Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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John Albert
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Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby John Albert » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:28 am



I added a little more than half a bottle of Seafoam to my 82 GL1100 gas which ran fine for 20 minutes. I shut off the engine for an hour, then when the wife and I went to run out the tank, the engine barely would bring us up through the gears. It stumbled as if it was bad gas or not enough getting to the carbs. I siphoned out 2 gallons of gas, then added more fresh to thin it out thinking the concentration was to high. This did not change the sypmtom. I am planning on changing the fuel filter but our local shops are all back ordered for after market fuel filters (Honda wanted $42!!) so I am using a FRAM G4164 with 1/4" hose ends. My GL has 73,000 miles and I have not changed the fuel filter in the 50,000 miles that I have ridden it.The bike has been run often over the years and stabilized in winter, but last year I only ran three tanks through it all summer. This is my first tank full this year. In summary, has anyone had enough junk or varnish in their tanks which Seafoam can dislodge so quickly and plug the petcock or fuel filter? Thanks John


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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:23 pm

I've not heard of it doing that, but I suppose anything is possible. I have dumped an entire can of Seafoam into half a tank of gas in my 82, and it ran no differently than if it was on pure gasoline, so I don't think the problem is too high a concentration. I have had a stumbling fuel problem that took two or more tanks of Seafoam-treated gasoline to fully resolve, so if you can actually ride it the way it is, keep the stuff pumping through to see if it will dissolve the deposits. The fuel filter is definitely a good place to start - did you actually replace it? If so, have a look at the old one and see if it is clogged.

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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby shawnf » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:59 pm

Not Sure But, for the first 30min of riding with the seafoam in it you probably broke loose all the crud, now as you stated its clod your fule filter up, so changing it will more than likely fix your horse !!! Good luck !!!

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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby RoadRogue » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:56 pm

The engine will run with a 50/50 mix of seafoam and fuel,so even a full can in a tankful wont affect the performance.change the filter,blow the lines out backwards and check all clamps are tight,even where the petcock is bolted to the tank,I had a leak there once.Fuel wouldnt leak out but under heavy load the fuel pump would draw air past the gasket,nearly drove me nuts till I found it.
Ride safe, Todd
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John Albert
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby John Albert » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:59 pm

I am beginning to think this is a coincidental fuel delivery issue and not a direct Seafoam issue. The tank Interior looks very clean and the outlet screan is free. Installed a Fram G4164 gas filter (doesn't fit GL mount but functions) and intake fuel line. http://www.framcatalog.com/PartDetail.aspx?b=F&pn=G4164 Just went for a check out ride which started out a little stumbly and got worse over time. (It idles OK but terrible under load) With the new filter, I can see that the gas level dropped below the outlet tube level while driving and it did not come back up in the driveway. I opened the gas cap at idle to see if there was a vacuum but that did not increase the flow. With the cap open, I think that eliminates the petcock seal pulling air as roadrouge mentioned. I noticed a slight back pulse of the fuel pump in the filter at idle which smooths out upon revving. I do not know if that is normal. The petcock drained nicely when I pulled the old hose off so I don't believe it is holding back from the tank side. I replaced the fuel pump at 26,000 miles (73K now) because it leaked out the top diaphram seal. I am hesitant to take the pump apart for now so I will pull off the carb side hose and crank some pump fuel into a container. My original reason to try Seafoam was because the machine has been running rich the last few years. It was starting better without the choke pulled, then I would apply the choke for warmup. I thought this may get it back to normal but I probably will need to go through the carbs over winter and do it right.Thanks for all your inputs!
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Sep 19, 2010 7:45 pm

There are two tests for the fuel pump.

Pressure Test

Connect a fuel pressure gauge to the fuel pump outlet line with a T-fitting. Start the engine and measure the fuel pump output pressure.

2.41 psi at cranking speed
2.3 psi at 1100 rpm
2.0 psi at 5000 rpm

Volume Test

Disconnect the fuel pump outlet line at the fuel pump. Connect an auxiliary fuel supply to the outlet line.

Connect a piece of fuel line to the fuel pump and run it to a graduated beaker.

Start the engine and run it at 3000 rpm. Fuel pump output should be 450 ml (15 oz) per minute at 3000 rpm.

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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby goldtr6c » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:17 am

Find your old filter and shake it. Ifit rattles, you have one of the deffective filters out there. Some were made with the filter element about 1/8' too short. This allowed a lot of water and crud to go around the end and right into the filter screens under the needle seats.

