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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
My name is Dave but on other forums I go by user name FuzzFace2.
I have not had a bike since the mid 80's because of life and living in New England at the time did not give a lot of good riding days.

In 2015 moved to NC and needed to move my driver Lic.I needed to retake the computer test to keep the MC part, I also have a CDL Lic. for my job as a truck driver.
Wife asked them why I wanted to keep the MC Lic., "we have 90% good weather down here that is why".

Few weeks ago I came home with a 83 GL650i Silver Wing Interstate (I know this is a CX500 / CX650 but seen some things on the interstate) with 37,400 on the clock.
Had not been on the road for a little over a year and the seller said would not run because of gummed up carbs. Looked to be in pretty good shape for the year.
Also told the cooling fan did not work so if sitting running it would get hot.

I am the 3rd owner, always kept in a garage, forks & swing arm bushings felt tight and steering smooth when turned. Battery tender was on the battery but it cranked over slow but no rod knocks that I heard.

I picked up carb rebuilding kits, a fan switch and a used fan (was cheap and did not know if I could find it if needed). I also got the FSM (hard copy) and tit helped on pulling the carbs for rebuild and the cooling fan issue.

In pulling the tank to get the carbs off I found the petcock would not pass fuel?
Pulled petcock apart and found the rubber stuck to the body but in good shape.
He ran 0E fuel and had the tank full so it would not rust over winter.
Carbs were clean inside but sprayed it out just because.

Carbs back on and gas feed from a bottle so I could get running and not need to pull tank again if needed. She fired up and ran pretty good but needed some tweaking.
Sorry so long will start a "project" thread.
Dave ----
 

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The fuel petcock is engine vacuum operated. No vac, no gas flow. Fan can be tested with 12v direct. Fan thermostat sw is more likely the culprit in my experience. Aftermarket carb jets and needles have been found to be of questionable quality and precision, we mostly clean the oem ones and reuse them, but at a minimum save the oem parts. Many of us have GL500 and GL650s, this club supports all “twisted twin” variants. A GL 650i in good nick is a capable and reliable machine.
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The fuel petcock is engine vacuum operated. No vac, no gas flow. Fan can be tested with 12v direct. Fan thermostat sw is more likely the culprit in my experience. Aftermarket carb jets and needles have been found to be of questionable quality and precision, we mostly clean the oem ones and reuse them, but at a minimum save the oem parts. Many of us have GL500 and GL650s, this club supports all “twisted twin” variants. A GL 650i in good nick is a capable and reliable machine.
After reading the FSM I seen how the petcock worked and how it should have been hosed up. I dont know how it was working before I got it as the vacuum hose was on the screw end of a clamp!

Also the FSM said how to test the fan / switch, what job getting to the plug / switch LOL
Turns out the switch was bad and has been changed out.

On the carbs the only thing I used was the bowl gaskets and the accel pump o-ring the rest (jets) is still sitting on the clean white tee shirt I used when doing the work.
Oh I did used the needles but the old ones looked good so maybe I should have reused them?

So it looks like I am on the right path on getting this bike back on the road.

Once I know everything is 100% I want to do something about the decals as they are showing some age.
I am guessing you cant get them anymore and if you could they most likely would not be good as the sticky part dose not age well, at least for older cars & trucks.
If I could get them cheap and use for a pattern I could have others made.
I am also thinking of maybe removing the old decals and painting new ones on using a little different colors, bike is gray.

I have also seen posts on shining up parts and some need it on this bike, something to do over time LOL
Dave ----
 

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Reproduction decals are available, bdesigns is one source.
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gl's are welcome here as part of the family. Enjoy and welcome.
We have 2 gl500 and a 650 in the garage.
Thanks for the welcome.
I dont think I will have any more than this 1 till I get rid of 2 or 3 project cars and I have had them 30+ years so cant see that happening LOL
Reproduction decals are available, bdesigns is one source.
I will try and Google them.
I was also thinking one the bike is on the road stop by some of the sign stores here and see what they can offer.

Do you have a link to them I am not seeing anything with Google for bdesigns?
Never mind did not go down far enough on the page :rolleyes:
Vintage Motorcyle Reproduction Services
Thanks guys
Dave ----
 

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The aftermarket carb needles have been reported as problematic as well. Me? I would use the OEM Honda needles. Doesn’t mean they are all ng, but not using them eliminates a suspicion. I’m mostly a GL650i guy myself.
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The aftermarket carb needles have been reported as problematic as well. Me? I would use the OEM Honda needles. Doesn’t mean they are all ng, but not using them eliminates a suspicion. I’m mostly a GL650i guy myself.
When I put the old & new needles next to each other that looked the same and why I used it.
I was also thinking I did not know if the old needles installed would stand up to E10 fuel that I will be using.
Well being its a PITA to pull the carbs, I just filled the tank, I will run it and see how it goes.
Thanks
Dave ----
 

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Just fyi, on the CX500 C I have been able to remove both top vacuum piston cap/assy (which includes the needles) without disturbing the carbs/cables/hoses.
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did not remove the cap as the rest of the carb looked really clean inside.
Also the rubber parts did not come in the kit so did not want to start messing with it.

What is the sign they may need looking into once the bike is on the road?
Other than the 1 hole not firing because the plug well had water in it I think it ran pretty good.

After my morning hot tea I am going to look into the drain for the plug well and check the other side to make sure it is open so I hope this will not happen again.
Dave ----
 

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83 Honda GL650i Silver Wing Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update: got both plugs firing, plug well had water in it from when I washed it from a plugged drain. Looked like it had water in it long before I washed the bike. Both are clear so should not happen again.

