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1988 Honda GL1500
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629 Posts
The original imp engine used to overheat for a pastime which was strange as it started as a coventry climax engine powering a fire pump
 

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1965 Hillman Imp
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #82 · (Edited)
Yeah the original Imp engine is a fantastic little thing but once you start pushing them for more 'usable' power they become a bit more fragile. There's way around many of those issues but you can't beat starting with an engine that has a bit more capacity and over built strength built in. Hence the Datsun engine I currently have, although 20kg heavier than the Imp engine, is a very robust little swap and if I was to keep it in there it would allow me much more room for gaining reliable power.

If all goes well though this Goldwing beauty will be even better in those respects and with an amazing soundtrack to boot! :)

I'm glad this thread is keeping you all entertained. Here's another dose...

Starter motor time. I had bought a Subaru leone 1.8 starter from the fella I'd got the gearboxes and 1.8 ring gear from. Made sense to use all the same bits. Only thing I'd have to do was move the mounting face for the starter forwards towards the engine to suit the new ring gear position on my home made flywheel...



Easy as I thought and I had it all planned out. I shall start at dawn!

However that's not what happened once I got a friendly query from a friendly chap on here a while back about the starter motor turning the engine the wrong way.

Oh yeah. Of course it will do that. Silly me. Yay.

So after a few ideas and suggestions from various folk I had a few options. My first option was to mount the Subaru starter on the front of the bellhousing adaptor, facing backwards. Essentially turn it 180 degrees and it would spin the Honda engine in the required anti-clockwise direction I needed. But would it fit?

Yes it does...



It wouldn't be too tricky to mount and on extension the pinion almost lined up perfectly with the ring gear. It sat down in place quite low too. So this solution was a strong contender. But it had a couple of weaknesses that meant it went to the back burner.

One: the ring gear would need turning around so the leads shaped into the teeth faced the pinion. Turning it round and having the pinion strike it from the opposite side then meant that the step I had machined into the flywheel would have been on the wrong side and the gear could potentially work off over time. I was reluctant about the idea I could add a few welds, as some folk will do, because it adds stress risers, could affect the balance. I really didn't want to muck about with the ring gear.

Two: having a fairly large ugly starter motor plonked right there on the top of the motor was something I never had in my minds pictures of how I wanted the engine bay to look. It would be right where I might want some linkages for the itbs, possibly a centrally mounted plenum between the itbs and there was also going to be some water pipes around that area too.

So back to the other options- the main one being to look for a suitable Honda starter that's mounted from the gearbox side or a starter from any standard clockwise rotating engine that mounts from the front. The pinion had to have the same pitch and ideally the same tooth count. I did some research and it seemed that all the Japanese cars of this era all shared the same pinion pitch and were all around the 9 or 10 teeth. This was handy indeed.

Off to the wreckers then...



I went through the various shelves of starters, starting with Honda and found a possible candidate within a couple of minutes. Feeling pretty satisfied with my find I still double checked the other shelves just in case there was something even better but eventually I was spotted skipping out of the door happy with my Honda Civic/accord starter.

Back home I looked at my booty. Subaru one is on the left...



They were so close but not close enough. The Honda item has a smaller diameter 'locating spigot' that centralises it in the hole on the mounting face of the bell housing.



This was a better turnout than it being bigger than the hole though! I would machine the hole in the plate to suit the new starter, which I was going to have to do for the original plan using the Subaru one anyway.

The holes for the starter mounting bolts, that go through the bell housing into the engine, were 5mm closer at about 115mm and they were also offset to one side, not in line with the starters centreline.



This was handy though because I could then have separate bolts holding the bell housing and room to turn the Honda starter about its axis, having the solenoid positioned in the least obstructive way. A plan was forming in my head. I took some measurements, did some scribbles and it all looked like it should work ok...



I had already bought a hefty bit of 12mm plate for the Subaru starter repositioning and luckily it was still going to work with the new starter. I swapped the 4 jaw chuck onto the lathe and set it up. Drilled a big hole...



