GL1500 rough idle hard start fix


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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GLRT
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GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Mon May 23, 2016 2:13 pm



I was just reminded of this little 1500 trick over the weekend. My buddy just got 93 which had the galloping rough idle and somewhat hard start that every 1500 I have owned had. I discovered years ago that pulling the air filter and plugging the air jets with toothpicks would even out the idle and improve starting. I did this on his and also cleaned the filter and it runs like a champ.

If you look into the air horns the air jet is the dark little tube usually black just break a toothpick in half and stick it in there and the idle will speed up and smooth out. (you can do this when running to verify or just cover the jets with your fingers)



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keithg64
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby keithg64 » Mon May 23, 2016 7:30 pm

Really? Seem's like your masking an issue.
It's not what you buy, it's what you build.

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ct1500
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby ct1500 » Mon May 23, 2016 8:23 pm

Your "fix" is guaranteed to increase fuel usage.

Please repair faults properly, I pity the real mechanic/next owner who would have to toss those carbs now because some backwards hack jammed wood into the air bleeds. :roll:
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dingdong
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby dingdong » Tue May 24, 2016 7:44 am

You're pulling our leg! Right???
Tom

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GLRT
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Tue May 24, 2016 7:51 am

No this is a real fix. You have never heard of this trick? Yes if you have one of the older 2 barrel carb models this does fix the rough idle. I use wooden toothpicks as they stay put and can be removed easily.

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virgilmobile
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby virgilmobile » Tue May 24, 2016 9:32 pm

All joking aside,I wonder what those air jets feed.???
Is it possible they lead into the slow speed circuit?...
Does plugging them simply enrich the slow speed (pilot) fuel delivery and not affect the main fuel system.???..
Kinda like opening the slow speed jet adjustment(pilot screw) a turn or two for the "idle down"adjustment.
My 88 didn't idle well until I spent over hour with a 2' long screwdriver between the front forks just trying to find them.
The "preset was too lean.Mine took a full 2 turns more to stabilize the idle.
This toothpick trick may work just fine to overcome such a problem..
Trust me...how many carbs have you guys gone through,preset the idle screws and called it good enough.
There adjustable for a reason.Its the last step after a carb/fuel system/sync job.

Be it far from me to talk bad about modifying a carb as mine is no where "by the book"...BUT it does run like it's suppose to.
Well...maybe just a touch rich but better than a sputtering lean engine.
The OEM design was just wrong (to meet EPA standards or some silly such thing)
I do understand regulations but sheesh....I want it to run right as long as the mileage isn't in the toilet..

GLRT
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Tue May 24, 2016 9:38 pm

The air jets only affect the low speed idle and do not alter the mid or upper ranges. Yes you can adjust the jets with a 12" long tool but it's almost impossible and limited to the amount. believe me the toothpick deal does work - next time you have the filter out just start the engine and cover the air bleeds with your finger, you will notice an immediate increase in idle and smooth as silk. It does richen the idle just a tad which also improves starting.

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby Fatwing Chris » Wed May 25, 2016 7:36 pm

keithg64 wrote:Really? Seem's like your masking an issue.


My thoughts exactly.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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GLRT
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Wed May 25, 2016 8:50 pm

Well you can try other things but masking as you say is the fix and this fix was learned many years ago on the early 750 fours.
If you understand how these carbs work you would probably understand how it really works and that it is not a masking issue.
I'm a pro what do I know 8-)

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ct1500
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby ct1500 » Wed May 25, 2016 9:14 pm

GLRT wrote:Well you can try other things but masking as you say is the fix and this fix was learned many years ago on the early 750 fours.
If you understand how these carbs work you would probably understand how it really works and that it is not a masking issue.
I'm a pro what do I know 8-)

Apparently you forgot how to first check for faults whether it be vacuum leaks or carb troubles that might be causing this lean condition and are just too lazy to properly set mixture screws.
This is what I do
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please PM

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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Wed May 25, 2016 9:34 pm

Not really as the idle adjust can only go so far and no it's not vacumn hoses etc as this a problem that exists from day one.
Not a big deal though if you wish to ignore good advice and put up with rough running then it's just your call. I am just offering years of advice is all. It's not a big deal really so don't sweat it 8-)

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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby joeincalif » Thu May 26, 2016 9:11 am

Are there that many that are having problems with the 1500 carbs? I have owned 3 1500's a 92 that I put 108,000 miles on a 98 that I put about 50,000 miles on and my 97 that I only have 37,000 miles on and I have never had to touch or adjust a carb. But I guess if you have a problem this is an easy fix if it works.
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Fatwing Chris
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby Fatwing Chris » Thu May 26, 2016 5:16 pm

GLRT wrote:Well you can try other things but masking as you say is the fix and this fix was learned many years ago on the early 750 fours.
If you understand how these carbs work you would probably understand how it really works and that it is not a masking issue.
I'm a pro what do I know 8-)


Mine was an 89 which was supposed to be one of the worst years along with the 88 and I never had an issue with carbs.

