Timing belt,, too old?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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sdpops
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Timing belt,, too old?

Postby sdpops » Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:15 pm



Greetings,,, I have a 1990 1500 with 52,000 well cared for miles. Question is if I need to change the timing belt. I have read back on some of this and some say yes, most and some say no, not until 100,000 miles. Has anyone taken a new belt and, say a 20 year old best, and done a tension stretch test to compare? That might solve the issue? I am not a mechanic so cannot.. anyway, any advice on changing since it is 20 years old..



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gordonv
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby gordonv » Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:01 pm

I just changed mine this year for my 1988 with 61K miles on it.

If you buy the original belts from the manufacturer rather than Honda, you pay about $50. After the time it takes to remove the belts, it is better to replace them and not worry about them again for another 20 years or 100K miles.

So, you decide. Go through all that, or just replace them either at the 100K mark, or when you start thinking about them.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby artgrantz » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:45 am

If the belt breaks it will cause major engine damage. Why take a chance? Replace them and have peace of mind.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby dingdong » Sun Nov 16, 2014 8:52 am

In your case, age is the determining factor. 24 years is too long to have not changed the belts. Inspection will not tell you anything. They will "look" new. Broken belt means bent valves and or damaged pistons. Gates belts are available for around $15 each. Good insurance and easy to do with the "how to" article.
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby Fatwing Chris » Sun Nov 16, 2014 9:25 am

Time wise you should be on your 3rd set by now.8 years or 80 k is a pretty good rule of thumb.Gates supplies Honda with belts ,so by all means buy the cheap Gates belts and get them on there.The good thing is that the 1500 is the easiest of all the Wings to do belts on.
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby Mag » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:22 am

Fatwing Chris wrote:The good thing is that the 1500 is the easiest of all the Wings to do belts on.


Yup, changing mine this year.....JUST IN CASE. Good to hear the 1500 is the easiest, though I am sure there will be some colorful language heard from the garage at my place ;)

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby ct1500 » Sun Nov 16, 2014 11:37 am

Timing belt breakage is very rare on the 1500 when compared to other vehicles which are known to eat belts. In all likelihood more valves have been bent from improper installation of a new belt than from breakages.

With that said and the ease of replacement I do recommend a 10yr/100k replacement interval.
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:28 pm


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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby Vito » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:04 pm

Hello

It is maybe a silly question but Timing Belts are the same in Goldwings GL 1500 from 1988 to 2000? :oops:

I`m asking because on Ebay i have found GATES Timing Belt in various prices, from 20 Dollars for one belt (and here people writing that is for GL 1500 1990 - 2000) to 30 Dollars for one belt (and here people writing for all GL 1500 from 1988 - 2000)

is there a difference in Timing Belts between all GL`s ?

I want to make sure because i will buy Belts in USA, dont want to make a mistake.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:15 pm

All GL1500's of all years use the identical timing belts.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby robb » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:18 pm

sdpops wrote:Greetings,,, Has anyone taken a new belt and, say a 20 year old best, and done a tension stretch test to compare? That might solve the issue? I am not a mechanic so cannot.. anyway, any advice on changing since it is 20 years old..


NAPA did check my belts from my 89 when they were changed in 2002 for first time at 73k. Paid $25 to have tested by a professional shop. No cracks or damage or visible wear to teeth. When stretched to 100 psi the old belt was only 2 millimeter longer than a new gates belt. My bike has never been left out in cold or subjected to a lot of hard riding. No hitch and primarily solo ridden. First brake pad change was at 71k
and brakes have never been bleed. Radiator cap only removed to test and has never been changed or added to. I did change belts and would not hesitate to reuse the originals. Bike may blow up tomorrow but has proven to be the most reliable problem free motorcycle I have ever purchased. I'm more worried over the tensioner spring than the belt.
Have 2 riding buddies with 88 1500's running stock belts, 1 at 275k and the other at 305k. Both bikes were checked and tensioners adjusted. Both pull trailers a lot. Synthetic oil change once a year not by miles.

I have read the service manual but my Engineering background has taught me to access the situation. For me, If it ain't broke don't fix it. But if there is any doubt I will do the work.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby redial » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:48 am

The trouble with timing belts is that you never know when they are about to disintegrate. For the sake of a few dollars, (about what you paid the mechanic), you could have a new set.

Perhaps I am a nervous nelly, but I have had timing gear break, and I know how much it cost for the rebuild of the engine!

First brake pad change was at 71k and brakes have never been bleed. Radiator cap only removed to test and has never been changed or added to. I did change belts and would not hesitate to reuse the originals. Bike may blow up tomorrow but has proven to be the most reliable problem free motorcycle I have ever purchased.


As the fluids used in the brakes attracts water, you eventually get more water than is good for the system. Braking using a watery compound will boil quicker, turning the water into steam, and not much stopping power! The fluid should be changed at least every two years. You will notice the difference come time to replace pads, and you inspect the cylinders that operate the brakes, and they could be busy with rust and corrosion.

