GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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dwight007fchr
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GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:19 pm



Hello to all. Tonight I was doing a bit of skimming in the shop manual which covers my 83 GL1100 Interstate, and hit Section 4-14 "Fuel System". Here it talks about how to set the 4 Pilot Screws on the carbs. According to the manual, each carb has one Pilot Screw that can be adjusted based on their procedures. These 4 screws should also have a Limiter Cap on them to prevent them from turning out (counterclockwise).

I was curious to see if those limiter caps were still on my 4 Pilot Screws, so I went out to inspect my Wing. Well, turns out that the Number 3 Cylinder Carb does not have a Pilot Screw in the hole. At first I thought that maybe the Number 3 was preset internally and did not require a Pilot Screw, and I got a piece of wire to poke up from below to see if the wire went way up inside, or stopped due to a cap or plate. I cant see up inside this Pilot Screw hole, but the piece of wire met resistance only about 1/16 inch into the hole. So, I thought that this was the case, and that there was no Pilot Screw on this No. 3 Carb. I then checked the shop manual, and it shows that there should be 4 Pilot Screws, and describes the procedure in adjusting them.

Is it possible that some carbs only have 3 Pilot Screws, and 1 is set to a fixed position? Let me know, as I am wondering how in the heck this Wing can run and idle as good as she does if there is a Pilot Screw missing.

Many thanks.
dc



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virgilmobile
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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:49 pm

Yes there are 4 pilot screws.One for each carb.From the bottom,it is a hole all the way into the throat of the carb(about a inch)If your probe stopped at 1/8" it's likely that the head of the pilot screw has been broken off.

dwight007fchr
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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:33 pm

Virgil........Oh no.....not good news. I wonder at what point it got broken off......I sure hope some gorilla mechanic didnt turn the pilot screw in all the way and it snapped with the jet all the way in, in closed position. If the pilot jet is cranked all the way in on Cylinder No. 3, then would this cylinder get enough gas to even cause a combustion in that cylinder?

Can you think of any tests that I could do to see if No. 3 is getting adequate fuel, or too much fuel? If she idles good, wouldnt you think that this No. 3 Pilot Screw is set in a reasonably "ok" position, and not all the way in?

When it comes time to remove the carbs to fix this problem, is it going to be possible to remove the broken Pilot Screw?.........maybe drill a 1/8" hole about a quarter inch deep and use one of those "easy outs". Any other ideas? Looks like I better start looking for a replacement carb.

Thanks.
dc.
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Cylinder No. 3--Carb Pilot Screw Broken Off
Cylinder No. 3--Carb Pilot Screw Broken Off

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virgilmobile
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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:05 pm

First,here's a pix just to be sure were looking at the same part.
The easiest way to inspect the position of the needle is to remove the down tubes.It's a bit tough but can be done without removing the whole carb pack.Just look where the needle protrudes into the carb next to it.Not perfect but close.If gorilla broke it off when wrenching it in ,the needle will be sticking up a lot further than the other.
As far as idle,if the needle is jammed in ,Idle mixture can be somewhat compensated by opening the butterfly a little more on that carb(this will upset the vacuum readings).The secondary ports will start to let fuel in.
The only way to verify that is with a vacuum test .Each cylinder should pull the same vacuum at 1000 rpm.Within 1'' if possible.
As far as repair,the carbs have to come off.One method I've used is to use a scribe and scrape out a slot in the brass needle(takes time)then back it out with a flat screwdriver.
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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:17 pm

Virgil......Excellent pics and comments on the Pilot Screw issue. Im trying to picture what the "down tubes" exactly are so that I can follow what you are saying.......that they can be removed to inspect the needle. Are you talking about the 4 large tubes that connect the carbs to the engine intake......that if I removed the #3 carb down tube, I could actually see how deep this Pilot Needle is sticking up?

If I could do some type of preliminary inspection such as this, and did see the needle was stuck all the way inward, then I would have to remove all 4 carbs in order to properly tear down the #3 carb, and drill/tap/easyout the old Pilot Needle and replace it with a new one.

