Bike won't start after transporting in rain


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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tnkrtoy
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Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby tnkrtoy » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:24 pm



1994 GL1500 47K miles

Five days ago started and ran good as always. Trailered two days ago in heavy down pour of rain for three hours. Home and the lights all come up and the engine turns OK but there is no fire. Before I start taking panels off is there something obvious to those here that have GL1500's after towing uncovered in a rain storm for three hours. Temp is about 36 during the day and bike is inside now. I have pulled some panels and running a fan to more quickly dry the moisture...I will first see if plugs getting any fire and if not will work my way backwards. New get cell battery last month so spins good. Never hits a lick. Something has it locked out of starting mode. Have checked obvious..kickstand, gear Neutral and switch is in the middle ON on right grip. If I do not hear anything I will start tracing the starting circuit. I will wait a few days to see if a good Samaritan has a simple answer or suggestionj. Thanks in advance



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WingAdmin
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:46 am

Where the spark plugs sit is a well, which can collect water. In the bottom of the well is a small hole, designed to drain that water, so it doesn't short out the plug. These small holes often get clogged, allowing water to collect in the well, shorting the plugs, and preventing the engine from firing. That's the first thing I would check. You can clear them out by pushing a small wire through the hole.

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:58 pm

I'll state the obvious one - is the OFF/Run/OFF switch in the right position?

:)

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NVSB4
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby NVSB4 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:03 pm

Aussie81Interstate wrote:I'll state the obvious one - is the OFF/Run/OFF switch in the right position? :)

That was going to be my reply as well, but you beat me to it.
Don't ask how I know that this could happen. :D
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Charlie1Horse
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby Charlie1Horse » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:37 pm

Take the kill switch loose on the handlebar and check the two terminals underneath. If they are loose and have gotten water inside, due to the rain, you may have a bad connection there and therefore no spark or fuel pump.
Russell

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joeincalif
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby joeincalif » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:20 am

Aussie81Interstate wrote:I'll state the obvious one - is the OFF/Run/OFF switch in the right position?

:)

he said in his post

gear Neutral and switch is in the middle ON on right grip.
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virgilmobile
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:35 am

When I'm not sure if there may be spark due to a electrical problem (on any bike with the electronic tach),I closely watch the tach as I crank the engine.If the tach does not move,there won't be any spark.If it moves during cranking,at least the coils are being energized.
This quick look will point me to either wet plug wires if it moves or primary power loss if it does not move.

tnkrtoy
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby tnkrtoy » Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:52 pm

Good suggestion...took the kill switch apart and looks like new inside. Took meter and checked for no continuity in the off position and continuity in the ON position. I turn the key on and green Neutral gear light ON and red low oil light ON, when I crank engine. the tach needle vibrates just a little and the red low oil pressure light goes off until I stop cranking. Still no fire.

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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:35 pm

So there might be spark.Pull just one plug wire and check it.
Keep the battery charged.
The engine takes one full revolution before spark shows up.
Don't open the throttle when cranking.Vacuum loss can keep the fuel shutoff.

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raven41951
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby raven41951 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:32 pm

I can't tell you anymore than the others have, but I can say that every time I have trailered or transported on a trailer or in the back of my pickup, while the vehicle got wet, they would not start at destination. ATV (Suzuki Vinson 500), Honda Shadow ACE, Honda VF750 Magna, and my 94 Goldwing SE, even a lawn mower. At different times, some trips from Mass to New Brunswick Canada, some from Mass to Daytona and back, the wing from CT to MA when I bought it.

I checked everything. Eventually, they all started, some hours later, some days later. I did end up replacing the starter solenoid on the Suzuki Vinson, but even it started eventually with the pull start. Never found a problem why they would not start.

I would be thrilled if someone knows the answer to this one.

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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:23 pm

If a bike (or car, or airplane, etc) reliably won't start after it gets wet, but runs fine when allowed to dry out, you need to be looking at the high-voltage parts of the electrical system. 12 volts can be affected by water, but the voltage isn't high enough to cause a significant enough drain from wet wires to cause things to fail like that. On the other hand, just a little bit of moisture in the high voltage system can bring the voltage down from 20,000 volts to 10,000 volts or less - enough to kill a spark.

So look at the coils, plug wires, spark plugs. Check the spark plugs for cracked porcelain. Check the wires for cracks. Get the bike up and running normally, turn the lights off, and spray a fine mist of water around the high voltage components. Look for sparks lighting up in the dark - that is your telltale sign of high voltage components shorting out.

