Fan behavior, engine temperature


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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eddiejanzer
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Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:42 pm



I have a 1981 Naked wing. 80 degrees here in Virginia, and when I am driving down the road at 50mph, the temp gauge will get about 3/5 up, and the fan comes on, brings the temp down below half way and fan comes off. Cycle repeats itself. I have read on some wing forums that fans hardly ever come on cruising down the highway? New water pump, thermostat, fan switch, and radiator flushed by a radiator shop (reconditioned).
Am I overly concerned here?



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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:09 pm

While I can neither confirm nor deny whether my fan turns on while riding at road speeds, I doubt it does. The temperature gauge on my 1200 rarely approaches the middle of the range of the gauge unless I'm riding in town in stop and go traffic.

The only opinion I can offer is that your cooling system may have air trapped in it, and that is what is causing your temperature to rise while riding.

You did not mention your radiator cap... was it also replaced when you did all that work? It could make a difference in how the system manages pressure. If the cooling system can't operated at slightly elevated pressures, as I'm sure you know, it will not function as designed.

Have you filled the overflow to the "full" mark and kept an eye on it? Perhaps when riding, if you pull over and pop the cover and have a look at the overflow tank level it may indicate if the system is working correctly.

If it were mine, I'd replace the radiator cap, if it hasn't already been done, and verify the system is solid with coolant. If you're not using coolant, it probably rules out head gasket trouble. I didn't ask if there is water in the oil, which would also indicate possible head gasket leak. Another check you can do is pull the plugs to make sure they don't look like they've been steam cleaned by a leaking head gasket.

Aside from low pressure / low water inventory in the cooling system or a head gasket leak, I can't think of a thing (other than those you have already replaced) that would cause the fan to come on at road speeds. Sorry to read you're having trouble.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

eddiejanzer
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 naked

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:30 pm

I did replace the cap too. No oil in the coolant and no coolant in the oil. (my other bike has that problem, blown head gasket, another wing) I will check for air tomorrow, thanks for that explanation.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:34 pm

Just one man's opinion... there may be something else, but there's nothing else I can think of.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

eddiejanzer
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:10 pm

Yes, I understand. Of course, if someone posted here saying they been riding the same bike for 10 years, and it behaved the same way... that would be my best news.

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dingdong
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby dingdong » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:31 pm

With everything in good working order the fan should never come on at that speed and temp, not even close. At least you know your fan is doing it's job. Another "usually overlooked" cause of engines running hotter than normal is vacuum leaks or dirty carbs or out of adjustment carb floats. Causing the engine to run too lean. You might check your plugs to see how they are firing.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

eddiejanzer
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Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:35 pm

One of the carbs floods when idling, and the tank is rusty. The plug on the left (uploaded image), is from the cylinder/carb at issue. These plugs only have about a 100 miles on them so I do not know if anyone can see an issue?

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dingdong
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby dingdong » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:02 am

Those two plugs are burning very lean. Could easily cause your overheating problem. I don't recommend riding with this condition. You could damage your exhaust valves.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

eddiejanzer
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:16 am

ok, that is good to know. Thanks. I will check my compression today.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:40 am

I had a look at the picture before I left for work this morning. I wasn't sure I was seeing clearly at 0430, so I didn't comment. If the "white" on the plugs is truly as white as it seems, then I am completely in agreement that they look very lean. I think sandy to rusty brown is more what I expect to see when I look at plug color...

Did you have an opportunity to check cooling system level to ensure it is correct?

Before I spent any time on a compression check, I would put a set of vacuum gauges on the intake elbows and see if I could get the carbs balanced... What do the other two plugs look like? One of them should look fairly normal.. #3, if I recall correctly on an 1100 is the one that isn't adjustable, isn't it? The rest have to be balanced to the "fixed" carb, one side (left side and right sides balanced and then left balanced to right) to the other. Once balanced, you should be able to tell more from the plugs.

