1976 Gold Wing Swamp Thing

pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
Uh-Oh. Water pump seal tell-tale weep hole. Indicates you have a leaky seal on the water pump. Sometimes (rarely) they kinda almost seal back up with time. Usually get worse, at least from all I've read. Been very lucky so far and mine are still good. I've read people's write-ups on replacement and although it CAN be done in-frame, I'd go ahead and pull the engine because the whole front trany case has to come off.

Oil might be from valve cover gasket. Some folks have a heck of a time getting them to seal. Once again, I've been lucky. Or hold my mouth right when I put them on. The valve cover bolt grommets harden and split sometimes, too. Valve cover gaskets and the grommets are still available. When you tighten the valve cover bolts, remember that they have a land on them that will stop them from tightening anymore. Don't break them off or strip the female threads.
 

Jimbonaut

Over 1,000 Posts
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So that hole is supposed to be there?

Shit man, pulling the engine is going to be waaay easier said than done. The thing weighs about the same as a small battleship, and on top of that I've got bugger all room in my garage. If there's a way to avoid that you know I'm going to take it. Manoevering anything around in there is...fraught.

I figured it had something to do with the water pump seal. My mate had a busted seal on his KTM last year and ended up with the same chocolate milk situation. It's definitely an uh-oh. But if nothing else a learning experience too. Gotta keep it positive...

As for the valve cover work, guessing that's a job/jobs I can do with the engine in situ? Or maybe that'll also depend on how deep the rabbit hole goes..? Reminds me of something AdvCo once posted in a different build thread of mine...

 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
valve covers are the 2 shiny covers poking off the side of the motor. 2 4 bolts and off they come. I find if you use a little RTV in a few spots to hold the gaskets to the covers they don't slip off and seat much better. Same trick works on cars too. The same trick is also good for keeping the belt cover gaskets in place. They can be a bitch. there are drains on the bottom of the covers for the belts you don't want to clog though so careful there. Run the bike for a bit before you worry too much about the water pump seal. It may have dried up and needs coolant to swell it back shut. If you have to pull the engine I recommend a motorcycle/ATV jack with wheels. You can lower it out the left side and pull it out, leave it strapped to it and put it back way easier.
 
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Jimbonaut

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT SUPPORTER
valve covers are the 2 shiny covers poking off the side of the motor.
I don't know much, but I do know that :p

There's a load of white sealant all around the covers so I'm guessing a po did indeed have a rough time seating them. So the oil steaming from the cover could just be a bad gasket? Easy fix. Or cracked/crapped out valve cover bolt grommets? No biggie either. Anything else that could cause the smoking? I guess a damaged valve cover itself.

As for the chocolate milkshake situation, I'll run the bike for a bit longer and see if it clears up. How long would/should it take to stop before I can assume that the seal is busted? Is that little hole there in the crankcase there by design?

And what exactly is going on to cause the oil/water mix? If water was getting past the water pump seal, wouldn't that contaminate all the oil in the engine? As I mentioned, when I pulled the oil filter and cracked the drain bolt, neither showed chocolate-y oil. I'd like to understand more about what's going on here and how.
 

Jimbonaut

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT SUPPORTER
That sounds somewhat encouraging - does that mean that the oil inside the entire crankcase isn't contaminated? Once I fix what needs to be fixed in the water pump department then I shouldn't have to refurb the engine itself? Apart from fixing up the valve cover situation?
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
I've pulled the motor out of mine 2 times. It kind of sucks but to be honest, You're most of the way there now and you can pull it out and sort timing belts, water pump and rad hoses all at the same time. I did mine once in an 8x8 shed. I am someday going to pull mine one last time and clean the bejeebus out of it and re-paint etc. do the frame and a full frame up resto mod. Just not yet. But if my water pump shits the bed, that's when it would be.
 

Jimbonaut

Over 1,000 Posts
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I'm definitely not looking to take shortcuts, but at the same time if I can do this without pulling the motor (which it looks like I can) then I'll try that route first. Learnt a fair bit from NGW and Randakk's blog this morning. Early model gl's have some phillips housing bolts which can be a pain the ass to get out, but the job(s) is doable with the engine in the frame. Maybe I'll come to regret that decision, time will tell.
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
Nah, you'll be fine. just do your belts the same time as you got to pull all the same stuff, unless you already did them then that sucks
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
I was digging to see if I had picks of the last time I had the motor out. it was 2009ish or 2010. Found the thread where I did head gaskets, that was 2014, year prior to the deer strike. Time flies. I've now had the old girl for 13 years or so.
 

