82' GL1100n trouble

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Location: Castro Valley, California
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Interstate

82' GL1100n trouble

Post by Piddler » Tue Dec 23, 2014 10:29 pm

My 82' GL1100 is acting up terribly. It ran "alright" the last time I rode it but wouldn't start soon afterwords. I just tried to start it (with a little starting fluid just in case) and it made a loud almost banging noise, well more a big bang cause I stopped right away. It is something major I fear like maybe timing chain or something. I hope I didn't bend a valve or anything like that if it is. Where do I go from here to diagnose this thing?

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Re: 82' GL1100n trouble

Post by dingdong » Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:54 am

Was the bang a backfire type of bang or a mechanical metallic type of bang?

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Re: 82' GL1100n trouble

Post by RBGERSON » Wed Dec 24, 2014 8:39 am

Take the stator bolt cover off and try to turn the engine by hand it should turn over fairly easily with a few harder spots as you go..you may have had hydrolock(left the petcock on???) which could bend a rod or valve..hope not..

Check the belts are they intact? broken = bent valve, holed piston or both.

taking the spark plugs out will make it easier to turn her over by hand and will avoid the issue of hydrolock.


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Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Interstate

Re: 82' GL1100n trouble

Post by Piddler » Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:22 pm

Not a backfire, more like a hammer smacking something solid

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Re: 82' GL1100n trouble

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:13 pm

The simplest way to check for a broken belt or damaged valvetrain is a compression test - no disassembly required.

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Re: 82' GL1100n trouble

Post by 82aspen » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:09 pm

usual start issues are spark, fuel or a combo

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Re: 82' GL1100n trouble

Post by HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:05 am

Not knowing anything more than what you've given us to work with makes it difficult to "guess" what the trouble is. I can only offer what I've experienced where "banging" noises are heard or banging is felt when starting one of these old bikes.

If you had just "run" the engine, and tried to restart it right when you heard that banging sound, I'd be inclined to do as previously suggested. Try turning the engine by hand to see if it will rotate. If it does rotate, then you probably haven't experienced any catastrophic damage. My first inclination is that one of your timing belts has failed. Depending on how loud this banging is, it could be something as simple as your carbs are out of sync. I've seen these old bikes make some ridiculous banging noises when the carbs are messed up...

So, I'd rotate the engine by hand to make sure it isn't something really bad... take the plugs out and the engine will turn more freely. If the engine rotates okay by hand, then I'd put plugs back in it and try with the starter. I NEVER use ether (spray starting fluid) on gasoline engines.

I'm guessing your carburetors are either pretty far out of sync, or in need of rebuilding. The imbalance caused by poorly functioning carbs can make these flat fours buck and bark like nothing I've ever seen before.

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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