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'83 GL1100A rebuild

Joined
Jul 12, 2005
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10,904
Location
Cleburne, TX
#1
If you saw this thread, you know that I started building a '82 GL1100A then found a '83 that was in better condition (Thanks Jack! :thumb: ) and started using the '82 as a parts bike.

I've gotten a fair bit done on the '83 lately.

  • Forks rebuilt (RaceTech emulators and springs)
  • New battery
  • Rusted exhaust swapped for the good one on the '82
  • Radiator cleaned
  • Water pump seals replaced (were leaking)
  • New timing belts
  • Valves adjusted
The rear master cylinder on the '83 is seized so I'm working on putting the '82 un-linked brakes on the '83.
This is more of a pain then I'd initially thought it would be.
The '82 front calipers use *slightly* different mounts and the '83s calipers use different size pistons between the sides (fault of the linked brake system) so I can't use them.

The rear brakes from the '82 bolts directly onto the '83. At least that part is easy!

The carbs on the '83 are draining down and hydro-locking the engine. Fortunately, I've already rebuilt the carbs from the '82, so I'll slap those on and we should be good to go there.

I need to pull the back off of the digital dash and see why the back-lighting isn't working.
Otherwise, the electrics appear to be fine.
 
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Cleburne, TX
#7
Built some LED replacements for the dash lights this evening. I'm afraid they're a bit bright in current form, so they may come out and get some new resistors later.

Eventually, I'll replace all the lights with LEDs so I can add extra gizmo's :trust:

I'll take some pics over the weekend and post them up.
 
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#9
Current project is getting it back on the road as a reliable commute/touring bike.
Later, I want to add radios (ham) as well as upgraded lighting to free up alternator head room for said radios.

I've always got crazy plans for gadgets running around in my head, we'll see how budget and reality allow that to play into the bike project.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
2,420
Location
Fort Worth, Tx
#10
Current project is getting it back on the road as a reliable commute/touring bike.
Later, I want to add radios (ham) as well as upgraded lighting to free up alternator head room for said radios.

I've always got crazy plans for gadgets running around in my head, we'll see how budget and reality allow that to play into the bike project.
Im curious about the race tech springs and emulators. Guess ill have to wait till its on the road to get feedback on how big of a difference it makes.

The single best thing about the Goldwing electrical system is they are EXTREMELY over engineered. I have seen people run a ton of electronics with absolutely ZERO problems. If yours is like almost every other GL out there tear off ALL those crappy running lights and put you two halogen running lights in the front and a couple LED running lights in the back and your going to be 10X brighter than all the other lights combined and use alot less power to run them.

On a side note, there are a few places that make nice mechanical shocks for the GL's if your planning that route. Ive used Saber Cycle shocks with good results. Progressive makes a nice set of mechanicals also, but they are on the pricey side. If you do plan on using the air shocks, Progressive makes better springs for them and new damper units as well.
 
#11
Glad to see the old beast is getting some long overdueTLC. :clap: Good runnin' motor, just needs some details. I'd wanted to tackle those brakes with an un-linked set up, but knew there would be some problems to work through. I HATE linked brakes anyway and when the MC froze up, it was buy a new MC or ebay an 82 set up. You're one up on me, there, having one already. :mrgreen: Might have to get someone to machine some caliper spacers, might be cheaper than swapping forks, though those forks needed seals BAD and I never really liked the air fork set up, was thinkin' stiffer springs for 'em.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
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Cleburne, TX
#12
I don't have but ~100mi on a stock GL1200 before I did the RaceTech setup on the Father-in-law's '85. I won't be the guy to talk to about a comparison!
The main comment I heard about the GL1100 was their poor handling. Figured since it clearly needed new seals, I might as well put the new guts in it.

The incandescent bulbs will all be going away. I ain't fond of their power draw nor their lack of visibility.
Eventually, I'd like to add some spiffy LED strips around the top box. Plenty of cheap(ish) options for LED strips lights, many are individually addressable for spiffy/eye-catching displays.

Jack, I too dislike Honda's LBS. Especially as implemented in the '83 GL. I suppose it works fine, but I would rather have separated systems.
Unfortunatly, the '82 calipers are smaller between the face of the piston, and the opposite side of the calipers. With the way the '83s caliper brackets are set, the '82s simply won't go on with brake pads in them.
Next thought was that I'd just use the '83 calipers with the un-linked system, but that won't work since the Left side has a larger piston diameter than the Right side.

I found and ordered a '83 rear master cylinder and will be putting that on for now. I'd eventually like to figure out how to unlink the system, but for now, I want it street-worthy.
It'll take some digging, but I suspect I can find some other caliper that will be able to go in place of the goofy '83 calipers or perhaps figure out a way to make the '82s fit.
Another project for another day.

