Water pump repair cost?


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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mccainepl
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:49 am
Location: Appleton, WI
Motorcycle: 1984 1200A Aspencade

Water pump repair cost?

Post by mccainepl » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:29 pm



Hi,

I have a 1984 Aspencade 1200. Took it to a local independent repair guy who charges $90/hr. He had worked for a local Honda dealer for many years before it went out of business. He had done some work on my bike trouble shooting electrical issues and cost ended up being $850 parts included. I'd heard finding electric short can be time consuming so did not question him too much. While he still had the fairing removed I asked him to flush the radiator and change the coolant as I had not done it for about 6,000 miles/4 years(not a heavy rider). Also asked him to change the oil as long he had the bike. Got a call a few weeks later and was told I have a bad water pump. Said he found sludge in the coolant which turned out to be engine oil and that a bad water pump will allow oil into the cooling system. I never noticed low oil or coolant in the oil when I changed that but he said coolant would not get into the oil. I agree with a handshake to the repair after he said total cost will now be $1350 (which included earlier elec. repair costs). Time lapse...he calls to tell me the bike is done and total repair cost is $2095. I'm shocked and he explains the costs include labor, shop supplies, fluids, parts... but won't give me a written cost breakdown until I pick up and pay for the bike. Needless to say we've come to an impasse and I am processing a smalls claims action. However before I do...is it feasible a water pump replacement for a 1984 1200 Aspencade could cost $1250?

I've already kicked my backside around the block a few times for not getting the original bid in writing, so would appreciate not receiving any responses related to my lack of common sense.

Thanks!
Sore Backside



wiretician
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:41 am
Location: cartersville, ga
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I
1993 GL1500SE (gone, but not forgotten)

Re: Water pump repair cost?

Post by wiretician » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:31 am

I'm a service guy in a side business (repairing weld machines), and it really upsets me when people try to take advantage of someone. From recent experience, I had to remove my transmission cover to repair the shift switch sensor to get my neutral light. While in process of cleaning off old gasket material to re-assemble, I bumped the impeller of the pump, it moved. I removed the pump to inspect, found it had a bad bearing. I went the route of re-build kit. Re-assembled cover on engine. Don't know if you researched or not, but to change the water pump you must drain the radiator and oil. So, an oil change is a must. In my case, when I put back together, the seal between oil pump and water pump, wasn't in the gasket set. At time didn't know about it, if it had been there, I would have used everything in the set. Got all back together and oil in, ran engine till fan came on, everything seemed okay. Next day went out to garage to look at something and noticed a puddle of oil. Found that it was coming from weep hole at water pump. Cracked open the manual, and on GWDocs, finally found a little tidbit on the seal in a thread (Gotta love this forum). Had to go back in and replace that seal, back together and no oil leak. So, to answer the question, to change the water pump: removing lower fairing pieces, draining the oil, draining the coolant, removing the radiator, removing the transmission cover, swap the water pump, change the seal, and go back the other direction. Now this is eBay prices, but the gasket set was $23-28, new pump was $130-170. Guesstamation, time wise, someone that has done this professionally, probably 3 to 5 hours with a flush if oil was in fact in coolant. But, the reason I mention the seal, is that I had the oil pump pushing oil forward. It pushed passed the bearings and out the weep hole, it didn't push the oil passed the mechanical seal at the impeller. I was careful to check for this, as I didn't need oil in my coolant, and I didn't find any. Since he is a private entity, he is probably using eBay for the parts. With that in mind, I'd have to say it should be half the $1250 or less. Just trying to lend perspective to the repair. Hope I've helped.
Experience in the Maintenance Field: Nothing is "Foolproof" to the Talented Fool. There are some that would break an anvil with a rubber mallet.

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WingAdmin
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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Re: Water pump repair cost?

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:29 pm

That's crazy. A new water pump is $136, a gasket kit required to do the job is $20. Oil and coolant, maybe another $30-$40. Any competent mechanic should be able to do the job in absolutely no more than 4 hours. At $90/hr that's $360. So total for the whole job should be $600 at the very most. Assuming the original quote of $850 was fair, then the quote for $1350 (increase of $500) for the water pump is more than fair.