Good point about the vacuum test......maybe I should pick up a set of 4 vacuum gauges that would allow me to do a carb sync and this would tell me if the No. 3 Pilot was in an acceptable range.......and if so, I could just ignore the broken Pilot Needle and keep riding, and concentrate on other maintenance issues.

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:33 am

The "down tubes"connect the carb to the block.There a **** to get loose,the rubber gets pretty stiff.
Vacuum testing can be done easier.Either purchase the mercury set for about $70 or a Harbor Freight mechanical ones.Keep in mind the mechanical gauges seldom read the same to begin with.I have a pair and I had to re-mark the dial so they matched 1 to 1.Plenty of reading "how to's" about syncing carbs.

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:31 pm

Virgil........Ok, so you are saying that I could just remove the two No. 10 metric bolts holding the down tube to the engine, and then loosen the clamp that holds the rubber boot on the No. 3 Carb. Then, remove this boot and down tube, and look inside the carb opening......and I should be able to see the tip of the Pilot Needle?

How would I know if the needle "looked" to be screwed in too far? I could not remove No. 1 down tube since that is now the only support the carb has on that side. I suppose I could go to the other side and remove the boot/down tube from No.2 and use that one as a comparison.

Im thinking a 4-dial meter to measure vacuum is the easiest and smartest thing to do first. If it reads fairly normal for this No. 3 carb, I will just ignore the broken Pilot Needle screw head. If the vacuum readings shows a problem, then this will become a "too do" item.

You agree with all this?

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:09 pm

Yes I agree with the first thing first method.Your procedure is right.Don't worry about the carbs falling off the bike or trying to support them.Pull 1&3 off and let it hang there.It will be easier to put them back on if they are on the same side(a little wiggle room).You may need a little lube on the rubber to get them back on(it's a tough push)and then put the "O" rings back in place.As I remember,the needle is just visible in the idle jet hole.If it's bottomed out I think it protrudes into the throat a little(.010").
As far as using vacuum gauges,it's VERY important that all of them read EXACTLY the same.
On my mechanical dial type,I found that 6" of vacuum on one read 9" on the other.
This is what I did to circumvent the error.PIX INCLUDED
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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby leanjoe » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:38 pm

Be extremely careful if you use an easyout on the screw. I had the same prob on a set I had. I was able to drill into it,but I got the hole angled slightly,when screwing in the easy out,it followed the angle of the hole and cracked the tower. If its not too far down,cut a groove across the top as suggested earlier,then try a flat blade screwdriver to turn it out. That had been done on one of the other bodies in my set ! Anyway,it can be done. Try anything to break loose any corrosion or gum before cranking on it.

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:51 pm

Virgil.......Once again, great pics on how to recalibrate the vacuum gauges that are off. If you just use two vacuum gauges, which cylinder do you use as the base measurement? Does it really matter? Also, if one cylinder has more ring wear, and lower compression, would that tend to lessen the vacuum in that cylinder? If so, I suppose by resyncronizing the carbs, you are essentially tweeking them to also cover the changing compression levels in each cylinder? Would it make sense to first do a compression check on all 4 cylinders, and then use the cylinder with the highest compression as the base vacuum measurement, or the other way around?

OK.....I can pull No. 1 and No. 3 tubes off, and maybe slide a small 2x4 block to support the carb bodies on that side. The best result would be seeing that both needles are at about the same position inside, instead of one sticking up further which would indicate it was screwed all the way in. Yep.....gotta watch those O-Rings on the bottom of the tubes.....I had two fall out the first time (when I moved them to install the throttle cables) and they could have easily fallen to the floor and gotten lost in the procedure......I can imagine the air it would be sucking in around the tube base without the O-Ring there......and Im sure there are a few Wingers out there who probably made that mistake in the past.

