steam


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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pointpounder
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:23 pm
Location: Farmington, NM
Motorcycle: 87 interstate

steam

Postby pointpounder » Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:41 pm



I have a 87 interstate. Been having over heating problems I think I have worped the heads and now have a coolant leak into the heads. white smoke comes out of the exhast at start up and gos away after a minute or two. Will the head gasket leaking case a over heating problem?



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feetup
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:15 pm
Location: West Coast of Canada
Motorcycle: 84 GL 1200I
75 GL 1000 (in pieces)
'02 Gas Gas Trials
'56 Norton 600

Re: steam

Postby feetup » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:53 am

It most certainly can cause over heating, but does not always.

The design of the head gaskets on the four cylinder wings is such that it can sometimes leak coolant into the cylinders when the engine is stopped and cooling down (causing a slight vacuum in the cooling system as everything shrinks again) but not leak compression gasses into the cooling system when hot and running.
Other times it will leak coolant when cooling, and compression gasses into the water jacket when running causing the system to blow coolant into (and sometimes right out of) the overflow tank. When this happens, it will draw air out of the cylinders past the gasket when cooling instead of drawing it back from the overflow tank and your coolant level will go down and down in the system but the overflow tank will still show normal level. Then you will overheat parts of the engine every time you run.

The incidence of head gasket failure on these nearly 30 year old bikes seems to be rising, and I suspect that soon a bike with original head gaskets will be as rare as one with the original stator. Part of the issue is that Honda elected to use a conventional head gasket design with an open top cylinder block. That is, that the cylinders are only connected to the block at their bases, with the water jacket all around, all the way to the top. This is a good system in regards to cooling, but whenever you really lug the engine or if detonation or pre-ignition occur, the cylinders will actually move very slightly in relation to the head, which makes it difficult for any head gasket to survive for the long term.

The good news in all this is that the heads seem to be very strong and not very many warp to the point of needing to be machined. That's not to say it doesn't happen, and they need to be checked carefully. Warping to about half of the manual spec, or any signs of pitting or erosion would indicate it is wise to have them cleaned up by removing the minimum amount of metal.

Feetup.

pointpounder
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:23 pm
Location: Farmington, NM
Motorcycle: 87 interstate

Re: steam

Postby pointpounder » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:10 am

Very comprehensive answer. thank you.


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