GL1500 EFI Conversion Project - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Post GL1500 EFI Conversion Project

I've been talking about this for awhile now, and finally got a chance to actually start the project last week. As I mentioned in my previous post https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum4/120779.html my goal is to avoid tearing down the bike for as long as possible so I can take advantage of the remaining nice weather to enjoy it. So, I needed to start with something that doesn't require me to tear it down. Since I need to fabricate an intake manifold for this project, that seemed like a good place to start.

I've been buying bits and pieces here and there for awhile now and have accumulated quite an assortment of parts already. Some I'll be able to use, and others I won't. But the only way to find out for sure is to buy the part, and check it out. A prime example of this is the intake manifold from a GL1800. It won't fit. But, interestingly enough the port spacing on the heads is exactly the same as the GL1500. Excellent! This means I'll be able to use the GL1800 fuel rails! I'll should also be able to use the injectors, and throttle bodies as well as the regulator and all the fuel lines from the 1800. The jury is still out on the fuel pump as I haven't had a chance to compare the two.

Here is a shot of the GL1500 intake gasket sitting above the GL1800 intake gasket. The GL1800 ports appear to be a bit bigger when looking at this gasket, but in fact they're pretty close to the same size. 1.1" on the GL1800 is what we measured, while the GL1500 measured in around .96"




Here is a shot with the GL1500 gasket sitting on the GL1800 intake manifold.




** Disclaimer ** I should make it perfectly clear that I am NOT a professional. While I do have some mechanical background, I do not have access to a machine shop and up until last week had never in my life welded two pieces of metal together. The welder I have access to is a very basic unit that doesn't have any provision for gas. So, while I do believe I've done a decent job, it isn't pretty. But then again, neither am I!
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post #2 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, so it's off to the races! The first thing I needed to do was build the intake flanges. I used a piece of 4"x3' 3/16" piece of flat steel that I bought at Lowe's. (in fact all of the steel I used for this project I bought at either Lowe's or Menard's) I used an old intake manifold gasket from a GL1500 engine that I bought to use as a jig for this project, and traced it out on my steel.





Then I cut the two pieces from the steel.




Next up is drilling. I did a lot of drilling



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post #3 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I do have access to a drill press, and it made things a lot easier. Just mark the center of the holes, and be VERY careful to be sure the center of the drill bit starts where the lines cross... (FYI: the laser cross-hairs are pretty much worthless.) And, yes, I used a hole saw.











Here is a shot with all the runner holes drilled.





Next up is the mounting holes..... and test fitting.










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post #4 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so here is the part where I start cutting and grinding metal. It sure would have been nice to just have a machine shop cut these out for me, but that would have been too easy. This is also where I was in the project when I found a big lump on my back tire. (just happened to be walking by the bike, looked down at the back tire and something definitely wasn't right!) I lost the better part of two days because of this. I ended up removing both front and back tires, replacing the rear brake rotor and doing a complete brake job on the bike as well. I also added baffles to my exhaust while I was at it. This improved things a lot, but I'm still thinking I may go ahead and try the GL1800 mufflers before I do the EFI conversion.


Ok, enough of that, back on topic.


Here's some of the ugliness as it was happening!



















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post #5 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Not the prettiest, or most precise pieces in the world, but functional. And, hey, once this is completed it's going to be under a bunch of tupperware for it's entire life and no one will really see it anyways.

From here it's time to start thinking about the runners. My first plan failed miserably and caused me some alarm. I had a hydraulic bender (piece of crap) and thought that I could bend 1" electrical conduit for the runners. Well, the bender wasn't up to it. (or I wasn't up to it... Hey, I'll admit it....) Kinks, dings you name it. Well, luckily I found out that I could buy pre-bent 1" electrical conduit at Lowe's for only 3.48 a piece. I just about cleaned them out.


So, I took one piece of conduit and placed it next to the original GL1500 manifold on the edge of the bench for comparison. Marked my spot and used a miter saw with a cutoff wheel attached to it to make the cut.


Here's my not so scientific method for making the rest of the runners...




And here's all six runners with the two mounting flanges










Next up, joining everything together on the motor and fabricating the box.



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post #6 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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I got the bright idea here of using a 1" wooden dowel to line up the center runners. Figured I'd tack weld them in place and then cut them to length later. It actually worked out pretty well.











I also fabricated the ends of the box that the runners go into at this time.






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post #7 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, here's where it really starts to get ugly... My first attempt ever at welding.








And now, test fitting the other runners...












Now the other side, and removing the tacked on pieces for welding and yet more grinding!






Some closeups of the welds....




After some grinding.....





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post #8 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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I may get picky and do a lot more grinding to make things look nice. At the time I was doing this I knew my allotted time was running out, and I wanted to get as far as I could before I had to leave. (long haul truck driver) So, I put the grinding on the back burner for now, and started fabricating the box. I only got the bottom done, and the top piece is cut out, but no holes yet for the throttle body mounts.








And here's the final shots with the top piece just sitting on it to give you an idea of what it'll look like when it's done. I am going to do some research into intake manifold volume, and how it effects the operation/performance of the motor. Right now I'm thinking that there will be dividers welded into the box to reduce the volume to as close to stock as I can. But, that may change after I do some reading....









And, that's it for now. It'll probably be another month or so before I get a chance to get back to this.

Just remember, what I lack in skill, I try to make up for in determination!



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post #9 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 08:04 PM
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Very interesting thread, and apart from the welding issues (probably still looks better than mine) you're doing quite a fab job. Looking forward to seeing more.

On edit, one thing that comes to mind is the length of the intake runners. I've never seen an 1800 intake but I'm wondering if the long runners will cause problems @ low rpms.

Steve

Current bikes
'95 GL1500A
'96 Magna (Karen's 3rd bike)


Former bikes
'72 Yamaha DT100 '72 Husqvarna WR250
'63 Sears Allstate Puch '76 Suzuki RM100
'79 RM125 '71 Honda CB350
'77 Honda CB550 4k 94 Kawasaki Vulcan 750
'83 Honda GL1100A '83 Honda GL1100A
'77 Yamaha XS750D '80 Kawasaki KZ1000LTD
'80 SR250 (Karen's 1st bike)
'93 Suzuki GS5000E (Karen's 2nd bike)
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post #10 of 260 (permalink) Old 10-05-2011, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, the runners really aren't much longer than the stock GL1500 runners. Here's a photo I took with the GL1800 throttle bodies sitting on top of the engine before I took it out of the truck. If not for the offset of the two manifolds, it's only about 1/2" or less from fitting. The box on the other hand has a lot of volume, and I do plan on reducing it with dividers. I also don't trust my welding to be 100% air tight, so I'll be coating the inside of the box and the welds on the flanges with epoxy. Then I'll paint the entire outside of the manifold with POR 15 which should finish sealing things up.









Doug




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