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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I checked at the dealer, he showed me where the service manual said to replace the belt at 100,000 miles.
I see alot of discussion about the importance of changing them, some people much more often than that.
I have a 98 SE I bought this fall, ( my first GW) with 62,000 miles on it. It has been maintained in good condition. Do i really need to worry about it now? Is it okay till I get closer to 100,000 or is it really a problem? Are people just paranoid about them?

Thanks.
 

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Be sure that you have the mileage correct. There are some people that read the miles for kilometres and visversa. 100,000 miles sounds right for a cam belt.

If you are positive about the mileage on the bike then all will be fine. If there is any doubt then change out and start your mileage for next change from there.

You are probally picking up on the comments made in relation to the fact that these engines have very fine timing tollerances and it doesn't take much to have the valves and pistons meet!

By the way that mileage for a 1998 is low.
 

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It's been said a bunch of times here, but there's 2 main reasons to change belts, or most things made of rubber on the bike. Mileage or age. Your tires may only 5000 miles on them, but if they are 16 years old (as an example) would you trust them?

From the front cover of the Gates Timing Belt Replacement Guide:

Avoid Costly Engine Damage;
Change Your Timing Belt At
The Recommended Interval
Or Every 72 Months,
Which Ever Comes First.

http://www.gates.com/common/downloads/files/Gates/TimingBeltReplacementGuide.pdf

Bunch of stuff on the web including this quote from Carscope:

"The old standard interval for timing belt replacement was every 60,000 miles. Even if you don't drive much, you should replace it every 6 years because age and dry rot will weaken it just as much as mileage and use."

It's very cheap insurance that lasts a long time..
 

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The answer is usually the same to this question...if you are thinking about it and it's bothering you then change them. I changed my '98 when it had only 15k miles because of the years not the miles.
There's a great tutorial on this site of how to do it and even those of us with very limited experience have done it ourselves. Belts are cheap to buy too.
 

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Due to age not a bad idea to do, and not difficult. It just takes a little time is all. I am going to do mine at ten year intervals myself, unless I put over 100k on in less time than that. I changed mine at 89k and they looked fine, but not being a scientist I do not know the true condition of the rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys. I hadn't thought about the age. Now if they had been a tire that would have been at the front of my mind. Guess I'll go change some belts this winter.
 

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How did you get on with the belts?

I have a 1998 SE with 21,000 miles on the clock. As far as I know the belts have never been changed and I have bought a pair of Gates belts in readiness...but am a little nervous about doing this, having read about all the dire things that can befall us if we get it wrong!
Just wondered if you did change the belts and if so how you got on....any tips for us......and did you drain the coolant?

Cheers
 

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My wing has 322,00km on her & the first thing I did (when I bought her ) was verify the condition of the belts ( the previous owner "said" it was a well maintained bike ), but I needed to know.... age/wear creates brittle belts... remove the belts & bend them backwards, if there are any cracks... REPLACE THEM. In my case the belts were actually OK, so let them run, I'll check again next year.
 

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remove the belts & bend them backwards, if there are any cracks... REPLACE THEM. In my case the belts were actually OK, so let them run, I'll check again next year.
Let us know how that goes for you as in most cases the belts don't show any external signs, the internal cords just break leaving you with a pile of scrap metal.
 

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Frank1980 - When I did mine a few years ago with Gates belts I specifically remember the instructions on the package saying "do not bend or twist" belts to avoid damage.
Just something to consider.
 

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Thanks guys for your honest replies !
My experience with timing belts is not Goldwings, but many years in an industrial manufacturing. We ran timing belts 24/7 & when they let go prematurely, ie the nylon cords broke internally, they had been over tensioned. The honda manual gives, from my background, a very low tension requirement, but one to be followed. The other point I find interesting, timing belts are by their nature are constantly being bent.
With my wing, the visual inspection was done because at the time I had zero information. The bike had 322,000 kms on it & I was not going to start replacing parts until I verified it was not necessary to replace engine. Later i was told the belts were ~5 years old / ~6000km on them. If the transmission does not need replacement in the fall / winter ( and a replacement / rebuild will get new belts ) , I will arbitrarily replace belts as a part of growing list of ailments.

... Next time I will supply more info if my approach seems counter to the norm.
 

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My wing has 322,00km on her & the first thing I did (when I bought her ) was verify the condition of the belts ( the previous owner "said" it was a well maintained bike ), but I needed to know.... age/wear creates brittle belts... remove the belts & bend them backwards, if there are any cracks... REPLACE THEM. In my case the belts were actually OK, so let them run, I'll check again next year.
Just curious, why would you go to all that work and not bother spending the $30- $40 tops and just buy new belts and be certain they are new and good?
Why bother doing all that work to take them off and check again next year?
Just replace them anyway and forget about them for the next 6 years and 80,000 miles :ROFL:

Also, just looking at them and bending them does not show anything about the belts/cords inside them that actually hold them together! If the internal belts/cords snap there goes the belt no matter how good it looks on the outside!

Think about an old nice looking tire that goes BOOM with broken internal cords/belts!
 

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Loving this forum... I'm purchasing a 1998 Se in the next few weeks with 12, 881 miles. I have known the current owner for many years and that the bike is well taken care of but for the expense of $40, I think it's best to be safe and change the belts... at least knowing how my luck goes.... lol
 

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Just curious, why would you go to all that work and not bother spending the $30- $40 tops and just buy new belts and be certain they are new and good?
Why bother doing all that work to take them off and check again next year?
Just replace them anyway and forget about them for the next 6 years and 80,000 miles :ROFL:

Also, just looking at them and bending them does not show anything about the belts/cords inside them that actually hold them together! If the internal belts/cords snap there goes the belt no matter how good it looks on the outside!

Think about an old nice looking tire that goes BOOM with broken internal cords/belts!
Ditto. Been there done that and ended up rebuilding a head. There is no way to insure a belt is good by looking at it.
 
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