1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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zzotto21
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1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by zzotto21 »



I know this may start a poop-storm, but… Let it rip!

I have a 1994 Goldwing 1500SE and for years, YEARS, it has been a hard starter and surged at idle. Upwards of 500 RPM’s or more. It sounded like I was one of those Harley guys that flicks the throttle at traffic signals. (Why they do that I have no idea.)

Read the rest knowing I am NOT a Motörhead. But I am retired, I am handy, and I am willing to take on things that are new to me.

Anyway, I read about all kinds of fixes. And the one I thought was promising was the Coolant Temperature Sensor. S, I replaced it myself after a shop told me how much it would be for them to replace it. I bought it for $50.00 and it took a few hours.

And?

FAIL!

It did nothing for the hard start and surging. NOTHING, I say!

I have a crudely made Youtube video if anyone is interested:  

   Never miss a video: Subscribe to the GoldwingDocs YouTube channel today!


So, being frustrated, I hot the internet and remember seeing something about low idle ports on the carbs? That if you put toothpicks in them, the surge goes away? And it gets easier to start?

I first found this youtube video after reading about it: 

   Never miss a video: Subscribe to the GoldwingDocs YouTube channel today!


And there are other youtube videos on the subject, and now there is one more.

Anyway, I took off everything to get to the carbs and I experimented by putting my fingers over the holes as in the previous videos. Wow! When I put my fingers over both holes, the surging stopped, and the idle jumped up to around 2,000 RPM’s!

So I put toothpicks in temporarily and adjusted the idle with the adjust screw/cable - mine still works rather well. I put it down to around 750-800, as the manual indicates it should be 800 +/- 80 RPM’s.

Smooth.

Real smooth.

So, I lopped off the top of the toothpicks, leaving more than enough to grab them to take them out. Slightly tapped them in to make sure they stay put, and called it a day.

The next morning, I went out to start the Wing, choked her a bit, and BAM! Started right up on like the third crank.

The next day, I went out, did not use choke, and she started right up without choking her, also on about the third crank.

Here is my Youtube video that shows exactly what I did:

   Never miss a video: Subscribe to the GoldwingDocs YouTube channel today!


I have no idea why this works as again, I am not a Motörhead. But if someone wants to explain this to me and give me the proper fix, I am all ears. And maybe I can do it, maybe not. But I want to know why this works.

In the meantime? I am all smiles and a happy guy. My bike has not been like this in years and years.

Okay. Let the discussions begin. And the abuse, I am quite sure…


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DenverWinger
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by DenverWinger »

The surging idle and hard starting is caused by a lean condition - Vacuum leaks, most commonly in the little vacuum line with the pre-formed 90 degree bend under the rubber heat mat below the carburetors. It likes to degrade and leak right at that bend.

The toothpick fix (well known on this site) is not a "Fix", it is a band-aid. It does richen up the idle where the surging will stop, but it doesn't actually fix anything.

The true fix is to find and repair/replace your leaky vacuum lines, to get to the most common suspect the carbs have to come out. If the bike runs otherwise decent, probably don't need to service the carbs, just remove them for vacuum hose repairs and then put them back in. Call it a "Winter Project".
♫ 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
zzotto21
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2021 6:51 am
Location: Melbourne Beach, Florida
Motorcycle: 1994 Honda Goldwing GL1500 SE

Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by zzotto21 »

That is what I assumed from reading other posts and articles on the subject. Thank you.

I assume my carbs are fine as the bike runs smoothly. But, honestly, I am afraid of really screwing things up by removing them. And then I would have to get them adjusted but someone who charges an arm and a leg. I know there are Youtube videos on how to remove them, but in your opinion, is it difficult?

Also, do you know if anyone makes a vacuum hose “kit,” that includes all the various sizes that I would need? I assume there are various sizes that I need.

And thank you again.

Bob
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by dingdong »

How hard is it? Depends on your skills. Read thru this how to and decide for yourself. The tooth picks are only masking the real problem which is probably, as previously stated, the vacuum hoses under the carbs.

https://www.jmartino.me/goldwing/carb/index.htm
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blupupher
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by blupupher »

When I got my bike, I had the surging idle as well, not real bad, but a little annoying. I did the toothpick mod after reading about it here and it worked great.
Well after 18 months, I am starting to get a little surge again at times, so I need to actually fix the problem instead of applying the bandaid.
1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE
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ct1500
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by ct1500 »

And as Blu points out you will never see the typical 36-42+ MPG your 1500 is capable of. Just a plain bad idea of jambing wood into a carburetor to mask a fault elsewhere.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=64530&p=384191#p384191
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blupupher
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by blupupher »

ct1500 wrote: Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:01 pm And as Blu points out you will never see the typical 36-42+ MPG your 1500 is capable of. Just a plain bad idea of jambing wood into a carburetor to mask a fault elsewhere.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=64530&p=384191#p384191
I have always figured that was part of my poor mileage.
1994 GL1500 Goldwing SE
zzotto21
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by zzotto21 »

Thanks for the responses. I figured it was a vacuum leak, now you all have convinced me that it is definitely a vacuum leak.

