Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

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Chainman
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Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#1

Post by Chainman »

I am a novice motorcycle mechanic.


This is Donna
photostudio_1573231891080.jpg
You probably see her like this:
IMG_20191106_103546.jpg
I brought her home last Tuesday and begin soaking the stubborn plugs for removal, see, she seems to have a stuck piston. Probably on the right side as it took two days to get those plugs out. Then three days of PPB and MMO down the plug holes, I decided to attempt to pull the heads and see what the deal was. I've never pulled a head before and decided the right should go first. I removed the valve covers and they were filthy; fears of high water creeped into my head. Two years ago, hurricane Florence dropped the equivalent of the Chesapeake Bay on us and there was widespread flooding all over North Carolina. I pulled the timing belts and discovered the right side cam wouldn't move; not good. I've got all the bolts removed from the right side head and it won't budge. I've given it a few gentle raps with a wooden block with zero movement. I suspect the frozen piston is keeping the head from pulling away. Unless of course, there's more to removing a head than removing the six interior bolts, the small bolt underneath, the two JIS screws from the top, and the two bolts from the tachometer drive.

Any wisdom you are willing to share is appreciated.

Here are some pictures from along the way:
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Fred Camper
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#2

Post by Fred Camper »

This is an interference engine so to turn the cam with the belts off can damage a valve at the minimum. Best to follow the help section on head removal.

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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#3

Post by wingrider »

Welcome! Looks like you have all the bolts out, and being you mentioned the small one from below, it is most likely just stuck. A tad more persuasion should get it off....there are some hollow dowels in the corners of the head that can stick.

Can you lift up on the coolant tubing? No point making stick even more.
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#4

Post by ericheath »

Gravity has been pulling the heads down for a long time. Try lifting from below the head. My last few I have had the bike on a jack, supported the head and lowered the jack a bit to lift the head. They pop free easily for me. A few taps or a broom handle in an exhaust port.
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#5

Post by gltriker »

Welcome! tumb2
Looks like you'll have more than just one stuck piston in that engine. :shock:
Cliff

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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#6

Post by pidjones »

Water in the crankcase is really bad. Still, might be recoverable. Check some of my thread on "the Hunley" to see recovery from water in cylinders. Your tank looks pretty good. I'd vacuum it out and try swishing some acetone around in it. If the white stuff dissolves, it is probably a coating product called Kreem that will fully come out with acetone. If not, vinegar may remove it. Just make sure it doesn't continue flaking off. Lots of great recovery threads on here. Read, learn, be patient.
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#7

Post by Chainman »

Thanks for the tips.

Using the search function, I found impeccable instructions for removing the carburetors:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=57408&p=629893&hili ... 00#p629893

Some more pics:
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#8

Post by Chainman »

I got the heads off today and managed to move the pistons one length of the cylinder by rapping it with a hammer and wooden block. To my inexperienced eye, the cylinders look ok. I can't get it to turn over with a wrench on the crank shaft so I guess I'll keep working it back and forth with the hammer and keep it bathed in PPB until it loosens up. That seems to be in my current skill set; beat it with a hammer! :lol:

But seriously, now that I've torn Donna down this much it be a shame not to strip her all the way to the ground a do a proper restoration. It'd be my first. My other fixer-upper was more of a "rustoration". The Hawk is a bit of a rat, but I still love it. Got patina.

Any advice is welcome.

Here are some pics:
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#9

Post by Chris in TN »

Chainman wrote:I am a novice motorcycle mechanic.
I'm going to take you at your word here and suggest a website that helps folks just getting started on working on bikes.

Dan's online Motorcycle Repair Course at http://www.dansmc.com/MC_repaircourse.htm

Dan ran a one man motorcycle repair shop in Idaho for years and decided to pass on what he knows about fixing bikes. So, when you consult his pages, it's basically like having an old timer sitting in the corner of your garage drinking coffee you can turn to and ask, "I dunno man, what the heck do I do about that?".

- Is his stuff sometimes pretty basic? Yep.
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If you liked or admired How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot by John Muir then this is kind of the same idea. Think of it as maintenance skills as folk wisdom.
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#10

Post by JamesPal »

Chainman, good to see you on NGW. Lots good people over here. Nice progress on the bike. That engine is going to need a lot of love. Just take it one step at a time. Pretty soon you are going to be an expert. BTW, I thought you should have changed your screen name to Shaftman :)
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Chainman
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#11

Post by Chainman »

Chris in TN wrote: I'm going to take you at your word here and suggest a website that helps folks just getting started on working on bikes.
Thanks Chris, Dan's site is exactly what I need.
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#12

Post by Chris in TN »

Chainman wrote:Thanks Chris, Dan's site is exactly what I need.
Sorry, I forgot to add this to my first message. You probably already know about this website but just in case, here's a URL to a webpage offering PDF's of the factory shop manual, the owner's manual. and the Haynes manual for the GL1000.

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/12806 ... -1000.html

I downloaded them to my computer and just print out the applicable pages I need when I head out to the garage.
Chris
Current fleet:
1976 GL1000, 1978 GS1000E, 1979 GS1000S, 1981 CM400C,
1986 RG500G, 1988 R100RS, 1991 K100RS, 1997 GSF1200
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#13

Post by Chainman »

The pistons seem to be loosening. They still require the use of the block and hammer but definitely less force is required.

Here's what I know I don't know:

-If the pistons loosen up enough to move "easily" in the cylinders, I won't know if I have good compression until I reassemble the bike and perform a compression test.

-If I split the engine and hone the cylinders, do the same size rings go back? Then reassemble the bike to test for compression?

-Splitting the engine and boring the cylinders for larger pistons seems like a last resort and requires a machine shop. I assume this shouldn't be attempted under the shade tree.

Anways, I bought a jack in anticipation of removing the engine. Should I modify the saddle or place a block or something along those lines? I've attached a photo.

As always, any advice or experience you wish to share is welcomed and appreciated.
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#14

Post by Fred Camper »

A 2"x4"x2 foot is your friend with that jack, but it will be nice to have 4 hands if you lower it more than 2 inches.
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1977 GL1000 BADDOG (April 2012 BOTM)
1976 LTD - '993 LTD...and so it begins'

You should remember that it's peace of mind you're after and not just fixing the machine. R.Pirsig
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Re: Waking Donna; a '75 GL1000

#15

Post by robin1731 »

May want to check in to getting rings before you start taking the engine apart. And bearings. Because why take one down that far and then put old parts back in if you don't have to.


And no, just honing the cylinder will not require larger pistons/rings. Unless you get carried away.
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