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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all.
Wondering what I can do about the damage on these old pipes. I'm thinking I may be able to pass inspection just leaving the holes on the top of the cross pipe as is (they're right under/hidden by the engine. don't think they're that thorough where I get inspected). However, with a long trip ahead of me, I'm imagining it will do hell to my MPG. So, my dad and I are planning on doing a brazing job when he gets home from work. What are people's thoughts on that?
As far as the broken off tailpipe. Not really sure what I can do there. Replace it? Reattach somehow? Anyone have any experience or ideas?
I imagine these pipes are destined for the Sportster replacement some day, when I get around to a full restore. For now, I'm just trying to get it out on the road and off to California!
 

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It aint rocket science
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The crossover looks paper thin and when hit with the torch will likely burn through. If your dad has done welding in the past he will know whether it can be repaired or not. Me, I would leave it alone and it would not likely affect outcome.

Have him braze the tailpipe and then hit the whole exhaust with some hi temp black paint. If anyone asks, exhaust was just removed and repaired completely by your dad. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WOW thanks for the quick responses guys! Obviously if the repair doesn't work, a new set of pipes is in order. However, I'm gonna give it a shot with these pipes as my budget is being saved for the ride.
I like the idea of a thicker paint job to cover those holes and give the whole system a little bit more longevity. However, even a thorough cleaning before a paint job would worry me if the material is really so thin, any recommendations there? Also, I imagine a folded tinfoil cover for the holes before several coats of paint would not only help with longevity, but would maybe even look better (not that it matters where it is situated). Thoughts?
Finally, paint recommendations?
 

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Give it a quick going over with wire brush to remove loose material and then paint.
 

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considering your trip distance it seems foolish to attempt on the marginal system,1000 miles from home with a broken system will cost you alot more than spending the money upfront before the trip,but that's just my opinion
 

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considering your trip distance it seems foolish to attempt on the marginal system,1000 miles from home with a broken system will cost you alot more than spending the money upfront before the trip,but that's just my opinion
I was kinda thinking the same thing. If your Dad is like some of the guys I know, he can work miracles with tools and materials. But the best place to repair and fabricate is in your own shop, not on the side of the road or at camp.

hoganJr
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
My dad is somewhat of a magician! I like to think I take after that although my experience here is limited. So, putting my thoughts out there and looking for fresh ideas before putting them to the test seems like a good idea. I have no doubt that there is a fix that will have these pipes running for years to come, let alone getting me through my measly 4000 mile trip plan :shock:
Someday a replacement will be in order as I don't believe, as many of you seem to concur, that whatever I do to these will last forever. I'm just not in the place to do that for now. Think shoestring budget here. :?

All of these suggestions are aprreciated!
Any idea how costly it would be at a muffler shop? I've got a great one nearby.

I went out and did a little wire brushing, and the majority of the crossover really isn't bad. Knocked on it with a hammer just to make sure. I'm really not looking at these as in impossible fix. And honestly, if they crap out on me in South Dakota, it'll just be louder and less fuel efficient the rest of the distance.
Turn up the radio!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
on other forums I'm seeing a lot of beer can and pop rivets recommendations. any experience with that here? I bet that would last a while, and who cares if it looks bad on the top side of the cross pipe? Maybe a good cookstove polish to finish everything off. although, I'll have to get all the heat shields off first :wtf:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
these heat shields are the worst!
 

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A few folks here on the forums have used Harley mufflers on the GL1000 to replace stock ones and there has been plenty of success doing so and I believe stock Harley pipes are to be had easily and cheaply where owners change them out for aftermarket ones.
Might be worth considering as a stop gap, especially if money is tight right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Don't know how I forgot about it, but I've got a 75 GL1000 future restoration project bike that I didn't even consider!
However, when I looked at its exhaust, it was also in sad shape, albeit in a completely different way.
These pipes actually look pretty good all the way up to where the pipes meet the headers. That joint looks terrible!
Any encouraging words, or is this just as hopeless as the last set?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Exhaust interior?`

Does anyone have a picture or link they can post that would show the INTERIOR of a stock GL1000 horseshoe? Something similar to the attached picture of a CX500's Hbox?

