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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Little back ground:
Bike is new to me, only had it a few weeks, 3rd owner and always kept in a garage.
Picked up not running in the last year or so, had plate & insurance when I looked at it.
Said would not start because the carbs were gummed up from sitting.
Only ran 0E fuel and the tank was topped up to keep from rusting when it was set up.
Also told the cooling fan did not work so if sitting and running it will get hot.
Bike did not looked hacked on and when the seat was pulled for carbs none of the wiring was cut / spliced.

I picked up a FSM on the 500 / 650 bikes so would have half a clue what I was doing
Grey Wood Font Twig Electric blue
;)
In pulling the tank I found the petcock would not pass fuel. the rubber was stuck to the body but was ok other wise and once pulled away flows fuel. Yes I have to read up on how it worked being it had vacuum lines to it?
The true vacuum line, other is a vent I found out, was in the end of the screw for the carb to manifold seal? It is now on the right port on the right carb.

Carbs looked clean but pulled the jets and sprayed cleaner through them just because.
Replaced the float needle and checked level.
Carbs back in place I used a bottle to fill carbs and start / run off it so I would not need to deal with the tank.
It started right up and ran pretty good but idle was way to high and no matter what I did would not come down?

Then remembered reading about the fast idle for the choke, i never took the 2 carbs apart from each other so that would not have changed.
I adjusted the cable and the idle could now be adjusted.
Everything under tank done the tank, seat & side panels were put back on.
I put 1 mile on just riding in the yard testing and it runs great.

With the bike now running and before going through the rest before a road test I washed it to get dirt & grease off and see what I was looking at better.
Adjust the rear brake to factory spec. still had shoe left, front pads good shape.
Diff oil level good & clean as is the motor oil, greased shaft.
Replaced the mirrors, 1 was bent think it fell over as do the scratch on the side bags.

Sidecar, Tires are a few years old and will be changed out soon based on DOT date but no cracking and they were kept inside most of the time.

Today was the day for road test and I cant get it to go any faster than 45 / 50 MPH?
Maybe did 10 miles to a buddies house to drop off truck parts and back home because it would not go.

In the yard it felt like it had more pep than it dose now and the only thing I did was stop for fuel, E10 just over a gallon, on the way to buddies place and it felt low on power pulling out of the drive.

I will do a compression test if my gauge will fit but I dont think its that?
I also have a spark tester, again if it will fit, to test spark.
So what else should I look for?

BTW the bike had 4 plugs in boxes but dont know if used or new as I have not open the boxes. It also has 2 relays with fuses but it dose start & run so dont know why the plugs & relays? All lights work even the radio and as posted above wiring is in great shape.

Thanks for any help you can give.
Dave ----
 

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81 Gl500i 83 CX650E
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Air cleaner in good shape?
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Air cleaner in good shape?
Yes it is like brand new.

I am pretty sure I found the issue :rolleyes:

After I cooled off, it is hot here, I moved the bike into my garage and checked the 4 plugs that were in boxes in the trunk, 2 were black (rich) and the other 2 looked somewhat normal.
I also felt the exh pipes and 1 was hot the other warm - not firing that hole.

So I wanted to pull that plug to check why.
Got the plug loose and pull the socket out and it is wet on the end?
Plug out and I crank it to blow anything in the hole, now maybe inside the combustion area, and some wetness came out. But not what I thought should have based on the socket so I started the motor with plug out and ran till no more vapor cam out.

Installed 1 of the normal color plugs and the bike now sounds better and both exh. pipes got hot. I think when I washed the bike water got down in the hole with the plug and was shorting it to ground. I also seen where it is not sealing to good at the top so need to look into that more when I have time.

Now the idle is back up to 3000 RPM?
Motor was to hot to get my fat mitts in to adjust the carb idle speed so need to do that when it cools off.
Still need to take for a road test but I am sure the water in the hole was the cause (I hope)
Thanks for the help and this may help others that have running issues after a good wash LOL
Dave ----
 

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Water may accumulate in the spark plug well if the drain hole is blocked.
 
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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Water may accumulate in the spark plug well if the drain hole is blocked.
Drain hole in the plug well?
Well what do you know I learned something new
I will have to check that out as I know I will get rained on at some point and would hate the bike to stop running.

Where do I look for this hole?
Front, back or outside of the plug well?
I tried to push the seal down when I was closing up the garage and it did not move but did not have time to look into it deeper.
I did get the idle down to 1150 RPM
Thanks
Dave ----
 

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Straight on, from each side. Sort of beneath the head.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys that's the job for tomorrow morning, find and open drain hole(s).
Then to road test again / seat time in.
Dave ----
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
WOW what a difference running on 2 plugs make!
I dont know what was blocking the drain in the plug well but I blew it out good.
It looked like it has had water in it before and pretty high too.

Took a rag & screwdriver and cleaned out the best I could and blew it out again.
In side the plug wire also was damp so blew it out too.
The other side looked good but rag / screw driver cleaning and blow it out and we are good now.

Put about 37 miles on it and got it up to 75 MPH after the fix so I sat we are good.
May take it out again later have to see.

I do find you really need to twist the throttle and after a while trying to hold it at a steady speed your hand will feel it. It like the return spring is to heavy but I did not see any way to make it lighter or if even want to for fear it will not return to idle?

I also need to dial in the ride with tire psi, I set the suspension air a little low as it will be me most of the time, as it rides a little ruffer than I think it should, can feel every little bump.

