timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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GLDavis3639
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - currently, back to Chiangmai, Thailand in December
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade,
2006 Suzuki 750 Katana
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timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby GLDavis3639 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:27 pm



This is a 1987 GL1200A Aspy. I bought it. The guy said it had been setting for some time. But that he had gone through it and had cleaned and synced the carbs. It started right up. I rode it a short bit. My wife liked it - she even climbed up on it for a photo. She hasn't been on one of my bikes since the last wing I owned back in the late 80's. I rode it home - just a few miles.

Only put a day and half of short rides. Less that 100 miles. Next morning a pool of oil leaking out the rear end and the starter was grabbing and then just quit. The starter I fixed with the DIY forum - it had zero brushes left -- just worn to nub.

My final drive was leaking - I pulled it out and found that the driven shaft gear was warn out - but the hub gears and the bearing in the wheel were fine. Not lubed well at all - even normal grease was scant. All I could figure is someone changed the tire - checked out the final drive and put it back together without much grease and maybe didn't get the driven shaft all the way seated into the "u" joint -- I don't know enough to say what was the problem.

So, I ordered a used driven shaft with the gears on it - and they look great. About $25 - but I'm waiting for it to get in.

In the mean time, I decided - OK. Better change all the fluids. Check gaskets, O'rings - looked on the forum and thought -- better do the timing belts first thing - drained the oil -- it looked like prehistoric. emptied the coolant -- it looked very bad. Pulled the covers to change the belts. They looked absolutely like brand new. But forums say -- you can't tell go ahead and replace them.

I cranked it to T-1 and noticed the left belt and gear (facing the bike from the front) was at least one notch behind Top Dead center when the T-1 was showing and the right belt/gear was dead on straight up. And this belt had quite a bit more slack on longer reach than the other.

OK. I pulled the first belt and then moved to the second. I absolutely could not get the adjustment wheel to break free. Tried hitting it with the punch at slight angle. Sprayed it carefully with some penetrating spray -- put a cheater on it. No go. I was literally tilting the bike off the center stand.

Yes, I am on the ground working on this beast on a raised 3X12 - and worse out in under just a carport. I hadn't planned on having to do that much to this thing to ride it.

So at this juncture with the belts looking not just good but, I know they say you can't tell condition - but I pulled that first one off and it was new, I think. At any rate, I had done all I could in my particular situation. I put it back on determined to line it up and take out the slack. But I confess, I think I may have made it worse. The belt/gear jumped when I was trying to adjust it -- I don't have the clamps to hold it all well, but was following the DIY from this forum about one hand to hold - anyway, it slipped.

I worked to get it lined up but the best I could do was to get it back to where it had been -- one notch (I hope only one notch) behind the other right side, but I got it at a more correct tightness/slack on the belt.

I started putting it all back on -- that is the minimum I need on the bike to test it out. I see the guide to put it in neutral, kill switch on, etc.

I don't have the fluids back in yet, but is there any safer way to test before I hit the starter switch? That is to be sure it isn't going to eat a valve stem or something?

I think I have read all the forum entries on this and watched the forum videos and any others I could find. But I am pretty nervous about hitting that starter. Any advice or similar experiences are appreciated in advance. My problem is I am running out of decent weather and I have to get back to my real job and don't want to have to haul this thing to storage somewhere.

Thankfully I have a 06' Katana 750 that is running great. But winter is a coming! Thanks.



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skier
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Location: Coon Rapids MN
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I 124k
2009 Honda Silverwing 14k -- the wife's scooter

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby skier » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:52 am

With the belts on, put a wrench on the crank pulley bolt and rotate it by hand, at least a couple of times. The engine will spin easily if the spark plugs are out. If you feel any interference, stop. If the engine rotates smoothly, put it back to T1 and check the cam gear marks.

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Fatwing Chris
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Motorcycle: 2004 ABS Model Goldwing

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:55 am

Just thinking out loud here,but if that belt tensioner bolt is completely seized then I doubt the belts have been done anytime in the recent past.Like everyone says,they usually look like new no matter how long they've been in there.The other thing is if the cam jumped on the one side you could have already bent a valve.I hope not,but that is why they have a tool to hold it.Hope I'm wrong.Good luck.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
Chris
Double Dark
Darkside # 1602

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HawkeyeGL1200
Posts: 918
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Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:02 am

You can also put the bike in gear, plugs out and rotate the engine by rolling the rear wheel.

