Spark but no start


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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someguy
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Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:13 pm



Hi Guys and Gals, been pulling my hair out for the last week and wouldn't mind another set of "eyes" on this one. Did my winter to do list; all fluids, timing belts, plugs etc., and threw a set of harley mufflers on just for giggles and a bit more noise. Been riding 2 strokes for decades and it was just too quiet for me. Anyway, bike started and ran fine up till a week ago and now nothing. All I get is a bit of backfire through the carbs. Have spark, a little yellow looking but its there. Using a deep cycle off my trailer for power, never below 11v on cranking. Cleaned out the tank, getting fuel above the petcock and accel pump operating fine. Even managed get me in the face when I had the carbs on the bench upside down :D . About to go out and check the ECM plugs as per one of Virgil's posts about ignition issues. Kill switch appears good, sidestand switch operates as it should, N light all good. The only thing that seems a bit weird is no R light with ignition in the run position, should it light without the bike running? With the accel pump working its getting fuel into the runners but not doing anything with it. I would think I'd get a bit of runtime even if the lowspeed side was plugged. Am I standing too close to the forest? Any feedback greatly appreciated, back to the garage I go. Will check back in a while with more. Great forum and many thanks to all that contribute, as I will when I can help out.
1990 GL1500



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virgilmobile
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Re: Spark but no start

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:24 pm

Just a question...where are you measuring the 11 volts...at the battery or at the ECM...
Beware of voltage drop in wiring and jumper cables...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:33 pm

Thanks for the reply. No wifi in garage so Im carrying laptop back and forth. Voltage was measured between battery and ground, not both terminals. Can and will check off ecm momentarily. Be back in a minute

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:39 pm

11.3 at ecm, measured at disconnected plug.

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:12 pm

What is the volts at the ECM..measured between a green ground wire and the black power wire ..While cranking..
It must be above 10.5 volts.
If the volts are ok,pull one spark plug and look at its condition...Wet,dry..etc

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:15 pm

got wifi out here. gimme a minute or two. Thanks a bunch

10.9, 1 and 5 are wet

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:49 pm

Sounds like it's been "flooded".
Too much cranking without enough spark...
Personally,I'd start from the beginning..charge up the battery to keep the ECM volts above the 10.5 volt while cranking...
Pull all 6 plugs...kill the ignition and crank the engine a few times to clear the cylinders....While it's drying out,clean or replace the plugs..
Wet plugs seldom spark well at all.

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:03 pm

Will do. The part that puzzles me is the no start without any change. Ran fine one day and now doesn't even attempt to run. All I have been to get is a "pop" after cranking for ten seconds. Checked all switches, just drained carbs a bit (thanks for the pic on how to get in there) so I know there's fuel in the bowl. I only see one electrical plug that's empty and looking at the socket it appears it's been empty for a while. It's yellow, on the frame by the CB, other than that all appears good. Checked pulse generators and they're a bit low but it's quite a bit below the 20C called in the FSM. Physically they are clean. Timing is on according to all timing marks. Reverse is operational. Sidestand and Neutral switch are good. Batteries are charging, will go and dry it out and check back, thnx

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:21 pm

The only thing I can dream up is the bike was parked....battery dropped in volts...bike wouldn't start...keep trying to crank it and flooded the cylinders and plenum...contaminated the plugs...They no longer spark across the gap under compression....The more attempts to start it makes the fuel mixture even worse.

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:31 pm

Roger that. The weird part, to me, is that is it only sat for three or four days and then the no start. Was just out pulling plugs and found oil coming from one of the air box vacuum lines. On the dipstick I am over full. Am I an idiot (be nice) and the overfill on the oil is "checking" vacuum somewhere? It is the only thing I can come up with that has "changed", the bike was run at least four times after the work was done checking for rattles etc on the exhaust work. Would the accumulation of short runs allow the migration of oil into the system and cause the issue? Once I get this solved I'll ride the damn thing year round, thankfully our climate here would allow it. Appreciate the help...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:48 pm

I suppose short runs could "build up " contaminates under your condition (excess oil in the wrong place)and exasperated this...Look close at the enamel of the plugs...If there black and can't be cleaned easily back to the tan or white condition,it may be easier to replace them.


I once had a cylinder dead on my 1100 from a carb problem...I fixed the carb..couldn't get that cylinder to fire at all..pulled the plug and it was wet..I dried the plug and cylinder..it still wouldn't fire...it pulled the plug again and it would spark OK laying on the block...the enamel was a funny color..kinda glossy black... I never could get cleaned or that one plug to fire in the cylinder....It was just time for a new plug....that fixed it...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:03 pm

The plugs look good, they only have about 15-20 minutes on them. Will examine closely. They got a wash down with contact cleaner and dried out with compressed air. I gave all cylinders a quick shot of carb cleaner and have cycled it four times on the starter, 10-15 second shots. Blew out the offending vacuum line and did get a bit of oil on a clean rag. Not enough that would lead to a drip but that line was definitely pulling oil, tagged as pink. Haven't looked at the diagram yet to see the routing for it. Will go out and give it a another try. I guess it would be too much to ask for a bare bones 2 stroke Wing wouldn't it. Thnx

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:01 pm

Been doing lots of searching and reading while eating and watching our lame hockey team's effort. I did the test outlined below earlier today and didn't get 12 volts on any of the terminals on the white plug. This is the plug below the ECM on the frame, correct? Could this be one of my gremlins? Posted by Virgil a couple weeks ago...
Now that "we" have the proper volts to run the spark,let's find out why it wont work..

