GL 1100 rebuild help


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:37 am



Hi everyone. I just bought a 1981 GL 1100 for $350 from someone. The bike has been sitting for a couple years, but was told the engine worked great when it was running last. It has 147,000km on it. I was told the starter was no good (and was not on the bike when I bought it). After I got it home, and wanting to see if the engine was free, I tried to turn the engine by rocking it in second gear. That did nothing more than drag the rear tire. I checked the oil, and there seems to be little to no oil in the engine. So what I am wondering, where is the crank bolt for turning the engine manually, and what is the recommended procedure for freeing the engine? I know these engine are nearly indestructible, and am hoping I can bring it back to life. Otherwise, I just bought an expensive parts bike.

Any help, or guidance would be very much appreciated.



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birkco
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 11:16 am
Location: Harare - Zimbabwe
Motorcycle: GL1100

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby birkco » Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:43 am

"been there and done/going through that"

have a good look on the site's GL1100 DIY articles as I think most of your questions will be answered there, if not there are a lot of knowlegable "heads" who will assist.

Good luck enjoy.

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RBGERSON
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Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby RBGERSON » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:04 am

Well..that was running great when parked is an old tried and true line for sellers..but here you go

Take plugs out

ON the rear of the engine on the battery side there is a 17mm cap..take it off indie there is a 12mm bolt head turn it only clockwise it will turn the engine safely if it will move..or try 5th gear with the rear wheel. Also a crankshaft bolt head on the front under the timing belt covers.

If it doesn't move fill cylinders with mix of ATF/acetone..50/50 or other penetrating oil let it sit for a few days and try again and again if still stuck remove the heads to look at the cylinders..could be rusted solid.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:52 pm

Ok, so I took the plugs out of the bike, and they appear to be in almost new condition, no suit deposits at all. With a flashlight looking into the cylender heads, there does not apper to be any rust, just some black suit, as would be expected. I tired rocking the bike in gear (not sure what gear I was in, but the highest it would keep shifting too, although I dont think I got to 5th), and that only resulted in dragging th tire.

I then attempted to turn the engine from the bolt on the back, which resulted in a broken socket. I quicjk trip to the store to get an impact socket resulted in slight rounding or the bolt head, so I abandonded that immediately.

I then went ahead and tokt the rad off. The fluid is still bright green and looks to be like new. Took the belt cover off, and am now wondering which bolt and which direction I should try turning from the front. I did try the front center bolt, turning it clockwise, but that just seemed to tighten the bolt some more.

I am going to go ahead and fill the cylenders with some penitrating oil, and see if that helps. In the meantime, could someone confirm which way I should be turning the bolt in the front of the motor? And if there a reisk of over tightening it?

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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
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Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:44 pm

No no no, do NOT turn the bolt at the front of the engine! If you can't turn it from the back, you won't be able to turn it from the front. If you try the front, you'll either loosen it or over-torque it.

The best mechanical advantage is to shift it into fifth gear and attempt to rotate the rear wheel.

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RBGERSON
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Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby RBGERSON » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:09 am

Well..don't force it..but always clockwise..you could have a bent valve that is resting on a piston so you can't move the crank or rusted walls/rings that are stuck. It looks like pulling heads is in your future. Get a shop manual..a Honda shop manual.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:51 pm

Ok, just a bit of an update here. I have filled the cylinders with PB Buster, however, I am having an issue keeping the front right one full. It seems to be leaking out around the exhaust header. Any suggestions on stopping the leak?

Also, would there be any benefit to removing the valve covers, and spraying some PB in there, or also filling the crankcase?

kirbb9
Posts: 47
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Location: Columbia Tn USA
Motorcycle: 66 300 Dream
77 & 78 GL1000's
06 ST 1300

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kirbb9 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:10 am

Your motor is stopped with that one exhaust valve open. Nothing you can do until the motor
turns. Keep spraying the "leaky cylinder" and give it a few days to soak in. No need to put
any extra oil in the crankcase. Good luck with it.

Brady

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RBGERSON
Posts: 2625
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:57 am
Location: SCOTTSDALE, AZ
Motorcycle: 98 SE GL 1500
had every year from 75 to 83

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby RBGERSON » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:19 am

Take teh valve cover off and back out the adjuster..valve should close if not bent.
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:45 pm

So after about a week of sitting with penetrating oil, I still cant get the engine to turn by rocking in fifth gear. On a note about that, how much play should I have with the bike in fifth? I can roll it about 6 inches back and forth, seems like alot, but maybe not for these bikes?

