Engine Dying At Cruising Speed


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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okie2ee
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1986 Yamaha V-Max
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Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by okie2ee » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:58 pm



Just took a trip of 700 miles in one day, after several hundred miles of riding while attempting to pass a car on the Interstate, the engine loses power and appears to be shutting down...........I open the throttle and it does not respond...........I close the throttle and downshift and pull over to get off the highway...........as I decrease in speed, I open the throttle again and the engine responds and appears to be running normally...........I get back on the highway and take off like nothing ever happened. On the return trip, the same event happens twice..........once after about 200 miles and the last event after 600 miles. I have replaced the fuel filter, new air filter, bike runs great........I was cruising at 75 MPH with a trailer...........new plugs, and supposedly the carbs were rebuilt before I bought the bike in August of this year. I had a leaking petcock valve and took it apart and cleaned it since the diaphragms looked good and the valve no longer leaked. It appears to be too random for an electrical problem and especially since it goes away in less than a minute...........anyone have similar experience or ideas of what could cause this type of an event..............kind of scary in the midst of traffic and losing power............Thanks for any input



tnt9339
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by tnt9339 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:37 pm

I would lean toward the fuel petcock. Even the tiniest hole will cause those symptoms. I had the same problem a few years ago and a new diaphragm solved the problem.
Tony

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Bluewaterhooker0
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by Bluewaterhooker0 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:47 pm

I was going to say the same thing. That petcock sounds suspect, visually inspected or not. How it could leak, and then be fixed simply from disassembly, I don't buy it.
I would also look at your fuel cap, regarding its ability to vent properly. There are specific valves in those caps that vent both inward and outward, in other words to relieve pressure, but also vacuum. If the vacuum side is not working, you could be starved for fuel due to vacuum in the tank.

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okie2ee
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by okie2ee » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:53 am

New petcock rebuild kit is on it's way...............

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bellboy40
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by bellboy40 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:05 am

While you are waiting for the rebuild kit, why don't you take the fuel cap off and soak it in some Seafoam or maybe some vinegar overnight? You will probably get some crud out of the cap.

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Mh434
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by Mh434 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:27 am

^^^I concur. Clogged fuel cap vents are a common problem on GL1500's - when the cap's vent clogs, & fuel is used, no air is available to fill the void created by the reduced fuel volume in the tank. As a result, a vacuum forms, likely beyond the ability of the fuel pump to overcome. The result is that no fuel flows at all, and the bike dies.

When you pull over & stop, the vacuum slowly dissipates & the bike will run again...until a new vacuum builds up & the dying-out process recurs.

Bear in mind that if this is the case, your fuel pump will be working very hard to overcome the vacuum and, as the OEM pumps are not all that robust, it could possibly suffer damage if the problem isn't fixed in a timely fashion.

I'd suggest going for a ride again and, when it starts to die, reach down & open the filler cap 1/4 turn. If the cap is, indeed, the problem, the bike will, virtually instantly, return to normal running.

There are various suggested ways of unclogging the cap. Some have soaked the cap, submerged in a container of Seafoam. Others report having used vinegar with success.

I always like to try the easy, cheap (in this case, free) fixes first, before replacing parts.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:34 pm

In addition, I would add fuel filter.

You describe the symptom of an engine dying from fuel starvation at the highest load - when passing at high speed. The fuel demand of the engine is tremendous at that point, and if there is any restriction in the fuel delivery system, the carb float bowls will run dry, and you'll "run out of gas."

Slowing down, the fuel system catches back up, refills the float bowls, and everything is back to normal.

So look at everything that could be restricting fuel flow. The two main culprits are a clogged fuel filter and a clogged gas tank cap vent.

The gas cap vent is the easiest to diagnose - get the engine to "run out of gas" and then crack open the fuel tank cap. If the bike comes back to life, then you've found your problem.

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okie2ee
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by okie2ee » Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:03 pm

Thanks for all the info.............the fuel filter is a Honda original part and was replaced prior to the trip................the vacuum theory I understand but am confused as to why it only occurs randomly...............one would think that the problem would keep reoccurring with fixed frequency..................I can't make the problem repeat by just hammering the throttle at cruising speed.............I will definitely clean the gas cap..........thanks again for all the help

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Mh434
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Re: Engine Dying At Cruising Speed

Post by Mh434 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:45 pm

As to why it happens randomly, it's possible there's a chunk of crud at the vent hole & when you hammer the throttle, it gets sucked over/into the hole. The vacuum that builds, almost instantly, would hold it there.

This may well not be the problem, but it has been documented many times here, with symptoms just like yours. I think it would be a good idea to clean the cap to at least rule it out. It costs nothing, and at worst there would be no change. You have nothing to lose by trying it...

Whichever way it goes, keep us posted. The way we ALL learn here is when people have a problem, fix it, and post their solution.



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