1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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agosey
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:25 pm
Location: Granby Colorado
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000

1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by agosey »



I'm newer to the group as of July last year. I bought a 1976 (Anteres Red w/34k) and a 77 (Black w/23k) GL1000 last year and immediately started work on them. The 77 ran but poorly, the 76 not at all. The short of last summers work on both (basically simultaneously) was engines out, tanks out and cleaned, differentials stripped serviced and reassembled, timing belts and tensioners, batteries, tires, bearings, Ignitions, radiators out and flushed, coolant lines replaced, water pump replaced on 76 (77 already was), valves adjusted and both banks of carbs sent off to Pistol Pete (the 76's were disgusting inside, I was afraid).

When the carbs came back from Pete late summer (he did them right after Wing Ding) I put the 77's back on and she fired right up. Did some brake work rode her a few times and posted it on CL just to see at 1800 and she sold for 1850, which was 350 more than i gave for the pair. I had previously decided that I would keep the 76 just because I liked it more for some reason even though the paint was roached.

The 76 carbs went back on and I got her running lickity split this spring after getting several other things sorted over the winter like the seat and tires and tubes. The brakes needed to all be rebuilt and then there was a few other odds and ends. I Kept running into little things that had nothing to do previous work so I would only get a little ride around town in and the occasional 30 mile ride. I noticed that the fuel pump was kinda spitting gas out the weep hole every now and then about 3 weeks ago and I had what looked like gurgling when the bike was hot in the fuel line (clear fuel lines going to the fuel pump) like fuel was trying to flow somewhere but would never fill. I also haven’t been able to find where fuel is “going” so maybe it’s just that fuel is vaporizing and bubbling back up the line?

With the spitting of the fuel pump I decided to replace it (new Kehin pump). Got the new pump on but could not get the pump primed or motor started after cranking many times and I think I flooded the motor. Came back an hour later and got her to fire up and run and idle. She’d throttle up and return to idle just fine, so shut her down. Went to ride her to work the next day, but forgot to reopen the petcock. Got to the end of my block about a quarter mile or so away and she died. I realized, turned the petcock back on, but couldn’t get prime back (only about a 1/2 tank so no gravity feed). Ran the battery down so pushed her back home, put on the charger and went to work.

Got home, got her fired up with out much hassle and went for a 20 mile ride without any issue. I did notice that the new carb button you put on #2 had popped off. I put it back on and was able to drive it down by using a dog bone wrench and some not very hard taps from a dead blow hammer. Curves, varied speeds from residential to 80 on the highway, up and down our grades here in the Rockies. Went to the gas station, fueled her up with about 3.25 gallons, fired her back up and started home. Got to the top of the hill in my neighborhood and went to turn down my road, and it died at the same intersection. I checked the petcock, but it was open. The fuel was doing the same gurgling thing. I got her to fire up a couple of times but then she’d die and then I couldn’t get her to fire at all, was running the battery down and pushed her the rest of the way. Let her sit for and hour or so on the charger and came back out. It took quite a long time but then did get her to fire but she wouldn’t fire up or run with out full choke and then would just die. I got her running once and could her to throttle up with out the choke and blow everything out but then it just died again.

Went to try again but then the starter solenoid just clicked, the head light went out but no starter. Checked connections and then noticed that the positive lug for the cable on the starter was loose from the body of the starter. Not sure how that happened as it was a “new” starter put on by the previous owner about 1 to 2 years ago.

Until I can get the replacement, I needed to start to figure out what could be going on with the fueling. I started to wonder if you did any work to the floats and needle valves? If not then that could be a cause for the fuel “going” somewhere and flooding the motor ( if that’s what’s happening). I’m going to pull the plugs and see what shape they are in now (I put in new ones this winter).

I’m just kinda at a loss to narrow this down given the work you did, the new fuel lines, filter, pump, rebuilt petcock and cleaned tank. Why is the fuel gurgling? Why does it appear to flow but never go anywhere? Why is it so had for the pump to get prime? What could cause the sudden dying (the second one, not the petcock faux pas)?

Things were looking so good with this bike just a couple of weeks ago. Now I don’t think that even with the new starter she’ll start and run. Not sure where to go now. Sorry for the ultra long post. I tried to find my previous introductory post that kinda laid out the history and had some pics, but i couldn't find it.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I sent Pete an email with most of this to start picking his brain as well

Adam.



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DenverWinger
Posts: 1349
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: 1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by DenverWinger »

Welcome to the forum from Denver!

