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I bought a wing that has a blown head gasket. how difficult is it to change, special tools needed, and what level of mechanical ability would it require. The mechanic I would use is booked up for several weeks. Any advice would be appreciated. By the way it is a 1984 gl1200 aspencade.

oldmanonavtx
 

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ok you bought a wing---now what year and model ?
 

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GL-1200 headgaskets are pretty darn simple. If you can remove and replace a bolted part - you can do this.

Take off the engine guards and the lower fairing pieces - this won't change your gasket - but it will make you feel like you've really started towards the goal.

Oh - before you get too far make a list. I'll start it for you.

1) Head gasket
2) Valve cover gasket along with the 4 rubber grommets for the screws. (don't want oil leaks, right?)

Where do you order parts? Bikebandit.com or a dealership?
 

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wda-83wing wrote:
ok you bought a wing---now what year and model ?
:)ok now i see it.
 

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rgbeard wrote:
GL-1200 headgaskets are pretty darn simple. If you can remove and replace a bolted part - you can do this.

Take off the engine guards and the lower fairing pieces - this won't change your gasket - but it will make you feel like you've really started towards the goal.

Oh - before you get too far make a list. I'll start it for you.

1) Head gasket
2) Valve cover gasket along with the 4 rubber grommets for the screws. (don't want oil leaks, right?)

Where do you order parts? Bikebandit.com or a dealership?
:)and i`ll second this too.
 

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Just make sure you remove the old gasket material that may be stuck to the surface of the head but make sure you don't remove any metal. They are aluminum and easy to take off some of the old metal. When I did mine I used WD-40 to soak the gasket material remaining then used a single edge razor blade to carefully remove the gasket material. You want to make sure the two surfaces that mate up are as clean as they can be before you mount the gasket. Also, make sure you torque the head bolts according to the manual. This is one place where "tight enough" won't work.

Good Luck!
 

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YOu will need some tools (metric socket set, torque wrench), the parts (head gasket, oil orings, carb orings as a minimum), the time, and the ability to carefully follow instructions (available on forum or manuals). Most times if you go this far, you will replace timing belts and radiator hose... There is lots of cleanup (carefully scraping/cleaning the head and block) Doing it correctly will save a couple hundred dollars.. doing it wrong will cost you the valves and head (and the couple hundred to replace such)... If you still are ready to try it there are many here to help.. an experienced person could probably do it in a couple hours.. first time, figure a lot more, at least a day and like maybe a couple days..
 

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oldmanonavtx,

Well... I just did a head gasket replacement on my '87 Aspencade last Fall. It's not really fresh in my mind, but I do remember that it took way longer than I thought it would. However, I was very careful, took my time, and spent a total of several hours over a couple of weekends at it.

What I specifically remember is that LOTS of stuff had to be removed to get the job done. Particulary the radiator and the timing belt covers. So, you have to drain the coolant out of the engine and you may as well also replace both timing belts while you are in there. They are probably old. That also means that you will have to learn how to time the engine in order to put the belts back on properly.

Long story short, you're gonna need a service manual with pictures unless you are really experienced working on a GL1200 already.

The most meticulous part of the job, and really necessary, was removing all of the old head gasket material from the head and the engine block sealing surfaces. If you don't get it all off and have nice clean metal surfaces, your new gasket will leak and all of your work will be for nothing. You will need a spray can of gasket remover. This is the best way to get the old baked-on gasket material softened up and loose enough to scrape it off. Only use wooden or plastic scrapers. If you use metal, you may gouge and damage the metal surfaces. I think that properly cleaning the old gasket material off took me the better part of an hour or more. Soak, scrape, soak scrape, repeat... until clean enough to eat your lunch off of!

One other hard part was getting the head off after all the head bolts were loose, You will have to pry up and suspend the entire carburetor assembly and intake plumbing on the affected side far enough to pull all the parts that mate to the head free. This includes the coolant pipes too. I used some twine to hold mine up in place once the head was ready to be removed.

You will also need lots of new o-rings and gaskets! Every thing you remove from the head has an o-ring or gasket of some sort to seal it. Look at the Honda parts microfiche illustrations on any of the online parts suppliers to identify them and order them.

As mentioned, if you don't have a torque wrench, borrow one and torque the head bolts to spec when reassembling. If not torqued to spec, the gasketwon't hold.

My best advise: take your time, don't rush.

Good luck with it!
 
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