The epic continues

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MonkeyWrench
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The epic continues

#1

Post by MonkeyWrench »

The next little surprise came while running down "cooling issues," the GW had gotten pretty hot on my last ride. I parked it thinking I had a stuck thermostat or perhaps some issue with the water pump. What I found when I finally had time to start digging into it, is that I have a blown head gasket (can't imagine what else it could be.)

When I went to drain the coolant I found that the reason it overheated was... no coolant. I got about an ounce of brown liquid. NOT a good sign. At a glance everything had looked OK, the overflow was full of clean new coolant BUT I discovered that the siphon hose was cracked at the fitting by the rad cap so it never drew.

So thinking it *might* have been human error (someone forgot to refill w/ coolant? Stranger things have happened !) I tried refilling with distilled water and in the process filled #1 cylinder too !! :-/

I hadn't noticed any steamy sweet-smelling exhaust at all so I suspect it had already consumed all the coolant by the time I bought it, it was just waiting for a ride that was long enough to get good and hot.

Immediately prior to putting it up for sale, previous owner had just had RS head replaced at a local shop – due to broken spark plug that couldn't be extracted, he said. He paid $2500 for the work – and now it has a blown head gasket pretty much straight out of the shop doors ?!?

I have a top end gasket kit on order, should be here in a few days. I’m planning to replace both sides for good measure. Never hurts to be proactive. PO called the shop, and told me they're expecting me to show up there, sounds like they are willing to do something to make this right. I will go talk to them as I definitely feel they should be doing something – but being seriously unimpressed with their work, I very much do NOT want to deliver the GW back into their hands. I’m not really keen on giving them another crack at f%@king up my engine.

One thing that’s easy to spot without even starting to pull things apart, is that the water pipe joint into the RS head appears to have been put back with only RTV (or gasket maker of some sort) where there should be a proper gasket. I’m curious to see if any other corners were cut !?! I want to see first hand what they’ve done.

Also the timing belts look to be in alright shape but clearly not new. No idea when they were changed last, and the shop just slapped the old ones back in. I'd have thought it was a no brainer to replace them considering the small cost, when you were right in there anyway !! Yet another thing that makes me question their experience & judgement...
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Lifelong Honda rider, first GW a/o June 2024
1984 GL1200 Interstate – Soon to begin going naked...

( Aftermarket lights, LED friendly flasher etc. already on order ! )
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Fred Camper
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Re: The epic continues

#2

Post by Fred Camper »

Just another example of why many of us do our own wrenching now. Wrenching is a sport, after all.
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redglbx
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Re: The epic continues

#3

Post by redglbx »

Personally, if you have no idea when the belts were last changed that is a “must do” thing ! Age is the thing that kills the belts not mileage. I broke the LH OE belt when it only had about 13k on the motor but was 25yrs old and still looked pretty new, I keep it displayed prominantly in my shop to always remind me to CHANGE YOUR BELTS !

That little adventure cost me around $400 in parts with me doing all the labor to replace the 4 bent valves, luckily it didn’t punch a hole in one of the pistons or bend a rod which would of junked my motor,,,,,,, CHANGE THOSE BELTS !

I have new belts sitting there waiting on me to get my back fixed again so I can work on it, this will be the third time since 2000, they seem to be good for 7-10yrs before changing. All came out looking new ..but belts are cheaper than valves. I buy mine from Rock Auto for around $12 each, Gates t274. Change em !!!
Red 1976 oe owner
1976 LTD restored
1980 CBX , in the que, to fix the ignorant heavy handed owner
1981 CBX
1977 CB750 K7
2014 FJR OE owner, sold
1980 GL1100
1984 GL1200 naked
1969 CL350, in the que
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MonkeyWrench
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Re: The epic continues

#4

Post by MonkeyWrench »

redglbx wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 7:33 am Personally, if you have no idea when the belts were last changed that is a “must do” thing ! Age is the thing that kills the belts not mileage.
Thanks for the input, and sorry if I wasn't clear on that point – but yes new belts are on order along with the gasket kit.

PO seems to have taken pretty decent care of it but since I know very little about its history I'm still giving it a very thorough inspection and proactive maintenance. Final drive & brakes will follow. Idle is a little inconsistent so I think carb rebuild will be next up after that.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Lifelong Honda rider, first GW a/o June 2024
1984 GL1200 Interstate – Soon to begin going naked...

( Aftermarket lights, LED friendly flasher etc. already on order ! )
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pidjones
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Re: The epic continues

#5

Post by pidjones »

I would also check that the oil flow restrictor is properly installed in each head.
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Sidecar Bob
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Re: The epic continues

#6

Post by Sidecar Bob »

FWIW, every time I have ever used an aftermarket head gasket it has failed in short order but original ones seem to last forever (this applied to the Suzuki I had in the '80s too).
Is the shop a Honda dealer? I'm thinking if not they may have used aftermarket...
Mr. Honda ('83 GL1100/Dnepr) summer How a motorcycle evolves thread
The Famous Eccles ('84 CX650EI/VeloUral) winter Never Ending Build (CX500forum)
Click: Colour schematics for all GL1000 & GL1100 and GL1200 standard models plus instructions on how to download the full size version
"A guy with two sidecars can't be all bad." - Cookie
Another guy with two sidecars..... Hmmmm... must be something to that....
redglbx
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Re: The epic continues

#7

Post by redglbx »

Tend to agree Bob, but I usually get some life outta them by retorquing the head bolts after a couple of heat cycles BUT I don’t think I’ve had any that haven’t failed other than the OE.

But with the damage to the cylinder walls I was thinking a cheaper alternative to see if it was going to work before spending the big bucks on Honda gaskets. Also I don’t arbitrarily change both head gaskets because one has failed, the oe gasket may outlive the replacement why mess with it.
Red 1976 oe owner
1976 LTD restored
1980 CBX , in the que, to fix the ignorant heavy handed owner
1981 CBX
1977 CB750 K7
2014 FJR OE owner, sold
1980 GL1100
1984 GL1200 naked
1969 CL350, in the que
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Sidecar Bob
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Re: The epic continues

#8

Post by Sidecar Bob »

Yeah, replacing both because one has failed has never made sense to me. I first heard that about headlight bulbs on cars but my thought was that if you replaced both at the same time the chance of both failing at the same time would increase.

I wasn't thinking about the condition of the cylinder walls, just about having both Athena head gaskets fail after less than 1000 Km.
https://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=73408
Mr. Honda ('83 GL1100/Dnepr) summer How a motorcycle evolves thread
The Famous Eccles ('84 CX650EI/VeloUral) winter Never Ending Build (CX500forum)
Click: Colour schematics for all GL1000 & GL1100 and GL1200 standard models plus instructions on how to download the full size version
"A guy with two sidecars can't be all bad." - Cookie
Another guy with two sidecars..... Hmmmm... must be something to that....
redglbx
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Re: The epic continues

#9

Post by redglbx »

👍👍
Red 1976 oe owner
1976 LTD restored
1980 CBX , in the que, to fix the ignorant heavy handed owner
1981 CBX
1977 CB750 K7
2014 FJR OE owner, sold
1980 GL1100
1984 GL1200 naked
1969 CL350, in the que
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