Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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cpnbnanamn
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:32 pm



Hey all,
New member to the forum. Working on a buddy's '81 GL1100, and it sounds like it's got some major issues. At idle, under load, (as in, being at a full stop, putting it in gear, and trying to take off) it knocks REALLY bad, and you have to rev it pretty good to keep it going, but once it's moving, it's OK. I don't believe this to be a carburation issue. Checked the compression on each of the cylinders, and I'm getting a range of 80 to just over 100 PSI in the cylinders. If I'm not mistaken, I should have over 130+ PSI, correct? Two of the plugs on the left side were covered in oil, and the other side didn't look bad. I'm thinking that this engine needs an overhaul. Saw some posts on here (I've been lurking a little), mentioning that it might be cheaper and easier to just change out the engine. I also thought I read somewhere that other size engines (i.e.1200, 1300, and maybe the 1500) will fit with little to no modification. Thoughts on this? Am I on the right track? Thanks, and I really appreciate all the information you guys have up here.. been VERY helpful SO far!

-Roger



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virgilmobile
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:18 am

I dealt with the same problems.That low and wide of compression range will never have a smooth engine.

You can replace it with the same model only if you could find one thats in better shape(good luck)

You could remove the timing belts,set the crank 90* off TDC, turn the cam to close all the valves and fill the cylinders with sea foam,lift the carb intake pipes and fill behind the intake valve with sea foam.
Let it cook for a few days,reassemble and run it to burn it clear then retest the compression with a wide open throttle.
Your looking for less than 5psi difference.
A engine will run fairly well starting at 100 psi.145 is about normal for a used engine.

If that doesn't help,you can lap the valves and replace the guide seals.A good time to look for broken valve springs.The Gl1100 has 2 per valve and I have seen broken inner springs too.
This can be done without removing the engine.With parts in hand,it takes a whole day.

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:48 am

Thanks for answering. You don't think that failing rings, and / or piston slap is a culprit here? I also thought I read somewhere that the valve seats are coated with something special, and cannot be lapped. This isn't the case?

I did manage to find one or two used engines on EBay, but I want to make sure I'm on the right path before I tell my buddy that's the route we need to go.
Thanks again for the reply. I could use all the help I can get. I'm VERY mechanically inclined, but also VERY new to the Goldwings.

-Roger

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby Oddbirdwithbrokewing » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:10 am

You have to rule everything else out before you can declare it a bad engine. Bad carbs can cause knocking, if the engine has been sitting for a long time rings may not be.seating. You didnt say but you have to adjust valves first to get a better reading and also do it it wet. Good luck.

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:37 am

The bike did sit unused for quite a while. I thought about checking the valve lash, just haven't gotten there yet. My buddy says he had the carbs serviced before he put the bike away, and they supposedly rebuilt the carbs, and hopefully sync'd 'em afterwards. He said it ran fine for a while, then recently started this knocking issue.

Do you mean do a compression check with the cylinder with a bit of oil in it (wet)? I thought I had read in the Clymer's manual that because these are horizontal piston engines, that this wasn't a valid test? Not true? Again, thanks for all the help. I need all I can get!

-Roger

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virgilmobile
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:30 pm

The valves can be lapped, never ground.lapping to reseat them.
Stuck rings can sometimes be freed by soaking the cylinder with ATF or sea foam.
A wet test usually shows just a small improvement in psi.I'm more concerned with the wide spread.
Obviously try everything easy first.soak it up and test with a wide open throttle.looking for 125 psi or more and less than 5 psi difference.
Do adjust the valves too.

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:35 pm

I'll do the Seafoam soak and the valve adjust, and retest. I'll let you guys know what I find. Thanks for the awesome help!!

-Roger

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Thu Aug 23, 2012 7:56 pm

Ok, update.

I've FINALLY had time to work on this, and I've found that ALL the valve tappets appeared to be too tight.The manual says that '80 and newer are to be adjusted to .004" for the intake and .005" for exhaust, correct? I couldn't even get a .003" into any of them. Ok. That's corrected. So, I thought I'd move onto the Seafoam soak. Well, turns out I only had enough in the can for one cylinder, and until I had a chance to go to the parts store and get more, I thought I'd at LEAST do one cylinder. I aligned the T-1 marks to the timing mark on the case, and checked cylinder 1, and seeing that BOTH of the tappets were now movable, I assumed that the cylinder was at TDC of the compression stroke... Was I wrong?? I poured in what was left in the can, into the cylinder... and it drained out of the exhaust port, all over the floor. WTH? Correct me (PLEASE) if I'm wrong, if the cylinder is TDC in the compression stroke, and NEITHER valve appears to be engaged by the tappets, shouldn't the cylinder be sealed, for all intents, and purposes??? Did I miss something, or am I looking at the possibility of a bent valve, or broken springs, that are not allowing the valves to seat correctly? I could use a little help here, fellas.

-Roger

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:05 am

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Wingsconsin
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby Wingsconsin » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:49 am

Are you certain it is on the compression stroke..?
Go around again to the T1 mark...360 degrees ... :? ?
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
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scotterichmond
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby scotterichmond » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:13 am

to tell if cylinder one is coming up on compression stroke plug the hole with a finger ( or the comression gauge hose and feel), as it pushes presser on your finger. watch for the t-1 mark

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:24 am

No, I'm not 100% sure, but it would make sense if neither of the valves are pushed, and I'm lined up at the T-1 mark, wouldn't it?

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby seabee_ » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:28 am

First, as far as buying a used motor from fleabay, I would be sure it runs before buying it. A video of it running before removal from the bike is good. Otherwise you roll the dice with the purchase. Most good bike salvage yards take videos of the motor running before pulling it from a wrecked bike.

