Bikers Workshop Series

GL1200 Stripdown.

By Gambler.


Gambler is one of the members of my humble Goldwing Message Board. When he overhauled his GL1200 Goldwing, he took lots of pictures and was good enough to post the pictures and some details on the board. He has also allowed me to post them here, where they can be accessed much easier.

Click the thumbnails for a bigger image.


GL1200 engine on the bench. you can see the mess the leaking shift shaft seal made.

Goldwing engine stripped and dismantled.

Broken second gear shift dogs, just floating around. This is with 62,000 miles. They don't appear to be the easiest miles on this Goldwing either.

The receiver gear where the dogs engage, some scoring but not too bad.

GL1200 crank looks good, bearings look ok with some wear. Mains better than rods. The mains plastigaged out at #1=.0025, #2&3 =.002. The rods were at .001-.0015, so I am going to reuse the bearings. Also will reuse the rings, they appear to be chrome faced top rings which usually outlast the cylinder in cars, hopefully it works the same for bikes. Still have crosshatch in all cylinders.

Main bearings and a conrod.

I was worried about the what I would find when I took apart the Goldwings primary driven gear damper, but it looks ok to me, still fits together tightly.

Scavenge oil pump, gears and cover.

Main oil pump, gears and cover.

Cylinders, crosshatch still very visible. Last picture shows stain but no pitting.

Oil pump screen.

Getting there.

 I took this shot to show the differences between the 86 and the 87 GL1200 Goldwing, the parts I needed were the shift drum and fith gear (which has the dogs which engage second gear, thats the broken gear on top). These are the countershafts, looks like you can only use 5th gear. Lucky me.

Looks like you can use the 2nd, 3rd,5th from the 86 countershaft in the 87 GL1200. However, I need the 4th gear which has the dogs on it for 3rd, which on my 4th are worn. the countershafts have a big difference, on the 87 the bearing on the inside bolts to the end of the shaft, on the 86 it sits in the case and the shaft slides into it.

This is the 4th gear (first picture), and it is not the same for 86-87 GL1200, the inside diameter is different. This is the damage (second picture) to my dogs on the 4th gear which engages 3rd gear.

The main shafts appear to be the same, and as mine is still good, I will reuse the original one. but now I'm looking for the 4th gear, or should I reuse it. hard choice, car transmissions don't use these kind of dogs to engage gears so I can't base the decision on experience. Not to mention I need a final drive, drive flange, and rear wheel. Second picture is of the spring loaded damper on the final shaft.

Crankcases joined. 3rd picture shows the piston holders I made from 3 layers of 1/8" cardboard taped together. worked well, and easier then making them from wood.

Valves and seats. Valves had plenty of margin. Seats cleaned up well after hand lapping with the intakes with fine valve lapping compound, and doing the exhaust valves and seats with coarse and fine.

OK, just killing time till some parts arrive, so I stripped the Goldwing frame and wire brushed the rust off. now for some primer and paint. I like fixing stuff, but this thing needs everything, the rust on the frame kept needling me so I wanted to get rid of it. I also want to go over the wiring harness to clean all the connections and grease them.

 Changing the GL1200 clutch plates (with used ones that weren't burned like mine). Second shot shows how I used a long bolt clamped in my work center vise, and 3 sockets. in place of the tool that Clymer tells you to make. I used the large washer from behind the circlip on the damper (output shaft, the thing with the rubber wedges in it) it fit perfect and is hardened.

This is the setup I used to check the alt. drive backlash. I might redo this with a better setup tomorrow. I made a tool (2nd and 3rd pictures) to remove the swingarm locknut. I used a pipe bushing from the plumbing dept. It has a hole in the middle so I can use a 10mm allen to hold the adjustment of the bearing nut.

Heads are on the GL1200, belts too. Repaint the Goldwing engine tomorrow. She who tickles my fancy taping the intake holes for the paint. A couple of things; When I installed the heads and cams and cam holders I noticed all the valves were not seated (looking through the intake and exhaust ports, this was even as I rotated the cams (with the pistons all mid bore, timing belts off). Turns out the GL1200 Goldwing hydraulic lifters behave just like car lifters and had extended all the way while they were off the head. If this happens don't panic, just rotate the cams every 5 minutes or so and they will slowly collapse down and seat the valves.
Ok, the manual (Clymer) for the GL1200 Goldwing makes a big deal about the exhaust collar clearance for the exhaust rockers. This collar is not just flopping around in there, if you don't disassemble the cam holders, you shouldn't have any problems. it's easy to use a feeler gauge to check the clearance. Also the alternator drive backlash adjustment is really over complicated (especially since there is play in all the components that mount on that shaft). I wound up taking the rotor and starter drive off the shaft and adjusting the play until I could just feel a little backlash. After that I mounted the starter drive one way clutch and rotor, the play went up because these parts have some slop in them. I'm going with this, and will let you all know.

Due to heavy corrosion on the GL1200 belt covers and valve covers, I elected to paint them with Aervoe metallic paint. primed first. Before and after shots.

