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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, Sooo I purchased a 86 interstate about 6 years ago with 105000. When I purchased it the engine had a knock that was present mainly at idle. I purchased it knowing that I may have to do some major repair or just replace the motor sometime down the road. I continued to ride this bike, trouble free, for 15,000 over the next few years, I know thats not many miles but other than normal maintenance it was trouble free. :)

Now about 2 years ago I found a motor on fleebay that was also an 86, had low miles, and had all kinds of videos of it running and riding, (they are a motorcycle graveyard) The bike looked to have been knocked over and most of the plastics were damaged so the were parting it out. I drove from Minneapolis to Omaha to pick this motor up. the price was right and I enjoy a road trip. I stored the motor under the workbench for about a year then i started collecting parts I wanted to upgrade.

The upgrade consisted of fitting an SEI charging system and replacing the clutch. I located the back cover, rotor, and aftermarket Electro Sport stator:X. New clutch, output bearing and seal in the real cover and a new rear cover gasket. Installed all the parts and had the motor ready to go!

Another year went by and I finally got the perfect opportunity to put the motor in, My friends works at a motorcycle shop and his boss was going on vacation and said that he could use the shop for personal projects if he wanted. So we decided to do the engine swap.

Monday: We started to disassemble the bike to pull the motor, Got the old motor out, new one in and 20% of the assembly done. So far so
good...

Tuesday: Finished the wiring. I wired the charging system with heavier gage wires to handle the extra output from the new stator and reg/rec combo. My friend went through the carbs. We got ready to fire it up about 3pm (didn't start till 11am that day, I had an interview) Started the motor up and there was a slight wine/scrapping sound from the rear of the motor that seemed to fade rather quickly it was hard to hear over the exhaust vacuum of the shop. The voltage at 1200rpm was 14.5 and
i was happy, Motor was rattle free. then I looked up and the voltage was dropping quickly. went down to 12v. Regulator was warm, not hot, so I cut my freshly soldered stator wires and sure enough the stator was fried, new stator lasted less than 10 MINUTES:X:X:X

Wednesday: After deciding to order the poor boy kit we arrived back at the shop started the bike to so my friend could balance and adjust the idle mixture screws the noise was back. It seemed it made noise only when cold. So after some swearing we decided the motor had to come back out, and it did, up on the bench and we dissembled the backs of both motors comparing each nut, bolt and washer placement along with a Honda book. Everything was the same as the original motor and the book. So we turned out attention to that G** D***** stator. We inspected the rotor for signs of rubbing and found very light marks inside the rotor but nothing really note worthy on the stator. Went home to see if there was a replacement stator in the area, couldn't locate one

Thursday: Decided to put the original stator back in the bike, the original one from the original motor, rotor and back cover and all, put it back together and put the motor back in the bike and had it up and running again in a few hours, a new tire and some new front brake pads and a couple nice but short test runs and It went back on the trailer to come home. YEA!!!

Friday: Unloaded the bike, started it up and runs great, took it for a short run around my neighborhood and saw it was low on gas, crap no wallet, so I started toward home and noticed the temp was a little on the high side, i thought that maybe there was air in the system just having all the work done to the engine. let it cool down checked the reserve coolant tank and it was down an inch or so from when I filled it so I figured I would go get some gas and go for a better test run. Well, Got the gas, started heading out and the temp gage was right in the middle so I kept going just taking it easy, I figured at worst I had my cell phone and could easily call for help if needed, ended up going 20 miles with the temp gage slowly creeping up. When I got back home I was thinking the thermostat was stuck partially open or not opening fully, so i let it cool down again pulled the coolant drained proceeded to loosen up the radiator so I could get the thermostat housing off. rather that take the hose off the lower water inlet off I just removed the 2 bolts that hold it on and I tried to turn the water pump impeller and it turned!!:X:confused::confused:. So after i quit swearing I started taking the front engine cover off so I could figure out what was wrong. Got the cover off and found the forks for the water pump drive were sheared off in the oil pump:eek:. Having the old motor on the bench I pulled the front cover off that one and decided Id put the water pump in the bike. Took the from off then oil pump to get the broken drive pieces out, put the original water pump in the new engines front cover since it had better looking gaskets and orings, gave it a quick thin coat of sealant and put it back on. put the radiator back together and watched the coolant drip from the weep hole.....:X:X:X:X

So Thanks it for now,,, Its November in Minnesota and the oring kit wont be here for a week.

If you read this, Thanks I really needed to vent!
 

