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'85 GL1200 LIMITED parts bike? NOT!

3067 Views 57 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Steve-n-TN
I came upon an '85 GL1200 Aspencade that was last started in 1994 with only 8550 miles. It has been garage kept since the owner passed away. This bike is 100% there with no abuse, but a lot of rheumatism from sitting all that time. Unsure yet what I'm going to find as I start going through it. A lot of surface rust that will need to be dealt with but this will be a summer project. I also recently picked up an '85 GL1200 LIMITED. This one was basically gotten as a parts bike and shows signs of "Shade Tree Mechanicing" I started evaluating it and correcting some wiring issues just to see how far gone it was since it was rolling and stopping. The guy I got it from had bought it not running and never got it running, though it would kinda run if you gave it a shot of either. I went ahead and put a rebuilt set of fuel injectors and a new fuel filter. Tested fuel flow and pressure before trying to actually start it. I removed a rats nest of wires that were tagged across fuses and hooked the battery up. Tried to start it and it spun over pretty good and according to the Diagnostics on the ECU the Camshaft position sensor was either bad or an open wire. Long story short I found that the cable from the sensor had been misrun and was being twanged by the throttle cable. It had caused one of the wires to be pulled out of the connector. Repaired the broken wire and dressed it properly so that would not happen ever again. Crossed my fingers turned the key and hit the start button. SHAZZAM! It fired immediately and ran pretty good and idled at 1050 rpm. It smoked quite a bit when I first started it, but I ran it at idle about 15 minutes to normal temperature and it quit smoking. I was floored I have never had a fuel injected bike before. I am amazed that is not cold natured like my GL1100. There are still lots of ills that need correcting but I think it's going to be a keeper.
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That is ugly.
Have had the pins "mushroom" on my '85 Limited Edition. Took some time to file down the outside and tap out. Would recommend pulling the calipers every couple of years and remove/clean/replace these pins. Not many available for sale if any.
C'mon can make those work. .:devilish:
Looks like Bubba went after it with a drill. Or maybe just a dull beaver.
The rear one was fine, easy peezy to rebuild, the two front ones were just awful and the bolts were way over torqued. It just makes me crazy. It will make me appreciate bringing my 8500 mile unmolested '85 Aspencade back to life. I hope that I don't have as many surprises on that one as I have had on this one.
That was somebody else attempting to drill out the pins
Maintenance/work by others is always a pig in a poke. How a person does work/maintenance is not always how another would do the same.

You still should take the rear wheel off and lube up the splines. "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get."
Yep I was going to do that when I get the new tires for sure. The old ones still have ok tread, but are 9 and 11 years old. I don't ride "Maypops"
I received the new to me front brake calipers that I got off ebay. They were in great shape, I picked up the first one and pushed the pins out with minimal effort like I have in the past. I then pulled the pins on the other one and It was the same way. I then easily pulled the pistons and rebuilt the right side caliper. I then pulled the pistons on the other one and discovered that the supplier had sent 2 kits for the right side and not one of each. Unfortunately the rebuild kit for the left side had been back ordered. Luckily I should have it in hand by Wednesday or Thursday. I did receive the new tires and will get those mounted and balanced this weekend. Oh well, baby steps it's not like I cant find something to do on this bike. I am going to have to do some patching on the bottom of the trunk. I did luck up and find the lowers for the fairing with the cornering lights. It's getting closer to riding, I'm not discouraged.
Good work and good score on the parts.

The rear trunk takes a beating, especially the trunk lid. I had quite a bit of repair to do to mine when I painted the bike. The bottom of the trunk can be repaired easily with ABS cement. Groove the cracks or whatever, layer in the ABS cement, let cure, sand and paint. I painted the bottom after the repairs with the OEM colour, but since it is the bottom you can also give it a coat of black paint as it is not well seen, unless you are up close and personal.

