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Head gaskets, water pump, radiator servicing
I'm going to help a friend replace both head gaskets on her 84 Standard.
We'll be pulling the front end down for belts, radiator service at a shop, change water pump and hoses etc.
I've done extensive top end and bottom end work on 1100's, the 1200 is very similar but I have a few questions,

1. Other posts here and in the manual state to remove the cam pulleys, I never have on 1100's to do head gaskets.
Is this necessary to get the head off?
2. The pics show the cam off when removing the heads, does the cam have to come off?
3. Is the 1200 known for head cracks or warping, should we have a machine shop check them or is there a good home brew?
4. I've read some long ago about a oil passage in the heads can get clogged, what should we look for?
5. The water pump and front cover look almost identical to the 1100, anything we should watch for to stay out of trouble?
6. Are there any "gotchas" we should know about before getting started?


All suggestions and advise are appreciated, TIA!
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#1 08-24-2009, 05:36 PM,
Here's the pics of the oil port issue... I believe the cam cover needs to come off to get to it though... It's the port that supplies oil to the lifters...

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://rides.webshots.com/album/548151194FCZieQ">http://rides.webshots.com/album/548151194FCZieQ</a><!-- m -->
Ed Zogg
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#2 08-25-2009, 12:08 AM,
Thanks Ed,

Is there a "fix" to prevent that port from clogging in the future, other than frequent oil changes of course.

I see there are seals there, the bike has 80k miles. Do we have to replace those seals after removing the cam cover for cleaning or are they usually soft enough still to reuse?
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#3 08-26-2009, 10:34 AM,
I have the heads off my bike right now waiting for gaskets to arrive. I took the cam pulleys off, then realized I probably didn't have to except to remove the heat shield to pry on the heads to remove them. Mine were stuck...really stuck. But you can remove one of the spark plugs and fill the cylinder with oil, then replace the plug and crank the motor over with the crank pulley bolt and they say the hydraulic pressure in that cylinder will force the head off. Thus no prying or the need to remove the cam pulley and heat shield.

As far as the camshafts, no, you don't have to remove them to pull the heads. Thank goodness for that.
A rainy day off beats a sunny day at work any time..................
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#4 08-26-2009, 10:54 AM,
85GL1200I Wrote:I have the heads off my bike right now waiting for gaskets to arrive. I took the cam pulleys off, then realized I probably didn't have to except to remove the heat shield to pry on the heads to remove them. Mine were stuck...really stuck.
Thanks, that's nice to know as I would have automatically removed the pulleys and shields.
Quote: But you can remove one of the spark plugs and fill the cylinder with oil, then replace the plug and crank the motor over with the crank pulley bolt and they say the hydraulic pressure in that cylinder will force the head off. Thus no prying or the need to remove the cam pulley and heat shield.
If you have compressed air that can be used to break the heads free with far less mess.
Also if using the oil or compressed air method don't remove the head bolts just back them off a 1/4". That way there's no danger of the heads hitting the floor and being damaged.

Ken
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#5 08-27-2009, 12:52 PM,
Just wanted to update where we're at so far.

The heads, radiator, carbs and water pump are off, waiting on parts.

The heads are in for R&R, both cams and a few rockers were pitted so they're off getting ground.
They're going to grind them for a bit more gitty up, should be fun!

One head gasket was leaking, the other looked ok.

The carb plenum base plate screws wouldnt loosen so I had to force it apart to get the filter box off.
Found out afterward the base plate was warped letting unfiltered air in.
Not available OEM but a local breaker has a good used one.

The radiator looks fine, plenty of unrestricted flow thru it so that's going back on as is.
An interesting find, the earlier GL1100 and GL1000 radiator is a full 30% larger capacity, surprising Honda reduced the cooling capacity for a larger engine. If this thing still has a heating problem running the hack then we'll adapt the larger radiator.

So anyway, that's where it's at. Hopefully we have some parts to put back in by this weekend.
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#6 09-08-2009, 03:48 PM,
dan filipi Wrote:An interesting find, the earlier GL1100 and GL1000 radiator is a full 30% larger capacity, surprising Honda reduced the cooling capacity for a larger engine. If this thing still has a heating problem running the hack then we'll adapt the larger radiator.

The 1200 came with a two core radiator for lighter weight and INCREASED cooling EFFICIENCY. Don't confuse capacity with capability.
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#7 09-08-2009, 05:53 PM,
Oh ok.

Just seems to me if a radiator is the same width and height but a 1/2 inch thicker that it would hold more coolant thus provide an increased cooling capacity whether it has one core or 2.
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#8 09-11-2009, 10:56 AM,
glhonda you got me curious so I looked at the 2 closer side by side.

fyi, I'm not saying one is better than the other, just trying to pinpoint the reason why this 84 Standard has always run hot in the 30k miles the owner has had it.

The earlier rad is 3 core, the 84 is 2 core. (it's easy to see the separate cores thru the fins.)
Earlier has 63 rows total, 84 has 50 rows total, the rows on the 84 are spaced closer together and a smaller space between the fins.
Maybe the closer fin spacing makes it more efficient, I don't know but it still seems to me if a radiator has 13 more rows then it can hold more coolant which exposes more coolant to the cooling air stream thus providing increased cooling capacity.
Yeah, so maybe not 30% more but definitely more.
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#9 09-12-2009, 08:11 AM,


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