Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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scheibye
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:07 pm
Location: Baltimore
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby scheibye » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:10 pm



Hi all,

First of all thank you for this awesome forum. The guides here have really helped a complete newbie such as myself. I am new to this forum and to motorcycles in general.

I have had issues with getting my 1980 GL1100 to start after it sat for 2-3 weeks. It used to run very nicely without any issues at all. I first thought it was the starter because the bike didn't turn over so I used your excellent guide and rebuild the starter which I am happy to say led to a very nice a clean starter that works...but it did not fix the problem.

I pulled the plugs (also using your guide, thanks again!) and the engine now turns over very nicely, hooray! However, when I put the plugs back in, the engine turns over maybe once or twice and then won't turn over at all. Without knowing anything I was thinking that some kind of vacuum is created that prevents the engine from turning over.

Anyway, I am at a loss. I can remove the plugs and the engine turns over, add them back in and it gets stuck right away. The plugs are brand new 8DEA installed per your instruction with careful consideration not to overtighten them.

Any words from the wise and knowledgeable people of this forum?



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wingman12
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Motorcycle: 1999 gl1500 se

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby wingman12 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:09 am

First of all Sheleibye, welcome to the world of GWs. You will not find a more knowledgeable bunch of folks than here. My first thought about your bikes issue is the battery. Remove battery, charge it on a battery tender and then take it to a motorcycle battery shop and have it load tested. Your description of cranking issues sounds as if battery is bad or not fully charged. These bikes need a fully charged battery to function properly. If you can provide more information as to what po ( previous owner) did maintenance wise it would be helpful going forward. Again welcome and help us assist you in your winter project. :D :D

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Aussie81Interstate
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Motorcycle: 1982 CX500 Turbo (restoration project)
1981 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1988 GL1500

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:26 am

I think the previous post might have hit the nail on the head - as a bad battery or low voltage getting to the starter motor.

I would check all your leads with a multi meter for voltage & continuity from the battery to the solenoid, then one side of solenoid to the other from the battery when trying to start. Then one from the battery to the stater motor input lead- let us know the results.

Also measure across the battery terminals and tell us of the voltage drop when trying to start the bike - do it with plugs in.

If you have a corrosion build up, loose or dirty connections, this can cause a lower voltage going through to the right areas.

Check and clean all your leads - particularly the battery earth to the frame ground connection.

scheibye
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:07 pm
Location: Baltimore
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby scheibye » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:08 pm

Thank you so much for the feedback. I will definitely check that as soon as my volt-meter gets in (ordered on ebay for 8 (!) dollars).

In the mean-time, I tried to disconnect the plugs so they are not drawing power but keep them in the engine block. When I do that the engine is not able to turn over. Is this still consistent with something wrong with the electrics?

I'll update you when I go through the electrics more carefully.

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virgilmobile
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:36 pm

Its also a good possibility that the starter motor needs service.Many years of dried grease will affect it.Pull it,clean and repack with new lube can help.Inspect or replace the brushes too.Pay close attention to all the ground points,especially the brush holder plate where it contacts the motor body.It must but clean.

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dingdong
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Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500
2004 NRX1800 Rune

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby dingdong » Fri Nov 20, 2015 4:01 pm

scheibye wrote:Hi all,

I first thought it was the starter because the bike didn't turn over so I used your excellent guide and rebuild the starter which I am happy to say led to a very nice a clean starter that works...but it did not fix the problem.


Hi Virgil.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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virgilmobile
Posts: 7644
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Nov 20, 2015 6:29 pm

dingdong wrote:
scheibye wrote:Hi all,

I first thought it was the starter because the bike didn't turn over so I used your excellent guide and rebuild the starter which I am happy to say led to a very nice a clean starter that works...but it did not fix the problem.


Hi Virgil.


Hey there.
Putting the plugs back in just increased the resistance 10 fold.If the battery and wiring are OK,revisit the starter again.It can spin great on the bench and bind under a load from worn bushings.

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dingdong
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1993 gl1500
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Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby dingdong » Sat Nov 21, 2015 4:17 pm

Wasn't sure you read that correctly. I see that you did. Makes sense now.
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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firagate
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:22 am
Location: tampa FL
Motorcycle: 1979 gl1000

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby firagate » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:47 pm

now im lazzy and did not read all the comments but i had the same problem there are 2 things that could be wrong
1 your battery has a bad cell and does not put out the full voltage you need, the way i find that out is by hooking up a battery charger and putting it on engine start and see if it turns over if it does then you have a bad battery if not

2nd this is what happened to me the previous owner didnt know how to time the bike and had it out 180 and that made the motor refuse to turn over more than just a err thats easy to check and i imagine you know how to time the bike

but also you may have a ground somewhere thats always a possibility

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wingman12
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Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby wingman12 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:02 pm

Good evening Firagate, so does lazy mean you have not checked out the possibility of bad battery, bad ground or bad timing or none of the above? :D :D

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firagate
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Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby firagate » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:26 pm

ive checked all of that with my bike :lol: and almost every thing between im just to lazzy to read allot of comments i figured this post was very similar to mine and the problem sounds the same so i put in my 2 cents hey if something worked for me it might just work for someone else right

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wingman12
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Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby wingman12 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:34 pm

Glad to hear you have got your problem solved :D :D

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redial
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Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby redial » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:38 am

I would not be trying to start the engine with a charger hooked up to the battery. Something's got to give!
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

scheibye
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:07 pm
Location: Baltimore
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby scheibye » Sat Apr 23, 2016 3:37 am

Hi all,

Just an update here 6 months later. So I ended up taking the starter apart again and noticed that the insulation around the wire was completely gone. I replaced the starter. The engine still wouldn't start so I replaced the battery and the dog bone fuse and lo' and behold the bike started! :D

So I was riding it now and again this spring until suddenly one day when I tried to start it to get back from work there was a "click/crack" sound and the bike wouldn't start. The starter spun but the engine didn't turn over. Uh oh :(

So in the parking lot of my work I removed the starter, took it apart and found that the reduction gears were completely shattered. Luckily I had the old starter that had intact reduction gears and I therefore replaced the gears and the bike started up right away. Hoorray!
Broken reduction gears
Broken reduction gears

Anyway, I just wanted to give you all a huge thanks, without your help I wouldn't have learned how to take the starter apart and I would have spend a small fortune on repairs. So, thank you for your help and have a great riding season this year.

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dingdong
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Motorcycle: 1976 gl1000
1993 gl1500
2004 NRX1800 Rune

Re: Engine turns over only when spark plugs are out

Postby dingdong » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:44 am

Just curious about the new starter that broke. Aftermarket or what???


Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


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