November 2011 8
I have a 82 suzuki gs1100 i can’t get fire from my coils i hooked up the stator wires to a rectifier and a hot from ignition to coils it does not have points looks like some kind of elect. Ignition there are 4 wires running to the coil thing two to each side i do not know what to do from here please help
The pickup coils are part of the ignition system and yes, they are the ‘two stationary things’ that the lob basses by. They do not carry large voltage and it is pretty rare that they fail. Many of the early 80’s japanese bikes had Ignition Control Boxes that were prone to failure. I’m not sure if your GS has one, but if so it is the most likely culprit.
However, the first thing you should do is check the resistance of your coils and spark plug caps. It’s easy and free.
I used to follow the motorcycle travel blog of a fellow ADV Rider (stickfigure) who has done some great ride reports down through Central America. I had the opportunity to cross paths with him at a beach bar and exchange notes and beers. I wanted to ride up to the national park (Ria Lagartos) on the north coast of the Yucatan, and he had been through there. He confirmed which trails were worth the effort and I solidified my route.
Getting from the east coast of the Yucatan to the north coast without going to Cancun is a total PITA. There are only a few roads that go diagonally, one of them is blocked by security and wouldn’t let me through, and the other two are seemingly impossible to find. I’ve since found some back roads that circumvent the security stations outside Playa del Carmen, but they aren’t mapped. They look something like this:
On this occasion I succumbed to unfamiliarity and went north to Cancun….. ugh.
I hate the pavement routes, but before long I was in the coastal town of El Cuyo and ready to rip along the beach in search of flamingos!
Just like Stickfigure promised, I found some of the most fun riding in months!
Long sandy stretches that hugged the beach.
And lots of entry points to hop onto the beach and let the gas drain.
Sometimes there are cemeteries in the strangest places. I always stop to have a look.
The bird sanctuary is what I came to see, and the fantastic riding continued right through the middle of it. There are large bays of very shallow protected water where all the birds hang out. There are towers scattered around the park for bird watching, but they were all locked. I think you have to be a part of a tour group to get access to the towers. Like always, I take the self guided option.
Flamingos in the distance!
Found them. They just stand around a chill out. Way to be.
Did I mention how great the riding was out here?
At one point I dumped the bike and the cheap Mexican hose connector snapped. Go figure. The second I bought it I knew it was crap.
Thankfully I carry spare everything! I removed the T and fuel filter and ran some new hose. Much better.
Some of the water in Rio Lagartos is bright pink. I’m told it is because of all the salt in the area, but that doesn’t sound quite right to me.
After I scared off all the birds I browsed around the town of Rio Lagartos and got a cheap hotel for the night. Beach front with wifi.
The town was quite slow, and once the sun went down there was no one around. So the next morning I packed up and kept moving.
The pavement out towards Progresso was surprisingly enjoyable.
There are coconut farms everywhere in the Yucatan.
And makeshift trawlers.
Cheap ocean front fixer-upper properties can be found for dirt cheap all along the coast here. I stopped to peek at a few. They were all destroyed by a hurricane a few years back when the beach was washed away. There were some squatters living in this one.
Progresso is a nice little town. It has a cute downtown area with nice cafes and people walking about, as well as a couple touristy bars along the water. An enormous pier jets way out into the ocean, I tried to ride out, but was denied access. I’m told the cruise ships occasionally pass through and tie up.
How the H*LL do you get the right side dust cover off to drive out the bearing?
Is there a circlip that holds in the bearing in on the CX500? If not, just pound out the bearing as normal, the dust cover certainly won’t prevent it from coming out.
If there is a circlip you need to get to, then just pry the crap out of the dust cover with a flathead until it at least tears and you can grab it with some pliers. (Replace with new )
I got it out several days ago. I didn’t realize it was a “small” seal, I thought I had to get the entire big cone shaped dealy off there. I did have to cut 1/8″ off the spacer that’s between the bearings though. The new bearings wouldn’t seat properly otherwise. Almost time to put the newley polished carbs back in and fire it up.
Cheers to that!
First of all, let me say that you’re doing a great service to a lot of riders. It is much appreciated.
I bought a 1985 shadow vt500 last summer, and did not receive to much information on the history of the bike. I got it for a bargain, but it has some performance issues. The first issue it had was a seemingly spent battery(it was completely dead), which I promptly replaced, as well as new plugs. It was starting but just seemed to be running poorly overall. I would need to choke up to start even in perfect conditions, and the bike would hesitate often. A few weeks in I noticed a hesitation on the throttle, it would often seem to “skip” in the middle of acceleration. I didn’t do anything about it last summer as I didn’t have a space to work on it, so I just stored it.
