The ignition is dyna, The coils are original. What would you guys try first? Hoping for some good testing options since funds are limited. Oh I put new NGK plugs in it before the season. No smoke or oil consumption.



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WingAdmin
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Re: Hard starting

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Dec 20, 2013 10:14 am

I would start with the battery. What is the voltage of the battery when cranking cold?

When a battery is cold, it produces less current (cold cranking amps). Also, the engine is cold, so the oil is thick, which makes it harder to rotate. The battery might have enough power to crank the engine, but not enough remaining to generate powerful enough spark to ignite the cold engine.

After the bike has run, it has freshly charged the battery, it and the engine are both warm, it's much easier to start and requires much less current.

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Placerville
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Re: Hard starting

Postby Placerville » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:40 am

Agree with WA to always start with the basics. Because you mentioned that the battery 'slows down rather quickly' (when cranking) I'd address that prior to moving on to anything else. Fully charge it and then take it to an auto parts store for a 'surge' test. Once you've sorted that out, you can take it off the table as part of the problem.

From your description above i.e. "If I left it outside overnight in the morning it wouldn't start at all. If I got it started it would run a few seconds then die. Sometimes it wouldn't start back up at all", the next thing I suggest you check are your plug caps. If you have 'non-resistor' caps, you can skip this but, if you have 'resistor' caps you need to be sure that they've not degraded to the point that they're restricting your spark. New resistor caps should measure at 5 ohms. Honda says that a cap measuring at 10 ohms is still serviceable but, I disagree. I recently replaced my 9 to 10 ohm caps with new ones from Honda and the difference in starting was immediate and positive. When cold starting, I went from a 'two to three' attempt (and then a slow rise to RPM) to an immediate start and smooth idle. If your caps measure anything above 8 ohms, replace them. If you're not a stickler for OEM, a set of NGK's are only $20. You said you have new NGK plugs so, you're good there.

Next, because your working in that area, make sure your plug wires are healthy as well. Because you have stock coils, your (old) plug wires are bonded to them and cannot be replaced but, I'd at least check them for any breaks and ensure that you don't have any spark escaping and going to ground. Just a suggestion.....because you have Dyna Ignition, maybe you'd consider replacing those old coils and wires with new Dyna coils and wires?

After you've proven your battery, caps and wires to be sound, the next thing I'd do is a carb sync. A bike with properly sync'd carbs will start faster and come to a smooth idle faster than one that's out of balance.
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pricey1123
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Re: Hard starting

Postby pricey1123 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:20 pm

I would replace your old coils with dyna and wires. Mine was the same and upgraded to electric ignition/dyna coils & wires and the difference was great!

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portugeezer
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1982 Gl500
1984 Honda Magna V30

Re: Hard starting

Postby portugeezer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:25 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like the spark caps are a good place to start. Also the battery in that bike survived the fire but when I brought it inside to charge it I never got the charger to shut off it would take a charge but not a complete charge. As for OEM vs aftermarket. I will use aftermarket if it's a quality brand. NGK is good stuff so $20 sounds reasonable. I'm going to measure them tomorrow morning. I can't afford new coils but I am a frequent customer at my local salvage yard so I get really good prices. I just really don't know how to do that Neon coil pack conversion I do like the idea because of price and availability. Looks like the plug and harness on them has only 3 or 4 wires.

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portugeezer
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1982 Gl500
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Re: Hard starting

Postby portugeezer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:28 pm

Oh, I should have mentioned that I sync my carbs whenever I change plugs as part of a tune up.

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portugeezer
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Re: Hard starting

Postby portugeezer » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:39 pm

I ordered new caps. Didn't even bother to measure. The old ones are 37 years old! Can't hurt to have new ones. I will start saving for a battery. The old one is tired and has been exposed to a lot of heat!

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Placerville
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Re: Hard starting

Postby Placerville » Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:47 am

portugeezer wrote:I ordered new caps. Didn't even bother to measure. The old ones are 37 years old! Can't hurt to have new ones. I will start saving for a battery. The old one is tired and has been exposed to a lot of heat!

Wow. 37 years old.... I bet those were shot. You'll notice a big difference with your new ones. For the battery, consider a Big Crank AGM. Mine has treated me well.

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portugeezer
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1982 Gl500
1984 Honda Magna V30

Re: Hard starting

Postby portugeezer » Fri Mar 21, 2014 6:42 pm

Replaced the plug caps and battery today. The bike fired up immediately. Measured the old ones all just under 10ohms.

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Placerville
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Re: Hard starting

Postby Placerville » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:42 pm

Good for you. Isn't it nice to fix something and have it make such a noticeable change in performance.
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portugeezer
Posts: 424
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Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1982 Gl500
1984 Honda Magna V30

Re: Hard starting

Postby portugeezer » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:09 pm

Yes it is. I owe much thanks to you, Fred, and Virgil! You guys have helped solve a lot of my puzzles and I really appreciate you guys sharing your knowledge!




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