I also took apart the Goldwing starter and found the brushes worn out, so I have some coming. since I was putting the rear cover on without the starter I test fitted it several times and found it hard to get the splines to mesh, so I took a triangular needle file and cleaned up the start of the splines on the starter drive gear, it made it easier to slide the starter in to the gear. First picture shows what it goes into (in case you don't have a GL1200 service manual and have to do this) this is without the rear engine cover on, once it's on you don't get to see the gear. from the other side you slide the starter in to the gear.

Here is the Goldwing engine after she who tickles my fancy taped it off. I did the spraying.

Did the forks tonight after work. Used Goldwing forks off ebay seller, my forks were too pitted to use. Plenty of blowups in the manual, but I thought I'd show why it's a good idea to clean them up on the inside once in a while. Second picture shows spring was in the wrong position. Picture 3 shows correct setup.

Steering head bearings. the Clymer GL1200 Goldwing manual is wrong, it says to put this seal on the stem and install after you have the races in. put this one in the frame neck before the bearing race, then put the bearing races in. The big seal goes under the lower race.

Ok, new GL1200 starter brushes arrived so I fitted them. The old one were about half gone (or a little more) the new ones are about 12.5mm wide. Notice the positive one has more wear. Second picture shows the infamous ground tab (there are 3 of them). I wire brushed them, and bent them up slightly. When I reassembled the starter it held the brush cap higher till I tightened up the screws. This is the ground path so they have to make good contact. I also cleaned the mounting pads on the starter and block so it would make good contact.

I also took apart the shift position switch (neutral switch, the switch was coming apart). I cleaned the contacts and tightened the crimps that hold the switch together, then I checked the contacts with a dvom to make sure it worked. To re do the crimps, I used a screw driver and lightly tapped the edges at three points using a small hammer. Second shot is the base (ground path).

Did the GL1200 water pump today too, don't forget both O rings. Forgot to add, the grommet for the shift sensor had shrunk, so I put a bead of silicon there to prevent leaks. line up the oil pump drive which drives the waterpump. You have to turn the engine over to do this, or just turn the water pump impeller. Also line up the long side of the pin on the shift position switch with the tab on the switch, and have the bike in neutral.

Put the Goldwing engine on a jack and slide the frame around the engine (helps to have a stripped frame handy).

Got some more things done.

Carburetors, surprisingly, the insides looked ok.

Got the Goldwings wheels done best as I could. Lot of corrosion, so I clear coated them after painting. Two coats of black and one clear (yes, she who tickles my fancy taped them off for me).

Started on the carbs, and found this. Also drilled out the idle mix screw holes and found every screw at a different setting. 1=1/4 turn out, 2=2.1/4 turns out, 3=0 turns out (tight), 4=1 turn out. makes you wonder. But the inside of the carbs looks clean.

New skins for the Goldwing today, installed the forks also. Metzlers front and rear.

Installed the ignition switch and self canceller too.

Getting closer, the Goldwing lives!

Replaced the wiring from the stator to the r/r. I don't think that cures the real problem, just masks the symptoms. On my other bike I ride with the high beam on during the day, the battery is 4 years old and still fine as is the charging system. I think Twisty (on the forum) was right on the money, these Goldwing charging systems make the juice, but cook themselves getting rid of it. I think the cure is running the high beam on during the day, and at night when it won't affect other drivers. Also, those of you who add extra lights to your Goldwings are probably doing yourselves a favor. I Also bypassed the connector to hard wire the output wires (red/white, second shot).

Tore down the GL1200 fairing today to clean out the dirt and clean the wiring. Found this little bag in the left side of the housing, stuck to the side, spare fuses inside. Last two shots are the fairing wire harness. Found some corrosion in the connectors, so cleaned and packed with grease.

Before and after shots of the headlight assy, I stripped and cleaned it and the adjusting cables. Replaced all the bulbs. I also greased the speedo cable.

I rode the Goldwing (without tags), ran good, shifted fine. Even took she who tickles my fancy for a short ride. She approves. However, found another electrical problem, the main feed to the ignition switch was corroded and was making intermittent contact. so I will cut it out of the connector and solder (just twisted it together just to ride it). I fixed the main power wires going in and out of the ignition switch. You can see the problem and how I fixed it in the pictures here.

Took apart the left side switch, turn signal switch was crunchy. Second shot shows the corroded turn signal contacts and the 3rd  picture shows what the contacts should look like. 4th picture shows the sliding part, before cleaning and the 5th shot is the other part, connected to the wires. 6th shot is of all the bits dismantled.

I also took apart the headlight switch and cleaned it, not much to it.

OK, so the trunk has some damage from being rear ended. Cracks that the previous owner tried to glue. and the bottom is also cracked so this is how I intend to fix and reinforce it, first I put a 1/8 inch thick by 3/4 inch wide aluminum strip along the inside upper edge of the lower trunk. I used a rubber strap to hold the cracked areas together. The notches are to clear the raised areas near the hinges and latches. I filled the hole at the base of the trunk with some broken pieces of abs plastic, then I flooded on the abs cement in several coats. This stuff hardens up solid, files and drills like the base material. You can see the trunk lid hinge mount I repaired. I added reinforcement, looks like crap, but should hold better than the original.

Dirty, but another Goldwing back on the road.