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Folks,

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had a timing belt break on their Goldwing. We always hear about how important it is to make sure the belts are changed at the proper intervals, and I would not argue that it is good practice to do so. However, I never see any post from someone who has experienced this disaster - only the potential damage that will occur if it does break. Kinda seems like everyone is worried about it occurring, but it rarely does.

What prompted this was the fact that I opened up my 81 GL1100 (35000 miles) and looked at my belts with the intention of changing them as I did not have previous maintenence records and was concerned that they might be original - which they most likely are. However, they looked pretty good and it got me to thinking about the necessity of performing the task at the current time (I know... I need to do it to be safe :))

Finally, I do not want to appear to be minimizing the importance of changing timing belts at recommended intervals - as I will probably do it in the next few weeks regardless. I would just like to know how often this occurs - as my gut feeling tells me that one could probably get 150000mi out of these things.;)

Any thoughts?.....

J M Wolfe
 

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Do a search on 'engine froze'. There's a whole thread concerning a timing belt that either was put on a bit off of was too slack and slipped a couple cogs that should answer your question. The problem with breaking timing belts was well documented in Honda and several other makes of automobiles. Apparently Honda was willing to design the engine to maximize the efficiency of the combustion chamber and breathing ability even with the risk of damage to the engine should a belt fail.
 

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JM, :waving:Since it is a fairly easy joband inexpensive why take the chance of a major problem?

:12red::cooldj:
 

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back about the time I bought my first wing '78, I had a friend who broke a belt on his '76 wing. bent valves and a interrupted trip. Fortunately he worked on his bike himself. it is sort of like changing oil regularly...sure it might last longer, but it is cheap in comparison.
 

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JM, There was a thread on this just recently. Someone fitted new GL1500 belts and one of them either slipped or broke and the engine went clank. I'm wondering what the outcome of this was. The design of most car engines is similar in that when the belt breaks, you get bent valves, that's just a fact of life.
I know a guy who crashed his gl1500 and one of the belts broke and it ruined the right side cylinder head and also took a lump out of one piston.

BTW, why did you change from your old profile?
 

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wolfej1 wrote:
Folks,

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had a timing belt break on their Goldwing. We always hear about how important it is to make sure the belts are changed at the proper intervals, and I would not argue that it is good practice to do so. However, I never see any post from someone who has experienced this disaster - only the potential damage that will occur if it does break. Kinda seems like everyone is worried about it occurring, but it rarely does.

What prompted this was the fact that I opened up my 81 GL1100 (35000 miles) and looked at my belts with the intention of changing them as I did not have previous maintenence records and was concerned that they might be original - which they most likely are. However, they looked pretty good and it got me to thinking about the necessity of performing the task at the current time (I know... I need to do it to be safe :) )

Finally, I do not want to appear to be minimizing the importance of changing timing belts at recommended intervals - as I will probably do it in the next few weeks regardless. I would just like to know how often this occurs - as my gut feeling tells me that one could probably get 150000mi out of these things.;)

Any thoughts?.....
J M Wolfe, I'm not too sure you would get an actual beltbreakage. I'm not familiar with GoldWing belt breakage as I haven't ever had one break but working in the auto industry I have seen many cam belt problems (failures). The usual occurrence is a timing belt will shear a belt tooth or more off the beltduring a hard cold start withthe resulting slippage of the cam sprocket within the belt. If the engine has a fair piston to valve head clearance thennothing happensexcept a poor running engine, or a no-start. If the engine is high compression with very little valve to piston clearance then either valve damage, or piston damage, or both results.

It'sdifficult to put a time frame on cam belt failures but on some engines you can set your watch by the mileage that a cam belt will fail & on others those belts will outlive the engine.

Twisty
 
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wolfej1 wrote:
Folks,

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had a timing belt break on their Goldwing. I do not want to appear to be minimizing the importance of changing timing belts at recommended intervals. I would just like to know how often this occurs - as my gut feeling tells me that one could probably get 150000mi out of these things.;)
Hey wolfej1 :waving:Your gut feeling is right. :stumped: I have never heard of a timing belt breaking on a Honda Goldwing :clapper: and the reason for that is, that most owners would change them long before they are due to be changed, :weightlifter:So my advice is Change the belt Now. :jumper:

:walker::18red::walker:
 

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Change them. You've already got the stuff open, now's the time. Besides possible(probable) engine damage, if the motor locks up while you're tooling down the road, will you have a quick enough response to be able to pull the clutch in before the rear wheel locks up and throw's yousideways?

Hobie
 

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Wolfej1,

Yeah, i hear everybody's post about why not, it's so easy, blah, blah...and honestly, I change mine at 20,000 miles on all my wings. That said my evil brother, unlike myself, never does anything to his 1981 GL1100 Interstate for years!! It is lucky if it gets the oil changed. He bought with 50,000+ on it and it is now at 135,000+ and he has never changed a belt!!! Now I am definitely not recommending this, just answering your question.

