Do timing belts get bad with age.

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Do timing belts get bad with age.

Post by SAILOR » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:10 pm

I just bought a GL1200 with only 24,000 miles. Runs great, but I have to wonder how long those timing belts last. I've swapped out the timing belt on my old GL1200A. A lot of work removing the radiator and what not, so I really don't want to swap out the belts just yet on my new GL1200. At how many miles should they be changed? Do timing belts get bad with age? Does it make sense to change the timing belts even thought I'm not at the normal maintenance milage?

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Re: Do timing belts get bad with age.

Post by themainviking » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:39 pm

Anything made of rubber gets bad with age. The timing belt on your new to you 1200 is 28 or so years old. You could be lucky. I have been with the final drive belt on my 1987 Harley Softail. It is still original, but I am not in danger of throwing my timing totally off by running it. If t'were me, I would change it.
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Re: Do timing belts get bad with age.

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:59 pm

They absolutely get bad with age. Just like tires, which you should replace when they age even if they aren't worn.

The thing about belts is that if one DOES fail (and they do fail), there's a fair chance you can kiss your engine goodbye. It's not a nice job, changing the belts, but you've done it once already, so you'll be much faster the second time. :)

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Re: Do timing belts get bad with age.

Post by Roleketu » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:03 pm

When in doubt, change the timing belts. Last month I had one of the timing belts snap. The 1200's are interference motors. Meaning when one cam doesn't turn and the other side does things jam up. I ended up with a bent intake valve and a cracked valve guide. I was lucky, got a nice used head from EBay for $50, and another $50 for gaskets and she up and running. I could do timing belts in an hour or two tops. It's worth the time. Any auto parts store should have them, Gates Part Number is 5043 or T070, Goodyear - 40272.

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Re: Do timing belts get bad with age.

Post by Octarine » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:35 pm

I just got a 1986 Aspencade with only 9100 miles on it and I changed the belts before I took it for it's first ride. Better safe than sorry. I wouldn't say it's a difficult job, just tedious with all the plastic to remove. The hardest thing for me was making sure all the marks lined up as I was reinstalling the bolts. Zip tying the end of a box wrench to keep the right pulley from moving was a huge time saver. I probably spent too much time checking and rechecking but I've put 250 miles on it so far and she purrs nice at speed...

Gotta clean up the almost certainly clogged up slow jets - my next project.

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