I guess you take your chances, and you pay your money!
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:25 am

robb wrote:NAPA did check my belts from my 89 when they were changed in 2002 for first time at 73k. Paid $25 to have tested by a professional shop. No cracks or damage or visible wear to teeth. When stretched to 100 psi the old belt was only 2 millimeter longer than a new gates belt. My bike has never been left out in cold or subjected to a lot of hard riding. No hitch and primarily solo ridden. First brake pad change was at 71k
and brakes have never been bleed. Radiator cap only removed to test and has never been changed or added to. I did change belts and would not hesitate to reuse the originals. Bike may blow up tomorrow but has proven to be the most reliable problem free motorcycle I have ever purchased. I'm more worried over the tensioner spring than the belt.
Have 2 riding buddies with 88 1500's running stock belts, 1 at 275k and the other at 305k. Both bikes were checked and tensioners adjusted. Both pull trailers a lot. Synthetic oil change once a year not by miles.

I have read the service manual but my Engineering background has taught me to access the situation. For me, If it ain't broke don't fix it. But if there is any doubt I will do the work.


Being that a new set of belts is $30, paying $25 to have an old set "tested" to me is kind of false economy. As has been mentioned over and over again, these belts wear internally, so a belt that is going to fail 6 minutes from now can look exactly the same as one that will fail 6 years from now. There is no real way to "inspect" a belt.

The tensioner springs are not something you need to worry about failing. They are used only to set the belt tension when the belts are first installed, then the tensioner wheels are tightened in place, and from that point on the springs have no use until the next time belts are installed.

As for never bleeding brakes - contrary to what some may believe, the brake system is not a closed system. Dirt migrates past piston seals. And more important, moisture migrates through seals and hoses and gets sucked into the extremely hydrophilic brake fluid. Under pressure the moisture can boil, and now you have air. More importantly, all that water, dirt and other contaminants fall (through gravity) down into the brake caliper, where they turn to sludge and corrode the inside of the caliper.

Coolant should be changed to protect your engine from internal corrosion. Coolant contains different chemicals to maintain the pH levels and to keep the various materials from corroding. Over time, these chemicals are depleted or precipitate and will no longer protect your engine and cooling system from corrosion. The end result is radiator pinholes and clogged and corroded coolant passages in the engine.

You may have "no problems so don't need to fix it" but the utter lack of regular maintenance is pretty much assuring that when you do have problems, they are going to be huge, expensive ones. To me, I'd rather spend $10 on a bottle of brake fluid every couple of years than spend thousands rebuilding and/or replacing corroded and failed brake system components. Not to mention having my brakes fail on me unexpectedly because of a caliper bound up with years of sludge!

Oh, one other thing - your GL1500 has a hydraulic clutch system. The acidic sludge buildup from moisture caused by lack of maintenance (i.e. flushing clutch fluid) will break down seals in the slave cylinder. When this happens, the hydraulic fluid silently leaks into the crankcase, where it destroys the main crank bearings, essentially destroying the engine. This can and does happen (it's happened to people on this site).

Regular maintenance is not optional on these bikes!

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby Wingsconsin » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:33 am

I changed my timing belts at 105,000 miles in 2011 (on a 1996)

They LOOKED brand new and fine ... But I now KNOW the ones on there are good for another 100,000 miles and X years... :mrgreen:

Here are some close ups of the OLD belts with 105K miles on them




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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby 5m0k3y » Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:02 am

I just recently purchased a 1996 GL1500SE with 37,000 miles. I purchased it from the 2nd owner who bought it in 2004 with 34,000 miles. This bike was never ridden hard and always garaged. But I do know from the Honda dealer paperwork included with the bike that its been 3 years and about 200 miles since the last oil change. Other than brakes needing bled and OLD fuel that had Seafoam and Sta-bil in it which made it run like crap (fresh fuel made a world of difference), the bike is nearly perfect. It is in the garage in hundreds of pieces as I changed out the sub, cruise, and air filters, silica in the air pump, leds and aux input in the radio, next is leds in the controls, installing my saddle bag reflectors converted to led markers, oil and filter, and TIMING BELTS. I figure they are 20 years old and the bike is already disassembled so why not, picked up a pair of gates belts on amazon for $16 each on sale.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby Uncle Fester » Sat Mar 05, 2016 12:39 am

I picked up my belts from NAPA, where their brand (made by GATES for them, who also make the HONDA belts that cost like $75.00 EACH) and they cost me a total of $34.00 for both belts. I am doing them this week (Monday/Tuesday) for "Peace of mind" as my bike has 125K miles, is 20 yrs old, and I am betting still has original belts. Cheap insurance in my opinion .
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby jim mccarty » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:11 am

I bought a 99SE trike 2 years ago with 24000 miles on it. I've had a rough couple of years health wise, so I haven't added much to that total. Starting to feel some better, so I want to do more locally & hope to be able to hook up with some others off the board & camp our way west or to Alaska & back.

Since it's 17 years old, I'd feel much safer to go ahead & change the timing belts. Not even gonna attempt it myself. Too old, too fat. Anyone know of someone in Georgia area can help me out?