I came back two weeks later to put some fuel stabilizer in for the winter, and the bike would not start. I played around with the electrical, the battery was on a trickle the entire time, but didn’t start with a jump either or a bypass of the solenoid. I pulled the wire leading to the plug on one cylinder and ground it to the frame to make sure I was getting spark, which I was, but with the first spark to the frame, the bike started!(hesitantly). I’m assuming I fouled my sparks again, but that seems very odd behavior.
I’m assuming I need a carb clean. And an additional thing, the specs on my tank say it should hold 3 gallons – I have run the bike until there is no more fuel, and topping off the tank would only fill it to 2 gallons. Is it possible that there is really that much gunk in my tank? Or am I missing something.
Besides a carb/fuel system issue, is there anything else that could be causing this behavior? And for normal maintenance, what else should I look at replacing on the bike?
Thanks, sorry for the lengthy post.
Hi Dave – Thanks for signing up, hopefully I can give you a hand.
The hesitation and poor throttle response you were noticing initially sounds like it is likely carb related. Dirty carbs can definitely cause this symptom. A partially blocked jet, or clogged up emulsion tube or needle can create all kinds of wacky running behavior.
You could also have an air leak around the intake – how do the rubber boots between the head and carbs look? On any older bike I usually start with the carbs because in almost every case of working on an older bike, they have always needed a cleaning. It’s very rare that I work on an older bike running poorly and the carbs aren’t at least partially to blame. Yank them out and give them a proper cleaning.
While you’re doing that carefully inspect the intake manifold boots (rubber boots between the carbs and head) for any cracks or other damage.
A proper valve adjustment certainly won’t hurt you at all either.
Start off by giving the carbs a proper internal inspection and go from there.
Also – make sure your air filter isn’t real dirty or full of mouse nests!
I have read on your post and you are welcome to post this question, although i am no english major..
I will start with, i have a 2001 dyna wide glide (FXDWG). it wouldnt run at idle. I cleaned the carb, when i did, i thought that i opened the pilot jet, and by opened, i mean made the hole bigger than it should be, but now i am not sure. I did some reading on it, with our mods on the bike (pipes, ignition mod, k&N filter, and the bike was jetted with a 195 main jet and new slide, i see where most people reccommend using a larger pilot jet, stock is 45, recommended is 46, i purchase a 46 from the HD dealer. here is my problem. the bike will start but runs like crap at idle, its getting way to much gas. If i hold the slide open a little, it idles fine. I have made sure that all openings, canals and everything is spotless. I have the needle out at 2 turns to start, than ended up putting it all the way in, and it does a little better but still way too much gas. back to the jet one second, the needle was set at about 3 1/4 turns, thats why we decided to put the 46 in. after thinking we messed up the 45. anyway. i have taken this thing apart 3 times to make sure everything is cleaned and I am 99.9% sure it is.
A couple of things that i have noticed are that when its stumbling with too much gas going in, and black smoke pouring out, it appears that, as the slide goes up and down its sucking a bit of gas in through the needle valve, or main jet as you may say. it appears that it shouldnt be.
its not overflowing as if the float was stuck, when i was in there it moves freely up and down. any suggestions would be great. and i really like your site, it has been very helpful.
A handful of Harley questions have been floating in lately. Cool! :devil:
Definitely sounds like you have a jetting issue to me. Normally when adjusting jetting you want to start with the main jet and work your way down. It is very unusual that you would up the pilot jet without first (or at least simultaneously) upping the main jet.
I would recommend starting by making sure you main jet is appropriately sized. You should do this by performing a ‘plug chop’. Get the bike going out on the road, find a long gentle upwards slope. Get the bike up to speed in 4th or 5th gear. Then peg the throttle wide open and hold it wide open for as long as you’re able to (8+ seconds). Then immediately pull in the clutch, kill the engine, and coast to a stop. Inspect your plugs and compare them to the plug diagrams found in this forum.
Once you get your main jet set, then move on to the pilot.
I recently bought a 2003 Honda Shadow VLX 600 for my wife as her first bike. It was a real find . . only 500 original miles on it and it looks like it just came out of the showroom. The problem is, as it’s been sitting unused for years, it was pretty messed up: Carb was all clogged and everything was generally gummed up!
