1988 Wing work..winter project!

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Posts: 680
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:43 pm
Location: Coatesville, PA
Motorcycle: 2008 GL1800-HPNA - 85,000+ miles
1995 Bunkhouse camping trailer
Darkside #1720
bikes owned:
1975 CB550-4 final mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maximum 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1982 CB750-F Super Sport 60,000+ miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles

1988 Wing work..winter project!

Post by wingpilot08 »

So back in 2020-21 my brother went and purchased a 1988 Wing. it appeared to be in decent condition, 123,000 miles. He and his wife had used it for weekend rides, going out after work and local rides. In 2022 he indicated that the bike was having issues with lack of power, hesitation. I assumed that the issue could be a vacuum leak and offered to take the bike as a winter project for him as he really doesn't have to work on the bike in his small garage (which also houses a 1997 Road King needing a started replace...future project I assume :D ). So we trailered the bike to my house and I started dismantling it, removing most of the tupperware and putting the bike on a bike lift. Ther previous owner had some additional lights added to the bike that my brother wanted removed, so naturally I had to remove the old extra wiring. Plans were to inspect all that I could, try to determine if there was a vacuum leak, replace all fluids, timing belts, check the brakes, replace the air filter. Basically get the bike in a better condition. Also, the request was made to replace any incandescent bulbs with LEDs, install USB chargers front and back, upgrade the radio to have Bluetooth and install a seat heater pad for the passenger (which then required to upgrade the alternator and add a power distribution pad to provide more power and protect the bike wiring harness. I took some picture to show the progress to my brother since he lives in adjacent state (about a 1 hr ride)..and I saved a few of the pictures.

tupperware removed

wiring removed

Things got a little strange when changing the oil..removed the drain plug..and when the oil drained out..the total amount of oil was about 2 cups...NOT quarts.. :o :shock:
From there started looking at the other fluids..Brake fluid was present...but extremely cloudy and brownish. Antifreeze was topped off, but not knowing the last time it was changed, it had to go, besides I was doing the timing belts. I removed a rats nest of wiring (as seen in the picture). The rear brake caliper was in bad shape, both piston's were severely corroded, so they were replaced along with the brake pads. While the bike was apart, I removed the air compressor and "recharged" the desiccant to the nice blue color, removed the air shock and replaced the oil with fresh oil. Changed the rear drive oil. As I said all fluids on the bike were replaced!

As I said I did replace the alternator with a new high output alternator and new bushings. Added a seat heat to the existing seat. Did the "aux" modification to the radio and instead of using a plug, I added a Bluetooth device. USB ports on the bike and replaced a lot of lights with LEDs including the trunk and saddlebags with LED strips. I also discovered a few cracks in the tupperware, to be expected on 35 year old< and did my best to fix with ABS slurry and some ABS from old Lego blocks.

I didn't find any issues with the vacuum lines and attributed the issue of hesitation to lack of oil (??) . But after taking the bike out for a test drive is feels fine and has good acceleration. I cleaned up the bike as much as possible, tried to gently degrease as much as possible and the lube whatever could be lubricated.

back together

Lights on

Seat heat button

USB rear

USB front

2008 GL1800-HPNA - Red 83,000+ miles
1995 Bunkhouse Camper
Darkside #1720
1975 CB550-4 mileage unknown
1982 Yamaha 650 Maxim 30,000 miles
1987 Yamaha XVZ-1300 Venture 109,000 miles
1982 CB750-FSS 60,000+ miles
1996 Honda GL1500-SE 210,000 miles
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Andy Cote
Posts: 1108
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 2015 Goldwing, basic black

Re: 1988 Wing work..winter project!

Post by Andy Cote »

Great bike. Nice project.

One thing, not a criticism, did you pull the driveshaft, clean/inspect/lubricate the splines, replace seals and o-rings?

Hydraulic valve lash adjusters so low oil might have caused a performance issue - other things as well. I'd be wary of that at least for a few hundred miles.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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Posts: 1200
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:10 pm
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Motorcycle: 99 Gl-1500 SE
76 GL-1000
77 Honda Trail 90

Re: 1988 Wing work..winter project!

Post by offcenter »

If you are going to replace the alternator, all I can say is good luck.
The current crop of alternators out there are all made in China.
And they SUCK. I went through two of them in two years. Each one lasted
less than 10,000 miles.
I finally found an original new old stock genuine Honda alternator, at a gut
wrenching price. So far, so good. But knowing how these bikes were when
new, my "new" Honda alternator should last as long as I'll be able to ride
the bike.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"
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