Running lean


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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bstig60
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Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:31 pm



My 99 1500 is running lean. The bike surges at idle between idle speed and about 12-1500 RPM every few seconds. Once you come off idle there is a little surge and then the RPMs will drop, as you add more throttle, nothing much happens and then suddenly at about 2500, the engine takes off. At cruise you can feel the bike cut out off and on. I am thinking mixture adjustment and/or a plugged pilot circuit........ I pulled a plug on the right bank and the tip is white which indicates lean. The shop found a vacuum hose had become disconnected on the port carb, but that isn't all of it.... I would appreciate some opinions before I take it back to the shop on Tuesday. I am going to put some miles on it this weekend and see if it improves, but I doubt it. I just filled it up with fuel and checked the mileage, 47.5 MPG......... General riding..........


Bill

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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Running lean

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:08 pm

I remember reading about another GL1500 doing a similar thing. The problem ended up being a crack in a vacuum elbow. Now, I can't recall exactly where the elbow was located, but I believe it was under the carbs or at least close to the engine near the base of the carbs, and apparently have been hardened over the years due to exposure to engine heat.

What you describe sounds like it could easily be vacuum related, so the first thing I would check is cracked lines and hoses. It is often easier to find a vacuum by squirting small amounts of penetrating oil or some other flammable spray on the lines until you hear an increase in idle speed, and that generally is the culprit.
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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redial
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Re: Running lean

Postby redial » Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:39 pm

The most difficult vacuum hose is under the rubber mat, and if you go that far, you may as well replace all of the vacuum hoses. Go and buy a length of hose of the right size, and cut to order. Think about some elbows and t-intersections. I dont know if anyone has tried the bits and pieces for elbows and Ts that you find around the watering system part of the hardware shop? You may need some clamps to ensure that you get a tight fit, as well.
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.

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bstig60
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1999 Virago XV1100LC
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Re: Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:21 am

Thanks for your observations, gentlemen. I am familiar with the WD40 method of locating a vacuum leak. I am going to give the shop a shot at it one more time before I tear into it myself. A vacuum leak was already found, but the symptoms indicate there is most likely another leak there somewhere. I am getting a bit frustrated with the shop as it seems I lose the bike for 4 or 5 days everytime I take it in to them.
Assuming the shop can't find it this time, I will do it myself and when and if that happens, I will most likely replace all the lines that have not been replaced already. The bike only has 4600 miles on it, so I doubt if engine heat could have damaged anything just yet, but age certainly could have.
Bill

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MikeB
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Re: Running lean

Postby MikeB » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:10 pm

4600 miles on a '99? With that low a mileage on a 15 year old machine, I'd suspect that the carbs need to be cleaned.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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bstig60
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Re: Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:02 pm

The carbs were cleaned! And may get cleaned again....... I took the bike on a 300+ mile trip today. The trip ranged in elevation for 700 feet to just over 8500 feet above sea level. Starting out the morning, it idled rough and was surging from low idle at about 700 R's to just over 1000. I adjusted the idle after the bike was warmed up to 800 or so and it started surging up to about 1500 R's and then back down to 850 or so. I tweaked the idle a bit more and got it to idle pretty good at around 800 RPM. No more surging and it responded to throttle without a dead spot. As the ride went on, I noticed it running well and pulling hard if you started adding throttle under load at 1500 R's or below. After coasting and then bringing throttle back on at 1750 up to about 2500, there is a definite hesitation or flat spot when adding throttle anywhere in that range. This sounds to me more like an issue with the accelerator pump than it does a vacuum leak. Above 2500 it pulls hard throughout the rest of the RPM range up to as near to red line as I am willing to take it. If you start adding throttle in 5th gear as low as 1000 RPM, it will pull hard throughout the RPM range up to 5K or so. I have a 1200 mile trip planned for Labor Day weekend, (August 30,31 and Sept 1st. I am thinking of adding Seafoam again and see what it runs like after the trip before putting back in the shops hands again. Thoughts.............
Bill

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MikeB
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Re: Running lean

Postby MikeB » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:07 pm

I was going to recommend Techron but Seafoam is good too. Add it every tank and see how it goes.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: Running lean

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:13 am

MikeB wrote:I was going to recommend Techron but Seafoam is good too. Add it every tank and see how it goes.


