Piston rings


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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86pearlblue
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Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Motorcycle: 1986 gl1200a

Piston rings

Postby 86pearlblue » Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:49 am



In the process of rebuilding my 1200A, I decided to clean out the grooves in the pistons. during the removal of the rings, I broke one. I decided then that replacing all the rings would be a good idea, in the interest of a complete rebuild. With this in mind, I did not keep track of which rings went on which pistons. As it turns out, Honda has discontinued production of these ring sets. Searches for NOS have turned up nothing. After much research, I have found a manufacturer here in the states that makes rings for many applications, mostly automotive. They have a set for Hyundai that matches cyl. bore and ring width sizes, even though it's not specifically for Honda motorcycles. My question here is two part.

1) Do you think this will be a suitable replacement?
2) should I still do all the cylinders, or can I reuse the ones I have, even though I did not keep track of what went where?

I should mention that close inspection of the cylinder walls have revealed that all are in very good condition, with no scoring and appear to be within tolerances for diameter and roundness.

Any input would be appreciated.



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

Re: Piston rings

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:21 am

There is a company called wingovations.com ( http://www.wingovations.com/ ) and they may have your rings.

As far as using "other" rings on your pistons, I can't answer your question.
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.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate
1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Piston rings

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:34 am

I did an Ebay search and found these pistons/connecting rods and rings:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/GL1200SEI-GL120 ... 67&vxp=mtr

There were plenty other options, although I didn't see "individual rings" for sale.
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.

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ct1500
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Re: Piston rings

Postby ct1500 » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:43 pm

What is the mileage on the motor? Have you also removed bearing caps and mixed those up too along with what piston went into what cylinder if the rods and caps have no markings from the factory, as I have no first hand knowledge specific to the 1200.
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SteveB123
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Location: Winchester, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 1982 1100I, 60A Poorboy, MSD coil

Re: Piston rings

Postby SteveB123 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 6:53 am

Since you're SOL on "Honda" rings, use what you can get. If it fits, it'll be fine.
If it was me, I'd have to change them all, since the originals can't be put back in their original bores.
Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
Previous: 93 GSX1100F Katana
82 GL500 Silverwing

PurpleGL1200
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Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Motorcycle: 1978 GL1000
1983 GL1100A
1984 GL1200I
1985 GL1200I

Re: Piston rings for GL1200

Postby PurpleGL1200 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:32 am

Found 1 ring on E-Bay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-Honda-Pisto ... _359wt_918

Please provide specifics on the Mitsubushi rings that may fit a GL1200.

I used 75 Honda Civic bearings to repair a GL1000; oil pressure is good and no knocks. Civic bearings were $12 a set versus GL1000 bearing not being available.

Cross-references are good!!

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86pearlblue
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Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Motorcycle: 1986 gl1200a

Re: Piston rings

Postby 86pearlblue » Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:51 am

Thanks. To answer ct1500's questions... there's 95k on the engine. All caps,rods, etc. have been duly marked for their position in the engine. It's just that I had figured on replacing all the rings, so didn't bother to mark them. Should have done the research FIRST!!

@ SteveB: That's kinda what I figured. The "engineer" in me said "close enough" but the damned scientist said "not exact" LOL!!!

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ct1500
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Re: Piston rings

Postby ct1500 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:03 am

Critical wear specific matched engine components would be the bearings and valve train, rings to a much less degree assuming no catastrophic engine event in its past such as an overheat, run low on oil or had the snot beaten out of it which would be evident from the cylinder walls or was an oil burner or had excessive blow-by.

If going with complete new rings from a different vehicle they may or may not be identical and of the same material. Ring end gaps may need to be tweaked along with the gap between land and ring which might be off. To seat a set of new rings the cylinder walls will need to have a cross hatch honed into it because if the rings don't seat you will be left with an under performing oil using engine likely worse off than before.

Assuming it was not a prior oil burner or had compression problems I would reuse those rings after checking end gaps in bores getting them closely matched to an individual cylinder and piston and replace just the one ring minimizing potential problems unless this is a successful well known practice for that particular engine. I would also be checking piston to bore clearances and the bores itself for the general health of the engine noting any ridges and amount of cross hatch left.

Oil control rings would be less critical than the upper compression rings which should be identifiable as a middle or upper ring and are specific up or down orientation by symbols, dots or chamfering.
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flash1942
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Motorcycle: '84 Aspencade

Re: Piston rings

Postby flash1942 » Sun Nov 23, 2014 10:05 am

In a pinch I have reused rings if the end gaps are within tolerances. I would suggest if you do that then crosshatch the bores with a ball type hone to create a proper surface for the rings to "break-in".

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86pearlblue
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Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Motorcycle: 1986 gl1200a

Re: Piston rings

Postby 86pearlblue » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:38 am

I think I'll hone the cylinders in any case. Thanks

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86pearlblue
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Re: Piston rings

Postby 86pearlblue » Sun Nov 23, 2014 12:16 pm

Thanks. It did burn oil when cold... occasionally, which I understand is a common malady for older wings. I had previously redone the heads (relapped the valves, new seals, etc.), so I deduced that the burning was due to a ring problem. When I removed the oil rings, there was a very noticeable build up in the grooves, so I assumed that the rings were "stuck" and therefore was the root of the problem. All the grooves have been now thoroughly cleaned and inspected.

To the best of my knowledge (which is only the past 10,000 mi.) there has been no catastrophic failure of any system, other than the charging system (which is why I elected to do the rebuild now). As I mentioned at the start, all cylinder walls are free of grooves, scoring, bluing etc. and appear to be in very good physical condition. Other than the smoke when cold and some minor performance issues (probably due to the bad main and rod bearings and the fact that the carbs need to be synced), it has been a good running machine.

The pistons and bore are well within the size/ diameter range given in the manual specs. Given this, and the fact that there's no discernible way to "rematch" the rings with the pistons, I think I will re-hone the walls, as suggested. This should, hopefully, allow the rings to wear-in to their new homes successfully.




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