81 Gl1100 front noise


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patsinterstate81
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81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »



Hello everyone,
I'm from the Knoxville area.
I spent last year restoring an 81 Gl1100 that hasn't been registered in eight years.
Drove her 300 miles and she started to make this high pitched sound like you hear in the video.
I went around with a stethoscope and it sounds like the noise is the loudest and clearest when holding it to the water pump housing area.

[YouTube]

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I replaced the water pump with an oem Honda pump, new seals, gasket and o rings this weekend.
Cleaned fuel tank and carbs, synched carbs, new plugs and wires, valve lash adjustment, new timing belt and pulleys, new clutch cable, speedo and tach cables, tires, progressive shocks and forks.
Forks are off for better clearance. Double checked timing and belt tension today.

Perhaps someone had the same issue? I don't know where to look anymore.

Thanks, Pat.


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WingAdmin
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by WingAdmin »

The next obvious choice to check are the timing belt idler wheels - the bearings in them do wear out over time.
MattMcCoy
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by MattMcCoy »

If water pump and idler pulleys are not the issue and the noise is coming from that area, could it be further in — main oil pump?
patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

Thanks, the idler wheels are brand new from KIA changed at the same time as the belt.

The bike has 35.000 miles on it.
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by WingAdmin »

When you replaced the water pump, what type of gaskets did you use? The front engine cover clearance is VERY tight, and some aftermarket gaskets do not provide enough clearance. Typically the problem is then the shift mechanism binding up.

Maybe a gasket slid slightly and is rubbing against the water pump vanes?

Also, you have gummed up sprags on your starter sprag clutch, that's why the starter didn't catch the first time. You might want to look at doing a dose of Seafoam in your oil.
patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

Two gaskets and all o rings are OEM Honda parts I ordered separately. The trans cover gasket measured 0.5 mm thickness.

I used a little dow corning silicone lube to help to stick it to the block and made sure it went over the dowel pins.

I have had some shifting problems before. Shifting up from 3 it would go into neutral sometimes.
Ran some MM oil before to free up the starter sprag clutch. Now she sat since October but usually starts right away.

I could not see any scratch marks on the inside of the trans cover.
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

MattMcCoy wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:38 am If water pump and idler pulleys are not the issue and the noise is coming from that area, could it be further in — main oil pump?
Is the oil pump chain driven?
It sounds a lot like a rubbing chain.
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MattMcCoy
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by MattMcCoy »

patsinterstate81 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:21 am
MattMcCoy wrote: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:38 am If water pump and idler pulleys are not the issue and the noise is coming from that area, could it be further in — main oil pump?
Is the oil pump chain driven?
It sounds a lot like a rubbing chain.
It is.

https://www.cmsnl.com/honda-gl1100-gold ... BAPpsBOLDs
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by WingAdmin »

I used a bit of science on this. I downloaded the audio from your video and put it in some audio editing software. First, I filtered out the top end of the spectrum, leaving only the exhaust pulses behind:

Exhaust Pulses - Spectrogram
Exhaust Pulses - Spectrogram

Interesting that some are much louder than others. It's not consistent, as you would see if one or more cylinders wasn't working correctly, so I don't think it's showing a problem, just that the interaction of some of the pulses both in the collector box/crossover and perhaps your room cancelled some of them out. This represents 0.333 seconds, in which there were 28 pulses, which works out to a four-cylinder engine running at 1260 RPM.

Next I did the same thing, only this time I filtered out the bottom end, leaving only the clicking sound behind that you're hearing:

Clicks - Spectrogram
Clicks - Spectrogram

My expectation was that these were going to be a multiple of the exhaust pulses - like 1/2 the frequency (which would indicate cam shaft, timing belt, etc) or a completely different multiple, which would indicate accessory drive (water pump, oil pump).

To my utter surprise, not only was it also exactly at the same frequency, but the sound of the clicks EXACTLY lines up with the sound of the engine exhaust pulses.

