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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Have you checked the valve lash?
I don't have a feeler gauge but will later today however I did the wiggle test on the lifters and found lash at the correct TDC for intake and exhaust on all, by feel to me the lash was equal on all lifters, and correct it passed the wiggle test, I realize I can't guess the .004 lash but, seems correct and in all the right timing positions, double checked myself here, where next? the problem is real so where is the compression going? Im out of ideas, I do think we are narrowing this down each time we work down the check list, where to next?
thanks for all the great help, cutwater
 

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The only way to find out for sure is a leak down test.
 
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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
I don't have a feeler gauge but will later today however I did the wiggle test on the lifters and found lash at the correct TDC for intake and exhaust on all, by feel to me the lash was equal on all lifters, and correct it passed the wiggle test, I realize I can't guess the .004 lash but, seems correct and in all the right timing positions, double checked myself here, where next? the problem is real so where is the compression going? Im out of ideas, I do think we are narrowing this down each time we work down the check list, where to next?
thanks for all the great help, cutwater
Been calling around for leak down may need to buy, given what has been learned so far is the leak down going to determine if theres a leak between cylinders Ala head gasket, I ask
because given both cylinder are on the same side at same low compression seems they have something in common, the leak down will certainly detect a leak but will it determine if its a valve seat or head gasket? never done this before , I think I see this now at TDC on compression both 2&4 exhaust valves closed and the rocker arms slack the leak down should be minimal if one exhaust valve is partially open while the other is still closed with the leak down test still under pressure if it detects a change then it's a gasket, am I getting closer to understanding? thanks.

Either way with the test result won't that mean the head needs to come off? I can see how the leak down will be important to know for all 4 cylinders, working on finding one, auto zone borrow a tool says none in area may take a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
All valves good, compressions low and equal suggests head gasket
All valves good in the sense they function well when cranked over, timing is good plus right side of engine 135-6-7lbs ish with 70K thats reasonable, the bike was stored for 6yrs
can only guess compression will improve with some miles, sounds like I should be ordering a head gasket!, Thanks UK.
 

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A leak down will tell you the amount of leakage and where it is. However, just knowing where is often all you really need to know for the next step. This can often be done by just putting compressed air into the cylinder at TDC. Something cobbled up from your compression gauge adapter is good enough. Then you can hunt for where the air is coming out. If it's the adjacent cylinder from the spark plug hole, you know you have a blown head gasket. From the radiator cap, same. From the carb, leaking intake valve. Exhaust, leaking exhaust valve. Crank case, rings or cracked piston. In any case the next step will most likely involve removing the head, but it helps to know what you are looking for.
 

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This can often be done by just putting compressed air into the cylinder at TDC. Something cobbled up from your compression gauge adapter is good enough.
That's the way I do it, haven't used a real leak down tester this century.
 

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I took on old sparkplug, smashed the porcelain guts out of it so nothing left but the metal shell, had a short piece of pipe welded to it, then an air chuck welded to the other end. Works perfect.
 
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Well I did a jerry rig to get 80psi into #4 thru the spark plug hole set timing to TDC compression had to put a wrench on the crank to keep the engine form turning, issue is #1 cylinder is at a cycle where the intake is closed but the exhaust is partially open so if there is a leak it's free to escape out #4 exhaust undetected so I took a hard plastic hose pushed it into #1 spark plug hole for a listing device, not sure if I would detect a leak even if there is one but I couldn't hear it! just tried again to confirm up'ed the pressure to 100psi and checked everywhere for any detectable sounds, got nothing! I have to imaging this is by no means a definitive test so I know there's only one way to know for sure whats what! I think its time to order a head gasket and get the wrenches out sounds like a good weekend project, thanks again did my best. cutwater
 

