Fuel Gremlin


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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rodee71
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 1:18 pm
Location: Winchester, Virginia
Motorcycle: 1982 1100 Interstate
1993 1500 Aspencade

Fuel Gremlin

Postby rodee71 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:37 am



Went to ride my 82 1100 yesterday and after I turned on the petcock (I had drained the carbs after my last ride 3 weeks ago by running out the gas cause they leak a little). She wouldn't start, even with a shot of starter fluid. The kill switch was 'on', so that wasn't the problem. The gas guage read 1/2 full. Let her sit all day in the sun and last nite, I put a gallon of gas in her, and she started and ran for 3 or 4 minutes, then shut off and wouldn't start....until I turned the petcock to reserve. Now she runs fine, but stalls if I put the petcock back to run, even while I'm at 50 mph. So I rode to work this morning on the reserve (26 miles). I get about 38-40 mpg, so the reserve is not used up yet and I'm wondering if the tank will feed the carbs after I run out the reserve if the petcock is still on reserve, or will I be s.o.l.? Anybody had this happen?



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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fuel Gremlin

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:52 am

Seems to me you might want to drain the gas out of the tank and have a good look at that petcock. If it is installed correctly, when you run out of fuel on "reserve" you're completely empty. I don't know why it won't supply fuel to the carbs when "on" is selected, unless there is some blockage in the petcock or fuel tube.

Some of the petcocks can be taken apart with the two little screws on the sides of the unit. Others have rivets that can be drilled out (after removing the unit from the tank and completely removing any gasoline from the petcock, of course) with replacement screws used to assemble the petcock. I think Randaak (I think I spelled it right) sells rebuild kits and has a "how to" section on rebuilding a petcock that is riveted together.

You can also buy a new petcock. I've seen brand new (old stock) units for sale on Ebay for about 40$ US.
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.

User avatar
rodee71
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 1:18 pm
Location: Winchester, Virginia
Motorcycle: 1982 1100 Interstate
1993 1500 Aspencade

Re: Fuel Gremlin

Postby rodee71 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:44 pm

Thanks I'll be getting a new petcock soon.

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 11:53 am
Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Fuel Gremlin

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:27 am

Before you spend money on my say-so, please check out what you have to see if it needs replacement.

There may be some other explanation ... I sit here in the comfort of my living room, reading words put on a message board by people hundreds or even thousands of miles away, and then I speculate as to what I think MAY be wrong with their motorcycle...

Now, I try to be logical and I base what I write in response on practical experience and good mechanical practices... but it is easy to be WRONG when you don't have the opportunity to put hands on the actual motorcycle in question...

Fuel systems aren't that hard to figure out on a bike with carbs on it. Clean filter, fresh lines (I replace them on any motorcycle I buy used), clean fuel and a little "Seafoam" or fuel system cleaner of your choice USUALLY will go a long way to keeping the fuel system running fine.

I read your words again, and it is quite possible your fuel system is operating just fine, and it MAY be your fuel gauge is reading "off-high"...

If you have the petcock in the "on" position, and you're not getting fuel, then you move it to "reserve" and the engine runs fine, you have fuel... just not much... adding a gallon of fuel may or may not be enough to get you to a level where "on" will flow fuel to the carbs...

Please do a little more checking before spending money on a petcock you may not need.
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.

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RBGERSON
Posts: 2625
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: Fuel Gremlin

Postby RBGERSON » Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:07 am

OK easy check..fill the tank..take the line off the bottom of the petcock turn to on..oops put a spare line on the petcock and put the end in a jar ..then turn it to on..fuel should run out on it's own with a full tank..if not your on tube is clogged..drain tank to below halfway/below petcock level. (once there fuel doesn't flow on it's own) take petcock off and then use an old speedo cable on a drill slow speed to rem it out..drill at slow speed works in a second; push in slowly so you don't poke through the screen at the end it's only about a foot to the screen if that..while you are at it do the reserve line too about 20". Look into the tank at the screens could be clogged as well..need to take the sensor out to see in there.

doubt the fuel is is off unless it was always reading wrong..you can test it with a meter very easy hook up meter tot eh tabs on the sender unit, move the arm ohms should change..move it slowly.

Or do nothing and remember to refuel at aroudn 150 miles??? while running on reserve :lol:

PS while the petcock is off blow some compressed air to clean it out..move the lever to both positions..if I remember correctly the rear one is reserve the front on..could be wrong on that easy to check with the air blowing through..


HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB


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