2 X GL1000 Rebuilds

Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:12 pm
Location: Redlands, CA
Motorcycle: Personal Collection
1977 Honda GL1000 GoldWing
1979 Yamaha XS1100 "Midnight Special"
1985 Kawasaki XL900 Eliminator
1987 Honda Magna VF700c
1988 Honda Magna VF750c (x2)
1994 Honda Magna VF750c

2 X GL1000 Rebuilds

Post by mldeatherage »

I'm new to posting here, not new to restoring vintage bikes. I have quite a few, mostly Magnas. I'm a huge Magna guy. Then, about 7 months ago, I had a call come in about a bike being sold for a 100 bucks. Yeah, I jumped on it. I mean, carbs alone would bring in what I paid, very easily, regardless of the condition of the bike. Thing is, I get there and the 77 GL1000 is in pretty damn good condition. Missing side covers, no battery...24k miles about. Original tires from stock or at least that era. Not even cracked. Thing is, the bike was owned by one owner. He was injured in a farming accident, parked the bike his barn and over the decades, hay bales came and went and eventually, the bike was completely covered! 9 months ago, I bought the property and found the bike. The son told me the story of the bike. His dad had bought it brand new to tour the country. Made it 24k miles before he passed away. Literally, rode all over the country, even to Alaska. The son had thought his dad sold the bike. Nope. Just parked it. That's the awesome back story, though you all would enjoy it. Now for the reason why I'm here.

I mostly restore 80's Honda Magnas and the occasional 94-2003 Magna. The Honda V is my baby. Not much that I don't know about them. I mean, I own the vintage restoration company. Only recently did I sell the shop and I do this as a wonderful hobby while teaching. Always looking for that bike that sets my heart afire and makes me have sleepless nights thinking about how to restore it. So, when I get this beautiful GL in my hands, I am at very pleased with this new challenge! Looks like a VW motor crammed into a cruiser frame except this is the biggest, widest, highest Honda I have ever sat on! Absolutely my style. I'm a big guy and I love my big bikes. Anyway, I started restoring this beauty and I find some of the problems and questions that keep coming up in my mind over time. The bike, after I put the battery in, is drained of all fluids. The old man knew what he was doing. Except one thing, he literally drained ALL fluids! Oil, water, fuel, everything, and definitely ran the fuel out after draining it. So, I put in new oil, water, etc. It smokes grey and drips black oil out of the left exhaust. It's not the oil I put in, I think. I have run across blown seals, but this doesn't make me think that is quite it. One, it only smokes after running for awhile (2 to 3 min of warming up) and it's seriously coal black oil. But would the seals go bad with no oil in the crank case, for almost 40 years? Or could it be oil sitting in the chambers waiting to blow out and never did, so created hard soot that tore the o-rings? I have NOT taken the engine apart. After putting all fluids in, it ran. And ran GREAT! It idles rough, and I feel it's old vacuum hoses. Haven't dropped the engine yet nor have I pulled carbs. I'm just now getting into the running mechanics of the bike. I ordered all the parts missing and parts needing changed out, that I saw immediately. Mostly just old wiring, etc. Amazing thing was hearing it purr after sitting since Winter of '78. I'm in love with this bike and I would really like to restore it to showroom quality, albeit a different paint job. I went molten metallic red with Black emblems. That's all cosmetics and does nothing to the mechanics. So, why I'm here is now the question. I loved the bike so much that I traded an 82 Suzuki GS1100 for a 1976 GL1000, fully bagged out. It was rough. I stripped it down to frame and I am currently custom creating a new bike, chopping, raking, etc. It was rough shape or I never would have chopped a bike like that. Anyway, doing that bike the way I did, stripping it down to frame, taught me alot about this bike so I know what I want to do to the 77 full restoration.
One, I want all new electrical hardware, so I'm rebuilding the entire wiring harness, changing out connections, etc. Thing I am wondering is, what aftermarket parts are recommended, or are there, and also, would using aftermarket electricals change the restoration value for show quality? Recommended vacuum lines and things to consider for replacing them? Specific diameters of vacuum, necessary or typical? Sparkplugs? Moving to Colorado, up by Fort Collins in the Summer next year. I near sea-level right now. Will I need to rejet the carbs for the altitude change? And also, here's a big one: steering bearings are definitely bad. Sat for so long that the bearings are catching, I can only suppose. So, I want to change them. I have not looked at them yet, but I'm guessing they are typical ball bearings in mounted rings that are pressure pressed into place? If so, what are the recommendations for replacing them and the type to replace with? Stick to ball bearings or switch to roller racers? I also changed the timing belt. Er, I should say my friend did and he thought he installed them right. I am not quite sure what he did, but he said he rotated the pulleys so that the marks aligned, under pressure, and then slipped the belts on, with much difficulty. Now it is not firing right. It sounds almost like it is on a complete 180 timing difference. It tries to fire, yet will not fire over but does do a hellacious back-fire if continually trying to fire it. I have not pulled the timing covers off, yet. Maybe this week?
I apologize for the extremely long message, but I was hoping for things to help me out on the way to save time and be on the look out for plus the experience that just isn't in a manual.
Most importantly, the restored 77 GL is going to be my baby. I love the history of it and I don't plan on ever selling it. I'd much rather ride this beauty than sell it. Funny, since I have bikes in the 5k-10k range! And I want this as my daily driver?
So yeah, thanks for the help and thanks for the advice. I look forward to this project and posting pics. I do have quite a few already and I'll post them when I can.

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Fred Camper
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Motorcycle: 1977 GL1000, 1976 LTD GL1000

Re: 2 X GL1000 Rebuilds

Post by Fred Camper »

Your belts are trash as they last 5 years max. Triumph says 3 years I think. The motor is interference so a broKen belt means you shop for a donor motor. Change them before running her more as we need to save thsee gals. Sounds like your rings are stuck and not sealing. That takes running time to resolve so no big deal. Not heard of a seal drying out but it could happen I suppose as most do not remove oil for storage. I know Honda shpiped them over without oil so a could years should be fine but yours sat much longer. I would change the belts and run her for 300 miles before doing much more.

Steering bearings on the 1977 are rollers, but the 1976 is balls. New bearing are available from All balls and both can take the better roller bearings.

I would not worry about carb changes until you move. Might not need anything and you do not want to open those carbs up until necessary. They are great carbs if not left sitting with fuel in them for years. Your PO took care of you for the carbs.
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