Exhaust leak or over heating Goldwing

Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1978 Goldwing

Exhaust leak or over heating Goldwing

Post by mmtindor »

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Hi all-

I've asked a couple questions about random hoses and spark plugs. Thanks for all the good information, I really appreciate it. I need some more help. Like I've said before I was recently given a 1978 Goldwing from a friend. The bike was sitting in storage for three years until I took possession. After a (correct) oil change and new spark plugs, I siphoned off the old gas and put some new high octane gasoline and fired it up this afternoon. It turned over and idled with no problem.

Once the engine heated up, I either have and exhaust leak (rusted out?) or a coolant leak. I've included a youtube link to the video I took just a half an hour ago. Any thoughts?


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Re: Exhaust leak or over heating Goldwing

Post by WingAdmin »

Depends on what it smells like. It *looks* like oil smoke, but if it smells sweet, it could be coolant. My money is on oil. Give it a smell - if you're not familiar with what burning oil smoke smells like, take a drop or two, put it outside on some tin foil and light it on fire. It produces a blue smoke with a very distinctive smell. If the smoke in the video smells the same (which I suspect it does), then that's the cause. Does your engine or the exterior of your exhaust have leaked oil on it? If so, once it burns off, this smoke should stop.
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Re: Exhaust leak or over heating Goldwing

Post by Placerville »

Agree with WA. That's classic oil smoke and it's coming from the area of your headers. I suspect that you have oil residue on them from your previous 'mishap'. Once it burns off, you'll be fine. However, if you've got a leak, that's a different story. The best way to determine whether you have an active leak or not would be to ride the bike. If you don't have a leak, after several miles, that smoke should stop because the oil residue will have burnt off. However, if it keeps smoking, you've got a leak.

If you have a leak, you need to determine the source. An old leak is hard to find as it's already made a mess of everything and the oil seem to be everywhere. So, to find a leak, you need to clean the entire area. This is a messy job and it takes a lot of elbow grease. Use pant brushes and other stiff bristle brushes dipped in paint thinner to clean the area. Paint thinner won't dissolve paint but, it will dissolve grease. You can even fill a spray bottle with it and spray the area to break down the goo prior to using the brushes.

After your initial cleaning with thinner, rinse the area with soapy water then, clear water. After it dries, start the bike, ride it a couple of miles, stop and then inspect the general area for the source of the leak. Some owners with the same problem have dusted the suspected area with talcum powder and then gone on a short ride. The oil shows up very well in the powder.

If you're hesitant to use paint thinner due to its smell etc., try Simple Green or even 409. Both cut grease pretty well.
Placerville- 1976 Yellow
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