It looks like I will have to tear the engine down to free it up, but I am wondering if that is the best route to go. I can get a complete 1100 engine, that is running, for $600. If I choose to tear down this one, I am looking at about $150 for a gasket set, and $100 for a starter, which I need as well. Plus I may have to do some other work on the engine as well. I guess my best bet it to tear the engine down and see if I can even free it up that way though first.

Is there a recommended procedure? I was told a large dowel and mallet on the cylinder heads may pop them loose. How likely is it that I could damage the cylinder heads by doing this?

P.S. sorry if these are noob questions. I am used to working on the V-twin in my 750 ACE. Never had a 4 cylinder before, and am not really familiar with their set up.

kirbb9
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Location: Columbia Tn USA
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77 & 78 GL1000's
06 ST 1300

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kirbb9 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:52 pm

If you are locked up that tight then rings are probably shot. I would suggest that you pull
the heads and see what you have. If you have to bore and get oversize piston and rings
it will be expensive.

Brady

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Oldbear
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Location: Linden, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby Oldbear » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:03 pm

A good running engine might just be worth it - considering what you payed for it. A poor running, worn out Gold Wing in my area is still $2000 some. Plus, you'll know more about your bike when you're done than most people will ever know about their bikes or cars...
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:02 pm

Ok, before I start tearing into this engine, I just wanted to double check something with you guys. Mainly, double check that I dont in fact have a transmission problem as well. I can shift from first to N, and then up all the way to fifth, by rocking the bike a little bit. On the downshift however, I am often shifting in a N gear (or in between gears). So if I go from fifth shift down one, I can roll the bike like it is in N. Shift down again, and I am in a gear. Same process until I hit the lower gears, and first. Also, either my clutch is not working, or the cable is stretched too far for it to disengage. with the bike in any gear, with the clutch pulled in, I cant roll it. I can take a video if I havent explained it well enough. I have also taken a pic of the bike in case anyone is curious about its condition. I have removed all the covers, fender, and radiator. The bike was missing the headlight when I got it.


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Oldbear
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Location: Linden, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby Oldbear » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:10 pm

Bike should be one down (1st) and four up
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:14 pm

Yes, it is one down and four up, but it seems to be shifting between gears coming back from 5th to 1st. when in 5th I cant roll the bike, shift one down, and it rolls like it is in N. As of it is not going into 4th gear like it should, but rather between gears.

EDIT: Just checked again, and it does this while shifting up as well. Seems to happen mostly between 3rd and 4th, and 4th and 5th, sometime in the lower gears, but not always.

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Oldbear
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Location: Linden, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby Oldbear » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:01 pm

I know it will be hard without it running - but is there any noises that happen before it slips between gears that is abnormal from the other shifting when it does work? Can you shift it by hand while on its centre stand? You may fell a different shift through the pedal with your hand rather than your foot.

But here is hoping that someone with transmission knowledge will chime in. Remember the light at the end of the tunnel is that when you fix these issues - you'll better understand your bike and yourself. That may seem odd - but I'm on vacation reading "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:23 pm

Thanks oldbear for your help so far. When shifting, there is a click when it goes between gears, but not like the click I get like the next time I shift it, and it does go into gear. It is very much like the soft click when going from 1st to N. I am eager to learn about the bike, and have no issues tearing into it, but would rather not get in too deep if I can know now what problems I might be facing, or that it may not be worth fixing in the long run.

I took the valve covers off, and of course, they were full of penetrating oil. It is leaking out of the exhaust valve. I know someone suggested closing it manually with the adjuster, but it doesn't look like there is nearly enough room on the adjuster to move it that far. Am I wrong?

Here are a couple pics of the valves. So far, everything looks pretty clean. From what I can see when looking into the crank case, it is clean a whistle as well. No signs of corrosion anywhere. I was lookign at the heads, and it looks like they can be taken off without removing the engine. So I will be trying that next, to see what the cylinders look like.


