Suicide by valve clearance


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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dlpweb3
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:46 pm
Location: San Diego
Motorcycle: gl1100 '81

Suicide by valve clearance

Postby dlpweb3 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:01 pm



Not sure if this will be MY suicide or the bikes ...

First - I've had the glorious opportunity to adjust the clearance on this things many, many times (for reasons unknown the engine often eats head gaskets). And I'm a good direction follower. But I just can't seem to win this time.

Engine was running fine, then the thermostat stuck closed. That's all fixed, with a new water pump, but after buttoning it up one side was burning antifreeze so it was finally time for another round of head gasket replacement. No problem - getting used to it.

But after finishing the engine was knocking (more than 'ticking') very loudly from the right side. Re-checked the clearance and valve timing and it all looked OK. Buttoned it all up again, same problem. A friend thought he heard a much softer noise from the left also. Removed the right head, tore it down, checked everything (thinking maybe a bent/stuck valve), back together, same problem. In frustration bought a junk-yard head and slapped it on without any change - noise gone on the right side. Took the head off again, cleaned it well, made no adjustments, put it back on, right side noise gone.

But now there is that softer tick-tick-tick from the left side, so obviously clearance is not correct there also. Checked the junk yard (right side) head, and it seemed the intake was very small (2 thousands or so), but now I'm afraid to touch it and cause the thing to go back into bang-bang-bang mode --- and not sure what to do to correct the softer left side.

This isn't rocket science. 0.004 and 0.005. T1 timing mark with #1 rocker movement. What in the blazes can I be doing to mess this thing up ?????



sportsfreaked
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:23 am
Location: Independence, MO
Motorcycle: 1981 Honda Goldwing Interstate GL1100I
1985 Honda Goldwing Limited Edition gl1200

Re: Suicide by valve clearance

Postby sportsfreaked » Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:39 pm

Are you sure you are turning it 360 degrees and not 180 degrees when adjusting the valve clearance?
Thanks to all who answer and help. It is greatly appreciated!
Ed

dlpweb3
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:46 pm
Location: San Diego
Motorcycle: gl1100 '81

Re: Suicide by valve clearance

Postby dlpweb3 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:31 pm

Yeah. #1 rockers move. Also, starts and idles fine, which would be terrible if 180 off.

Driving me crazy!

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Mh434
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1981 GL1100I
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Re: Suicide by valve clearance

Postby Mh434 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:36 pm

Usually, a penchant for eating head gaskets is because of a warped head. If someone in the past has had the heads shaved, poorly (i.e., not perfectly flat), that would explain why valves touch pistons (head is now a little short), why it eats gaskets (not planed true, so it has weak spots for the gasket), and why a replacement head fixed the side it was put on (it has none of the foregoing issues).

The next time you have the left side head off, I'd take it to a machine shop & have them check it to see if it's true.

Or, source a left-side head, and swap that one out too...which would likely solve the problem permanently.

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RBGERSON
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had every year from 75 to 83

Re: Suicide by valve clearance

Postby RBGERSON » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:55 am

engine must be dead cold to set valves..over night cold..
HAD LOTS OF GOLDWING 75-83
NOW INTO 1500'S..RIDING A 1998 SE

FAIR WINDS,
RB

dlpweb3
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Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:46 pm
Location: San Diego
Motorcycle: gl1100 '81

Re: Suicide by valve clearance

Postby dlpweb3 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:04 am

Thanks, Mh434 & RBGerson, for responding. At my wits ends and appreciate the comments.

1. Every time (except this one) the head gasket has leaked I've taken the heads to a shop specializing in rebuilding cylinder heads. They always check for warpage - have on a few occasions milled the surface. This time i just checked myself.

Where the head gaskets ALWAYS break down is between the two liners, on the engine (not the head) side of the gasket. That small, 1/2 " space, always ends up with the gasket material being eaten away, or disintegrating, or something. I thought maybe the cylinder liners were moving with respect to each other, but there is a little welded piece of metal you can see if you look down into the block that connects the 2 liners, and on both sides it looks intact (no movement in the liners).

2. Always check clearance dead cold. Have been thinking of maybe just tweaking the clearance down until the tapping stops, forgetting what they measure. Argggggg !




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