Fix for Idle Problems

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Motorcycle: 1989 GL1500

Fix for Idle Problems

Post by DandruffCat »

Quick backstory, but worth reading if you’re interested in this route.

When I got my wing, it had the common idle surge problems and hanging revs. It didn’t take too much digging around on here to see it was most likely a vacuum leak, and boy was it going to be a lot of work! I like to take shortcuts, and I found one where you jam toothpicks in the air bleeds on the carbs. Sure enough, it calmed everything right down. I kept them there for a while but I knew I was just masking a bigger issue. It was running SUPER rich and gas mileage was around 30. I finally got around to properly fixing the issue, but I found that those toothpicks were now soaked in fuel and all swelled up inside those air bleeds. I went with drilling them out, but in turn made those metered air bleeds a little bit bigger. Got all the hoses fixed and went to start.. it won’t idle unless the choke is way on, even when warm. I figured it’s running very lean now since those air bleeds are opened up more, so I figured “how can I restrict how much air goes in?” And then it hit me..

Needle valves!

I fitted some fuel hosing on those air bleeds and routed them to some quality needle valves (these are commonly used on hobby RC airplane engines). I tuned these like how the pilot screws are adjusted (procedure can be found on the online service manual). It now idles very well, and only has some surging when starting up cold with choke. Now, the reason I’m posting this is because I’m curious if this solution will work for those with idle problems.

I’ve been waiting to make this post to be sure that this is a working solution. I have a couple thousand miles with this setup, and routinely get 40mpg. The spark plugs look perfect. I’d love to hear any input/comments about this solution.

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Re: Fix for Idle Problems

Post by Rambozo »

You sure made a lot of work for yourself with that "shortcut". :roll:
I think I'll keep the toothpicks in my hors d'oeuvres.
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Re: Fix for Idle Problems

Post by ct1500 »

DandruffCat wrote: Fri May 12, 2023 10:13 pm
When I got my wing, it had the common idle surge problems and hanging revs.
Not common unless you have idle jet or mixture setting issues.
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Re: Fix for Idle Problems

Post by mrbelvedere »

that is a really good idea thanks for posting it
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Re: Fix for Idle Problems

Post by minimac »

Where there's a will, there's a way! A bit "out of the box" thinking, but if it works-it's all good.
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Re: Fix for Idle Problems

Post by FM-USA »

I'm going through the same thing with my 1991-I.
Open up your air filter box and use a #3 Phillips to tighten the carbs top plate. After so many years the O-Ring seal elasticity gets weak and looses it seal.

Then check your 2 carbs round boots (attaches carbs to intake manifold), same reason, age will create leaks.
Either use a 12 inch long Phillips screwdriver or my frugal trick, 1/4" socket extensions with a Phillips bit on the end, all taped together.

HOPE that'll do it for ya.


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