Techron (The product Chevron sells) is the only product marketed to clean fuel systems, that I have used, that I can say made an immediate and noticeable difference in how my motorcycle runs when used.
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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MikeB
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Re: Running lean

Postby MikeB » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:26 pm

I read your initial post (Aug 14, 2014) about your '99 and see that you had a lot of work done.
Here are a couple of pics of my 99 1500 that I took delivery on last night. It has only 3600 original miles on it. As part of the deal, I had a lot of work done on it. Tune up, timing belts, carbs rebuilt, new hoses, oil and filter and coolant change. I took her for a short 150 mile ride last night. She runs a little rough at lower speeds and seems to have a bit of a flat spot when accelerating from a stop light. It also is loping a little at idle. I am going put half a can of Seafoam in it an put about 500 miles on it this weekend and see if it works its way out. Otherwise, I will take it back to the shop.

Question 1, How did it run before you had all that work done?
Question 2, Has the shop double checked their work and was it double checked by someone that didn't do the work but is a GL1500 mechanic? Sometimes its a really good idea to have a second set of eyes checking things over.

Cleaning the carbs or running a fuel additive may not help. I'd suspect vacuum hose routing and Timing belt sync. The timing can be off one tooth and not hurt things mechanically but cause run-ability problems.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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bstig60
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Re: Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:02 pm

How did it run?? This is a shed queen with only 3581 original miles on it....... It ran, (idled), but rough and there was a gas leak due to a stuck float. The shop is a small shop and there is the owner, one mechanic and a helper. I doubt anyone is Goldwing 1500 certified, although they do and have done work on Goldwings in the area. The owner has been working on bikes for about as long as I have, that's 40+ years. The mechanic who worked on this bike and has done the follow up work so far is the same guy and he is in his late 20's or maybe 30. I doubt either of them is a Certified Goldwing mechanic.
I had the work done on the bike that I did because I have been down this road many times with bikes that have set for a long time. At the very least, you can count on cleaning and rebuilding the carbs, cleaning out the fuel tank, replacing fuel lines and fuel filter and replacing any vacuum lines that are cracked, hard or brittle. I had the timing belts replaced because of their age, not because they may or may not have needed it.
As I said before, things have changed as miles have been put on the bike. It runs well for the most part other than the hesitation noted in my previous post between 1750 and 2500 RPM when coasting or engine braking going down a grade and coming back on throttle. I think the trip over the Labor Day weekend will either prove or disprove if the carbs have to come apart again or not. I will see if I can find Techron locally and use it to start with. I always keep a couple of cans of Seafoam around to clean up the fuel systems on the Virago's I restore, so I will take a can or two of Seafoam with me.
Bill

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MikeB
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Re: Running lean

Postby MikeB » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:50 pm

Techron is usually available in WalMart, Costco, Autozone and other auto parts stores.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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bstig60
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Re: Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:46 pm

Trip is up in the air for this weekend. Developed a water leak in addition to the fuel issues. So back to the shop it goes. Water leak appears to be one of the manifold water hoses with a pin hole in it. I am going to see if the shop owner will let me assist the mechanic while he works on it this time.
Bill

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bstig60
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Re: Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:23 am

Shop couldn't get me in until next week, so I pulled it apart myself. Found the water leak; stupid tech left a clamp off one of the carb base water hoses. Put a new clamp on and fixed the problem. Also found a vacuum line hanging in the breeze and the crankcase breather hose was off the air box and also hanging in the breeze.
Bill

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MikeB
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Re: Running lean

Postby MikeB » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:45 am

I suspected as much for the antifreeze leak. Hmmm.. vacuum hose hanging in the breeze. That second set of eyes (yours) may have cured your ills. Let us know how it runs now.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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bstig60
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1999 Virago XV1100LC
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Re: Running lean

Postby bstig60 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:02 pm

I did 1100 miles on it last weekend. Problems are still there. Took it back to the shop on Tuesday and they went thru the carbs again. They think it was something gumming up the carbs or another vacuum leak. They don't know which. They were getting ready to take it for a test ride when I was there a little bit ago. So we will see. I will pick it up tomorrow and I will see......


Bill


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