The trunk lid is another issue. I was always using the pillion arm rests to limit the forward travel of the trunk lid, PITA. When I painted the bike, I made 4 trunk lid restraints from a 1/16" sheet of ABS and 4 electrical cable staples. Poked a screwdriver through the ABs, and glued the restraint to the trunk and trunk lid. Attached a braided rope between the restraints to limit trunk lid travel. A small mod, but well worth it.

Here's some pics of the restraint. Restraint pieces:
Rectangle Grey Wood Material property Font

Restraint installed:
White Hood Light Automotive tire Automotive lighting

The paint for the '85 Limited edition is still a valid paint code so you can get it from any paint shop. I painted my bike with spray guns - always wanted to use them instead of paint cans, but you can get custom made paint cans to suit as well.

Paint code for the Gold is:
Receipt Font Rectangle Paper Paper product

Paint code for the brown is:
Receipt Font Rectangle Parallel Paper

Great job so far. Keep up the good work.
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Thanks so much for the paint codes. I'm gonna use those for sure once I get the trunk lower patched up. There are some large chunks missing and I'm going to have to find some ABS to fill in the gaps. Oh well time to try and locate some. It's kind of hard to find any near where I live. Time to do some surfing on the internet I guess. Well, I got her down off the lift and couldn't resist a cautious 5 mile check ride. I managed to keep it under 45mph since I have only 1 brake working right now, plus she's outside pretty naked right now. About a mile into the ride, the bike abruptly died. It would not restart and after looking at the ECU diagnostics, it was displaying the familiar code of no Crank Shaft sensor. I grabbed the connector and gave it a shake and reseated the contacts again. I restarted it again and proceeded to finish the ride. When I got back home, I left it running and shook the connector and it died once more. Luckily I have some 2 contact connectors and I will be replacing that puppy before I put the shelter back for sure. I had to get it off the lift in order to put it on the center stand to change the tires. I know I shouldn't have ridden it yet, but it's 66 degrees and clear weather and I just couldn't resist.
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I got to spend a little time with the bike today, very little as I actually had a paying job to do today. As I am retired that's important because that funds my addiction (Bikes). Still waiting on the other caliper rebuild kit to be delivered, I noticed a wet spot on the garage floor and tracked that down to the small gasket on the fitting below the radiator that the lower hose attaches to. Tightened it up slightly and so far it seems to have stopped. Time will tell overnight and I'll check it in the morning.
The missing brake rebuild kit arrived and I was able to install and bleed the front and rear brakes today. I've got front and rear brakes now and I took her out on a short ride to break in the pads. I've still got a little soft pedal on the rear and I'll try to bleed both again tomorrow once all the air bubbles settle. No issues found so far. Next is to replace the fan switch and to replace the connectors for the crankshaft position sensor. The fan was wired directly to the fuse box and ran anytime the ignition was turned on.
If you are inclined to adding a rad fan switch for manual use especially if doing a lot of city driving and such, this is a schematic of the circuit:
Handwriting Product Slope Rectangle Font

The rad fan should start when the dash engine temp indictor is in the 6 bar range. I use my manual switch for summer city driving, or when riding two up as necessary.
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I've actually considered a manual override for the fan, but first thing is to replace the fan temp switch and sort out the wiring. The way that the fan was installed was ugly and not safe as there wasn't a fuse inline. I was pleased that I was able to bleed the brakes again today and managed to remove a couple of bubbles from the front caliper. I have a good firm brake pedal now. On another note, I was doing some checks about the RPM fluctuations between cold running at 1000 RPM then up to 2100 when warm. I hooked up the sync gauges to check the balance between left bank and right bank. I noticed that the right bank was pretty solid as far as vacuum goes, but the left bank was reading wonky and would change as it warmed up. On further investigation, I found that if I moved the vacuum lines connected between 2 and 4 at the "T" the vacuum would change. I replaced the vacuum lines on both sides and both banks and after restart the tach read 2300 rpm and the vacuum was stable on both sides. I let it warm up to operating temperature and adjusted the idle screw and set the idle to 1080 rpm. When I goosed the throttle several times and was happy that it returned to 1080 rpm. I'll check it again in the morning on a cold start. I ordered a couple of 12" x 24" x 1/8" sheets of ABS to try to do some repairs on the bottom of the trunk lower. I going to go by the plumbing supply house to get some ABS cement.
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Good to hear you got the idle straightened out. There is no fuse inline to the rad fan, it's in the fuse box. I think I mentioned that I did a complete paint job of my '85. The spare bedroom was where the finished parts/pieces went:
Curtain Automotive design Flooring Wood Machine

Sonya was very understanding. had a lot of cracks, missing pieces and such to repair.