I'd be checking and probably changing the fuel filter pronto, if you have rust in the tank... your engine may be starving for fuel because the filter is slammed full of rust...
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

eddiejanzer
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 naked

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:49 pm

my filter does have rust in it. Replacing tomorrow. About the plugs, they have no mileage on them. The other two look right but they have more miles. The plugs that were replaced were browner after 1000 miles or so. Last year carbs were synced. I recall the guy who did that for me changed the fuel air mixture but I do not recall if it was set richer or leaner. I do not want to put my newly rebuilt carbs (by Pistol Petes) on the bike because of the rust of course.
Compression check is to give me peace of mind as far as going further to solve this issue. Like de-rusting the gas tank, and cleaning the carbs.
Thanks for all this input by the way!

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dingdong
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby dingdong » Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:04 am

100 miles is long enough to get a reading on the plugs. You have probably answered your own question. Rust in the tank and filter. Balance isn't going to solve your problem at this point. You are right regarding the newly rebuilt carbs. Don't even think about using them until the (tank is serviced "most important" ) and a new filter is installed.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:38 am

I changed my fuel filter out with a NAPA "Gold" filter, with 1/4" tubing fittings on the ends to allow me to push the fuel lines on and install those fuel injection type clamps on them. I think it cost 8$ or something like that... and it tucks in where the old one was located, out of the way.

I agree that putting freshly overhauled carbs on with rust in the tank would not be a good thing.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

eddiejanzer
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 naked

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:55 pm

Thanks, Hawkeye, for all your input. I did the napa gold filter today, raining. tomorrow take it for a test and watch it's behavior. If my compression is ok and the fan still comes on, then it's time to tackle the gas tank. I have done a lot of research online about that project. Tedious but essential. There is a radiator shop here in town, gonna give them a call and see if they can deal with it after I pull it off. If the bike temp comes down from the new filter (I doubt it will), then the tank gets done this winter and then new carbs go on.

eddiejanzer
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Location: Charlottesville, VA
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Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:11 pm

SOLVED. When I bought this bike last year, it never had air fins on the left and right of the radiator. Last night I went to my storage and grabbed a pair from my old bike that I am rebuilding and put them on. Got it on the highway and drove it up the mountain. Fan never came on, not even close. Also, the fins send enough wind through the radiator to "spin" the fan around. That fan never did that before. There was not enough wind going through.
Tank will be done in the fall, and new carbs put on.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:31 pm

Good to read this...

I'm probably in the minority for thinking this way, but I'll write what I think anyway. If you put a new fuel filter on, and it sounds like you either have or will, I can't imagine the fine particles in the tank can work their way past the filter into the carbs... if you have any doubt, you can always put two filters in series so one filters the fuel before it can enter the second filter. I know there's enough room under the tank for two if you don't mind how it looks.

I never used one of the kind(s) of filters that you can take apart and clean. I suppose I'm too lazy to clean one on a regular basis, but I'm not too lazy to toss a plastic one in the burn pile every few months.

I put a little 2-cycle oil in my gas to help out with upper cylinder lubrication, to offset the dryness of the ethanol and I think it might coat the tank a little to keep condensation from turning the inside of my tank into a rusty mess... can't say for sure.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

eddiejanzer
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 naked

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby eddiejanzer » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:07 pm

I've heard the oil in the tank helps with rust too. I am going to ride the bike until another issue comes up. Thanks again for your input.

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Ericson38
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL 1100 Standard, 2000 GL1500 SE

Re: Fan behavior, engine temperature

Postby Ericson38 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:41 pm

Glad you got it resolved...just read your post today. My '83 standard will run in the lower 1/3 point on the scale to about 100 deg outside. At that point, I have gotten stuck at the traffic light where hwy 28 crosses hwy17 at Bealton and had the fan run for 10 miles north on 28 at 45 mph, finally turning off at Catlett when the temp gage reached 1/4 of scale.




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