Bike won't start - dry plugs?


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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newomij
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Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:55 pm



I'm not able to get my GL1100 to start. Have been reading similar threads with varying responses to reasons why there might not be spark to the plugs. One of them being the kill switch. Have also been reading about starter rebuild and thinking that would be a good idea. The starter wouldn't have anything to do with spark to the plugs, though, would it? I am limited in knowledge with automotive electrical and what repairs I've done on this Goldwing have been attempted only via these forums complete with pictures. So, anyway, I've pulled the plugs on the left side but don't see any spark when cranking the ignition. Do the plugs have to be grounded to the engine to see spark or just connected to the plug wires? One thread said to do one plug at a time. Other threads go through a myriad of possibilities but without a picture, I'm pretty much lost.

My bike was running fine when I parked it last October. I don't winterize it 'cause I ride it on decent days throughout the year. I make sure I start it up and run it for awhile every month and run the carbs dry after it warms up when I go longer than four weeks without riding it. But, trying to start it up in late December and couldn't get it to fire over. It sounded like it wanted to run but just wouldn't. Thought maybe I flooded it. Let it set for a few days and tried again with the same result. Couldn't really smell any gas though, so I started thinking it could be something else. Pulled one of the plugs before I read some of the threads here. Hoping there was no debris in the pocket that fell into the cylinder. I was surprised when I pulled the plugs and found them dry. I figured after cranking the throttle and choking the carbs that there would be a lot of fuel sitting in the cylinder. Not so. Maybe I'm barking at the wrong dog but unless I'm doing something wrong, I'm not seeing any spark at the plugs.

Sorry for the life story here but at least just about all the information is here giving someone a chance to decipher and address the possibilities helping me get this girl running again.

Thanks for any help!!
Jim



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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:31 pm

Take a spare plug or 2 attach to the plug wire(s)..lay the threaded part of the plug on the engine and crank it.This should show a good spark.
Did you remember to turn on the gas.?
Hey..I forgot once..

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newomij
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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:22 pm

LOL. Got a back breaking story that goes with not "turning the gas on". But, for this exercise, I did. I'll try the suggestion to see what happens.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby RBGERSON » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:12 am

Another easy thing to do to Id the problem is to get a spray bottle with gas in it..open the air box and while cranking spray some gas into the plenum if she fires it's a gas flow problem..usually clogged idle jets. Note if you really run the carbs dry..it takes 30 seconds or more to fill the carbs and get gas to the cylinders.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby dingdong » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:19 am

Also, since you are running the carbs dry you will have to crank it for quite a while to refill the carb bowls. Twisting the throttle won't help in this case. Try cranking a little longer until the bowls have time to refill.
Tom

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newomij
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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:55 pm

Ok. Thanks to responses here, I now know how to check for spark at the plugs. Good news! It has healthy spark at the plugs!!
I tried feeding some fuel through the air box and that was successful. It fired right up for the 2 seconds worth of fuel. So, now we are leaning towards RBGERSON's thoughts of "clogged idle jets"? Don't have time right now to search for that solution so if anyone wants to chime in while I'm at work this evening, please, feel free to point me to that thread or offer your expertise directly.

Thank you, so much!!

PS. It never ceases to amaze me how much I learn about my ride every time I log on here!!!

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby auctioneeral » Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:58 pm

I would pull fuel line at the pump that goes to the carb. and crank motor to see if it pumps fuel out line. If it does that would put problem at carbs. If no fuel that would lean towards going from pump back filter and petcock.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby f1xrupr » Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:11 pm

May I suggest opening at least one crab drain plug and see if fuel is being delivered at all? If the idle jets were the stopped up, the engine would still start and run by way off the main jets and the accelerator pump...it only wouldn't idle. Your gas gauge might be stuck, and the fuel level to low to pick up. Over the years I have run into a problem several times in low pressure fuel systems; there will be a low point in the fuel passage between the fuel pump and the carb(s). Over time, an air pocket developes in the fuel pump. With the resistance of the fuel in the low part of the fuel line, the pump can't push it through because it has no strength without a prime, and, it can't pick up a prime, because of the fuel blocking the line downstream (hope that made since). I'm not telling you to do this, but if that's the problem, this will work; (vary dangerous with a full tank) Air hose with a air chuck in tank throat with a rag wrapped as a seal-only a SMALL amount of pressure will prime the fuel pump...just a few thoughts...thanks.
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:59 pm

I agree with checking the filter while your in there. Regards, Johnny

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:59 pm

Finally back to it…pulled fuel line at the carbs and no fuel being delivered there. Removed the lines from the petcock to the fuel pump. Petcock flows well. Lines and filter are clear. With them removed, I'll take the opportunity to replace the filter.
So, we assume that the problem is the fuel pump? I'll start looking at the fuel pump threads to learn more before moving forward but if there are any other thoughts, I'm all ears. What about the possibility of the air pocket in the fuel pump as proposed by f1xrupr?

