GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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goldwingingit
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda GL1100 Interstate

GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by goldwingingit » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:57 pm



Hello again everyone,

I posted before about putting the carbs back together. Well, I must have done something right because this grandfather ran today for the first time in maybe ten years!!! 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

Two things I noticed that are of concern are as follows:

1) White smoke coming out of the exhaust. It's sweet, so I'm pretty sure it's coolant. That means a head gasket replacement. Eh, not the worst thing in the world, I think I can do it. Might even make my own one instead of paying whatever ludicrous price they're going for. However, I'd like to take the bike out for a ride to confirm that this is indeed the problem. Old bikes like to generate a lot of smoke when they haven't been started for a long time. Dust, bugs, previous owner's ashes, etc. So, a short ride might clarify the diagnosis. What do you all reckon?

2) Major concern: the throttle response is insanely sensitive. The grip moves a very short distance before it is at full throttle. The throttle isn't tight to pull, so I'm not sure what the deal is. I haven't greased anything on the carburetors, just put them back clean. It is possible that I mixed up the push/pull cables (I mean, I just guessed), and during the carb rebuild I lost one of those felt o-rings, but the other one was good enough.

I also plan on checking the valve clearances tomorrow. The engine is running a little bit rattle-y, figure it's either the valves or the camchain.

Aside from that, the rear brake caliper piston has seized. I ran 125 psi through it got half way then nothing, even after sitting in carb cleaner for a day. Reckon I may have to order a whole new caliper, but I'd prefer not to!

I would like to mention again that this forum has been fundamental in getting this old grandfather kicking again. I've consulted it so many times throughout the restoration process. Thank you everyone. Hopefully I'll be riding it next week and enjoying the last decent weather in Washington before winter sets in. Come on global warming, hold out for me!! :D :D :D



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virgilmobile
Posts: 8086
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: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by virgilmobile » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:05 am

Caliper.Hand pump grease into it.
Sync the carbs at 1000 rpm to smooth the rattle.
Sweet white smoke.Dont rip it apart till you confirm.Keep a eye on the coolant level and spark plugs for telltales.
Yes they can belch smoke.Especially from setting up and on the side stand.
Throttle handle doesn't rotate all the way around.Maybe a quarter turn or so.This ain't no dirt bike.Youll get used to it

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goldwingingit
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by goldwingingit » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:36 pm

Hey thanks for the reply. So, I adjusted the valves and synched the carbs this morning. As I was synching the carbs, the amount of white smoke gradually increased. Now they are synched but it is S M O K E Y like you won't believe. Like, fills-the-garage-with-smoke-with-the-door-open kind of smokey. Test ride is not necessary, something is going on.

Is it really just the head gasket? Something so simple could prevent such a seemingly large problem?

I'm gonna order a new set tonight but once I get started down there, I don't want to have to deal with this problem again.

In the mean time I'll hit that caliper with grease and tend to the throttle. The throttle is more than just a quarter turn, if I am not actively holding it it starts accelerating, dirt bike or not, it shouldn't be that way :)

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goldwingingit
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by goldwingingit » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:37 pm

Oh, I should also mention that I put some marvel mystery oil with the fuel for the first start up. I wonder if that could be the problem?

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DenverWinger
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: 1972 CL-350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS-550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL-1000 (2002-2006) sold
1980 GL-1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL-1500A Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)

Re: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by DenverWinger » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:05 pm

virgilmobile wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:05 am
Sweet white smoke.Dont rip it apart till you confirm.Keep a eye on the coolant level and spark plugs for telltales.
Yes they can belch smoke.Especially from setting up and on the side stand.
+1 on that.

Ten years? Wouldn't be surprised if there were some stuck oil rings, Likely there was some rust in the cylinders when you first turned it over... Might be oil burning instead of coolant.

