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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm pretty certain that I have a blown head gasket, Loosing coolant, lots of white smoke, overheating all the fun stuff that tells you, you have something big time bad going on.

So my question is, do I replace just the blown gasket? or go ahead and bite the bullet and replace both sides just to get it over and done with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe the Right side is the culprint as the plugs look like they are steamed cleaned. As far as History, I've had it for almost 4 years, and noticed that it would burn some anti-freezed, but not much. I never noticed any water in the oil or oil in the anti-freeze. If it was ideling rough, I could rev the engine, blow a huge cloud of steam and it would smooth out and run. Last spring It started to overheat more often and use more anti-freeze. During the last start up there was huge plume of white smoke from the exhaust.

As far as GL history, I have no idea, it was in rough shape when I bought it. I don't baby it, but I don't abuse it either, I ride it. It has just over 65,000 miles showing on the odemeter, title say's it accurate, but again, I have no idea, but have suspicions about the accuracy due soley to the age.

When it runs, it runs great, rides smooth and is a blast to be on. So far I've attributed everything that is going on to it's age, I've been told it looks like it's been well taken care of, just way over due for some maintence items. D&D has told me they won't even think of working on it due to it's age. Another time I was told they only thing they would guaruntee me is that I'd spent lots of money at, at least $125.00/hr. I'm mechanically inclined, I can take anything apart. I'm armed with a wealth of knowledge, I have a clymer manual and an internet connection. I'm not afraid to get dirty, never have been, I just want to get it fixed, the right way.

I appreciate all the help I've gotten on this forum it's loaded with great information.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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I'd just do the one that's bad, then. The other may last a million miles with no problem. Make sure you get OEM parts for the job.
I have the Honda manual and plenty o' time if you need help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've lots of post about OEM parts, I just might need to take you up on the manual and time. I'll start looking into the parts.

Thanks for all your help and information
 

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I would do just the bad side. I did the right side about 10,000 miles ago. So far so good. If I would have had more time when I did it I may have done them both. Another way to look at it, don't fix it if it ain't broke. Could last forever or go as soon as you put it back together and pull out of the driveway on your test ride. I really don't think there is a right or wrong answer on this one.
 

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Yep, me too. I don't believe in fixin' what ain't broke. Replace the leaker and check the torque the good side bolts. Be sure to clean and oil the head bolt threads when replacing the bolts. You'll need the head gasket some O-rings and don't forget the O-rings on the oil orifice.
 

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If one head gasket goes, my experience is that the other will fail shortly after. I bought a boat a few years back that the owner just changed one head gasket. My third trip out, the other head gasket blew. Think of it this way, both have experienced the same heat and stresses. Add the age factor in and if you change only one, your gambling. Do you only buy one shoe at a time?.,,
 

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I'm mechanically inclined, I can take anything apart. I'm armed with a wealth of knowledge, I have a clymer manual and an internet connection. I'm not afraid to get dirty, never have been, I just want to get it fixed, the right way.
Then do them both. From your avatar, it's an '85. It's 28 years old. To top it off, it's a Limited Edition. It's not twice as much work if you do it now. You'll already have the engine dry, the belts off, a good portion of the fuel injection disabled. You have to at least "drop" the exhaust to remove one head. Basically it comes down to seven extra bolts (eleven counting the valve cover).
If you do it right, you'll never have to do it again, and you won't be waiting for the other shoe to drop.
 

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I have an LTD that blew a head gasket at 220,000 kms.
I changed out what I thought was the culprit right side, only
to discover, when I put it back together, it was the left side.
The coolant crossover pipe on top of the engine that connects the heads
can trick you a little bit.
As, I had access to a set of heads, and because I had run high temperatures
a few times before that, because of a bad crank sensor, I changed both gaskets and heads.
So far, all is well. That was 2 winters go.
 

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I do both without hesitation since you have the fluids and timing belts off,whats four valve cover, and a couple more head bolts. i just did mine , but I pulled the engine to do other things too. What ever you do, don't pull the cams off the head, or your in for a much larger job, because you have to bleed the rockers, and all that for sure. Here's a pic. of mine last month, but it runs like a champ now. Took it for a 100 mile ride this past weekend.


 

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Just Winging It
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I'd do both. Try and find why it over heated or you'll be doing it again like I did due to a water pump gone bad and the radiator over flow line got hard with age and would leak air from time to time. May be a good idea to check the stator plug and regulator plug and main fuse. While it's all exposed why not be sure it's good.
 

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Me personally would do both at same time.Had a 1100 I did for a friend of mine just the one bad one,other went 2 days later on a ride out in middle of nowhere on the Sky Way in NC,had to go trailer it home 200 miles.Plus with the added past of it over heating periodically,better safe than sorry.Rather spend a few extra dollars now,and time.Than to have problems with other side.
 

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I had an '82 in '84, I didn't need Einstien to tell me where the problem was because it pissed coolant from between (what I have come to know as) cylinders 1 & 3 in a high arc, up, backward and down onto my right thigh, even with the rudimentory tool kit and conditions to do it in that I possesed then, it was a pretty easy fix. Back then I only changed out the offending right gasket.

30 years on however, when you know what can happen to a 2 year old bike, personnaly I wouldn't hesitate with changing them both out, it ain't like the thing ain't gonna be down and it is your best opportunity.

In fact, just due to sweet smelling smoke from the motor mainly on the right side, when starting from very cold, that goes away completely when warmed up and doesn't even do it now that the temp' is 80 something, a double head job is planned for my bike next winter.

It'll be easier than you think, just get you a good torque wrench, mark carefully your belts and cam wheels, get you some new intake O rings and copper exhaust gaskets, it'll be a done deal before you know it.

Just remember, it was running GREAT, apart from the leak, before you stripped it, so it ain't gonna need valves, guides & springs etc while you're in there. I say this because I have gone down that route before.
 
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