1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn


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GL_Opr8ter
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1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:58 am



Hi everyone,

First time bike owner here, so please bear with me. I was gifted a 1978 GL1000 that had not ran in over a year (81,000 miles). Previous Owner (PO) thought it just needed a new start button. I finally bought the entire Run/Off/Start housing, and a brand new battery. I also put in 4 oz of SeaFoam into the carburetors and let it sit for 24 hours. I drained the float bowls before trying to start the bike, added a gallon of gasoline and turn the petcock ON. I also added 2 quartz of oil into the engine since I could not see through the indicator glass how much oil was in there. This is me trying to start it:





The engine won't crank/turn. You can hear the starter, but that's about it. Like I said at the beginning, I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to motorcycles, so I'm not too sure where to go to next to try and figure out the problem. Here is what I'm thinking so far:

    Bad Spark Plugs: I will take them off, clean them off, check that they are the correct size, and see if they spark
    Coils: I've read that these could be the problem. But I have no idea where they are, let alone how to test them! Any pointers will be appreciated
    Too much oil in the engine: Like I wrote above, I added two quarts to the engine, but I still can't tell if there is too little or too much oil. I plan on just draining the entire thing and re-adding the recommended amount 3.8 liters (I think)
    Flooded Engine: Not too sure about this one. Even though the gas line was ON, gas was not dripping from the petcock when I disconnected the fuel line. I went ahead and added 4 oz of gas from the fuel line (disconnecting the fuel pump) into the carburetors. I had the same results and drained the float bowls. I collected what was being drained and got back a tad bit under the 4 oz I put it in. So I don't think the engine was flooded

Finally, when I uninstalled the old battery, this cable was in the back of the battery, disconnected



I will try to take a picture of it. Its in the back part of the motorcycle (by the back tire), and it's part of the set of wires to go into the tail light. It has two prones and they are covered by a plastic black housing. Does anybody know where this is suppose to be connected too?

Thanks to everyone who reads and replies to this!!!



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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:48 am

I think all I can hear is the starter motor turning and not engaging, or not engaging correctly.

Many steps to go through

This is step 1

Pull the 17mm cover cap/bolt at the back of the alternator cover (just in front of the battery), and see if you can get a 12mm ring spanner in there.
WARNING - only turn this bolt in a CLOCKWISE motion when looking from the back of the bike forward. You should be able to turn the motor slowly - and there should be some resistance when you come up on a compression stroke of the motor. There is also a timing inspection hole towards the centre of the rear of the motor (covered by a flat slotted cover - use a flat bladed screwdriver to undo this).
You should be a able to see the flywheel turn if you can move the bolt

Fingers crossed you can do this - otherwise your motor could be stuck (frozen).

Or put the bike in gear and see if you can push it forward - maybe take the plugs out - will make it easier to push.

Hint - put a little bit of air in your back tire.

Let us know what happens

cheers

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby dingdong » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:44 am

If you can't see the oil level in the site glass you could possibly have a crankcase full of fuel and oil mixture and or water from sitting so long. First thing to do is drain, measure amount of oil and check if there is fuel or water in there. Then refill with the proper amount of oil. (Never add oil with out knowing how much is currently in the crankcase. Not a good thing)
Tom
Tom

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:17 pm

Aussie81Interstate wrote:Hint - put a little bit of air in your back tire.


Hey, thanks for the suggestion! It makes a lot of sense to check to see if the engine is stuck since it's been sitting for so long. The quote above made me laugh :lol: . Yes I need to put air in that tire. I was hoping to replace it once I got the bike running, but since that may not happen I need to at least put air in it. Sadly because the tire is off the rim I have to rent a trailer and take it to a shop :(.

A few follow-up questions if you don't mind. Will moving the bike in gear tell me that the engine is not stuck? When you say remove the plugs, do you mean the spark plugs? And if so, do you mean remove them from the engine, or disengage the coil wires from the spark plugs?

I should have an update in a few days. Thanks again, much appreciated!