So, I'd think about some Seafoam in your oil for the rings, keep an eye on your coolant like Virgil said, and put a couple hundred miles on her. If your problem is head gasket, you'll notice it starting on less than 4 cylinders (coolant-soaked plug) or even encounter hydrolock. Carry a sparkplug wrench. Besides, the miles will do her good. Miles and Seafoam gives the rings time to reseat and your smoke may go away....

I had leaky head gasket in my 1100, it'd smoke (steam) when first started, but the coolant would get evaporated out of the mufflers after running a bit and steam wasn't really noticeable while driving. The head gasket got bad enough that I bought one of those "Lev-R-Vent" radiator caps and had wires tied to the end of the lever on the cap, one going inside the shelter and tied off by the air intake, "pull to open", the other wire tied to the radiator cap dangling under the shelter by the frame "pull to close". When I stopped and shut her down I'd pull the wire to relieve the radiator pressure. When starting back up I'd pull the lower wire and shut the radiator cap vent again.

If I forgot to relieve radiator pressure on shutdown, I sometimes wound up with a hydrolocked cylinder, and had to pull sparkplug so I could turn the engine over. If I forgot to close the cap vent when restarting, I'd be losing coolant to the overflow tank, and sometimes on the road (tank full) and she'd start getting hot. All this time she continued to run well, I went almost a full season like this, until I finally pulled her apart for new gaskets.

Take radiator cap off, warm up the engine some then jazz the throttle around. Leaky head gasket will push coolant out of the radiator, but this is not conclusive test as normal circulation and bubbles can push some out, too. A whole lot of coolant coming out might be pretty conclusive though....

Another thing you can do if you have an air compressor is a "leakdown" test. I had a welder friend of mine make me a leakdown adapter, we broke all the porcelain out of an old sparkplug, welded a short piece of pipe to it, then welded an air hose chuck fitting to the pipe. Screw the adapter in a spark plug hole, turn engine to TDC on compression stroke for that cylinder, and then put 40lbs air to the adapter. There's another "sweet spot" for testing at BDC, (between intake and compression stroke I think) If you don't have the piston and camshaft at one of the "sweet spots", your air will just go out the intake or exhaust. A leaky gasket at that cylinder will start pushing coolant out of the radiator with the cap off. Even without a compressor, you could probably pull off the test successfully with a bicycle pump.
They say 98% of all Hardleys ever made are still on the road..... The other 2% made it home. :lol:
(I stole this from somebody on another GW site...) :roll:

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goldwingingit
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by goldwingingit » Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:29 pm

That's a comprehensive test! I'll get some sea foam in the oil for the first ride. Based on what the previous owner said I'm not entirely convinced it's the gasket yet. I am gonna run it with fuel that doesn't have marvel mystery oil and then I can confirm.

As for the throttle, it doesn't snap back. I have to push it forward to get the throttle to close. I think it might be this part of the linkage above carb three. I've attached a photo and I couldn't find any up close photos online of the carb in the body. You can see that spring is hanging down, maybe it must be above that silver bar?

This bike is close to riding again! :) :) can't wait!
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User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 8086
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: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by virgilmobile » Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:16 pm

Each carb has that throttle return spring.The cable return spring is behind the plate that the cables attach to.It is adjustable by loosening the 10mm bolt and twisting against the spring.

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goldwingingit
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by goldwingingit » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:15 pm

I think I understand what you're saying: Tank off, adjust cable return spring. :D

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goldwingingit
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:46 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda GL1100 Interstate

Re: GL1100 first startup - Sensitive Throttle - White Smoke

Post by goldwingingit » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:29 pm

Thanks for the advice Virgil - got the tank off easily this time and adjusted the spring. I had to tighten it a full revolution extra to get it to snap back. Then I noticed the hook on the end of the spring near the carb side was getting snagged on a screw there. Remembered one final erroneous plastic washer that appeared after the carb rebuild that was still on the desk! "Oh, that's where that goes!"

Carbs now operating smoothly. With 100% of parts accounted for :)



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