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby f1xrupr » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:34 pm

If you turn the engine over while you have the delivery line open, the pump should pick up if that was the problem.
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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newomij
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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:33 pm

Can you expound on that? What do you mean pick up?

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby f1xrupr » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:39 pm

Sorry....pick up a prime ....start pumping fuel
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:06 pm

I have all the fuel lines removed from the petcock valve to the fuel pump and from the fuel pump to the carburetor. Fuel is flowing freely from the petcock valve. I have a new filter to place inline and a new hose (the old one was red for some reason) from the fuel pump to the carburetor. Is there any other tests or simple approaches/fixes to examining the fuel pump before we exclaim it needs to be replaced/repaired? If it's faulty, CAN it be fixed or will it need to be replaced?
Thank you to all of you that take the time to read these posts and respond!!!

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:47 pm

I just did a search here for anything related to fuel pumps and the very last thread from that search told me that fuel pumps are rebuildable but it's a lot easier to just replace them because of a riveted diaphram.

So, unless anyone has further input here, I'll proceed in that direction.

Thanks again to everyone posting reply's.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby RBGERSON » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:21 am

fuel pump son the gl's rarely fail completely..they leak out the weep hole to show you there is a hole in the diaphragm. If it's leaking there shoudl be a gas stain on the rear of the pump below the hole. Could be a plugged/frozen port which is easy to clean. the top of the pump comes off and it's all right there.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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newomij
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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:13 pm

There are no signs of any leaks. Removed the top of the pump and inspected the components. I am able to blow air through one port and suck air through the other. Put the top back on, bolted down securely, should I be able to detect air from one of the ports when turning over the engine? How would I detect a pin hole in the diaphragm? If the diaphragm needs to be replaced, will the local Honda store have it?

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby RBGERSON » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:38 pm

you have to take the plugs/tabs apart in the pump and clean up the seats if they are stuck blowing air may open them but the pump by itself might not. Be careful taking them apart and watch how they come out..spring and direction of pieces..so they go back the same way!!


No Honda doesn't sell diaphragms..I do $12 cut to fit made of Viton better than Nitrile.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby urbanmadness » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:09 pm

I have another thought.... only becuase I went thru it.... The fuel systems will flow fuel, without the fuel pump *if* the tank if full.

I would at this point, pull a plug on the right bank and make sure you have compression. If you don't have compression on the right side of the engine, it could be a broken timing belt. The fuel pump is driven from the right hand cam shaft.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:58 pm

Way too much going on to explain the long absence but I'm back to the bike for a time.
Urbanmadness suggested the possibility of a broken timing belt. If I was able to get the engine to run for just a few seconds while dumping fuel into the air box, would it run with a broken timing belt? Lord, please, don't let it be a broken timing belt.

Are there any other tests to determine if the fuel pump is the culprit here?
Should I just replace it or try rebuilding it? Or, are there any other thoughts running through someones mind?

Once again, thanks for the help.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:08 am

what's a fuel pump relay?

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby littlebeaver » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:36 am

I doubt you have a broken belt as it cranked up fine when you primed it, you could just remove the cover to see and to have some peace of mind,, I would pull the rubber hose to the carb, put it in a plastic bottle and crank the engine if no fuel shoots out you have a bad pump, I would replace it or repair it, I bet it has a clog somewhere...

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby urbanmadness » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:35 am

They will run when primed but on 2 cyclinders. It won't be evident that it's only running on two as it won't run long enough. Easiest way to check and see if the belts are broke, is to pull a plug on each bank, crank her over, if it blows your finger out of the hole, timing belts are working.

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:07 am

The finger in the spark plug hole confirmed that the timing belt is working just fine.
Will check with Bent Bike today to see if they have a fuel pump. The weather here in Seattle has been extraordinarily nice for this time of year and I'm missing out on a lot of winter riding opportunities.
Thanks to all of you that responded and led me through this education. :D

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Re: Bike won't start - dry plugs?

Postby newomij » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:32 pm

Aaaahhh! Success!! New fuel pump. Cranked it till I could hear the fuel being delivered to the carbs. Rolled the accelerator a couple times, pulled the choke, hit the starter switch, and vaarooooom!!

Thanks to all of you who responded to this problem.




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