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Its been a while since I have been on this forum, but when I got my first wing and it was completely beat up and barely ran, this forum helped a ton to get her going..... but now she died again and I need advice again....

Pre-Harvey I had a fully restored GL1100 Interstate. Harvey flooding came and screwed the engine beyond reasonable repair.

Today I happened on an almost ridable 87 gl1200 ascenpade for free. Problem is that it has no title, and is ugly as hell.

I am wanting to swap engines.

The 1200 is a complete bike with clutch issues and minor electrical issues, but it does start and run.

The 1100 is a complete bike minus the engine.

What issues am I going to run into... what other parts am I going to have to retrofit to make it work properly... and what kind of frame modifications am I going to have to make for it to fit?

Is there anywhere where I can get more information about doing it without wading through pages of posts telling me to just find an 1100 engine?
 

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Minimal meaning what? Seriously... If I could find somewhere that described the process of someone that documented the process and I could dig through that, I would... But, alas I can't find anything... What I do know is that they made some minor changes to the frame or something, because the 1200 isn't as much fun to ride... So my thinking is that that drive train in a frame that is a bit sportier aught to make one helluva scooter.

Also, If I can remember to take pictures and such, I plan to document it and post it, because where I didn't find anyone else documenting it, I found A LOT of people asking how to do it.....
 

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Too lazy to read the entire post. It will drop into the frame easily. The 1200’s have a “black box” ignition, which receives input from transmission and vacuum from intake. you will need that.

Your biggest change before you put it in will be adapting the output shaft. The 87 was a one-year output shaft and since your 1100 has a snapring to hold the shaft on and the 1200’s has a spring to keep it in place they don’t work. The 84-86 years you can just trade output shafts, but the 87 is different.

Options:
1. Have a groove cut in the 87 output shaft by a competent machine shop so you can keep your 1100 swingarm and final drive. This one will be quicker. One guy tried it without it and the shaft fell off.

2. Move the 1200 swingarm and final drive, brakes, shocks over to your 1100 frame. You will have a higher road gear for better mpg ( 2.83:1 vs 3.09:1 but the 1200 has a 15” rim vs your 82’s 16” rim). You’ll also have plentiful parts as many 1500’s use similar parts and you can even use a 1500 final drive unit which permits a taller tire (16” vs 15”) All of this requires a little modification. I believe, as best as I recall, you can grind a little off each side of the 1200 swingarm at the pivot and it will work. I did it on a 1000 frame and it was quite a bit.

I would use the 1200 carbs. Easy to clean or rebuild cheaply unless the diaphragms are torn. They have ports to match the heads and better overall flow characteristics IMO. Others will say the 1100’s are better because they’re bigger exit diameters, but the 1200’s have as large an entrance with a little better bell-mouth to for e the charge through the slightly smaller venturi and runners. The 1100 carbs will work but are 1/4” short in width. I just put the elbows correct on one side and tighten the other with wider T-clamps. They may require some jetting changes.

I can’t recall if the air box from the 1200 will work without mods. The filter fits on mine (on a 1000) but not the cover.

There are several similar builds at NGWClub as well as Classicgoldwings.com. Wingrider has a fairly recent build with the problems with an 87 at NGW.
 

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Too lazy to read the entire post. It will drop into the frame easily. The 1200’s have a “black box” ignition, which receives input from transmission and vacuum from intake. you will need that.
How big of a deal is that to move over?

1. Have a groove cut in the 87 output shaft by a competent machine shop so you can keep your 1100 swingarm and final drive. This one will be quicker. One guy tried it without it and the shaft fell off.
Consider that MPG is of little concern to me (unless we are talking 80 vs 35), and due to the way I ride, bottom line speed and acceleration is of much more concern to me, would this be my best option? My fire Chief is a very competent machinist, so for wouldnt be a big deal, and would likely cost me nothing....

I would use the 1200 carbs. Easy to clean or rebuild cheaply unless the diaphragms are torn. They have ports to match the heads and better overall flow characteristics IMO.
Thats the plan.... the carbs on my 1100 ended up messed up with the flooding.....

