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GL1100 Engine2

An online source dedicated to Honda's amazing four cylinder Goldwings!

Float Valve Needles and Seats

(All Models)

Just a little advice on these.


This should be included as part of your rebuild anyway if you are overhauling your carbs, but sometimes it may be that you are experiencing some flooding on your runner. You may not need to rebuild the carbs to cure this, although you will still have to remove them to effect this tip.


With the float bowls off remove the float pivot pin, float and needle.

Just under the spring clip on the top of the valve needle there is a small spring loaded plunger. For the valve to operate properly this plunger has to be free to move up and down. It's purpose is to eliminate surging as the float gets bounced up and down with the movement of the bike and the flowing of fuel into the chamber.

Sometimes they get stuck down, which will allow that carb to flood.

Most times they will be stuck up, which can cause an incorrect fuel level and lean mixture.


Very tempting to check the movement by just pressing the plunger with a finger nail. But if the carbs have been sitting for some time, that plunger will likely have hard fuel deposits in it.

If you now press it, it will in all probablity stick down in the needle body and, trust me, you are not going to get it back out!

So first get the carb cleaner out and spray the needle, let it sit for a few minutes, then spray it again before pressing the plunger. This time it should return under spring pressure. Keep spraying and working it until you are quite sure that all the deposits are removed and the plunger is not going to stick.

While the needle body is wet with cleaner, make sure that all the deposits are removed from the sides of it too.


On to the tiny rubber sealing tip. Take a magnifying glass and examine the pointed rubber tip for damage. Most times you will see nothing; these tips are amazingly resilient, but sometimes there will be a tiny ring showing where the tip has sealed into the valve seat.

Take a microfibre cloth and gently twirl the needle into it a few times. If the ring disappears, as it will most times, you have a good needle. If not, you will need to replace it.

My recommendation is to always use genuine Honda parts for this. I know they seem expensive and most after-market parts are ok these days, but if you get some that are not the damage that can be caused far outweighs the extra cost of the Honda valves.



Now, whilst you have the carb cleaner out, spray some into to float needle seat and use a cottonwool bud to make sure that it is clean and shiny inside. Generally, the seats do not wear.

But you have taken them out of the carb bodies and cleaned the tiny fuel filter behind them, haven't you? Of course you have!

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J G Evans

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