Called Gary's Hobby Shop. They're backed up, but Barb said if anything opens up she'd give me a call.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby FM-USA » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:05 pm

sdpops wrote:Greetings,,, I have a 1990 1500 with 52,000 well cared for miles. ... I am not a mechanic so cannot.. anyway, any advice on changing since it is 20 years old..

artgrantz wrote:If the belt breaks it will cause major engine damage. Why take a chance? Replace them and have peace of mind.

The next logical step is?
The bike is 52,000 miles OLD and it needs a mechanic already so you better not take the chance, sell it and have peace of mind.
I'll give ya $5.00 for that OLD bike.
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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby FM-USA » Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:23 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:I changed my timing belts at 105,000 miles in 2011 (on a 1996)
They LOOKED brand new and fine ... But I now KNOW the ones on there are good for another 100,000 miles and X years... :mrgreen:
Here are some close ups of the OLD belts with 105K miles on them

Similar situation here.

I figured it's 22 years and 121K miles on my Wings belts, I best change'm.
Once pulled off they look just as good as Wingsconsin's belts. Still can read the OEM numbers.
So I took my high powered magnifying glass, no wear on either side of the teeth nor any aged drying cracks.
Put to my ear and bent the belts backwards, no crackling.
Matched them up to the new belts, exact same size (no stretch).
I was highly tempted to put the old ones back on....naaaah, I changed'm (grudgingly) since I have it apart.
"OIL CHANGE?" _FM 07-2009
Know its new taste and be loyal, you'll know when to change that oil.
Taste testing as the miles flow, souring as that acid grows.
And don't flirt with dirt or darkened oil, all the faster your engine will spoil.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:06 pm

FM-USA wrote:
Wingsconsin wrote:I changed my timing belts at 105,000 miles in 2011 (on a 1996)
They LOOKED brand new and fine ... But I now KNOW the ones on there are good for another 100,000 miles and X years... :mrgreen:
Here are some close ups of the OLD belts with 105K miles on them

Similar situation here.

I figured it's 22 years and 121K miles on my Wings belts, I best change'm.
Once pulled off they look just as good as Wingsconsin's belts. Still can read the OEM numbers.
So I took my high powered magnifying glass, no wear on either side of the teeth nor any aged drying cracks.
Put to my ear and bent the belts backwards, no crackling.
Matched them up to the new belts, exact same size (no stretch).
I was highly tempted to put the old ones back on....naaaah, I changed'm (grudgingly) since I have it apart.


Timing belts are designed not to stretch, not even the tiniest bit, EVER.

Therein lies the problem. Serpentine drive belts like you see on your car start to crack as they stretch and age. Timing belts, with their special fibers inside, don't stretch, so they don't crack - so a timing belt that is 20 years old with 80,000 miles on it can look virtually identical to one that was put on six months ago and has 500 miles on it. Honda's service schedule says to "inspect" the timing belt - but there is no practicable way of doing this, other than looking for broken teeth on the belt itself. A timing belt wears on the inside, where you can't see it. A timing belt that is about to break can look exactly like one that will run for another 50,000 miles.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby insanemoondoggie » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:16 pm

I just bought a1996 GL1500A with 16645 miles on it a couple weeks ago. Retired Police Motorcycle captain owned and it was always stored in his heated garage. Belts should be here tomorrow 16 bucks a piece on Amazon. All it takes is the belt to jump a tooth or 2 and you have a big mess. Been turning wrenches for the last 40 years {747s to weed whackers}, proper maintenance is a must for me.
I do hard, long rides and do not want to the worry about something like a timing belt breaking ruining my day.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby Mh434 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:25 pm

I think the best advice I could give on GL1500 timing belts is...if you feel the need to ask, or if you're even unsure, it's time to change 'em. Catastrophic engine failure will befall those who don't change the belts in time, and there are no "do-overs".

Changing the belts is not a simple, 15 minute job (at least for me, and I've been actively wrenching for 45 years). The majority of hassles I ran into involved fitting all 100 lbs. of stuff back into the 10 lb. bag it came out of, and getting all the plastic panels to go back together properly.

It's not particularly technically challenging, but two things are crucial: 1) FOLLOW THE PROCEDURE (AS IN WING ADMIN'S PHOTO ESSAY) - DO NOT SKIP ANYTHING; and, 2) PATIENCE!!! It WILL work, it WILL go back together...take your time, do it step-by-step, double check your work as you go, and you will be successful.

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby insanemoondoggie » Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:37 pm

Got my belts today and took a little under an hour. Old belts look really good but seem to be more brittle than the new ones . Diffidently worth the time and effort. Big shout out to WingAdmin for an awesome write up, never had to crack the shop manual once. Vert much appreciated. :D

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Re: Timing belt,, too old?

Postby billbob » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:36 pm

Two years ago I got a 98se with 68,000 miles one owner,1st thing I did was find out about the timing belts .They had never been changed so I put new gates belts on ,peace of mind for me.




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