However...$1250 is ridiculous. Also absolutely CRAZY is him not breaking down the cost until after you pay for it?!? What kind of crap is that? Definitely refuse to pay that, and small claims is likely the route I would be going as well.





Incidentally, depending on how the water pump fails, coolant can get into the oil, oil can get into the coolant, or (what is supposed to happen), coolant will leak out the weep hole. Most often it's coolant that leaks out the weep hole, and if it is plugged, it gets into the oil. I can't say that it's not possible for oil to get in the coolant, but this does not typically manifest as "sludge" because oil is lighter than water (coolant). Instead the oil migrates up to the highest point, and you see an oily sheen in the radiator neck and in the coolant reservoir.

mccainepl
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:49 am
Location: Appleton, WI
Motorcycle: 1984 1200A Aspencade

Re: Water pump repair cost?

Post by mccainepl » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:38 pm

Hi Guys,

I appreciate the responses very much! I had received a call from him two day s ago now telling me there are more issues with the bike, After it had been re-installed and test driven and sat for a few days he noticed a small leak in the radiator. Apparently the cause is once all the sludge was removed from the radiator the leak was exposed. He offered to see if he could fix it with epoxy...Wondered why he didn't test the radiator when it was off??? I told him flat our DO NOT do anymore work on the bike! Then he tells me the second issue is the sprag starter clutch and it's worn out because it took a 1/2 hour to get it started....clutch spun but would not engage. I've never had an issue starting the bike and told him such.... wish I could just get the bkie out of his shop for until this is settled..ARRGH! Again I appreciate both of your input very much.

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 18740
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Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Water pump repair cost?

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:07 am

mccainepl wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:38 pm
Hi Guys,

I appreciate the responses very much! I had received a call from him two day s ago now telling me there are more issues with the bike, After it had been re-installed and test driven and sat for a few days he noticed a small leak in the radiator. Apparently the cause is once all the sludge was removed from the radiator the leak was exposed. He offered to see if he could fix it with epoxy...Wondered why he didn't test the radiator when it was off??? I told him flat our DO NOT do anymore work on the bike! Then he tells me the second issue is the sprag starter clutch and it's worn out because it took a 1/2 hour to get it started....clutch spun but would not engage. I've never had an issue starting the bike and told him such.... wish I could just get the bkie out of his shop for until this is settled..ARRGH! Again I appreciate both of your input very much.
The sprag clutch not engaging is virtually NEVER from being "worn out" but instead from sludge collected in the sprags themselves. It can be easily fixed with a $5 can of Seafoam. As for a leak in the radiator...I don't buy the "sludge" story. More likely, he damaged the radiator while "cleaning" it, and is now trying to shift the blame. If he used any kind of a corrosive cleaner "cleaning" the radiator, then this is likely the cause.

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leakyroof58
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Motorcycle: '87 Aspencade
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Re: Water pump repair cost?

Post by leakyroof58 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:35 pm

My $.02, .01 adjusted for inflation.....

Wingadmin mentioned Seafoam - add it to oil, drive
some miles, change oil. May have to repeat a couple
times.

Rad leak - it's not hard to damage the rad if it
scrapes across the studs sticking out from the frame.
I made a habit of cutting a thin piece of cardboard
from a 12-pack and taping it across the rad when I'm
putting it back in. Once in, the tape can be pulled
along with the cardboard.

I also am in the habit of having the rad pressure
tested every time it's out. My local shop didn't
even want to charge me for it the first time -
I had to force him to accept $5. Cheap insurance.

Another habit - EVERY thing I take apart gets
re-assembled with new OEM o-rings. I don't
trust cheap-o aftermarket stuff. Your o-rings
have been there, compressed, since 1984.
Don't re-use them. You'll sleep better.

Same goes for water pump - OEM only.

mccainepl
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:49 am
Location: Appleton, WI
Motorcycle: 1984 1200A Aspencade

Re: Water pump repair cost?

Post by mccainepl » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:16 am

He did say he used OEM parts, so hopefuly that is the case...unfortunately at this point doubt has replaced much of the trust what he says. Why he didn't have the radiator tested before reassembling I'm not sure...with the experience he touts it should have been second nature. When I get the bike back (hopefully with no other issues) I'll pull the radiator to get repaired or replaced and try the seafoam treatment for the starter clutch.

Again, thanks to all for sharing your time and experience!



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