BTW I've wrenched for a living for over 30 years and I'm pretty sure these can be fixed right without jambing wood into a carb.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
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GLRT
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Thu May 26, 2016 7:20 pm

OK sorry for trying to correct a problem good luck with the stumbling idle and fixing it the "right way" 8-)

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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby nothingbut2 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:01 am

GLRT wrote:OK sorry for trying to correct a problem good luck with the stumbling idle and fixing it the "right way" 8-)

I agree with the advice most folks who have posted. I'm currently on my fourth year on an 88 1500. Rode it all year last year in PA (to include snowy days) where I am currently working. Will ride it again this year. And now that it is getting colder, this bike is exhibiting the same cold weather running issues. I have rebuilt the carbs on many GLs, to include this one, and replaced melted vacuum and water lines on this particular bike. What a pain in the can repairing these 1500 carbs are. That being said; this bike is one of the worst bikes to keep running when it's cold outside and on initial start up. A lot of folks claim to know what's going on and then there are those that actually do. Ride in cold weather every day and reality becomes important. Sites like this help, but folks with closed minds waste space. The carbs on the 88 and 89 suck and they do contain a design flaw that affected off idle hesitation, surging, cold starting. Period (resulted in a recall that didn't fix the issue). Try turning left and all of a sudden your bike wants to stall. Gets your attention. Oversized jets helped the off idle issue, but affected gas mileage. I'll take it rather than the off idle crap. There are other fixes I have read about on this site that are quite interesting, but simple jet replacement did it for me. That being said, if you have an older GL and if there is no vacuum leak, choke seems to work, fuel pump works, you have decent spark and your head gasket isn't leaking coolant into any cylinder, it's ok to become an alchemist. And the "fixes" do work; and they work for the life of the bike. DOT and politics make their way into motorcycle emissions and we all suffer when it's time to trouble shoot and repair. Simple as that. So, trouble shoot accordingly to satisfy the naysayers and then engage in your trickery. Or ride around on a surging 1500, one that exhibits the pain in the can off idle hesitation and let me know how much fun you are having. That is assuming of course you get it started. Mine has a (choke) sweet spot at 30 degrees and another at 20 degrees. And of course, another at 10 degrees. Anything below 10 I keep a spare car battery in the right bag just in case. So for every guy out there who rides mostly in summer, thanks for your opinion, I'll try the tooth pick fix...

GLRT
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:17 am

As the author of the toothpick fix I can attest it does work and is certainly worth a try. The improvement is immediate and if not simply remove the toothpicks and no harm no foul.
I have not had one GL1500 in my shop that did not idle poorly before this fix and not one that did not run perfectly after the fix.
And it's a freebee, worth a shot don't you think?

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dingdong
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby dingdong » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:14 am

I admit that I was and am skeptical of the toothpick fix. If it works then fine. However the assumption that all 1500s have an idle problem is another thing. I have owned one (93) for 7 years. It has no idle or off idle problem what so ever. I know and ride with a bunch of guys with 1500s that have no idle problems. Seems to me that if other 1500s (most in my experience) (excepting the 88/89) run perfectly when the carbs and vacuum lines are good then there is a solution that doesn't involve a toothpick. JMHO.
Tom

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nothingbut2
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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby nothingbut2 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:35 am

GLRT wrote:As the author of the toothpick fix I can attest it does work and is certainly worth a try. The improvement is immediate and if not simply remove the toothpicks and no harm no foul.
I have not had one GL1500 in my shop that did not idle poorly before this fix and not one that did not run perfectly after the fix.
And it's a freebee, worth a shot don't you think?

I believe it is. As mentioned the 88 and 89 carbs are junk. And riding these beasts in winter, all winter require creative engineering. Folks who disagree simply don't ride year round in extreme weather. Thanks for the tip.

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Re: GL1500 rough idle hard start fix

Postby GLRT » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:40 am

Most of the units I have worked on ar 91 through 96 and seem to have a lean idle issue. I have a 96 coming into the shop here in a few weeks and I will do a video showing the procedure and results as this can be done while the engine is running. It's that safe.
This really is the carb version of rechipping the ECM. Lot's of people do that all the time




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