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Delvis
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had 3 GL over the past 30 years. I just picked up my 4th one last week. I now have a 1981 GL1100. This bike had been setting up for about 10 years.
The oil and antifreeze looked good for it's age. The carbs are gummed up but which is to be expected. However it has a very weird issue. The front cylinder on the left side had a very loose spark plug. When I took it out rusty water started coming out of the plug hole. There is no water in any of the other cylinders or in the oil.
It looks like the rain may have poured in a round this spark plug. The plug looked like hell too.
I took a turkey baster and pulled about a cup of rusty water from this cylinder. Since I was going to replace the Timing belts before I tried to start it I took off the radiator and timing cover. When I tried to turn the crank via the Stator it seemed seized up. My neighbor a Harley guy came by and put a socket and braker bar on the main crankshaft bolt. It would turn about 45 on either side of the timing mark and then stop like something was hitting inside.
I was able to use the posted method and replace the old belts. I noticed that the current belts were not in the proper position as per the markings. They were about 45 off from what they should have been.
When the crankshaft was on the timing mark the left Camshaft wheel had the arrow pointing down instead of to the arrow on the housing. The Right camshaft had the arrow point straight up instead of to the mark on the left side.
When I put the new belts on I did manually manuever the camshaft wheels into the correct location bases on the timing marks. I tried to manually rotate the crank and it still stops on either side of the timing mark.
Could this be the one cylinder that had water in it with maybe a rust ring in the cylinder wall that is topping the piston from making full travel, or is a piston hitting a valve or something?

Any help.

Delvis
1981 GL1100
 

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Official "Cheeky Plonker"
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You really ain't gonna know until you pull the heads, it's not really a whole lot more work than changing the belts out, that's the only way you'll really know.
 

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You really ain't gonna know until you pull the heads, it's not really a whole lot more work than changing the belts out, that's the only way you'll really know.
I agree...you need to pull the heads or at least the left one to see whats going on. From your description it sounds like a previous owner installed the timing belts wrong and I wouldnt be surprised if you have bent valves or piston damage. Looks like someone might have pulled that plug to do some checking and after realizing they made a major mistake simply walked away leaving it exposed to the elements thus the water in the cylinder . All that being said these are tough engines and can often be brought back to life so pull the head(s) and have a look . It could be as you suggest rusty rings sticking in the cylinder that stop the engine from turning or valve damage. All that water probably did a lot of damage but you wont know till you look......let us know
 

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Still Learning
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First off, get so it will turn over by hand before you pull the heads, for the rusty cylinder, load it and the other cylinders with PB Blaster to free up the rings as they stick to the walls as you said and also stick to themselves and the piston in that long a setting and weather exposure. Let it set on one side crash bars and load the cylinders w/aPB for 3-4 days. Then do the other side. This will take time but will free the stuck rings if you have patience.

If the belts were that far out of timing it could have bent valves and worst case is a busted off valve and hole in piston. There are lots of posts on that. Once the rings are freed up you may have to pull the heads. There is a current posts on a little inspection camera to order from China for @$16 to stick in the spark plug holes to inspect in there. Might be a good thing to do while doing the PB treatment is working on the rings to order it to maybe save pulling the heads if you get it to turn over fully by hand.

If you cannot turn the motor over by hand with ratchet and socket from rusted rings or tagged valves from out of time as you said, there is no way to get the belts on as per instructions in the manual as you have to be able to turn over the motor first to get it in the proper setting of time to start. You said it wouldn't turn 45. How can you say it was per instructions,?
 

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I vote at least bent valve hanging up cylinder..45* off is alot and if anyonen turned the engine over with the starter = bent valve if not holed piston..
 

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1993 gl1500, 1976 gl1000
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If the engine will rotate as far as you say then it can't be the rings. The problem is as suggested. Piston hitting a valve. Might as well bite the bullet. Stop trying to force the rotation. More damage can occur.
 

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I would not worry about replacing belts just yet. no need to until you determine if this is a useable engine or a parts engine. As for not being able to turn engine. I would think one of the valves in the cylinder that was full of water is rusted open. If it inded sat for 10 yrs full of water i would think the block is toast but perhaps not.
these engines are pretty stout
Wilf
 

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that cylinder wall cant be to healthy either if is was full of water for any amount of time, id say get a camera like the one on ebay and take a look inside before ripping it apart
 

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Are you sure you're set on the "T1" timing mark? If you have the "T2" mark lined up, the marks on the cam sprockets will be pointing straight up on one side and down on the other. (1/2 crank turn = 1/4 cam turn) I agree with the previous post that the intake valve has probably rusted and is stuck open, so don't try forcing the crank to turn, or you'll at least bend the valve. Worse, you could damage the piston or crack the valve guide.

Pull the head, and let us know what you find.
 

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2000 GL1500SE
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I would spray the rusty ring down with PB blaster or something similiar to soften up the rust. Let it soak for a day or so then scrape the rust with a single edge razor blade to shave off the rust. Repeat until you get it cleaned off pretty good then try to turn it over.
 

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I've resurrected two 1100s that were frozen. Both due to water in a cylinder from neglect. I would highly recommend not trying to turn the engine over. Best would be to pull the head on the side with the bad plug and take a look at the cylinder and valves.
I'll bet there's a bit of rust in the cylinder. That will make the engine nearly impossible to turn over. In the case of the engines I had I ended up pulling both heads and after applying PBS Blaster to the cylinders I drove the piston in the rusted cylinder down with a piece of 2X2 and a heavy hammer. Once the piston was clear of the bad area I used fine wet/dry sandpaper lubed with oil to hand polish out the rusty area. You could use a hone but I wouldn't recommend it because with the piston still in the cylinder that would be likely to create a ridge.
I prefer to do this job with both heads off because if you have a stuck valve on the other bank driving the piston down could bend a valve on that side. Even with some fairly deep pitting it's still possible to get decent compression in the damaged cylinder. The two I worked on ran well and didn't use oil once they were back together so it can be done. It is important not to try turning the engine over with the heads on a frozen engine since you really don't know what's holding it back until you open it and take a look. Right now nothing's likely to be bent. First commandment of repair - DON'T MAKE IT WORSE!
 

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You could be right but that wasn't my experience on the two 1100s I had in my shop. It only takes a little corrosion to stick the piston in the bore and usually most of the corrosion is outboard from the piston top so driving it downward isn't pushing the rings over the worst of the crud. Either way I'd assume the rings were okay. If correct a lot of money and work is saved, if wrong not much is lost.
 

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Delvis
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100 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pulled both heads and yes two of the cylinders had rust. Did use a hone with honing oil and it cleaned them right up. All four pistons run smoothly.

Going to reassemble next weekend. Trying to find something on how the little rubber o-rings go back in.
 
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