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Oldbear
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Location: Linden, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby Oldbear » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:29 pm

The heads come off easy - without removing the engine - and since you need to take the timing belts - take the time and $$$ to replace them. There is a great guide on here for that and for setting your valves after your all done - that's what brought me here years ago. If you lived near Linden, Alberta or Salmon Arm, BC - I'd come by for a visit and help in person.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:38 pm

I'm actually in Digby, NS. The Wharf Rat Rally was this past weekend, a great turn out!

Here is a vid i took with my helmet cam


kirbb9
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:40 pm
Location: Columbia Tn USA
Motorcycle: 66 300 Dream
77 & 78 GL1000's
06 ST 1300

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kirbb9 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:33 pm

The shift mechanism works by sliding gears sideways and dogs on those gears joining slots
on the corresponding gears. The trans will work a lot better when the gears are able to turn.
My opinion is that you don't have a trans problem.

Remove the cam belts and inner covers, loosen the coolant tubes and remove the exhaust and
you are ready to pull heads.

Brady

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:05 am

So the heads are now off. Cams, valves and rockers all seem to operate freely and smoothly. The left side of the motor is in worse shape than the right, as far as corrosion goes. My question now is, how delicate are the cylinder heads? I was going to get a 1 1/2" dowel, and tap on them all to try and break them free. How much risk is there of denting or breaking them? Should I use a bigger diameter dowel? Here are a few pics of what I am working with.


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patbrandon1
Posts: 442
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Location: Bay City, Michigan
Motorcycle: 1982 GL1100 I
1981 Honda CM400C

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby patbrandon1 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:42 pm

Welcome kweagle. This is a really great site for these Wings.

I can't help you with the heads, but I' sure someone will chime in here that has done them.

But as for your transmission, like someone else stated, I don't think you have a tranny problem. Run a half a can of seafoam in your crankcase for about 75 to 100 miles. Then change the oil. You will see a world of difference when shifting.

My Wing has a mystery neutral between 4th and 5th gear. Someone mentioned to me years ago that this is for when you maybe going down a very steep hill and just want to coast, and just be between 4th and fifth without having to pull in the clutch, and not drop down between 1st and 2nd. I don't know it others have found this mystery neutral, but I believe it is on your bike.

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Oldbear
Posts: 289
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Location: Linden, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A Aspencade

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby Oldbear » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:22 pm

I don't have any pictures of my head rebuild with me - I'll look when we get back from holidays. But from your pictures - it all seems normal for the age of bike... without a personal inspection its hard to tell. I took my heads off and cleaned everything up - did the poorman's port and polish - replaced all valves and seals - we had a valve/piston clearance issue :roll:
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

kweagle
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 5:27 am
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1981 GL 1100
2003 750 Shadow ACE

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kweagle » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:32 pm

I spent some of the afternoon today scrubbing the pistons and cylinder walls. They look much better now. I will soak the heads on something.. not sure whats best yet, for a while to clean them up. Still no luck on getting the positions to move though. I tried tapping with a hardwood dowel on all the cylinder heads. The ones at the top of the cylinder seem to be a bit free, they will wiggle a bit side to side in the piston when tapping them, and I also have clearance all around the cylinder wall, which I didnt have before. The lower cylinders still seems stuck good. I have the bike laying on its side now with the PB Buster in the cylinder, since it turned out, all the PB Buster I had put in the bike before was laying in the exhaust pipe.

What are the odds that I may be locked up somewhere in the bottom? From looking in the oil filler, and the drains for the heads, the bottom seems clean as can be. I may try filling the crankcase with atf or something just for the hell of it, to see if it helps.

kirbb9
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:40 pm
Location: Columbia Tn USA
Motorcycle: 66 300 Dream
77 & 78 GL1000's
06 ST 1300

Re: GL 1100 rebuild help

Postby kirbb9 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:28 pm

You're going the right direction. It seems by sitting on the sidestand moisture will go to the
2 left cylinders to do it's damage. Start using the front crank bolt to see if you can get the
pistons to start moving. Just use reasonable pressure so that you don't overtighten the bolt
or damage any threads. More time, lube, taps with the dowel, some cussing and it should
finally give up and let loose. You probably have one piston only that is stuck. If any cylinders
look bad enough to bore and you know you will be getting os pistons you might try metal on
the pistons. It puts a better shock than wood will. Keep in mind that there is a rod behind
that piston and don't get too excited with the hammer.

Brady




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