81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Frank5839
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 5:56 am
Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:48 pm



I bought my 81 Naked GL1100 a few years ago with a Solex Carb on it. The bike only has 16,000 miles on it so I figured that anything that was wrong with it would be fixable. It never ran right with the Solex, really rich and stunk, and I know a lot more about the old single barrel carbs than I,d like to admit so I got fed up (so did my wife...she won't follow me down the road on her 96 Shadow Classic because my bike smells so bad)! Over the winter I did a complete rebuild of the original carburetor and reinstalled it in place of the #$%^&!! Solex. And yes I cleaned out all the tiny ports in the idle nozzles.
I can't seem to get the carbs to sync at idle except at 1" to 2" vacuum. Even then it runs rough. I can get 4" to 5" on any of the cylinders and even more on 1 and 3 but I can't get 2 and 4 to sync unless I drop way down to 2".
I made up a home made timing cap (which lasted about 20 mins so I have to redesign that) and it showed me that the F line is almost out of the top of the site window. The F line is also bouncing with the popping of the engine on one of the cylinders. I don't know if the timing being advanced that much would cause the popping/uneven firing.
I did notice that the left side (2 and 4) exhaust gas is a lot warmer than the right side and the right side is purring.
I know I'm running rich somewhere because I can smell it. Not sure if its just because of all the adjustments or something else.
I pulled the plugs. 1,3 and 4 have some carbon on them but that is probably from idling so long trying to sync. #2 plug is clean and dry?????
All four plug wires show that they are firing based on the inductive timing light.
I am not aware of any way to adjust the timing back into spec with the electronic ignition. Any suggestions?
I did a compression check and compression is right to spec on all 4 cylinders.
My next step at this point is to pull the valve covers and check the valve tolerances. I am hoping that I find a problem with the clearances which corrects the imbalances.
I don't think it makes any difference but I did a water pump replacement at the same time as the carb change.
Any suggestions!
Thanks



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wingman12
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Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby wingman12 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 10:17 pm

Good evening Frank. There are several carb possibilities. During rebuild did you set your floats properly. Are the floats sticking? How about the slides, are the installed correctly and polished good before installation? Is fuel/air mixture exact on all 4 carbs? If the timing is off, perhaps when new belts were installed (recently) the tensioner/tensioners were not set properly and the belt skipped a couple of notches. Look up "how to replace timings belts" in how to do articles to verify timing. Then adjust valves. Then sync carbs.

Frank5839
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:29 am

Floats and slides are ok (I'm pretty sure).
I'll take a look at the belts when I check the valves.
Thanks

Frank5839
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:41 pm

I checked the valves and the left side needed some adjustment but not too much. Then I took the advice from one of our contributors and from cold ran it for 10 seconds. Pipes from #3 and #4 are cold. Obviously not firing. I revved the engine up to 4K a few times and #3 got warm but still touchable. I am wondering if that was just radiation. #4 stayed cold. Using my strobe I see that I am getting a spark to all 4 plugs. Must be a weak spark coming from the left side coil. I plan to follow the Clymer sequence of testing the pulse generator and then the spark unit and then the ignition coil.
Any alternative suggestions would be appreciated. I was thinking of switching the right and left side coils to see if the problem moves to #1 and #2.
I certainly hope its not the pulse generator. Really don't feel like pulling off the rear wheel.
Thanks

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wingman12
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Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby wingman12 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:17 pm

Switching your coils will certainly give you verification weather or not your coils good or bad. Much easier than replacing the pulse generator. While you are switching the coils you will find the wire for the main chassis ground off the regulator. Save yourself a head ache down the road and clean and inspect this spot. I unfortunately only learned after the fact and had to take everything apart to clean up this ground. I Hope you find a bad coil and that solves your problem. :D :D

Frank5839
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:24 pm

Thanks wingman 12.
Will do

Frank5839
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:01 pm

Pretty Frustrated -
I switched the leads and plug wires between the coils and 1 and 2 still fire and 3 and 4 still don't.
I switched the plugs on the spark units and 1 and 2 still fire and 3 and 4 don't.
I checked to ohms on the pulse generator and its in spec: 517 and 529.
So that eliminates the ignition system I guess. Am I missing anything?

So I pulled the carbs back out and pulled off all 4 float chamber covers.
The first thing I noticed was that #3 and #4 chambers had gunk in them. And I know it wasn't there when I closed them up. I had a bad batch of gas last fall and changed filters but there must have been some gunk in the line??!!! But how did it get through the little filters above the float chamber?
I took off all of the floats and float valves and pulled the inlet filters. I noticed that the filters above the brass needle ports were all able to be removed from the ports. Cant say if they were plugged before I pulled them.
Should these filters be glued in some way to the brass ports so they stay in place?
I pushed on the slide needles below the main jets. #4 seems to move okay. The rest were pretty sticky. I know they were free floating when I assembled them!!! Will have to pull them all apart again!
I have to scare up my low idle jet probe to check to see if they are all clear.
Any other suggestions?

