88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??


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virgilmobile
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88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:38 am



New to me.In my shop for the full going over.
Besides all the general minor repairs,I noticed this anomaly.
The shifting shaft,as it comes out of the block,has some shaft play.Not in and out...up and down.
It's enough that the seal may not be keeping up with the movement and is weeping just a little oil past it.
All the bolts are tight and I can move the whole shaft up and down a little.Just a wiggle.
I've read that a sloppy shaft is normal,but it isn't on my 1100 or 1200. :?:



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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:42 am

I just checked my shaft, and it's definitely not sloppy.

Uh...what I mean is... :)

My 1100 shift shaft has no discernable free play.

My 1500 shift shaft has free play (I measured 2mm) - not directly up and down, but about at an angle maybe 25 degrees off vertical, from the top/forward of the bike to the bottom/rear. Hm, that's not making it very clear. Here, I'll draw a picture:

Shift shaft free play
Shift shaft free play

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:20 pm

Your just not right.. :D Maybe my shaft wiggles more cause it's longer......Wait a minute...what I mean is ......aw poop.I'll just make a picture too.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:32 pm

Ah, looking at your diagram I can tell you that the free play I see is definitely free play between the foot (17) and actuator (16), as the arc at which the free play is showing on mine corresponds with the radius of the end of the outer shaft (2).

Keep in mind the entire outer shaft will move in a small radius instead of rotating in place because of that inner end of the outer shaft. Is that the vertical movement you're seeing?

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:29 pm

Actually no.I removed the covers so I could see the shaft seal.It is weeping a little oil.50k miles.
I wiggle the shifting lever and the shaft coming out of the block moves up and down.Just a little mind you,but with the shaft length,it makes the shifter feel loose.
It's like a worn carb body when the shaft has some lateral movement or the hole in the casting is wallered out.(is that a real word?)
I'll try to video it tonight and post it.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby HALBUDD » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:39 pm

You guys need to stop playing with your shafts,it will cause you to go blind!!! Hal
A woman that can use tools is worth her weight in gold !!

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:06 am

It's miserable weather here,raining and 30's at night,Sooooo I need something to do to keep warm :D
Here's the video of the shifter.The movement is not where the levers bolt to the shaft.It's defiantly a tolerance or abnormal wear at the block.




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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby bustedwing » Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:43 am

I have a 90 GL 1500 and I just converted the shifter to a toe-heel type. I have just 30,000 on mine and have somewhat the same amount of play without any leaks.I am interested in what you find out.
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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:43 am

virgilmobile wrote:It's miserable weather here,raining and 30's at night,Sooooo I need something to do to keep warm :D
Here's the video of the shifter.The movement is not where the levers bolt to the shaft.It's defiantly a tolerance or abnormal wear at the block.


It could be the inner pinch bolt (part 23 in your exploded diagram above) coming loose. If it were to back out, that splined shaft could get free play within the outer shaft - and judging by the angle of the movement of the outer arm, it could very well be that. It would not be able to come out however, as long as that bolt remained threaded (even if it is loose).

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:00 pm

WingAdmin wrote:It could be the inner pinch bolt (part 23 in your exploded diagram above) coming loose. If it were to back out, that splined shaft could get free play within the outer shaft - and judging by the angle of the movement of the outer arm, it could very well be that. It would not be able to come out however, as long as that bolt remained threaded (even if it is loose).


Well I could only hope..I couldn't get a video of the shaft but I did check the pinch bolts.There all tight.
I can actually see the shaft coming from the block move.The video shows the end result.A little play at the block shows up larger at the end of the extension arm.I think that there is just too much leverage against the casting and it's wallering the hole out.Kinda like sticking a screwdriver in a hole and rolling it around.
I don't see any bearing in the print so I assume it is just a hole bored in the casting for the shifter shaft.
Yea ,stick a steel rod through a small chunk of aluminum ,attach a 4" prybar to it,stomp your foot on it and expect it not to warp the aluminum???? :? Did we really make this bike? :oops:
I should be able to come up with something. :geek:

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:45 am

I envision a mod to the shifter that comes out of the block.It needs some support there.
Maybe something like this.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:23 pm

It looks like a good idea to me - if it's a common problem, you could market something like that. At the very least, it could stop the new seal from leaking.

Are you sure the casting is worn, and the worn seal itself is not supposed to be supplying structural support to the shaft? I haven't had it apart to look, so I don't know.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:56 pm

I'm guessing that the shaft bore or shaft is worn.Being that I am guessing at this,I would suspect the casting being an aluminum alloy would wear faster than the steel shaft.
The seal shouldn't be providing any support so the entire length of the shaft and extension arm is prying against the case.That's got to be 5" or so.A whole bunch of leverage on it with a big foot stomping on it so many times.
The 1100/1200 lever is right up next to the case,so the leverage offset isn't only a inch or so to the foot action.
I'm getting the impression from research,that this is common and owners just live with it.It may be one of those.."nature of the beast" things,but I thing there's room for improvement.



WAIT A MINUTE..guess what I found...A needle bearing buried in the case.I wonder now if it can be replaced without splitting the case????Probably not,and that's why it's never fixed.
I'm still gonna add on a support bearing on the outside.It would provide better support and easier to replace.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:30 am

I'm gonna try to mod this thing.My preliminary inspection revealed the cramped quarters.I'm going to lay the bike on the right side for this work and drop the exhaust manifold off to get a better view.
It looks like the shaft is dimpled in the center,good news,pre started tap hole :)

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:30 am

Are you going to mount your bracket to the exhaust header? It seems like the crash bar mounting point is in a perfect spot (and quite solid as well).