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:22 pm

dingdong wrote:If you can't see the oil level in the site glass you could possibly have a crankcase full of fuel and oil mixture and or water from sitting so long. First thing to do is drain, measure amount of oil and check if there is fuel or water in there. Then refill with the proper amount of oil. (Never add oil with out knowing how much is currently in the crankcase. Not a good thing)
Tom


Hi Tom,

Yea that was my mistake. When I first turn the key in the ignition, the oil light came on. And like I've said, I'm new to this, so when I saw that light I thought it must need oil. When I went to check the levels I really could not tell whether there was oil in the engine. I tried to look for pictures online of what it is suppose to look like, but had no luck. I figured if I added a quart I would see a change in the level. After I added one and didn't see anything move, I figured it was really low, and added another bottle. When nothing changed, that's when I realized I screwed up.

I'm going to first try the suggestion in the first post to make sure the engine is not stuck. If that checks out then I'll change out the oil completely. I'm not looking forward to that because the PO (or whoever last changed the oil) stripped the bolt really bad. Not sure how I'm going to get it out yet.

I'll give an update later in the week.

Thanks again Tom!

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby SnoBrdr » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:36 pm

GL_Opr8ter wrote:
dingdong wrote:If you can't see the oil level in the site glass you could possibly have a crankcase full of fuel and oil mixture and or water from sitting so long. First thing to do is drain, measure amount of oil and check if there is fuel or water in there. Then refill with the proper amount of oil. (Never add oil with out knowing how much is currently in the crankcase. Not a good thing)
Tom


Hi Tom,

Yea that was my mistake. When I first turn the key in the ignition, the oil light came on. And like I've said, I'm new to this, so when I saw that light I thought it must need oil. When I went to check the levels I really could not tell whether there was oil in the engine. I tried to look for pictures online of what it is suppose to look like, but had no luck. I figured if I added a quart I would see a change in the level. After I added one and didn't see anything move, I figured it was really low, and added another bottle. When nothing changed, that's when I realized I screwed up.

I'm going to first try the suggestion in the first post to make sure the engine is not stuck. If that checks out then I'll change out the oil completely. I'm not looking forward to that because the PO (or whoever last changed the oil) stripped the bolt really bad. Not sure how I'm going to get it out yet.

I'll give an update later in the week.

Thanks again Tom!


The oil light will always come on as soon as you turn the key. It actually means nothing other than you have power.

You want to remove the plugs from the engine.

Which bolt did they strip? On the filter housing or the drain itself?

I'd use a pair of vise grips on it.

Oil drain bolts are fairly easy to come by.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:04 pm

Which bolt did they strip? On the filter housing or the drain itself?


They stripped the drain bolt. And by strip, I mean it doesn't have a head anymore. There's a hole where the head should be. At first I thought it was some weired allen wrench type of bolt, but nope, just a hole. So that's going to be fun. Most of the online videos where people have solutions to this are using tools I just don't have (like an air pressure drill type of device). Sigh

Thanks for the post!

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby SnoBrdr » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:08 pm

GL_Opr8ter wrote:
Which bolt did they strip? On the filter housing or the drain itself?


They stripped the drain bolt. And by strip, I mean it doesn't have a head anymore. There's a hole where the head should be. At first I thought it was some weired allen wrench type of bolt, but nope, just a hole. So that's going to be fun. Most of the online videos where people have solutions to this are using tools I just don't have (like an air pressure drill type of device). Sigh

Thanks for the post!


No offense but it sounds like your have neither the tools or the skills to work on the bike at present. Best advice is to rent that trailer and bring it to someone who can.

No shame in that.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:16 pm

SnoBrdr wrote:
No offense but it sounds like your have neither the tools or the skills to work on the bike at present. Best advice is to rent that trailer and bring it to someone who can.

No shame in that.


Meh no offense taken. I want to learn, and in this case it will be through trial an error. I don't mind the struggle. I'm not planning on rebuilding the entire thing, I'm not naive. But I do want to try and fix it as much as I can with what I have. There are a large number of DIY posts from people who are not expert mechanics, I'm sure they went through the same struggles I did.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby ChristopherStalken » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:24 pm

love those false tanks on the late 70s Goldwings.

