Failure to start


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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az_marine
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Motorcycle: 1996 VT-600CD
1985 GL1200I

Failure to start

Postby az_marine » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:52 am



I was finally left stranded and had to trailer the bike home. For a while I've been having problems getting my 85 Wing to start. The starter seems to be in good condition as it cranks very strong. It appears to me that the plugs are not firing all the time when cranking. Sometimes i'll get a good start in a couple cranks, sometimes I have to try for 10 minutes. Eventually it will fire and runs like a champ... until today. I've swapped coils, plugs, CDI, battery, none seem to have an impact. I have noticed while cranking, if I give it even a little throttle, the motor seems to become much harder for the starter to turn, sometimes stopping the rotation completely.
This all just seems a little strange. With all the talk I've seen about bad stators, I'm inclined to lean in that direction, but I'm not sold yet.



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virgilmobile
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Re: Failure to start

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:51 am

Is your bike fuel injected or carbs.?
The stator is for charging the battery.

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az_marine
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Motorcycle: 1996 VT-600CD
1985 GL1200I

Re: Failure to start

Postby az_marine » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:34 pm

It has carbs, GL1200 Interstate

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virgilmobile
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Re: Failure to start

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:14 pm

I'd first suggest that when its difficult to start,quit before it starts up and pull one plug.look at its condition.Wet perhaps?
Or get you spare plug and hook it to one of the plug wires and see what kind of spark there is.
Also inspect the 4 wire plug that's to the left of the battery.Its the pulse coil wires.Any corrosion there will kill the spark.

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ct1500
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Re: Failure to start

Postby ct1500 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:08 am

What is the history and mileage of this bike? When did it last run normally?

Just opening the throttle should never stop the cranking process. Something is seriously wrong with the starting system, carbueration or timing.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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az_marine
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Location: Glendale, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1996 VT-600CD
1985 GL1200I

Re: Failure to start

Postby az_marine » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:04 pm

History is I bought the bike a couple years ago with about 120,000 miles on it, now at about 135k. Previous owner is a friend who did everything right except for ride the bike. It sat in a garage for about 8 years with maybe 500 miles ridden in that time.
The starting problem began about 8 months ago, I was riding daily. It wasn't a huge inconvenience and at time only occurred a couple times a week.
In December it got bad enough that I had to switch to my backup bike and ride that for a while. I pretty much let the Wing sit in my garage until now. Had the battery tested and it showed bad (no surprise) so i bought a new one. Also replaced the fuel filter and hose between the tank and pump. Things seemed good, she fired right up with the new battery and I had a glimmer of hope. I started riding to work again for about a week then we ended up at square one with not starting.

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az_marine
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1985 GL1200I

Re: Failure to start

Postby az_marine » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:12 pm

virgilmobile wrote:I'd first suggest that when its difficult to start,quit before it starts up and pull one plug.look at its condition.Wet perhaps?
Or get you spare plug and hook it to one of the plug wires and see what kind of spark there is.
Also inspect the 4 wire plug that's to the left of the battery.Its the pulse coil wires.Any corrosion there will kill the spark.


All the plugs look good except the #4 (right side/rear) which looks like it's running very rich.
The only wire I see to the left of the battery is the 3 yellow wires coming from the stator which have been soldered to eliminate the connector. I'll take a closer look for something else.

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az_marine
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1985 GL1200I

Re: Failure to start

Postby az_marine » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:06 am

ct1500 wrote:Something is seriously wrong with the starting system, carbueration or timing.


Are there any good DIY articles for checking and setting timing? That sounds as good a place as any to start looking.

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ct1500
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Re: Failure to start

Postby ct1500 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:05 am

With that mileage I would first look for excessive starter current draw. Hook the volt meter to battery terminals and while cranking report readings.

Both instances when starter spins and when it stalls.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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virgilmobile
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83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Failure to start

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:32 am

The timing on the carb model gl1200 is set at the factory and is changed during running by a vacuum line attached to the ignition module and a mechanical advance system.
If the bike eventually runs,the ignition timing is not the problem.
It's either lack of spark or proper fuel mixture.
I suppose if the compression were really low,it will cause hard starting...
Check it if possible.We like to see 140 psi and above.no more than 5 psi difference.
Your still gonna have to check for a good spark when it won't start up before you jump to anything else.
There may be other problems with the carbs but we gotta get it to fire first.
Gas air spark and compression.
Eliminate the easy ones first.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Failure to start

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:13 pm

Reading this made me think the coils (or electrical connections between the coils and battery or ground) weren't working right. Check starter wire connections for good contact. Check stator for good connection ( hard-wired my stator to my RR when I got the bike).

I like to eliminate the easy stuff first, too... Check battery cable connections at battery, solenoid, check all grounds for good contact. Check the connections at the coil. Pull plugs, check condition/color of plugs. Check for spark. Check condition of plugs wires (the little screws that hold the resistors in the plug boots loosening up caused my old Virago to run badly before, so I always check them for tightness).

I've seen coils from a GL1500 used in 1100's and 1200's and I've also seen where a mid-90's Dodge Neon coil was adapted for use in a Goldwing... if your model has a ballast resistor, it is probably a good thing to leave it in the circuit if using a Neon coil in your ignition system...

Spark plugs are pretty inexpensive. If I have any doubt as to whether mine are working properly, I'll just replace them. I use "stock" plugs. Check the plug gap.

Make sure the air cleaner element is CLEAN... fuel filter is CLEAN (or replace them), pull the discharge side of the fuel pump hose off, run a temporary hose to a gas can and test the fuel pump for output... Mine clicks a lot, but still pumps fine ... I keep a spare pump in my tool bag, just in case...
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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az_marine
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1985 GL1200I

Re: Failure to start

Postby az_marine » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:23 pm

Thanks for all the input! I've got a big list of stuff to run through this weekend. Hopefully enough time to get through it all!




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