Timing belts


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Drop a gear
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:05 pm
Location: Rochester, NY
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500A Aspencade
2003 Harley Road King
2012 Yamaha V STAR 950
2014 Harley Ultra Limited

Timing belts

Post by Drop a gear »



Ok so I’m a novice with the GW’s. So far, over the winter, I’ve swapped out the air filter, installed a voltmeter/battery tender, installed a 12v outlet in the cubby, sprayed all the the faded crap-brown vinyl a nice black, replaced the speakers, installed Ciro wireless charger for iPhone, (still can’t find where the darn cruise filter goes but I have it). I’m planning oil change next weekend.
I’ve done much more involved mods on my Harleys including full exhaust, big sucker air cleaner, trunk detach kit, wired in a new kick ass horn, added a ton of LEDs to light me up and I do my own 3-hole oil changes. BUT, I will never mess with the engines. I consider that out of my league.
Now we can all agree that the GL1500 clearly needs timing belts replaced as our Wing Father keeps warning us.
I found the only shop out of 5 that would even consider touching my ‘95 GW and they are quoting me 8-10hrs @ $65/hr for timing belts…no mention that they were including coolant or spark plugs either.
I’ve read the detailed DIY article here by the Wing King (the name I’ve bestowed) twice. Realistically, how long would it take a NOVICE GW guy to replace the belts….and I have the coolant, spark plugs too.
So wise men, how long for a **** like me, following the guide step by step on my iPad, to do the swap? I have the supplies and tools but not the confidence. So far, every job I’ve done has taken on twice as long as expected. Should I even attempt it or give up and arm and a leg to the shop guys? Thanks for any advice


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WingNoob
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:56 pm
Location: GTA, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE
2007 KLR650

Re: Timing belts

Post by WingNoob »

I hear ya about getting someone to work on the bike. My local Honda shop wouldn't even do a safety inspection on the 97 Wing that I bought from a private seller last spring. "We don't work on anything over 20 years old because you can't ever get any parts." Never mind the fact that in the past 2 years they've had every single part that I've needed either in stock or available next day...

8-10 hours for just the belts seems way high for a professional shop. Methinks they don't want to mess with all of the plastic bodywork.

My first time wrenching on a wing was last spring. I did the timing belts, coolant, plugs, oil, air filters, sub-air filters, final drive fluid change and tidied up some wiring. I took most of the day just slowly working my way through everything. My biggest concern was not snapping any of the multitude of plastic tabs on the bodywork, but Honda seems to have used quality plastic. I'd say the actual belt swap probably took about 3-4 hours, and that was my first time doing anything on the bike. About 90% of the job is just getting access to the belts. Just keep track of which bits go where and it'll be fine.

With the belts, my only little snaggle was in setting the tension. As I recall, the DIY article suggests using a luggage scale. I had a fish scale so I used that, but it was tricky getting access to test the tension at the proper locations on the belt. In the end I just got it til they had about the same deflection as the belts that I took off (I measured the deflection before taking the belts off). Must be fine, 10,000 miles and no issues.

Just give it a whirl. The guide is very thorough and easy to follow.

Oh and the cruise filter is shown in steps 52-55 here: viewtopic.php?t=11036
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Sassy
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:15 am
Location: Wynndel bc canada
Motorcycle: 1989 gl1500

Re: Timing belts

Post by Sassy »

Commit a day to it. Don't worry about time, get it right and take the 500$ you'd a paid the shop and physically put it in your pocket.
That'll make ya feel good!
Fred
I did it recently but unlike you I have an over abundance of confidence and a lack of tools and decent area to work.
Enjoying the Darkside
Fred
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Timing belts

Post by DenverWinger »

Sassy wrote: Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:40 pm Commit a day to it. Don't worry about time, get it right and take the 500$ you'd a paid the shop and physically put it in your pocket.
That'll make ya feel good!
Fred
I did it recently but unlike you I have an over abundance of confidence and a lack of tools and decent area to work.
I did timing belt change just shortly after I bought my '93, I do have a good place to work and sufficient tools. But what scared me the most was getting the plastic off this bike so I could get to the timing belts. Timing belts don't scare me, the plastic did, never had a bike with so much plastic, 'fraid of breaking it.

So I used the very good Timing Belt Replacement step-by-step on this site for removing the plastic ("Tupperware") parts. It was very helpful to have a computer in the garage to refer to the pictures in the step-by-step, but you can do that on your phone, too. After I could get to the belts, it was a breeze.

Since then I've removed the Tupperware a couple more times for various other maintenance or accessory work, easier each time after you figure out how the plastic goes together.