Thanks

Frank5839
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:02 pm

o yeah I do plan to recheck the float settings

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wingman12
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Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby wingman12 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:47 pm

Good evening Frank, the gunk had to come from somewhere? Drain your fuel into a proper container and use a fine cloth (old handkerchief) to catch any gunk, flush out and inspect inside of tank, change fuel lines and filter, allow the fuel pump to pull some seafoam in until coming out the hose to the carbs. Let set there while you clean up your carbs and jets, set float bowls, bench sync carbs, set air/fuel to 2.5 turns out. After cleaning with several cans of parts cleaner every orifice, nook and cranny, polish slides, jets, etc (Google rebuild carbs 1982 gl1100) excellent step by step tutorial on rebuild and cleaning on another goldwing site. Sorry wing admin. I'm Not savy enough to copy and add to your how to do list.
After everything clean and new, add fuel with seafoam and flush seafoam out of fuel pump. Connect fuel line and Fire up your wing. :D :D

Frank5839
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:16 pm

Wingman 12
I just came in from the barn and saw your note. Oh by the way she is purring!!!!!!
I did all of the above except Randaaks and Clymer indicate 1 1/4 turns on the fuel pilots for the 81. I tuned them the 7/8th of a turn both ways and nothing happens. Not worried at this point. Some of the threads suggest cutting off the tabs on the limiters on the screws so you can actually adjust them.
I drove 50 miles round trip to get a 1/64" drill bit and used that to really clean out the slow jets ( I live out in the sticks). I had been using a wire brush bristle but I dont think it did the job well enough.
I did not get to the sea foam. I didn't see you note. I have a brand new filter and new fuel lines in place and new gas so I think I'm in the clear. I did the brake cleaner routine on the bad spots and put everything back together.
Now all 4 are firing and I am pulling 10" on all 4 carbs at 1000 RPM.
Tomorrow I put it all back together and take it for a test run.
Thanks for all of your input. It was a big help.

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wingman12
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Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby wingman12 » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:23 pm

Excellent news. I Love a good ending to any saga. Since your bike had carb issues put 1 oz seafoam per 1 gallon 87 Oct. Gas for at least 3 tanks. Run her like the devil is chasing you and you are off to the races forever. Congratulations and gods speed and keep the rubber side down. :D :D

Frank5839
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:53 pm

Ok so I have taken a few rides, with sea foam in the tank, and I get a bad stumble between around 2800 and 3500 rpm when I'm on an incline. Outside that she runs great. Above and below.
I set up the vacuum gauges and revved it up through 4000 and could hear a little popping in the problem zone. 1, 2, and 4 pull about 8" at 3500 and 3 pulls about 5". I pinched off the vacuum advance hose and I THINK the popping wasn't as pronounced but the cylinders showed about the same vacuum.
I can ride but I have to pull to the apron on long steep hills and I am up and down shifting on hills to get out of the bad range.
If the accelerator pump was fouled I would expect the problem to be worse above 3500.
Would a sticking slide in #3 cause this problem? Sticks just enough between 2800 ans 3500 and above the vacuum from the engine is enough to overcome the sticking and below 2800 I'm in balance?
Would losing mixture on just one cylinder cause such a bog down?
Funny thing is it smells like it's running rich????

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wingman12
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Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby wingman12 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:15 pm

Good evening, if my memory serves me right, the #3 carb is the one that you have to sync the other carbs to. sync 1 to 3, then 2 to 4 and then 4 to 3. I am only guessing on the incline stumble, but it seems to me that the floats are not set correctly or perhaps a couple are sticking??
look up in the how to do articles on this forum "how to read your plugs ". pull each plug to see if in fact you are running rich or lean? any idea what you are getting mpg wise? you should be in the 40mpg range.

Frank5839
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:07 pm

Wingman 12 thanks for all you help
Mileage is awful. But I'm not sure exactly how bad. I keep shifting up and down on inclines and I'm drawing the tank down pretty quick.
I set the floats with a fine ruler and they were all moving freely when I pulled it apart again last week. Only issue was the strainer below the float valve kept coming off the brass housing. I did get them all in straight.
I'll check the plugs.
What do you think about a sticking slide?
Thanx

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wingman12
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Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby wingman12 » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:01 pm

Hello Frank, I was hoping a couple glass of wine and a bite to eat would assist me in offerings a solution to your loss of power on an incline. Being as I am not a professional mechanic, I Can only guess at the solution. I did read a thread the other day that stated " the 1100 loves high RPMs" if my memory serves me correctly 4000 to 5000 rpm is peak torque and the sweet spot for mpg. Are you lugging the engine?
I would imagine a sticky slide would show up regardless of rpm above idle.
Hopefully wing admin or one of the many other professionals will jump in and offer you a suggestion on your issue. I am very interested in what is causing your issue, strictly for future reference. Please keep my posted and if I do come across a idea I will at least pass it along :D :D

Frank5839
Posts: 32
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Location: Livonia New York
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100 "naked"

Re: 81 GL1100 Trouble Syncing & Timing Off

Postby Frank5839 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:27 am

You are correct on the 4000 rpm. She absolutely tears above 3500.
I'll keep you posted on my progress.
I'm going to order a timing window and be sure of where I am. My home made one self distructed before I could recheck the timing once I had the carbs synced perfectly.




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