I am “handy,” but no mechanic. And definitely not a motorcycle mechanic. But I do have time.

I read through the posts here that you sent and I watched a Youtube video of how to remove the carbs. Since I live in Central East Coast FL (transplant from Southern NJ), I have no “winter” for a “winter project.” But again, I have time.

Carburetors have always freaked me out. I guess I do not have the patience to play with them. I understand the basic idea of fuel/air mixtures but with low idle screws, adjustments, synching, etc., I am concerned that if I remove the carbs to get to the vacuum hoses, I will change something (read screw something up) then have to take it to a shop to have the carbs adjusted, etc. And Then I would have spent all kinds of time and a little money to realize I made things worse.

And, while I have them off, it only makes sense to rebuild them or have them rebuilt - soon to be a 28 year old motorcycle. And I have rebuilt one - exactly one - carburetor in my life. Off my 1976 AMC Gremlin X. And that was pretty easy but that was back int he day when you could work on your own stuff.

Who rebuilds carbs these day? Is there someone someone can recommend? And at what cost? The Wing’s carbs look like a whole new ball game to me.

So I need to think about it. And have printed steps if I take this on. And if I do take this on, I will need tape, so I can write on the tape to make sure I get all the hoses back where they belong: point being - 17 vacuum hoses? Oh, And I assume you have to wait to look for the hoses until everything is apart to know what hoses to buy?

And where does one get these hoses? Seriously? Does anyone know somewhere that has them in stock? Or are they a size where you can buy a length of hose and cut to the proper size? But then I read that there are specialty vacuum hoses, with 90º bends?

Any source for the vacuum hoses is appreciated, as are all the comments. Learning a lot.

Thank you all again.
No1uno
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by No1uno »

Here is the link to where you can buy the Vacuum lines, I just bought them to do my Goldwing...

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=65921

Robert
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ct1500
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by ct1500 »

zzotto21 wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 7:57 am Thanks for the responses. I figured it was a vacuum leak, now you all have convinced me that it is definitely a vacuum leak.
Your time attempting to fix a surging condition would likely be better spent replacing the pilot (Idle) jets. There is really only one vacuum hose which would need attention that being the one under the mat just below the carbs. Check also the vacuum lines which attach to left intake as they can swell and cause a loose fit.
Local and need repair help with your 1500, Valkyrie or ST please click contact
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by GLRT »

Funny how what comes around goes around. I was surprised when I saw this trick come up on GW docs as it's something I posted many years ago which was met with some dismay and opposition. Much like running bias ply front tires on the GL1800 which I mentioned way back in 2002. I guess the proof is in the pudding :)

Keep in mind the toothpick fix is not a work around for clogged jets rather it compensates for the original lean mix which is part of the original carb configuration
Last edited by GLRT on Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by call-abe »

I've had this problem...and at least 80% of it has gone away with some relatively easy fixes. Note: I still have the 20% with it occasionally surging at idle and some cold start issues which may be unrelated.

I USED SEA FOAM ADDITIVE TO THE GAS AND CARBS!!! Pour the can into the gas tank (the appropriate amount) and also buy their "Fogger" spray can of the stuff and shoot it directly into the two ports (of course, immediately shutting the bike down to let it soak inside awhile...). You'd be surprised when starting it up how much BLUE SMOKE then temporarily comes out of the tailpipe!

The above will likely save you ALOT of money and time if you're reluctant yourself to have a "winter project". I assume, however, with my 1990 GL1500A, time will not heal all wounds and all those rubber hoses will have to be fixed sooner than later... :roll:
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Re: 1994 Surging Fix - TOOTHPICKS!!

Post by WingAdmin »

call-abe wrote: Wed Dec 01, 2021 11:21 am I've had this problem...and at least 80% of it has gone away with some relatively easy fixes. Note: I still have the 20% with it occasionally surging at idle and some cold start issues which may be unrelated.

I USED SEA FOAM ADDITIVE TO THE GAS AND CARBS!!! Pour the can into the gas tank (the appropriate amount) and also buy their "Fogger" spray can of the stuff and shoot it directly into the two ports (of course, immediately shutting the bike down to let it soak inside awhile...). You'd be surprised when starting it up how much BLUE SMOKE then temporarily comes out of the tailpipe!

The above will likely save you ALOT of money and time if you're reluctant yourself to have a "winter project". I assume, however, with my 1990 GL1500A, time will not heal all wounds and all those rubber hoses will have to be fixed sooner than later... :roll:
I had a common problem with an old Explorer that I had, where the intake of the V6 would clog up, particularly the valves. The recommended fix was to remove a vacuum line from the intake, and while a helper held the engine at around 3,000 RPM, using a funnel, pour an entire can of Seafoam into the vacuum line over the course of 30 seconds or so.

It definitely fixed the problem. However it also produced an absolutely unbelievable amount of white smoke - a huge towering cloud of smoke that could be seen from several blocks away! I was worried someone was going to call the fire department, thinking there was a major house fire!


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