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Hey guys. Just got an 82 gl500 2 weeks ago. I have never rebuilt anything and Am looking forward to the challenge.

Ended up getting a running gl500 for $400(maybe overpaid maybe not. Oh well)
Here are the issues I have seen so far and the potential solution to this problem. (I have little engine experience so any advice given would be greatly appreciated):

Difficult to get running after it sits for a few days---Just a 32 year old carbureted bike? i'm sure the carbs need cleaned.

Left pipe is hot while right is not when running---only running on one cylinder? if this is the case why do I see smoke coming from both exhaust pipes, can someone explain this? Switch plugs this weekend and find out what the issue is.

Coolant leak---99% sure this is the famous mechanical seal problem. I can fix that(very optimistic)

Rusted nuts and bolts on the bike---Hey nothing a little PB couldn't get of-- amirite??

Wiring/electrics. Dear god don't get me started on this it looks like the P/O did an awful job with the wires on this one.

any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Looking forward to doing this but some confidence boost is needed. Thanks guys
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Left pipe is hot while right is not when running---only running on one cylinder?


That's what it sounds like. Check to see if you have spark on both sides. The vacuum-operated petcock can also cause the right cylinder to not make power - see here.

if this is the case why do I see smoke coming from both exhaust pipes, can someone explain this?

The exhaust gases from both cylinders pass through a common power chamber prior to the mufflers.

Wiring/electrics. Dear god don't get me started on this it looks like the P/O did an awful job with the wires on this one.

If the PO really hacked it up then it may be easier to get a good used replacement wire harness from ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dave,
Thanks for the help I have solid spark from both sides.
I just purchased larry's carb book. was planning to re do carbs over a weekend this Christmas time. I think I might find gunked up carb/vacum lean there.

I will look into a new wiring harness. Currently it looks like a bad Christmas tree.
 

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+1 checking for any possible vacuum leaks before dis assembly, don"t forget to check the intake boots for cracks.
 

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A familiar story... although my missing cylinder problem was due to tired ignition wires, the carbs also needed a good cleaning. Turns out they were full of rust, which was slowly getting in from the spots of rust inside the tank. Installing an inline filter between petcock and carbs slowed that process exponentially. I've replaced my speedo cable, installed a center stand, pulled the fairing and re-installed it, and loosened up or adjusted a few other things without doing any damage; PB Blaster is your friend, LOL. I've also done a bit of work on the wiring.
I haven't really dug into working on mine, but if you need a hand or advice or want to look at another '82 GL500 that has most of the usual gremlins exorcised, I can always use an excuse to take a longish ride somewhere...:D
 

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I'll be following this as I recently acquired an 82 GL500 Interstate silverwing myself. I've had a couple of 1975 model GL1000 goldwings that I completely redid so I'm hoping this model will be a great addition. My current bike, a 1976 GL1000 after a complete rebuild is about as good as it gets, IMO.
This particular Gl500 has a similar problem with the right cylinder not running as hot. I've yet to touch the thing so I'll chime in as I progress. Also I think the rear wheel spline is toast as it runs but won't move. Something in the shaft drive. I'm assuming that's the problem as the PO put about 50,000 miles on it and I don't think he did a lick of maintenance other than washings and oil changes.
At this point, I know I'll have to rebuild the forks, fix the drive and probably rebuild the carbs. I really don't care for the dresser type bikes but this one's too nice to turn into a cafe bike. Is there a better choice to do that with such as a CX. Anyone know what the differences between the CX and the GL models? .
John Neiswinger
Springfield, Ohio
 

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Discussion Starter #10
well for one a difference between the GL and CX models is carb intake boots!!! I can't for the life of me find any for the GL!! Thanks for the advice guys. The filter between the petcock and carb is a great and easy idea. I will definitely do that. I plan on ripping apart the carbs this weekend.


Brown rice--I will take you up on that offer whenever. Roads out here are peaceful and beautiful.
 
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