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White smoke

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Saxon, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. I have a 1983 interstate goldwing that is blowing white smoke, this smoke also smells like fuel and is leaving a residue on the floor behind the exhaust. The bike starts fine but after 5 mins it is really smokey and uses alot of fuel. I thought that the bike is running rich, I havn't used for awhile as I have been in hospital for 6 months. If it is running rich how do I correct it. Thanks for any advice.

  2. I'm no mechanic, but back with my rustbucket 86 magna, white smoke == water getting into the engine. Blown gasket maybe. Also, white smoke also meant very very bad, need new engine. I dunno how it is with bikes though.
  3. White smoke denotes water in the fuel.
    Could be a blown head gasket if it is water cooled or the petrol has got water in the tank.
    first solution is a cupful of metho in the tank to displace the water.
    Then go from there.
  4. Is it white or is it grey?
    If White then yes you have water coming out of the exhaust, if it's grey then you are burning oil.

    I suspect it is oil as you say there is a residue on the floor.

    Usualy means that the piston rings are gone and/or valve stem steals. A compression test will reveal all.
  5. If it's white can denote a stuffed head gasket. If really bad water might getting into combustion chamber and vaporising. Looks like clouds of steam from exhaust. I had an EB Falcon wagon that had a head gasket go. Got so bad that actually got fluid lock, where so much water into cylinder and then can't be compressed and engine won't start. As Vic said compression test on each of the cylinders will tell you whether the head has gone as a good mechanic should be able to see trace amounts of water seeping into cylinder.
  6. Can you get a look at the cooling system fluid? If it's got a fair amount of oil floating on top, and/or if it bubbles (A LOT ) when running you most likely have a blown head gasket. Even if it doesn't, could still be gasket though ( if the leak is only from cooling jacket to cylinder as yet).
    Is it losing a significant amount of coolant?
    Don't worry it's not the worst thing in the world. Little bit exxy tho.
    There's actually a good chance that if it's been standing for 6 months that it's just collected condensation in the fuel tank and gummed up jets and filters making it run rich. Take it for a good run first (but watch your cooling and fluid levels carefully).
  7. Thanks to everyone who has given advice. I will try the metho in the tank and give it a good run to see how it goes. I will post back to tell you how it went. Thanks again.
  8. Hey Saxon,

    Firstly, Fantastic bike!!!! :D I was pretty much born onto the back of a similar bike (an 81 Goldwing) and now know just how nice a bike they are.

    I happened to be speaking to a Goldwing mechanic (the old style of goldwing people) at lunch time and he made a couple of comments.

    Firstly, DONT put metho in the feul tank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With much older engines and some of the older style fuels this can work, however, there is a similar product that they use (not actual metho) and you need to be VERY careful that you use the correct amount. Too much or too little can be a very bad thing.

    He suggested that your problem is most likely going to be oil related, and suggested that a good first step is to change the oil, making sure that when u refill, have the oil come up to about 2/3 the way up between the low and high marks.
    He said it could also be a sticking slide on one of the carbies.
    Biggest thing he stressed though, is that it could be about a dozen very different things causing it, and what it was could be worked out by the particular scent (noteing that many of the scents smell very similar)

    Remember that the Goldwings of that era are a classic bike and it really is a good idea to get it checked out properly so that the risk of causing major problems is lowered.

    He also suggested contact the Goldwing Road Riders Association via their website. Apparently they have a great wealth of knowledge and generally respond pretty quickly. I will try and find a link for you and post it later.

    Best of luck.

  9. Emily,

    Thanks for your advice, I tried the goldwing page; however, no-one could give me an answer. I understand about the odurs, mine has a strong fuel smell, this is why I was thinking about the bike running rich or the carbies stuck. I will see if I can get some of the cleaning stuff suggested for the fuel.

  10. Hey Lee,

    I just found the forum that the goldwing mech was on about (ok so yes the bugger that used to fix wings is my dad)

    check out

    He said to me to put up a post with what is happening (as much detail as possible, eg feul smell occurs only after 5 min of idleing) and they will get back to you. He did say it sometimes takes a couple of days, but this is in part due to the fact that they are in the States.

  11. Thanks for that, I am putting a post on that site. I have tried the Fuel set and I noticed that the exhaust was leacking fuel or water which smelt like fuel and I watched as the fuel in the take seem to be force fed through the bike. I will see what they say on the GWRRA site thanks again.

  12. Emily, thanks for the site info on GWRRA but they require a a payment for membership before you can post in their forums.
  13. Tight arses :p

    Can you please keep personal messages off the site and send them via PM.
    Please continue posting your results/findings/solutions etc. for all to see, others may benefit from your posts.

  14. erm
    saxon doesn't have enough posts up for PM's
  15. Actually he does, 5 is all you need.

    As for my "tight arse" comment, I was calling the other forum a tight arse for charging so much, I was not calling Saxon a tight arse.
  16. Just a few quick points.

    Black smoke usually indicates a fuel rich mixture.

    White smoke, well, could be oil, depends on how color blind you are or are not. Sometimes if you're burning oil, it may look white, but often is blue.

    If there is a head gasket leak, it usually blows gases into the coolant, due to it being under higher pressure. And it'll soon show with hot temps, and if you leave the radiator cap off, it'll bubble and spurt like crazy. In any case, you'll see water coming out the exhaust if it's bad enough.

    As for water in the fuel, the two don't mix, so they won't be entering the combustion chamber together. If there's a lot of water in the system, then the carbies will get blocked jets. They then need to be pulled down and blown clear with compressed air.

    One way to check how it's burning, is to check the plugs. If they're oily, like a two stroke, then you're burning oil. Modern unleaded fuels make the plugs look black, but usually dry. If running leaded fuel, if it were still available, then the plug insulators should be a light tan color. I don't know what ULP with an additive does in this respect, presuming that the 'Wing runs ULP with a lead additive/substitute.

    If burning oil, look for the following:

    constant burning, rings, usually oil wiper. A compression test will only show up crook valves or worn compression rings. (or a blown gasket if it's bad enough).

    blows smoke during gear changes - crook valve stem seals. This happens as the engine is throttled off, the inlet manifold is subjected to a low pressure, and if the seals are passing, then oil gets sucked into the combustion chamber.

    How to check - If cyl, compression check shows low figures, typically under 70 psi/ 460 kpa the mechanic may connect a compressed air line to each cylinder via the spark plug with the piston at TDC. He'll then listen in the carbie(s) or in the exhaust to determine if each inlet or exhaust valve is worn. If the sump is subjected to pressure then it's worn compression rings.
  17. Thank you for your advice, I will have a check done and see what the out come is.