Anywho. When I first got into old motorcycles, I spent a lot of time watching youtube videos. mrmaxstorey has probably been the most help, because he pretty much only works on old hondas. This video [youtube]

goes through his troubleshooting process. He over-explains things, which I found useful when I started. He has videos on just about every common issue.

Good luck and don't get discouraged. If you have the time/patience to do it, I would recommend trying to figure out the issue yourself. I would only take it to a shop if you would need to remove the engine (doesn't seem like you do).
Hope this helps!

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:23 pm

ChristopherStalken wrote:Good luck and don't get discouraged. If you have the time/patience to do it, I would recommend trying to figure out the issue yourself. I would only take it to a shop if you would need to remove the engine (doesn't seem like you do).
Hope this helps!


Thanks for the encouragement! I actually saw his videos last month when I first started researching about the motorcycle. I didn't understand half of what he was saying. I just watched this video again and it makes so much more sense! Hopefully I don't have to remove the engine :(

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Aussie81Interstate
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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:52 pm

Yes,

Take the spark plugs out of the motor, hopefully none of them are rusted in place, if they are really tight getting them out - spray some penetrating oil around the plug and let them sit for a day - instead of trying to force them out.

When the plugs are out - put some penetrating oil in each cylinder - (a teaspoon or two) put it in with a syringe is easy enough to do. Let it sit for another day or two. Put the bike in 5th gear - rock it and slip the gear shift up until it stops moving. then if possible give it a rocking motion pushing it forward and let it rock backward by itself, the major effort should be in pushing forward. If the motor is frozen then it won't budge -but could break loose with some constant rocking. Also pull the clutch in and see if it will roll (at least you will know the clutch works).

If the motor does not turn then you have more investigation to do.

Let us know the results.

cheers

And Kudos on taking on a new project - it's always a good thing.. :)

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:39 am

Aussie81Interstate wrote:And Kudos on taking on a new project - it's always a good thing.. :)

Thank you for the support, encouragement, and advice! I unfortunately will not have time to work on this until Friday (stupid work). I'll post an update on Sunday night, I hope you guys will still have an interest :).

Many thanks to everyone for the suggestions!

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:41 am

You keep posting, and I'll keep replying to assist you where I can.

Cheers

:)

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Ncscooter » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:50 pm

Welcome! Your local auto store will have "EZ outs" which may help remove the drain pug. A picture would help, you should be able to tell by looking at them. Advance auto may be able to pull the bike up on their computer and see what thread the oil plug is. Parts fiche says 14 mm. I did not look at the video, but all the other recommendations are good. Change the timing belts. Be a shame to run for a moment and have a belt let go, ruining the engine. You need at least a good set of sockets, and end wrenches, metric, a voltage meter, apparently a compressor to fill your tires :lol: I look upon it as an opportunity to get tools.
Keep your expectations tiny and you won't end up so whiny.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby GL_Opr8ter » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:32 am

Hey everyone!
First off, many thanks to everyone for their suggestions! I finally got a chance to work on the bike today, here is an update.

Summary:
I was able to turn the engine by hand using the alternator bolt (so it means engine is not stuck?). I am back to square one on trying to figure out why the engine wouldn't fire/turn. I also found a few other problems. This includes:
1) Oil in the threads of the plug
2) Water in the camshaft/cylinder container
3) Rust
4) A good amount of oil is leaking from the clutch cover

My questions to you guys:
1) Since the engine is not stuck, why would it not fire/turn? Could it be a starter issue?
2) If there is water in the engine, can it be fixed without removing the engine?
3) Is the rust in the valves a major concern?
4) Is changing the seal on the clutch cover difficult? Mechanically I'm not a novice, I've worked on cars before.
5) Why would there be water in the cylinder area and oil in the plug threads? Is this indicative of something major?

My possible next steps:
1) Buy new spark plugs. Test the coils to make sure they are working.
2) Drain all the oil from the engine and check for water. Replace oil
3) The gauges for gas and temp are not working. I will test/replace the 7V regulator.

