GL1100 is overheating. :<( - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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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!

Greg

\'82 GL1100i
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ650RJ
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ750R
\'82 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LJ X 2
\'83 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LK
\'88 HD XLH 1200
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 01:11 PM
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Have you removed and flushed the radiator?

-Joe-
1983 BLACK GL1100 Interstate
1982 Honda Ascot FT500
1979 Honda PA50
Ye Old Unofficial, Unintentional Topic Killa
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't pulled it yet. I got a product that is supposed to clean the scale out. The instructions said you need to put it in the radiator and put 6 hours of running time on it. I have about 5 now so I am going to dump this stuff and flush the radiator at that point. I realize that this may not be sufficient to really clean the radiator but I thought it was a good place to start.

Since the left head gasket is leaking a little, I was thinking that it would probably make sense to replace it anyway, assuming this job isn't a lot harder than it looks.

Greg

\'82 GL1100i
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ650RJ
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ750R
\'82 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LJ X 2
\'83 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LK
\'88 HD XLH 1200
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 06:40 PM
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I have an 81 GL1100 that does the same thing, but the root of my problem (and many others) is the charging system is weak. At idle, there is a net draw on the battery so after some time the voltage drops to where the fan (even though running) can't provide enough airflow through the radiator to cool the engine.

The solution seems to be battery management - no high-beam while in stop-and-go traffic, radio off, stay off the brakes (or replace with low-current, high-output LED bulbs), eliminate the running lights lightshow. Reduce, reduce, reduce!

I have my idle set to about 1400 rpm right now. Don't know if that's too high or if it introduces other problems (maybe someone will chime in), but it seems to help as well.

hossners
1981 Goldwing GL1100 Interstate Limited Edition
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 07:46 PM
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Hi Greg, you don't have to remove the valves unless you want to lap them while the head is off. You do have to remove the cam and rocker assembly. Chapter 7 in the Honda Shop manual is very detailed.

Jack
2012 GL1800A
2004 GL1800A Sold
1982 GL1100I Sold
1975 GL1000 Sold
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-07-2007, 11:33 PM
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Yes cam and rocker assembly has to come off IF your going to remove the valves but not if your only going to remove the head to replace the head gasket.

The whole process of replacing the head gasket is all pretty straight forward. Be sure not to nick the aluminum of the gasket mating surface, gasket remover works good together with a plastic putty knife.
When coming apart and going back together dont miss the 10MM (?) bolt behind the exhaust manifolds, and torque all the bolts by the book.

1983 GL1100 Interstate with 1200 engine, single carb, and C5 ignition.



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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Great info as I've come to expect here. Thanks very much.

I'm surprised to hear that this could be an electrical issue. I hadn't considered that the fan might not be spinning fast enough. Can the fan motor be upgrade to something more powerful. Of course if there isn't enough juice to run the fan that's there, I guess that wouldn't help.

I'm going to give the entire cooling system a good running through. I think I'll replace the radiator cap and thermostat even if they look ok just because they're so hard to get to (at least in the case of the thermostat.

I think I'll bite the bullet on the head gasket as well. I don't think it's the root of the problem, but it's certainly not going to get any better.

So am I reading the manual correctly? It seems that after dropping the pipes (because they hold the engine guards in place over the heads) you remove the outer covers, which gives you access to the head bolts and then just pull the heads? Or, do you really need to pull the timing covers first so you can pull the cams, then pull the heads. It looks like you don't need to but looking at a diagram, I would think you would.

Thanks again,

Greg

\'82 GL1100i
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ650RJ
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ750R
\'82 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LJ X 2
\'83 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LK
\'88 HD XLH 1200
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 09:31 AM
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The battery on your Wing doesn't charge at idle. The engine needs to be spinning at 1000? or over otherwise you'll just be running on battery power. Does it seem like the starter drags when you start up? If so, your battery and/or fuse holder/connections might be getting weak. Did you check your three yellow wires?

-Joe-
1983 BLACK GL1100 Interstate
1982 Honda Ascot FT500
1979 Honda PA50
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 11:15 AM
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I've changed heads a couple times on 1100s and never took the valves off. If You'll need to pull the radiator, it can be done with the rad on but is better the first time to take it off so you can see what you're doing. There are seven bolts holding the head on, six head bolts and a smaller one underneath the head. When re-assembling Honda calls out for moly paste on the head bolt threads and under their heads, you'll need that to get the correct clamping pressure with the specified torque. Make sure the threads are clean. Be especially careful replaceing the timing belts. Do a search here and read the service manual. You can get a copy of the Haynes manual on GSMacLean's website at the top of this forum. Be very careful as a mistimed cam belt will do damage to the engine. Once you have the belts back on always turn the engine over at least two full turns with the spark plugs out feeling carefully for any odd bumps to make sure there's no interference between the valves and pistons.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-08-2007, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm. Starting is a little odd. There is a slight hesitation and then it starts. I replaced the starter a year ago and I thought maybe the solenoid might be going bad. I have a spare. I will take a look at the fuses and the wiring.

I haven't replaced the battery, but it's always seemed fine. It probably is due. I've had the bike for a year and a half and have no idea how old it might be.

So, do you have to rip into the front end (timing belts) to get to the head or can you pull the head with that in place?

Thanks,

Greg

\'82 GL1100i
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ650RJ
\'82 Yamaha Seca XJ750R
\'82 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LJ X 2
\'83 Yamaha Seca Turbo XJ650LK
\'88 HD XLH 1200
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