1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike


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1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:48 pm



After having done a lot of work/maintenance on the '85, there is still some movement in the rear of the bike when I start off. It is less noticeable then before I did the work/maintenance, but I do notice it. I will ride it for a bit, then I think I'll check the swing arm bearings (be able to do some cleaning in that area as well - needs it). I did check the left side of the swing arm today and was able to tighten the left side pivot bolt a bit. Don't know what this is indicating, but I'll wait and check it in a few weeks. Intend to scour the forums to gather as much information as I can on possible swing arm issues that may give me insight and a way ahead (much like I did for all the other work. Even looking into the cush damper system. Cheers


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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:47 am

Was the swingarm pivot obviously "loose" or just not torqued to spec?

Have you checked driveline lash amounts, to see if that is where the noise is coming from?

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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:09 am

WingAdmin wrote:Was the swingarm pivot obviously "loose" or just not torqued to spec?

Have you checked driveline lash amounts, to see if that is where the noise is coming from?


The pivot pin turned easier then I thought it should. My experience is that when a pin, bolt, etc is torqued - you should not be able to turn it without coming on to it substantially. Going to put the torque wench on the left pivot pin today. Hopefully the pin has not been loose too long but if so, I'll change the bearings - will post results. Went to my local Honda dealer and the cost per bearing is $68.00 (Timken). Called up my local NAPA auto parts and the equivalent SKF is $35.00.

When I was putting the FD back together, I did read up on the backlash and such. Will be doing more research on this to see what I need to have on hand to do the checks.

I have found a driveshaft and u-joint (apparently low mileage and from an ASPY) online that is reasonable and quoted in CDN dollars. I am also considering an FD unit if I could find one at a reasonable price so I could rebuild it. The only bearing that I would have to go to Honda for is the pinion shaft bearing as it appears to be proprietary to the Honda requirement.

I can't think of anything else that could produce a movement in the rear of he bike other than the cush dampers in the wheel. This will be a little harder to rectify.

Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:31 pm

Checked the left pivot bolt torque - at spec (19 Nm - 14 ft-lbs). Left pivot bolt lock nut at spec (90 Nm - 65 ft-lbs).

Going for a ride.

Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:29 pm

Out today riding two up and still trying to figure out the "clunk" in the back that is there only when starting out. It appears to be directly behind my feet in the area of the swing arm bearings. Thinking it would not be a bad idea to change the swing arm bearings considering these may be 32 years old. Other than this annoying issue (only because I haven't found the source yet), the bike operated well riding two up. Cheers.
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby julimike54 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 3:47 pm

Is clunk made louder or not by the speed of clutch engagement? Occur if slow speed roll on, ie rolling to stop, clutch pulled in, almost stop then engage clutch? Rear brake engaged or not with clunk noise? Also, with bike on center stand and in gear, if you try to rotate rear wheel either direction do you hear the noise?
Last edited by julimike54 on Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby oldishwinger » Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:12 pm

a clink sound at the rear of our 1200's is commonly caused by a worn drive flange at the rear wheel, or the cushions inside the drive flange being dry/worn. its a commonly missed area, and if not kept greased, it will wear eventualy causing the clink you are hearing. use moly past 60 sparingly here as too much will stop the flange being put back on. its not a bad idea to have the flange checked for grease when changing the tire.

very glad to hear the bike is running well for you.

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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:37 pm

julimike54 wrote:Is clunk made louder or not by the speed of clutch engagement? Occur if slow speed roll on, ie rolling to stop, clutch pulled in, almost stop then engage clutch? Rear brake engaged or not with clunk noise? Also, with bike on center stand and in gear, if you try to rotate rear wheel either direction do you hear the noise?


It's not actually a sound, it's an actual movement of something behind my feet in the rear (you could call it a clunk). It only happens on start in first gear, never at any other time. I do not hear any noise when I rotate the rear wheel when on the centre stand. Even when I have it in gear on the centre stand, there is no noise or movement. I went for a ride on the weekend, two up, and the movement was the same as when I am alone. It does differ a bit depending on the rpm I engage the clutch at, the higher the rpm and slipping the clutch there seems to be less of movement.

I will check the rear end with the bike in gear but not operating.

I will be taking the rear end off again to check the condition of the swing arm bearings. I do intend to change the swing arm bearings as these are 30 years old. These bearings do not rotate like those used on wheels, but I think these oscillate back and forth with the swing arm going up and down - will find out.

Everything I've done so far has been an improvement, and has made for a much better ride. The new pinion shaft bearing made a significant difference in the smoothness of the drive system, especially when I let off the throttle, as did the maintenance of the drive line.

