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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got most of my Ebay / Wingstuff, etc goodies over the last week or so. It's such a pain to get into a '88 GL1500 that I wanted to get it done all at once.

My biggest problem is rough running at low RPM. I also don't know if the timing belts are original so I've got new ones along with a Trigger Wheel for advancing the cams.

One of the problems that the previous owner had was stalling out every 60 miles or so. A few minutes of rest got it going again. He tried cleaning the fuel intake and changing the fuel filter but never tested it after that. I figured that I may have to deal with that problem. I noticed that the fuel filter was not new but there was a new one in the trunk. I suspect that he back-flushed the old one. I found a split vacuum hose so I spliced a new section in and started the bike. It ran much better but still a little rough. After 10 minutes or so of idling, I noticed that it started to bog and I couldn't get the revs up. I had the air filter off so I could see the carbs. They were wet with gas. When it died, I could see gasoline bubbling up in both carbs. If it was just one, I would've suspected a float. When I tried to start it, more gas poured in. It got about 1/2" deep on the butterfly. I gave it a few minutes and tried again. It started right up. My neighbor, a retired Harley mechanic, was working in his garage so I asked his opinion. He immediately asked if I had the right fuel filter. That confused me but I put the new one in and the idle smoothed right out and it ran for 20 minutes beautifully. Does that make any sense? Can a fuel filter do that?
 

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fuel filter?

It's a good bet the old filter is WAY past due for a change.
It makes sense that the fuel pump is trying hard to overcome the blocked filter..and after a point...just can't....then after the pressure is gone from not running, it will start again. Also check that the vent in the fuel cap is not blocked.
You are on the right track by replacing all the "easy" stuff first, then you will have a firm grip on the rest.
The timing belts are very important and cheap insurance to protect your engine.
Take your time and double check the timing marks.
I as said in previous posts, I have not run my '88 with the trigger wheel since installing it, but, by all accounts that I've read, it does away with that low RPM off idle "stumble".
So, keep at it, hope you have many happy miles ahead!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Blade. I'm just surprised that a fuel filter can be responsible for overpowering the float valves in the carburetors. I just can't describe how much smoother the engine runs. I can't wait to get it put back together.

I'm going to put the timing belt installation off for a couple weeks. We're leaving for Phoenix Wednesday AM with the bike on a trailer. I don't think I'd be able to find the time to get the belts on. It'll also be nice to get used to the stock configuration before advancing the valve timing so I'll be able to tell how much difference it makes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does the '88 GL1500 have a vacuum shutoff?

My recently acquired 1988 GL1500 hydro-locked when it was parked overnight. I removed the spark plugs and it blew the gas out of the cylinders. It ran after that but it got me looking into fuel shut-offs. I found out that the GL1500's had a vacuum actuated fuel valve. Mine didn't have one so I figured that the previous owner bypassed and removed it. I ordered one from Ebay. It looks like I could install it but there's no vacuum line up around the mounting area. I'm sure I could splice into another primary vacuum line.

Did the 1988's come without the valve? Would it be beneficial to install one anyway?
 

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I also have a 1988 that I am working on. Yes, it came with the vacuum fuel shut off valve. You will need to remove the radio/cover and then the left side plastic where the CB would be. From there you will be able to access where the vacuum line is for the fuel valve. I still have mine apart, so I will try and take a photo of where the lines are. If you do not have a shop manual, get one. They are wealth of information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for that.

Something else about this bike that has me a little confused... There is a vacuum line running through the front of the fuel access compartment. It'd a little larger than most of the vacuum lines, about 3/8" or so and has a tee connector that is open. I'm not sure where these lines run but it's not primary. I hooked a vacuum gauge up to the tee connector and got zero reading at any engine speed. I originally though that this was the vacuum source for the shut-off. That's obviously not the case.
 

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Here is the photo. After getting home and looking at the bike to take the photo, you only need to remove the radio to get to the valve and lines. You will see the line runs from the valve to a T that is located under the air box screw that is in the photo. Not sure if this is the one that you are looking at on your bike. Hope this helps.

 

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Well, if it were me..I wouldn't wait to do the belts. SERIOUS AND EXPENSIVE engine damage can be the result of broken timing belts :eek: But that's your call.
As far as the open "t" near the top of the fuel tank, mine has one also..I'm not sure what it's for, but the shop manual shows it as open also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Snomoer's photo shows the open tee. Only his isn't open. It's got hose number 6 (or 9) attached to it.

How long does it take to do the belts? I haven't put the body panels back on yet but I am leaving for Phoenix at 7 am and only have about 4 hours to work on the bike tonight. If it's only an hour process then I should probably change the belts.
 

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Belts.."t"?