Great job so far, keep going, it will be worth it. Have more info if you need. Cheers
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Great looking paint job! I hope mine will be half that good at 10 or 20 feet away. Mine is not a beauty queen by any means, she shows every bit of her 75,000 miles. I've been doing much needed maintenance and rubbing out the years of neglect. I had to vacuum out leaves from places that there should have never been any. Leaves were under both pockets of the fairing as well as on top of the fuel tank and sandwiched between the frame and the tank. "Goldie Hawn-da" is never going to be a Princess, she's one of those gals that's a little rough around the edges and just want's to go down to the local bar, shoot some pool and have a good time.
I have an 1986 that sat unregistered for 8 years, the fuel tank and filter were rusty so I took out the fuel and sending unit to clean out the tank with a red rag zip tied to a stick saturated with ATF. Two cleanings got most of the loose rust out. You may want to check the tank.
I cleaned one out, once. with a couple of gallons of marvel mystry oil, and a handful of BBs. Pour in MM, add BBs, and with lid on and all outlets plugged, turn the tank every way but loose. Dump out and check. If needed, repeat. You can reuse the MM and BBs if necessary.
I cleaned one out, once. with a couple of gallons of marvel mystry oil, and a handful of BBs. Pour in MM, add BBs, and with lid on and all outlets plugged, turn the tank every way but loose. Dump out and check. If needed, repeat. You can reuse the MM and BBs if necessary.
Wrap it tightly in blankets etc. and put it in a cloths dryer.
Continuing the journey of trying to remove the "shade tree" or I should say shady work, I pulled the radiator again to work on the fan and fan wiring. Once I got the radiator out I went on the hunt for the fan connector that should be in the front coming out of the wiring harness. I pulled the fuse for the fan circuit and connected my signal generator and using my signal tracer wand located the wire and found that the connector had been cut off. I had some 2 conductor Molex connectors that I had gotten to replace the connector for the camshaft position sensor. The current rating of those connectors is 5 amp max. I got out my multimeter to measure the actual current draw for the fan motor. On startup, the current spikes to 9 amps then quickly drops to 3.6 amps. I decided to use some connectors that were rated for 10 amps. Unfortunately the 10 amp connector bodies that I had on hand were 3 conductor. I ended up changing the connector on the fan motor to a 3 conductor. Now comes the shady part, the fan had been wired directly to the fuse box using 18 gauge brown lamp cord and also the bottom of shroud that surrounds the fan had been cut and bent towards either side and only 2 screws holding the fan to the radiator. Also noted that the fan blades had several chunks missing. I had a good used fan and shroud that I could use as a replacement. The donor did not have the .47mfd capacitor that is used for noise suppression, so I removed it from the old fan and installed it on the donor. Changed the connector on the motor to mate with the new connector that I had added to the wiring harness earlier. The "Zip cord" that was on the old fan wasn't soldered and was just twisted around the skinned back wires. Another thing, I think there may have been an attempt to do a "poorboy alternator conversion" on this at one time which would explain why the timing belt cover was a cutout that lined up with the crankshaft pulley and might explain why the shroud was cut and the one of the fan mounting tabs being cut off. Hopefully I will get the radiator and coolant back in the bike once I get home from my paying gig tomorrow.
Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Wood Bicycle chain
Bicycle part Tool Gas Wire Auto part
Bicycle tire Automotive tire Bicycle part Terrestrial plant Rim
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