Now for the details
1 - I started by removing the spark plugs. Easy pezy. First thing I noticed is the threads had oil, and the heads were black but dry. Picture below:

My google searches tell me that it's not too big of a deal as long as the heads are dry. Is this the case? If so, no big deal :)

2 - I removed the alternator bolt cover, and the flywheel cover. This is how 1/4 of the flywheel looked like:

Rust. Not too good. But I hoped it wasn't a big deal.

3 - Looking at the Honda Manual, I decided to take off the cylinder cover as if I were doing a valve adjustment because it said I would see motion in the intake valves on the cylinders. When I open it up, it had a milky liquid substance. See below.

Not good either. Again, hoping it's not too big of a deal. I just wiped it all off, and continued on.

4 - I finally started turning the alternator bolt, and it turned!! The flywheel turned without too much difficulty. However, I did not see the cylinders move at all. Maybe I didn't pay attention enough, but I did not see it move. Is it possible that the alternator disconnected from the pistons and therefore, the pistons may be stuck but I would not with this test?.

5 - Another strange thing, about 4 oz of water/liquid fell of somewhere (near the cylinders) when I turn the engine. I do not know what that was about


6 - Additional problems:
I open up the intake manifold that try and take a look at the valves. #1 and #2 had visible rust, with #2 being completely covered in rust. See below:
Valve #1

Valve #2

This does not look good at all. Is this something I should be worried about?

My final problem is an oil leak coming from the clutch cover. Google searches indicate that this is not too difficult to fix, that it's most likely a seal that is no longer working. Here are 2 images
The circled part shows where the oil is pooling and dripping

This image shows where the leak is coming from, the clutch cover. You can see the stream coming from the clutch cover onto the bolt


Thank you in advance to anyone who reads my post and comments!

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Ncscooter » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:34 pm

This all sounds like head gaskets, which I have no experience with on the GL1000. I believe they can be done w/o pulling the motor. Not sure if that's true of the clutch cover gasket. Pullin' the engine ain't that big of a deal, putting it back, eh. Hopefully, a more proficient mechanic will be along shortly.
Keep your expectations tiny and you won't end up so whiny.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby spiralout » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:31 pm

That looks almost as bad as the motor that was in my 1100 when I got it. 3 years sitting in the weather with no air filter box and leaky top shelter, straight shot in to the plenum :cry: :cry:
When you say you saw the flywheel turn but not the cylinders, I'm assuming you mean the valve train? If you're stator bolt and flywheel are turning but not the valves, your belt/belts are probably broken. Either way, time to pull the heads to get a look at the pistons and cylinders.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Fred Camper » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:29 pm

Sure seems that head gaskets are a good first. Use genuine Honda gaskets for these as thickness is super critical.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Old Fogey » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:20 pm

I really hate to do this, as I would usually give encouragement to anything, but the more I look at the pictures and read the posts, the more I think you have bitten off far more than you can chew.
An experienced mechanic would have a hard time with that engine. The view of the rusty flywheel, the water, the oil leaks, the silicon sealer, all tells me that. These engines are not for the faint-hearted or unskilled. That is not putting you down in any way. But can I suggest that :
first of all, you get yourself a workshop manual. You WILL need it, in fact you DO need it, right now.
next, you need to do some reading.
Check out the 'how-to' articles at the top of the page.
Go here as well: http://www.ngwclub.com/shoptalk/
And here: http://www.wingovations.com/tech-tips-1/4579471087 and here http://www.wingovations.com/tech-tips-2/4579471111

We will help you all along the way, but first you must help yourself.
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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby ChristopherStalken » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:33 am

Old Fogey wrote:I really hate to do this, as I would usually give encouragement to anything, but the more I look at the pictures and read the posts, the more I think you have bitten off far more than you can chew.
An experienced mechanic would have a hard time with that engine. The view of the rusty flywheel, the water, the oil leaks, the silicon sealer, all tells me that. These engines are not for the faint-hearted or unskilled. That is not putting you down in any way. But can I suggest that :
first of all, you get yourself a workshop manual. You WILL need it, in fact you DO need it, right now.
next, you need to do some reading.
Check out the 'how-to' articles at the top of the page.
Go here as well: http://www.ngwclub.com/shoptalk/
And here: http://www.wingovations.com/tech-tips-1/4579471087 and here http://www.wingovations.com/tech-tips-2/4579471111

We will help you all along the way, but first you must help yourself.