I have to agree that the best course of action is to get that bolt out and replace the belts. I would think with the radiator off, you can get an impact wrench or impact driver on the bolt. It is painful at times to fix things correctly. You will be rewarded by a better running motorcycle if you get it timed correctly with new belts on it. If I were a gambling man, I'd bet the last guy managed to get the belt on (somehow) without taking the tensioner loose.. hence the frozen bolt, new belt and mis-timed camshaft.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

GLDavis3639
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - currently, back to Chiangmai, Thailand in December
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade,
2006 Suzuki 750 Katana
Contact:

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby GLDavis3639 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:08 am

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I guess sometimes you have to step away from your work and think on what you have done and maybe what you have undone. I took a day off to do that and in the meantime my computer died - so then I had another day. I decided I wouldn't get back to it till I heard from you guys on the forum. Thanks for the "possibilities" of what to do and what I may have already done.

I will go back to the task and get the adjuster loose and go from there.

Will I be doing more damage if I do the manual rotation test if there is a bent valve?

Also I have all the oil out of the bike right now. (It was not turning over completely smoothly when I pulled on it the last time before the adjustment) -- but I put some of that resistance to the fact the oil has been out a few days.
Should I put oil in? Or, should I spray some WD40 or Seafoam or something else into the sparkplug holes or down the oil filler port? The exhaust is totally off.

But let me ask, and this may not even make sense.
If I pulled the valve covers off and did a valve clearance check --( I know the 1987 has hydraulic adjustment - so not even sure you can check clearance) -- but if I did that would I be able to tell whether I bent a valve - by measuring clearance. Just trying to brainstorm some way to know for sure.

And on the other end of this rapidly becoming project bike -- I am waiting on parts to put my "yet to arrive" used driven shaft (with pretty clean gears on the end) back on the backside of this thing. And I was going to do the main oil seal and other while there.

But now I am thinking -- if the motor doesn't run without major work, I may have to part this thing out. I am only here in the U.S. till mid-December and then I go back overseas for a couple or three years. Being in Oklahoma in the fall to winter --(right now weather is great), but still I am out on a driveway under a simple carport and my "window" is going to close up on me one of these days. It all feels a little bit like a race.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Location: Courtland, Va.
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:36 am

I'm trying to think how rotating the engine would reveal a bent valve, and I can't come to any way of determining a bent valve without either a compression or leak-down check. If you tried to start the engine and it was out of time enough to bend a valve, you *MIGHT* be able to pull a spark plug and use one of those flexible cameras (I call 'em a bore-scope, but that's probably not the correct term) to inspect the piston and *MAYBE* the valves. I've never done it, but I've seen pictures where others have inspected their cylinder walls and pistons with them... apparently the price has dropped on them, and they make them that plug into a smart phone now??

If you turn the engine with a ratchet or by putting it into gear and rotate the back wheel... gently ...there should be low risk to damage anything.

Here's a "Endoscope" with a 90 degree mirror attachment for 10$ http://www.ebay.com/itm/5M-6-LED-USB-Wa ... 3ce1e22b88
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

GLDavis3639
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - currently, back to Chiangmai, Thailand in December
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade,
2006 Suzuki 750 Katana
Contact:

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby GLDavis3639 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:43 pm

Thanks again to you guys for the information - good suggestions. I got out there a couple of days ago and rechecked the belts and the lining up the T1 - they look very good. I put the starter back in for a test drive and did it several short bursts with off switch and neutral. Then, since I had fluids in the bike, I turned on the switch - more to see how the charged battery would do and the starter - recently rebuilt.

It shows turning the motor up to 320 rpms or so - that is with no plugs. I only did this a couple of times but there is what seems to be pretty even compression on all four spark plug holes. I will have everything back on and in the motor et al today I hope and give it a test start -- will keep you updated.

Happy Halloween!

