The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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made2care
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1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:21 am



So, my recent purchase of my 1981 gl1100 was exciting. I really enjoy the adventure part whereby I travel the land in search of these old bikes. I paid hardly anything for this one, but it appears as though she could have some issues and for the price, I don't mind.
This is what I have done so far. I will also try to post a video later.
Bike starts but had a loud knocking. After I changed the oil and spark plugs, the knocking reduced considerably , so that's a good sign.
She was low on antifreeze so I topped her off and let idle and then the problems started. I first noticed oil in the radiator and then some white smoke appearing around the headers. Also, one muffler has a small amount of white smoke but not too bad. Plan is to flush radiator with approved chemical wash, fill with water and check again. There is nothing leaking from weep hole.
Now, the only "mechanical" work I've done on a goldwing was a new water pump install, so if this turns out to be head gaskets, I would be walking through uncharted waters, but hey, I wanted a "winter project" right.
If it is the head gasket(s), could i simply remove valve covers and check for signs of water?
Thanks again for your help.

p.s. when i drained the oil , it appeared to be lighter than normal but not chocolate. I did add some seafoam before draining though.



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made2care
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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:54 am

Ran her again this morning before going to work. Radiator is now overflowing so could be thermostat? or water pump? or both. this engine sounds strong but still have a little smoke out of one muffler but not too bad. will post video later.

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby dingdong » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:44 am

Oil in the radiator, radiator overflow, smoke are a classic signs of a bad head gasket. Removing valve covers probably won't reveal anything that inspecting the old oil didn't uncover. What did the old plugs look like? By the way, coolant in the oil doesn't always and may not turn to "chocolate milk". Modern oils and coolants react differently than they did in the past.
Tom

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made2care
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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:57 am

dingdong wrote:Oil in the radiator, radiator overflow, smoke are a classic signs of a bad head gasket. Removing valve covers probably won't reveal anything that inspecting the old oil didn't uncover. What did the old plugs look like? By the way, coolant in the oil doesn't always and may not turn to "chocolate milk". Modern oils and coolants react differently than they did in the past.

Old plugs were black not oily . Looked normal

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby dingdong » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:17 am

That's a good sign. A compression test might also reveal a problem with a head gasket. Oil and coolant mix, like you suspect, could also be a bad water pump seal. Any smoke, external or from exhaust may go away after running for a while. Any idea how long the bike sat before you bought it? And....... I hate to say it but.......here it comes....... you need to change the timing belts.
Tom

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1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:32 am

dingdong wrote:That's a good sign. A compression test might also reveal a problem with a head gasket. Oil and coolant mix, like you suspect, could also be a bad water pump seal. Any smoke, external or from exhaust may go away after running for a while. Any idea how long the bike sat before you bought it? And....... I hate to say it but.......here it comes....... you need to change the timing belts.

The po had it for 3 years and I believe it sat for about a year.
He did mention that the po before him removed the engine and did some work on it , I asked specifically what he did and he mentioned something about replacing stator and cleaning up engine. A new starter was also installed.
I've never done a compression test but I will go ahead and get the gauge and test. Are head gaskets relatively easy to replace or would I be better off looking for a different engine. But then again I could run into the same issue.

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby dingdong » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:52 am

Don't get in a hurry to replace the head gasket. Need to determine if that is the problem first. If it turns out to be a head gasket they aren't difficult to replace. You just have to be meticulous with your work. Honda OEM gaskets are a must also.

*Oil in cooling system. (small amount could also be water pump seal)
*coolant in oil. (small amount could also be water pump seal)
*Compression check. Looking for low compression on one cylinder compared to the others. (In your circumstance with unknown engine, low compression could be something else)
*Presence of bubbles in coolant when running engine with radiator cap removed caused by compression leak.
*White smoke or steam on start up, sweet smell of glycol out of exhaust.
*Look for presence of antifreeze inside cylinder. Inspect through plug hole.

Are we having fun yet?
Tom

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

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made2care
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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:37 am

Thanks for the tips Dingdong, i will check through some of this today and let you know the outcome. Lots of fun :P

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1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:12 pm

here's the video of what's happening.




Notice coolant bubbling and overflow along with white smoke from left tailpipe . tell me what you think.

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:21 pm

I cannot see the video from work - so will have a look when I get home tonight.