There are several similar builds at NGWClub as well as Classicgoldwings.com. Wingrider has a fairly recent build with the problems with an 87 at NGW.
THATS what those sites were named.... I have been beating my head against a wall trying to remember. Thank you.

I recognize that engine swap
Im currently on page ten of your thread. How did it work out for you in the long run?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Actually, Honda went to great lengths to make the 1200 better handling than the 1100.
Fun is subjective... Better handling isn't so much. I don't disagree with the fact that they designed it to be a better handling bike as a touring machine... I just don't ride like that. I started on crotch rockets, and unless its a brand new Indian darkhorse, that will always kind of be my baseline... If only they weren't so damn uncomfortable on 1500 mile rides. But the 1200 handles like a boat. Smooth, comfortable, easy..... or in my opinion.... kinda boring.
 

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How big of a deal is that to move over?
It should be pretty simple to transplant the 1200 ignition. Not much to it. When you get ready just ask.
Another thing though is the 1100 tach won't work, it is cable driven & the 1200 is electronic.
 

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Soooooo. That may be an issue.... do they make electronic tachs that look like a dial? I'll have to investigate that.... I kinda like the look of my tach and speedo.
 

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You can use any tach from four cylinder Honda, Yamaha bikes from the 80’s early nineties. I have one from a 85 Magna.

You will like this swap and I personally think the 1100 final drive will give you the best ratios if you like to rev a bit.

It is pretty easy to swap the entire front end from the 1200 over. Triple trees all used the same bearings. This beefs up the front end quite a bit. I don’t think the 1200 motor weighs too much more than an 1100.
 

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I'm going to jump into this one because I have a '85 and are working on a '81. The '81 needs to have the case split to clean up the cylinders and I have considered putting a 1200 engine in it. Good 1200s seem to be easier to find in my neck of the woods than good 1100s. What put me off the 1200 was the gear ratios. The '81 and '82 are pretty close, I think fourth gear on the '82 is a little taller than on the 81. I read quite a few 11/12 swaps over on NGW.com. The 1200 will fit right into the 1100 frame without a problem. It takes a few nights with the wiring diagrams to figure out how to make the ignition work. Not a big deal. I have both of the FSM and will image the correct wiring diagrams for you if you want. Send me a PM with your email.
Back to the gear ratios. The 1200 has very low overall 1-3 gears and when used with a 3.08 1100 final drive first gear of the 1200 engine is basically useless. The guys and NGW who ride the 11/12 bikes usually start in second gear and ride like it is a four speed bike. This is a preference thing, and up to you. As stated the 1200 swing arm. FDU and wheel could be brought over and made to work. The rear shock length might be an issue, the 1200 shocks are over an inch longer than the 1200 and the lower attachment might be kicked out a littler further to the rear than stock. The 1100 shocks don't have much of a spring in them and need air to get off the stops. The 1200 shock springs may be a little stiff for a 1100, but I don't know this.
As stated in an earlier post, using the 1200 rear end will leave you with the 15 inch tire and the 18 inch front. It might make the bike ride a little funky, but probably not that bad especially on the freeway. You could look at brining the 1200 forks and front end over to the 1100. This would give you the newer braking system and the advantage of the 1200 tire sizes. The 81 tires and wheels came up short on load carrying, basically the interstates were over loaded when you put a passenger on the back and nothing in the bags. The '82 were a bit better and Honda fixed this in '83. Don't forget the 87 brakes are linked and it has a hydraulic clutch. This wil lneed some messing with.
Good luck with this and keep us posted with lots of pictures. All of us could use a good project to follow :) JimP
 

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Jamespal, you may be thinking there are lots of 11/12 swaps at NGW, but I can only think of two. One never came back with a ride report. Don’t know what happened to him. There are lots of 1000/1200 swaps. To my recollection reading over there I am the only one who wrote liking to take off in second gear and that was with the 3.40 final drive of the 1000 and with my wife on back. The gear ratios between the bikes are actually quite close. First gear in the 85-87 1200 is 2.571:1 while the 82 was 2.5:1— pretty close. 2-3-4 are exactly the same in the 82-87 bikes. The 1200 fifth gear is 0.800:1 vs the 82’s 0.829. There is a difference in the secondary gears in the 83-84 models which might account for something, but it brings the ratios the other direction taller geared. To counter this the 83-84 models had a 2.642 first gear.