This tells me one thing: that the sound of the click you're hearing is very likely exhaust gas leaking. I would check around your exhaust header gaskets and see if you can detect any exhaust leaks.
patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

Wow, that is a scientific approach!
Thank you for taking the time to try to solve my problem.
I will check as soon as I get home.
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

I couldn't see any exhaust leaks.
Everything is pretty tight in there, except maybe the gaskets are pretty flat now.
Perhaps I should replace them anyways.
Found these https://www.ebay.com/itm/164238304393?c ... #vi-ilComp

I am trying to figure out how to get a stethoscope on my shotgun mic.
Last edited by patsinterstate81 on Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »



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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by WingAdmin »

Also check downstream of the gaskets - the exhaust pipes, crossover, collector box, etc. It's not uncommon for exhaust leaks to sound like "ticks".
patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

The only usable exhaust part was the baffled tip.
No crossover, just autozone 2 1/4 straight pipe.
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by DenverWinger »

patsinterstate81 wrote: Tue Jan 26, 2021 8:58 pm I am trying to figure out how to get a stethoscope on my shotgun mic.
Try using an empty paper towel tube to direct the microphone.
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

A paper towel tube is too big in diameter.
I'll have to find something smaller.

Installed new exhaust pipe gaskets on all four and checked for leaks.
That did not change anything, it's still clicking...
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by Fatboy46 »

still clicking.. 2 ideas- 1- turn up the volume of the radio... 2- get rid of the mufflers- run straight pipes? ;-)
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by Nicksacco »

Here are a couple of thoughts:

Starter: After rebuilding a ’78 engine, I used Synthetic motorcycle oil and the engine started and ran great. I decided to change the oil and used Castrol 20-50 standard oil. Once it got cold the starter sprag clutch sounded exactly like yours does when cold.
Yes, your springs could be gummed up, however oil choice did make a difference on mine.

Noise: You say you noticed it the AFTER the 300 mile ride. I’m then assuming that the oil pressure was good and the water pump (we can see it turning) is working ok. And I’m assuming the oil level is good. Thus here are some ideas for you.
1) An idler pulley could be bad even though it’s new. I would remove the belts and spin them/turn over by hand. It’s possible there is something lodged behind one of them – you could feel that turning by hand – check for wobble.
2) I can’t see anything, but could there be something stuck behind the camshaft pulleys themselves? Or is one hitting something? Is a belt slightly shredded and a loose fiber hitting something?
3) The camshafts obviously raise and lower the valves. Do you have a sticking valve? It doesn’t sound like it as the exhaust beats are pretty smooth, but worth checking. You can do it without removing the heads by removing the camshafts and depressing the valves manually – but this is messy and a last resort.
4) The ticking happens when engine speed rises above idle. Could the noise be related to the tachometer cable? Disconnect and plug the engine hole and try it.
5) Does it make the noise in gear? Raise the rear wheel and try the gears. Obviously make sure the rear wheel isn’t going to hit the ground during the test. It almost sounds like gears are trying to mesh – clutch not disconnecting.
6) Someone suggested a chain too. There are 2 chains; Starter, Primary Drive and Oil pump. The Primary drive chain has a tensioner on it, but it doesn’t seem that it could be stuck – especially since you drove 300 miles with no noise. Could the starter sprag be sticking and trying to spin the starter motor? Is the starter motor loose?
7) Could the noise be coming from the pulse generator/advancer area?

There is a nice engine rebuild YouTube series that shows all the guts if you need to see it for reference.

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Techdude2000
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by Techdude2000 »

The only time I’ve heard a noise like that was an issue with a timing belt. If you tighten some cars belts too tight they will do that. I did notice there’s a difference in the tension of your two belts. The right side, left in the video, has more bounce in the longest span than the left side, right side in the video. How did you set the tension on them? Just the springs or did you put a little finger pressure on them too? If it’s not the belts, is there any chance a foreign object moved inside the coolant passages and got stuck in the pump housing and is being hit by the impeller?
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by canuck623 »

On your video when you first tried to start it your starter made a similar noise. What I am hearing is the one way clutch in the starter drive being over run when the engine starts. I don't think your starter is disengaging. That's my .02c worth. Will be looking for the fix post.
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

Thank you all for the many suggestions!

I will check into all of them.
I agree, the sound is similar to the starter not engaging or the gears not gripping.

