'86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Aspencade

'86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Post by wing57 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:17 pm

Hi, new to the site. Looks fantastic! I have a 1986 GL1200 Aspencade and I am having an issue and am hoping that maybe someone on here could point me in the right direction. No matter what I do, I can't seem to get cylinder 3 to fire.

The bike sat for years while the kids were growing up and now I'm trying to get her back on the road again. The bike was stored for far too many years un-running and when I brought it out did not want to run on all cylinders. I have since torn it down, cleaned out all old fuel, replaced fuel filters, rebuilt all four carbs (using a Randakk's rebuild kit) and put it all back together. The carbs were full of glaze and most of the jets were almost completely blocked. I have confirmed spark on all cylinders, replaced the plugs and the wire for cylinder 3 (had a spare set of coils and wires). I have run a compression test of all cylinders, they average around 115 - 120 with cylinder 3 actually having the highest at 125.I believe the coil back is working properly as all other cylinders fire fine. I have also swapped wires for cylinder 2 and 3. 2 continues to fire and 3 does not.

All that, But still no luck getting that cylinder to fire. I know it's not working due to the erratic running, a cold exhaust pipe when all others are hot, and the fact that I can pull the plug wire while running and it makes no difference.

Anyone out there run into something like this?
Thanks all

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Re: '86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Post by GlimWas » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:41 am

Hydraulic valves not working properly , carb for cylinder 3 still not working, inlet manifold blocked for some reason?
Just some thoughts...........
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Re: '86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Post by Maz » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:06 am


as you've proved that you definitely have spark and compression and the other 3 cylinders are firing correctly, my thoughts are that the carb on #3 is still blocked. Loosen the float bowl screw (if the 1200 has them. Not sure as I run a GL1000) to check that fuel is reaching the carb. If so, at least you know the float valve is letting fuel in. If that's the case, try spraying some easy-start or similar, straight into #3 carb, via the plenum chamber, while the engine is running. If the cylinder then fires, you definitely still have a jet blockage in the carb.

Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!

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Re: '86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Post by flash1942 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:37 am

I had a problem like that. I found the pressed in carb jet clogged. Cleared out with a fine wire,ran Seafoam and she ran beautifully.
The coils fire two plugs at a time. One on compression and the other on exhaust. So unless you have a bad plug, your problem is fuel related.

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Re: '86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Post by deanbw » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:00 pm

As mentioned, it's the carb most likely. Did you clean them with just spray cleaner and air? if so it is probably still plugged. You need to go get an ultra sonic cleaner, harbor freight sells a cheap one that works or you can get them on line. I also used small guitar string and even the bristle off a wire brush to physically check each passage then I put a rubber vacuum plug on the tube of my carb cleaner for a seal and I made sure every hole on that thing flowed fluid. I've read where guys have had to clean them 3 - 4 times, but if you check every passage and see fluid flow and check all jets the same you should have no issues.

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Re: '86 GL1200 Aspencade Cylinder 3 won't fire.

Post by thompsoj22 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:22 am

pull the cover off the cv slide, verify that their are no tears in the diaphram and that the slide moves smoothly in the bore, the needle is positioned correctly. also the rubber diaphragm is positioned to allow the integrated vac port to function properly. the choke circuit should run that cyl regardless of the jets. if the plug is dry on removal after running the bike than it definitely is not getting fuel. tap on the float bowl with a screwdriver handle to possibly loosen a stuck float needle? once again if the plug is wet than it is a spark issue, dry than fuel. also check throttle linkage to that carb as you twist the throttle? your close to riding your bike again! the problem will seem so simple in hindsight, and will probably make you laugh once you find it. also leave the plug installed on 3 but remove the plug lead and install a spare plug, lay it/ground it on the rocker cover and start the bike to verify good blue spark to 3 while the bike is running.

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