Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Firstly - thanks for all the help you’ve given me as I’ve lurked in the background getting my 78 GL1000 fixed bit by bit.

Well, after a number of electrics/ignition fixes, rewiring, oil and coolant changes, tank de-rusting, a new front tyre and so on I took Gladys down for the State Inspection... and failed. Actually all the stuff I worked on went well, but she failed on “handling”. Gutted.

The first guy who road tested seemed to think she pulled to one side on acceleration and thought it may be the back end (like a wheel misalignment, swingarm or similar) and the second mechanic who took it out afterwards thought it was the front end !

Long and the short of it is neither of them thought she was holding a straight line. I didn’t really notice anything but haven’t done a lot of miles or indeed ridden much in (20) years.

The bike
- Has had multiple owners and I don’t have full traceability
- Has passed a MD state inspection in the recent (last 18 months) past according to the last owner...could have been a generous tester... who knows?
- Doesn’t seem to have frame damage beyond a few scrapes (no major dents) but I suspect she’s been dropped based on a scratch on a fork.
- I have not touched the forks beyond painting. Front end seems a bit soft but I used to ride sports bikes so it’s all relative. No leaks.
- No unusual movement in steering when front wheel is up so I had assumed bearings were ok
- New front tyre bead is seated as it should be. Spins ok, but I noticed it catches a little on a brake pad in one spot. Eyeballed the tyre when rotating and no noticeable wobble.
- Tyre pressure was 35psi front and back
- Rear tyre is 2014 manufacture date (the front was 2008 when I purchased a few months ago, but has been replaced)
- Rear shocks are new and aftermarket (previous owner)... Progressive (412 series?)...335mm bolt hole centre to centre on both sides with same settings. I recall he said he had asked for heavier springs as he had planned to do 2-up riding. Installation appears symmetrical.
- Front has been lowered by 25mm on both sides evenly (presumably to match the shorter rear caused by aftermarket shocks).
- No record of swingarm bearings replaced
- No obvious impact damage on swingarm or drive hub

Taking the feedback from the mechanics, they think there is a tracking issue and the Honda manual suggests:
Bent forks
Bent frame
Forks installed incorrectly in triple crown
Axle installed incorrectly
Bent swing arm
Wheel installed incorrectly

I’ll start by reinstalling the front wheel with even more care to ensure the brake pads don’t catch, but not sure how much this would contribute to the issue.
I’ll put the forks back to factory setting (i.e. not lowered)
I have string to check for wheel alignment but it’s not easy to do - there’s a lot in the way between the front and back ! I’ll have a go in daylight tomorrow.

So... my question to all you gurus is... where would you start to look and in what sequence? What diagnostics and checks can reliably be done in a home garage (I have a bike lift)?

Could shorter aftermarket shocks cause a problem? I couldn’t find the original bolt hole dimensions in Haynes or the Honda Manual.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,403 Posts
Firstly - thanks for all the help you’ve given me as I’ve lurked in the background getting my 78 GL1000 fixed bit by bit.

Well, after a number of electrics/ignition fixes, rewiring, oil and coolant changes, tank de-rusting, a new front tyre and so on I took Gladys down for the State Inspection... and failed. Actually all the stuff I worked on went well, but she failed on “handling”. Gutted.

The first guy who road tested seemed to think she pulled to one side on acceleration and thought it may be the back end (like a wheel misalignment, swingarm or similar) and the second mechanic who took it out afterwards thought it was the front end !

Long and the short of it is neither of them thought she was holding a straight line. I didn’t really notice anything but haven’t done a lot of miles or indeed ridden much in (20) years.

The bike
- Has had multiple owners and I don’t have full traceability
- Has passed a MD state inspection in the recent (last 18 months) past according to the last owner...could have been a generous tester... who knows?
- Doesn’t seem to have frame damage beyond a few scrapes (no major dents) but I suspect she’s been dropped based on a scratch on a fork.
- I have not touched the forks beyond painting. Front end seems a bit soft but I used to ride sports bikes so it’s all relative. No leaks.
- No unusual movement in steering when front wheel is up so I had assumed bearings were ok
- New front tyre bead is seated as it should be. Spins ok, but I noticed it catches a little on a brake pad in one spot. Eyeballed the tyre when rotating and no noticeable wobble.
- Tyre pressure was 35psi front and back
- Rear tyre is 2014 manufacture date (the front was 2008 when I purchased a few months ago, but has been replaced)
- Rear shocks are new and aftermarket (previous owner)... Progressive (412 series?)...335mm bolt hole centre to centre on both sides with same settings. I recall he said he had asked for heavier springs as he had planned to do 2-up riding. Installation appears symmetrical.
- Front has been lowered by 25mm on both sides evenly (presumably to match the shorter rear caused by aftermarket shocks).
- No record of swingarm bearings replaced
- No obvious impact damage on swingarm or drive hub

Taking the feedback from the mechanics, they think there is a tracking issue and the Honda manual suggests:
Bent forks
Bent frame
Forks installed incorrectly in triple crown
Axle installed incorrectly
Bent swing arm
Wheel installed incorrectly

I’ll start by reinstalling the front wheel with even more care to ensure the brake pads don’t catch, but not sure how much this would contribute to the issue.
I’ll put the forks back to factory setting (i.e. not lowered)
I have string to check for wheel alignment but it’s not easy to do - there’s a lot in the way between the front and back ! I’ll have a go in daylight tomorrow.