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Well I did a jerry rig to get 80psi into #4 thru the spark plug hole set timing to TDC compression had to put a wrench on the crank to keep the engine form turning, issue is #1 cylinder is at a cycle where the intake is closed but the exhaust is partially open so if there is a leak it's free to escape out #4 exhaust undetected so I took a hard plastic hose pushed it into #1 spark plug hole for a listing device, not sure if I would detect a leak even if there is one but I couldn't hear it! just tried again to confirm up'ed the pressure to 100psi and checked everywhere for any detectable sounds, got nothing! I have to imaging this is by no means a definitive test so I know there's only one way to know for sure whats what! I think its time to order a head gasket and get the wrenches out sounds like a good weekend project, thanks again did my best. cutwater
If there is a headgasket leak from #4 it is going to be into #2, not #1, same for #2, it will leak into #4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
If there is a headgasket leak from #4 it is going to be into #2, not #1, same for #2, it will leak into #4.
My mistake yes I'm working with #2 and #4 just the same Im not detecting any noises of compressed air leak between cylinders or anywhere for that matter? think I have exhausted all the obvious, head need to come off, my fear is what if I don't find a head gasket leak? will it be obvious if thats the case? thanks
 

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If you have low compression there will be a leak. Even a perfect race engine has some leakage.
You need to have the cylinder under test at TDC. If you have to hold it with a wrench, you are off. Also you will not be able to hold it, as there will be over 500 pounds of piston force at 80psi.
A cylinder to cylinder leak without leaking into the water jacket would be damn near impossible on that motor.
So when you hook up your air to the cylinder everything is totally silent?
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
If you have low compression there will be a leak. Even a perfect race engine has some leakage.
You need to have the cylinder under test at TDC. If you have to hold it with a wrench, you are off. Also you will not be able to hold it, as there will be over 500 pounds of piston force at 80psi.
A cylinder to cylinder leak without leaking into the water jacket would be damn near impossible on that motor.
So when you hook up your air to the cylinder everything is totally silent?
Yes under about 100psi I hear NO leaking sounds of any kind on either cylinder,
I just went thru the entire test again starting with compression, and your right at perfect engine TDC engine doesn't try to move.
I did the pressure and listen for a leak from both 2 & 4 also listened to intakes thru carburetors and with the radiator off now checked both in and out hear nothing, the coolant is clean no oil, oil is clean no water, I understand how difficult or rare for head gasket to leak only compression but Im out of theories? its so lopsided left and right side by 60lbs and so equally similar 1&3 and 2&4 by only a couple lbs between cylinders. ,
Im back to square one, once I pull the head if there's no obvious clue, what do I do next? thanks for all the help.

right side
cylinder 1-136lb
" 3-137lb
left side
cylinder 2-80lb
" 4-85lb
 

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If there is no leakage there is no need to pull the head. Remove the oil cap and check for leakage there.
 

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If there is truly no leak, then there is no point in pulling the head. I think the real problem is lack of experience. Did you check the cam timing as Dave mentioned?
If you can borrow or rent an actual leakdown tester that might help as it will tell you how much leakage you have. I think you are expecting a giant air leak, and that is not what you will get unless the engine is junk. But no engine will be silent. I'm talking library quiet. You might want to search YouTube for some leak down test examples, so you get a better idea of what to expect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
If there is truly no leak, then there is no point in pulling the head. I think the real problem is lack of experience. Did you check the cam timing as Dave mentioned?
If you can borrow or rent an actual leakdown tester that might help as it will tell you how much leakage you have. I think you are expecting a giant air leak, and that is not what you will get unless the engine is junk. But no engine will be silent. I'm talking library quiet. You might want to search YouTube for some leak down test examples, so you get a better idea of what to expect.
like you said if theres low compression then theres a leak, there is obviously a leak, but listing for a hiss or any noise of escaping air has not turned up, as I said I checked the cam timing many times by the book and it is dead on the marks I checked by each cylinder for valve lash, spot on, if timing was off the leak would be fairly obvious but as I said all is quite, the leak down will be helpful but only how much of a leak I already know the issue is with 2&4 think in terms of valve rockers slack TDC compression you can wiggle rockers and gauge them to know I have a .004 gap on both valves and they are closed, I add 100psi pressure and nothing happens! did that on 2&4 I think the idea of hearing a hiss or leak may be a little less obvious then that to detect , your right need a leak down to determine how much of a leak but as I said I tried renting one but they won't have one for two weeks like I said I may have to buy one! fact remains the timing is dead on and I have two cylinders same side basically dead ,, ouch! I agree timing could be a issue but it is spot on not not so much as a tooth off could the belt be stretching under load that I can't see??? keeps the brain up to compression. Thanks
 

