White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust


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FallenHeavens
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Location: Visalia, CA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade

White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby FallenHeavens » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:39 pm



So I noticed about a week ago that I've had white smoke coming from my exhaust [both sides, much more from the left than the right] spews out white smoke for about 5 seconds after first turning the bike on, then for about the first two blocks it gets gradually less and after those two blocks are driven it's almost completely gone. Just today I noticed that white smoke is also coming from the engine, mostly from the left side right near the exhaust headers. I wasn't able to get an image of the smoke clearly [white smoke doesn't show well in photos in the sunlight apparently] but it doesn't really start to smoke near the engine until it's been warmed up. I had a friend come by and look at it, and he's saying that it's oil building up on the header bolts that's burning off. It seems to smoke for about 20 minutes or so then again start to die out. After it's stopped for about 5 or so minutes it starts back up but no where nearly as strong. I've provided photos of where it smokes the most just for reference [even though I assume you all know where I'm talking about].
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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:22 pm

I don't know if this applies to your model, but a 1200 left on the sidestand with a full crankcase of oil will often smoke on start up. Apparently some engine oil manages to get past the oil rings and piston rings, into the combustion chamber above the piston due to the inclined position of the bike on sidestand. This "seepage" burns off when you start the engine, and it smokes a lot for a short bit... Mine did it when I bought it. As time goes by, and I ride the bike, the smoke on start up has all but become a memory unless the bike sits for several days (rarely) without running.

When I was first told by someone else, that this was causing my smoke-on-start problems, I put the bike on the center stand instead of the kickstand, if I were going to let it sit for more than a day, and my smoking problems went away as long as I put it on the center stand.

Your problem make be similar, or it may be caused by an entirely different source. If it is oil smoke, and you should be able to smell the difference between oil and water burning off, as antifreeze has a distinct "sweet" smell to it when it burns ... I'd try using the center stand. You might also check the oil level, as if it is too high in the crankcase it can lead to trouble like this.

To determine if it's oil or water, you can also pull plugs and check the color and condition. Water being burned off will leave plugs looking like they've been steam cleaned, because they have. Oil burning will tend to blacken plugs...

Onceyou figure out the source of your smoke, it will be easier to determine what to do to fix it. I found that sitting seems to be the worst thing a Goldwing can do... being ridden, often, seems to make these old motorcycles just want to run longer and stronger as time goes by. If you're not losing coolant, and if the smoking is not water related (head gasket) then the best thing you can probably do is ride her for a few hundred miles and get the rings seated properly again.
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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WingAdmin
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:40 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:I don't know if this applies to your model, but a 1200 left on the sidestand with a full crankcase of oil will often smoke on start up. Apparently some engine oil manages to get past the oil rings and piston rings, into the combustion chamber above the piston due to the inclined position of the bike on sidestand. This "seepage" burns off when you start the engine, and it smokes a lot for a short bit... Mine did it when I bought it. As time goes by, and I ride the bike, the smoke on start up has all but become a memory unless the bike sits for several days (rarely) without running.


It's actually (usually) not seeping past the rings, it's seeping past the hardened valve stem seals. But yes, the same thing fixes it: Keep it on the center stand.

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RBGERSON
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby RBGERSON » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:26 am

I put a small 2x4 block under the side stand works as well..just where I park it over night in the garage..smell the smoke if sweet = antifreeze = water = head gasket..not good.

Smoke up front means leaky header washers or a hole??..new copper washers a good idea.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

FallenHeavens
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Location: Visalia, CA
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100 Aspencade

Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby FallenHeavens » Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:17 pm

So I haven't started it up since yesterday and it has gotten worse. The smoke is now a more steady flow and it's not nearly as thick but there is a hell of a lot more of it. I sprayed GUNK Engine Degrease Heavy Duty Gel around the bolts on the underside of the engine connecting to the headers to try and clean them of since most of the oil was covering those bolts. I waited about 20 minutes and took an old toothbrush to those bolts to try and get more of that junk off. It seems like it's gotten worse since yesterday. I'm going to leave it on the center stand for a couple days and try it again to see if that helps anything.

Are there any engine rebuild kits around for a good price that will actually be effective? If anyone has any advice on parts to buy to improve my GL1100 please let me know [1982 Aspencade model but I've turned it into a Standard].

This project is getting so far beyond what I wanted it to be to begin with but I figure I might as well just jump headfirst into it and try to rebuild the whole damned thing. I've got a longboard to get me around town until the project is finished so I've got something to hold me over until it's finished.

