1200 Head Gasket Change

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Mike-C
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1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #1 by Mike-C » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:10 pm

Good Day Folks;
I am in the midst of changing the head gaskets on my 1200 Interstate and an slowly getting more and more paranoid. I took the left head off, removed the cam holder, changed the stem seals and lapped the valves. Now the problem, the front cylinder's (number 2?) valves are lightly open when I reinstalled the cam holder and as the piston is on TDC I am afraid I am going to bend something when I put the head back on. The cam is in the right place with the keyway straight up and is exactly where it was when I took it apart. Do the valves need to be bled? I do not remember the valves position when I took it apart. I have done valve jobs before but have never had a problem, as I said I am getting a bit paranoid . . .
I did my own 1200's LH head two weeks ago but it was a simple head gasket change, I did not remove the cam holder so nothing was disturbed.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Mike Coleman
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 (un-Terstate)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
Mike Coleman
North Lancaster, Ontario
Canada

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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #2 by RAT » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:05 pm

Advice ?? Get it right ....

Gord :lol: anim-cheers1 :lol:
"I'd rather Ride than Shine"
‘84 GL1200 Interstate ‘R2B6' (Rat to Be 6)
'82 GL1100 Interstate 'R2B5' for sale ....
Team 898, Team LTD 993 and Team '76 R2B3
My Original 'RAT' was an '82 CB900/1100F

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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #3 by CYBORG » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:08 pm

The lifters are hydraulic, and have to be bled before installed. And after installed keep the head upright before installing. They should self adjust..... but you probable knew that
1978 custom GL1000
1977 custom with 1200 engine
1985 gl1200

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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #4 by Mike-C » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:47 pm

Gents;
I know the lifters are hydraulic, I will turn the cam a few revolutions and see if the valves lie down to where they should be. The head is still on the bench, I'll let y'all know what develops.
Mike Coleman
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 (un-Terstate)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
Mike Coleman

North Lancaster, Ontario

Canada

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ericheath
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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #5 by ericheath » Tue Jun 11, 2019 11:24 pm

You’ll have zero compression for a while as they pump up. Keep cranking. I almost had a heart attack the first time I did it.

Do you have the manual?
Whatever I suggest here should be given ample time for a moderator to delicately correct. I apologize in advance.
77 WING, 1200 engine with 77 heads, cams, gl1100 foot pegs, Magna V65 front end, 764A carbs, [-gone Suzuki M109 monoshock--, replaced with gl1100 shocks] gl 1200 swing arm, gl1500 final drive, wheel and rear brakes Valkyrie seat, Meanstreak tank, Sportster pipes, Power Arc ignition off crank.
77 Wing. black
83 Wing, in pieces
"Continuing education is important even if the subject matter is fairly useless (as in this case)."---Greg Foresi

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Mike-C
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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #6 by Mike-C » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:46 am

Hi Eric;
I have the manual and I have done the job before, I just never noticed that the 'TDC' cylinder's valves (#2 in this case) are slightly open and I am getting paranoid.
Mike Coleman
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 (un-Terstate)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
Mike Coleman

North Lancaster, Ontario

Canada

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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #7 by Mike-C » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:10 pm

Gents, Eric I agree.
I installed the head, etc and connected my compression gauge. Like you, I held my breath, gave everything a triple once over and connected the big car battery I have for reluctant engines, powered it right to the solenoid and held my breath. No compression ! UGH. I started to panic, and called myself all kinds of names. As an accomplished DIY mechanic on two, four, and six wheels, this cannot be happening! What did I do? By this time there was oil splashing everywhere (cam cover not installed) and I decided to install the cam cover and let it crank for a while. I installed the cam cover, reconnected the battery and after another 20 agonizing seconds I saw the needle on the gauge start to tickle, then it bounced around and then, gloriously, started to slowly rise 120, 140, 165 ! 165 LBS of wonderful compression. YEE HAH ! The end result was 165 lbs on number 2 and 160 LBS on number 4. I will re-install the spark plugs, the intake manifolds and loose fit the exhaust and then go ride on my Wing. I feel good and personally vindicated.
Tomorrow I will start on the RH side.
Mike Coleman
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 (un-Terstate)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
Mike Coleman

North Lancaster, Ontario

Canada

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ericheath
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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #8 by ericheath » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:43 pm

Been there, crapped that!
Whatever I suggest here should be given ample time for a moderator to delicately correct. I apologize in advance.
77 WING, 1200 engine with 77 heads, cams, gl1100 foot pegs, Magna V65 front end, 764A carbs, [-gone Suzuki M109 monoshock--, replaced with gl1100 shocks] gl 1200 swing arm, gl1500 final drive, wheel and rear brakes Valkyrie seat, Meanstreak tank, Sportster pipes, Power Arc ignition off crank.
77 Wing. black
83 Wing, in pieces
"Continuing education is important even if the subject matter is fairly useless (as in this case)."---Greg Foresi

User avatar
Mike-C
True Blue Steel Biker
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Posts: 2135
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:26 pm
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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #9 by Mike-C » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:48 pm

Eric,
Yessir.
Mike Coleman
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 (un-Terstate)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
Mike Coleman

North Lancaster, Ontario

Canada

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RAT
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Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #10 by RAT » Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Glad you took my advice .... anim-cheers1

Gord(ever helpful)Jones :orange
"I'd rather Ride than Shine"
‘84 GL1200 Interstate ‘R2B6' (Rat to Be 6)
'82 GL1100 Interstate 'R2B5' for sale ....
Team 898, Team LTD 993 and Team '76 R2B3
My Original 'RAT' was an '82 CB900/1100F

User avatar
Mike-C
True Blue Steel Biker
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Posts: 2135
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:26 pm
Location: North Lancaster, Ontario, Canada

Re: 1200 Head Gasket Change

Post #11 by Mike-C » Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:49 pm

Thanks Gord;
I could not have done it without you.
Mike Coleman
'84 Wing-Lite (ex-Aspencade)
'84 (un-Terstate)
'84 Standard (as yet un-named)
'96 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 (The Vulcanator)
Mike Coleman

North Lancaster, Ontario

Canada


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