The road to the LGA: One man's journey - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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The road to the LGA: One man's journey

So, as mentioned yesterday in the new member's section, I'm a new rider AND a 'new' '86 GL1200A owner. The bike was a 2-owner, fairly unmolested bike with 80k that I bought from a retired Firefighter and Pastor, and the plan is to rehab the old girl, then get my riding skills up to snuff with the plan to do an epic cross-country ride in spring 2021 for a 'big round number' birthday. I intend this to be a work-in-progress, and hope to provide some entertaining and useful info while I learn all about riding AND the ins-and-outs of this bike.

And here's where we begin: a 1986 GL1200 Aspencade. Owner was a regular rider with his wife, until one day in spring 2018. They were ending a ride back at his house, pulled in and... Clutch wouldn't disengage. He dropped the bike with wifey on the back. Neither was injured, but in time it became apparent he was too damn old to be riding it anymore, and the wife didn't trust it. I bought it in August 2019. He replaced the battery and got it running, but noted a 'fuel leak'... He shut it off, and couldn't get it started a few days later... But I had proof it was running. Fuel smell in the oil told the story, it was hydrolocked.... He'd left the petcock open while he was working on it.

Anyway, I was satisfied with what I saw, we did the deal, and he was nice enough to trailer the bike the almost 2-hour-drive to my house. I paid for a nice dinner for he and his wife, and we all had a nice talk. I was traveling for work, so it was a few weeks before I could do anything with her... Started by pulling the lower fairings, top box, and plugs. One cylinder produced a couple of tablespoons' worth of gas, but afterwards the bike spun over like a top with plugs out. I've now pulled the front of the engine apart to replace the timing belts, Gates T070's. Rusted bolts and screws I remove are getting replaced with stainless, and anything dirty or corroded is getting cleaned up to the best of my ability before reassembly. Already replaced the air filter with a HiFlo #HFA1906. Plugs will be NGK Iridiums, #2202, DPR8EIX-9's Hope is to reassemble the engine parts and fire the thing on Sunday.

My biggest dilemma at the moment, the timing belt covers are so corroded that even sanded and polished, there's noticeable pitting. I'm really thinking of priming and painting them Wrinkle-kote black.... As well as the Engine guards. I'm not a huge fan of chrome, but do intend to polish the visible motor parts such as the heads and valve covers back to 'shiny'. Might end up painting the horribly corroded carb-covers Wrinkle-kote blue. Those are cheap and available enough to replace if I don't like it later.

I'd appreciate some feedback on that take...
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 10:15 AM
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I'm not a big chrome fan myself. Painting those parts would look just fine. Aluminum paint and clear looks pretty good too.
I suspect you are going to have carb troubles, if not you are a lucky guy. They just don't like to sit with fuel in them. Check the gas tank for rust also.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, Carbs are definitely in my thoughts, and a rebuild will definitely be in my future. Just hoping not my NEAR future! I'd like to get this thing rolling and driving a bit before I tear it apart all over again...

On a positive note, one of the first things I looked at was the inside of the tank, and it's nearly pristine---Looks like someone cleaned and coated it at some point in its life. I've seen some truly ugly tanks in the year and a half I looked at Goldwings, and this was the absolute cleanest that I saw... By far.


I'd also like to report that, for posterity... That particular HiFlo Air filter did NOT have the port for fuel injected bikes, as some people have had to deal with when ordering GL1200 filters. Just had the one larger port, so I didn't have to deal with plugging a smaller one... Like the filter that came out of the bike.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 10:47 AM
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I like Wrinkle-kote black....

hopefully the carbs will be okay, but like Dave said, probably not.

inspect the gas tank close, hopefully no rust in it.

if there is, use Electrolysis to clean it all out, that will get every speck of rust there is.
do this 'real soon now'..... I realize he had it running just before you got it, but rust dust is hard on carbs.

here are a few links on that topic:

https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums...rks-great.html

https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums...ctrolysis.html

https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums...wing-tank.html

https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums...-gas-tank.html

https://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums...ng-cb500t.html

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 12:01 PM
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Like the intake tubes, those belt covers are readily available on eBay. Make sure you get the right year. They are not all the same.

Why ain't we ridin'?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, AZgl1800. I do need to scope the tank proper, but it looks basically brand new just looking in with a flashlight. Appears to be clean AND coated. I've seen how bad these things can get firsthand, and was all well and prepared to have to do an electrolysis cleaning... But barring discovering rust in the back of the tank, i'm calling this a win. Oh, and definitely only using Ethanol free fuel, if I have a choice... I have a couple of good stations around here that carry it.


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Like the intake tubes, those belt covers are readily available on eBay. Make sure you get the right year. They are not all the same.

Yes indeed, I think i'm just going to paint them wrinkle-kote black. If it ends up bugging me, i'll look for a cleaner set on Ebay... But I think they'll be fine.


Also just discovered the tube in the Coolant overflow tank needs replacement, the rubber nipple at the top where the elbow connects was completely perished. Cyclemax looks to have an identical NEW part for the GL1500, i've ordered one in and once it comes in, i'll report how close it is... Looks identical to my eye!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 03:29 PM
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That looks almost exactly like my previous bike, I loved it! I am sure once you get all your wrinkles worked out you will love it!

Happy Riding!


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 09:56 AM
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You could get the timing belt covers powder coated. If your doing all that work you should replace the stator while your at it. It would be terrible to get it on the road and have the stator go out shortly there after. Hope you got a great price on it because it will require a lot of time on your part. Did you sit on it before you bought it to see if it fits your body size? I had a friend that bought an 1100 wing that sat for a few years, he rebuilt it from front to back, including stator and everything else, got it running and couldn't get comfortable on it, so he sold it.


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-14-2019, 09:30 PM
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Only screws or bolts I'll replace with stainless steel are none stressed, non torqued fasteners for doodads I add, not bolts for covers. SS is not as strong as the OEM fasteners. Then there is the "length question" and rolled verses cut threads. If OEM are near useable, I reuse. If a matter of "looks", a cleaning and coating of clear fixes it.
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Originally Posted by joe in calif View Post
You could get the timing belt covers powder coated. If your doing all that work you should replace the stator while your at it. .
I didn't see where he's taking the engine out of the frame.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-15-2019, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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According to the previous owner, the stator is only a few years old. Existing timing belts appear to be as well, but I'm replacing them anyway.

And while I haven't ridden a 1200, I have in fact sat on a number of bikes to determine if it seems like a good fit, and it at least seems like a good fit. Remember, this is also my first bike, so the only other experience I have is riding the MSF course bike or sitting on bikes that were stationary.

Good point about the stainless hardware, and indeed none of the hardware I'm replacing so far are graded, so I should be good there. If need be, I'll replace anything stressed with a comparable-grade replacement.

I thought about powdercoating, but I think painting will be ok... It would most probably be prohibitively expensive and a much slower process, at this juncture. I'm leaving the possibility open that if it really bothers me, I can always circle back around in time and re-finish the existing parts with a better process or order replacements...

I got what I consider a good deal on the bike, considering the others I've looked at over the course of the last year and a half. Yes it is requiring some work, but honestly that was somewhat by design in order to become more familiar with it. I maintain the bike has 'Good Bones', at least until I'm proven otherwise...
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