Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

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roncar
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Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #1 by roncar » Fri Nov 14, 2008 5:59 pm

DISCLAIMER:

First I am NOT:
1. a photographer
2. a writer
3. an engineer
4. a trained motorcycle mechanic

Nor do I play one on TV and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I have, however, replaced a neutral switch on a GL1000 without removing the engine. Here I am going to attempt to repeat that procedure and document with pictures and a narrative. I will be using my 78 'budget restore' project bike (7 of 9) and this should be very similar on all GoldWings 1975 thru 1981.

This is where I'll be today. The lower right front of the engine, right behind the lower frame engine mount. What a place!


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There is a neutral switch in there somewhere.....

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First I removed the exhaust pipes from the right side of the engine. How you have to do yours will vary, depending on type and condition of the exhaust. You may need to drop the entire exhaust system rather than risk damaging a joint or weak spot. I was lucky and just had to remove the header pipes.

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Then drain the oil.

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Now we can get to the task at hand, sorta... The 1000's have Phillips head screws holding the oil screen cover on, the 1100's have hex head bolts. Three of the screws I could access with a hand impact driver, the frontmost one is however impossible to get to with any type of screwdriver. The Honda manual shows an offset screwdriver to get to it, yeah right! I used a small pair of vice-grips to lock on to the head and break it loose.

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Once loose, I backed it out by hand and removed the cover and screw together. I don't know on the 1100 bolt, but you may have to "flex" the frame at this point in order to get it out.

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The screen wasn't really too bad, considering it's probably been there for 30 years.

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To "flex" the frame I removed the lower engine mounting bolt and loosened the front sub-frame bolts, probably a quarter inch or so. Then forced a large flat blade screwdriver between the frame mount and the engine. You don't need a whole lot, but you do need some. Now for the switch. A wrench to get the retaining bolt started, then backed it out by hand.

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The flats on the switch go vertical when installed. Using a screwdriver, I lightly tapped the top of the flat to rotate the switch. Probably 75 to 80 degrees. Enough to grab the switch by the flats with pliers and wiggle it out. Once out rotate the switch to come out by the oil screen access. Now you can get a screwdriver to it to remove the wire.



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Total time so far, 45 minutes (your results may vary.)

Installation is reverse. Do yourself a favor and don't try a used one, been there done that.

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Don't forget to use a shorter bolt in the frontmost of the screen cover (for all 1000's and 1100's). Will make things a lot easier if you ever need to be there again. I think the manual says 3 mm shorter. Also when attaching the wire, hold the switch with the flats on the sides and the drain hole down. Attach the wire exiting up. Then when you install it, with the wire going up, the drain hole will be down.


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This is all the tools I used. No special Honda tools (read expensive), and I used what I had.

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Total time, including taking pictures and clean up, about 2 hours.
"I periodically misspell words just to annoy the word police."

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Post #2 by Roady » Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:49 pm

Very nice. Very, very nice.

I hope I never have to got there.

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Nice Post

Post #3 by leanjoe » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:42 pm

No problem with the switch,but cant even budge oil filter screen cover screws. Impact driver bits actually broke. Now,I guess I have to drill em all out,just dont know how I will get the one behind the frame rail.
75 GL1000,sat for at least 5 years,wanted to check screen. chasnged oil 3 times as per Randakk. Runs good,hate to leave out that obvious step. Thanks for any ideas.
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Re: Nice Post

Post #4 by roncar » Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:05 am

leanjoe wrote:...cant even budge oil filter screen cover screws. Impact driver bits actually broke. Now,I guess I have to drill em all out, just don't know how I will get the one behind the frame rail....

Wow! Have never had that problem (yet.) Other than the obvious, blaster, heat, drill, chisel (from the honda manual), vise grips, impact driver, I don't know what to tell you. I have only ever seen one that was seriously clogged, and there was oil pressure issues, so you are probably ok. That one, though, was enough to make me want to do a one time check on all new to me bikes.

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FYI In my research on procedure and frequency of cleaning this screen, I found the following:

1. the clymer manual has this in the oil change procedure (every oil change?)
2. the honda manual has this in the engine flush part of clutch renewal (when clutch replaced?)
3. the 1200 has the same (or similar) screen with no external access (have to split the case to get to it.)
"I periodically misspell words just to annoy the word police."

