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My '81 GL1100 began to have white smoke out of the right exhaust about a week ago. I've been riding it daily and it still seems to run fine. Today I noticed that something had dripped out of the right exhaust pipe overnight. I'm almost positive that it is antifreeze and was coming through the inside of the exhaust pipe and not dripping from elsewhere on top of it. My antifreeze reserve tank is also down a little. The oil looks normal. By reading other posts, I assume that it's the head gasket and plan to change it myself when the Honda Dealer gets the gasket in stock next week.

1. This is my main mode of transportation. Can I damage the engine further if I continue to ride it as is for another week? It seems to perform fine and the white smoke goes away after running it for a few minutes.

2. Could this problem be anything other than a leaking head gasket?

3. As long as I'm removing the head, what other maintenance should I do? When answering this, keep in mind that I am a poor student with little money and little time. I think I'll also replace the timing belts but don't know if there's anything else to look at in addition.

This will be my first time looking at a motorcycle engine, but I have experience with older truck engines.
 

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When the white smoke starts does it smell sweet like anti-freeze??

Moister (for give the spelling) will build in a exhaust system over night. When you start it in the morning it takes a little time to burn it out, after the motor warms up.

After the white smoke goes away does it do it the rest of the day while riding??



The over flow bottle will read different from time to time do to the fact the rad. takes what it needs all the time.



Kurt
 

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Yes, the smoke smells sweet like antifreeze. The liquid dripping out of the exhaust is also a green color like my antifreeze, but a lot dirtier. After the motor warms up, it goes away, but comes back immediately after shutting the engine off. It will smoke after the engine shuts off for a good minute or two. I don't notice smoke while riding (kinda hard to) and I don't notice it while stopped at a red light.
 

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That has all the symptoms of a head gasket just starting to fail, between the coolant cutouts and one of the cylinders.
 

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Is the fluid coming out of the back of the exhaust or from aruond the header pipe area?I had a coolant transfer tube(o-ring) that began leaking and it wuold dribble down the haed onto the haeder pipes,thus resulting in steam and after being parked a visible puddle.
 

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It leaks out of three places. 1st, the bolt (left dark one in picture) at the exhaust header. 2nd, at a leak where the two half's of my exhaust pipe connect (I believe that they are aftermarket pipes from PO). 3rd, at the end of my exhaust pipe. All three places drip the same green liquid and all three places smoke white at the start of running the engine and after shutting the engine off.
 

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I would say it is head gaskets for sure based on your descriptions. If it were me, and it was my only source of transportation I would keep riding for the week keeping a close eye on the coolant level and temperature. I wouldn't want to be riding very far with it in that condition. Probably once it heats up the metal expands to block off the leakage. The head gaskets could completely fail at any time.

As for other work items. Valve seals when you have the heads off.
 

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If you need to ride the bike for a bit this may help.



Theres a product call K and W block sealer. It will seal gaskets that are leaking.

Just read and follow the directions on the back. You should be able to find it in most auto shops.



I had a 90 t-bird V6 super charge that blew both head caskets. I added theK/W sealer to the rad. let it run for 30 min's and then refilled with anti freeze. Car ran another 2 years after the K/W.



This is just a option if you really need the bike up and running.



Kurt
 

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Definitely sounds like a head gasket. If it were me, I wouldn't ride the bike anymore until it was fixed, but then I have other means of transportation. With your situation, I would go ahead and ride it, but only as much as you absolutely have to. I would not put any kind of sealer in it. No matter what the brand, it is made for cars, and yes, I have actually seen it work on cars. In fact I had a hole in a freeze plug once, that was impossible to get to without pulling the engine, and it sealed that for over 2 years. BUT. A motorcycle is not a car, it has smaller radiator passages, and also has a totally different kind of waterpump. That sealer stuff is likely to plug up the radiator, and ruin the water pump seal.
 

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OK. I went ahead and ordered 2 OEM head gaskets (Just in case I decide to do the other side too). The local Honda powersports dealer says he has the oil O-rings, valve stem seals and timing belts I'll need (am I missing anything else). I'll ride until the new gaskets come in 2-5 days. My wife and I do have a car if the Goldwing stops working completely. Usually I take the motorcycle and she takes the car, but we can share temporarily. I'm sure I'll have more questions once I get into the job. I'll also try and take good pictures as I go through and start a How-To thread after I'm done (unless there already is one and I can be directed to it). Thanks everyone for the quick replies.
 

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That sure sounds like a lot of leaking for a hed gasket. Make sure it's not something else before you tear into the motor.
I've never seen a HG leak enough to leave a puddle, but, I admit I haven't seen everything...
 

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Well you have your answer (head gasket).. but do not use the block sealer.... it is fine for cars and trucks that have sufficiently large passages in the engine and radiator, but to use it in the Gold wing is not a good idea.. it is likely to clog up everything... I wouldn't ride it anymore either... too many things that can go wrong.. hydrolock, burning gouges in the head, water in oil, oil in water..
 

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Other things you may want to look at are the cam seals (there are four), fuel pump "isolator" (it has a gasket on it) and the gaskets that go between the timing belt back covers and the heads at the cam shaft ends. You may not need all of them but they are all the same age. You will want new O-rings for the water tubes. Lube them with KY jelly or plumbers grease when you put it back together (they are easy to pinch). If you don't take the water tube connections off the heads you won't need to replace those gaskets. There is an M6 bolt at the very bottom of the head (low on the outside near the exhaust ports). Don't try beating the heads off with that bolt in.
 

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Problem solved. It was the head gasket. I replaced it over the weekend along with just about every other gasket, seal, o-ring and belt that I had access to at the time. Spent about $130 in gaskets/seals and timing belts plus $35 to refinish the cylinder head mating surface. It looked as though the previous owner had gouged the head's mating surface pretty bad all over the place with a screwdriver or razor blade taking the gasket off in a previous repair. That may have lead to its early failure. I only did the right side. Either way, it runs great now. I took a lot of pictures and want to write up a How-to over next weekend. If anyone knows how to upload more than one photo per post, please tell me so that the write up can be in one post rather than 15 or so. Thanks everyone for leading me to the correct repair and giving me the initiative to learn to do it myself.
 

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good job great to hear another wing lives to ride another mile
 
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