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:17 pm

That was my first thought.I really can't see much with the exhaust and shield in the way.As soon as it gets above freezing,I'm gonna lay it over and yank all that stuff off.I'll take pictures as I go.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:13 pm

I suffered the cold in the shop and did my job.It is a workable mod but may not be for the casual oil changer.
Even after the plastic was removed,it took 2 hours just to get to the problem area.Also 2 bolts must be removed from the right frame cross bar before the bike is laid over to get the lower frame loose.I'm gonna proceed with the mod...I'm just too deep into it now.
Oh and by the way,there is a needle bearing exposed to the outside but I'm nervous about trying to pry it out.If the shaft is worn,replacing the bearing won't help.
on it's side.better access
on it's side.better access

buried lever
buried lever

remove the lever to get the exhaust off
remove the lever to get the exhaust off

tap off the header
tap off the header

shaft is behind the frame.no straight shot at it
shaft is behind the frame.no straight shot at it

R&R leaking seal.It's the same as the 1200
R&R leaking seal.It's the same as the 1200

bottom view.I think this is where I'll add the carrier bearing
bottom view.I think this is where I'll add the carrier bearing

dropped the frame a bit to see more.Nothing else to bolt to.
dropped the frame a bit to see more.Nothing else to bolt to.

R&R leaking seal.It's the same as the 1200
R&R leaking seal.It's the same as the 1200

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:35 pm

Well I've had another idea that I want to run by all you engineers out there.
Here's the video of the shaft play...





I suppose the bearing,shaft and seal could be replaced to renew the mechanism....However it would have the same problem again.I want to FIX this.
The bearing would need to be 0.2" to 0.25" thick and It has a shaft size of 0.55"......
Here's a few pix of a simulated design.
simulated sleeve obviously made from machined 3/16 wall pipe
simulated sleeve obviously made from machined 3/16 wall pipe

add a bearing..not quite the right size
add a bearing..not quite the right size

put on the shaft..bearing is a bit thick
put on the shaft..bearing is a bit thick

actual usable depth
actual usable depth

a slight tapper to the casting
a slight tapper to the casting

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:49 pm

It's an interesting idea, and I suppose something that would work - are you planning then to press the bearing into the sleeve, and press-fit the sleeve onto the existing taper?I suppose it couldn't be welded/epoxied/otherwise bonded in place, as it would need to be removable to replace the oil seal in future.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:23 am

Tolerances won't require a press to assemble and 3 set screws could hold thesleeve firm to the casting

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:57 am

virgilmobile wrote:Tolerances won't require a press to assemble and 3 set screws could hold thesleeve firm to the casting


I'd be paranoid about the sleeve holding in place. Here's what I would do - I'd drill three set screw holes in the sleeve, then bond/weld/whatever three nuts on top of the holes to give decent threads for the set screws to hold to. I'd then mark the ends of the set screws with chalk, put the sleeve in place, and screw the set screws in. Then remove it all, and drill very small dimples in the casting where the screws left marks - this would ensure the sleeve never moves or vibrates loose. Lastly I'd Loctite or safety-wire the set screws.

But then, I'm paranoid and tend to over-engineer things. :)

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:24 am

I've seen different types of set setscews.One with a cutting ring in the end.About 1/4" diameter with a hole for a wire lock.Maybe the sleeve could be 1/4" steel instead of aluminum and use 6 or 8 set screws.
I just love engineering stuf. :)

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:49 am

Ok,I've got somewhat of a plan.Just one concern though.If I secure the bearing to the frame bolt,can the engine move in the rubber mount enough to negate what I'm doing ??
The bearing is centered and bolted direct to the shaft.Drilled and tapped.The bearing is common ($4)
and the sleeve and bolt came from Home Depot($3).
Now just a way to secure it to the block with the headers on.
Will it flex any?Looking for a secure mounting
Will it flex any?Looking for a secure mounting
bearing added to the shaft end on the engine
bearing added to the shaft end on the engine

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:35 am

I was wondering the same thing originally. I had a look through the service manual, and there are no numbers on the amount of acceptable movement/free play on a good engine mount bushing.

Unlike car engine mounts, bike engines don't allow the engine to flop around - there's just not enough clearance. Their primary job is to prevent transmission of vibration into the frame.

That said, I don't know if/how much the engine IS allowed to move by that bushing. And if the outer end of the shaft is fixed to the frame, is the engine movement going to exacerbate the shift seal failure problem?

And any movement of the engine in relation to your bearing mount will be amplified at the end of the outer shaft.

I think I would try it, then do two different tests. While watching the end of the outer shaft for movement:

- Rev the engine suddenly in neutral
- Put the bike into 5th gear, hold the brakes, and with power applied, slip the clutch to load down the engine/driveline

If you aren't seeing any appreciable movement during those tests, then I would say you'd be OK mounting it there.

I suppose you could do the same tests by having someone watch the engine in relation to the frame while performing the tests and watching for relative movement.

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Re: 88 gl1500 shift arm sloppy??

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:02 pm

I just had a thought....Considering the rubber is 24 years old and it's elasticity is probably all hardened up now anyways,there may not be any movement in the mount :?:
If there is,I could drill and tap a hole through the case and pinch the inner sleeve solid to the engine casting mount.
It may allow a bit of vibration through,but I don't think the rubber does much for that anymore .

I could try,before I proceed and you describe,re-mount the frame section and literally pry-bar it to see if there is any deflection.I can mount a gauge to measure it.

If there is a deflection,hopefully it will be less than the measured movement I already have on the free bearing. ;)
I will keep taking pictures and posting till I get this resolved.It just takes a while,you know,Christmas and all.For some reason My wife wants to go SHOPPING all the time.Hmph :cry: I wanna play with my bike




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