Bet you have a plugged gas cap vent, building up vacuum in the tank as fuel is consumed. It's supposed to vent if vacuum or pressure reaches a certain point. Too much vacuum and the pump won't be able to pull fuel from the tank. Probably the source of your gurgling, too. Loosen the cap and see if it doesn't suddenly run right.

Soaking the cap in Seafoam for a day or so will likely clean it out.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

agosey
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:25 pm
Location: Granby Colorado
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000

Re: 1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by agosey »

Thanks for the welcome from Granby!

I thought of the vent on the cap. I tried to rule that out as while I was going through trying to pinpoint I just pulled the cap. Same result. I will probably still just soak the cap as a CYA since that was something I didn't do while I was going through everything else. It may be a contributing factor but it still seems there is something else. The gurgling happens when the bike gets warmed up and the for quite a long time after the bike is shut down. It may be an optical illusion, but I'd swear the fuel is dumping somewhere that cant be found. Maybe I should just get rid of the clear fuel lines so I don't have to see it! :)

If I can get it to run long enough to get hot I did just think that I could test it by clamping off the output line of the pump. If the fuel cant go anywhere it should stop. If it isn't leaving the outlet to the carbs, the only other place is through the weep hole in the pump, which it isn't. Then im back to a stuck float needle which I should be able to verify by examining plugs and pulling the air box.

I'm also emailing Pistol Pete and he's helping get this narrowed down and offering to help if its a bit more serious with the carbs. Gotta buy that guy a beer someday. Id have been sunk with two sets of these carbs if not for him.

Onward then. I'll get this bike on the road reliably if it kills me.

Adam

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DenverWinger
Posts: 1349
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: 1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by DenverWinger »

..... By "Gurgling" I was thinking you meant audible sound. re-read initial post, you were referring to bubbles in a clear fuel line. Doubtful it is air, just fuel vapors. I wouldn't worry about that, just like with a clear or translucent fuel filter, you'll never see it full of fuel unless it is plugged!

I doubt you have a stuck float needle, if that were the case you'd have fuel running all over the place or out one of the carb overflow tubes...

You did say it was a new fuel pump, If still trouble starting might be worthwhile disconnecting fuel line from the carbs and see what kind of output you can get from the pump just pumping fuel into a jar. If the output seems weak it might be sucking air somewhere, or the internal lines in the tank may be partially plugged.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark

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SnoBrdr
Posts: 783
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:01 am
Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Motorcycle: 1978 GL 1000

131K Original Owner

Re: 1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by SnoBrdr »

DenverWinger wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:43 am
..... By "Gurgling" I was thinking you meant audible sound. re-read initial post, you were referring to bubbles in a clear fuel line. Doubtful it is air, just fuel vapors. I wouldn't worry about that, just like with a clear or translucent fuel filter, you'll never see it full of fuel unless it is plugged!

I doubt you have a stuck float needle, if that were the case you'd have fuel running all over the place or out one of the carb overflow tubes...

You did say it was a new fuel pump, If still trouble starting might be worthwhile disconnecting fuel line from the carbs and see what kind of output you can get from the pump just pumping fuel into a jar. If the output seems weak it might be sucking air somewhere, or the internal lines in the tank may be partially plugged.
He could also set up an exterior tank.

Would have to be a few feet above the bike altho I forget the recommended height ATM.

agosey
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:25 pm
Location: Granby Colorado
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000

Re: 1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by agosey »

Even though it's been awhile since the last update I wanted to get back so that maybe if anyone else goes through this they might find something useful. Also, I would like to know if anyone else has had the same issue that I just found (and hope I sorted) that I talk about at the bottom.

Please read the first post as I tried to give the basic run down of what has been done up to that point about 7 months ago. I just re-read it and realized that somehow, I left some parts in from the stuff I copied from an outside email to Pete’s, so that may be confusing. Sorry. The stupid long 5-month winter didn’t help but looks like it will be a bit of an early spring, so the groundhog may have gotten it right this year. Also got a heater installed in my garage finally so now I can’t use that as an excuse.
This year so far what I’ve done is pull the tank back out (which I am quite good at now) to re clean and seal it with the kit from Caswell. It hadn’t been sealed before and apparently, I did not do a good enough job cleaning it previously as evidenced by what I found in the bowls last year and from what Pete’s said. So, I did it just to be sure. Made sure to get the filter screens coated well and the pickup lines blown out and then let it cure. Put the tank back in, got the carbs re installed and also got the throttle cables swapped out for new from motion pro as they were the last ones I needed to do. All the other cables were done last year. New fuel filter and some new (again) fuel lines just so I can completely rule out potential problem areas. Last year, I did find that the filter I had installed was defective and was just letting unfiltered fuel past, through the pump and into the carbs. Luckily Pistol Pete’s is great and was very kind to redo them for almost nothing and they threw in all new carb cover button caps. One had some weird issue and they just did them all!