Wife does not want me up on the high way just yet but the speed limits on roads is 55+,high way 70+ so I dont mine for a little longer till I get more seat time in.
Dont know when I might take it to work. I leave between midnight & 3am (dear moving around times) and not home till maybe 5pm at rush hour and all the nuts.

I do want to think everyone and this site (I looked up a lot of posts before signing up) for the help to get this bike back running and on the road.
Dave ----
 

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81 Gl500i 83 CX650E
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Good to hear easy fix, 83 Gl650i's ride stiffer than the 81-82 Gl500i' s. Rear shock is ok with little air pressure .
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good to hear easy fix, 83 Gl650i's ride stiffer than the 81-82 Gl500i' s. Rear shock is ok with little air pressure .
Yes was lucky it was a easy fix. What throw me off was the motor did not shake only running on 1 hole. Car motors loose a hole and it jumps all over the place.

I know the front shocks are on the high side of the PSI limit.
The rear is in the middle of its limit because 90% of the time it will be just me (230lb) on the bike.
I did find when checking the shock PSI what a PITA it was. Just removing the gauge would let a little air out and would drop to 0 PSI. And my hand air pump would not pump up to the needed PSI.

Now IIRC the tire PSI is at max so may lower that just a little for a better ride.
I have only put just under 50 miles on it so still learning the in's and out's of the bike but like it so far.
Dave ----
 

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A time honored method of applying a low psi safely into a small volume (forks) is to pressurize an air tank to the desired psi and use that to load the forks. Maybe need to load the tank 1 psi higher. Accidentally over pressurizing the forks too much, which is easy to do with a compressor, can do harm and is tricky to adjust accurately. As with many good solutions, credit goes to Dave F many years ago.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My compressor is turned off when not in the garage and not turned on unless it is needed.
It also has a auto blow down drain so it had vary little PSI in the tank / system.

At first I tried to use a hand bike pump as I seen it posted that was the way to go.
Thing was it would not put any air in the shocks?
I never saw anything about filling an air tank with the needed psi to fill the shocks.
I do have an air tank and will use it the next time I need to deal with the shocks & air.
Dave ----
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Note that the rubber pieces around the spark plug caps that sit against the tops of the valve covers are only intended to keep debris out, not water. The drain holes (circled in red in the pic below, courtesy of motofaction.org) allow any water that runs into the spark plug wells to run out.
Note also that in theory the engine should run normally even if the drain hole is blocked and the plug well full of water BUT if the boot that seals the spark plug cap to the spark plug is missing, damaged or has just hardened enough that it no longer seals properly even the normal amount of water that runs into there when it rains can get into the cap and short the spark.
Here's what to do when there is oil leaking out the hole in the side of the head of your Honda CX500, GL500, CX650, GL650
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Bob for that information next time I am with the bike I will check the rubber seal at the plug. I am guessing you can replace the ends by unscrewing them? Can new ones be found is the $64 question?

As for the top sealing just enough to keep junk out I can see that but also did not do a good job of that as my drain was plugged and would not drain water.
Always learning something new about the bike.
Thanks again
Dave ----
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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Junk doesn't only enter from above. On a bike that sits those holes seem to be popular with mud daubers and other bugs.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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The rubber boots just pop off of the ends of the plastic part of the cap but unfortunately they aren't available separately.
Fortunately the whole cap assembly is available, both the original NGK ones and aftermarket copies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You guys keep leading me down other paths ;)
Reading other posts and following links I just got through reading about the caps and removing the resister and parts, cleaning it really good and replacing the resister with a brass rod and use resister plugs.
If I did not want to do the mod (if / when needed) I could buy caps from DSS from what I seen.

The way I found what side was not firing was to run the motor for just a short time and feel the head pipes. Once I found the cool pipe I knew where to look deeper why and finding the water in the plug well and the plugged drain.

That leads me to ask if I did not feel the head pipe I could have used a IR temp gun to measure how hot each pipe was.
Has any one used a IR temp gun as a tuning tool?
Guess you have to know what a good running motor temperature is as a base to work from to use down the road.
Dave ----
 

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The caps should have a resistance of 5000 ohms. If yours measure at that resistance no need to do the brass rod modification nor to order new caps.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Your 650 came with both resistor caps and resistor plugs and it will work just fine with both. As I understand it some resistance between the coil's secondary winding and the spark plug's gap increases the duration of the spark event for more efficient burning of the fuel/air mixture (= more power for less fuel).

The "brass rod mod" has nothing to do with performance (except that something that actually runs is obviously performing better than something that won't run). It is merely a way to keep the bike running if one or both of the resistors is corroded too bad to clean up or otherwise damaged and can't be used.

As Mike said, if your caps read 5000 ohms you shouldn't need to replace them.
Unless you find that water is shorting the spark when it rains or something like that. I wouldn't rush to get new caps until I knew that was a problem; With the plug well drain open you may find that the water doesn't get into the cap enough to cause problems.

I have an IR non contact thermometer but I seldom use it for things like that, simply because I don't need it very often and if I leave the battery in it will kill the battery in a couple of weeks so by the time I get it out and put the battery in I can put my hand near each of the headers and see if one isn't hot (I don't have to do that very often).
The key is to put your hand near the header, not on it.

I think the only time I needed to know the actual temperature of the outside of anything on a bike was when I was figuring out if the Rust-Oleum Hammered black paint would work on valve covers (it does and it holds up pretty well).
 
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