More to follow. Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:47 pm

oldishwinger wrote:a clink sound at the rear of our 1200's is commonly caused by a worn drive flange at the rear wheel, or the cushions inside the drive flange being dry/worn. its a commonly missed area, and if not kept greased, it will wear eventualy causing the clink you are hearing. use moly past 60 sparingly here as too much will stop the flange being put back on. its not a bad idea to have the flange checked for grease when changing the tire.

very glad to hear the bike is running well for you.


When I first took the drive line apart, everything seemed to be well greased/lubed. I cleaned everything and used moly paste when I put it back together including the flange pins. On the second removal, I found the pinion shaft bearing was worn and replaced it - made a difference in the smoothness of the drive line when I let off the throttle. I also read that a 2 to 3 inch play in the rear wheel when turned is acceptable.

Next step in the process is the swing arm bearings. Be starting on this tomorrow.

Did have a discussion with the guys at the local Honda dealer about the cush drive. I explained how Honda did not have any replacement parts for this, and that it generally required a change of the rim. They were surprised and had a good look at the parts fiche as well. I still haven't given up on finding replacement cush dampers as these had to come from some manufacturer. Hope to get a measurement of the cush dampers this time and carry on with my search - will also check Yamaha, Kawasaki and the likes. Not willing to give up quite yet.

Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:29 pm

julimike54 wrote:Is clunk made louder or not by the speed of clutch engagement? Occur if slow speed roll on, ie rolling to stop, clutch pulled in, almost stop then engage clutch? Rear brake engaged or not with clunk noise? Also, with bike on center stand and in gear, if you try to rotate rear wheel either direction do you hear the noise?


Went out into the garage, put the bike in first gear and moved the rear wheel back and forth. The wheel moved about two inches in either direction and there is a definite "clunk" noise. I will have to get a stethoscope to hear exactly where it s, but it does sound like it is coming from the driveshaft/u-joint area. Did not sound like it was coming from the FD. I have ordered a new spring for the driveshaft where it fits into the u-joint - thinking I'll replace it when the drive comes out - don't last forever.

Did notice that when I moved the rear wheel back and forth, it did feel to have a "spring" to it, sort of like a rubber band was attached - cush dampers working?

Good news is I will not be taking the swing arm off yet. Have all the parts for a bearing change, but this can wait (next winter project - bearings all round).
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:05 pm

Been doing more research. I have been scouring the forums for information on the infamous GL1200 "clunk" in the rear drive. Lots of information and help to be found. In doing this I have decided to look at the drive line as a whole. The GL1200 drive line has a lot of splines in a very short span. The following pictures are used for descriptive purposes.

The first spline(s) to be found are on the final gear shaft. There is one on the output end that the u-joint fits onto, but also one in the middle of the shaft that the damper cam fits on:
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:35 pm

Pressed the submit button too early.

Here is the final gear shaft again:

The damper cam fits over the splines in the middle of the shaft and then there is the damper spring assembly, all of which is inside the engine case:

Since these are rarely taken apart, the wear should be evenly distributed and if not disturbed, should not be an issue. I say "disturbed" because when an item is disassembled and cleaned, it can react differently then before this was done.

I was discussing this with a friend over breakfast this morning and he mentioned that he was told by his father years ago that when you disassemble a drive line, make sure to put match marks on the various components so that when you put them back together, the components are oriented the same as when disassembled. This would ensure that the differences in how an item wears in a certain spot is maintained, not changed. This would be nice, but the install of the drive line components for the GL1200 is a "blind" install at best.

The rest of the splines are the ones that are discussed on a regular basis, especially for the need to keep lubricated with moly paste. This is the drive shaft that fits into the FD pinion joint. It may be good if the driveshaft is replaced, to also put in a new pinion joint on the FD, or try to get the used pinion joint that the drive shaft was installed in. Here are the pictures of the drive shaft and FD pinion joint:


The drive line now turns 90 degrees in the FD through gearing. This picture shows the pinion bearing:
This picture shows the main gear ring (in the fiche it shows the pinion and main gear as a set):


The last spline area is between the wheel flange and the FD as shown:


Having done all this, how and where the "clunk" is coming from can definitely be a challenge.

I am still thinking about the impact of the "clunk" from a systems perspective; however, since I am not inclined to take the engine out, I will be concentrating on the system from the u-joint back. My investigation so far would lead me to the u-joint and driveshaft - haven't ruled out the cush dampers either. I will be looking into the cush damper system, but that is for another day.

