Dear Dealer.........

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:37 pm
Location: Alvin, Texas
Motorcycle: 1996 Gl1500 SE

Dear Dealer.........

Post by cycletraderman » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:47 am

To: Manager and mechanic Billy Joe,
My name is ________ ____, and I recently had motor trouble with my GL1500 while on a cross country trip in your area, and brought my bike to you for service. You dropped everything and immediately worked on getting my bike repaired and I appreciate your effort in that regard.
The repair was very expensive, and that is what I want to tell you about in this letter. My repair was over $1200 dollars, and most of the expense was needless. My motorcycle was running very rich, and had fuel in the oil. The mechanic told me the only way he would work on the bike is to completely rebuild the carbeurator, which I told him had just been rebuilt a month earlier, and ran fine other than the rich condition, which had just started. He said that he did not do things half-assed and would repair them correctly. Over $600 in parts were ordered to repair the carbs, some of which there was a genuine need for, and others questionable. I had also told the mechanic Billy Joe about the vacuum operated fuel petcock leaking gas under the gas door.
I was told the bike was ready to be picked up, and came to get it, and it was running horribly. The bike would not transition from idle to the midrange circuit. Billy Joe also noticed that if did not run correctly, and offered this for an explanation: "Well it runs good for the most part" Being so far from home, and running out of time, I accepted the bike, which did run better once it got moving. I asked Billy Joe about the fuel petcock leaking fuel, and he told me that he had "hooked me up" and fixed the fuel petcock for me for free, however there was no record or charge for this repair on my ticket, which I thought was strange.
All the way home to Texas, I fought the poor carbeuration, and when I got home did some further investigation and had the bike repaired correctly.
I am no mechanic, but am pretty mechanical, and after some investigation, and bribing my retired 30 year Honda gold mechanic out of retirement to fix this bike correctly, this is what I found actually happened.
1. Other than 1 silicone repaired vacuum piston, and the lower part of the air cleaner housing, neither of which caused the fuel to enter the crank case, there was nothing wrong with the carbs except a stuck air metering screw, which Billy Joe stated he could not remove.
2. The Rich running condition and fuel in the oil was caused by the failure of the fuel cap to vent, and subsequent overpressuring of the fuel tank, and vacuum operated fuel petcock and eventual failure of the diaphram, which allowed raw fuel to be sucked down the vacuum line supplying vacuum to the petcock, into the intake manifold, and to flood the crank case when the engine was not running. This could also have overpowered the float needles and flooded the float bows as well. I suspect the repair to this petcock was not noted to bolster the need for the carbeurator rebuild to me the customer, as the former mechanic who worked on it was cited by Billy Joe for lots of poor workmanship, which I do agree with.
The fuel cap and a rebuild kit for the fuel petcock were the only real acute issues, and should have cost no more than $80 in parts plus a little labor, plus an oil change of course.
3. Billy Joe, arbitrarily changed every single part reguardless of age or condition, and still did not resolve the poor running of the carb, which I never could seem to get fixed either, but had just sort of lived with.
My Honda gold mechanic noted the following during his rebuild of the carbs that I had just paid YOU to do. Stuck mixture screw (removed and cleaned) Main jets were not tightened, and were so loose, that you could turn them with your fingers. No drain hoses attached to the carbs, and one pink striped vacuum line not connected to the carb on the lower left carb. I had previously paid another mechanic to rebuild the carbs, and he could not get the mixturescrew that was stuck out either. He also replaced several vacuum lines that typically go bad on these machines. I found on the left middle intake runner a new vacuum line that was so loose, that it was very easily to pull off the manifold and the other end of its connection, and was bent so sharp as to colapse the hose. I am sure under vacuum, the hose leaked horribly. Billy Joe missed that! I also found a screw missing from the air box, which Billy Joe said was missing when it came in. Really? I paid you $1200 bucks and you replace every single part in my carbs, and cant replace a $2 honda screw?
4. My mechanic inspected the parts Billy Joe removed from the bike, and noted the following:
althought the air box lower housing was somewhat butchered, it was in fact sealed by the large o-ring on the top of the carb plate. needles and seats were like new (because they were new!), floats were weighed (the propper way to check one) and were both good and with no fuel inside of them, and the supply pipe and o-rings for the accelerator pump were like new, as were the float pins which he measured! One vacuum piston was fine, the other while it did have silicone on it would not be the cause for the poor running, or fuel in the oil, and did not appear to have any actual tears or holes in it.
Bottom line is he just threw parts at it, and really had no effect on the poor performance of the carb, which runs great now by the way after the MIXTURE SCREW was removed, and cleaned like it should have been both times I paid to have it done! Billy Joe did fix the cause of the fuel in the oil which was the fuel petcock diaphram, but left the bad gas cap in place.
5. Your service manager said he was going to discount the parts 10% to help me out, which he never did by the way. Full boat retail for the out of state guy traveling. As I have stated above, I have had the bike repaired properly, and it runs fantastic now!
1. Genuine Honda gas cap $60
2. Fuel petcock rebuild kit $27 (Billy Joe put used parts in mine)
3. Labor to re-build carb for 3rd time $300 ( with me disassembling the bike)
The manager of the store was very friendly to me and my group and even gave us some hats, and I would like to say thanks to him for that, as I am sure he knew nothing of this. So do what you like with this information, I guess you can tell I am not very happy about the experience, which also reinforced some bad stereotypes about dealers. I expected to get professional mechanical service for $1200 not a parts changer. Anyone can do that. I guess good help is hard to find. Everyone talked very highly of Billy Joe, and I am sure he is a good mechanic, but boy did he blow this one.
I am just going to ask you to imagine for a moment that you are in my shoes and a thousand miles away from home on a trip. Is this what you would like to happen to you? I can only hope that you will make this right with me.