If you strip the bike down a bit, a 2.83:1 final drive is all I think want. I have an 83 swingarm and final drive in the shed. I would love to fit it on for comparison purposes. I think it might be better for bombing around the city.
 

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Jamespal, you may be thinking there are lots of 11/12 swaps at NGW, but I can only think of two. One never came back with a ride report. Don’t know what happened to him. There are lots of 1000/1200 swaps. To my recollection reading over there I am the only one who wrote liking to take off in second gear and that was with the 3.40 final drive of the 1000 and with my wife on back. The gear ratios between the bikes are actually quite close. First gear in the 85-87 1200 is 2.571:1 while the 82 was 2.5:1— pretty close. 2-3-4 are exactly the same in the 82-87 bikes. The 1200 fifth gear is 0.800:1 vs the 82’s 0.829. There is a difference in the secondary gears in the 83-84 models which might account for something, but it brings the ratios the other direction taller geared. To counter this the 83-84 models had a 2.642 first gear.

If you strip the bike down a bit, a 2.83:1 final drive is all I think want. I have an 83 swingarm and final drive in the shed. I would love to fit it on for comparison purposes. I think it might be better for bombing around the city.
You are probably right, I was thinking of the the 12/10 conversions. Your NGW post stuck in my mind. My 1100 is the standard model and it only had a SEANG plexiglass fairing and the Hondaline removable trunk, so it wasn't much heavier than a stock standard. The charm of the 1100 is the 'on top of the bike feel, (like the CB series) responsive engine with low gearing and a tightly spaced gear box. My 1200 Interstate is a much different bike. You feel like the bike wraps around you and you are sitting down into it. The engine is torquy and doesn't wind out anything like the 1100. Gears are widely spaced but the engine drops down into a nice lazy RPM on the freeway. The 1100 can be pushed a lot harder through the twisties and during acceleration up shifting drops you right into the middle of the power curve.
 

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I have tried a few combinations on the 1200. Started with 77 heads cams and carbs in a 1000 frame. Rode it a few summers. Converted to a 1200 swingarm. With the 77 cams, it’s torque is spread out wider. It has pretty good torque down low probably due to the extra stroke of the 1200, but the cams let it pull a little higher into the rpms just like a 1000/1100.

This summer, after finding that the stock 1200 heads have just as much intake lift as the 77 (because of different rocker arm ratios, not cam lift) and more exhaust lift along with more overlap, I decided to put them on. I haven’t had much time to tune it as winter came pretty early here, but I’m pretty convinced the 84-85 heads and cams are better than the 77’s. You give up 2mm of diameter on the intake valves, but you gain some back because of the exhaust lift being greater in the 12 and probably gain some from the greater overlap.

The other part of the equation is the ports of the heads. The 1000/1100 ports are considerably bigger, but they probably don’t help until you’re approaching WOT and higher rpm. The smaller ports of the 1200 probably help more at the bottom end.

As far as performance, I think it’s just learning to shift earlier in the power bands. Your ears tell you that 1000/1100 is going faster because it’s winding out, but I think in speed the 1200 is faster at lower rpm, so you shift earlier, it doesn’t have the same pitch sound, and as far as shifting, wind out fourth gear and you’ll be going faster than anyone should on a forty year old bike.

I hope to get some different carbs on mine this spring and maybe the 1100 swingarm.
 

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Just to keep yall updated... I am a 32 year old business owner/firefighter with 4 kids one of which is a 3 week old baby.... this is going to be a slow going project. If I get it completed by 2020 I'll be ecstatic... but yall please dont take my abcense as rude or lost interest... I've just learned I have to pace things.

I have figured out that I need to get this 1200 into perfect running condition before the switch, so that when I make it, problems are a little more isolated. Considering that it has to have starter fluid to start, and blows more smoke than a DC politician on November 1st, I assume that means start with rebuilding the carbs. Am I correct?
 
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