With that fixed I took the bike out for a test run and put 36 miles on it.
Runs pretty good. Most cruise speed was 55 MPH but did run it up to 70 MPH and was still pulling. Just need to dial in the suspension as I can feel every little bump.

Want to thank everyone that helped and this site, I read posts before joining up.
Dave ----
 

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I think we’re talking about different needles, without removing the vacuum piston cap the main needle cannot be replaced. You must still have the OEM one in place. 👍
But the low speed needle (adjustable from the underside front of the carb, externally) and the float needle valve are both reported to be of questionable precision in aftermarket kits. You may be fine, but OEM needles and jets are preferable if they appear undamaged.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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If you're removing the mixture adjustment needles with the carbs in place, be careful of the small parts. Each should have a spring, washer, and o-ring. The washer and o-ring are very small. Usually I have to dig to get them out, but they could fall out and be easily lost working from below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think we’re talking about different needles, without removing the vacuum piston cap the main needle cannot be replaced. You must still have the OEM one in place. 👍
But the low speed needle (adjustable from the underside front of the carb, externally) and the float needle valve are both reported to be of questionable precision in aftermarket kits. You may be fine, but OEM needles and jets are preferable if they appear undamaged.
Yes I think we are talking of 2 different needles.
The only needles I used from the kit was for the floats.
Everything else was what was in the carb when I pulled the bowl off.
It was pretty clean so did not see the need to start changing out other needles & jets and after hearing about the "kits" I am happy I did not use the kits jets & needles.

The only other parts used from the kits besides the float needles was the bowl gaskets and the accel pump o-ring that fits between the bowl and carb body.
The only thing I did not like about it was it looked like when the bowl "crushed" it it may crush to the inside and cover the opening where the brass weight is and not let fuel pass through.
When the motor is up to normal temp and you "goose it" or when out on the road it feels good, no boging, so guessing it is ok time will tell LOL

Thanks for your help
Dave ----
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you're removing the mixture adjustment needles with the carbs in place, be careful of the small parts. Each should have a spring, washer, and o-ring. The washer and o-ring are very small. Usually I have to dig to get them out, but they could fall out and be easily lost working from below.
Thanks for that information.
I pulled the carbs from the motor and worked on them on the bench over a clean white tee shirt.
I did see the springs & o-rings down inside there when I pulled them out.
I counted the number of turns in to lightly seat them and noted it before they were removed.
I sprayed cleaner through to passages, lightly seated them and turned them out the number of turns they were at, think 2.5 turns.

Because they are the factory needles they have the "wing" that hits the bowl body and cant be turned much. I think I seen it posted to grind the wing off and reuse them but I left them on hopping they were good where they were.
To tell the truth I have not even tried to adjust either needle to see if it will help or hurt how it is runs, my bad.

If I did everything at once I would have nothing to do to it later :devilish:
Dave ----
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Those limiters ("wings") were a US only item. As I understand it they can be removed by heating them up to soften the glue but most just cut them. I think I'd consider cutting slots in the ends so the screws can be turned with a screwdriver.

Re aftermarket float valve needles, here's why they aren't recommended

From reading this thread, I wonder if the Previous Owner thought the carbs were dirty when the problem was actually the mis-connected vacuum hose.

Anyway, welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike is about 4 decades old and may or may not have had all of the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to read that Factory Shop Manual you have (you can get a digital copy too, available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).

BTW: This forum caters to all CX/GL500/650 models and we even have a few people with the 400cc versions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
From reading this thread, I wonder if the Previous Owner thought the carbs were dirty when the problem was actually the mis-connected vacuum hose.
I dont know if he was messing with the hoses because he could not get it to run from sitting or not?
I do know when I pulled apart the valve the rubber was stuck to the body so I think even if the hoses were hooked up right it would not have worked.

I had a little issue after I washed the bike, water got down in 1 of the spark plug wells and plug would not fire. With help from guys here found there is a drain that was plugged.
Once cleaned and water dried the plug fired and I put 36 miles on it to make sure.

Yesterday I went for a little ride of 100 miles, the bike ran great.
First 40 mile I got a gas smell when I came to stops.
At 50 miles I stopped to talk to someone and did not smell or see anything leaking or on the ride home. Dont know what it could have been? where I was riding there really was not a safe place to pull over to look and why I did not.

For a bike this old in the shape it is and not messed with by PO's with only 37,400 miles has been a great deal at $900
Dave ----
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
On hot days with a full tank of fuel I tend to get vapor smells. Think my 40 yr old gas cap seal is going??
Well it was hot being in the 90's. The tank was hot to the touch the whole trip.
I have given it some thought it was the cap but I did not see any wetness of it leaking.
The cap is vented right, and it is right under your nose. When moving the air coming from the vents would blow the fumes away so it may be some what normal?

The tank was pretty full as I topped it off a few days before (side stand) and only had 40 miles on that tank before the 100 ride, 80 miles when I did not smell the fumes any more and thinking the tank was as hot as it was going to get to push fumes out?

I will be keeping a nose & eye on it just to make sure it is not something else.
Thanks
Dave ----
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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The main purpose of the fuel cap vent is to allow air to enter the tank to make up for the volume of fuel consumed. One would hope that when moving the amount of fuel used would be greater than any increase from expansion due to heat so vapours wouldn't escape via the cap's vent.

Now if you park in a warm place too soon after filing the tank with cold fuel from an underground tank the heat rising from the engine can cause the fuel to expand enough to pour out of the vent.
The first time that happened to me I found the puddle on the floor and thought a float valve was leaking until I noticed fuel on top of the tank too. I learned to leave a bit more room for expansion when I filled at the place close to home and take a longer route home and when running errands on a hot day to fill up after the last stop.
 
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