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So on the way home from work this morning, I parked for a few minutes on the center stand and go in the store. 5 minutes later I come out and WOW, tons of smoke out the right side! I still thought it was oil, drove it another 20 miles and didn't notice any more smoke. I get home, turned off, then restarted again - lots more smoke out the right. Doesn't smell like oil, so I checked the coolant level - almost empty. Must be head gasket?!

So while I'm in there, I'm going to change timing belts again, and valve stem seals. Should I change both head gaskets at the same time or just hope for the best? It would really suck to button it all back up and have the other go in a month or two. What would you do?
 

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I can't help you, am facing the same decision myself!

BTW, I have a 1100 head gasket (from Honda) if you need it. Will make a good deal.

Marty
 

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Change both. You can check the valve stem seals and replace on both then. It's like any system under pressure. It will find a weak point. Use honda gaskets. They are expensive but you will only have to do the job once. A good gasket cleaner spray will help the job along and use a piece of stick to remove the gasket from the surfaces not a screwdriver! There are also a couple of small O ring seals in the head to change. They are part of the oil system for the head and are a restrictor jet. Check the valve guides for play also. I found the exhaust ones worn at about that mileage.
Good luck
 

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So to replace valve guides, I need to press out the old and in the new, then ream them to the correct size? I've never done that. Where should I get a reamer for that? Thanks for ANY advice on this!
 

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Get that done by a recommended engineering firm if possible.The equipment is expensive. Give them the heads with the valves removed but numbered and clean. I marked mine with perminant marker on the valve surfaces and on the face of the corrisponding area in the head. If possible try to remove the circlips that hold in the valve guides first. The more you do for them the cheaper and quicker the job. Mine took about a week but the job probally took only 4 hours.
 

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Thanks, I let you know how I make out - I've got to order parts...
 

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Only replace valve guides if they are worn. Its not an easy job and new guides are easy to break on install. Just replace the stem seals if the valves are not slopping in the guides.

About the gaskets, while the bike is stripped, it isn't a lot of extra work to do the other head gasket while you are in there.
 

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I had the same issue a couple of months ago my right head gasket went bad leaking coolant. I figured while it was down and needed to come apart anyway it's not that much more to replace both head gaskets. So I did both.:action::action::action:
 

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Most folks who replace one gasket find the second one fails shortly after.
If Daniel's machine shop is still in Augusta they used to do my bike heads.
 

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Cookie wrote:
Most folks who replace one gasket find the second one fails shortly after.
If Daniel's machine shop is still in Augusta they used to do my bike heads.
Sorry, Daniels closed about 10 years ago. I will be changing the second one also, I guess. I just removed the right head today to scope out problems. Lots of black buildup on the piston top and bottom of head. It was running pretty rich for a while, I guess this is the result from that.

One of the head bolts is pretty rusty (bottom center). Should I run them all through a die? Also, should I lube the bolts (with what?) before reassembly? And no sealant or anything on the head gasket, right? Any advice is VERY welcome, thanks for all the help so far!

Oh, and the little "butterfly" shapes on the tops of the pistons are normal factory, right?
 

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brianinmaine wrote:
....One of the head bolts is pretty rusty (bottom center). Should I run them all through a die? Also, should I lube the bolts (with what?) before reassembly? And no sealant or anything on the head gasket, right? Any advice is VERY welcome, thanks for all the help so far!

Oh, and the little "butterfly" shapes on the tops of the pistons are normal factory, right?
It would be a good idea to clean the threads.. but a wire brush wheel works good and doesn't remove any metal.. a loose fitting tap will clean the threads of the block, but again, just a clean bolt will clean pretty good..

I suggest the factory manual which says moly grease for the thread lube.. many here (including me) use the 60% Moly Paste, which is considered better than just moly grease (~3%).. Good lubrication is essential to getting even and maximum clamping force.

Head gasket is dry.. you'll be replacing o-rings and probably the coolant paper gasket at the coolant tube elbow.. If Honda is still selling Gasket kit A, it has everything you could possibly want and then some for both sides

The cutouts in the pistons are to provide clearance for the valves from the pistons.. but they still can collide if you are not meticulous about the timing belt timing..

Good luck..lots of help here in the forum.. when you get to putting the belts back on, you might want to read the belt tutorials... might save you an engine..
 

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Sandie as ever speak a lot of sense. The paper seals for the coolent elbows need to be replaced with new as they are coated with an adhesive that bonds the two surfaces togeather. Use a rotating wire brush carefully and not on the head surface. Care and patience with a wooden stick is all you need
 

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Ok, right head is clean and disassembled. There is a TINY amount of wiggle in the exhaust guides, no wiggle on the intakes. If I have to, I'd do the guides myself- no way I can afford a machine shop for this. I found a reamer for about $40 and the guides are $10.35 each (~$90 or so) to do all 4. Is it worth it? They really are not bad, just a tiny amount, but I can feel them move. So this would be oil leaking into the exhaust and coming out smoke, right? Any more advice?

Just checked exhaust valve in intake guides - tiny movement. Must be worn valve stems. I'll probably just leave them alone.
 

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I would only change the head gasket on the side that needed it. The other one may never go. It's not that common or expected.
 

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left side is clean and ready for parts ordered today. Now to clean the block and piston faces. I can rotate the engine to clean the faces now, right? as long as I put it back for the head re-installation?

Also, when the seals get here, how do I drive the valve guide seals on without damage? Do they just slip on?

I should lap the valve seats? what is the easiest way (I've never done it?) I see a suction cup on the valve might work? Do you get these things at any auto parts store?
 

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busdriver wrote:
He who goes cheap, pays twice.
Do it right, do it once.

Just my 2 cents worth.
Meaning what? what am I skipping that you wouldn't?
 

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i would do both since you have the t- belts off...and the mess ta-boot!!...and all the tools out....and the other side might be ready to give way too!
 

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brianinmaine wrote:
left side is clean and ready for parts ordered today. Now to clean the block and piston faces. I can rotate the engine to clean the faces now, right? as long as I put it back for the head re-installation?

You can rotate the crank..and as you say,... back to T1 before heads go back on with marks out. If you really want to be safe, back the valve adjusting screws out or maybe you already have the cams off..

Also, when the seals get here, how do I drive the valve guide seals on without damage? Do they just slip on?

Really that should be a machine shop operation... they are pressed in and may come out hard too... straight with faces parallel to the set
...

I should lap the valve seats? Can be done by hand with the suction cup method, but again, this should be a machine shop procedure for best results.. what is the easiest way (I've never done it?) I see a suction cup on the valve might work? Do you get these things at any auto parts store?
You sound informed and capable, so have at it if you want to do it yourself, but without proper presses, reamers and alignment tools, you may be on the learning curve for a while.. Goood luck..
 

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Like the some of other guy's are saying, I would do them both and sleep better knowing it's all done up right.
If you had a bad timing belt would you change just one, or both?
Sure you could get by for a while, but remember Murphy's Law?
What can go wrong, will go wrong.

Peace of mind is knowing you won't have to go back later and go thru it all again.
Plus by the time you get done figuring out the first one, the second side will be a breeze.

Treat her well, and she'll treat you well.

Good luck.
 
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