78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Scott Klug
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78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:04 pm



First of all, brand new here, and only had my 78 GL1000 for a couple of weeks. Always wanted an old Wing and finally got a good deal, and have been pretty happy until today.

I was riding along with the gas gauge showing about an eighth of a tank, when suddenly "BLAM bam ba-blam blah blah blah blam bluuuu" it dies and I coast to a stop. Turn petcock to "res" and it turns over fast but no start. Push it a few hundred yards to gas station and fill up. Starts right up and I go on my way, grumbling over the weird reading on the gas gauge and no reserve.

Riding a few hours later, notice the bike running a little rough, not revving as smoothly, popping a little here and there etc.

The main question is: did it knock something out of adjustment when it backfired? Secondary questions: why did it go blam from just running out of gas; why is my reserve not working; and whatup with the gas gauge suddenly giving me a bogus reading? Any help is appreciated, before I take it to the dealer to write a big check.

Thanks in advance. I've read a few of the posts, and I'm excited to have access to such knowledgeable and decent folks. And I'm still jacked to have an old Gold Wing!



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WingAdmin
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:37 pm

Here's a possibility:

When you run out of gas, it's not like a switch going off - the mixture starts to go very lean as the fuel runs out, and too lean a mixture can cause backfiring.

When you switched to reserve, it was blocked with crud, so it wouldn't start. Some of the crud made it through and partially clogged jets in the carbs. You filled up, switched back to main, and it runs, but not as well, because of the crud.

Just a theory.

Have a look at: bike dies switching from main to reserve tank

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scotterichmond
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby scotterichmond » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:45 pm

It back fired cause it went lean. the reserve thing? it sounds like you had it in the wrong position . If you run in the reserve position, there will not be any gas left to "reserve" to.
A thirty + old bike , not a suprise the sending unit is not"accurate"

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scotterichmond
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby scotterichmond » Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:46 pm

if it back fires can it damage the air cut off valve ?

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moose4jesus
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby moose4jesus » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:00 pm

Scott,

I'm also a new '78 Wing owner and had some recent issues as well. WingAdmin has good advise you can also check the fuel filter in case some particles in the bottom of the tank were sucked in as you ran out of gas. Also make sure your plugs are not fouled and are gapped appropriatedly, and the spark wires are in good shape.

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:14 pm

I am so bored,so here's some worthless info.

1978..88..98..08..09..10..11.......that makes it...uhh carry the one remove shoe....34 years old. :D

Pretty good huh?

Scott Klug
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:02 pm

I run it in the ON position, not the reserve. And if it sucked some crap from the bottom of the tank, wouldn't the fuel filter catch it?

I drove it about 20 miles tonight. When first started, it runs pretty smoothly...but within 5 or 8 minutes it starts with the rough running.

It makes a "chuffing" noise...and spits and bucks etc.

Again, I wonder if the backfiring could have knocked something out of wack in the carbs...with the synchronization or settings etc.

Thanks for answering!

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Fred Camper
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Fred Camper » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:19 pm

How about a plugged fuel cap, when it does that next time try removing the fuel cap and see if anything changes. They are vented, but if the vent plugs up, then you "run out of gas" early as the pump stops pumping well.

These fuel gauges are for entertainment value only, they typically show empty when you have a 1/3 tank (2 gallons or so) left. But you had the opposite problem, so I do not think this problem was related to the gauge in any way.

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby dingdong » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:37 am

Gauges are typically incorrect but they are easy to adjust.

http://www.randakks.com/TechTip51.htm
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby thrasherg » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:39 am

You might also have some water in your gas tank and when you switched to reserve it sucked up some of the water, that will pass right through the filter and cause bad running for a while.. I would suggest opening the carb drain screws on the bottom of each carb and drain whatever fuel and other stuff is sitting in the bottom of the carb and see if that cures the problem, otherwise it sounds like a carb clean is in your near future!! If draining the carb does fix the problem, I would be looking to quickly drain the main tank (Use the gas for a lawn mower) as it sounds like you have crap in the main tank.

Gary

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby scotterichmond » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:50 am

Gary,
I did not think of that , I bet you are right on !

Scott

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby detdrbuzzard » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am

i have never run out of gas on a wing but on other hondas with points and condensers running out of gas would over heat one of the condensers and the bike would run like crap after the condenser cooled or fired on only 2 of four cylinders of it was a 4cyl or 1 of two cylinders if it was a twin
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Scott Klug
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:48 pm

Well, I rode it a few times and it starts fine and runs fairly smoothly at first, but it actually gets WORSE as it warms up.

Then yesterday, I was in the home stretch, twisted the throttle after a stoplight, and the throttle cable broke. The grip just twisted in my hand.

Fun!

Thanks for the answers, folks. Think I'll just trailer her to the Honda shop...sigh.

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Fred Camper
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Fred Camper » Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:00 pm

Throttle cables are not bad to do yourself, and not sure if the lads at your honda shop will know how to troubleshoot your wing. They might, but...