I followed your carb-cleaning advice to the letter and boiled it in Lemon Juice, which seemed to work really well. I re-assembled everything and the bike ran great (kind-of) right off the bat. It starts really easy and idles perfectly. It revs-up just fine in the low-end, but as soon as I start to give it more throttle it starts to bog-down and stalls.
Any idea what might be going on here? It’s a California edition bike with the emission control system, and a vacuum carb, which I hate, but I’m stuck with it.
The jets appear to be completely clean, and the insides of the carb look like new, I just can’t figure it out.
Your symptoms are commonly caused by an air leak. Could be a vacuum diaphragm, a hose, or even just the intake manifolds. I would disassemble and inspect the integrity of all the rubber components.
Also – did you verify that all passages and jets in the carb are clear by spraying fluid or air through them?
I read your article about cleaning carbs with lemon juice. Do you drop all four carbs in there with the rubber o rings and all rubber parts or do these need to be removed. I have a 1986 yamaha yx600 radian and gas started coming out of the carburetor.
When boiling carbs it is safe to leave the rubber bits in. Normally I pull off the bowls, floats, and pull out the diaphragm/slide if it’s present. Pulling out those few parts makes sure you can adequately rinse the carbs out after pulling them from the juice. Then just drop the whole rack right in. Just make sure you really rinse them out and hose them down afterwards.
I bought a ’82 nighthawk about a month ago only 2000 miles, clean I was loving it. Till about a week ago when it left me stranded on the side of the road without warning. I was crusing at 70 when the bike just lost power, the bike didn’t actually die till I came to a stop. After checking some things and making some phone calls I tried to start it again, it started back up. About 100 yards down the highway it lost power again. That repeated one more time before I chalked one up to the bike for the day and waited for a friend with a truck. Since then I’ve checked spark plugs, fuel strainer, carbs (although not extensively) nothing seems to clear it up. Some days it won’t start at all some days it starts right up idles fine in the garage even revs at 4000 for 20-30 seconds fine, but ride it 100 yards or so and it looses power and dies. Please tell me you have the golden nugget of truth, this is my first bike and I am itching to get back out on the road. Thanks for your time!
Bikes only need 3 basic things to run – fuel, compression, spark. If I was you I would tear through the carbs thoroughly. Make sure every passage is clear. Make sure the floats operate smoothly and are set to factory spec. Also verify fuel flow from your petcock.
If you have a compressions gauge you should do a quick check. With only 2000 miles the bike should not have any sort of compression issue, but you never know. Rust could have built up in the cylinder. A compression gauge can be bought at Harbor Freight for around $15 or so.
If the carbs and the compression both check out then it’s on to spark.
BEFORE ANYTHING: Make sure your battery is in good condition!!!! I see so many strange problems with bikes due to a worn battery. If your battery is old, or isn’t holding voltage – REPLACE IT!
Let me know how it goes.
Notes from a Reader:
TyoungYL: I have your golden ticket for this one! (But it’s a year late -_-)
EvanFell: you got it right on with your diagnosis – that’s what my mechanic buddy told me too.
Th OP has probably solved his problem by now but I thought I’d give away the answer anyway.
He blew an air cut-off valve diaphragm.
I experienced exactly the same problem last year on my ’84 Nighthawk 450 (32,000 km). My bike lost power in the above explained fashion as I downshifted to slow down for a minivan on the highway. When I tried to rev up nothing really happened.
It started twice more and then wouldn’t start the third time. I was lucky enough to only be about 8 blocks from home (and driving a light bike)
Regardless of the miles operated the ‘rubber’ (elastomer) components of a bike (or anything else for that matter) will degrade. After twenty years many seams, seals, and gaskets is will be weak and/or cracking.
You can get to one of your air-cut of diaphragms by taking the cover held down by two screws off of the side of your carb. You can’t really get at the other side so you might as well take the whole carb off, clean all the gunk out, lubricate it up and put in 2 new diaphragms (don’t just replace one because the other is liable to blow too). Be very careful not to strip any screws because replacements will be tough to get.
Go to Carb Kit Capital dot com to buy the parts you need for about $25 bucks each….. or get the Honda parts for about $95 each. The important, rubber part of the CarbKitCapital diaphragm fit, by the metal actuator did not so I had to file it down to the same size as the original, which was tricky business.
If I had to, I’d buy the cheep ones instead because they seem to be working fine.