Davebave
 

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Never broke one on a Wing, but broke one on my car in Germany once. Luckily there was no damage and I was able to change the belt and drive away.
 

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So, do the wings run interference-type engines? (Valves open lower than piston TDC) If so, you are looking at a valve rod impaling your piston WHEN the belt breaks.
 

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philcsand wrote:
So, do the wings run interference-type engines? (Valves open lower than piston TDC) If so, you are looking at a valve rod impaling your piston WHEN the belt breaks.
philcsand, YES, the valves are just too close to the pistons at TDC. I think you have a couple of teeth in each direction before piston contact appears (it's pretty close).

Twisty
 

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Davebave wrote:
Wolfej1,

Yeah, i hear everybody's post about why not, it's so easy, blah, blah...and honestly, I change mine at 20,000 miles on all my wings. That said my evil brother, unlike myself, never does anything to his 1981 GL1100 Interstate for years!! It is lucky if it gets the oil changed. He bought with 50,000+ on it and it is now at 135,000+ and he has never changed a belt!!! Now I am definitely not recommending this, just answering your question.

Davebave
Folks

Maybe my phrasing of the question was convoluted :XI was hoping to hear from the "Evil Brothers" of the world, as I was curious as to how many GL owners are like this and how often their belts break. Maybe I did not post the question clearly as I was not asking if I should change my belts or not - I am in the process of doing it now. I thought of the question as I looked at the belt that I was replacing. It was the original and it looked fine at 35K. That is what made me think of the question I posted. In addition, I was recently talking to a guy at the local bikeshop who came in on a 81 GL1100 and I asked him when he last changed his timing belts. When he answered never it got me to thinking as this guy was the original owner and the bike had 140000 plus miles of hard riding.

Like I said in my original post - I know why it needs to be done, what the ramifications are, that it is easy, etc and so on. I was just looking for some numbers as I was curious as to how often these belts break.

Now I better get back out to the garage to finish installing the new timing belts:)

JM Wolfe
 

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Redwing. wrote:

[/quote]
Hey wolfej1 :waving: Your gut feeling is right. :stumped: I have never heard of a timing belt breaking on a Honda Goldwing :clapper: and the reason for that is, that most owners would change them long before they are due to be changed, :weightlifter: So my advice is Change the belt Now. :jumper:

:walker::18red::walker:
[/quote]

as above, I do know someone who had it happen so it can happen
 

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I have heard that age is an important factor in changing a timing belt. The older the belt, the sooner it should be changed. Since the timing belts are well protected from the elements, they will usually maintain that youthful belt appearance. But don't let that fool you.
 

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Age and running hoursbothhave an effect on the life of a belt. Since we know the Goldwing engine is an interference design, and the early Honda and other belt timed cars had a bad rep from broken belt catastrophes, it seems to me it's not too expensive to change belts after three years or so. A yearly or every other year inspection wouldn't be a bad idea either. If you haven't done it, pull the covers and see how much black belt material is inside the cover. Belts run around $60 a pair from NAPA, take a couple hours to install, cheap insurance.
 

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I know of a GL1200 owner in Scotland who had a belt break at only 29000 miles. The bike was a minter and had been laid up in a dry garage for about 4 years before the Scotish lad bought it. He serviced it (battery, oil, plugs, filters, tyres) but didn't do the belts and four months later while on a ride the left belt broke. All the valves on that side bent, pistons were okay. When the mechanic was taking the old valves out of the head, one of the valve guides was also broke and this added to the expense of the job.
 

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Heat and ageis a very big component of belt failure. If you have seriously overheated your Wing you should consider replacing the timing belts because the rubber will cook and become brittle. I have seen very few belts actually break but I have seen many that have cracked and peeled severely but still worked, but, the cost of rebuilding cylinder heads doesn't justify risking more life from a timing belt.

Vic
 

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JDuggan wrote:
BTW, why did you change from your old profile?
JDuggan,

I changed my profile when I forgot my password :Xfor JM Wolfe. In retrospect I should have requested help and kept me old name...

JMW
 

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i know this is 5 years belated... but last friday i was on a bike trip and at about 60 mph my left side belt broke on my '78 gl1000. i heard no noise and my bike didnt lock up. it simply felt like something let go and obviously it lost power. i am currently researching my options on what to do. because i am an unemployed college student, i dont think ill have the funds to get her back on the rode. the weird thing is i bought her on 8-22-09 and the date of the breakage was 8-27-10. as a side note i took her to a goldwing mechanic the very first day i got her and we checked the timing belts, i actually inspected them too, there was no signs of fatigue on the belts at all, in fact the mechanic said they looked brand new and i should get at least 5 years out of them. this just goes to show that you never know when they will let go.
 
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