Old Fogey
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby Old Fogey » Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:46 pm

You may have two unrelated issues here. The smoke around the front of the exhausts could be oil; as someone suggested, the exhaust port O rings probably need to be renewed (make sure that you pull the old ones out. I've had heads with FOUR old rings crushed together in the ports!).
If you have been starting up and switching off without getting the exhaust system up to temperature, the white smoke could simply be condensation inside the system burning off. The fact that it goes away after a couple of blocks normally would seem to point to this.
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imadamine
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Location: lebanon
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby imadamine » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:18 am

Hi,

I have a GL1100 interstate 1981 and have the same problem I cant find a centerstand for my bike, and its missing so I have to park it on its kick stand.

And when I start it a dense white smoke leaves the left side of my exhaust but however in some cases it doen't smoke and sometimes it does!

And when I park it overnight I put a block under it so it stands straight but also sometimes it smokes and somtimes it doesnt, and when it smokes when its straight a smoke from both exhausts is present any ideas guys??

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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:31 am

As said before, check the spark plugs to see if its oil or coolant.
You can learn a lot from the lowly plug. :geek:
Coolant would be the head gasket, no need to rebuild the engine. I bought the Athena top end kit from BikeBandit for around $100. It has all that you need for the heads. Except the cam seals, which should be replaced. It is a quality kit and all the gaskets fit properly.
If its oil maybe the engine is overfilled.
Let us know what the plugs look like. Regards, Johnny

imadamine
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby imadamine » Sun Aug 09, 2015 6:57 am

The spark plugs are black and I the smoke smells like oil and fuel!

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maintainer
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1982 GL 1100 Interstate (Sold)

Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby maintainer » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:00 am

Your sense of sight and smell will help narrow it down. Also the tip on spark plug inspection is excellent.

If it is indeed (white smoke) that indicates water vapor or steam which would point towards a leaking head gasket.
Also a good time to monitor you coolant reserve tanks level critically. At times any engine will briefly produce white smoke from the accumulated condensation that's vaporized by the heat of the exhaust system.
The white smoke could smell kind of sickenly sweet (coolant).

Generally (black smoke) means an over rich fueling condition so on this bike carb, jet, float level type issue.
Also black smoke will smell of fuel.

Finally (blue smoke) indicates the burning of oil from the combustion chamber. It could mean bad rings but these flat fours are infamous for petrified valve stem seals.
Blue smoke will have a strong smell of burning tar or oil.
1982 GL 1100 Interstate SOLD
1977 GL 1000 Standard (naked can be good, who knew?)

Old Fogey
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby Old Fogey » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:06 am

Also, the kind of black on the plugs will help;
Dry, sooty black - over rich fueling. Usually means that the carbs need going through. This black through normal running. Don't be mislead by checking after starting up a few times with the choke on and not getting up to temperature.
Wet sooty black- as above. Smell the plugs.
Oily black - you're burning oil. Piston rings worn (can be checked with a leak down test), valve stem seals (most likely) or a combination of these.

Clean the plugs, go for a ride and make sure that you get the engine hot. Then check.
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imadamine
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100I Interstate

Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby imadamine » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:16 am

Its a dry black I couldnt recognize what it smells, but however I want to know if this dense white smoke is caused by the kick stand or not?

Thank you guys:):)

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Johnyy Smoke
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:27 am

Put it on the kickstand for a few hours and see if it smokes. Then let it sit on the center support few a few hours and check if that made any difference.
Try alternating this over a period of a few days.
It could be the valve seals are all dried out, or the idle screws are set to far out (but I doubt it), or even floats may be off (it don't take much)- but it is all conjecture until you narrow the cause by going down the list and check all the things suggested.
Let us know what you find out. Regards, Johnny

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roadwanderer2
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Re: White Smoke from Engine and Exhaust

Postby roadwanderer2 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:32 am

sometimes my 83 aspy will do the same thing if left on the side stand over a few nights then started up in the morning. a lot of the oil goes to the left side of the engine. i put it on the center stand a few times over night and it didn't smoke when i fired it up the next morning.

here's a thought too, could you have the crankcase overfilled with oil? sometimes that will also cause it to smoke a lot on start up. check the oil sight glass to see if the oil level is over the horizontal bars on either side of the glass. if it is over, loosen the oil filter cover and let some out into a catch pan or something you can slide under the cover until its level with the bars. the motor shouldn't have more than 3 1/2 qts of oil with the filter.

stuart.




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