Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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kaikaipau
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
1986 GL1200A Aspencade

Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby kaikaipau » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:00 pm



Hi Folks! This here is going to take a while, so I apologize... I having been scouring over the forums looking for help with my 1988 GL1500 problem. The engine runs great, but I had problems with it when I put it into gear, it would jump a bit then stall. I read posts that talked about how the clutch plates on the old bikes would stick, and that I should try rolling it back and forth in 5th gear and also try to put in some new synthetic oil with SeaFoam... well, I tried to rock the bike, that didn't seem to work... then I just added some SeaFoam to the engine, and that seemed to work... until the next morning when it stalled again! I tried bleeding the clutch fluid out, and always seemed to get some bubbles, so I bought a nice Mityvac bleeder, like I saw on these forums, and that seemed to fix the bike... for that day... until the next morning(see a pattern here?) This went on for a few weeks... it would break down on a ride, I would bleed the clutch, then it would get me home, till the next morning the bike would continue to stall when I put it in gear and after reading more forums, I thought that I might have to rebuild my clutch master cylinder, even though the clutch would grab just fine once the bike started. Then I decided to take off the bleed nipple and inspect the o-ring... it was worn down and I wrapped on some thread tape and screwed it back on... well, of course after I bled it all, the bike worked great for that evening... the next morning... it all worked! To my great surprise! So I decided to ride the bike to work which is about 10 miles away. About 3 blocks from work, as I was cruising at about 40mph, I suddenly noticed no throttle response and saw 0 rpm's... the engine had quit on me! I pulled in the clutch and downshifted and tried to jump the bike as I was still rolling pretty fast, and the tire just skidded. I quickly got down to Neutral and hit the starter and it started right up, but then put it in 2nd and the bike immediately stalled... I rolled to a small side street and after spending a few moments of cursing and kicking a big rock, I pulled out the mityvac and a new bottle of fluid and bled the clutch again(I ride prepared)... I saw lots of little bubbles... but I didn't notice a drop in fluid level when I opened the reservoir. After about 2 or 3 full reservoirs were bled out, I started the bike and lo and behold, it worked! I drove to work fine. After work, I risked riding on the freeway and without incident I got home safely. Now it sits in the carport... do I dare ride it to work tomorrow? What could be the problem? Is it a clutch issue? Why would the bike be riding fine and then just all of a sudden lose all power? I apologize for being long winded, but this problem is a bit of a puzzler for me... I'm hoping someone here can help... Please. Thank you, Barry


:geek: "...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." :geek:

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trike lady
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Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby trike lady » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:21 pm

This is a two part question and the last one of losing power and '0' rpms is where I'll start.
The bank angle sensors have had a recall, as the sensor would fail and the bike would die for no reason. Shutting the bike off and then turning the key back on would 'reset' the system. You may want to see if the recall was done at the dealership, they would need the VIN.
Are there any signs of fluid on the floor? Has the oil level in the engine increased? Check the return orifice in the reservoir it may be stopped up. When was the last time the master cylinder and slave cylinder were rebuilt? A good system flush?
I.M.B.B.A. Technician II Certified

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kaikaipau
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
1986 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby kaikaipau » Wed Sep 02, 2015 12:35 am

Thanks for bearing through all of that. Of course, getting a used bike and not knowing what was or wasn't done is my main issue. I'm trying to do as much as I can with limited resources, but finding out about the bank angle sensors is doable. I will call the dealer and ask them to look it up.
As for the rebuild of master and slave cylinders, I can only guess by the look of the fluid when I first opened up the reservoir that it has never been rebuilt, or it has been a long time since because the fluid was of a gunky black consistency. I have since flushed over 2 new bottles of Dot 4 fluid through the system but didn't use anything else other than brake fluid to do it. I initially sucked all the fluid out of the master cylinder then used q-tips to clean all the gunk out then just flushed, flushed, flushed. I flushed first using the open bleeder, squeeze lever, close bleeder method, before I bought the mityvac vacuum bleeder to do it, which I use now exclusively. The clutch lever has a good solid feel throughout. Is there anything else that I can use to flush the system with?
I can order a kit to rebuild the master cylinder if needed, that doesn't seem too difficult, but for the slave cylinder, I'll have to investigate on how to do that. I never even looked at it. Is that hard to do? The kit looks like it's less than $20 on ebay. I can order that and do it if you recommend.
As for fluid leaks, there are none visible and my oil level has not increased at all, at least not much visibly. I recently did the oil change to the top line on the stick and it was still at the top line... that is until I put in the SeaFoam. I put in about 4 ounces.
I will look into the return orifice... I have the manual and don't know where that is, but I will investigate and make sure it's clean, too. I'm assuming I can put a pipe cleaner or something like that to clean it out, but will look into it next.
Thank you so much for your input... it is so much appreciated!
:geek: "...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." :geek:

