Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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velp
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Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:27 am



Hi all,

Joined the site a short while ago to make use of the HowTo docs after I got my hands on a 1999 Goldwing, a GL1500SE. It hadn't been started in a number of years, and had not been prepared for storage in any way, so I knew there was going to be some work needed. I tried my local dealer and they indicated that if it wasn't already running they would be really reluctant to take it on, and it was good advice to protect them and me. They could spend hours/days working on it and not be able to guarantee a running bike after hundreds to thousands of dollars of man hours, which would just make me angry at them. So they walked me through what I should do to see if its still in a decent condition. Some steps to get it started, flush it out, clean it up, top off some fluids temporarily (then the process I should follow to replace bits such as the oil filter once it was operational) etc.

Most of the work needed was surrounding the fuel tank and fuel pump. It was left sitting with a half full tank, so that had gone bad completely destroying the fuel pump. Drained it out, treated a bit of rust and obtained a new fuel pump. Everything else checked out decent so I tried starting it up, and it started. First try. I was amazed.

Then I noticed some fuel related issues. While running, a drainage tube under the bike has a constant stream of fuel coming out of it and I have noticed a leak coming from something up under the air filter area which drained down the right hand side of the bike onto the cylinder head. I have been searching the forums, and general internet sites, to see if I could identify the cause and have found references to a float valve/float chamber system that should prevent an overflow. Because the stream is constant something has to be stuck wide open for it to flow this fast. The fuel pump purchased was an official Honda replacement part, part number taken from the parts guide for the bike, so I'm assuming it pumping at the right rate.

I have attached/linked a video to demonstrate, you can hear me randomly revving it to see if it changed the flow with it dropping back to idle right before I shut it off. Engine doesn't start until the fuel is flowing out the pipe rather rapidly, so I'm wondering if the float valve being stuck open drains more then it normally would as well requiring the fuel pump to operate a while before fuel gets to where it is needed, or if this is standard Goldwing operation. I haven't had any real exposure to a properly maintained one. My CBR600RR has the fuel pump priming the lines before I hit the starter, so it starts up within the first half second. Towards the end of the video it pans across to the higher up leak. Ignore the rust and tarnish, have plans to clean up what I can and replace what I can't once I have verified that the engine operation is working flawlessly.





Another possibility I thought of while researching is that the fuel that would have been left in the float chamber would have gone bad as well. Does fuel ever get to a thick/gooey state that would be holding the valve in an open position? Would some sort of additive be able to break this down without damaging anything else in the chamber and without having to open it up or is the best bet to get in there manually and clean it out?

What would be the cause of this behaviour, and is it something that I would be able to fix myself having next to no mechanical experience? My next step to find the actual source of the leak would be to remove the air filter component to get a look in underneath. Judging by what I have read that should only mean the disconnection of a few pipes which I think I can handle, but too far beyond that I would like to know if I should just get a mechanic to take a look at it for me.

Would love to hear any ideas about where I should look, or if I should leave it alone. Now that the engine has proven itself to be operational, the local mechanics are much more likely to take a look at it for me. Please remember the lack of experience in your responses. The extent of my knowledge about float valves and carburetor components comes from a Wikipedia article with a nice colourful cross section so you might have to explain with a a little more detail then usual. I'll probably still do a bunch of reading around whatever is suggested to familiarise myself with the components involved.

If any additional detail is needed, let me know. Can add some photos or video from another angle focused on whatever is needed.

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

Velp



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virgilmobile
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:43 am

Most likely it's a stuck float.
First.Remove the front cover and radiator grille.
With a flashlight,look deep within the Bowles of the bike.Up near the top of the radiator about a foot back.You will see the 2 carbs in there.
Use a LONG screwdriver and tap several times on each bowl.This usually will free a stuck float.
Try several times as if this won't work you will have to remove the carbs for hand cleaning.A good full days work and several band-aids.
If you can get them to seal up,I suggest running some Sea Foam in the fuel.

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:15 am

Or,instead of through the front,you could remove the top shelter all the way through the air cleaner and rap gently on the carbs from there.All precautions necessary to avoid damaging any parts.

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:08 am

Thanks for the tips. Public holiday Thursday so I'll give it a shot.

Velp

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby ct1500 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:39 am

velp wrote:Hi all,

Joined the site a short while ago to make use of the HowTo docs after I got my hands on a 1999 Goldwing, a GL1500SE. It hadn't been started in a number of years, and had not been prepared for storage in any way, so I knew there was going to be some work needed.