Jimbonaut

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT SUPPORTER
It's funny, the amount of people that have taken one look at the gl and said that's a keeper says a lot. Something about the old ones that makes them hard to let go of. The old boy I bought the bike from was an ex high board diver who'd buggered up his back - I could tell selling the bike was a bitter pill for him to swallow. I can totally see why you've had yours for so many years - now that I've got mine running I'm hoping I'll have mine for a good while too.

Haven't done the belts yet. I'll get them done at the same time, two birds and one stone and all that.
 

Maritime

Over 10,000 Posts
Yep. I've bought and sold other bikes but the GL will be mine until I can't ride anymore. I will own others and my find another keeper but all the other bikes I have had I could let go when I needed too. If I ever have to sell the GL it will be because we're desperate.
 

Rider52

Over 1,000 Posts
It's funny, the amount of people that have taken one look at the gl and said that's a keeper says a lot. Something about the old ones that makes them hard to let go of. The old boy I bought the bike from was an ex high board diver who'd buggered up his back - I could tell selling the bike was a bitter pill for him to swallow. I can totally see why you've had yours for so many years - now that I've got mine running I'm hoping I'll have mine for a good while too.

It is funny but you still see a lot of them for sale at what I consider scrap prices. A few weeks ago a local guy had a 76 on a yard sale ad for $200. I guess he didn't have any takers as he listed the carbs on FB Marketplace for $250. Wonder what happened to the rest of it? I ended up with three mongrel 79s. I combined parts to make one that was cosmetically challenged but ran great. My youngest son adopted it and I bet he put 10,000 miles on it without any major issues. He switched to Buells and we sold the GW for $500. I listed both the remaining parts bikes for $150 with no takers. I broke down the wing with no title and sold the forks for $150 and some other parts for a combined $400. I gave the titled bike and the rest of the parts to a NGW inmate. I still had some small parts which I gave to pidjones for his project wings.
 

pidjones

Over 1,000 Posts
I cheat. I strip the thing down until there is nothing but the engine and frame setting on a furniture dolly (add 2 doubled 2x4s side by side and ratchet strap the motor to it.) Then, I take the frame off of the engine. A lot easier that way (to me), and the reverse to put it back together.
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Rider52

Over 1,000 Posts
I cheat. I strip the thing down until there is nothing but the engine and frame setting on a furniture dolly (add 2 doubled 2x4s side by side and ratchet strap the motor to it.) Then, I take the frame off of the engine. A lot easier that way (to me), and the reverse to put it back together. View attachment 231932
The absolute best way!
 

Jimbonaut

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT SUPPORTER
The front engine cover on a 1976 GL is an utter bastard to remove. It's secured by nine Phillips (?!?) bolts and the Honda designers went to great lengths to make sure they were in the hardest possible places to get at, which would in turn ensure that 45 years of trying to do so would ensure they get totally and utterly stripped. And so it was with mine. Once I'd got the radiator off it then took 2 hours to get 8 bolts out with an assortment of manual impact drivers, extension bars, screwdrivers, levers and vice grips and a further two hours to remove the last one that ended up being a total see you next tuesday. Eventually the thing did me a favour and sheared - I could then at least get the cover off and have the bolt stem soaking in PB Blaster to get out later. Taking the timing belt cover off helps a little, but another inner bolt sheared off there too. Jesus Murphy.

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Pulled the water pump, utter mess -

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- with missing o-rings and crush washers throughout. No shit the oil and coolant was mixing. Have a new OEM water pump along with OEM gaskets, o rings and crush washers on the way. Started replacing the belts, and then remembered the sheared timing belt cover bolt -

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- so I'll have a crack at getting that out with an extractor first. Apparently the inside bolt is often left out by gl guys and is not vital. Which is bloody fantastic news - if I can't get the thing out then bollocks to it.

This bike has been through the wringer.
 

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