88' GL1500 quit on me while riding


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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ricknote
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:03 am
Location: White House, TN
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby ricknote » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:22 am



Last week I went for a 2 hour ride and came back home. Did a clean and polish then re-started, went up the street a bit and bogged down and died.
Luckily I was uphill from my house and was able to glide it back home. Tried several times to restart, but repeated tries drained the battery.
Got up the next morning and had to jump it. Fired right up like normal. Rode for a mile or so and went home. This was last Saturday.

Last night after work I decided to take a chance and go for a ride thinking maybe it was flooded or I had bad fuel or something.
Here is the chain of events in detail so maybe you folks might be able to help.

1. Started it up in the garage and fired up. A bit of blue smoke
from the tailpipe but dissipates after a minute or so. I believe it always has done this. Old bike.

2. Went to the gas station 1 mile away and filled up.

3. Took off down hwy 41 in Springfield, TN. Rode about 15 min and the bike bogged down out of nowhere and quit. I was able to glide into a gas station. Tried to restart 5 times and nothing.

4. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Choked it and it started. Full choke only got me 1500 RPM's. I kept it choked to keep it running and tried to limp home. Got 1/2 mile and it quit again.

5. Able to restart it so I let it idle for a bit. Choke off, it's idling fine.

6. Took off again. Seems normal now but quits again in 1/2 mile

7. I repeated this about four times and I'm only 5 miles from home.

8. I decided to let it idle, drive a 1/4 mile and stop in a parking lot to let it idle. Then go a bit more.

9. I did this for about 3 miles and it seemed to be running fine.

10. I took a chance and just kept going for the last few miles and made it home with no more issues.

That's all I got. I'm no mechanic by any means, so I hope this will help me track down possible issues that I can discuss with the bike shop this Saturday.

Rick



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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
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: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:42 am

I'm suspecting all of these are pointing to the same thing: a clogged gas cap vent.

When the engine uses up fuel from the gas tank, that fuel has to be replaced with air. The gas cap has a vent in it that lets a small amount of air in as required. Over time, this vent can get clogged, usually with fuel deposits.

When the tank is nearly empty, there is a large amount of air in the tank. Air is easily compressible, so the fuel pump doesn't have an overly difficult time pumping gas out and creating a slight vacuum in the tank as a result. The less fuel in the tank (i.e. the more air) the easier it is to pump fuel out, decompressing the remaining air (relative to outside atmospheric pressure).

However, you then went to the gas station and filled up. Now there is very little air left in the tank. The pump tries to pump gas, but there is almost no air volume in the tank to expand, and fuel sure doesn't expand under pressure. The end result is that the volume of fuel the pump is able to pump out is severely restricted. The engine starts running lean, so it bogs down.

You switch the choke on, which enrichens the mixture, so this helps, but eventually there just isn't enough fuel to run the engine properly.

If you let the bike sit for a while, eventually enough air leaks through the gas cap, and the bike will run again - until more gas is pumped out, and the problem occurs again.

This is easy to diagnose: Next time this happens, loosen the gas cap. If you get an inrush of air, and the bike suddenly comes to life, then you know that this is what is going on.

Sometimes this is a combination of several issues: clogged gas cap vent, clogged fuel filter and/or weakening/failing fuel pump. One on its own isn't enough to produce symptoms, but two or more at the same time can cause the issues you're seeing. You might clean or replace the gas cap, only to find that a few months down the road, the fuel pump dies completely.

If removing your gas cap does bring your bike back to life, take it off and let it soak in a pan of Seafoam overnight. A lot of times this will fix the problem. You can also try boiling it in a pot of water for a while. Either way, you might want to do a fuel pump volume test to ensure it is operating correctly. You can find the details on that test here: How to test fuel pump output volume

ricknote
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:03 am
Location: White House, TN
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby ricknote » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:07 pm

WingAdmin,

Thanks for the detailed ideas. This forum is amazing!

I asked this question on another Goldwing forum on Sunday and someone brought up the idea of
removing the gas cap and trying to restart.
When it quit on me again on Wednesday and pulled into the gas station, that's one of the first things
I tried. It didn't help to start it up right away. As I mentioned, I was able to get it going again so it
could still be the gas cap vent. I'll clean this up as you suggested first. It can't hurt. I'll have them
test the fuel pump and change the fuel filter this weekend.

ricknote
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:03 am
Location: White House, TN
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby ricknote » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:14 pm

WingAdmin,

On an unrelated subject.
Is it common for bikes this age to put out some blue smoke
from the tailpipe when first starting and warming up?

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17046
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: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Oct 30, 2014 3:18 pm

ricknote wrote:WingAdmin,

On an unrelated subject.
Is it common for bikes this age to put out some blue smoke
from the tailpipe when first starting and warming up?


Our horizontally-opposed engines typically have a bit of oil pool in the heads when sitting off - more so on the left side if the bike is left on the side stand. The valve stem seals get hard with age, and let a bit of oil by, which burns off when you first start. As long as it doesn't put out blue smoke continuously, and is just a puff at startup, it's not a huge problem. If it gets bad, or bothers you, changing the valve seals will normally fix it.

ricknote
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:03 am
Location: White House, TN
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby ricknote » Thu Oct 30, 2014 4:55 pm

The smoke goes away after a minute or less so I'm good there.
I hope I can resolve the stalling issue. I hate getting stranded.

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702scottc
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Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate (sold)
1990 GL1500 Aspencade (sold)
2005 GL1800

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby 702scottc » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:01 pm

You may also want to replace the fuel filter, a clogged filter will act the same way. Test your charging system and battery as well.

ricknote
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:03 am
Location: White House, TN
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby ricknote » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:25 pm

702scottc,

Thanks, I'm going to have them replace the fuel filter and do an oil change
I'll also have them check all the possible issues WingAdmin suggested.

dnesbitt69
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:00 pm
Location: spokane, wa
Motorcycle: 1987 gl1500
aspencade

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby dnesbitt69 » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:08 pm

I also have had my 87 1500 stop while riding, total dead battery, clicking from starter, no lights,horn,radio etc. got it home after overnight charge started right up. second time a few days ago, on the battery tender when not riding, started let it warm up for about 20 minutes treating the fuel before winter storage, just stops, again dead everything. I plan on getting a new battery in the spring, this one four years old, just like to know if there is something else I should be looking at this winter.

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redial
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Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby redial » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:59 pm

You should do a preventive check of the charging system, which also may include the brushes in the charger; cleaning the general area of the charger; checking all of the connections; making sure all the grounds are also bright and shiny. Once you have them cleaned, coat them with some dielectric grease (it conducts unlike axle grease) from an electronics supplier. Run a meter over them to see that they are all doing what they are supposed to do at the correct voltage.

That should keep you off the ice, snow, and salt for a couple of hours while you think about us using our bikes in the wonderful temps of summer! Yeah!!! :D
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.

ricknote
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:03 am
Location: White House, TN
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500

Re: 88' GL1500 quit on me while riding

Postby ricknote » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:35 pm

Turned out to be the fuel pump. Getting it fixed this week.
Thanks everyone for the help and input!
Rick




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