Engine Noise Identification


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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GeoDude
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1992 GL1500A Aspencade
1981 GL500I SilverWing

Engine Noise Identification

Post by GeoDude »



Hi guys,

Been a regular to this site for a few years now, but finally needed to create an account to ask for help with this issue. I'm getting a bit of a ticking/knocking sound on my Goldwing that appeared this spring after a ~400km ride. At first it was just a noise, but shortly afterwards I realized I could feel a slight shake through the handlebars at idle as well, perfectly in time with the sound. Worth noting I've got a fairly high mileage bike at almost 180,000km (112,000mi).

My first thought was that the timing belts were probably loose and slapping up against the tensioners. I got in there and re-tensioned them as they were definitely loose, but I didn't replace them (yet). That didn't affect the sound at all. I spent some time listening to the motor with a socket extension as an impromptu stethoscope, and I've identified the rear engine cover as the source of the sound.

It makes the same sound while idling parked, or while driving, but it blends in with the engine noise at higher RPMs. Now I'm think it could possibly be the clutch or oil pump? Any speculation is welcome at this point!


Video of the sound:

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Rodzim
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by Rodzim »

Remove rhe oil filter and dump the contents through a coffee filter, that should tell you if you have a bad rod bearing.
If you see metal flakes in the filter you definitely have something major.

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GeoDude
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1992 GL1500A Aspencade
1981 GL500I SilverWing

Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by GeoDude »

I've put a little bit of SeaFoam in the oil and am planning to change it in the next day or two, will definitely filter it out and see what I find.
Thanks!

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Erdeniz Umman
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by Erdeniz Umman »

Maybe the alternator rubber dampers are bad.

Rodzim
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by Rodzim »

Erdeniz Umman wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:50 pm
Maybe the alternator rubber dampers are bad.
Thats certainly a possibility, its a common issue on gl1500s.

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GeoDude
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1992 GL1500A Aspencade
1981 GL500I SilverWing

Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by GeoDude »

Erdeniz Umman wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:50 pm
Maybe the alternator rubber dampers are bad.
I felt the alternator casing while running but the ticking was far less noticeable than on the rear engine cover.

Rodzim wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:51 am
Remove rhe oil filter and dump the contents through a coffee filter, that should tell you if you have a bad rod bearing.
If you see metal flakes in the filter you definitely have something major.
I just changed the oil this evening and ran the filter through a coffee filter as you suggested. Definitely noticed a lot of little sparkles. Nothing that was really big enough to see on its own, without light reflecting off it.

Rodzim
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by Rodzim »

Sparkles like that are normal. The geartrain shares the engine oil so gears wearing normally would show up as sparkles. I was looking for noticeable pieces. Im not that familiar with the insides of the 1500.
Its hard to judge sound through a youtube video.
There is a way to check if a rod bearing is bad without taking the engine apart. Take the spark plugs out and rotate the engine until you see the piston going down, then try to push each piston down with a long screwdriver or a metal rod. If you feel the piston moving and you hear a thud, then you know you have a bad rod bearing and likely a bad rod. If you dont feel any movement you should be fine.
Its very important that you catch the piston going down, it doesnt matter if its in compression or exhaust stroke.

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GeoDude
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1992 GL1500A Aspencade
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by GeoDude »

I'll have to give that a try tomorrow. I forgot to mention that I've also done a compression test on the bike and 4 cylinders tested identical, 2 were low but only by 5-7 psi.

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Mh434
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by Mh434 »

I don't believe that 5-7 psi difference is even considered significant. I'd consider that completely within the normal range of cylinder-to-cylinder differences, even on a new motor. As I recall, industry standard is that for engines over 100 psi compression pressure, over 10 psi difference (greater than 10% variation) is where you start to be concerned.

Considering that GL1500's typically (from my reading, not from personal experience) give readings in the 150+ psi range, then a 5 psi difference only represents a paltry 3% - a far cry from the 10% level of concern.

As for the noise, it could even be a slight exhaust leak at the collector box - mine has such a leak, and makes a noise just like that....

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GeoDude
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by GeoDude »

Mh434 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:10 pm
I don't believe that 5-7 psi difference is even considered significant.
Yeah it was all very close and around the 145 psi mark, which I figured was a pretty fantastic result for a 27 year old motor.
Mh434 wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:10 pm
As for the noise, it could even be a slight exhaust leak at the collector box - mine has such a leak, and makes a noise just like that....
I've heard about exhaust leaks making a ticking sound like this. I don't think that's the case here because I can actually feel a rattle from it. When using a socket extension to listen to the motor, I could hear the sound from anywhere. The moment I listened to the rear engine cover it was as if it was tapping directly on my ear drum, like 100x louder than anywhere else on the bike.

I've also tried using a length of fuel hose, sticking one end in my ear and probing around the engine to see if I could locate it that way, but I didn't hear much coming from the exhaust.

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Mh434
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by Mh434 »

Sorry - well, it was worth a shot!

tsandvik
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by tsandvik »

Let's hope it is not what I ended up with....Shifting fork in transmission. I got what sounds like your sound. Same places, same feel. Then the dreaded slip out of 4th back to 3rd.
Try parking bike on a uphill spot and listen, then down hill spot. If sound goes away on one, you are screwed. Only way to fix tranny is engine removal and from present experience...this is not a fun job.
Good luck. Hope this is something else for your sake.

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GeoDude
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Re: Engine Noise Identification

Post by GeoDude »

tsandvik wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:11 am
Let's hope it is not what I ended up with....Shifting fork in transmission. I got what sounds like your sound. Same places, same feel. Then the dreaded slip out of 4th back to 3rd.
I think the only slipping I've experienced is it popping out of 2nd back into Neutral, but I don't tend to spend a lot of time in 4th. I've got a hill near me that I'll try your test on in the next couple days. Any clue if that is something that would be of immediate concern of being left stranded somewhere, or if it could run for a while yet in this state?



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