GLDavis3639

GLDavis3639
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - currently, back to Chiangmai, Thailand in December
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade,
2006 Suzuki 750 Katana
Contact:

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby GLDavis3639 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:48 pm

OK. Since I am still having some final drive problems - (see other post) I got everything ready to test the motor -- and I just put the header pipes on - so I could still do whatever I need to on the south end of this beast.

Will running the bike stationary like that with just the headers do any damage to the engine? I just need to run it a bit and check the water pump isn't leaking and works and that I got the other stuff back together correctly.

The good news is. I just touch the starter and it is running - it likes to run. Very very happy about that!

Thanks

GLDavis3639

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Phavas
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Location: Maine
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000 x 2, 1977 GL1000 x 3, 1981 GL1100 Sidecar, CB750 K8 CB 550 K8, 1954 Velocette MSS, 1937 Velocette KSS, 1932 Norton 16, 1946 AJS 18, 1948 Vincent Rapide, BMW R 100 RT1, BMW GS 80, BMW R60/7, 1936 Halcyon 50, 2003 Triumph Trophy 1200, 1994 Honda CB750 twin cam and still looking...

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby Phavas » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:33 pm

One tooth won't bend a valve. A compression test will tell you if one is bent. HOWEVER: The marks should line up straight if both belts are the same length (unstretched) and the tensioners are working. Fudging it one tooth up on one side and a tooth down on the other will let it run, but you'll be chasing your tail in timing the engine.

I hvae found it a bit fiddly but fairly easy to get everything to line up if you do it one side at a time without plugs in.
Set up the right side first, then the left. You sho0uld be able to rotate the came sprocket by hand. Make sure you get your face down in front of the sprocket to check thatg it is indeed lined up and your not compensating for parallax.

Cheers,
PJH
Writing roughshod over the English language

GLDavis3639
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - currently, back to Chiangmai, Thailand in December
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade,
2006 Suzuki 750 Katana
Contact:

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby GLDavis3639 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:41 pm

Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I will do that next semi-warm day.
GLDavis3639

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Phavas
Posts: 60
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:02 pm
Location: Maine
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000 x 2, 1977 GL1000 x 3, 1981 GL1100 Sidecar, CB750 K8 CB 550 K8, 1954 Velocette MSS, 1937 Velocette KSS, 1932 Norton 16, 1946 AJS 18, 1948 Vincent Rapide, BMW R 100 RT1, BMW GS 80, BMW R60/7, 1936 Halcyon 50, 2003 Triumph Trophy 1200, 1994 Honda CB750 twin cam and still looking...

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby Phavas » Sun Nov 02, 2014 3:40 am

Post-script (hopefully no typos this time).
If you back the valves off it's even easier.
Then set them after the cams are properly positioned.
Cheers,
PJH
Writing roughshod over the English language

GLDavis3639
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:11 pm
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - currently, back to Chiangmai, Thailand in December
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200A Aspencade,
2006 Suzuki 750 Katana
Contact:

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby GLDavis3639 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:32 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. Cold weather has moved in for a few days. But in Oklahoma the weather flip flops often -- which right now I am thankful for.

Backing off the valves - the 87 has self adjusting valves - correct? So is the process still the same to back them off? How much? And if so, after doing that, do I set them back to the same tolerances and I'll be ready to go??

Thanks
GLDavis3639

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virgilmobile
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Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:24 am

You could "back off the valves" on the 1100 and reset them...I don't suggest this on the 1200.....Setting them is very time consuming.
I rotate the cam in the correct place with a wrench then clamp through the web with a "C" clamp to keep it there.
read more here...viewtopic.php?f=4&t=17517.

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Phavas
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Location: Maine
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000 x 2, 1977 GL1000 x 3, 1981 GL1100 Sidecar, CB750 K8 CB 550 K8, 1954 Velocette MSS, 1937 Velocette KSS, 1932 Norton 16, 1946 AJS 18, 1948 Vincent Rapide, BMW R 100 RT1, BMW GS 80, BMW R60/7, 1936 Halcyon 50, 2003 Triumph Trophy 1200, 1994 Honda CB750 twin cam and still looking...

Re: timing issues - timing belts - adjustment problems

Postby Phavas » Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:47 pm

Should have looked at the build date.
Forget backing off the valves. Just crank it over without the plugs in it.
Cheers,
Zaphod


Writing roughshod over the English language


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