As to the timing belt tension, the step-by-step is the correct procedure, but I don't have a gauge. I use the "Goodenuff" method, turn the crankshaft with a wrench so that it is pulling the slack out of the side of the belt that doesn't have a tensioner so it is loosest against the tensioner, then push the tensioner tight against that belt with your fingers and lock it down with the bolts on the tensioner bracket. You want to see the belt being able to deflect about a half inch either way on the long side of the belt (opposite the tensioner) with moderate finger pressure. The idea is to get them tight, but not like a banjo string, you don't want the belts to be so tight they "sing" and wear out the idler pulley bearings, but you don't want them "floppy" either. Readjust if too tight or loose. Get them "Goodenuff". :)

If it isn't "banjo-string" tight, and isn't floppy either, then it is correct. :D

And again, don't be afraid of removing plastic parts either. Follow the Step-by Step. And if you do happen to damage a plastic part, there's "How-To's" here on repairing broken plastic, too.
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
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Andy Cote
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Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 2015 Goldwing, basic black

Re: Timing belts

Post by Andy Cote »

I'll call out that "mechanic." Either he doesn't know what to do or didn't want the job but didn't want to say no. Either way, not someone I would trust to rotate the air in my tires.

Timing belts can seem intimidating but are really straight forward.

This is one of those jobs that you do NOT tackle after work, when you're tired or in a hurry. Plan a day. Get up early and have a positive attitude. Follow the instructions. More than likely you will be done in time to catch lunch at Dairy Queen.

"Issues" are listed in the how-to article. Marks off by half a tooth, weak adjuster springs, certain bolts that require sealant, etc. Knowing and expecting this things will give you confidence and eliminate frustration. If they don't pop up, you'll cruise right through the job.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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DenverWinger
Posts: 1861
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Denver, CO
Motorcycle: (s)
1980 GL1100 STD Vetter (2005-)
1993 GL1500 Aspencade (2017-)
1983 Trav-Lite Camper (2010-)
Past rides
1972 CL350 (1980-1988) sold
1978 Suzuki GS550 (1985-2005) sold
1977 GL1000 (2002-2006) sold

Re: Timing belts

Post by DenverWinger »

Andy Cote wrote: Sat Jul 03, 2021 6:03 am ... not someone I would trust to rotate the air in my tires.
I'll have to remember that one.... :lol: :lol:
♫ 99 Little Bugs in the Code, ♪
♪ 99 Bugs in the Code. ♫ :(
♫ Take one down, Patch it around, ♪
♫ 127 Little Bugs in the Code. ♫ ♪ :shock:

~Mark
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WingAdmin
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
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2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Timing belts

Post by WingAdmin »

A competent professional mechanic should be able to do it in 3 hours, max. The 8-10 hours they quoted you is just a ripoff.
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Drop a gear
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2020 3:05 pm
Location: Rochester, NY
Motorcycle: 1995 GL1500A Aspencade
2003 Harley Road King
2012 Yamaha V STAR 950
2014 Harley Ultra Limited

Re: Timing belts

Post by Drop a gear »

Thank you all so very much for the responses. You have given me the boost I needed to tackle this job on my own. What a great group of people on this site. Happy 4th everyone.
Solo So Long
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:07 pm
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Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 50th Anniversary SE
1989 GL1500 FOR SALE
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Re: Timing belts

Post by Solo So Long »

Nothing to be afraid of. I just did it, yesterday, on the GL1500 that I just bought. If you weren't all the way on the wrong side of the continent, I'd offer to have you come here, and watch over your shoulder as you do the job.

It is NOT a hard job to do. You will need to remind yourself to be patient now and then, and I like to have music playing while I do this.

You NEED a JIS screwdriver to pull the Tupperware, and a torque wrench for making sure you're good on the idler pulley bolts.

I advise using Loctite 242 (Blue) rather than the Red. The day is going to come that this job must be done again, and Loctite Red doesn't like to let go.

Doing just the timing belts, you want to have your belts, a gallon of coolant w/funnel, socket set, pliers (for hose clamps), and a print out of the DIY article, clip or staple it together. Have a pen. Keep the DIY article up in your browser, but as you do each step, mark the printout.

Since you're down there, this is also a good time to do an oil and filter change. I like the Wix oil filters, and the "claw" type filter wrench that attaches to a socket wrench.

A mechanic can do this job, front to back, in 3 hours, and you can save 2 of those hours by pulling and reinstalling the Tupperware yourself. YOU can do this in 4 hours, taking it slow and being patient. If you keep this bike long enough, or get another Goldwing with rubber-band drive, it will take you less time than that.
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CrystalPistol
Posts: 1421
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:07 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500SE/'98 Lehman Trike

Re: Timing belts

Post by CrystalPistol »

Last time I did them on the '97 was after supper and I still got to bed on time, even with TV going in the shop.


Make Courtesy your "Code of the Road" …

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