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Man, I hate the smell of puke all over!

Sorry to hear the report. Did you change the thermostat and hoses with new autoparts replacements while you had it apart? Get new gaskets and orings if you don't want to pull that front cover again., or worse.
 

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If it isn't one thing.........
 

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I will have to say that you are thoroughly familiar with that motor now.

:claps: good on you to stick to it and see it through.

If we get together one day, I will spring for lunch.
 

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I think anyone who works with cars or bikes or boats for that matter have had one of those. I had a hangar queen 1100 in my old shop that seemed to delight in having one more thing crap out after I fixed the last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The frusterating part is that the old motor aside from the knocking was reliable. Heck I checked the date that they scribed into the battery at the place I bought it and the date was may 07, and the bike could sit for a month or more (with a aftermarket radio memory drain) and start right up and be ready to go. I fear we had our last nice day of the season yesterday so I guess the waterpump and sealing is a winter project.
 

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Hello all, Sooo I purchased a 86 interstate about 6 years ago with 105000. When I purchased it the engine had a knock that was present mainly at idle.

.... etc .... etc ....

If you read this, Thanks I really needed to vent!
:waving:

About that knock at idle .... did you ever isolate it with a stethascope or stick of hardwood?
It was not at all uncommon for GL1200s to exhibit a slight low speed knock from one side or the other that originated from under the cam cover and it was a collar that was simply assembled slightly against a rocker arm.
The cure was to simply loosen and adjust slightly and tighten back using a feeler gage to assure running clearance.
Maybe it was something deeper .... :? but at only 105,000 miles ??? :surprised:

Otherwise, having done a R&R in replacing my stator myself once .... just once .... I can appreciate your position.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I first bought it we went all over the engine with listening devices with 4 experienced motorcycle techs. We couldnt isolate it. The P.O. told me it broke a belt and had either a different head on it or new valves, I dont recall and we did concentrate on that head but it really sounded deeper. Someday I will tear it down and figure out what it is. Its on a shelf in the garage right next to a parts motor that the guys at the shop gave me after doing an engine swap for a customer. The engine had sat with a bad head gasket and 1 cylinder was a little rusty. the shop actually got it running for the guy but it smoked too much for him due to the damaged cylinder. So I have a good low milage engine partially disassembled. I may take those intrernals and swap them into my original motor if the block is still good.
 

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1985 GL1200 Limited Edition
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Although you upgraded the stator to the 500 watt model you didn't mention anything about changing the regulator.. Besides using a crappy stator, (Electrix), I think that might have been the reason for the stator failure..

Really nice attempt though!!!!
 

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Another source of idle and slow speed knock is un-synch'd carbs.
 

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I looked at a 1200 a few years back,rode it and pulled over to let it idle and it was knocking so bad that I had thoughts of not getting back to the owner but did.I told him about the knock and he said yes I know but it has knocked since it was new,I passed but a few days later a guy I worked with bought it and continued to knock and run for years before he gave it to his friend and he crashed it.Well over 100k and still knocked.
 

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The motor w/rusty cylinder that smoked may just need some pb blaster in the cylinders to free up the stuck rings.
 

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Can't say much, other than you're sticking with it, when many.....many would have passed, blamed the brand and moved on scrapping it.
Bravo to you (and the rest of who've lived zen and the art of maddening motorcycle maintenance)
 

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As far as the stators go to the poor boy alternator set up. More output, well hidden in the fairing. And no more motor out to replace along with no more stock reg/rectifier as the alt has it internal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Don I forgot to mention that I did replace the rectifier/regulator with a SEI unit. I had actually done that a early this season and wired the charging circuit with heavy guage wire to support the extra current. It still works fine with the original stator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would also like to add that i finished the water pump reseal and it works perfectly. I think i will still do the poor boy converson after the holiday season. I did add some 55w driving light and the work great as lonf as I'm moving. The stator seems to keep up (just barely). If I have to stop or slow down it starts to dischage the battery and just can't seem to recover once the voltage starts to drop. I plan on doing some more lighting upgrades in the next year or 2 so I will need the extra amperage. Plus I may leave the stock stator in service to have the extra piece of mind if the alternator fails or it thows a belt. I run an aftermarket radio that when chusing down the road will draw a few amps and the driving lights. I also want to add some runnig lights to the bike (cant ever be too seen on a motorcycle at night).

If anyone needs 1200 motor parts, look me up I basically have 2 complete engines that have lots of good parts. And of course any members of this forum will get a very good deal.
 
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