White smoke and Overheating


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:51 pm



Here is a bit of background on the bike. I just bought it about a week ago. The guy that I bought it from said that the water pump had just been replaced because it was leaking. He also said that he had changed the oil a little less than 3k miles ago.

I noticed that once the engine is warm and I shut it off then start it up again it smokes.
It will only do this when the engine is warm. It is white smoke and usually goes away after about 15 seconds.
I assumed that maybe the valve stem seals where leaking a little bit.

Now for the real problem.
The wife and I where on the last 50 miles of a 860 mile round trip. We had just gassed up and when i started it the bike started smoking. I didnt think this was terribly unusual so I waited for about 30 seconds but it didnt really stop smoking. I slowly took off thinking that it would clear up soon. I got out on the highway and within about 1/2 mile it was overheating. I pulled over and shut it off for a while. When we started it up it was still smoking and quite hot but we were so close to home that i just drove slow and we made it home. The temp was never in the red for more than about 1/2 minute. When we pulled into town it had stopped smoking but was still very hot.
The coolant reservoir by the gas filler was between the cold and hot line the whole time and the oil was full. Maybe a little over full.
Oh and it was overheating during the coolest part of our trip. Temps during the day where in the mid 80's and we were fighting a strong wind and no troubles. Then the temps where in the low 70's and the wind died down and it overheated.


Any thoughts on any of this?



jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:53 pm

I guess I will add things as I think of them.
I didnt hear the fan running while the bike was running but it might have just been too hard to hear it over the noise of the engine. when i turned the bike off and then turned the key back on again the fan would run for a while though.

jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:28 pm

I guess the first thing i will do is a compression test and check to see if the radiator is full.
The compression test should give me a hint at the condition of the head gasket right? I know could be other things.

And maybe the radiator is empty even though the reservoir has coolant.

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:15 am

Pull the spark plugs. If they are bright and shiny and clean, they have been "steam cleaned" by coolant, and you will have identified what I think is your culprit (head gasket).

jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:44 am

I will check that this afternoon. I guess if that is the problem it really shouldnt be too hard to fix on this type of engine. I was planning on doing the timing belts and valve clearances anyway so I should be half way there at that point. Perhaps before the water pump was replaced it got a little overheated.
Well i better not jump to conclusions. It could be something simpler.

jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:44 pm

How do you get to the radiator cap? Do you have to take off the fairing lowers, seat and tank cover just to get to it?
This will be fun.

jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:26 pm

Ok well the smoke was mainly coming form the right side of the bike. The front spark plug on that side looks normal (nice tan color)the back one had a kinda white ashy look to it. Kinda looked like the picture that says "normal life" on this page http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/tech_suppo ... aqread.asp
The spark plugs where brand new when we started the trip.
The carbs are not quite right on this bike so the plugs may just be from the mixture being off a bit or something.

jap4lvr
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 10:28 pm
Location: Lincoln, NE
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby jap4lvr » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:36 pm

Drove the bike around a little today. Temp stayed pretty low. Maybe the radiator is empty and the gauge isnt reading right because of this.
After I parked it i could hear a bubbling noise from the fuel pump. When I turned the petcock off the noise stopped. Turned it back on and the noise came back.
And one more thing. The oil level was quite high. Higher than when we left it seems. It is kinda a dark tan color. Not too frothy and tan colored like coolant but it didnt really smell like gas either.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: White smoke and Overheating

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:06 pm

jap4lvr wrote:How do you get to the radiator cap? Do you have to take off the fairing lowers, seat and tank cover just to get to it?
This will be fun.


You got it!




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