Another thought on re-calibrating those vacuum gauges. I have a syringe with a tight suction to it......so, I could easily rig it up to a T as you show in the pics, and then pull the syringe handle outward to create the vacuum, and it would read very constant, instead of sucking on the tube, losing oxygen levels in my brain, and blacking out and ending up on the floor under my Wing......but I would come to and surely look up and see a winged angle above me, and all would be fine......ha ha ha.

I tell you.....being a backyard mechanic on an old Wing will really keep a person sharp.......or at least creative.

LeanJoe........Good tip on trying to drill and use an easyout on that little Pilot Screw.....dont want to crack the tower. If the screw is broken off about 1/16 inside, how exactly would I be able to create a slot to use a screwdriver to back out the broken pilot screw? Are you saying to go ahead and cut a groove into the tower metal at the same time Im cutting a groove into the screw?

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:45 pm

Cylinder 3 MUST be the base measurement, because it cannot be adjusted.

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:14 pm

Yes #3 is the base point to adjust to.Just keep the rpm near the 1000 mark during each adjustment and when finished.
I used 2 gauges in this order.right side 1 and 3.Moved to the left side 2 and 4.Final is left side to right side 4 and 3.That adjustment is at #4 carb.
Use whatever you need to calibrate the gauges and stay conscious. :D Vacuum marks should be in 1" increments up to about 10''.My 1200 runs at about 7" at 1000rpm.
As far as the needle,I used a jewelers screwdriver and scribed over and over cutting a slot in the brass needle(took an hour)

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:13 pm

WingAdmin and all.........As Yosemite Sam always says, "Woooooo mule, Wooooooo.....When I say woe, I mean Woeeeeeeeee!!!!" Wing.....thanks for your reply, and let me get this clear.........you are saying that Carb No. 3 is the base carb, and cannot be adjusted.....so, are you saying that the No. 3 Carb on my 83 GL1100 should not have a pilot screw on the bottom like carbs 1, 2, and 4?

Everyone else in the posts over the past couple weeks have said that I should have a pilot screw there, and I was thinking I may have to take the carbs off in order to make repairs.

The shop manual I was looking at may have only covered 81 and 82 models, but it seemed to show that all 4 carbs had adjustable pilot screws.

What is the final answer? Carb 3 has or does not have a Pilot Screw?

Thanks......
Wylie Coyote

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:30 pm

Wingman and all........can someone give me some final feedback about Carb No. 3 having or not having an adjustable Pilot Screw? (On a 83 GL1100).

Thanks.
dc

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:21 pm

All four carburetors have pilot screws. Carburetor 3 does not have an idle adjustment screw, used for synchronizing the carbs, but that's not the same thing as a pilot screw.

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:20 pm

Wing......Thanks for clarifying. When I read your earlier post where you said "Cylinder 3 MUST be the base measurement, because it cannot be adjusted.", I misunderstood it and thought you were implying that Cylinder 3 did not have a Pilot Screw. Ok.......now Im straight again: There should be a Pilot Screw on each of the four carbs, but Cylinder 3 cannot be adjusted when doing the carb syncing as it is the base carb.

Thanks.
dc

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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby RexAubrey » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:29 am

dc,

Sync adjustments are not made with the pilot screws. the sync adjustment is made between 1 and 3 carbs and then 2 and 4 carbs with the screw that is on the connecter posts there. final sync adjustment in between 4 and 3 carbs with the adjuster screw to the right of #4 carb.

do not worry about supporting the carbs when you take the down tubes of 1 and 3. the airbox and the down tubes on 2 and 4 will give them enough support. you will have just enough wiggle room to get your down tubes on 1 and 3 off. use some Vaseline to help hold the o-rings in place when you put the tubes back on the carbs. i tried it without the Vaseline and ended up demolishing onte of the o=rings when it came out of the slot and i did not notice till i started the bike and it was sucking air at the base of the tube.

Rex
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Re: GL 1100 Missing a Pilot Screw??

Postby dwight007fchr » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:53 am

Rex.....thanks for that info. Yea, those O Rings can pop out and get lost real easy......first time I had the carbs loose to install new throttle cables, two O Rings managed to fall out, but I noticed before I lost or damaged them.

dc




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