I've been looking closely at the ridiculously rusted pipes I just pulled off my '75, and it seems as though a leak in the crossover section of the pipe really isn't anything to be concerned with. It seems as though the header/manifold junction pipe continues into the horseshoe and past the crossover section. Anyone know anything more?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
pictures of the interior of a GL1000 exhaust pipe

After a little more research I didn't see any pics of anything promising, so I decided to tear into mine a little bit. Here's what I found.

It seems that I was right. There's a section of pipe that leads from the headers into the horseshoe (1st and 2nd picture), straight to another junction (4th picture). That pipe leads past a plate (which has a few perforations) and into what I assume is some kind of muffler compartment (a new mystery I guess).
This suggests that, while the crossover definitely acts like some kind of pressure regulator, it won't reach the same high temperatures as the rest of the system (being that it has no direct feed from the headers), nor will leaks in the crossover be nearly as detrimental to the inspectability of the bike. It also suggests that leaks here could be patched with pretty much anything, so long as it keeps anything from getting INTO the crosspipe..

Hope these pics help some people, I know it was quite the mystery to me!

Edit: The 3rd picture is just to orient you for the exact location of the 4th picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
pictures of the interior of GL1000 horseshoe exhaust

Curiosity got the best of me, so, the saga continues.

After the perforated plate, there's another compartment (about 6 inches long). Here, the pipe has it's first break. There's about a two inch gap, and another pipe (offset to the first pipe by about the radius of the pipe) continues into another mystery compartment.

It was difficult to give a clear view of what's going on in picture form. I did my best.
 

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As someone mentioned earlier, harley mufflers can be had for very little money. I paid $25 for a pair of new takeoff mufflers, cut the pipes just after the Y connection of the header, and took the bike to the muffler shop. They charged me $50 to connect the headers to the mufflers, and it sounds great. It sure beats trying to locate a used factory exhaust on the cheap.
Good luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Harley? Or original?

Yes. Harley pipes are a simple, economical, effective fix. I'm actually pursuing a set right now (as you can see, 3X 1000's with only 2 sets of usable pipes).

The previous posts are merely an investigation into the stock pipes for the original wings. I've found it very difficult to find any information on these, and as more and more of them fall into disrepair, I think it's necessary for people to know their interior functionality in order to best prescribe a cure.
It would seem, from my experience on this thread, that many people are far too quick to throw out their pipes, and recommend that others do the same. The original pipes are becoming quite the rarity, and for people to take their demise lightly is unacceptable to me. Not to mention that their durability is extremely undervalued, even in their old age.

I hope my pictures, and my success in fixing a set, will allow future restorations a more enlightened opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
GL1000 pipes fix

Here are the before and after pictures of my "hopeless" original GL1000 horseshoe.

This was my FIRST EVER time welding, brazing, or anything of the kind.

To clean/derust these pipes I used a molasses bath (1 part molasses, 4-9 parts water). This process doesn't remove any metal and restores rusty metal to practically brand new in a few weeks of soaking (perfect for part time restores, or if other bike projects could use your attention; or, as in this case, you don't have much metal to work with).
To fix the holes I used an oxy acetylene torch, using both brazing and welding as the need arose.

I had very little problem with "thin steel melting away" (which was the top warning people had for me). I think people assume these pipes are a lot more fragile than they actually are.

This horseshoe will end up on the GL1000 that I'm taking out to California in a few weeks.

This fix cost me $28 (the combined cost of VHT Flameproof primer, black, and clear paint cans from Amazon) and doubled as a valuable learning experience (you can't get very deep into diy automotives without some knowledge of welding/brazing).

I hope others have the same success as I have.
 

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