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:clapper:I will be changing my belts on my 1100 very soon as well. I have read through the manual, but I believe Octane's instructions and high quality pics are going to be more help for me. All the other advise is also very helpful and greatly appreciated.:clapper:
 

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Just don't forget the most critical part of the job. That's hand turning the engine, sparkplugs removed,with a wrench on the crankshaft bolt through TWO FULL TURNS to feel for any chance of interference between the pistons and valves. Failure to do this can result in a severely damaged engine. If you do perform this check you won't hurt your engine even if you make a mistake on the valve timing.
 

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Octane...Thanks to your photos and excellent instructions I feel prepared to attempt the timing belt replacement on my "new" 84 GL1200 Aspencade. There are just a couple of points I would like to clarify before I dig in. Please forgive the stupid questions! I'm understanding that when turning the engine 360 degrees in order to set the roller bearing tensioner for the right side the left side tensioner bolts are already tightened. If the right side tensioner is not tight before this rotation wont the marks slip on the right side? Is this avoided by the belt teeth meshing with the pulley teeth? Also..Where exactly is this crank bolt located? The close up in photo 3 is excellent but I cant tell exactly where the thing is without pulling back a bit to see the "bigger picture" Assuming I'm good so far in my reasoning what I don't fully understand is the next instruction to make sure the T-1 mark is still in the correct position. Doesn't turning the engine 360 degrees automatically return the T-1 mark back to the correct position even though the cam pulley arrows now both point to the center instead of the marks on the block? If so, I'm beginning to "get it" The next instruction states "Check/re-adjust valve clearance and check/re-adjust ignition timing" Isn't this already done if all the marks line up? If not, how is this done? Is there any way this thing could actually be 180 degrees out and the marks all still line up? One more dumb question and then I think I'm ready to study it some more <grin> When turning the engine by hand two full turns should the rear wheel be off the ground? Should the bike be on the center stand? Should the transmission be in neutral? Thanks so much for this great site!
 

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you can turn either one of the cranks with the marks on them, as long as the belts are on. you will need to align all three marks, the cranks and then find the timing mark on top of the engine. its under a cap thats appx. 1 inch diameter on the left side of the engine, on top, about 4-6 inches from the back towards the front and about 3-4 inches towards the center on the engine from there. it has a big slot in it for a screw driver. you will be able to align that mark very easily. T1 should be the mark i believe. once all those are in line then turn the engine with a ratchet on your cranks and check for bad noises, there shouldn'e be any. put the plugs back in and turn again2-3 three times. good luck
 

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shmolous wrote:
Octane...Thanks to your photos and excellent instructions I feel prepared to attempt the timing belt replacement on my "new" 84 GL1200 Aspencade. There are just a couple of points I would like to clarify before I dig in. Please forgive the stupid questions! I'm understanding that when turning the engine 360 degrees in order to set the roller bearing tensioner for the right side the left side tensioner bolts are already tightened. If the right side tensioner is not tight before this rotation wont the marks slip on the right side? Is this avoided by the belt teeth meshing with the pulley teeth? Also..Where exactly is this crank bolt located? The close up in photo 3 is excellent but I cant tell exactly where the thing is without pulling back a bit to see the "bigger picture" Assuming I'm good so far in my reasoning what I don't fully understand is the next instruction to make sure the T-1 mark is still in the correct position. Doesn't turning the engine 360 degrees automatically return the T-1 mark back to the correct position even though the cam pulley arrows now both point to the center instead of the marks on the block? If so, I'm beginning to "get it" The next instruction states "Check/re-adjust valve clearance and check/re-adjust ignition timing" Isn't this already done if all the marks line up? If not, how is this done? Is there any way this thing could actually be 180 degrees out and the marks all still line up? One more dumb question and then I think I'm ready to study it some more <grin> When turning the engine by hand two full turns should the rear wheel be off the ground? Should the bike be on the center stand? Should the transmission be in neutral? Thanks so much for this great site!
Not stupid questions at all. You should make the right tensioner a bit tight prior to doing the 360 degree rotation of the crank. It is not important at this time that the T1 mark is exact. This move is only to off load the valve spring tension on the cam so that you can better adjust the right belt tension. In this position, you then reset the right tensioner. After that is done, then rotate the crank another 360 back to the T1 mark and GET IT BANG ON for the final check of all your alignment marks.

If all the marks are aligned properly with the UP words facing up, the engine is properly timed and nothing is 180 degrees out. The crank bolt is the big one at the center of the engine. Never turn the engine over using the CAM shaft bolts.

If the tranny is in neutral, it matters not where the rear wheel is for turning the engine over.

Hope this helps some.
 