So... my question to all you gurus is... where would you start to look and in what sequence? What diagnostics and checks can reliably be done in a home garage (I have a bike lift)?

Could shorter aftermarket shocks cause a problem? I couldn’t find the original bolt hole dimensions in Haynes or the Honda Manual.

Based on what you have provided, I would start with making sure the forks are correctly aligned (including correct torque values).

I see you are in Gaithersburg. I rode a '77 GL1000 for quite a few years back in the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
a lazer at northern tool are relative cheap,to check alignment.or a long level have you cheched the swing arm bearings. front axle bearings? raise the front tore off the ground and pin the tire. neck bearing. is the road your testing on new if possible. what happens when you take you hands off of the handle bars
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
The shocks are not significantly shorter than stock - I'd return the fork tubes to normal height to restore trail. Check forks properly installed, and check the head bearings which an cause the front to pull to notches if worn. They are fairly easy to swap to All Balls tapered roller bearings. Also check that your handlebars aren't bent - that can give an impression of poor alignment. After that, if it feels right to you take it to a different shop that isn't trying to sell unneeded repairs to pass inspection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. I’ve adjusted the forks back to stock and reinstalled the front wheel. I noticed the brakes dragging a on the LHS a little. I can spin the wheel - you can hear a little on the right but when the LHS caliper is installed it’s more noticeable. I guess this could cause a pull to one side no?

Any recommendations on where to get a master cylinder rebuild kit (assuming it’s the cause) and a swing arm bearing kit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Forgot to mention - they are new bars. Definitely not bent, and alignment with front wheel position looked ok before I refitted everything and after as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
Disk dragging on one side will not cause it to pull to one side - only overheat disk and use up power. There is a procedure for mounting the front wheel to center the calipers over the disks. It is in the manual and must be followed. Basically you tighten the axle holders on the non-axle nut side, tighten the big axle nut, tighten the axle holders on the axle nut side (front first, then back - torque ~15 ft-lbs), loosen the axle holders on the other side and bounce the front suspension a couple times to let the forks self-center, torque the axle holders on the non-axle nut side. Then check clearance from caliper to disk with feelers from the tool kit (0.7mm as I remember) and loosen/adjust non axle nut holders if necessary (I've never had to do that, they have always cleared Ok). The axle nut side is not adjustable. If still dragging, you either have a warped disk or brakes not releasing. That is usually due to a TINY hole in the master cylinder being plugged. You can unplug it with a bare steel guitar string. There are two ports in the MC - one for supply to the plunger, and one to relieve the pressure when released.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for wheel install detail - I followed the process in the manuals and used my torque wrench like a good boy although you have an extra bit of detail in there I had’t seen. Might give it one more go before I start to plan a brake overhaul. Replacing one of the brake lines (too long) and doing the master cylinder/calipers was suppose to be a project for winter but I guess I may need to have it it sooner. I found all the parts I needed (K&L branded stuff).

Less successful on the swingarm bearing parts - that’s going to be a difficult one to source if I need to. I’ll take a look at the back end at the weekend. I have a feeling there may be swearing involved - not one for a weekday evening.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,064 Posts
Thanks for the replies. I’ve adjusted the forks back to stock and reinstalled the front wheel. I noticed the brakes dragging a on the LHS a little. I can spin the wheel - you can hear a little on the right but when the LHS caliper is installed it’s more noticeable. I guess this could cause a pull to one side no?
No it couldn't
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,626 Posts
The only way the front wheel can cause the bike to run out of line is if the frame is twisted at the steering head. Then it's still not really the front causing the issue.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
Wet down an area on the road. Ride the bike straight through the water and look at the tracks. It should look like one tire track. If you see what appears to be two tracks or an offset that could be your issue.
Have you inspected all the tubing related to the frame for rust. If the frame was diamonded (front and rear axles are not parallel) the rear tire would be headed toward 6th Street when the bike is going down 5th Street. The only reason they end up at the same place is because the bike drags the rear along. When you decelerate the forces would be similar to backing up. That is while the bike is decelerating on 5th Street the rear of the bike wants to head toward 4th Street. In other word when you accelerate if the two wheels are not absolutely in a line the rear of the bike will try to go in a different direction. Under deceleration it will try to go in the opposite direction than acceleration . If the rear of the bike wants to go left on accel it will want to go right on decel and vice versa. Kind of what the mechanic described????? :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,451 Posts
Under acceleration? Torque reaction will give one the sensation if they are not accustomed to it.