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:04 am

Classic head gasket signs.
While being tedious the head gasket job isn't too bad.
Do both sides, seems like these things like to wait 6 months after your done, then the other side will blow.
I would replace the oil seals (2) and the cap seal (1). These don't come with the top end kits.
Also do the valve seals, which come with the kits. Lapping and polishing the valves is also time consuming, but the results are worth it. The learning curve is low and its cheap to do. Nice videos on U- tube.
Be anal when you tourqe the head bolts, make sure you do them in sequence, tighten to correct setting, and be sure to retighten after your first run. Grease on the threads and under the bolt heads will assist in getting a correct "set".
Thermostat and rad hoses can be replaced while your in there, even if they look O.K.
And the timing belts should be replaced if you have no idea of the age.
Other than that, you don't have much to do! :D
Let us know how it goes. Regards, Johnny

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby dingdong » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:07 am

I'd say that's confirmation of a bad head gasket. Bubbling coolant is classic symptom. Physically that bike looks better than many I have seen. Good luck! Remember Honda OEM only.

In the "How To" section. viewtopic.php?f=11&t=14868
Tom

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1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:32 am

Thanks again guys for verifying. This helps and would be my first attempt but since i replaced a waterpump, I think this can be done. Appreciate the tips. will keep you posted.

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made2care
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1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:47 am

Johnyy Smoke wrote:Classic head gasket signs.
While being tedious the head gasket job isn't too bad.
Do both sides, seems like these things like to wait 6 months after your done, then the other side will blow.
I would replace the oil seals (2) and the cap seal (1). These don't come with the top end kits.
Also do the valve seals, which come with the kits. Lapping and polishing the valves is also time consuming, but the results are worth it. The learning curve is low and its cheap to do. Nice videos on U- tube.
Be anal when you tourqe the head bolts, make sure you do them in sequence, tighten to correct setting, and be sure to retighten after your first run. Grease on the threads and under the bolt heads will assist in getting a correct "set".
Thermostat and rad hoses can be replaced while your in there, even if they look O.K.
And the timing belts should be replaced if you have no idea of the age.
Other than that, you don't have much to do! :D
Let us know how it goes. Regards, Johnny


Where might I find an Oem top end gasket kit

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Johnyy Smoke » Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:53 pm

As far as I know Honda no longer makes a kit. So you buy piece by piece.
Athena makes one for around $100. I used it and have no complaints.
Regards, Johnny

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Grindl » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:09 pm

I have also used the Athena top-end kits , and found no problems with the product . I would like to add a piece of info that most never mention . I've learned over the years to be OCD when it comes to cleaning up ALL your hardware before you start to re-assemble .Wire brush all the threads of your bolts , unless they are chromed and wash them to remove any contaminants . And purchase a tube of clear RTV Silicone seal . A must-have for any top-end work . Just use sparingly , and thank me later . :lol: :lol: :lol:
Last but not least ; Add five pounds to the torque setting of your head bolts .

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby dingdong » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:23 am

Grindl wrote:I have also used the Athena top-end kits , and found no problems with the product . I would like to add a piece of info that most never mention . I've learned over the years to be OCD when it comes to cleaning up ALL your hardware before you start to re-assemble .Wire brush all the threads of your bolts , unless they are chromed and wash them to remove any contaminants . And purchase a tube of clear RTV Silicone seal . A must-have for any top-end work . Just use sparingly , and thank me later . :lol: :lol: :lol:
Last but not least ; Add five pounds to the torque setting of your head bolts .


Hmmm! Just out of curiosity. What do you use the RTV for and why add 5 lbs to head bolt torque???
Tom

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:42 am

RTV is not required, and should not be used for head gaskets. If you have properly cleaned the head and block, and both are flat, even surfaces (which they should be unless you overheated and warped something), the interface between the head/block and the gasket (which has its own pressure/heat activated adhesive) is all that is needed to properly seal.

Also, over-torquing the bolts can over-compress the gasket causing yet another head gasket failure, as well as imprint the gasket upon the soft aluminum head and block. If the instructions are followed (clean and moly lube the threads and bottom of head bolts), the exact factory torque values will give you a perfect seal that will last for years. No over-torquing or RTV required.

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Grindl » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:31 pm

I guess the post was mis-understood . The RTV is used on the water jacket pipes and other water related fittings . NEVER ON HEAD GASKETS . Most head gaskets for our bikes are graphite coated and require no sealant of any kind , unless specified by the mfg.

Diference of opinion regarding torque values , and I'm good with that . Mine comes from thirty-five years of building motors from junk-yard parts that have been sitting in desert junk-yards that long , and have to be completely refurbished before starting rebuilds . Blocks "Decked" , and Heads "shaved" and lapped , to even be able to use them . Have had to install / remove / install / remove all sorts of water related pipes , manifolds , and hose connections , ad nauseum , to get them to quit leaking , till a Honda dealer mechanic told me to try using RTV on the water feed pipes and water manifolds on top the heads .