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Now I think I understand why the 360 rotation is necessary! With the cam pulley arrows lined up with the marks, there is valve spring tension on the right pulley only causing it to want to move and hindering the spring on the belt tensioner from auto adjusting the belt tension??? You're saying that the 360 move is so that the valve spring force applied to the right cam pulley is released, facilitating correct functioning of the tensioner spring. Does this valve spring pressure then transfer to the left side cam pulley after the rotation? If so, I believe I'm almost there. If there is no movement of either of the cam pulleys OR the crank during the belt removal and installation process shouldn't the T-1 mark be correctly aligned after the belts are reinstalled and the tensioner bolts tightened down??? If so, are the instructions to recheck and rotate the engine 2 full turns and recheck again simply to verify the procedure was done correctly? Or is it possible for something to have slipped out of alignment during the install? I assume the only 3 ways for this to happen Is to (1) turn the crank with the belts off or (2) turn the cam pulleys with the belts off OR (3) not secure the right cam pulley with the offset wrench/Wiretie trick BEFORE loosening the tensioner bolts (which is actually a variation of possibility (2)....That being the case, the next question scares me a bit. If something is mis-aligned with everything tightened down won't turning the crank cause the valves to strike the piston tops? If so, How do you backstep to rectify this crank/cam mis-alignment. (I'm assuming you hear the valves click against the piston tops!) Do you then turn the crank bolt the opposite direction to make the valve come away from the piston top? One more question! How did you guys learn all this stuff?<grin> Oh yeah, and how much pressure should I expect to apply to the crank bolt to get the engine to turn over? It seems like turning everything would require a long wrench and some pretty serious brute force. Would getting the rear wheel off the ground, placing the tranny in 5th gear and rotating the rear wheel be easier? Thanks a bunch Octane! This is good stuff!
 

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If the engine is in neutral and the spark plugs removed it's fairly easy to turn the engine over with a 3/8" ratchet handle. Probably around the order of 5-10 ft. lbs. of torque if you did it with a torque wrench.

Turning the engine over by hand does at least two things. It verifies that the valves and pistons won't hit each other, you'll feel it if they do, that's why you take the plugs out and turn carefully. If you do feel something when turning the engine, back off the crankshaft, don't force it forward. The other thingit does is gets the slack evened up in the belts and seats the cogs in the pulleys. It's not unusual to find the timing or the tension a little bit different after cranking the engine over.

An error of one tooth or a tooth and a half won't make much difference. Don't laugh, you may find that the new belt won't adjust closer than half a tooth to what the old one was. These belts can stretch a wee bit over their lifetime. More than that is risky.
 

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You got it pretty much correct in your understanding of it. And Paul has answered your last questions. But hard to tell for sure as that is one wicked paragraph.:cheeky1:
 

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hahahah! Yeah Hawk after I read it back to myself it made sense to me but I wondered if anyone else could make sense of it!<grin> Thanks again for the responses! I believe I can probably do it without bending my engine now. One last question: Does anyone know the NAPA part number for the GL1200 belts and are both belts the same? I looked at a #250070 belt today at NAPA. It cost 17 bucks but he only had one in the store!
 

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That's the right belt, both the same. Pretty typical that they'd have only one belt usually have to get in another. Normally sincea car only uses one timing belt they stock very few of a wide variety and have to reorder often. In my area NAPA can usually get in a belt or other part in one or two days.
 

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Yeah Ex. The Napa guy said he had another one at a store on the other side of town. He said he could get it in an hour so I guess I'll go buy them tomorrow.
 

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Hey gang,

I know this is an old post but it is so good.

Any chance this is the same for a 97 1500 or is there another post that is better suited?

Toy4Rick
 

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It is basically the same for the 97 1500. Napa belt number is 250275, and I found them to be in the low $30 each. There are a few differences, like the timing mark is on the crank at the front instead of on the engine top.

Actually, just go to Rudy's site and he has a very nice writup on doing the 1500 belts.
 

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Yeah I can second that. Go to Rudy's site, great photo's and explanation. I just did mine on my 1500, turned out great. A little fiddling around to get the tension right, I'm sure I could do again quicker.
 

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1200 I would recomend it for guys doing job 2nd time .

I didn't remove spark plugs-no reason. If resistanse bothers you turn crank slower- air will be able to go thru rings.

I turned crank by front bolt

I didn't remove radiator- remove 2 lower nuts- move it toward front wheel and hold it by wire attached to wheel.

I didn't remove hoses- remove 2 bolts holding waterpump cover and don't forget to use RTV to install it.

I have read somewhere that it should be possible to twist belt 90 degrees to check adjustment.
 

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There are a lot of short cuts you can use working on anything but in the long run by far the best is to go by the book. The machine was built to a specific design and almost always cutting corners degrades the reliability, performance or design life. Do it right, craftsmanship always pays.


Personally I remove the plugs to make it easier to feel for interference, your touch will be a lot more sensitive without the resistance of compressing air. I've done the job bothby removing the radiator and merely shifting it forward a bit. Removing the radiator doesn't take that much more time and sure makes it easier to do the job especially the first time. I'd never twist a cog belt, they aren't designed to be twisted and it's possible to damage the fibers when there's any tension on the belt and you twist it. Don't use RTV or any gasket sealer when replacing the lower hose spigot on the water pump. It's designed for an o-ring seal without sealant. In a pinch you could use gasket sealer but I wouldn't do it except as a temporary measure and would clean the crud off and replace the o-ring as soon as possible.
 

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Just changed my belts for the first time and I want to thank Octane for a great post.:clapper::clapper: Much more clear and helpful than what I was getting from my manual. Anyone putting off doing this, just follow this post and it will be much easier than you think, if I can do it anyone can!
 

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I just changed the timing belts on my GL1200A and I would like to give a big "THANK YOU" to Octane for the easy to follow tutorial. And a big "THANK YOU" to Wingnut for hosting this site.
 
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