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:26 pm

Just got the bike back from the shop, where they replaced the throttle cable and diagnosed the problem with rough running.

They said that two of the mixture screws in the carbs had the tips broken off. And that I'd just need to go ahead and have a full carb rebuild at about $1200.

And it would be wise to have the timing belts done too, at about $450. Though it has less than 20K miles, it ~is~ 33 yrs old...

Fun!

Thanks for all the replies.

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby scotterichmond » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:41 pm

I wished I was closer to help you out. The dealers are making a living off of just you it seems.
I have always done my own work, for money reasons and I want to gain knowledge, about EVERYTHING.
I say if a human can make it, I can fix it. Somethings just have a bigger learning curve than others.

I even learned to make violins ( self taught) and they are real good too !

All this to say, if you are not in a hurry, you can learn to do your own work and control the quality of said work.
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Fred Camper
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Fred Camper » Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:09 pm

Pistol Pete will rebuild your carbs for way, way less. And they will be perfect. Pistol Pete shows his 1975 GL1000 will idle at 450 rpm with a proper carb rebuild and Randakk fully supports his efforts. Cannot go wrong with Pete, but you might be very dissapointed with your dealer at $1200.

http://www.oldwings.com/services.html

End of summer sale;
"*Basic rebuild for the GL1000 as below except new throttle shaft seals are not installed. Priced at $375.00 (End of Summer Event price $337.50 a savings $37.50) and has been proven to work exceptionally well on most engines."

And timing belts must be changed at regular intervals on an interference engine like a GL1000, but $450 is way over parts and labor cost.

Scott Klug
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:45 pm

Thanks, I've been reading the Randakk site til my eyes hurt.

A buddy of mine who owns a GL1200 told me about the guy who sold it to him...who has an auto repair shop but loves to work on old Wings and Harleys...I'll give him a call...can't hurt.

Pistol Pete's looks like a good deal too...if I feel like tackling the removal/installation.

So, any ideas how those screw tips "broke off"? Incidentally, this very shop had those very screws out when they went over the bike a year or so ago.

Scott Klug
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:59 pm

To be fair, that $1200 does include everything -removal and install and syncing- not just the rebuild. I know it's still high, but it's not 3X as much as Pete's.

The timing belts are pretty steep tho...they want 60 each at the Honda shop...I found Gates T274s on Amazon for 30/pr plus shipping...and they figure 4-5hrs labor...hmm. Guess it pays to know what you're doing!

Nice violins!

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Fred Camper
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Fred Camper » Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:32 pm

Napa has those belts too, seems like they were less and you save the shipping if you have a local Napa supplier.

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby mk197523 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:02 am

Hey! When you run out of gas, it's not like a switch going off - the mixture starts to go very lean as the fuel runs out, and too lean a mixture can cause backfiring.the reserve thing? it sounds like you had it in the wrong position . If you run in the reserve position, there will not be any gas left to "reserve" to.

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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Old Fogey » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:47 pm

Scott Klug wrote:Just got the bike back from the shop, where they replaced the throttle cable and diagnosed the problem with rough running.

They said that two of the mixture screws in the carbs had the tips broken off. And that I'd just need to go ahead and have a full carb rebuild at about $1200.

And it would be wise to have the timing belts done too, at about $450. Though it has less than 20K miles, it ~is~ 33 yrs old...

Fun!

Thanks for all the replies.


Check out Pistol Pete for the carb rebuilds: http://www.oldwings.com/
Top man! and he doesn't charge $1200 either !!!

Timing belts can be had from any number of sources over there; try NAPA or Rock Auto, then go here:
http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3544 for the full buna on fitting them yourself. It's really not that difficult.

If you are going to run a 30 odd year old machine, you really need to find out how to maintain it yourself
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby sfruechte » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:06 pm

The best 'fuel guage' on your bike is the trip odometer. Reset it when you fill and you will hit reserve in the 160-200 range depending on driving conditions.

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Fred Camper
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Fred Camper » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:13 pm

sfruechte wrote:The best 'fuel guage' on your bike is the trip odometer. Reset it when you fill and you will hit reserve in the 160-200 range depending on driving conditions.


Nope, that will work for knowing when to fill up, but it will not replace the hours of entertainment the gauge provides with its desire to tell you your empty after you use two and a half gallons of gas.

Scott Klug
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Re: 78: Ran out of gas, backfired hard, now missing.

Postby Scott Klug » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:32 pm

Well, I bit the bullet and took it to the local Honda dealer.

Their diagnosis is indeed the two broken tips from the mixture screws are causing the running problem. The tech is concerned that the tips are "wedged in the carb bodies" and that they won't be able to extract them. So I may have two dead carbs.

He mentioned having an old set from a GL1000, but the numbers don't exactly match mine, so they are probably unusable. He also mentioned that I might find a set of carbs on eBay. Given that I so brilliantly made the original bike purchase on eBay, I had to chuckle ruefully at THAT.

Single carb conversion sounds better every day. Any recommendations?




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