The 1500 has float bowl drain screws. Get the top shelter and air box off for a good look see at the carbs. The drain screws are brass and is slotted for a regular driver and face forward. Can be seen in this pic, check if loose.
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:53 am

I have cracked open the air filter box and hit some stubborn screws. The two screws holding the tube joint were stripped partially when I tried to undo them.

I'm going to have to figure out how to get them out without damaging them further. Any tips? I've seen a rubber band suggested between the screw and screwdriver to fill the gaps and provide more friction. Couldn't find a single one in the house, so I'll have to go buy some tomorrow (or anything else that will help in this situation).

Velp
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby RBGERSON » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:33 am

First use JIS screw drivers, the American ones are pointy-er that the Japanese standard..you can grind off the point of a US screw driver and make it fit better;; second..squirt solvent in a 50/50 mix of ATF/acetone..best lube for breaking loose bolts let it sit for at least an hour or two. get the engine running and hot..may help too???
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby ct1500 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:33 am

No need to remove those screws, just the ones around carb openings and on the sides of box towards the rear.
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:23 am

Thanks for the ongoing tips. Got the air filter box out of the way without undoing those two, just disconnected the pipes.

Have been able to look in a little deeper and have spotted a cracked tube, though tracing them both leads me to believe the lighter one without the arrow is the carburetor drain tube and the cracked one is an air vent tube. Wouldn't have expected fuel out of that line.

Will pull the carburetor out tomorrow and trace the tubes properly, get a better insight into whats under there. Will have to replace that cracked one while I'm there.

Cheers,

Velp
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:08 am

Beware.you have to drain the antifreeze.there 2 heater lines attached to the bottom of the carbs.

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby ct1500 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:24 pm

The small line with the crack is the drain hose.
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:38 pm

Ok...the drain hose originates from the bottom of the carbs and are joined with a "T" connector.It exits the bike down the right side.It is also small.Maybe 3 or 4pm inside.
Does this one drain gas all the time?

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:56 am

Got it out. Took a while.

Found a T-Junction with no cover on on the junction box which was linked to pipes running from the upper area of each side. The ones with the red arrows in the attached picture. What do they usually drain, and what has to have gone wrong for them to be in use? Tracing it down it was these two pipes to the broken junction box that lead to the full flow of fuel below the bike.

The pipe indicated by the blue/purple arrows (seems I changed colour mid-way through) connects to the bottom where the float chambers are. They are the same ones seen in ct1500's post. They aren't overflowing at all.

Velp
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby ct1500 » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:51 am

Is that the way everything came off? Hot water riser is on backwards! The 88 pipes point to the front.

It is early here and am not following along too well. Original fuel leak was out of small hose at bottom of bike. Now you write leak is out of large hose not connected to anything. :?: If leaking from pipes now shown then it is a stuck/leaking float valve.
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:35 am

Wow. Your right. Nice catch.

Flipping that around now. Will re-write out what I've traced pipe wise in a moment.

Velp

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:59 am

OK, flipped that back.

When I started fuel was coming out the middle of the three tubes underneath the bike as seen in the video in the first post. Along with that there is a leak up near the carbs that resulted in fuel running down the rubber sheet/mat that sits under the carbs and out onto the the cylinder head on the right side. This is seen towards the end of the video. When I first started to pull things apart I couldn't see clearly to see where the leak was coming from. Once I had taken the air filter box off I could see two of the overflow pipes that end up under the bike and where they attached to the carburetor. I posted a photo of the two with a red arrow pointing to the crack I spotted, but wasn't sure at that time if that was the pipe I was tracing from below. It turned out it wasn't. The grey looking one, which is slightly larger, is actually the one that ends up shooting fuel out of the bottom of the bike while in operation.

The smaller black pipe was connected to the pipes coming off the bottom of the carb unit, near the float chamber unit/screws you pointed out. They stay dry during operation. The larger grey pipe which drains out the bottom of the bike was connected to something higher up, one from either side to a t-junction. I pointed those out with the red arrows in the photo where the heat pipes are on backwards (fixed!).

I hope I've been able to explain that in enough detail. I'm thinking I should go and grab some additional lengths of pipe, do one per drainage point and see which one (or two) specifically are causing my problems.