Sore Hiney

User avatar
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 6:58 pm
Location: Fresno, ca.
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500
1994 Suzuki 800 Intruder

Re: Dear Dealer.........

Post by Maddogg » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:09 am

Very good post. Lots of dealers have no idea what happens back in the shop. Some of their so called mechanics are just parts changers. Not sure what the problem is, so just replace everything at customer expense till it fixes the problem. I recently took my wing in because of a valve noise. The mechanics recommendations were, And I am Quoting, " this is a normal noise for this type of bike". A normal noise for a Goldwing? I don't think so. Took it to a friend of mine that was familiar with the Wings and he adjusted the valves. Noise gone. Better performance. The dealer also charged me $95 to tell me it was a normal noise. So I guess it's buyer beware. Good luck getting any money back out of that dealer. I'm glad to hear you got your bike fixed. It usually takes the old timers to show us the errors of our ways. :?

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 18716
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: Dear Dealer.........

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:24 pm

Write a short message for others to find in the Vendor Database. If the dealer isn't in there already, feel free to add them.

Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:33 pm
Location: Boise, Idaho
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: Dear Dealer.........

Post by amsoilguy » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:04 pm

Thanks for sharing that's no wonder they are nicknamed "stealerships"...

'88 GL1500

Posts: 403
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Plaistow, New Hampshire
Motorcycle: 2000 Gl1500 Se
2012 GL1800 Level 3

Re: Dear Dealer.........

Post by peppilepew » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:27 pm

If you paid by credit card then you have in some cases 18 months to file for a charge back. Banks will initially grant you a refund. It is then up to the vendor to write a letter disputing the forced refund. Worth a try.

User avatar
Posts: 2034
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: Dear Dealer.........

Post by redial » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:13 am

Make sure you pass your letter on to the Honda Regional Manager, making sure he is included in the addressing of the letter, so that the Stealer knows that it has also gone to the Mothership's rep. It may help. They will probably deny all culpability, because it is more than 10 years old, where some Stealers will not operate on GW that old. They will say because they do not have relevant experience on this model, they did the best they could! I wish you well, and am glad that you have a good working model now. :cry:

Just think, the bike should perform a lot better now that you have been relieved of all that cash that it was carrying around :twisted:
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.

Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:52 pm
Location: Chicago Burbs Illinois
Motorcycle: 1989GL1500
90' KDX 200
98' CR250

Re: Dear Dealer.........

Post by OU812 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:37 am

Too long. Didn't read.....
No really what a nightmare!
So many good dealers but the bad one's get the publicity.
I run heated gear and when I showed my new to me Oldwing to my buddy who's a Harley service manager he stated "hopefully your stator doesn't go, that's a pull the motor repair ".
I looked at him and said "you're kidding right? ".
He just smiled.

The older I get, the faster I was.

Post Reply