The test...
At the ECM plugs...
White plug...unplug it from the ECM...Turn on the key...Measure to ground
Black/white
Yellow/white
Yellow/blue
Yellow/red......they all should have battery volts on them...
Turn the key OFF....
Measure the Green wire(ohms) it should be zero ohms...a short to ground...

Thanks

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:30 pm

I'm just wondering if you've got a decent supply of electric current to get that 1500 started. I never messed with one, but I've read about dozens of instances of failure to start being linked to weak battery... Have you tried putting a charge on the battery before starting to see if that helps any? I did read your trying to start off a deep cycle battery, but that doesn't mean it has sufficient charge for the task at hand... other than that, do what Virgilmobile says.. lol
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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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:53 am

Still reading and amazed by the amount of knowledge and general input Virgil has had over the last two or three years here. Good man! Pretty sure I've now read 500 of his posts. With regard to my jumper battery, I stole it off my travel trailer so it lives on the house float charger, 875cca. Both batteries are on the charger for the night, plugs are resting in the wells letting things air out and I'm sick of searching. I'll get a couple hours in the garage tomorrow before work. Maybe I can sneak up on it while its sleeping in and fire it up ninja style...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:07 am

About the "test"..the black and yellow wires.voltage should be there "if" it is unplugged from the ECM and you measure the harness wires with the key on and the kill switch on.
If you have spark,there's volts there.

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:21 pm

This is killing me. Found that batteries were both a bit low on cranking, 10.6-7 measured between battery neg and red terminal on solenoid B. I went and bought an AGM replacement, still no start. Wet plugs and fuel spray (not a lot) out of carbs when cranking. I did get one pop out of the exhaust. Took out the carbs and gave them a quick re&re, carb cleaner and compressed air through the jets. Not a rebuild but a thorough cleaning and look about. Orings and gaskets good, vacuum lines and vacuum slides are good, have fuel and spark is strong. Can't see that something would change in the carbs over 48 hours but? I know I am missing something, and its probably basics, but what? It ran fine and then nothing. Something in the sub air system? Haven't looked there yet. I did see a post over on the Saunders site, showing a jumper wire in place.



Is this Would this be a logical step in my search for a running bike? I'm getting desperate, any help appreciated...off to spend another hour searching and reading

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby ct1500 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:50 am

someguy wrote: Reverse is operational.


Reverse is not supposed to work on a bike not running, yours does? And what is fuel spray out of carbs while cranking over, from where? There should be no spraying of fuel out of carbs while cranking over.

Remove all six plugs and lay them down on valve cover and crank over, is there sparking at all the plugs. And what are the plug conditions, black, white, wet or dry and their locations? During this is there still this fuel spray out of carbs and which one(s)?
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:52 pm

Yes, I did have reverse on a non-running bike. I'd call it mist more than spray, it's like blowback equal on both barrels. I do have good white spark on all cylinders, it was a bit yellow before battery replacement. Plugs came out all looking about the same, wet with a bit of colour, the only have 15 minutes on them. I was going to take the day off but your question about reverse has piqued my interest. Thanks for the response...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:33 pm

Ok, went out to check mysterious reverse function but now it won't do it? Leads me to believe the bike is arguing between start and reverse. I did have the bags off working on exhaust but not the trunk, most of the stuff seems to live under the trunk. Don't have time to mess with it today so I will let it brew for the day and try tomorrow after work. Will be troubleshooting the reverse system per the manual and posts I've seen here about it. Maybe the clues are adding up? This is the pic I referred to earlier. Thanks guys...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby Mh434 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:48 pm

Just a thought - you changed the timing belts, and obviously that worked fine. But - is there ANY chance that one of the bolts for one of the ignition pulse generators wasn't tightened down? If that were the case, and it worked loose after a few minutes' running, you'd never get it to run again until it was repositioned & tightened.

That thought occurred to me while I was putting mine back together again a few weeks ago, after replacing the belts.

You DID say you were grasping at straws, right!? :roll:

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:54 pm

I got to thinking it sounded like a timing issue, too... but strange it would run fine and then start doing all of this, more or less out of the blue.
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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Re: Spark but no start

Postby bstig60 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:10 pm

Since your crankcase is overfull, is it possible you have gotten fuel in the oil causing the over full condition? Pull the fill cap and take a smell..........
Bill

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby someguy » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:52 am

Tried my best to get out there today but no luck. Here's my responses, thanks guys.
MH - Pulled the cover and double checked the timing, all marks good, along with belt tension. Did look at the pulse generators for any dirt or debris, nothing. Will break them loose and re-torque them.
Hawkeye - Has me baffled. Like a top one day and two days later nothing.
Bstig - the overfull was a "doh" on my part when doing my oil change. Too busy watching hockey instead of what I should have been...

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Re: Spark but no start

Postby bstig60 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:35 am

As we all know, it takes 3 things for an engine to run; Compression, Spark and Fuel. If you have good compression and you have a good spark, the you must be missing fuel. Try pulling the air filter off and spray some starting fluid into the carbs and see if it will lite up for a few seconds. If it does, check the fuel shut off (up in front of the gas cap), to make sure it is allowing fuel to get to the carbs.As I recall there is a vacuum line that runs for cylinder #3, I think, that provides vacuum to operate it.


Bill


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