Velp

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:47 am

Hi all,

Got into the float chambers and cleaned all the components. Put it all back together and its running great. Not a leak in sight.

Next step a replacement of the final drive oil and a brake fluid and brake pad check.

Thanks,

Velp

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:00 am

Yeaaaa.Just a stuck float.
Let us know how it turns out.Take more pictures too.

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby rjones1660 » Thu May 02, 2013 11:09 am

The first thing I would do is find a different shop to work on your bike.
I bought a 1995 GL 1500 SE that had been stored for five years. Did this about eight months ago, the bike only had 28K miles on it and was not properly serviced before put in storage. My local shop, not a Honda shop, when over the bike from stem to stern, rebuilt the carbs, new tires, new fuel pump, new hoses etc. It was warm weather and the bike started just fine, but when it got cold fuel would run out of the lower drain just where your does. After a few minutes of warm up and re-started it did not drain fuel. I ran SeaFoam through it for several tanks full with no results. So I did a redneck repair; I covered the bike with a full cover, in the garage, and put a 150 watt light under the engine, after all it started OK in the summer. Next morning the bike started fine with no fuel coming from the over flow. Did this all winter while running Seafoam through it every other tank full. Now even in the low 40s it starts fine will have to wait for colder weather to see if issue is fully resolved.
Good luck with you repair, they are great bikes and my runs like a charm. ;)
Bob Jones

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Mon May 06, 2013 8:20 pm

Had some free time finally to do a bit more.

Redid the brake and clutch fluids, replaced the final drive oil and the coolant.

Did a slow ride around the neighbourhood to check it all worked. It did. Seems to be running well.

Was reading the manual after that test ride, seems I should check out the reverse drive, and air compressor for the rear suspension as well. Will do that this weekend and hopefully increase the distance and see if its time to put the final covers back on.

Velp
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby ct1500 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:40 pm

Glad you are making progress but one question, what is up with the green brake fluid. Ours is clear.
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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Tue May 07, 2013 12:18 am

I've heard it's just manufacturer preference and can assist in locating leaks, but I will check the bottle when I get home to see if it actually represents something. All the advice I got before the purchase was only to make sure of the DOT rating, then its personal preference for brand selection.

Bike stops, so its working.

Velp

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby sprintexec » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:32 am

Hi Velp,

Your posts to this forum have been the best help I have found as I try to solve my fuel leak problem. The symptoms on my bike are almost identical to those on yours! I have got as far as thinking about removing the carburettors BUT before I do this I thought I'd ask your advice!!

I can't easily see how the carburettors come off and I'm bothered by the fact that they seem to be attached to all sort of plumbing, wiring and what not. I don't have a manual and so any positive advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Andy

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby velp » Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:51 am

Hey Andy,

I remember that fear when I first faced the prospect of pulling it all out. Then reliving the fear when actually trying to pull it out afraid of breaking something with the amount of force I ending up having to use, but they are so durable.

Fuel lines, throttle cables, choke cable, drainage hoses, coolant hoses, air vent hoses should all be pretty straight forward just photograph how they all fit back together. I actually ran my choke cable incorrectly and it was catching at full lock.

Once you have disconnected all the cables and tubes you can you need a long Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the ring around the base of the carburettor on each side. Access through a hole in the fan enclosure.


Once loose pulling the unit up should separate the bit represented by the blue arrow from the red arrow section.


This took a lot of effort, was a tight fitting fixture. I actually ended up pulling out both sides with the unit, it didn't actually separate the way it should.


I separated it once it was out and put the bottom half back.


Split the unit into the two halves which gave me access to the floats in the float chamber to clean. Was just a bit of left over fuel that had gone bad preventing the valve from closing. Forcing the floats to move seemed to break it down and get them to move freely.


Reverse the order to put it all back together again. Took a bit of effort to make sure everything was lined up in the small amount of space to work in. I imagine having the right tools could make it a bit easier, but I was making do with what was on hand. Was great fun.

Velp

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Re: Solid stream of fuel from overflow pipe/Fuel leaks

Postby sprintexec » Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:29 am

Hi Velp,

Thanks for your reply, with photos! Much appreciated, but I am wondering about two things before I go and replicate what you have done.

Did you try to 'tap the float chamber' from the outside? I can't see how you actually reach the float chamber until the carbs are off?? Also did you try any of the chemical cleaners that people have suggested quirting into the body of the carbs?

Again thanks for the quick response and the PM,

cheers

Andy




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