GL1100 Starting Issues


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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RacerEleven
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:41 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

GL1100 Starting Issues

Post by RacerEleven »



Hi everyone,

New to this forum and new to Goldwings. I would really appreciate some help to get my 1981 GL1100 going again. I just bought it a few weeks ago. Test drove it prior to purchase but have only ridden it once since then. It has been started once every week or so.

It had been starting fine and idling well after a couple of minutes of warm up. Didn't like choke at initial start up but as long as I leave it be it kept idling during the warm up. No other issues until today.

This morning I started it and after some lumpy idle it started to run smoothly. I didn't use choke. I wanted to do some personazing and did the following next:
1) I removed the plug wires to uninstall the chrome parts over the intakes, then reassembled the plug wires. They sat properly and snug on the plugs.
2) I removed the rear tail light/turn signals by unplugging the harness plug. They remain unplugged.
3) I removed the front turn signals by unplugging the wires from the harness inside the headlight bucket. They remain unplugged.
4) I changed the handle bar and remounted the handle bar controls. All lights/horn/starter button still work.
5) I took the false gas tank off and mounted another one in its place.
6) I removed the radiator shrouds and remounted the radiator.
7) I placed the bike on its centerstand but it was learning off to the right, listing off to the right, so I placed it back on the side stand.

Unfortunately, after doing the above things/changes I tried to start the bike and it started momentarily then died right away. I couldn't get it to start despite cranking it for over 5 to 10 seconds. Highly unusual. I then pulled the choke out and it started after extended cranking but sputtered, backfired and made hissing sounds before dying. It then wouldn't start despite further cranking with or without choke.

I checked the plug wires. They are secure and mounted properly. I checked the fuses under the false tank, they seem to be fine. No other plugs/wires appear to be loose. I have no clue what's going on with it and after a bit of reading, on here and other forums, am wondering if it's a problem with my coils. I can smell gas when I crank, so I'm assuming fuel but no spark. But is it nornal for coils to do this without any other warning signs? Could it be the timing belt? Is there anything I did that I can reverse?

Would certainly appreciate some help on what I should be looking at?


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Maz
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:43 am
Location: Kent, UK
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: GL1100 Starting Issues

Post by Maz »

Are you sure there's no spark? Pull the plugs to check. My guess is the plugs will be wet with fuel and your main problem is that the carbs are flooding. If the bike doesn't like choke from cold, this also points to a very rich mixture (possibly caused by flooding carbs). Possibly your floats are not seating properly to cut off the fuel. Remove the air filter and check in the 'plenum' chamber beneath the filter...Is it wet with fuel? Remember, if the carbs are flooding, the excess fuel will go straight into the cylinders and could cause hydrolock which will bend a con rod on start-up.

Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
RacerEleven
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:41 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: GL1100 Starting Issues

Post by RacerEleven »

Hi Maz, thank you for the suggestion. The bike had been starting, running normally without fail for the entire time I've owned it. Not sure why it would flood when I'm starting it the exact same way as before. But at this point the I'll try anything. So I followed up with your suggestion....

I pulled the plugs and they were a bit on the moist side indeed however no wetness/moist surfaces in the plenum below the air filter. I cleaned the plugs and let them dry but it still wouldn't start afterwards. To clarify that, the first time after it sits for a while it starts but dies immediately. Then it won't start even momentarily.

After that initial momentary start and some other attempts at cranking, I pulled the choke and it started only to die as soon as the RPMs dropped. That happened repeatedly, it would start only with the choke pulled out but as soon as I stopped applying throttle it would die. I had to keep applyingredients from 1/4 up to 1/2 turn throttle any lower throttle and it would die. It would also die if I maintained constant throttle.

While I had it running in that manner for about 5 to 10 seconds the bike was burping, coughing and backfiring (saw it once in the plenum). So obviously there is some spark.

I've backtracked my way through everything I listed in my first post. None of the wires are loose, no kinks or breaks in the plug wires, I even reconnected the taillight and turn signals. No luck.

Still hunting for solutions.
User avatar
Maz
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:43 am
Location: Kent, UK
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: GL1100 Starting Issues

Post by Maz »

OK. I think I may not have read your original post correctly! Re-reading the list of items you've disturbed, is it possible that you have the coil wires or the plug wires swapped over ? It would definitely seem to point to a connection that has been disturbed or re-connected incorrectly.
Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
RacerEleven
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 9:41 pm
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: GL1100 Starting Issues

Post by RacerEleven »

Maz wrote: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:57 am OK. I think I may not have read your original post correctly! Re-reading the list of items you've disturbed, is it possible that you have the coil wires or the plug wires swapped over ? It would definitely seem to point to a connection that has been disturbed or re-connected incorrectly.
Maz
Maz, here is an update for ya....

In keeping with your suggestions and suggestions from some other folks I got on other Goldwing sites I kept thinking back to the simplest solutions dometimes being the best ones....

I had previously gone through everything or at least everything I had done. Turns put I had my buddy helping out the time I first tinkered with it (after which the bike wouldn't start)...so I went back through everything he did and viola, the screws that held the chrome trim on the intake ports to the engine weren't there. None of the four. It made perfect sense then, because that's where the hissing, coughing sounds were coming from when it ran on choke. Of course all four cylinders were like that.

He removed the screws to take the trim off but, unbeknownst to me, never replaced them. :shock: There was no compression in any of the cylinders so how could it stay running.... :x stupid stupid stupid of me not to think of that before.

Anyway the bike runs like a freaking champ as soon as I found the screws and replaced them in their homes! :D
Attachments

That little screw in the side of the intake port, in the middle of the pic.
That little screw in the side of the intake port, in the middle of the pic.

User avatar
Maz
Posts: 803
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:43 am
Location: Kent, UK
Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
1976 CB500T
1979 CB750L
1990 Yamaha FJ1200
1993 Suzuki GS500E

Re: GL1100 Starting Issues

Post by Maz »

Excellent! I didn't realise that the vacuum take-off screws were used for securing the chrome covers!
Maz


Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
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