Hydro Lock

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Hoosier Jack
Posts: 384
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:21 am
Location: Terre Haute, IN
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 Interstate

Hydro Lock

Post by Hoosier Jack » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:38 am

Strange thing happened to me on Monday. Took off for a ride and about two blocks down I noticed that the bike was running poorly. I remembered the petcock and switched it up to ON. The bike died and it dragged and I could not get it started as it seemed the battery was dead.

Then it just locked up. Sounded like the starter would not engage. Click click.

I got the Gold Witch back to the homestead and yesterday evening it crossed my mind that I had a vapor / hydro lock. Took out the plugs and turned her over and the gas she did fly. (Don't ever do this in your garage, or living room Harley guys) Now, I have already replaced one motor on this bike because of the same problem, so I keep the petcock turned off. It was on the side stand since I had trigger finger release surgery last week and can't pull the bike on the center stand yet.

So the question is how to avoid this happening again? BTW the carbs have been rebuilt and synchronized. The bike has been running great, easy to start without choke, steady idle and no hiccups at throttle.

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Re: Hydro Lock

Post by dingdong » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:38 am

Did you use OEM float valves for the rebuild? Aftermarket float valves have a reputation for not sealing properly. Happened to me. I don't know of anything you can do other than turning the petcock off. Your description of the event seems strange though. Since the bike was running before having to turn the petcock to on. ???

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Johnyy Smoke
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Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100
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Re: Hydro Lock

Post by Johnyy Smoke » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:48 pm

It does sound like the floats could be off. They have to be spot on from heel to toe. "Close enough" just will not work. Also be sure they are not bent in any way, all 4 of mine were bent in some way or another. I have never heard of this happening when the bike was running, a bit odd.
Regards, Johnny

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