GL1200 starter removal


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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1stwing
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:33 am
Location: charleston, sc
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A Aspencade

GL1200 starter removal

Postby 1stwing » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:23 pm



I just read the DIY thread on removing the starter on a GL1200 and how to do it without removing the exhaust.
Here's my question - According to the Clymer Manual on my 1985 GL1200A Aspencade, you must remove the entire engine to remove the starter. They say that if you don't do this, "the starter drive sprocket and drive chain will move away from the hole in the engine rear cover and the motor cannot be reinstalled onto these 2 items".
Their procedure is to: 1. Remove the engine.
2. Remove the rear cover.
3. Remove the starter.
Is the manual correct in describing this procedure due to the problem with the Drive sprocket and chain, or is it indeed possible to remove the starter without having this problem?
Any input from someone experienced in this procedure would be GREATLY appreciated. I would rather not step on my own toes if I attempt this job.
Many thanks - Vince.



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virgilmobile
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Location: Denham Springs,La.
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 I
Previously owned
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: GL1200 starter removal

Postby virgilmobile » Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:38 pm

Yea..I read that too....
I don't think anybody has ever gone to that much trouble...
I did have the worse case gl1200 for removing the starter...it would not clear the exhaust stud.
Some found a sweet spot after much rotating and wiggling to get it out...
The point of the claim about the sprocket is correct tho...if the bike is left on the centerstand , the sprocket will drift off center making it all but impossible to fit the starter back onto the sprocket (it stays in the engine) unless you do one of two things...
Before you put the starter back on , put the bike on the sidestand..The angle it sets at will keep the sprocket centered...
Or (I've not tried this)hold a very large magnet on the back of the engine...right behind the sprocket...this is suppose to k
be able to let you keep it centered too.
As far as getting my starter off..I had to resort to removing the starter from the gear head while it was still behind the exhaust.
After I repaired it,I put the gear head back on the bike and slipped the motor in place...I did wrestle it about to get the screws back on but all and all it took much less time than removing the exhaust headers and studs let alone the engine.

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1stwing
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:33 am
Location: charleston, sc
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: GL1200 starter removal

Postby 1stwing » Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:45 am

virgilmobile -
Thanks a LOT for replying to this. Everything you say makes perfect sense and certainly gives me a place to start.
Looks like it's worth a try. Worst case scenario would be to have to remove the engine after-the-fact.
I have a TowPac Instatrike kit on my 85 1200A so it would keep the bike upright during the operation, without having to resort to the center stand, and hopefully maintain position on the sprocket and chain. Might even think about putting a small board under each of the "trike" wheels to give it a little forward lean as an aid to maintaining position.
Not having any problems at this time, but I'm printing out the DIY and your response to put in my "Book Of Stuff To Know" reference section in the shop.
If you ever make it to the Charleston, SC. area, shoot me an email and we can get together. retsoon.vl@gmail.com...
Thanks again and ride safely.
Vince.

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SilverDave
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:39 am
Location: Langley, BC
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200 GoldWing Aspy

Re: GL1200 starter removal

Postby SilverDave » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:59 pm

A) The secret is NOT to have it vertical , or on the centerstand , nor upright from 2 back trike wheels, but to have it leaning strongly to the left (not front )
Before I started my repairs , I was advised to put both front and back wheels on a 3/4 board, and lean it to the left on the side stand .
With this amount of lean , it slipped back into the hanging sprocket with no problem .

With a trike, I would put at least a 2+ inch board under only the right back wheel .

B) I removed and re-installed mine with just an elaborate series of wiggles and turns, but on a friend's GL1200, we finally had to remove the exhaust . Different years have slightly different size starter bodies, I guess. Be VERY careful with exhaust bolts ... they get really stuck in there . I used a double-nut trick, and paraffin wax/ gentle heat.

No, I don't know exactly why a few drops of warm candle wax should free up a stuck exhaust bolt better than WD-40..... but it does.

C) Once it was out , I found an Auto electrical guy who cleaned it, installed new brushes, re did the bearings , bench tested it for a song.
( less than $30 about 7 years ago) .
Probably worth while , unless you really like fiddling with the dirty old starter grease/graphite thats packed in there for 25 years .

D ) I was also advised, before starting , to borrow / buy a inch-pound torque wrench for the starter bolts .... they are really small and very fragile , and very easily snapped off.. My manual says they are to be SNUGGED to only 8 ft-lbs or something , which is below where a regular torque wrench accurately reads ... That would be about 90 inch-lbs .

Good Luck

SilverDave

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1stwing
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:33 am
Location: charleston, sc
Motorcycle: 1985 GL1200A Aspencade

Re: GL1200 starter removal

Postby 1stwing » Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:49 pm

SilverDave -
WOW. Thanks for this info. I understand what we're looking at much better now. I can ensure the lean with no problem.
Great info. about the torque on the bolts. I have an inch pound torque wrench in the shop for just that reason. Many small bolts call for a proper torque that is well below the range of an inch pound wrench.
I've printed this and added it to the section in my shop book of "How To".
Thanks again and ride safe.
Vince.




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