Got it all hooked up, put in fresh fuel, primed the fuel pump and carbs by blowing in the fill neck with a hose and stopper. Watched the fuel flow until it stopped, turned ignition and kill switch to on, pulled the choke out and hit the starter. Took a bit but then she fired up. Got to open the throttle to help get it going a bit, reved her up a bit and then after a bit, she died. Tried again but just couldn’t get it to keep running. Only way was if I re primed the pump by pressurizing the tank. But would still not keep running. Not the petcock, as I can get flow from “on” and “res” and it wasn’t in the “off” position. Came back the next day and pulled the output line from the pump to the carbs. Set the kill switch to “off” and thumbed the starter. No fuel flow.

It had to be the pump. But the pump was a brand new one for a GL1100 I put on last Summer/Fall. Opened the top to make sure that the check valves weren’t clogged. Everything looked as clean as you would expect from a brand-new pump but I flushed them with carb/choke cleaner just to be sure. I examined the diaphragm and it looked great. I decided to hit the starter again to see the pump work. Nothing. No movement of the pump diaphragm at all. ****. I instantly think there’s something wrong with the cam, but then ask what could possibly go wrong with the cam? It’s too simple of a setup and the bike runs after all. No missing or horrible catastrophic noises from the right side. I pull the fuel pump cover (actual name in the parts lists) that mounts the pump to the side of the head. The cam looks fine. I look down in the pump mount/cover and see the pump actuator arm/cam follower. It was scored and marked! Like something had just been rotating next to it and grinding it a bit. It must have completely missed the cam or some how slipped off to the side and so the cam couldn’t lift the follower to move the diaphragm to pump fuel. I took the pump completely off and there is a good amount of side to side play in that arm. Put the cover/mount back on the head then wrestled the pump back on it. I felt the arm slip off the cam once and then re-positioned it and could feel the spring tension as I got the bolts started on the back side with one hand and held my tongue just so. Tightened everything up and then hit the starter. Now the diaphragm moves like it should. Put the top back on, hooked the fuel line back up and put on a small line to test pumping into a container. Turn the petcock back on, kill switch to off and press the starter. The pump pulls a prime from the tank and nice even pulses of fuel flow out into my container! Hook the pump up to the carbs, kill switch to run, hit the starter and she fires right up. Runs well but need to adjust the throttle cables and idle a bit once I can get a decent enough weather stretch to ride off one evening/weekend with out concern about walking back since I’m not still 100% confident.

Now my $64 question is who has ever had any kind of fuel pump issue like this? I searched, but never heard of any such thing or a warning that it might happen. Is there always enough play in that arm that it could completely miss the cam or shift to the side and slip down? Could it happen again with everything bolted down tight? I wish I had gotten a picture, but as soon as I figured out what had happened, I was so jazzed I just wanted to get it back together to make sure nothing else was wrong.
Let me know if anyone else had this or if you think there could be something else. I have no reason to believe that the cam had ever been changed (i.e. shorter on the lobe end) so right now I am just hoping it’s a combo of extra slop in the cam follower arm and difficult bolt positioning on the back side of the pump cam cover/mount. I had thought that the GL1100 pumps that are still made were the same, but could this be a slight difference in them?

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flyday58
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Location: Cloudcroft NM
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1976 GL1000 LTD
1981 CB750C
1997 BMW R1100RT
1974 Yamaha GT80

Re: 1976 GL1000 All of a sudden not running/dying

Post by flyday58 »

Late reply, apologies. I find it easiest to have the engine at TDC for #1 cylinder, then tilt the "cover" outward at the mounting end. Small rotations back and forth and the lever will pop over the cam. The cover will then seat properly against the head. The tach drive usually doesn't give me any trouble meshing with the cam, but a slight turn of the thing will get everything lined up.

I've also noticed there's a good bit of side to side play in the pump levers on these bikes, but haven't had one slip back off once installed.


"Who left the fridge open?" Tug Speedman

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