Join Date: May 2006
Location: Audubon, New Jersey, USA
My 82 1100i has been overheating. Not badly, but enough to concern me. Seems to only happen when I get stuck in traffic. If I'm in the wind it's fine. Even on hot days.
I was concerned that the cooling fan wasn't doing it's job, so I added a switch and turn it on manually when I'm not in the wind. Didn't help.
I've troubleshooted (troubleshot?) the cooling system and it all seems to be fine. Water pump looks good. Cleaned the radiator and the thermostat seems to be working ok. No apparent leaks.
I'm down to two possibilities I think.
1. I pulled the plugs and they look a little burned to me. I think the bike may be running lean. I know that this can cause some heat issues, but I have no idea as to the extent. Could this account for serious overheating?
2. I think I my have at least a slightly leaky head gasket on the left side. It's clearly wet with oil. The gasket on the right is dry as a bone. When doing oil changes, I've never detected any coolent in the oil. When ripping apart the cooling system, I've never seen any oil in the coolant. Perhaps the head just isn't sealed enough and can't transfer heat as well as it needs to. I have noticed that when the bike sits for a while, there is some white smoke from the left pipe for a few minutes. It does go away eventually, but perhaps it is leaking a little oil into the exhaust. I would have thought that this was more of an issue with rings or something, but I don't have a lot of experience here.
So, I bought a colortune and I'm going to try to richen up the mixture.
I'm thinking that I might replace that left head gasket anyway. It's obviously going to go eventually, so I might as well bite the bullet.
I have a couple of questions about replacing the gasket. According to the shop manual it looks pretty easy. I'm surprised how easy it looks in fact. Only about 2 pages of instructions!
I don't have a valve spring compressor, but I can get one. Do they really need to come out? I was thinking that you might be able to pull the top end off with them in place. It will probably become obvious to me why you can't do that when I get in there. Just curious.
Any tips for this job? Anything that I should look out for? Any other special tools I should get ahead of time?
As always, thanks very much for your input!
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