Ran some Seafoam through the carbs and they're still draining down into the engine. I'll be putting the already rebuild '82 carbs on it tomorrow.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
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Cleburne, TX
#13
I'll be leaving the rear air system in place for now. Doesn't seem to be leaking much if any. Eventually, I'll probably upgrade but haven't thought much about what route to go yet.
I seem to remember seeing that WP makes a nice set of mechanical shocks that will fit the GL1100. I know Progressive makes some as well. There's a good chance that RaceTech makes some as well.
 
#15
The shocks really work okay and I sorta like the air shocks for adjusting for load two up. They were holding air just fine last time I rode it. They've got some corrosion, of course, but you can't see 'em behind the bags. :lol2:

Handling was sucky on that thing, primarily it sits low and things drag at rather mild lean angles. Hard to push it hard enough to cause suspension set up. I used to pump up front and rear to get a decent ride height when I'd go on a twisty road ride just to keep from dragging chassis bits so easily. Thing wore me out in Arizona, heavy to steer, just the nature of the beast when you're in tight switch backs. It ain't no Ducati Monster, after all. But, then, I was glad it wasn't out on I10 GETTING there, stereo playing "Born to be Wild", feet kicked up on the touring pegs. :lol2:

Or was that..."I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride..........." :rofl:
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
2,420
Location
Fort Worth, Tx
#16
Here are some accessories for the air shocks to stiffen them up


Also, here are the saber cycle shocks i just put on an 87 Wing, in fact i put the 1100 shocks on the 1200 since the shocks for the 1100 are 1" shorter. You could go the other way and put the 1200 shocks if you want an inch higher ride height. Only $109 a set.
http://www.saber-cycle.com/store/product897.html

Also, you might want to look into a fork brace for the front forks as they tend to flex in the corners. Here is one example but not the only one out there.
http://www.superbrace.com/proddetail.asp?prod=2211

Ive got the entire air ride setup off a goldwing and man that shaved like 50lbs off the bike since the mechanical shocks are lighter, the air pump being removed (it was an aspencade), and all the lines and blocks being taken off really cleaned up the bike.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
10,904
Location
Cleburne, TX
#17
Rear suspension is currently residing on the "I want" list, awaiting the completion of the "I need list"

The '83 has a fork brace on it. By the looks of the brace and how the forks are built, it looks to be OEM. The '82 I have has after-market fork brace on it. They're a very different setup. Maybe Honda realized they needed more support by the time the '83 rolled around.

I ain't expecting the old girl to handle like my VFR, or any other ST machine. Just want as decent of handeling as possible.
Longer rear shocks may be a good idea. I'll cross that bridge when its time.
 
#18
Well, one thing about it, she's comfy for the long haul. The passenger was treated to extreme luxury and that is the main reason I bought her in the first place. After several years, my wife's health caused her to cease riding, but it was nice back there for her. The bike has it's positive points. I wasn't really worried a lot about handling either, but I know what you mean about getting it as right as possible. :lol2:
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
2,420
Location
Fort Worth, Tx
#19
Rear suspension is currently residing on the "I want" list, awaiting the completion of the "I need list"

The '83 has a fork brace on it. By the looks of the brace and how the forks are built, it looks to be OEM. The '82 I have has after-market fork brace on it. They're a very different setup. Maybe Honda realized they needed more support by the time the '83 rolled around.

I ain't expecting the old girl to handle like my VFR, or any other ST machine. Just want as decent of handeling as possible.
Longer rear shocks may be a good idea. I'll cross that bridge when its time.
No big deal. Just offering some suggestions, NOT trying to talk you into a sale. Im not sure right offhand without looking at the book but if the 82 and 83 forks are the same size you may want to add that aftermarket fork brace onto the 83 since the stock brace isnt much to brag about in the rigidity department.

I just like to see someone fix up an old Wing and when i eventually come across one for the right price i plan on doing a stripped down, yet comfy and touring capable version for myself.

If you have any questions about anything feel free to PM me and ill help you as best i can.
 
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10,904
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Cleburne, TX
#20
No big deal. Just offering some suggestions, NOT trying to talk you into a sale. Im not sure right offhand without looking at the book but if the 82 and 83 forks are the same size you may want to add that aftermarket fork brace onto the 83 since the stock brace isnt much to brag about in the rigidity department.

I just like to see someone fix up an old Wing and when i eventually come across one for the right price i plan on doing a stripped down, yet comfy and touring capable version for myself.

If you have any questions about anything feel free to PM me and ill help you as best i can.
I didn't take it as a sale attempt. Thanks for the input :thumb:

The forks are the same. Internals and uppers anyway. The lower half is different due to the TRAC system, the different mounts for the LBS system, and the fork brace.
I'm not sure the '82 fork brace will go on due to its mounting location being right where Honda put theirs on the '83. Good thought and I may give it a shot, just to be sure.
 
