Cylinder head interchangeability

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2022 9:44 am
Location: Alabama
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200 Interstate
1984 GL1200 Aspencade
1980 CM400A

Cylinder head interchangeability

Post by lcdrjoe »

I've looked on several goldwing sites and seen this same question asked several times, without an actual answer being given even once. Can you take a head from any gl1200 (interstate or aspencade) from 84 to 87 and will it function on an 87 interstate? I've looked at the parts listing and see the following:
1. The bare heads are actually the same part number for left or right for a given year. That was a surprise to me.
2. That 84 and 85 use the same part number for the bare head.
3. For any given year, an interstate and aspencade use the same part number for the bare head.
4. The camshaft part number is the same for 84 and 85, and the same for 86 and 87.
5. Head gaskets are the same for all gl1200's.

So, has anyone ever put a complete head assembly (head, cam, valve rockers, ...) from a different year on their bike and had it work? Like have you put a head from an 85 on an 87? I completely understand that there must be some difference if the part numbers are different, but it could be that there's just a cosmetic change. We are talking about a motorcycle, not a nuclear reactor.

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Bike...and Dennis
Posts: 232
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:33 pm
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Motorcycle: 1987 GL1200I

Re: Cylinder head interchangeability

Post by Bike...and Dennis »

Good question. I'm pretty sure idiots who work at motorcycle shops have done the exchange but not sure it worked well.
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