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Wits end
my 1984 GL1200A Trike is testing my resolve. I started having issues with the engine seeming to loose power, stumbling, running on few cylinders, etc a few months ago. I have since had the carbs rebuilt, replaced spark plugs, replaced coils and wires, replaced fuel filter, air filter, checked and blew out lines in fuel tank (there was some discoloration but not a lot of things floating around inside). Yet it still continues to do it, it will start with a miss and hesitation and build to the point it will just stop running, after it first starts if I give it full throttle it will hesitate and then take off but as soon as I let off the throttle its back to missing. This is a California bike so there is a lot of extra "stuff" tat might contribute to this but I just don't know where to start and there are NO good Gold Wing mechanics locally.
#1 09-21-2015, 05:08 PM,
I'm sure there are some board members with the right answers...from here it seems like a vacuum leak or possible head gasket issue?
#2 09-21-2015, 07:45 PM,
Faulty Pulse Generators can cause a multitude of problems. Sounds like you haven't changed them.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#3 09-22-2015, 04:59 AM,
Thanks for the quick comebacks. Unfortunately earlier this year I spent 3000.00 to have the engine pulled and repair/replace multiple items including the stator and starter clutch, water pump and multiple other items (I am disabled to the point I would not be able to pull the motor) I then had the aforementioned carb rebuild during which all the vacuum lines were replaced, the air cutoff was replaced, etc. I will have to have them pulled again this year to put in different jets as recommended by Carb Jet Kits(boy are they great to work with). The problem never seems to raise it's brown bag ugly head until the engine is warm but it is getting more frequent. I have to watch my P's and Q's as I'm already into this thing for over $10,000.00 and my wife is starting to look over my shoulder:-).
#4 09-22-2015, 04:52 PM,
If the problem rears it's head as the engine gets warm then I would definitely change the pulse generators.

You can test them but unfortunately I have had them test out OK but then changed them and the problems went away.

Usually the 84 models don't seem to have a PG problem only on the 85+

Pulse Generator Inspection

84: Remove the left side cover and disconnect the pulse generator coupler.

After '84: Remove the top compartment and refer to Page 6-3 for location of pulse generator coupler.

Measure resistance: White/yellow and yellow leads (1 -2 cylinders), White/blue and blue leads (3-4 cylinders).

Resistance at 20" C (68" F), '84: 1200 plus or minus 100 Ohms

'84: Remove the swing arm (see page 12-32).

Remove the pulse generator cover.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#5 09-22-2015, 05:22 PM,
The simple fact that it occurs after it gets warmed up and then slowly gets worse as the engine gets hotter IS an indication it may be electronic degradation due to heat.

Heat creates resistance and the electrons slow down and the heat goes up.

So what electronic devices are needed to run the engine?
Pulse Generators
Fuel Pump
Fuel Pump Relay
all the electric connectors the electrons must pass through to get to those devices
and fuses

2015 - 1984 = 31 year old wire and plastic connectors (oxidation on the connectors pins can cause resistance) Throw in some heat and the resistance goes up.

Some suggestions I have:
document (in detail) what has already been done.
(Simply stating the carburetors have been rebuilt is too general a statement. These carburetors are complicated and there are four of them. What EXACTLY was done.)
don't ever assume the replacement parts are good or are still good. Electrons can destroy an electronic device in a matter of seconds.
it is tedious work, but, go over all the work and parts and make sure that isn't contributing to the problem

One very important rule to live by...... when you sense an increased level of aggravation/anxiety/getting ticked off/ having the urge to throw/kick/slug something...... put your toys away and walk away!

The cool thing about detailed documentation about what has been done is when you can't be working on the bike (or any project) you can take the documentation with you and you can 'think' about it while you are doing something else.

Systematic process of elimination is the ONLY way not to spend time chasing your tail.

what does the bike do that it shouldn't be doing?
when does it do it?
what have you done to fix what it shouldn't be doing?
did what you did fix what it shouldn't be doing?
is it still doing it when it did it before the fix?

Throwing parts (and $$$) is easy, diagnosing is the difficult part.

Good Luck.
Take your time.
Eventually, it will run as it was designed......... like a HONDA.

- Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#6 10-02-2015, 08:31 PM,
Might try checking and replacing dog bone fuse ????
#7 10-03-2015, 09:37 AM,
A big thanks to everyone! I found the ground cable was incorrectly installed onto the bolt hanging the motor instead of the factory location, as such the bolt could not be tightened on the ground cable and the point the cable contacted the engine case was actually causing electrolysis and eating away the case, secondarily the repeated loss of continuity and resulting engine skipping caused severe loading of the plugs resulting in a thick reddish brown buildup on them. so far everything seems much better since relocating the ground cable. It does seem crazy that a simple ground problem can cause so much heartache I guess I'm just confused when comparing to a cars operation.
#8 10-03-2015, 05:14 PM,
Thanks for posting your findings!! A lot of post where questions are asked that there is no final solution posted so it's up in the air as to just what was wrong in the first place!!
1985 Limited Edition
#9 10-03-2015, 11:22 PM,
First, we are glad you found and were able to fix your problem.
Big Grin
Second, as was mentioned, we are glad you posted the solution. Idea
Posting the solution is contributing to the 'lack of activity' at this sight.
My reasoning: posting the problem allows others to see how other owners have the same issues.
Posting the answer allows the problem bike to get fixed.
Which means - the problem bike owner did not have to post his question because he read the posted answer. Thus, reduced activity..... Tongue

The factory location for the ground cable is on the left side, rear, upper motor mount bolt.
There is a similar mount on both sides of the bike.
There are two similar looking pieces of metal, each with three holes.
Each mount uses two bolts to secure the mount to the frame and the third hole is for the bolt which passes through the motor case.
I believe the ground cable eyelet is sandwiched between the engine case and the motor mount, then the long bolt is threaded through to the other side and torqued to specification.

The ground cable can a contributing culprit to many of the electric 'gremlin's' which prey on our bikes.
For the sake of beautification, the eyelet is hidden behind the motor mount.
Corrosion at the eyelet is undetectable "out of sight - out of mind" and so is not part of the renovation of the electrical connection on this bike. Also, in order to clean the eyelet and its contact area, the motor mount bolt needs to be removed.

Two items of interest:
- the motor mount could not be tightened? aside from the loose ground cable, a loose motor mount bolt is not a good thing to begin with, let alone, the poor ground.
- going back over the previously done work located the source of your problem

Never assume what was recently done, was done correctly.

I remember reading where there was a large group of motorcycles gathered. The owner of a GW was passing another GW and the bike caught his attention. As he was admiring the bike, the owner appeared and asked if he could answer any questions. A brief chit-chat and the onlooker asked where the owner had his new tires installed. The owner gave the company name and the onlooker suggested the owner go back and complain.
One of the axle fork clamp nuts was missing and the other one was loose!
(there are good and bad mechanics out there - all are human and can make mistakes.)

We pay good money to give our bikes some professional attention. It can hurt us and those around us if we don't pay attention to what the professionals do.........

Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#10 10-04-2015, 08:03 AM,
Very happy that you found the problem. Hope you get to enjoy tons of time on your bike.
A rainy day off beats a sunny day at work any time..................
#11 10-04-2015, 05:09 PM,

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