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Old 12-09-2018   #1
RJH_5150
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81 Goldwing Rebuild

I am sure there are a few of you who will appreciate sinking this much time and money into a 37 year old Goldwing. This started a couple of years ago when I tried to get the big old thing off its center stand. I had it on a piece of plywood to protect my garage floor and it kept sliding as I rocked it. So it took a lot more effort that it should have. Which caused the frame cross member the center stand is welded to bent (I thought at the time). I just about dropped it. I finally got it off the center stand using a jack. I kept riding it since the cross member didn’t affect the integrity of the frame.

3 months ago the stator goes out. The funny part was I kept riding it until its next oil change interval. I just had to charge the battery every night. I had a few moments when I got stuck in traffic and the fan kicked on. Almost didn’t make it home. To replace a stator on a GL1100 you have to pull the engine. To repair that section of the frame you have to damn near dismantle it. So I drug my feet a little because I know how big of a job this was going to be. Honda also no longer sources the stator and I had to rely on aftermarket choices. A bad stator choice 40,000 miles ago got me in this situation in the first place.

I got my mindset right and started taking parts off. I had a hell of a time getting the motor out without having a center stand. It’s definitely not a sport bike engine. That bad boy is heavy!





I took the frame and motor down to my buddies shop to do the frame repair. We couldn’t get to the bad spot on the frame with it right side up so we grabbed his fork lift….



Once we saw the damage we knew right away it wasn’t getting fixed that day. So Justin cut the bad spot out and ground out all the welds to remove the center stand bracket. We then got on the phone to find a local place that would sell us a piece of high quality tubing to weld in. Unfortunately they couldn’t have the tube ready until the next day so we braced the forklift and left the Goldwing upside down.





Once I picked up the tube Justin and I’s schedule couldn’t seem to align and my bike hung from a fork lift for the next 2 months. It made a bit of a mess. It drained all oil out of the differential and fluid from the brake reservoirs. The fork lifts hydraulics also lost pressure so I had to strap the frame down so it didn’t slide off. It did give me plenty of time to replace the stator and the clutch. I say that because of the special Honda tool I had to buy to dismantle\install the clutch. They say the clutch is serviceable with the motor in the frame. I am glad I didn’t try to attempt it.



I ended up going with Rick’s Electronics on the stator\rectifier. They also sell a repair kit to fix the stator wire harness that usually melts on these things. This of course happened to mine. Middletown Cycle was able to get everything for me including all the stock clutch parts.

So our schedules finally aligned again the day after Thanksgiving and we went to town on the frame. Justin did a hell of a job and knocked it out of the park. The new cross member is super strong and will most likely outlive the rest of the frame. It was definitely worth the wait for somebody who does great work.



Someone from Skip’s Junkyard stopped by just as we finished and tried to sell us another Goldwing. After we told him what we just fixed he mentioned the one he owned has the same frame issue. We joked that we would fix it for about $2500. After he left we decided that number wasn’t too far off if I had to pay someone to do it.



I went back to the shop that night a painted the new section of frame. The next morning I presser washed everything, installed the motor and finally brought the old bird home. The motor went in so much easier with the bike on the center stand.



As you can imagine I worked on it nonstop and was able to take it on a test ride the next Thursday. I considered it completed Sunday when I rode it to run some errands. I made the build sound too easy. I feel like I should mention the numerous times the carbs had to come out to sort out all the cable and hose locations. I also had these pieces that I couldn’t remember where they went and had to look up parts fiche to figure it out. They turned out to be passenger splash guards that you can’t see when the saddle bags are installed. I walked around the damn thing for 30 minutes trying to figure them out before giving up. So there was a little head scratching from it being apart for so long.



She is all back together now and runs pretty good. I splurged a little and got new coils, spark plugs and heated handgrips. It’s really nice seeing the proper voltage on the dash gage (even at idle!). It hasn’t been correct for a very long time. In about 800 miles it will roll over the odometer and be brand new again. I am very happy that it will make it and continue going for some time. I inherited it from my grandfather 70,000 miles ago. I think he will proud I am keeping it going. Even though he may have rolled over a few times in his grave when I hung it upside down.

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Last edited by RJH_5150; 12-09-2018 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Fixed picture location
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Old 12-09-2018   #2
Hyflyer
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Re: 81 Goldwing Rebuild

I enjoyed reading your story Rob. Thanks for taking the time to put it together!

I haven't seen you in a long time but I used to see you quite a bit on 52 riding into/out of town. I always knew it was you with that old Goldwing and white helmet (I think?) all year long.

I think it's a cool thing that you keep it going and ride it daily. I hope to see you again on it so I can say "Hey! There's Rob" lol (reference the YouTube video from Improv Everywhere entitled "Where's Rob" ... oldie but a goodie cracks me up still)
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Old 12-10-2018   #3
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Re: 81 Goldwing Rebuild

Excellent!
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Old 12-10-2018   #4
RJH_5150
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Re: 81 Goldwing Rebuild

That was hysterical. Quite the social experience.

I've been trying to avoid 52 lately. So freaking bumpy and scattered with road plates. As much as a hate it I've been taking Columbia Parkway back and forth.

Little chilly this morning. It was the first time I used my heated vest and gloves with the new stator. Worked like a champ.
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Old 12-10-2018   #5
Dave Bannister
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Re: 81 Goldwing Rebuild

Love the wing hanging upside down!!! That's a ton of work and worthy cause you aren't going to be passed down another wing anytime soon. I'm sure your grandfather knows he gave it to the right person!

I'll be riding in this week too!
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Old 12-12-2018   #6
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Re: 81 Goldwing Rebuild

well done, from someone that had an 83' 1100
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Old 12-17-2018   #7
ped
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Re: 81 Goldwing Rebuild

Aww come on you didnt do all that and put a ricks in there.
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