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Jul 12, 2005
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Cleburne, TX
#21
Took some pics yesterday, but of course I neglected to put them on the computer so I can upload them :doh:

Got the carbs swapped. Cranked her over and discovered that the fuel line has a hole in it.
I have (I think) everything I need to put the dash back together. Hopefully I can get that done this evening.
 
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Jul 12, 2005
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10,904
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#22
Her current condition:


rear master cylinder came in today.
Got the R front caliper rebuilt, so now I've got to put the '83 lines back on and bleed the mess.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
2,853
Location
McKinney, Texas
#23
I like all the windows in your garage, must make it much easier to see what you are doing!!:lol2:

On a serious note the 1000, 1100 & 1200 goldwing electrics were NOT seriously over engineered, they are quite borderline so replacing as many lights with LED's is a really good idea. If you are going to run a 100Watt 2M ham Radio I think the electrics will still struggle no matter how many LED's you have put on, but if you go for 30 to 50 watts, I think you would have a great chance of success.. It's always good to see someone bring one of these old girls back to life.

Gary
 
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#24
It was a screened-in porch, now its a screened-in garage :deal:

The rig I'm eying for mounting on the bike is a 50w unit. Don't have any plans to run HF off the bike anytime soon.

The amount of transmit time is going to be quite small compared to receive time. I helped with a bicycle event a few weeks ago on the VFR and I spent maybe 30sec on transmit, and 6hrs on receive.
If its a problem, I'll add a second battery in the luggage to help with the radio draw.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
Messages
2,853
Location
McKinney, Texas
#25
If you are transmitting that little, you won't have any problems.. I tend to rag chew a bit and some vehicles struggle to keep up with the power needs but I tend to run below 10 metres.. (Not on my motorbike, I thought there would be too much electrical interference, but might try fitting a small 2M unit to the wing!!).

Gary
 
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Jul 12, 2005
Messages
10,904
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#26
I tend to listen more than talk. Since the wife will be with me most of the time on the Wing, I doubt rag chewing will be much on the agenda.

I haven't decided what rig I want to put on the Wing yet. The FTM-10R is the obvious choice due to its weather resistance, but the FTM-350R/AR and D710 and the similar Icom (forget the model) units are quite tempting with their APRS-ready and dual-rx. But they don't like being outside in the weather.

I'll likely be building a custom interface for a comm system as I'm not quite happy with how the on-board comm works nor does an aftermarket one provide what I"m looking for. More custom building :trust:
 
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Jul 12, 2005
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#29
Well, just when things were looking good, I find coolant on cylinder #1.
Here I thought it was the carbs draining down and hydro-locking it :doh:

oh well, such is life.
 
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#32
The right front cylinder is the one with water on it. I think that's #1, but could be quite wrong. Forget the layout of those engines.

Doesn't look too complicated, its a flat-four afterall, just don't really want to have to deal with it.
I'll take the carbs off tomorrow and see about fixing that leak. Then we'll try the stop leak and go from there.
 
Joined
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2,420
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Fort Worth, Tx
#33
The right front cylinder is the one with water on it. I think that's #1, but could be quite wrong. Forget the layout of those engines.

Doesn't look too complicated, its a flat-four afterall, just don't really want to have to deal with it.
I'll take the carbs off tomorrow and see about fixing that leak. Then we'll try the stop leak and go from there.
Not to be a buzzkill but there is no way i would run that engine with a leaking head gasket with stop leak or otherwise. The cylinders are under pressure and you will do more damage to the engine if you try to run it like that. They can easily warp/crack a head from a blown head gasket. Its less than a couple hundred dollars in parts to rebuild the entire top end, even less if you dont put new rings in it.
 
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#35
The suggestion for the stop leak came from my dad. His background is auto repair. Been doing that for something like 35yrs.
He's built plenty of bikes in there as well. That's how he paid his way through college.

From my perspective, I don't think it would hurt the engine anymore to try this stop leak. Worst case, it won't help and I'll have to do the head gaskets anyway.
I could be wrong, so feel free to correct me if I am.

This particular stop leak dad has had very good luck with. Several cars with that were severly over-heated are still running now after using this stuff. Its not the traditional stuff that clogs the radiator.
http://bluemagicusa.com/index.php/blue_magic/products/152/liquid_glass_metallic_seal_up/

Opinions?
 
#36
Something I'm not quite getting here. For one, when I let it sit up, it was running fine, no leaks except that water pump oil seal you fixed. But, you fired it up and it ran fine? No miss, no white smoke or anything? Just wondering, 'cause if it's leaking at the head gasket that bad, it should be missing on that cylinder. Also, are you noticing the water level drop as it leaks? Is it leaking into the cylinder?

