Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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rkmason
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 10:30 am
Location: Austin, TX
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:51 am



I got my '81 GL1100 Interstate up and running about a year ago and ran it thru last spring and summer without problems. It sat in my garage over the winter, and now when started it it needs constant partial choke to idle without dying, and idles very rough like some cyls are not firing at all. :x

The carbs were totally rebuilt using a Randakk kit and I had the bike running fine last year. Suddenly now it idles like a P-o-S. I've been running it and riding it a little with a tankfull of fresh gas + plus a couple of bottles of fuel system treatment, but it's not getting better. I'm about to remove the carbs again, but thought I would ask here before I jumped in. Any ideas or suggestions what to do next?



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virgilmobile
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:38 pm

Narrow this down a bit first.
Start the bike from cold...idle only (as best as it can) for about 8 seconds...shut it down...lightly tap each header pipe to find which cylinder is not firing (a cold pipe).
Remove that spark plug,check for spark and compression...If they prove OK , then move to the idea that the carbs are gummed up.
Do all the easy stuff first.

rkmason
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:00 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Narrow this down a bit first.
Start the bike from cold...idle only (as best as it can) for about 8 seconds...shut it down...lightly tap each header pipe to find which cylinder is not firing (a cold pipe).
Remove that spark plug,check for spark and compression...If they prove OK , then move to the idea that the carbs are gummed up.
Do all the easy stuff first.


Already did the easy stuff; not an ignition or compression problem. 99.9% certain it's a carb issue...

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virgilmobile
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:35 pm

Good.aught to be a afternoon project cleaning them up.

rkmason
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:15 pm

FYI, pulled the carb rack and found that the #3 carb slow jet was plugged up again. I don't understand how this would happen setting a few months; I had these carbs completely cleaned, rebuilt and working great last summer. Maybe some leftover muck from the gas tank cleanout? I found some particles in the fuel line filter and a little fine grit in and around each carb bowl fuel inlet strainer. The muck that plugged the slow jet is not particles; more like a condensed sludge or residue.

Just ordered a new set of press-in slow jets from Jets-R-Us. Hope I'm not going to repeat this experience a year from now after the bike sets over next winter....

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virgilmobile
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:10 pm

Just curious...why are you replacing contaminated jets instead of cleaning them.
I also had stuff that plugged on jet.it came in as a result of the ethanol fuel.Too small to filter,it accumulated in the carb bowl.
Seems once I got everything cleaned and flushed for the second time,I've not had any other fuel problems.
As a precaution,you may clean the tank,replace the filter and flush the lines.

rkmason
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:35 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Just curious...why are you replacing contaminated jets instead of cleaning them.
I also had stuff that plugged on jet.it came in as a result of the ethanol fuel.Too small to filter,it accumulated in the carb bowl.
Seems once I got everything cleaned and flushed for the second time,I've not had any other fuel problems.
As a precaution,you may clean the tank,replace the filter and flush the lines.

I have some history with these jets from last year when I did a complete recommission of this bike. Last year when I did the complete carb rebuild two slow jets were plugged up from the molasses-like leftovers of fuel that had been setting in the carbs for ~20 years. To clean those two slow jets I drilled the thicker leadin section of the jet so I could use an easy out to remove them for proper cleaning of the jet out of the carb body. This time I decided to drill and pull all four of the jets to start again with a fresh set. I'm also changing to the next bigger size slow jet along with slightly bigger main jets to richen up the mixture. While riding this bike last year I felt some lean surge during cruise and the plugs are not showing any color at all which seems to indicate a too lean condition.

The tank was completely flushed and derusted last year. All lines are new, and I've already cleaned out the fuel filter element along with the screens behind the carb fuel inlet needle seats.

If this happens again in future with the fresh jets I'll start cleaning them instead of replacing them.

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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby RBGERSON » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:13 pm

Changing jet sizes is generally not a good idea..you may find it very hard to tune and synch..also intake issues may arise..

You said the plugs sowed no color what does that mean..white? or actual just bare metal?
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

rkmason
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:30 pm

RBGERSON wrote:Changing jet sizes is generally not a good idea..you may find it very hard to tune and synch..also intake issues may arise..

You said the plugs showed no color what does that mean..white? or actual just bare metal?

I'm looking for a little bit of ash gray or tan color on the insulator, and right now the plugs look as new (no color at all on the white insulator).

I'll take my chances with the jet size change; the difference from stock is very minimal. And I don't really see how carb syncing can be affected if all carbs are the same. If the jet change doesn't work out I'll just go back to the originals.

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RBGERSON
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby RBGERSON » Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:39 am

I thought plug readings was to look at the electrode looking for light tan or gray..and avoid black sooty or wet looking residue. Not the insulator
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 12:56 pm

RBGERSON wrote:I thought plug readings was to look at the electrode looking for light tan or gray..and avoid black sooty or wet looking residue. Not the insulator


Correct. If you have ash color on the insulator, you've got problems.

rkmason
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Location: Austin, TX
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:39 pm

rkmason wrote:I got my '81 GL1100 Interstate up and running about a year ago and ran it thru last spring and summer without problems. It sat in my garage over the winter, and now when started it it needs constant partial choke to idle without dying, and idles very rough like some cyls are not firing at all. :x

The carbs were totally rebuilt using a Randakk kit and I had the bike running fine last year. Suddenly now it idles like a P-o-S. I've been running it and riding it a little with a tankfull of fresh gas + plus a couple of bottles of fuel system treatment, but it's not getting better. I'm about to remove the carbs again, but thought I would ask here before I jumped in. Any ideas or suggestions what to do next?

Finally, it's fixed. I found that both #2 and #4 carbs both had some sort of dark gunk blocking jets. #2 carb had both jets blocked, and #4 carb had a blocked slow jet. I replaced all four #35 OEM slow jets with new #38 jets, and all four #145 OEM main jets with #148 jets. I'll run them this season and see what happens; after a couple of short runs I'd say performance is the same or maybe slightly improved. The plugs have a nice tan ash color now (they previously showed no color).

I'm still confused how the carbs could gunk up like that over one winter after working perfectly last year.

4wred
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby 4wred » Mon Feb 29, 2016 8:15 am

You said you cleaned out the tank and fuel lines,did you clean out the fuel pump also?Maybe some trash was in there!

rkmason
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Re: Ran Fine Last Summer - Now It Won't Idle

Postby rkmason » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:05 am

4wred wrote:You said you cleaned out the tank and fuel lines,did you clean out the fuel pump also?Maybe some trash was in there!

Yes, I also had the fuel pump opened up last year to check & clean it. The only old fuel system component I reused pretty much as-is was the fuel pump-to-carb fuel line section, and I did flush and blow that line out. I have now replaced that section with new fuel line.

I'm hoping the problem will fade away over time as I run more fuel thru the system.




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