John Albert
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby John Albert » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:50 pm

Goldtr6c, as I recall from my last handling the old filter, there was a rattle inside, will verify tonght. I need to source a pressure gage for the specs WingAdmin provided. Last night I blew all the lines back and tried to suck the #3 carb fuel inlet clear of obstruction. Also blew back into the petcock which flowed freely and no back flush showed up in the tank. Nothing noticable from those efforts. I don't have a pressure gage to place in-line but I did pump some fuel into a glass which came out very quickly. Since the fuel filter is now clear and I can see it is being pulled down quickly I am hoping it may be the petcock seal as Roadrouge stated. I have read of this symptom on other forums that the fuel filter is full at the start, but is near empty once you get going. My filter only gets half full at idle and draws down in 5-10 seconds. Roadrouge, do you have a method of checking the petcock for a suction leak? The seal kit from Randakk's or a full replacement would be easy if I can verify the leak before hand. Also, is the fuel cap suppose to vent, hold pressure or hold a vacuum? I read a mix of answers to this on other forums and I have not tryed to clean the passages yet. Thanks!
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bigbrown
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby bigbrown » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:34 am

Seems coincidental, but the same thing happened to me on my 83 1100. I had run a couple of tanks with seafoam in it ( first time I ever tried this) and I had that exact problem. I changed the filter and the fuel lines as they were originals and still had the problem. However, when it happened at the beginning of my 5400 mile ride in August I had to pull the choke on at 50 mph to get it to run properly. Only had the choke on for a few seconds and it caught the fuel again and I was off to the races. I think that doing that it sucked the crud through and cleared the screens in the tank. I haven't had a problem since.

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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby nvrider » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:50 pm

I also added 1/2 a can of seafome to my tank due to poor fuel milage stumbling there was already new fuel filter and lines installed but the carbs were gummed up NOW see is getting 41mpg twist the grip and see is gone!!!! that's with in a week of ten miles one way to work in the city can't wait to get her on the back roads in the twisty!!! drop the bowls on the carbs and see what you find and check the screen in the cartbs. Just my penny worth.

John Albert
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby John Albert » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:07 pm

It took a while to get back to the Wing but here is what I tried this weekend. Added new tygon (translucent yellow) fuel line to see if there is air pulling through the petcock seal. None seen from that effort however I can see the fuel is being drawn down from the hose and fuel filter with little getting to the pump.

I then pushed silly putty into the face and perimeter of the petcock to seal a suction leak with no evidence of sucess as well. Then checked the fuel pressure and it is at 3 PSI at idle and 2 or so at higher RPM. This is an analog gage which pulses the needle a bit so I assume the pump is still good when the pump gets fuel from the filter. I reported in a prior posting that the pump cranked out a lot of fuel unpressurized but I did not measure the output at that time.

Drained the tank down to reserve level by letting the pump hose end dangle into the gas can. Flow was pretty consistent running vertically through the filter. Tried opening and closing the gas cap to help flow and that showed some improvement. I then drilled two .125 dia holes in the top of the gas cap which I thought was going to solve the starving issue. Ran around the block which did not pull down the fuel level as in the past but had a little burbble on acceleration. Went out on the county roads and she started to burbble more with some pre-ignition. Stopped part way back and fuel filter was empty again. Errrggg...

I was going to pull off the petcock and see if there is a gause/felt pre-filter on it which was described elsewhere. I only see a very course domed screen (no gause??) for the main tank pickup and the reserve tube disappears to the rear. I see there are two blind braised on nuts on the inside and two braised pick up tubes to contend with once loose.

I don't want to tear much more of the Wing apart this fall because I am getting to the point of setting it up for winter which allows room for the car in the garage. I hate knowing the wing will not run next spring having to deal with this again..... So, I am leaning towards that either the petcock or fuel pick up in the tank is partially plugged. If I wasn't running on the poor boy track right now I would take it to my favorite repair shop to get through this but I was trying to sell the Wing to trim some costs before this happened.

Thanks for all the posts up to now guys. Is there any thing I have missed before I conceed the tank needs to come out and clean the fuel pickups etc? I will get a better aftermarket (Emgo) fuel filter and hang it properly on the mounting bolt, just in case the .75" unsecured filter drop causes a flow issue. I am using a Fram G4164 gas filter which is used on smaller cars.

