Bikers Workshop Series

GL1200 Engine Removal

By Steve Saunders.


Removing the engine from a Honda GL1200 Goldwing, instructions with photos and video. This page shows me removing the engine from a 1984 Honda Goldwing GL1200 Standard model. This GL1200 engine was removed to replace the stator, and I have covered the actual stator replacement HERE. The procedure for engine removal on other Honda Goldwing GL1200 models (Interstate, Aspencade, LTD, Sei) is broadly similar. The GL1200 Standard here doesn't have the lower fairing panels, and faux tank is easier to remove. The pulse generators on all Honda GL1200 models after 1984 are located on front of the engine under the timing belt covers, and the connector block for them is also in a different location. The neutral switch connection is also located differently on other models. Aside from small differences like this, engine removal is very similar on all GL1200 Goldwings and this page showing how I did it should be relatively easy to follow. I made a video clip of the GL1200 engine being removed, it is at the end of the page.

Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.


First job is to remove both side covers, and disconnect the battery. Note; You don't have to work/remove parts from your GL1200 Goldwing in the same order that I did. Feel free to use your own judgement or the official Honda workshop manual, and just use the information here for entertainment value.


Removing the saddle, 6mm Allen key.



Removing the faux tank, 10mm bolts.



Disconnect the stator and the pulse generator connectors. The previous owner of this GL1200 Goldwing had cut off the stator connector block and replaced it with a connector strip. Soldering and shrink wrapping the three yellow wires would have been much better. The pulse generator connector block on later models is up near the front of the Goldwing, near the steering neck with other connectors.



Pull off the breather hose.


Removing the hydraulic clutch line from the GL1200 clutch slave cylinder, 12mm banjo bolt. Don't lose the washers




Peel back the driveshaft boot and check if the universal joint (UJ) moves freely. It should move back a couple of millimetres, which means it isn't stuck to the output shaft.


Removing the engine guards and exhaust header studs from the Goldwing. Note; the left engine guard won't come away completely until you drop the exhaust headers.










Be careful not to lose the manifold 0-rings when you unbolt the manifolds and tie the carburettor rack up to the frame.





The left side lower frame member (that the side-stand is bolted to) on the GL1200 Goldwing is removable.





Draining the coolant and removing the radiator.








The timing belt cover on the right side needs to come off so the engine can be pulled off the UJ and out. From past experience pulling Goldwing engines, I have found that removing the right timing belt, camshaft pulley and tensioner gives more space, makes the job an awful lot easier and eliminates the risk of damage to those parts.




Timing belt covers removed from the Goldwing engine, now setting the timing.




A look at the T1 markings with the engine removed.












Be careful removing the emission pipes from the cylinder heads. They are very easily damaged.


Now for the front sub-frame mount and plate. Get a jack or other support under the engine no later than now. Good for you if you thought of it earlier.



Before I go any further, back to removing the right side timing belt, pulley and tensioner. When you pull the belt, the camshaft pulley it attaches to will more than likely spring off by a few teeth. Don't worry about that, you can reset it when you refit the engine later. Don't lose the Woodruff key from the end of the camshaft when the pulley comes off.




Now for the final engine mounts.





Now just very slowly let the jack down a small bit so the plate at the front of the engine clears the thermostat housing. It would have been easier if I had removed the thermostat housing first, but I forgot. Don't tell anyone.


Checking for loose ends before dropping the engine.


Time to bite the bullet and go for it. Rock/lever the engine to free it from the UJ..





Some things to note when refitting the engine. These are also mentioned in the engine removal article HERE.

The front sub-frame/mount that the plate sits over should have the deep end of the welded bush to the front.



Some grease on the manifold o-rings keeps them in the manifold grooves while you position the manifolds and bolt them up.




When refilling the radiator after the initial engine startup, don't forget to burp any air out of the radiator by blipping the throttle a few times.