If it is a headgasket, I'm skeptical of stop leak, but if you can get it to hold without plugging up the radiator or something, okay. But, I wouldn't wanna be out in West Texas on I10 halfway to nowhere knowing I'm relying on stop leak. Just me, I guess. :lol2: The head is quite easy to pull, nothing, but the engine case guard in the way, don't even have to drop the motor out of it. I'm worryin' that if the gasket IS leaking, there might be some head warpage, too. I'd wanna check that, anyway.
 
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#37
It ran fine and I didn't notice any missing once I got her fired up.
I don't know where else the water would be coming from.
I know it didn't get hot while I was running it.
I'd be more than happy to hear it's just about anything but the headgasket!
 
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#38
Pulled the carbs and found I'd missed putting an o-ring between the right rear (#3?) Carb and the plenum. :doh: carb leak solved.
I'll fire her up tomorrow when I get home from work and see about the water on cyl #1. Nothing in there this evening, but radiator is only half full and only static pressure on it. We shall see :pray:
 
#39
I'd be more than happy to hear it's just about anything but the headgasket!
Well, it COULD be a cracked head or something. :lol2: Unless it IS the carbs leaking into it, the head gasket is about the easiest/cheapest job I can think of that it might me. But, I blew the head gasket on the left side and it died on the cylinder it was leaking in, about 2 miles across down. I got it home no problems, but it was givin' white smoke all the way, water fouled the plug. Once the parts got here, the job didn't take much over an hour. Of course, I have air tools to take everything apart with. But, I always assemble with hand tools and, of course, it takes a bit longer to torque down head bolts and such with a torque wrench. I take my time and concentrate on the job. I learned to do that years ago. :trust::lol2: I cannot stand the pressure working in a bike shop being forced to get things done fast. That's how things get screwed up. Kudos to those that can handle that sort of work. Me, when I'm slow, I'm thorough. When I get in a hurry, well, I don't do that. :lol2:
 
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#40
After messing with it some more, at the very least the head gasket is blown. Getting oil in the water and vice versa :doh:

I'm heading out of town next week, so I'll order gaskets and all the other bits that need done while thats out when I get back.
 
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#43
I haven't got them off yet. Been working on the cage in what little spare time I have right now.
Need to get cranking on those heads though before I get started on the FILs GL1200 carbs
 
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#44
Well, I replaced the head gaskets, bolted it all back together, unstopped the idle jets in the carbs (again).
Just when I thought I was close to getting it on the road (again) It looks (sounds?) like I have either a rod or piston loose.

I'm going to go use my 9mm paper punch to blow off some steam :miffed:
 
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#45
Well, I replaced the head gaskets, bolted it all back together, unstopped the idle jets in the carbs (again).
Just when I thought I was close to getting it on the road (again) It looks (sounds?) like I have either a rod or piston loose.

I'm going to go use my 9mm paper punch to blow off some steam :miffed:
Was it making this sound prior to changing the head gaskets?
 
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#46
no, I am pretty sure it was not making the noise prior to the headgasket change.
I checked the cylinder walls while the heads were off and they looked good.
The knocking/tapping isn't there at idle, but even a slight increase in RPM and its there.
I've double checked to be sure the rocker arms aren't doing it and all is well in there.
the sound is very centralized in the engine.
 
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Fort Worth, Tx
#47
no, I am pretty sure it was not making the noise prior to the headgasket change.
I checked the cylinder walls while the heads were off and they looked good.
The knocking/tapping isn't there at idle, but even a slight increase in RPM and its there.
I've double checked to be sure the rocker arms aren't doing it and all is well in there.
the sound is very centralized in the engine.
Is it getting oil? When you pull the valve covers off is there alot of oil in the top end? You could leave the covers off and start it briefly. You'll know right off the bat if your getting oil pressure...
 
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#49
Oil pressure was first thought, its squirting oil with the valve covers off.
Double-check the valve clearances already.

I've got new exhaust gaskets/copper seal things in it, and I'm pretty sure I don't have an exhaust leak at the head, though its hard to tell as I crossover is leaking pretty good.
I'm 99% certain it's not an exhaust leak.
 
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#50
Oil pressure was first thought, its squirting oil with the valve covers off.
Double-check the valve clearances already.

I've got new exhaust gaskets/copper seal things in it, and I'm pretty sure I don't have an exhaust leak at the head, though its hard to tell as I crossover is leaking pretty good.
I'm 99% certain it's not an exhaust leak.
I'm just trying to think what could have changed when you did the head gaskets. I think your going to need to pull the timing belt covers and recheck valve timing. It's real easy to get it off when your putting the belts on.
 
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