Thanks

John
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:39 pm

From what you've described, it sounds like you're heading in the right direction - petcock or intake screens. Something is preventing the fuel from getting to the filter. You've ruled out the gas cap pressure problem.

If you take the fuel line off the filter (on the supply side), and just hang it in a bucket and open the petcock, does fuel flow out? You might want to try that with a full tank to make sure gravity is on your side.

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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby cbach1981 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:23 pm

I had this problem earlier this year. Turned out to be the screen on the fuel pickup line in the tank. I just shut off the petcock, removed the line from supply end of filter, and blew into it while turning the petcock back on. Had some resistance then free flowing air straight back into the tank. Haven't had a problem since. Might want to try that "so stupid it's genious" trick. you never know....
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby RoadRogue » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:47 pm

When I fixed mine with apparently the same problem ,it was the 2 phillips screws that hold the petcock to the tank or so I thought.I also checked all hose conections at the same time. If your fuel filter is full when you start and has air in it when you are having problems you must have a leak between the pump and tank,thats only 6 possible seals and 2 hoses.damn near drove me crazy trying to find it and then it was gone.
Ride safe, Todd
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John Albert
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby John Albert » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:57 pm

Thanks for all your insights!

Roadrouge, I misunderstood your prior post on the air sucking into the petcock. You found that air leak at the two large main screws that secure it to the tank, not the petcock internal rotary seal?

Also, does anyone know if there is a gause or felt prefilter upstream of the petcock? I envision it to be like a course weed eater gas filter.

Thanks

John
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dwight007fchr
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby dwight007fchr » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:17 pm

Hello.....I just purchased an 83 Interstate, and am doing a restoration. I drained the tank today, and flushed with fresh gas, and drained that (will dump in my riding mower). I filled the tank with 2 gallons of hi-test, and added about 4 ounces of Seafoam (since everyone at this site raves about it). I sure hope I dont have the same issues you have described.

However, when reading your comments I thought I would toss out this suggestion: Rig up a temporary bottle for a gas tank and mount somewhere on the rear luggage box. Be sure the temporary tank has a pin hole in the top to let air in, and maybe a simple on/off valve on the bottom. A quart size is plenty.....run your line down to the pump and take her out for a spin. If she runs good, then you pretty much know that the tank must be clogging up for some reason. If she still gives you the same symptons, then you know its not the tank, but something else. Maybe the fuel pump is defective and somehow sends air back toward the gas filter? Hey......you sure you dont have the input and output lines reversed on the pump?

Just some ideas.
dwight.

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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby idjit » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:53 pm

All very interesting. I seafoamed my GL100 to death when I first got it for what turned out to be an electrical problem. Many months later it went lean on 3 cylinders, but the forth is great. Makes me think the screens in the carbs. It think if it was at the tank all 4 would be lean. I, also, was wondering if the seaform could have been the start of it all.

I've got a randakk kit on my bench now. I was going to derust the tank, check screens, replace hoses and gas filter in the process. Now I'm goin to shake the old filter while I'm at it to confirm if it could have contributed to the issue. After all, with a dirty tank a good filter should keep the carbs clean. I'll be starting at the tank and working toward the engine to play it safe. Nice winter project.

John Albert
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby John Albert » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:25 pm

Well, it has been almost a year since I posted my original symptom. The last contributor had a good thought of hooking up a remote tank to see if that stops the starvation.

Short update. This summer when I started it, #2 & # 4 carbs (left two) are dripping down the float bowls. Am thinking there is junk in the carbs broken free from the cross tubes after the sea foam took action. The debris is holding the float valves open now....? If there is a pluged line in the carb cross over lines then maybe there is no flow allowed and the pump cavitates to nearly dry? The remote tank trial would tell this and may get to it before fall.

Have the bike up for sale but am thinking with so few inquires will have it again this winter. I may send the carbs out to one of Randakks approved rebuild shops and get it done correctly.

Thanks for all your inputs! John
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tunaman
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Re: Seafoam in tank, now runs like starved for fuel.

Postby tunaman » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:24 pm

I want to thank all the people that contributed to this thread as i had my cards rebuilt by Pistol Pete and I put new hoses and new fuel filter on the bike and it would not idle. I needed to pull out the choke for it to stay running. I was almost ready to remove the carbs and send them back when I read about other peoples problems and I bypassed the "new" fuel filter and it works. The moral of the story is do not buy Taiwan filters on the internet!!

I am so glad I did not do a lot of unnecessary work

Thank you All again

Dan




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