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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
GL1200I 1986

I have seen no visible leaks the water is going into the overflow but not being pulled back into the radiator.

I replaced both head gaskets 743 miles ago. I did not replace the oil orifice O-rings. I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

I've also been hoping the little bit of smoke I see shortly after a cold or cool start is oil or something not water. But there is no point in denying the fact she blew white smoke rings when I started her a little while ago.

The smoke rings are a neat party trick, but I don't like them myself.
No oil in the water.
No water in the oil.
Pushing water into overflow not refilling radiator.

If ya'll think this is the gaskets could you give me some links the best value on the parts I will need?

Also any advice would be a appreciated. maybe a link to a tutorial.

Thanks ya'll have been great I used to talk to my step Dad about this stuff but he died so I don't have that anymore.

Let me know what ya'll think.
 

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211 Posts
start with the small stuff. have you checked your radiator cap? if the bike is not loosing fluid and wont pull from the over flow i'd start there.
 

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Premium Member
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802 Posts
Remove the radiator cap and watch for bubble in the coolant while it's running. If none found you might want to replace your radiator cap. It's probably not working right.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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23,323 Posts
It's tough to keep up with your posts, Jeff. I thought we were getting close with the radiator thread. Seemed like it was taking a natural turn towards gaskets.
What did you use 743 miles ago? I don't think I've heard anything good about non-OEM head gaskets.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
start with the small stuff. have you checked your radiator cap? if the bike is not loosing fluid and wont pull from the over flow i'd start there.
New cap Friday.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's tough to keep up with your posts, Jeff. I thought we were getting close with the radiator thread. Seemed like it was taking a natural turn towards gaskets.
What did you use 743 miles ago? I don't think I've heard anything good about non-OEM head gaskets.
OEM head gasket from mother Honda some make a gasket on that oil orifice.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's tough to keep up with your posts, Jeff. I thought we were getting close with the radiator thread. Seemed like it was taking a natural turn towards gaskets.
What did you use 743 miles ago? I don't think I've heard anything good about non-OEM head gaskets.
Your right the radiator tread is heading here. I just want my bike to be ready to ride next time I want to drive it. I had a great ride today I love riding I don't like waiting for parts or ordering them or putting them on. I think she looks good covered in splattered bugs not sitting in pieces.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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23,323 Posts
Maybe if you re-torque the heads.
Some find that process helps.

Why did you replace them before?
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I retorqued the heads Friday night. 2 or 3 moved some did both sides.

This is a bit of a story here it goes.

Previous owner took her the shop for a tune up replace spark plugs and such. They broke one of the spark plugs off and had to pull the head to get the rest out. Then they cross treaded one of the bolts but it ran fine. Some miles later I bought it. durung a heavy flood like rain I hit a lot of water in the road and it must have smoked but I couldn't see it in the rain but it started running ruff for a few miles before it got better (ran out of water) Drove it home seemed hot to me even though the gauge said otherwise I checked the radiator and it was empty. Added water and it wouldn't even turn over pulled the plugs and water came out. that was 743 miles ago.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cross threaded WHAT bolt?
I think if I remember it was the right side 6mm #3 in the torque pattern I used healicoil (spelling) on it.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My order I hope this will do it. I didn't order the crush washers for the exhaust if I don't get a good seal I can probably get those at advanced auto. I'm not taking the rockers out so the end oil seals will stay in.

list has
2 head gaskets
2 of each of the oil orifice O-rings
4 o-rings for the carb intake I used make-a-gasket last time with the old o-ring
4 dowel pin some were sticky/out of shape last time

Mfg Product Number: 12251-MG9-306
Description: GASKET, CYL HD for 1986 Honda GL1200I
Order Quantity: 2
Unit Price: $41.22
Total Cost: $82.44

Mfg Product Number: 91305-371-003
Description: O-RING (6.5X1.5) for 1986 Honda GL1200I
Order Quantity: 2
Unit Price: $1.36
Total Cost: $2.72

Mfg Product Number: 91308-371-003
Description: O-RING (4.1X1.5) for 1986 Honda GL1200I
Order Quantity: 2
Unit Price: $2.78
Total Cost: $5.56

Mfg Product Number: 94301-12200
Description: PIN, DOWEL (12X20) for 1986 Honda GL1200I
Order Quantity: 4
Unit Price: $1.08
Total Cost: $4.32

Mfg Product Number: 91301-MG9-003
Description: O-RING (35.5X2.6) for 1987 Honda GL1200I
Order Quantity: 4
Unit Price: $2.37
Total Cost: $9.48
 

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Junior Grue
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8,153 Posts
I didn't order the crush washers for the exhaust if I don't get a good seal I can probably get those at advanced auto.
Good luck with that.
Those gaskets are pretty much motorcycle only.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good luck with that.
Those gaskets are pretty much motorcycle only.
Your probably right but at least I don't have to pull a lot off to get to them if they don't seal good enough.
 

