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Toolcraft4100
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Discussion Starter #1
The last couple of years I noticed a small spot of coolant under my '91 Aspencade when the weather was really cold. I didn't worry about it because I heard that it was normal in cold weather and it was small and cleared up when warm weather came again. Last fall I had coolant steam rising off the motor the last few times I rode. Also I noticed at some point last year that my temp guage needle would move when I turned on the key, but even when the fans kicked on the needle never moved past the original position. The bike never overheated, but it seemed obvious that the temp guage was not working.
I was never able to discover the source of my coolant leak. On the side stand I had a drip off the bottom of the left side of the belt cover. I am confident that I had coolant on the right side of the motor that was migrating along the top of the plastic belt cover to the left side of the motor. So I removed all the plastic. Removed the radiators and fans. And removed the sending unit from the thermostat housing because I intend to replace the sending unit. Part # 37750-PC1-004.
Question # 1: This part costs $40 to $80 as a genuine Honda GL1500 part. It looks like I can get the same part for $8. For a Honda Accura or whatever. Do any of you all have any experience or advice about this part. Given the PITA that it is to get to I'm inclined to just replace it and replace it with the genuine GL1500 part, but it seems ridiculous to pat $80 for a $8 part.
Question #2: Is there any wisdom in replacing the thermostat at this point?
I also removed the carbs. Because now all the leaked coolant has dried up or evaporated or whatever and I actually have no idea where the leak is coming from and if it involves the tubes that connect to the carbs I need to see that. Also it makes it so much easier to see and access all the other coolant hoses.
More questions: Is there a common point where coolant leaks occur? Should I just start replacing all the coolant hoses? Can I buy bulk coolant hose? What material and size do I need? Should I consider replacing the big special hoses?
I know that's alot of questions. I have the Clymer manual and some of the Honda manuals and diagrams. I can do this work, but I don't want to do any more or any less than necessary to get it right the first time. I may slit my wrists if I have to disassemble to this level again.
I've included a pic of the hole where the sending unit came out of in case you've never had eyes on it before or you're not sure what I'm talking about. Any advice is appreciated.
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Honda Guru
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do I need? Should I consider replacing the big special hoses?
I know that's alot of questions. I have the Clymer manual and some of the
The one hose that caused me a problem is the tiny connector hose between the top of the 2 radiators. Since your so close I’d definitely want to replace it along with the clamps! There’s one other “while your there” I’d think about... I kept feeling a miss on my ‘88 and finally found vacuum leaks at the ‘freeze plugs’ on the bottom of the intake manifolds. Replacements aren’t available so I used JBWeld to seal the leaks.
 

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Toolcraft4100
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410 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I'll look for the "freeze plugs". I'm just gonna go ahead and buy the $8 part and install it.
A friend was telling me today that I can purchase a simple tool to pressurize my coolant system. I did not know about such a thing. My tentative plan is to reassemble the cooling system and make a way to plug the hoses that attach to the carbs. With the carbs and fans out I should be able to pressurize the system and see where it is leaking. Does that sound like a good plan?
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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harbor freight has a Vacuum pump / Pressure tester at a reasonable price
 

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O'Reilly Auto Parts stores will 'loan' out a pressure tester to do cooling systems. That's how I finally found leaks on my 92 1500. Turns out there are hoses and o rings all over the top of the engine.
 

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Thank you. I'll look for the "freeze plugs". I'm just gonna go ahead and buy the $8 part and install it.
A friend was telling me today that I can purchase a simple tool to pressurize my coolant system. I did not know about such a thing. My tentative plan is to reassemble the cooling system and make a way to plug the hoses that attach to the carbs. With the carbs and fans out I should be able to pressurize the system and see where it is leaking. Does that sound like a good plan?
You’ll have to block off the coolant hoses going to the bottom of the carbs.... then you’ll be able to pressurize the system. Yes it’s a very good idea but just don’t go over @10-12 psi on the gauge.
 

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Most of the hoses are preformed and as such would take a lot of engineering to replace with generic hose and ‘T’s. i would replace that thermostat while I was in there, as well as that temp sensor. But I would test the gauge while all this is apart. Hopefully you have a manual to assist you. My 1500 had head gaskets leak during cold winter storage. That means -20 Fahrenheit. she had 125,xxx on her, so, it was a no brainer to replace.
 