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Low compression could be either a leak, or wrong valve timing. As Dave mentioned you might have a cam pulley that has moved. If so, you can't go by factory timing marks. You can do a rough check by making sure there is lash on both valves at TDC and that they are in split overlap on the next rev. Or just measure when the valves open and compare to the other bank. That both cylinders went bad together points to head gasket or cam timing.

Back when MBZ first came out with the V12 my boss pulled the timing chain and cam sprockets off one to change a noisy chain, not knowing there were no timing marks and you couldn't get the factory cam alignment tools yet. I spent the night in the shop with a degree wheel and dial indicator getting it all back together and timed. Fortunately the sprockets were on a fine spline not a tapered cone, like some, so I only had to be within a degree or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
I have a new test result, not sure this helps or good news? I hooked up my compression test hose again but this time I cranked the pressure all the way up 120psi from my little pancake compressor, checked 2&4 TDC no leaks from the intake nothing from exhaust nothing from the cooling system but I can hear air passing thru the timing hole as well as the oil filler hole thats the left side my problem cylinders at 80psi compression, to double check myself I went to the right side my good cylinders #1&3 TDC that has 136psi compression and got the same result air in the crankcase ?? so even in my good cylinders air will pass thru the rings at some point Im guessing thats normal but still leaves me with no answer why the left side both 2&4 are so low compared to the right side 60PSI difference normal wear wouldn't they be somewhat similar! fact of the matter Im out of ideas, everyones advice has been a great education, but Im at square one, any ideas what I should do next? cutwater
 

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I have a new test result, not sure this helps or good news? I hooked up my compression test hose again but this time I cranked the pressure all the way up 120psi from my little pancake compressor, checked 2&4 TDC no leaks from the intake nothing from exhaust nothing from the cooling system but I can hear air passing thru the timing hole as well as the oil filler hole thats the left side my problem cylinders at 80psi compression, to double check myself I went to the right side my good cylinders #1&3 TDC that has 136psi compression and got the same result air in the crankcase ?? so even in my good cylinders air will pass thru the rings at some point Im guessing thats normal but still leaves me with no answer why the left side both 2&4 are so low compared to the right side 60PSI difference normal wear wouldn't they be somewhat similar! fact of the matter Im out of ideas, everyones advice has been a great education, but Im at square one, any ideas what I should do next? cutwater
Yes there will be some leakage past the rings into the crank case. Is it noticeably more on the left than the right? Have you checked the cam pulley key like I mentioned before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
So getting desperate now, I spoke with Dime city cycles a sister co. of Randakks in Tampa was hoping they did mechanical but they don't and they don't know anyone that works on gl1000s at lease not in Florida, they were very helpful,
I live in Port Charlotte Fl. Im looking for a hands on opinion at this point or this becomes a very expensive parts bike, not sure Honda dealer will even look at something this custom, Webber's and all, scratch scratch! running out of options here. cutwater
Yes there will be some leakage past the rings into the crank case. Is it noticeably more on the left than the right? Have you checked the cam pulley key like I mentioned before?
I was looking for your message about cam pulley key not finding post how do I check that again? I will do check again now to determine amount of air passing thru rings, get back to you, Thanks
 
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