Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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fnickel
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby fnickel » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:54 pm



I have noticed a gassy smell when parking the bike in my closed garage after a ride, for about a day after parking it. It gradually goes away after that. Bike has 85,000 miles on it, and otherwise runs perfectly; starts well, idles well, good power, no hesitation, etc. Planning to go on a longer trip with it in about a month, I decided to pull the filter and stuff from the top of the carbs and a side fairing and see if I could spot anything when starting it up and running the engine for a while. I did spot a small trail of fuel coming from between the rear end of the carbs, between the carbs. It would show up as a small wet run right below the throttle wheel (that carries the throttle push/pull cables). It would run backwards and in the left direction down the rubber cover. It was wet for a few minutes, and then was gone in about 5 minutes time. When I put my finger under the throttle cable wheel in that general area, it would come up wet for a while, but dried out in a few minutes. There was no other sign of it puddling anywhere.

Does anyone have any ideas about what it might be? I'm reluctant to pull the carbs off and do some maintenance on them, because the bike is running so well, but eventually I'm thinking that I should do this over the winter months. To fix this problem (if it really is a problem), and also deal with the winter leaking of antifreeze, which I hear is probably the tube connections under the carbs and to the manifolds. Could this be nothing more than the heat of the engine causing the fuel in the carbs and lines to evaporate quickly, hence the smell?

One other thing. I noticed that I could get the carbs to wiggle about 1/8" (one eighth of an inch) in the fore/aft direction. Is this normal? They do not wiggle sideways, only forward and backward.

Thanks for your opinions and expertise on these issues. Looking forward to a good summer of riding.



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ct1500
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Re: Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby ct1500 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:09 am

The fuel smell is a symptom of a problem. It seems you have stumbled onto the cause which are likely the float bowl gaskets leaking which is a common enough problem on 1500 carbs.
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wingman12
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Re: Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby wingman12 » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:20 pm

good afternoon fnickel, I am not too familiar with 92 1500, but I had that issue with my 99 1500 and it turned out to be the automatic fuel petcock assembly. it was leaking thru
the gasket and from where it is located would run down onto the carb area. Mine is located under the fuel cap flap on the counsel.

fnickel
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:59 pm
Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Re: Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby fnickel » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:08 am

Thanks, guys.

Question for ct1500. My understanding is that the fuel level in the float bowl is lower than the seal surface between the bowl and the carburetor, at least it is on every carb I've ever worked on. I'm wondering how the fuel can leak past the float bowl gaskets when the fuel level is below that area. I can understand if the bike is parked and leaning at a large angle, but if the bike is on the centre stand or standing upright, I can't see how it would do that. The fuel in the bowl is also not under pressure so it can't be forced out by pressure. Is there a drain screw on the bottom of the bowl that the fuel could be leaking out from?

Question for wingman12. If the petcock was leaking, there would be external evidence of that right? I checked the area around the petcock, the filter and the fuel lines, and there was no sign of any fuel leakage in those areas. Only from the area that I described in my original post. Thanks again.

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ct1500
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Re: Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby ct1500 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:05 pm

fnickel wrote:Thanks, guys.

Question for ct1500. My understanding is that the fuel level in the float bowl is lower than the seal surface between the bowl and the carburetor, at least it is on every carb I've ever worked on. I'm wondering how the fuel can leak past the float bowl gaskets when the fuel level is below that area. I can understand if the bike is parked and leaning at a large angle, but if the bike is on the centre stand or standing upright, I can't see how it would do that. The fuel in the bowl is also not under pressure so it can't be forced out by pressure. Is there a drain screw on the bottom of the bowl that the fuel could be leaking out from?

Question for wingman12. If the petcock was leaking, there would be external evidence of that right? I checked the area around the petcock, the filter and the fuel lines, and there was no sign of any fuel leakage in those areas. Only from the area that I described in my original post. Thanks again.


The fuel bowls are almost vertical as can be seen from this photo and are subjected to fuel presence full time. Yes, there are drain screws but the outlet port is connected to rubber lines going to bottom of engine and even if they were leaking they are so low and buried in the carbs you would not be observing anything up above where you are commenting on.

The fuel petcock is located within the fuel spill tray and any leakage will be observed there.
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fnickel
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Location: Campbellville, ON, Canada
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500SE

Re: Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby fnickel » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:13 pm

Thanks, CT1500. That clarifies things. My assumption was that these carbs were similar to most other carbs I've worked on, with the mating surface between the bowl and carb positioned horizontally, so that the fuel level would be below the sealing surface. This makes sense now, the sealing surface is positioned almost vertically, so that if the gasket is not absolutely fuel tight, fuel will leak out the bottom regardless of the position/attitude of the bike. I think I will wait until winter to pull the carbs and redo the gaskets, vacuum lines, clean carbs and a few other things. Anything else that can be done for this temporarily to minimize leakage? What about the carb wiggle fore/aft, is that normal?

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ct1500
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Re: Gas smell, 1992 GL1500SE

Postby ct1500 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:20 pm

The carbs mount to rubber insulators between them and the intake manifolds and a slight fore-aft movement is normal.


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