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Definitely change the petrified hose at the top between the radiators. I tried a regular size 5/16"? hose but then i couldn't get the radiator to go in place. That OEM hose is a thin wall special one it seems so the radiator can fit back where it should but it doesn't seem to be able to do the job as long as the others in there. I went to different parts places and checked different brands and found something that worked that had the same ID but smaller OD than some of the brands.

The rubber grommet that is in the overflow tank likes to leak too.

Don't bother changing the large hoses. The new ones from Honda are old and shrunken and shorter. I had changed them on my 88 a long time ago and the new ones didn't fit as well as my old ones. I kept the old ones for spares.
The other small hoses are of excellent quality and not worth replacing either unless something contaminated them.

Do change the thermostat and the seal there for it. Mine leaked during the winter.
There are o-rings on the 2 pipes going to the thermostat housing and the head or intake. Don't remember which.

Vacuum hoses seem to be a problem on a 1500. On the left side at bottom of carb is one with a formed elbow that likes to go bad.
 

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Definitely change the petrified hose at the top between the radiators. I tried a regular size 5/16"? hose but then i couldn't get the radiator to go in place. That OEM hose is a thin wall special one it seems so the radiator can fit back where it should but it doesn't seem to be able to do the job as long as the others in there. I went to different parts places and checked different brands and found something that worked that had the same ID but smaller OD than some of the brands.

The rubber grommet that is in the overflow tank likes to leak too.

Don't bother changing the large hoses. The new ones from Honda are old and shrunken and shorter. I had changed them on my 88 a long time ago and the new ones didn't fit as well as my old ones. I kept the old ones for spares.
The other small hoses are of excellent quality and not worth replacing either unless something contaminated them.

Do change the thermostat and the seal there for it. Mine leaked during the winter.
There are o-rings on the 2 pipes going to the thermostat housing and the head or intake. Don't remember which.

Vacuum hoses seem to be a problem on a 1500. On the left side at bottom of carb is one with a formed elbow that likes to go bad.
Goes to the "Head". Have you changed the O-Ring's (especially the one at the "Right Head")....???

Not an easy task getting the pipe separated from the "Head". BTDT...!

If not seeping/leaking, I would leave them alone.

Connects to the left intake manifold (90 degree turn)..
 

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I did change them and HAD NO PROBLEM whatsoever getting the pipes out. It has been over 10yrs , but if i remember correctly you have to unbolt the thermostat housing and then the pipes easily come out. Those o-rings liked to leak also and not expensive to replace while it is apart.
 
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Toolcraft4100
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410 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So, I am back to work on the temp guage thing and I tested the sensor and the guage. I made a mess testing the sensor, but I'm satisfied that the ohms and the temps lined up good. The guage test shows that the guage is working right. I'll figure out what's next and go from there. I will reassemble the radiators and hoses at some point, hopefully soon. I will attach a pic of the hose that goes between the radiators that I removed from my bike. Is this close to what it should look like? I will also attach a pic of a hose connection on one of the radiators. They were all like this, with a layer of what looked like really thin scotch tape. I don't know what that was, but do I need to apply a lubricant or sealant to these areas when I reassemble?

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Pwhoever
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That tape has been issues on many 1500's and caused leaks. IIRC, it was supposed to have been removed prior to the hoses being fitted at the factory but in many cases wasn't. You definitely want that tape off.
 

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Pwhoever
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"When Honda assembled my Gold Wing in Marysville, OH, it appears that Scotch® tape was wrapped around the inlets and outlets of both radiators to protect them from paint prior to painting them. The Scotch tape was never removed after painting them. The upper and lower hoses were installed OVER the Scotch tape!"

 

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Toolcraft4100
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410 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The last trouble shooting step I find in my Clymer book says to connect the positive lead of your voltmeter to the Brown/black wire coming coming out of the gauge cluster to the green/black wire in the same connector. If you read battery voltage your gauge is bad. If not you have a bad connection or a short. I did not read battery voltage.
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Pwhoever
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Is it possibly the fuse that's in the relay box? I know it doesn't sound right but I think there was at least one, possibly 2 fuses tucked in with the relays.
 
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