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neutral sw

Post #5 by stewagf » Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:04 pm

This is responce to an older post so don't know where it will go, but;
The neutral switch in my '79 had the 'on all the time and brighter in neutral' problem so I decided to replace. The info in this post was extremly helpful to get me where I'm at, which at the moment is 'stuck'.
Exhaust headers off waiting for mufflers, drained oil, removed oil screen cover and oil screen (loosened bottom engine mount bolt to get back cover screw out), rolled the neutral switch around a bit, used screwdriver blade at wire screw with chisel body as fulcrum and levered switch out of housing (most of way out). I cannot get switch entirely out of housing bore, it won't come out far enough (hits frame) to make the swing to freedom. Will I have to drop the engine or remove it to get the sw out?
USA

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Post #6 by Whiskerfish » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:27 pm

If you look at the 9th picture you will see a prybar between the bottom engine mount and the engine. Myself I used hardwood wedges after I unbolted several of the mounts. Ron did it the way the book says but I did not want to flex my frame like that so i took a bunch more stuff off.

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Post #7 by stewagf » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:38 pm

Thanks - I can see clearly now. Tomorrow I will do some more loosening and wedging.
USA

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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #8 by flyin900 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:06 pm

I had to to do this job a few years ago and the old defective switch was stuck in the engine case and the wire had been previously removed and cut off. No amount of fiddling to grab the switch gave me enough leverage to break it loose to remove.

I decided to try shifting the gear shift lever and thus rotating the shifter drum and lo and behold the old switch just popped out of the housing and was easy to remove as previously described.

Just a possible option if you too have one that is stuck and you are unable to get enough of a grip to lever it out.

Cheers,

David
Current Rides:
1976 CB 400F Complete restoration of a low mileage (1080 miles) "Shriners" bike.
1976 GL 1000 Complete restoration of the bike with LTD gold spoke wheels and parts.
1983 CB 1000 Custom-Low mileage full cosmetic restoration back to factory new.
1984 GL 1200 Standard model in showroom condition-two owner bike.
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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #9 by Old Fogey » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:23 pm

Depends how 'stuck' is 'stuck'. If it's 'STUCK' or even 'STUCK' you might have to do this: :shock:


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This is the end result of three hours trying to remove the neutral indicator switch, which is supposed to just pull out! The corrosion was such that I ended up welding a big bolt to the damned thing and wrestled it out with mole grips.
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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #10 by mikenixon » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:07 pm

I was a Honda tech when dealers struggled with this and later employed by corporate Honda in L.A. when Honda at the advice of dealers actually lowered the warranty flat rate from the original 6.5 hours (if memory serves) to something under an hour. It's do-able as you gents have pointed out, and it is even factory sanctioned, which you may not have known.
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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #11 by mikenixon » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:12 pm

One more note. Those of you who have expressed reluctance to spread the frame rail as it must be to do this, see my post immediately above, plus consider this. Gold Wing frames were made a little differently than you might think. You probably imagine a jig holding pipes and a robot welding. Well, the robots did come, not sure what year, and there were indeed jigs, but the interesting part is after welding the frames were put into another set of jigs and actually "straightened" to correct abnormalities caused during construction. The metal is soft, not only for this reason but to avoid the liability that would exist from tendancy to crack. So don't sweat the frame rail levering with a crow bar. I done carefully, and only enough to weasel that switch out, you're good. Oh, and on several frames that I have looked at (after this was pointed out to me in factory Honda school -- I am a registered Honda tech), the marks from the straightening machine are visible under the steering area on the front of the frame. :-)
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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #12 by CYBORG » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:09 am

good info mike. and welcome to the site. your presence has raised our credibility as a goldwing site at least two notches
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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #13 by Oldewing » Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:14 am

Yes, Welcome Mike. Now we are one notch out of the water lolol lolol lolol
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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #14 by Hal » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:52 am

What's needed here is a link to that excellent piece on cleaning/restoring a neutral switch.

It's on here SOMEWHERE......and it works perfectly, I tried it on the rig and it's the first time I've ever seen one work 100% properly on a GL.

edit....here's he link

http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=20849&p=431266#p431266
"The Moving Finger writes, and having writ, moves on,
nor all your Piety nor Wit
can lure it back to cancel half a line...

so....probably best use Tipp-Ex in future?"

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Re: Neutral Switch Replacement w/ Engine in Frame

Post #15 by Toehead » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:23 am

Pictures are broken...

roncar edit: fixed.
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