Guess a appropriate question at this point is : Are you attempting to do a head gasket replacement without a manual ? Because all three of my Honda manuals makes mention of the PROPER usage of RTV , and it's correct applications . Sorry you misunderstood the post and it's meaning .

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1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:43 am

Another question. I checked the water pump and it appears as though the original has been replaced. I also cleaned out the weep hole and no oil or coolant is leaking out of that. Could there still be a leak coming from water pump housing or in that vicinity. I'm simply doing process of elimination before i tear into the heads.
Thanks

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made2care
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1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:59 am

and yet another question. Can i just remove the cylinder head or must i remove all the stuff in the timing belt area- rocker shaft holders , etc?

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Grindl » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:54 pm

Proper dis-assembly procedures are listed in most every manual for replacing a head gasket .
Assuming you have already removed the Fairing , Lowers , Seat and "Tank Cover" ; you must either partially or fully remove the radiator to gain access to the timing belt cover bolts . And that means draining the radiator . Now :
#1. Remove Access plug on alternator cover to access 12mm bolt .
#2. Remove Timing Access Plug ( top deck of motor below fuel filter )
#3. Rotate motor w/12mm bolt on Alternator ( CLOCK-WISE ONLY ) to "T" mark of TDC on #1 cylinder , using a 3/8" ratchet and 12mm socket .
When you think you are "there".....Remove rocker box covers . Both intake and exhaust rockers on #1 cylinder should be loose . A very minor movement . If either rocker is tight , rotate the motor 1 full revolution to come back to #1 "T" mark . Re-check cam belt timing marks .
#4. remove timing belt covers and check timing marks on belt pulleys . If you are on #1 TDC , the left side pulley timing marks will match , and the right side mark will be very close to match-up , slightly ahead , or slightly behind the timing mark . ( Right and Left are determined as though you were sitting on the bike . Not standing in front of it )
If you have correct matching timing marks at all locations , you are in "Time" at TDC on #1 cylinder . And Yes ! One or both of your timing belts is going to have to be removed to remove the head . But you do not have to remove the cam or rockers , unless you find evidence that valve guides need to be replaced , after the head has been removed from the motor .
#5. Remove air deflector to access carb hose intake clamps.
#6. Loosen clamps on Carb intake hoses of the head to be removed .
#7. Remove 4 ( four) 10mm bolts of intake Air Horns located on top of head ; and rotate air horns out of way .
#8. Remove 2 ( Two ) 8mm bolts holding water manifold to head . Slip wooden or plastic hammer handle under water pipe close to manifold , and lift / pry to release manifold from head . Rotate and Pull water pipe from central manifold block .
Unless I've over-looked something , the next step is removal of the 8mm or 10 mm bolt at the underside of the head , followed by removal of the six head bolts .

I have tried to be precise and accurate with these instructions but REVIEW your manual .

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made2care
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1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:33 pm

thanks for the info. I have the radiator off and just used the crank in the front to get it to T1. Left appears to be off a tooth.

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Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby Grindl » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:58 pm

At the risk of sounding a little OCD , you need to "set" #1 TDC off of the Fly-wheel markings to verify you have TDC on #1 cylinder . If you are using the crankshaft marks , you can be 180 degrees out and the marks will be close , but not "on the money". And the motor will be out of "timing" when you re-assemble it .
Wanderer ; there are no "short-cuts" when doing anything concerning timing on these motors . There is correct , and there is broken , if procedures aren't followed . Bent valves ,holes punched in pistons , broken cams , etc......If you don't have the manual ; purchase one . Before you spend a lot more money than the cost of the "Book" in broken parts from a in-correct build . Just sayin...

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made2care
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Honda VTX 1300- sold
Honda shadow Aero 1100- sold
1987 Honda Goldwing interstate "Sleeping Beauty"- sold
02 kawasaki vulcan 1500 drifter - sold
1997 Honda goldwing SE 1500 - AKA "Black Beard" (current)
1981 GL1100 - "The Wanderer"

Re: The Wanderer, might not be wandering anytime soon.

Postby made2care » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:06 am

Grindl wrote:At the risk of sounding a little OCD , you need to "set" #1 TDC off of the Fly-wheel markings to verify you have TDC on #1 cylinder . If you are using the crankshaft marks , you can be 180 degrees out and the marks will be close , but not "on the money". And the motor will be out of "timing" when you re-assemble it .
Wanderer ; there are no "short-cuts" when doing anything concerning timing on these motors . There is correct , and there is broken , if procedures aren't followed . Bent valves ,holes punched in pistons , broken cams , etc......If you don't have the manual ; purchase one . Before you spend a lot more money than the cost of the "Book" in broken parts from a in-correct build . Just sayin...



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