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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading the thorough directions and how-tos on replacing the timing belts, I've become convinced to leave this job to the pros...at least someone who has done it before successfully. What I'm looking for is what I should expect to pay, and someone to do it. I now realize what's involved and have an idea of the time it will take. A friend has a custom bike shop, and a very good V-twin mechanic, but the mechanic didn't feel comfortable doing the job. I don't think it was beyond his capabilities, but I'm glad he was honest about not wanting to do it. Ideally there is someone in the CNY area that can be recommended, other than the big Honda dealer, with whom I haven't had a pleasant experience. Any suggestions? Thanks
 

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After reading the thorough directions and how-tos on replacing the timing belts, I've become convinced to leave this job to the pros...at least someone who has done it before successfully. What I'm looking for is what I should expect to pay, and someone to do it. I now realize what's involved and have an idea of the time it will take. A friend has a custom bike shop, and a very good V-twin mechanic, but the mechanic didn't feel comfortable doing the job. I don't think it was beyond his capabilities, but I'm glad he was honest about not wanting to do it. Ideally there is someone in the CNY area that can be recommended, other than the big Honda dealer, with whom I haven't had a pleasant experience. Any suggestions? Thanks
which bike do you have?
 

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timing belts

I've never tried replacing timing belts before last weekend, thanks to all the how to's and videos on the web I was able to get it done without any major problems. Take your time and be methodical, its not that hard
 

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One of the easiest jobs in bike-dom.

If the mechanic you referred to won't touch it, I wouldn't let him touch anything I own.
 

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It is actually very easy. It just takes time to go through the steps. The tutorials are great on this site and make a lot more sense when you actually are doing it at the same time.
BUT, if you want to pay someone to do it, figure a shop rate of around $80 per hour, plus any parts, plust having to rely on the mechanic's honesty/integrity and assume a shop will take what, 2-3 hours? And you pay their price for the belts which will be higher. Sure, you can bring yours but they will be very clear they will NOT warranty the part then, and if there is an issue you pay labor twice. Makes for an excuse for a lazy mechanic to be less than perfect inside where you can not see his work.
If you have turned any wrenches before, maybe find a friend who has done it before to do it with you?

Also, if you would put your model in your signature or in the post, it would help a lot.
 

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The local Honda shop here wanted $90 each for the belts and about $275 labor.
I paid less than $35 for two belts total (Gates brand) and took the time to do it myself.

If the circa $500 had no real value to me I'd likely have let the shop do it...but the savings was significant and I'd rather spend that money on something else.

The job is no walk in the park as some would lead you to believe, but it's certainly not beyond the average person's ability if proper care and time are taken. The information available on this forum provides all of the help you'll need to approach the task with confidence should you choose to DIY.

Best of luck with your decision.
 

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The main thing is to spend time rotating the engine by hand a few times afterwards and being convinced that the alignment is correct!
 

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I concur with the others. I put it off for about a year and finally changed them out. There is a pucker affect on you when you've done everything the tutorial says and then you hit that starter for the first time. LOL. The tutorial on this site is a great one that is step by step and makes sense as you are doing the work.

Knew I had carb rebuilds coming so I did what I could myself to have the professionals do the rebuilds for me.

Kevin
 

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Minimac......I understand your uncertainty....I am going to try the same project some time this summer, but believe it is doable with all the tutorials and support from this group. As stated, I think the key is to take your time, follow all the steps and above all.......jump onto the forum if you have questions. There is always someone ready to help out. Wish we lived closer, we could get together and try it together.
Good luck. I'll post when I have done mine.
 

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I had done it on GL1000's and 1100's before and was surprised how straight forward it was for the much more technologically complicated 1500.
 

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I haven't done my 1500 yet, however I did do my 1200. I figured it would take the weekend, as I wanted to do the belts, the antifreeze change out and rebuilt the brakes, front and rear.

At the end of the day, I had it all done, and back together. That was including about an hour and a half down time when I was done with the job but couldn't get the bike started.......... Finally turned the kill switch to on and she fired right up.

I have my IPad that I brought into the garage with me and listened to videos and read all I could as I was doing the job, and yes, it was 90% easier to do it than it is to read about it............
 

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That was including about an hour and a half down time when I was done with the job but couldn't get the bike started.......... Finally turned the kill switch to on and she fired right up.
Am I the only one that caught this?!?!?! :ROFL::ROFL::ROFL:
 

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I just had a quote done today from my Local Honda shop to change timing belts on my 1990 Goldwing and they estimated 10 hours labor to change them...WTH? I will be checking with another shop or shops to get this checked out.
 

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10 HOURS??????

at $80 an hour (Could be as much as $110), thats $800 plus the cost of the belts and tax.......... $1000...... for a 2 or 3 hour job.......

I should start a side business........
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Reinyrooster- let me know how you make out. Kitchener isn't too far for me to ride......It's beginning to look like I'll be tackling this soon.
 

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When a shop quotes 10 hours for belts on a 1500, they are just saying "we don't want to do them." Keep in mind most honda dealers don't want to do anything on a 1500 (too old).

I think you are wise to understand your limitations... The fact still remains that there are more mc engines ruined by improper installation than by broke/worn belts.. In the last 6 or 7 years on this forum, I've heard of about 3 broken belts and ~10 damaged engines due to improper installation (and these are those that admit it). Of course there were perhaps hundreds of successful belt installations, so it can be done. Honda says look at them at 100,000 miles... Not ignoring age, but these belts are hidden with no UV. ... Although 10-12 years would be my limit...
 

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While i love my Honda, our local shop leaves much to be desired. :thumbsdown: i have found a independent who figured on 3 hours at the most plus our local Harley shop quoted the same time frame for replacement. :baffled: I do have complete records for my bike and it shows a recommendation to have belts changed at around 95000 kms and I am just over that mileage. The bike is 23 years old this year, so I thought it would be a good thing to do before summer arrives and I want to take some weekend treks. Don't want to be stranded. :brokedown:

When a shop quotes 10 hours for belts on a 1500, they are just saying "we don't want to do them." Keep in mind most honda dealers don't want to do anything on a 1500 (too old).

I think you are wise to understand your limitations... The fact still remains that there are more mc engines ruined by improper installation than by broke/worn belts.. In the last 6 or 7 years on this forum, I've heard of about 3 broken belts and ~10 damaged engines due to improper installation (and these are those that admit it). Of course there were perhaps hundreds of successful belt installations, so it can be done. Honda says look at them at 100,000 miles... Not ignoring age, but these belts are hidden with no UV. ... Although 10-12 years would be my limit...
 

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It's an easy job and the 1500 is the easiest Goldwing to do the job on since the radiator doesn't have to be moved. You can't hurt the engine as long as you:
Turn the engine over at least two full turns with the spark plugs out. Turn gently feeling for any sudden resistance. If you feel any, stop! Recheck the timing. Repeat.
 

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Minimac.......have a week of vacation starting next weekend....rebuilding the deck, but hope to do the timing belts in there somewhere as well....will keep you posted.
 
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