Just a few thoughts on the infamous "clunk" and how I see the system. Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby julimike54 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:25 pm

If it's the swingarm bearings that is allowing movement, you should be able to detect that movement by placing on centerstand and applying side to side motion to the rear wheel and seeing the movement. Not where the manual but I believe there is a check procedure for this, I might be wrong though. The last time I discussed the swingarm bearings with a mechanic I trust, he stated they can typically go at least 100,000 miles or more, because there is such slight movement of them and there is minimal load, this was when I was asking about steering head bearings. I figured maybe about the same, but he swore no, because loading is not occurring sideways as steering is being pounded on by front suspension function. You might be on to something with the drive line orientation & getting more slack that way. I'll be watching to see what you find.
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:08 pm

julimike54 wrote:If it's the swingarm bearings that is allowing movement, you should be able to detect that movement by placing on centerstand and applying side to side motion to the rear wheel and seeing the movement. Not where the manual but I believe there is a check procedure for this, I might be wrong though. The last time I discussed the swingarm bearings with a mechanic I trust, he stated they can typically go at least 100,000 miles or more, because there is such slight movement of them and there is minimal load, this was when I was asking about steering head bearings. I figured maybe about the same, but he swore no, because loading is not occurring sideways as steering is being pounded on by front suspension function. You might be on to something with the drive line orientation & getting more slack that way. I'll be watching to see what you find.


There is a check procedure for the swing arm bearings, and will check. If it is the swing arm bearings it's an easy fix compared to troubleshooting the drive line.

I find it beneficial to look at a problem from a system perspective. If nothing else I come to an understanding of the build and what could possibly be the issue. The other aspect is it allows me to rule out what I will and will not do, hence live with.

Bearings are an item that can be good today, not tomorrow. Changed the front brake pads on my '03 Dodge Dakota. Had trouble compressing the pistons on the passenger side and knew that I would have to replace the caliper or rebuild it. Put it off even though it would have been prudent to do it then and there. About two months later, had the passenger side front caliper decide to seize up and turn everything cherry red. Luckily I was very close to my local shop and had new front calipers installed. No guarantees on new items, but it does give you piece of mind.

This bike is a great project. Once I get the mechanical sorted out, pick away at the look of the bike and it will be great. Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:47 pm

Started dismantling the bike, again, to get at the swing arm bearings. No issue getting to the point where everything was out except the swing arm.

Did notice that when I pulled the FD off, the new damper spring was strong enough to push the FD off the mount when I undid the four nuts. Will be changing the spring on the drive shaft where it fits into the u-joint when I reassemble.

When I undid the swing arm, tried to get it out without dropping the exhaust, but no joy doing it this way. Exhaust had to be dropped. Didn't try removing the rear brake MC as I think this would have been more of an issue with the steel lines and all.

Finally got the swing arm out after dropping the exhaust, removing the foot boards, and engine guards.

Swing arm needs a good cleaning as well before install.

Checked the old bearings. The race on each side is marked where the rollers have been for the last 30 odd years. The dust seal plate on the right side is worn and needs replacing.

The bearings that are installed are NTN taper bearings 30203C.

Have to wait until Monday for the last two parts. Until then, cleaning and removing each bearing race will be done.

Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:52 pm

Was on the GL1200 Goldwing site today and found some interesting information.

I had mentioned in an earlier post when I was doing the maintenance on the '85 that I had found information regarding rebuilding the u-joint. I found this information again and it was a fellow in Milton, Ontario who actually was doing this. I also found that this same fellow actually changed the cush dampers in the GL 1200 rear wheel. Have an email and will try to get in touch with this fellow. Will be following up on this.

Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:37 pm

Changed the rear wheel bearings today. When I checked them, the bearings turned and felt smooth; however, when I pushed on the bearings and turned these bearings felt rough. Bought a 6" by 3/4" bolt to remove the wheel bearings - didn't work as advertised. The inner one did not want to move and I actually took out the inner race. Once the inner race was out was able to use the spacer and push out the outer bearing, then I used a punch and pushed out the inner bearing. Bit of a gong show, but got it done.

To punch the new bearings in, a 1-3/4 " and 1-7/8" sockets would be nice to have to drive in the new bearings.

I used the Pivot Works kit - $37.19 CDN. It also comes with the two o-rings for the flange. For those of you who don't want to buy a rear bearing kit, here are the bearing and dust seal numbers:

KOYO 6204-RS: $9.95 on Amazon.com
KOYO 6304-RS: couldn't get a definitive price
Dust seal: size 30mm (ID) by 52mm (OD) by 7mm (thick) - $8.42 (USD) on Partzilla (paid $13.00 CDN at my local Honda)

Now to work on the swing arm bearing race(s) - need to get these removed.

Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:25 pm

A bit more work done on the '85 LTD today. Checked the mating of the splines between the FD and drive shaft, the drive shaft and u-joint, and the u-joint and engine output shaft.

The mating between drive shaft and FD pinion joint was good as was the mating between the drive shaft and u-joint. The mating between the u-joint and engine output shaft had imperceptible radial movement, but did have lateral movement. I think the lateral movement is because of the u-joint not being kept pressed onto the engine output shaft by the drive shaft. (yes - I had the long end of the u-joint on the engine output shaft)

There is play in the gearbox when engaged. The u-joint would turn about a 1/4" with the engine in gear (not started).

Also painted the swing arm today. Should be putting the old girl back together and have it on the road by Wednesday. Hopefully, I'm addressing the "clunk" issue, and it will be lessened. Not much more to look at regarding this issue.

Cheers
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Ernest

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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:08 pm

Finished up the swing arm and rear wheel bearing install.

The only area of frustration was the install of the FD. Spent 5 hours trying to ge the FD installed. Being a bit perturbed, I dropped the swing arm, removed the u-joint, and made sure the drive shaft and u-joint did mate properly. On the work bench went well. I tried a different install to get the job done. I put the u-joint back in the swing arm and before I put the u-joint on the engine output shaft, I mated the driveshaft and u-joint, then put the swing arm up in place and put the u-joint on the engine output shaft. Worked a treat. Installed the damper spring, and installed the FD. I think the install took about 15 minutes. In the service manual, it mentions to take care with the driveshaft oil seal. Once the end of the drive shaft is put in the FD pinion joint, the oil seal should not be adversely affected. Will monitor the oil level in the FD over the next few weeks to ensure there is no leakage. I also made sure the long end of the u-joint was installed facing the engine, and the boot was in the proper orientation. It is marked with an "UP". These photos show the install preps:


I have removed the driver foot boards. I prefer the foot pegs. I noticed in the OEM service manual that the rear brake lever should be lined up with the "dot" on the rear brake spindle. This is necessary so that the rear brake lever clears the foot peg. You have more flexibility with the foot boards. I found that the rear brake lever had to be moved counterclockwise so that there was enough travel to engage the rear brake; ergo, the dot on the rear brake lever and spindle are not as important to line up as with the foot peg. Here is a picture of the aligning "dots":


No pictures unfortunately; however, I do have some that I think are interesting. I purchased a 6" by 3/4" bolt to remove the rear wheel bearings, cut through the threads as found in this forum; however, it did not work as advertised. Here is my try at this inexpensive tool:

I did manage to destroy the inner race of the flange side bearing, and in doing so, it allowed me to punch out the other bearing than this one. These bearings could be upwards of 31 years old, and as such, a proper bearing puller would have been beneficial.

I also used a different moly paste. I went with Loctite LB8012 that has an advertised moly content of 65%. When reading up on this product, the company states that this product contains a minimum of 65% moly with the actual amount proprietary. Here are pictures of this product:


I did the road test today and was pleasantly surprised. The movement I was experiencing in the rear of the bike, specifically behind my left foot, has been reduced. I will reserve judgement until I ride it for a while. Not much more to do in the rear end.

Still have things I want to do to the old girl, but it's now time for riding. Supposed to be sunny starting Friday. Cheers
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:12 pm

Have a few more miles on the bike since I put it back together. It is operating quite smooth and shifting much better now that I took the foot boards off.

The movement I felt behind my left foot on start is gone, but there is still a bit of a movement in the drive line mostly on the right side now - not a lot, but I do notice it.

The swing arm bearing change did make a difference. I noticed when I was installing the drive line, that when I had the right pivot pin out, the swing arm did not "droop" enough to get the u-joint out/in. Had to take out the left pivot pin as well. New does make a difference.

I'm learning to take it slow and to engage the driveline fully before adding too much power too quickly. I still have a maintenance list, but it's time to ride right now.

Cheers
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Ernest

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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rednaxs60 » Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:46 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Was the swingarm pivot obviously "loose" or just not torqued to spec?

Have you checked driveline lash amounts, to see if that is where the noise is coming from?


WingAdmin - checking my threads and apologize for not responding to you on this one. This has been on my mind. I will be taking the FD out and doing a check as per the OEM service manual. Waiting for a week of rain, otherwise on the list for this fall/winter when the riding season is less.
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Re: 1985 GL1200 LTD - "Clunk" in the rear of the bike

Postby Rusty Bike » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:27 pm

Rednaxs60 Thank you for your time and effort in sharing your research and results with us. Photos are excellent and you have done a fine job. Ride safe and have fun...Rusty




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