'81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
Post Reply
User avatar
sacruickshank
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

'81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by sacruickshank »



A follow on question on the GL1100 resurrection. 19k miles, but has been sitting for probably 20 years.

Before manually turning any cranks, I soaked the cylinders first with PB Blaster and then with diesel. Hopefully that unstuck things, but I haven't yet peered inside with a scope

I have cleaned the carbs clean, set valves, etc. so she starts right up idles fine. The exhaust is clear to start, but the left exhaust gradually gets greyish over several minutes. The right side is fine. I recently replaced the valve seals as a first attempt at fixing it, but the smoking still occurs. I also see some light smoking from the engine/cylinders/exhaust headers.
I checked the carb plenum about 15 minutes after the most recent test and it was fine, so I don't think the valves are causing an overflow. I'll look again immediately after shutting down the engine.

Any suggestions on what to check next? I've read some options might be oil ring on the pistons, but also heard that requires major effort, splitting the cases, etc. do I'd rather try something simpler first. Could the head gasket be the source?

Any other ideas?

Thanks


User avatar
2003Cobra
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:29 pm
Location: Bremen, GA
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing GL1800 with a CSC Cobra trike kit.
1988 Harley Davidson Sportster
1985 Honda Saber VF1100 (Non-runner)

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by 2003Cobra »

I think the next thing I would do is a compression test and see what each cylinder is doing. That would tell you the overall health of the engine. If you have a cylinder down then Borascope it and see how it looks inside. Be sure to read your plugs when you pull them.
2003 Goldwing GL1800 with CSC Cobra trike kit.
1988 Harley Davidson Sportster 883 with Hypercharger Bobber.
West GA Chapter 89 Southern Cruisers riding club.
User avatar
sacruickshank
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by sacruickshank »

Already did the compression test, 165-170 for all four. Should have mentioned that.

Pulled the LH plugs today, #2 was normal but #4 looked a little dark. It wasn't wet/oily, but it wasn't whitish either.

Haven't scoped the cylinders yet, but got a peek through the intake manifolds. Walls "look" ok, although there is (or at least was) some brownish residue just beyond what I assume to be the top of the piston stroke.

Next check is the engine bolts, make sure they're fully torqued.
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: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by Maz »

Could also just be some residual PB blaster/diesel etc in the exhaust system. As the exhaust warms up after a few minutes, it's burning off. Might be worth letting it run til it's fully warmed up and seeing if it clears.
Maz
Ironically, Common Sense is the LEAST common of all senses!
User avatar
sacruickshank
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by sacruickshank »

At this point, I doubt it's residual PB/diesel. It's been thru 3-4 test starts so far, with one of them lasting until the cooling fan kicked in. I could be wrong as I've done other bikes that definitely took a long time to blow out all the crud. I've also pulled off the exhaust and knocked any loose crud out. I thought that me the cause since the exhausts were a critter food pantry.

Next test is to re-torque the cylinder bolts and test start again.
User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 9101
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by virgilmobile »

Don't discount what Maz mentioned.
When I restored my 88 from the flood I had diesel in the exhaust.I fogged up the shop for a week everyday and 3 more 5 mile runs before it started to diminish.It finally quit after a week of running it 10-15 miles every day.
That diesel soaked into the rust inside the exhaust and started smoking when they got hot.Seemed to take forever to get it burned out.
User avatar
sacruickshank
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by sacruickshank »

Good data/point. I previously had a '79 cx500 that took multiple 15 minutes sessions with billowing smoke before it finally cleared. I'll run several more sessions before taking the cylinder heads off. Unfortunately, she's not road worthy due to ancient tires and no headlight (still in the Vetter fairing that came on the bike as shown in the profile pic), so I can't ride it out until I invest in some new rubber and get the lights sorted.

Interesting you mention the diesel flooding. On a previous project I saw your story and used the idea on a stuck starter sprag clutch by flooding with diesel and kerosene. Didn't work, but made for an interesting garage pics as I had the 'wing in a permanent wheelie by putting the front wheel on my lift in order to get the diesel down to the sprag.
User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 9101
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by virgilmobile »

My 88 was submerged under 4 feet of flood water for 2 days.I drained the oil/water and filled the entire engine cavity and carbs with 7 gallons of diesel to protect it just days after I got it out of the shed.I started the restore 3 months later.
3 years later the bike still runs great.
I'd still suggest that you fog up your shop several more times.Get the exhaust hot to burn off the residual oil.
I did mine at night so the fire department wouldn't be called so often.
I told them it was my mosquito abatement program.
User avatar
sacruickshank
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:37 am
Location: Boston, MA
Motorcycle: Current Wing ... 1981 GL1100 Standard
Others ... Honda VFR800, CB 750NH, CB550K, GL650, Suzi SV650, Triumph Bonnie SE

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by sacruickshank »

Great news. Smokie ran for about an hour last night, with consistent billowing smoke.

At today's start up she ran clear for 10 solid minutes, then started a faint smoke some time before the 15 minute mark. Still smoking at 20 minutes, but light enough that you could ride without the smoke being noticeable when moving.

Smart money says it'll run clean soon. I'm psyched and thanks for the guidance to let her burn it off. Saved me tearing into the engine again and potentially mucking things up.
User avatar
virgilmobile
Posts: 9101
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 5:39 pm
Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: '81 GL1100 - Smoking left side, starts clear then gets worse

Post by virgilmobile »

Ride it like u stole it. :D


Post Reply