Nonsense. This seems like a fun learning opportunity. This dude is going to feel like the biggest badass around once he gets this fixed himself (or even with the help of a friend).

Go through and change everything easy you know affects the starting of the motor. Solenoid, any wires that don't look sexy enough, **** even go through the starter motor itself and give it a good cleaning - all of this likely needs done anyway, and you don't want something silly like any of those being the problem. after all that, then start the project of doing your gaskets like everyone is recommending.

Make sure to make an attempt to short the solenoid to see if that makes the engine crank, and don't be afraid to look at auto forums. A lot of times they will have the same issues posted, which helps getcha to the right place.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Old Fogey » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:27 pm

ChristopherStalken wrote:Nonsense. This seems like a fun learning opportunity. This dude is going to feel like the biggest badass around once he gets this fixed himself (or even with the help of a friend).


Ok, I guess I don't know what I'm talking about, seeing as I'm only on the sixth full engine rebuild for customers in two years.

You might be dead lucky and it turns out to be fun. But these engines in that condition are not usually fun, trust me. You may find you need pretty deep pockets before it's all finished.
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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby ChristopherStalken » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:56 pm


Ok, I guess I don't know what I'm talking about, seeing as I'm only on the sixth full engine rebuild for customers in two years.

You might be dead lucky and it turns out to be fun. But these engines in that condition are not usually fun, trust me. You may find you need pretty deep pockets before it's all finished.
[/quote]

That's neat that you're on your sixth! Super cool stuff right here. Let's try to troubleshoot it and he can decide for himself what he wants to do. If he wants to give it a go, he is more than welcome to, as there is a ton of stuff that could be causing this, and most of it can be done without removing the engine. A couple trips to Harbor Freight for special tools, replacement parts/tutorials, a healthy dose of swearing, and lots of patience usually go pretty far.

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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby SnoBrdr » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:18 pm

Old Fogey wrote:
ChristopherStalken wrote:Nonsense. This seems like a fun learning opportunity. This dude is going to feel like the biggest badass around once he gets this fixed himself (or even with the help of a friend).


Ok, I guess I don't know what I'm talking about, seeing as I'm only on the sixth full engine rebuild for customers in two years.

You might be dead lucky and it turns out to be fun. But these engines in that condition are not usually fun, trust me. You may find you need pretty deep pockets before it's all finished.


I have found that when OF speaks, it may as well be EF Hutton.




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Re: 1978 GL1000 Will not Crank/Turn

Postby Old Fogey » Sat Aug 15, 2015 1:25 pm

OK, no more negs!

Let's lay some ground rules first.
After you have a workshop manual:
1) do not make any attempt to start that engine!
2) see #1 !
3) Drain the oil. Let it sit, then check for water. Remove the oil filter and trash it. Water in the coolant could mean the bearings are damaged. could also mean the head gasket(s) is blown
3) Drain the coolant. Let it sit, then check for oil. Oil in the coolant could be the head gaskets, but also could be the water pump.
4) Remove the timing belts and trash them! You'll be replacing these as a matter of course. Removing the radiator is advisable but not necessary.
5) Without turning the engine over, remove both cylinder heads.
6)The reason for 5, even if your oil and water are clean, is to take out the rusty valves and clean them up. If a rusty valve sticks in the guide it will either bend or punch a hole in the piston. Bent valve means the head comes off anyway; holed piston is a complete engine strip.
7) Check the water pump. It should have NO play at the impeller. Any play at all means a replacement.

Let's see how you get on with all that. come back with any questions. See my signature for why you should.


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