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raven41951
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby raven41951 » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:30 pm

once again Wingadmin comes through. Makes sense. I am thinking of an enclosed trailer.

tnkrtoy
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby tnkrtoy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:43 pm

Well thought you would like an update. I did transport in the rain but the seller said he had ridden the day before and being the trusting fella I am it was snowing and raining at the same time I purchased the bike and headed home thus the post of not starting after arriving home. Everytime someone says "trust me" I should rung. This bike as I get into it has not been ridden in a LONG time maybe years. BTY great PDF manual. THANKS!!! Took the basic ignition true false test with my meter but could not get power to the fuel pump. Took fuel pump out and vent tube was broken and junk had gotten into the fuel pump and it had siezed and was toast. Found a used one for 70 bucks including the freight so today put it on and when I turned the key on as it says in the manual still no juice to the fuel pump. What is not diagramed in the PDF file is that the starter switch must be pushed for the fuel pump to run. Ok got all that figured out and ran a gallon of fuel true the fuel pump to make sure it would work. I had already pulled plugs and I was getting a spark so plugged everything up and walla it fired up after coaching with the choke and after lots of popping a cracking and blue smoke it was running smooth. My wife came downstairs and saw me on this half assembled bike and was horrified at the stream of fuel that was poring out the two small black tubes coming out the bottom of the right side of the from. I shut down and moved the bike outside and used a squeezee to remove most of the fuel and now running a fan and thank God I did not burn myself or worse my house down!
This is a 1994 GL 1500. Is it normal for the fuel pump on startup to only run when the starter button is pressed? I am looking at a drawing on Page 67 of the PDF and cannot seem to find the two black vent tubes. Why is is venting fuel and what is the little flexible shaft with knurled nob next to the gas fill cap?? Most importantly what is the fix? Please tell me I do not have to take more plastic off...I am worried that I will not remember the reverse technique to put all these pieces back on!!!! Help!! 8-)

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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:10 pm

First off, the knurled knob is the idle speed - you can set the idle speed by twisting that little knob.

The fuel pump runs for a moment when ignition is first turned on, in case the fuel has evaporated out of the carburetor bowls. After that, it only runs when the engine is actually turning.

The fuel pouring out sounds like you have at least one carburetor float stuck. Instead of overflowing and dumping fuel directly into the engine (which would be bad), it runs out the overflow tubes that your wife saw dumping on the ground.

Oh...and take pictures when taking stuff apart, so you can remember how it goes back together! :) If you are stuck, a lot of the DIY's here have pictures of how things go together...and if that fails, ask, we can help. :)

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robb
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby robb » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:01 pm

Check that water has not found it's way into the fuse and relay boxes on left side.

tnkrtoy
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby tnkrtoy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:46 pm

Knurled knob. Too simple! My 2002 HD Dyna Super Glide has the same. I let the bike sit for a few hours with the fuel and some Sea Foam and now it will only hit a chug now and then. Have checked the fuel pump and yes it is still pumping fuel. Pulled a plug and it looks like a fouled plug on a two cycle...wet. Tomorrow is another day and will try again. Have plenty of battery...have my boat battery jumped with the bike so plenty of juice. Will only hit a cylinder or two at a time if on full choke. Any harm using some starter fluid or carb cleaner in the intake?

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raven41951
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Re: Bike won't start after transporting in rain

Postby raven41951 » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:49 am

To reassemble the plastic, check the DIY for changing the air filter. It has all the pics you need, in the correct order. Saved me from Throwing the whole thing away. After a half day of frustration, thinking (note "thinking") that I was putting things together the same way as I had taken them off, I was wrong. Went back to the DIY and was back together in a half hour. iPad on the site and followed it step by step.

I too bought a 94 SE that had been "ridden" frequently. All I can say is Bull****. Although my issues were not as severe as yours, it turns out that the air filter was 75-80% covered in walnut shells and steel wool. Thus, my reference to the air filter change DIY. I also changed the timing belts, added shifter support, USB power to left pocket, heated grips, cleaned handle bar switches, all thanks again to the DIY section and threads here. I had the tires installed by the local Honda shop. While you are in there, change the cruise and sub-air filters too (DIY, but it is included in changing the air filter). It was amazing the difference in how the bike could "breathe" again. And I though it was running well before!

What I did not do is look at the High Voltage items (coils, plug wires) so after reading through this thread, I am going to do that in the spring time. I could do it now with the lack of winter we had had but I am installing a drivers back rest at the moment.

Hindsight being 20/20, I should have taken the time to do all the end-of-long-storage items after I first got the bike. Now I am piece-mealing it. Currently looking into moving to a 1800, but I plan to keep the 1500 so will have the time to restore it correctly before selling. Who knows, when I am done I just might stick with the SE.

Good luck with your project.




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