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Gassy smell, loss in power, gas mileage cut in
Ahoy, ev'ryone! Ol' Cap'n Dave here, dread pirate o' San Francisco Bay, an' I find meself wonderin' 'bout me land ship.

This is the first time I've posted fact, I never even knew about this forum until a random Google search popped it up, but here's the thing...

I have a 1984 GL1200A Aspencade and it had been sitting idle against the wind and salt air off the Bay for over a year prior to my purchasing it. When I got it, the front tire was messed up, the calipers were nearly frozen in place, but it ran beautifully and after a mile or two, the calipers loosened up and there was no more drag. This was a few months ago, and now it rolls smoothly, thankfully. I replaced the front tire, and everything was fine...up until we got hit with a massive storm.

Fierce wind and pounding rain for most of the night against one side, and the next morning, it took forever to start my beast...and it ran like garbage. It's been getting steadily worse, running very hot (I'm thinking that part is just me needing to top off the coolant, so no worries there...I hope), but also...I've lost 50% of my gas mileage and the exhaust smells really gassy, it's backfiring at times, and I have no real power anymore. I get up to speed on the freeway, shift into OD and then, if there's any kind of an incline, I have to downshift to 4th, or even 3rd, in order to avoid being run over by impatient motorists behind me.

I had suspected water in the fuel lines, so I ran some STP through it...but nothing doing. It started to run a little smoother, but that was it. I still have diminished power, it still smells gassy, and sometimes it is really sluggish just to start up.

I'm thinking of getting some Sea Foam and seeing if that will fix my issues, but I thought I'd check here first for your ideas.

I'm thinking it's something to do with the carbs, but I don't have any manual for the bike, so I don't even know where to begin.

I've been riding for nearly 40 years now, have owned an '82 Interstate and was able to work on that just fine, am very mechanically inclined, but this bike? I look at it, and my mind just gets all befuddled on everything.

So, here's what I'm asking:

1) Any idea what might be causing my problems?
2) Any idea on a good manual for the bike?
...also, for extra credit...
3) What the heck size socket do I need for my plugs? I tried the standard deep-socket 5/8ths, but it didn't seem to fit.

Thanks in advance!

Captain Dave
The Scurviest Scourge Ever to Sail the San Francisco Bay
#1 03-14-2015, 12:18 AM,
To save a boat load of chasing your dingy around the ship, service the carburetors. While the carburetors are out, change out ALL of the hoses under the carburetors. After reinstalling the carburetors, synchronize them so they are all doing the same duty.
Seafoam is what is recommended for the fuel system. Today's chemicals and 30 year-old rubber parts don't mix. Some of today's chemicals can swell the rubber.
I suspect:
- one or more of the carburetors is gummed up from sitting
Extra servicing is required around salty air as it can oxidize metals and make their intended function difficult.
- the spark plugs need to be serviced or replaced with new NGKs

You used to work on an older GL, this isn't much different so a manual isn't required, but they are helpful.

Off hand I can't recall the socket size for the plugs.... try metric.

Go to the carburetor section of this and other forums and read, read, and re-read all you can stand. Put in the hours of research, then you will have the knowledge to dive into uncharted waters with confidence.

Search You Tube for carburetor rebuilds for your GL1200.

Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride!

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#2 03-14-2015, 06:37 AM,
My guess is that the carbs will need cleaning up sooner or later, but, the absolute quickest and cheapest diagnostic tool you can buy is a new set of spark plugs. I one or more are not firing at all the engine may feel smooth and that may account for your reduced fuel mileage.
"Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne
#3 03-14-2015, 01:45 PM,
Yep - both carbs and the plugs are gummed up, I figure. Won't even start now, and it wound up dying on me while I was riding back from the store (had to push that heavy beast for a mile...not fun). So, it looks like I get to start taking off plastic and fiberglass and get greasy up to the elbows! Ah, the joys of owning machines. Well, at least it's an older carbureted one and not one of those that you need a degree in computer theory and electronic engineering just to make heads-or-tails of anything!

Thanks, guys!
Captain Dave
The Scurviest Scourge Ever to Sail the San Francisco Bay
#4 03-15-2015, 02:47 PM,
Have fun.
You are going to be amazed at the difference in performance, before and after the rebuild/sync.

enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#5 03-16-2015, 08:47 PM,
If you're going to rebuild the carburetors I suggest Randakk's carb kits. I used one last spring an everything fit fantastic. I also added their illustrated step by step guide. Depending on your resources, it would be wise to do timing belts and sync the carburetors for a complete job.
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#6 03-23-2015, 08:05 PM,
Hi Captain Dave, Manual is here:

GL1000 to GL1500 Manuals
#7 04-07-2015, 01:22 PM,
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#8 04-07-2015, 02:27 PM,
It is not difficult to refurbish the carburetor assembly.
General hand tools are needed, nothing special, unless you want to set the float height using something other than a caliper or straight edge.
A bike lift is NOT necessary. You will be working down at the carburetor level and at the faux tank level, so up and down until the assembly is out. Then you will be working at your bench.
General mechanics is needed. Knowledge of how delicate the internals of a carburetor are is useful when loosening and tightening parts. Too much strength, the wrong sized tool, rushing the job can all cause damage to these carburetors.

Randakks kit is an excellent kit but I didn’t use one when I cleaned my carburetor assembly years ago or recently. Other than replacing the float bowl gasket, all they needed was a good cleaning.

Removing the faux tank gives excellent access to the top of the assembly as the choke cable needs to be removed from the handlebars and routed through the frame. You may want to tie a string to the handlebar side of the cable before fishing it through the frame. Then untie it from the cable when it has been fished through. In this way, you will know how to route it through when you are reassembling.

I was able to remove my assembly without removing the intake tubes, although removing them may make removing the assembly easier. If fitted, the engine guard needs to be removed which may (not always) mean dropping the exhaust.

The throttle linkage may have a hard time passing by the hard brake lines if you remove the assembly on the right side of the bike. Simply walk the linkage past each hard line, one at a time. Use the same method when reinstalling.

Once the assembly is on the bench, those four, little screws may be difficult to break loose. Use the proper sized tip in them and they will come out. If they are being stubborn, an impact driver may be necessary, but again, use the proper sized tip.
If they are still being stubborn, a small pair of vise grips, (or similar) can get a hold of the head and break it loose.

Once inside, a slot screw driver can be used to remove one of the jets. Again, use a proper fitting slot because this metal is soft.
There is another slot but it sits in a part which can be removed with a socket. Use the proper socket to loosen and remove this jet.
Take care when tightening these two jets because of the soft nature of the metal. Don’t overtighten.

Work in a clean environment.
I like cotton swabs for cleaning delicate areas and old tooth brushes for the more stubborn areas. Trim the bristles to get a stiffer brush.

Don’t mix parts between carburetors.
Work one carburetor at a time.
Removing them from each other is not necessary, unless required.
Take your time.
Take some pictures.
Take your time.
Get intimate with your bike.

Good Luck.
Ask questions.

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#9 04-08-2015, 11:40 AM,

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