Well, this is my first set of belts, it took me & a friend about 1.5 hrs; That was taking our time and making sure the timing marks were right on.
I just looked at my "t" again, it's actually a metal pipe that has a "t" in it..same location,but, nothing attached to it.
As I said before, the factory manual shows it open.
As far as the belts go, it's not a hard job, if you are comfortable with tools then you will have no trouble. My only concern for you is if you don't know when the belts were replaced then it's a crap shoot.
It would be a shame to have that happen, these engines are for the most part bullet proof..but they are an interference type..if the timing goes out..lots of parts start smashing together. If when you get them out..and they say "Honda" on them, it's almost a given they are original belts!
Anyway, it's your call...hope it works out ok.:)
BTW, looking at the belts may not show any wear, the inside cords are what fails with time. So if you pull the covers & see a "nice" looking belt..don't rely on that.:eek:
 

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Changing 1500 timing belts.

BTW, Steve Saunders GoldWing web site has MANY how to videos on nearly every operation on Wings, go there & find the video for the 1500 timing belt change. Very helpful site, sorry..I don't have a link.:confused:
 

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Air vent pipe.

I just looked it up in my manual, under the "Air cleaner" section on page 45, it shows that part as an "air vent pipe". It has nothing attached to it.
Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
http://www.goldwingfacts.com/1500timingbelts.htm

Very helpful. Thank you.

I'm going to change timing belts after this weekend. I have no reason to believe that the existing belts are weak. Next week, I'll be able to take my time at it. Plus, I'll be changing the timing wheel and I'll be able to compare performance before and after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys. After a 25 year hiatus in riding, I'm looking forward to being back on two wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm back home in Reno where it's 25 degrees. It should get to about 50 later today. I miss Phoenix already. I put over 500 miles on the bike with three days of riding. The bike ran great the whole time with the exception of a hydro-lock one morning. I'm down to about 10 minutes to remove plugs and blow gasoline out. I have the vacuum actuated fuel shut-off that I got from Ebay. Too bad I didn't have time to plumb that in before the trip. It's on the to-do list along with the timing belts.

The fork seals are leaking now. I've never taken forks apart but will give it a try if the right tools are available.

Another question... What can make a bike ride like it's got a low tire? It feels a little unstable at freeway speeds. Could that be from the forks being low on oil?
 

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Wd 40 -

Hey Jehu, Replacing a pair of leaking strut seals can be a pain but well within the ability of most owners. Just take your time and follow the step by step procedures in the maintenance manual. You might consider removing the struts yourself and let a motorcycle shop perform the actual seal installation. It doesn't necessarily have to be done at the Honda dealer.

Once the new seals have been installed try applying a little spray lubricant to the slide tubes prior to riding occasionally. WD40 seems to work well but any quality brand would probably suffice. Although I've had to replace a few fork seals on bikes that I've initially purchased, I have never had to repeat the process once I began keeping the slide tubes clean and sprayed with WD40. Also I like to install a set of the plastic slider protectors that attach with a radiator hose clamp below the fork seal area as well. They keep the tubes clean and prevent any potential nicks from debris.

The unstable feeling on the highway could simply be from a worn or slightly grooved road surface. I've been on roads that felt like you were on a train rail because of all the 18 wheeler traffic. Also don't forget to check your suspension pivot points at either end of the bike. If it is being caused by a bearing - 1st check the front steering (yoke) bearings and then the swing arm bearings for play. Wheel bearings would be the next area for inspection. Goldwings are known for long term stability - so normally any bearing issues (if ever noticed at all) are only found on very high mileage bikes.

Good Luck, Michael :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've been down for a while. I built a new computer and I'm still establishing all of my normal links so I haven't checked in.

That unstable ride wasn't just a bad roadway surface. It's a road that I'm on every day. When I was riding home after my Thanksgiving weekend trip, I couldn't get over 50mph without feeling like I was out of control. I couldn't wait to get off the freeway. When I got home, I put the bike on a jack and removed the wheel and forks. I took the forks to a mechanic in Fallon that came highly recommended. While the front end was off, it was easy to get to the timing belts. The old ones weren't Honda but they were obviously kind of old. I'm logging the maintenance now so the next owner will know how old the belts are. I also put the advance trigger wheel in.

I have a word of advise for anyone working on timing belts. It is extremely easy to get one tooth off with the belts. Double check, rotate a full cycle and triple check the marks. It took me three tries to get them straight.

After all that, the sun actually came out. It was still about 28 degrees but the roads were mostly dry. I took it out for a ride and didn't want to go back home. The fork rebuild made a world of difference. I realized that it wasn't me being awkward from riding for the first time in several years. The whole time I was riding in the Phoenix area, the bike was a little unstable. I can now get to 75mph with total comfort. I can't wait for the next decent riding day. I also used some electrical cleaner on the cruise control switches. That works now. Cruise control is great!
 

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Glad you are on the road and it's running good. I bet you can't keep from :D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Last night, when I got home, there were some snow flurries, the wind was around 15mph and it was about 17 degrees. What else could I do? I went for a ride. Yeah, it's kind of like that.
 
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