Troubleshoot Poorboy


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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keikel
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Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I

Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby keikel » Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:18 am



I am having difficulty getting Poorboy alternator kit to run. Clearances and alignment issues. First try lasted 150 miles and left me stranded with a hole in the radiator.

I'd like to know how long I can run this 87 GL1200I without the radiator and fan so I can run the alternator without the radiator and fan in the mix.



f1xrupr
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby f1xrupr » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:02 am

Poorboy conversions are out of my league (although I think you must slightly relocate your radiator), however, due to the by-metal design of the culinder bores (steel and aluminum), their thickness (vary thin), and their absolute dependency on coolant being present during operation, I believe your chances of destroying your engine by trying that are tremendous!
Edit....without coolant, your temp gauge will not function properly, and will still show cold while your engine locks up!!
My exercise bike is a goldwing.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:07 am

If you've got coolant in the engine (and just plumb the radiator input directly to the output, skipping the radiator), I wouldn't run the engine for more than a minute or two at most.

Do not attempt to run the engine without coolant. It depends on the water jacket to distribute heat evenly, and will rapidly seize without it.

keikel
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby keikel » Wed Oct 07, 2015 11:01 am

I wasn't considering eliminating the radiator permanently. I am trying to get the alternator aligned and working smoothly before re-installing the radiator. I want to run the bike in neutral and wondered whether damage would occur immediately, after a few seconds, after 1 minute, 5 minutes, etc.

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mrtwowheel
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby mrtwowheel » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:33 pm

Clearances and alignments are strait forward. Why do you need to run the bike? A straight edge tool placed on your crankshaft pulley will show you if the alternator pulley is in line with it, calculate to the center of the pulley grooves. Meanwhile take your radiator to a radiator shop. All clearances are real close on every part going back on. Did you cut away some of the fan shroud? Some of the fan blade has to be changed too to clear something, don't remember what. There are 1/8" and 1/4" clearances everywhere. One thing I know, The Denso alternator has more good points than the Hitachi.

Scott

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Whisky
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby Whisky » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:20 am

I installed one, Is it a poor boy or is it a put together one? If it is a poor boy it should have the studs for the bottom of the radiator. Do not tighten them all the way down. You can use washer or just turn them out and hold them in place when you tighten them. You also have to alter the fan cover and distance to the radiator itself. Again, a washer or two will work. If I was in your shoes I would go on to ebay and get a replacement, Unless you can find someone who still repairs radiators. I do not think I would run it with out it unless it was really cool out. You never know if it will mess it up. I hope this helps.

keikel
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Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 10:16 am
Location: Easton, PA
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I

Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby keikel » Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:23 pm

Thanks!
It is an authentic Poorboy complete kit. I suspected the resulting clearances after just using kit materials were too slim. I thought the pulley was too close to the covers ... Turns out it was, rubbing the right side cover enough to show signs of wear on the cover and the pulley. I hope I can reuse the pulley. I plan to put the flat washer that is on the end of the pulley behind the pulley as a spacer and use a generic flat washer on the end. I thought the fan bracket was too close to the belt. Turns out it was, chewing up the belt and the bracket, sending shrapnel into the radiator. I know now the radiator needs to move forward a bit more. It is disappointing that Don doesn't specify clearances in the kit instructions. I realize the experienced mechanic makes these adjustments naturally, but I am far from being an experienced mechanic. I followed the instructions carefully and trusted them implicitly. My mistake. So I learn the hard way. I bought another radiator, fan bracket and belt. I anticipate having a bit of a challenge aligning the alternator with the new pulley position. Someone posted they slotted the holes in the upper bracket to align the alternator. Is that the best solution? I am thankful that I enjoy wrenching. It makes me think of the days I spent working with my Dad 40 years ago. Otherwise I'd be so bummed right now. Thanks to forums like this I maintain hope. Keep the comments coming.

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mrtwowheel
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby mrtwowheel » Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:05 pm

To answer Jimi Hendrix, "I have been experienced". I wouldn't move that washer, maybe grind a few microns from the cover in the spot that rubs, what the heck, it's already got a hole in it, you'll need every 1/000th of an inch available. Grind off a little, turn the motor with a wrench, use a piece of paper or a business card for a feeler gauge, seriously.

The spacer at the motor mount has more to do with positioning the alternator than the bracket. Forget the bracket for now, get the motor mount spacer right, checking the alignment with the motor mount bolt tight, then adjust the bracket. I'd say you could err about 1/4" pulley to pulley, less than 3/16" would be better.

Scott

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mrtwowheel
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby mrtwowheel » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:24 pm

Placing the alternator.....I did mine from scratch, to tweak the motor mount spacer I used a disc sander with the disc 90 degrees to the table and a piece of scrap clamped 90 degrees to the disc to keep the spacer square. Alternator too far forward-won't fit in the fairing, I ground some plastic from the grilled area. Alternator too far back-collides with the carb, I took a lot of plastic from the inside of that lower back cover and some metal from the thin cover at the back of the Denso alternator.

I know that none of this makes any sense to someone that hasn't done it. That's why there are NO, NO, good instructions to be found about this. But, I'd do it again, maybe even for someone else.

Scott

wevans422
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Re: Troubleshoot Poorboy

Postby wevans422 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:20 am





I found this vid on youtube. So far it is the mos visually comprehensive thing I have found on the poorboy installation. I hope it helps. If the link above vails, try this (copy & paste).




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