I will explain the starter issue in detail once I get off work today.
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

Re: starter clutch

After I rebuilt the carbs she didn't want to start. The starter clutch wasn't catching at all.
Someone told me to overfill with a quart of marvel mystery oil, lift the front end up 30° and hold it there for 30 minutes,
then drain the quart back out and start it. That helped and she started fine with an occasional clutch miss.
I drained all the oil and refilled with Rotella T6 5W40. She ran fine for 200 miles and the cooling system worked fine on hot days.
Then the gear missing started when shifting up into 3rd or 4rth. It would go into neutral instead and then one day she started that clicking noise.
I used the stethoscope to locate it in the water pump body area. I installed a new pump with new gaskets (the old one was relatively new without any play)
For the belt pulleys I used the KIA type recommended in the forum. Machined spacers so I can seat and stretch a longer bolt better (photo) over the chamfered plate.
The tension was set by the springs, but now that it's pointed out, I can see one is tighter. I will double check that. I remember it was difficult to get the belt on to begin with.
I rebuilt the fuel pump with a new diaphragm and installed a new Tachometer cable (the old one was making a different kind of noise at the tach), doubled checked fit and there was no noise coming through
the stethoscope in that area.
I will check going through the gears tomorrow with the rear jacked up.
Thanks for the YouTube link, I subscribed and found very helpful info there. A shop manual came in the mail today as well.

So in case the starter is not disengaging, any ideas how I can double check that? Shouldn't it generate electricity in that case and it could be measured?

Thanks!
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by Nicksacco »

One of the issues diagnosing engines is that sound is hard to pinpoint. The stethoscope is certainly a big help though.

Another thing is trying to work on a GL with the engine in the frame. That’s a knuckle buster. That said, I thought of a couple things and then you may have to pull the engine if you can’t find the noise. Question though; is where you keep the bike really cold? It will affect the oil as it will get very thick. And if the sprags are stuck/grabbing already, that makes it worse.

You mentioned if the starter is being dragged along would there be electricity generated. Yes it would be. Remove the starter motor wire and test with a meter set to a low, like 20VDC and see. Ground to the starter motor body and positive to the wire connector. However the starter might just be occasionally moving and not really turning enough to generate anything - but worth a try before pulling the engine.

Kindly clarify one thing: As I understand, this clicking noise you have now existed before you replaced the water pump – is that correct?
Was that your impetus for changing the water pump?

In lieu of pulling the engine, you might try draining the oil (keeping it) and overfilling (lots) with clean white K1 kerosene and let that soak in for a few days with bike tilted. It’s easy, cheap and won’t hurt a thing. It would cover the entirety of the engine internals. You can turn the engine over by hand or with very short bursts on the starter and sort of swish things around. Then I would recommend refilling with that oil you saved, run the engine, then drain it again and install fresh oil. This time I would use a synthetic JASO oil like Mobil One. You can install a new oil filter on the second oil refill.

The problem is that the stator is up on the top of the rear of the engine and it’s difficult for the kero get to – that why the original advice to tilt the bike. Good advice though. Not properly managing oil changes and neglect can lead to a lot of nasty, sticky things forming inside an engine. I don’t know if that’s the case with yours. I’ve seen old oil/sludge inside an engine that looked like grease! Just be very careful tilting the bike – get help! I guess you have it on a stand of some sort.

I’m hoping that the shift forks and shift drum are all good and not affecting the gear changes. There isn’t a good way to run a magnet inside the engine. The best place is through the port on the right side where the oil pickup is. Unfortunately the frame is in the way. You could however tape a few very strong neodymium magnets on the oil filter housing. Metal fragments inside an engine can give a clue as to what's happening/happened.
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by Nicksacco »

Here is something I found on Randakks. A great site for advice and knowledge
It's a little different from your situation though as the rattle goes away as engine speed increases.

https://www.randakksblog.com/diesel-clatter/

“Hi..I recently purchased a 1979 Gold Wing with a rattle in the engine at idle that went away when revved up. It was not the primary drive chain. Turns out the 12 mm bolt on the end of alternator rotor that you use to turn engine when setting points was loose. Apparently someone turned it backwards and loosened the bolt in so doing. A good thing to check if someone has a rattle in engine..Arthur”


Also https://www.randakksblog.com/gl1000-sta ... haul-tips/
1978 GW
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patsinterstate81
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Re: 81 Gl1100 front noise

Post by patsinterstate81 »

Nicksacco wrote: Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:00 am

Kindly clarify one thing: As I understand, this clicking noise you have now existed before you replaced the water pump – is that correct?
Was that your impetus for changing the water pump?
That is correct Sir, in both instances.

The alternator bolt is tight, I recently double checked the timing.
Unfortunately I somehow overtightened the cover a bit, it does not get really tight anymore.

I am not opposed of pulling the engine by myself. I have the blue aluminum engine jack from Harbor F.
Friends are social distancing now and I won't get any help.
Riding season is still a few weeks away and I would not like to have me bite this in the rear down the road.

Question is, what else can I do while I have it out? And how to address the shifting issue?

Thanks Nick


1981 Gl1100 interstate, naked
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