Low compression, GL1100 - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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One cylinder of my GL1100 has low compression. It's been in winterstorage, and hasnot beenridden for 4 months.I can hear the weak cylinder when I crank the motor over. It starts and runs fine.Short of pulling the heads, how do I figure out if it's valves, head gasket,or rings? No oil consumption.

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 07:40 PM
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Well my best guess is its not valve guides or rings causing the low compression Remove plug and squirt a few drops of oil into chamber and remeasure commpression Big improvement means rings Head gasket is also a just maybe Any oil/white looking stuffin your rad? White smoke Any smoke? Best bet is remove valve cover check your tappet clearances if all ok maybe remove cam and lap valve in while head still on bike Quick spin with drill and blow out compression chamber with pressured air If compression improves with that there is your answer( valve job) But this tough one to call
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 07:53 PM
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It looks like ccsailorcovered all the bases. I would like to add the possiblilty of a sticking valve. If it were ok when you put the bike away last fall, I might be concerned it could be and if it were, you might not want to run it any more than needed as it could be an exhaust valve that isn't closing all the way and easily could burn it.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Coolant clean, no sign of coolant in the oil. Valves were adjusted and were pretty good before adjustment. Cams and that area clean, no gray sludge,no sign of coolant in the oil.The only smoke is when warming up, white smoke that is typical of both ofmy motorcycles andmy pickup. Moisture from the exhaust in the cold air (it's still cold here).

I'll run a compression test tomorrow, and try the oil/rings test.

Lapping the valves while the heads are in place....interesting. And how do you grab that valve stem without damaging it? A drill? Soundspotentially destructive. Then getting the lapping compound out of the cylinder....with compressed air?? Tell me about the details I am missing. I need enlightening.Iimagine lapping compound doing it's work on the rings for a few strokes before the engine fires up and burns up the compound.

I recall lapping valves in a small engine class decades ago, and applying only light pressure to the valve,minus the valve spring. If I can figure out that it's defintely valves, I feel saferremoving the head(s) and lapping the valve(s). My GL1100 is the mule for a sidecar rig. I've put 20k on it, mostly highway miles. Because of reduced gearing, the engine runs pretty high rpm's on the highway, 5000 to 6000 rpm.

As an edit; mileage on the engine is 45k. This is a replacement engine, which I bought with 20k on it. Cranking was even when I got it, although it's obvious this engine sat for a long time. I never checked the compression.



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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 08:39 PM
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LD Hack wrote:
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One cylinder of my GL1100 has low compression. It's been in winterstorage, and hasnot beenridden for 4 months.I can hear the weak cylinder when I crank the motor over. It starts and runs fine.Short of pulling the heads, how do I figure out if it's valves, head gasket,or rings? No oil consumption.
LD, you probably shouldn't do anything until you run it a while.. It very possible you just have some corrosion or varnish on a valve face or valve seat causing a poor seal.. It's also possible you had a carb flood & wash the oil from one of the cylinder walls while in storage causing the low compression..

It's very hard to tell low compression just by listening.. You really need to do a proper (HOT) compression test.. Do that with the throttle wide open..

As far as telling what is leaking (assuming you do have a compression problem).. The best way is to take an old spark plug & break the porcelain out of the plug.. Then weld (or force) an air hose fitting into the spark plug base.. Then turn the crankshaft until BOTH valves on the suspect cylinder are closed.. Then install that modified plug &hook up an air hose to that plug with fitting.. Put in about 60-70 psi of air pressure.. What area that is leakingwill become quite evident as the air will be escaping form that area.. Iffrom the exhaust the you have an exhaust valveleak,, if fromtheair cleaner box then you have a leaking intakevalve,, if from the crankcase breather then you have a ring leakage problem (real simple & very effective)..

If you have a valve leaking, check the adjustment before pulling the cyl head..

It's not unusual to have leaking rings or leaking valves after a storage period but it should go away shortly after running the engine..

Twisty



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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 09:03 PM
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You want to be careful if you're hitting the cylinder with compressed air, the piston is going to go to bottom dead center in a hurry if you don't have it restrained. So build up the air pressure a bit slowly.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 10:54 PM
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you mite try this get a can of sea foam remove your air cleaner start your bike let come up to operating temp and pour it straight down the intake slowlytill the can is gone shut her down let it sit for 15 20 min fire her up and go for a ride. the sea foam will spit shine the top end of your motor a can in your fuel helps clean things up to. fair warning point the tail pipes down wind she will smoke a ton till the sea foam burns off

my poor old wing lives on a steady diet of neglect
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 08:11 AM
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Hey LD for the valves in the head I just meant a quick spin in both directions by attaching a 3/8's drill to the exposed stem and pulling up lightly on the drill so the valve seats Don't add any compound at all and just a very quick spin in either direction OR as some of the other guys suggest try the chemical route first may just be a chunk of junk on valve Withyour additional info its sure looking like a leaking valve
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 11:47 AM
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LD,

Also, sometimes you can compare the plugs. I've seen the plug on a leaky cyclinder sometimes rust if the head gasket is bad.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 12:55 PM
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I think running it a while is a good idea, but I think I'd check the valve clearences, just to eliminate the possiblity.


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