As far as stuck rings, you can also use PB Blaster with some success. You can 'fog' the cylinders using the straw that comes with the can. It helps to loosen the rings if they are stuck.

I agree with the others, it's best to do the valve adjustments first to get an accurate compression test. And be sure to do the compression test with the throttle wide open. When Goldwings sit too long the rings tend to get stuck. This can cause the bad compression readings. Before replacing the motor, I would make sure the rings are working good and do another compression test. A lot of times you can 'fog' the cylinders and let it sit over night, repeating a few times. When you put any fluids into the cylinders, ATF, Seafoam, PB Blaster, etc., 'BEFORE STARTING AND RUNNING THE BIKE', pull the plugs and hit the starter for a few revolutions of the motor to get any fluids out of the cylinders. "Failure to do this will cause Hydro-lock and bend a rod". Then ride the bike for a few days to help loosen up the rings and try another compression test.

Also, check your oil level and condition before riding again. Sometimes the fluids can leak past the rings and into the crankcase oil.

And another side note: the bike's going to smoke like the dickens when you first start it back up. :lol:

Good luck with the project, and welcome to the site.
Paul
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littlebeaver
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby littlebeaver » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:47 am

Slow jets are clogged.. Your bike will chatter when you take off or try to everytime.. Pull the slow jets in the 81 model as they are pressed in... you need soak them and make darn sure all the side jets and center jet is clean and you can look thru it but be very care with the jets now..The compression is low because it's been sitting so long, It will come back up once you run the engine for some time.. I think... :lol: :lol: :shock: :shock: This is based on mine doing or acting the exact same way when I got it, between setting the float height correctly and the cleaned out slow jets my cycle idled and took off perfectly, then working on the PG and it's components only made everything even better..
Last edited by littlebeaver on Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:58 am, edited 2 times in total.

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:47 am

Thanks for answering Paul..
I did do the compression test with the plugs removed, and the throttle at w/o. What I'm trying to understand is why, when I poured a little seafoam into the cylinder at what I believed to be TDC of the compression stroke, it all drained out of the exhaust valve, even though the cam/tappet wasn't pushing on either valve.
And to be clear, when you say 'stuck rings', you mean the rings stuck in the grooves of the pistons, right?

-Roger

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virgilmobile
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:24 pm

Sea foam is very thin and IF the valves are bent or not seating well it could just drain past them.
I would venture to guess that if a valve is bent,you would have very little if any compression so I'm leaning more toward carbon build up and a poor seal on the seat.
And yes if the rockers are loose,the valves should be closed.

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:35 pm

So, maybe at this point, I should be looking at the idea of at least re-doing valves and springs... Can't exactly think of how I can remove the carbon otherwise...

-Roger

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virgilmobile
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:14 pm

Disclaimer.....I never said this....you can't prove it either.....

Many years ago....I took a spray/misting bottle....Held the engine above 2000 rpm and misted water into the intake....not a lot and not continuous.Just a little mist now and then....Never letting the engine die off,kept rapping it up.

The exploding water molecules cleaned the piston and valves of all carbon build up....compression improved 40%


I never said this...It never happened.....Another guy dumped water into a running engine seized it.

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:59 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Disclaimer.....I never said this....you can't prove it either.....



Never said... what?

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virgilmobile
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:36 pm

thanks. some off the wall stuff last resort ideas before lapping the valves

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby Wingsconsin » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:53 pm

Do a Google search and there is a lot of information out there that MAY help you decide if this method is for you...
I will admit that it was the first thing I thought of when reading about how to decarbon the valve seats , however I have never done it, have no experience to share, nor will avow to it's effectivness...I have heard of it though...
It is a risk/reward undertaking.
Postings are my opinions based on experience and acquired knowledge.
Your results may vary. Universal disclaimers apply.


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cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:35 pm

virgilmobile wrote:Disclaimer.....I never said this....you can't prove it either.....

Many years ago....I took a spray/misting bottle....Held the engine above 2000 rpm and misted water into the intake....not a lot and not continuous.Just a little mist now and then....Never letting the engine die off,kept rapping it up.

The exploding water molecules cleaned the piston and valves of all carbon build up....compression improved 40%


I never said this...It never happened.....Another guy dumped water into a running engine seized it.



Ya know.. I just had an idea... Wonder if I could do the same with a little Seafoam. Maybe mix it with a little water... mist it through the air intake... and do like you said - keep the RPM's above 2K... Hmmmm..

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:39 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:Do a Google search and there is a lot of information out there that MAY help you decide if this method is for you...
I will admit that it was the first thing I thought of when reading about how to decarbon the valve seats , however I have never done it, have no experience to share, nor will avow to it's effectivness...I have heard of it though...
It is a risk/reward undertaking.

Yeah, I've done it... to a truck I had. Poured a few ounces through the intake while the engine is running, then shut it off and let it sit for a bit. Kind of afraid to do that here.


-Roger

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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby thrasherg » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:46 pm

What's the reluctance to pull the heads? if the valves were not being opened and your seafoam came out the exhaust port, you have a problem with the valves. You can spray all kinds of junk in there, but if it was mine, I would pull the heads (Both sides, see exactly what is wrong, clean the carbon from the crown of the piston, check the bores and then drop the valves and deal with whatever is wrong. all this messing around spraying water etc into the engine, just seems to be delaying the inevitable!! You need to look at the heads and see what is wrong.

Gary

cpnbnanamn
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Re: Newbie - Looking for info / Opinions

Postby cpnbnanamn » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:54 pm

Gary,
I'm kinda there, too, but I was hoping to make sure I've covered all my bases before yanking it apart. The bike's got 60K on it and as far as I know, has never been overhauled.

-Roger




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