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dingdong
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Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby dingdong » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:40 am

Check out this thread. If your slave has never been rebuilt this is probably what you are up against.

viewtopic.php?t=28498

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WingAdmin
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Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:40 am

I agree, I think you're dealing with two different issues. The bike quitting like you describe is classic of a failed bank angle sensor. You're already on your way to finding out if that was done on your bike. If the recall was done, there will be an "X" marked on your frame:

Bank Angle Sensor Recall Mark
Bank Angle Sensor Recall Mark


As for the clutch...what you're describing is symptomatic of a clutch being stuck engaged. This can be caused by one of two things: Mechanical failure of the clutch or breakdown and subsequent jamming of the clutch friction material, or inability of the clutch hydraulic system to declutch.

If it was the former, bleeding the clutch would not fix it. However, if you had air getting into the hydraulic clutch system, that air would compress when you squeezed the clutch lever instead of actuating the slave cylinder, which would mean the clutch stayed engaged. That would mean that you pull the clutch lever in, shift into gear, and the engine would stall instantly, because the clutch was actually still engaged.

You then bleed the clutch, which gets rid of the air, and the problem is fixed...until more air gets into the system.

To me, this says time for a clutch system rebuild. I would suggest both the master cylinder and the slave cylinder need rebuilding. Especially the slave cylinder, as if it is leaking fluid, the potential is there for the fluid to get into the engine crankcase, which can DESTROY crank bearings, and subsequently the entire engine.

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kaikaipau
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1986 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby kaikaipau » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:59 pm

Just ordered rebuild kits for clutch master and slave cylinders... You don't even know how grateful I am for all your advice. Thank you.. Thank you... Thank you!!! I'll keep you posted... probably take a week to get this done. I'll know by then if the bank angle sensor was changed, too. Ride on!
:geek: "...by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." :geek:

broon452
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1988 GL1500

Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby broon452 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:24 am

Interested to know if you managed to resolve your problem as I suspect I may have something similar going on.

When my bike decides to play ball and select gear I can go all day without a hiccup but If I run it to work in the morning (30miles) and leave it sitting all day when I come to select first gear at night the engine dies. Usually after much cursing and swearing (under my breath) it will go in and I can get home but now it won't go into gear without killing the engine. So it is stuck in the garage!

I have cleaned the slave and clutch cylinders and both operate ok with no signs of a leak or air bubbles when I bleed the system hence the reason I am interested in how you got on with your problem.

Hugh

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ekvh
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Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby ekvh » Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:00 am

Hard to believe Honda endorses scratching the paint on the frame to indicate recall work. Seems beneath them. Not beneath me, but a big corporation??

broon452
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1981 GL1100 being restored...maybe retirement to finish it
1988 GL1500

Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby broon452 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:53 pm

:D Decided to look at the side stand switch again and lo an behold with it unbolt ed from the frame it now goes into gear, reverse works and so does the cruise control. Maybe someone can explain it but in the mean time I will just ride without it bolted. Must remember to check the Sidestrand is up every time I set off

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Re: Engine Died Randomly While Riding... Scary!!

Postby FM-USA » Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:26 pm

broon452 wrote::D Decided to look at the side stand switch again and lo an behold with it unbolt ed from the frame it now goes into gear, reverse works and so does the cruise control. Maybe someone can explain it but in the mean time I will just ride without it bolted. Must remember to check the Sidestrand is up every time I set off

I was going to comment then seen your last post. Had to re-read your first post. There wasn't a mention of a side stand being worked on or looked at.

I'm NOT harping, just say'n.
When one looks for help one must include all that was done. So instead of us guessing, we'd can zero in on the problem more definitively and quicker.

It's just like a doctor asking what brought on this 'X'?
Then we can say, take to happy pills and write us in the morning. :lol:


"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.


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