Bored the hole out to suit the Honda starter spigot...





Marked and drilled holes to suit...



Recessed and spot faced one of the holes for the bellhousing to the engine bolts that just happened to slightly clash with a bit of the starter casting.

 

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1965 Hillman Imp
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #83 ·
So I now had a plate that the starter fitted neatly into, with not a hint of slop. The bolt holes lined up perfectly with the bellhousing bolt holes so lining the starter up the correct distance out from the ring gear. Now I need to move the face of this plate closer to the engine...



So I cut a big lump of alloy from the bellhousing with a grinder and a hacksaw...





This allowed me to move the plate closer and let the pinion fully engage with the ring gear...





I tested the fit of the starter...



The height was good but I wanted it to be perfectly parallel to the face of the flywheel so I really had to mill it. Luckily I was just able to squeeze the gearbox into a position on the mill that allowed me to face it perfectly...





I must have some pretty honed hacksaw skills because I only needed to skim off about .75mm to get it flat. Sweet.

Now I bolted the plate in place, then the starter and tested it...



Oh I forgot to mention that once I had decided I was going to use a starter mounted in the original position I popped a hole through the adaptor plate in line with the starter pinion. This was to allow me to check the pinion mesh...



I was super happy with the mesh so I marked the excess on the plate to be trimmed off and gave it a hair cut in the bandsaw...



I also milled out the back of the plate where it just clashed with the rivets and pressings on the outer edge clutch pressure plate. Bolted it back in and welded it up, taking lots of care to avoid any chance of movement or warping. It went well..



Added some little filler plates to tie it in neatly and gave it a tickle with a flap disc...





Bolted the starter back in, stood back and admired it all, really happy that one of the trickier jobs had been completed and that the starter was sitting in there very neatly and tucked away nicely, no higher than the top of the bellhousing...



Next step was to make a cover for the 'front' of the engine, adding a connecting link between the oil filter outlet and the main oil way into the engine, a filling point for the sump, a dipstick and allocations for engine mounts to suit a cross member.

Still lots of work to do but I'm getting closer... :)
 

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I appreciate the update and photos. I really do enjoy watching along as you work this out .
 

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Piaggio MP3, was 02 GL1800
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That is some serious workmanship there, you are doing an awesome job setting this all up.
 

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2003 GL1800A
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758 Posts
My favorite quote so far - "So I cut a big lump of alloy from the bellhousing with a grinder and a hacksaw...". LOL. Easy peasy.

I fantasize more about having the time to do such things than to actually do them. ;)

Keep up the great work and the entertaining posts, great stuff.
 

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1965 Hillman Imp
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Hey thanks folks for the lovely comments. Its made better by the fact that I'm getting this encouragement from a bunch of motorbike owners as I chop up one of your engines to fit into a car! I guess we are all simply petrol heads, two wheels or four.
I have been a motorcyclist in the past, with both Hannah and I getting our CBT license in the UK and ripping about on an old Honda Sl125 and XL125 respectively...



Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive tire
Tire Wheel Land vehicle Vehicle Fuel tank


We do intend to get bikes again, here in NZ. Most likely old road legal Japanese trail bikes that we can bumble out to the local forestry blocks on and have some fun on forestry roads. I'd love a fast sports bike but I dont have anywhere enough experience to even consider one right now- I'd end up running out of talent and coming to a messy end.

Since embarking on this project we have started becoming Goldwing fans, spotting them about and thinking what a neat way to ride. I do love the idea of some of the Goldwing stripped down cafe racers I have seen too.
 

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2003 GL1800A
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758 Posts
If you're bombing about in NZ, watch out for possums!
 
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1965 Hillman Imp
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Oooh yeah- we know all about them. Our property has plenty of the buggers. Luckily they are only out on the roads at night time. I'd not want to hit one at speed on a bike!
 
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