When adjusting drive chains on my Britt bikes, as a last step, I would often place on the center stand, straighten the front wheel, and sight along sides of rear wheel and have the rear wheel point directly at the front. A straight 2x4 will help. I have a 8+ foot long piece of old dry hickory that has been run through a jointer a lot, it's arrow straight and more like 3x3. Rear tire being wider than front, should have equal space on both sides of front.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,075 Posts
And there is still the all-too-common mechanics trying to drum up business. Have another experienced rider try it, and if they think it is good try another inspection station.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Quick update - spent some time looking at wheel alignment with string and all seems ok there.
Checked the tube housing steering bearings etc - no cracks, no rust, no damage.
As I moved to the back end, I found one of the flanged nuts on the drive housing missing (one of 3). That was interesting, so off to get a replacement or 3 this evening. I’ve read about things getting exciting when 2 are missing. Not sure of the effects of 1 but I’m going to take a guess that having 3 nuts is quite important !
Aside from that, I’m going to find some smooth road early tomorrow and test, then test again.
Great idea about the wet tyre trick - forgot all about that.
One more thought - it has engine guards installed. If they are out (due to past damage) and then attached with a bit of “extra torque”, could it pull the frame out of alignment? I’ll maybe loosen them and see how well they fit if they are finger tight.
There’s no visible damage to them however, I suspect there has been damage and then it’s been powder coated in later years.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,626 Posts
Have you checked the swingarm bearings? As I said before, the front can't cause the misalignment. I'm sure you have seen a car going down the road running sideways, it's not the front end causing it, it is the rear. I don't think the engine guards even if crushing the lower frame tubes could cause a misalignment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
On my list for this weekend. I’ll look for lateral movement and check it moves freely up and down then get into a visual of the bearings. I managed to source replacements if I need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
All 3 drive shaft flanged nuts replaced - 1 was missing and 1 was barely hand tight (out of 3). For info they are M10x1.25 and a real pain to access and torque.

With the shocks unbolted, no lateral movement in the swing arm and smooth vertically. I also found negligible difference in the ease of installation of the shock bolts at the swing arm which would suggest it’s not twisted (one side would be lower). No impact damage noted.

Test ride shortly and then will see how far to go on a back end strip down and swingarm bearing maintenance.
 

Attachments

·
Nodnocdar
Joined
·
20 Posts
Dave 0430 has suggested the most likely cause that will result in a Wing behaving this way. The neck of the frame must be at zero degree variance with the center line of back part of the frame holding the rear wheel. There are multiple explanations and suggested test provided by looking up Google "checking motorcycle frame alignment". If when riding on a straight flat surface and the bike DIVES left or right when you remove you hands than the frame is tweaked. Of course if you are on a crowned road and the dive is more like a fade to the right than the crown is probably affecting the bike path, try to find a big parking lot when the place is empty. Resetting the frame is possible but you must find an experienced and qualified person with current technology using a computer supported adjustment machine. The over stress needed to return a 1 degree bend needs to go at least -1 degree to allow for recoil and then retest. The luggage and Tupperware on a Wing makes it difficult to measure the wheel for true square with the surface however making a thin carpenter square may be able to find a path from the bottom of the rear wheel to the top of the rear wheel, then measuring the front wheel, bottom to top must be the same as the rear. Check the floor surface for flat with at least an 8 ft straight edge in 3 direction, front to back, left to right and 45 degrees between the first 2, and make your measurements very carefully.
Be prepared for THE obstacle to correction. The frame of the Wing may need to be free of ALL parts, depending on the sophistication of the machine that is available to you, yep you'll need to make the frame naked. I had to do this with a nearly new 1200 that had 450 miles on the speedo. A new frame had to be purchased from Honda for the repair. That is not a good story either!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
24,626 Posts
The swing arm could be out of adjustment side to side. I found the procedure somewhere once upon a time but failed to find it now. Maybe someone else has that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Well, thanks to everyone for your responses.

I installed the 3 flanged nuts as mentioned (probably only 1 doing anything useful previously), took it for a successful test ride and swung past the inspection station.

The guy who rode it last time said he couldn’t believe the difference... and he passed the old girl... she’s now good to go. I’m very happy!

After all that... a 5 dollar fix.

Now for some new dials, a carb kit, brake rebuild, new reg/rec...
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top