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Just Winging It
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3,327 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Also ordered moly 60 Honda for the head bolts
 

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2,790 Posts

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Vintage Rider
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Moly 60 on the head bolts? First time I've ever heard of that. Some manuals call for clean dry threads, some don't say. But any lubricant you put on the threads will allow the bolt to turn significantly farther before the proper torque is reached than no lubricant, so you might be risking stripping the threads or breaking the bolts.

I have done a LOT of work on my cooling system lately, it was overheating badly. Never got a chance to actually ride it before it overheated, it seriously overheated while warming up the engine. I drained and refilled it many times. I removed the disc, spring, and plunger from the thermostat, so I knew that was not failing to open. While I had it apart, I checked that the pump impeller was turning, and installed new oem 0-rings on the thermostat and water pump covers. I removed the radiator, and poured water through it several times. It went right through. No indication of the radiator being plugged. The system had NO external leaks. There was no water in the oil, or oil in the water. A compression test showed good compression all the way around, not likely with bad head gaskets. I was going to do a leak down test on it, but the problem fixed itself first. I have over 300 miles on it since it last overheated.

I personally believe I had a large air pocket trapped in the system somewhere, that would not come out the normal way. I would fill the system including the reservoir, let it overheat, and quickly shut it off. The next day the reservoir would be down slightly. I removed the hose from the reservoir to the radiator to prevent backflow (because the reservoir is higher than the radiator) and removed the radiator cap. It was full. I still thought there was air in it. I removed the drain plug and drained it, then filled it from the drain with a pressurized garden sprayer, from the bottom up. I kept pumping water into it for some time after it was running out the radiator opening, then put the drain plug back in quickly. So far so good.

Remember that coolant expands when hot and contracts when cold. So as the engine warms up, it is normal for some coolant to be pushed out through the radiator cap and into the reservoir. When the engine cools down, it creates a vacuum in the system, which creates a suction at the radiator cap, and PULLS it oven, sucking the coolant that came out earlier back into the radiator/engine from the reservoir. If the reservoir is empty, it will suck in air. Not good. If the radiator cap will not open under vacuum, it will collapse the weakest part of the system, usually the hoses, but also the radiator core itself. Definitely not good. If there is a leak in the system somewhere, either internal or external, it may suck in air from the leak rather than through the radiator cap.

Since your cap is new, it is probably good. You can also pressure test the system. The problem with that, as well as doing a compression and leak down test on the cylinders, is that the leak may not show up until the engine is hot.

With a full radiator to start with, and a full reservoir, and after running the engine for awhile, then letting it cool off completely, is the radiator full when you remove the cap (with the hose to the reservoir disconnected)? If the system is not sucking coolant back in, that means either there is no vacuum in it, which could be caused by a leak (or IMO, an air pocket) or a bad radiator cap. Those are about the only possible causes. Also IMO, an air pocket can cause the water pump to cavitate, meaning it is not circulating coolant. An air pocket SHOULD work it's way out with a few heat/cool cycles, but I'm not entirely sure that is the case with the Goldwing, or mine anyway.


When the engine smoked on startup, was the bike in the sidestand or centerstand? if it was on the sidestand some smoke is normal. But not a whole lot. About the "smoke rings" did it do this only once, or has it done it several times?

A leaking head gasket will almost always result in coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant, or both. It will also result in a loss of compression, resulting in rough running. If it is external, it will make a noise.
 

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Junior Grue
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8,153 Posts
Moly 60 on the head bolts? First time I've ever heard of that. Some manuals call for clean dry threads, some don't say. But any lubricant you put on the threads will allow the bolt to turn significantly farther before the proper torque is reached than no lubricant, so you might be risking stripping the threads or breaking the bolts.
Jerry, have you read the manual?
Honda recommends Moly60 on the head bolt threads and under the heads of the bolts.
Without it you'll under torque the heads.
 

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Premium Member
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3,391 Posts
Moly 60 on the head bolts? First time I've ever heard of that. Some manuals call for clean dry threads, some don't say. But any lubricant you put on the threads will allow the bolt to turn significantly farther before the proper torque is reached than no lubricant, so you might be risking stripping the threads or breaking the bolts.

.

It's in the Honda manual
 

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Vintage Rider
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Jerry, have you read the manual?
Honda recommends Moly60 on the head bolt threads and under the heads of the bolts.
Without it you'll under torque the heads.
I have read several manuals, but nothing about engine disassembly or reassembly of the GW engine, as I have not needed to do anything like that so far. However I do have a large stack of both motorcycle and car manuals, many for vehicles I no longer own, that say the stated torque values are for clean dry threads only. I don't have a GW manual in front of me, so I was unable to check it. Sorry.
 
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