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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright, so I've been on this site for a while now reading as much as I can. I previously owned a 1980 CX500 that I used in grad school and eventually sold, but I have recently bought a 1982 GL500. I know the bikes are very similar, but the problems I am experiencing with this bike are very different! I bought the bike for $500 from a guy who seemed to be somewhat mechanically inclined, but took this bike to a professional whenever he needed anything done. So before I bought it he told me a few things that are wrong with it and I took my time looking at it and testing things out (thanks to the post about how to shop for used bikes!). The initial issues were:

1. Leaking coolant from water pump (seems to be from where the gasket seals, not the weep hole)
2. Needs new battery (check that off, thanks again to many in-depth posts)
3. Slight rust inside the tank, but he had it professionally coated/sealed.

I figured for $500 I couldn't beat myself up too much if it turned out to be a lemon, and I snatched it up.

After I took it home, I started on the New Bike Checklist that I saw in the CX/GL Wiki. Now I have a few more problems that I must've missed, or have developed in the week or so between buying it and working on it. New problems:

1. Right turn signal issue - Front right is steady on when the turn signal is off. When I turn on the right, the back right turns on steady, front right turns off...no idea...(left turn signal works fine, and these are NOT LED's)
2. The brake pedal pushes down (albeit only a short distance) and stops the bike ok, but it doesn't come back up. If I pull it back up it stays. Maybe a spring stretched out?

Ok, after all that, I actually have some questions! Should I do anything else with the rust inside the tank? I had a rusty tank on my CX and tried absolutely everything to get it out and it didn't work. From what I can see (used a little mirror and flashlight), the rust in this tank is minimal. I know that some people think the coating is not ideal, but I really don't want to buy another tank!
What should I do about the leaking coolant? The coolant levels are fine and the oil level is fine, oil is brand new, but not nasty. I've read a bit about this and it seems that the gasket may re-seal itself after being used for a while if it has been sitting (which it has). So I'm tempted to flush the coolant, add new, and put some miles on the bike (while keeping an eye on the oil, coolant, and temperature). Any advice here?
Could the turn signal issue be some weird relay problem? Or maybe a bad ground somewhere?
Any advice for the brake pedal? Could it really be as simple as an old spring that has worn out?
Also, I want to put Daytona bars on the bike, does anyone know if I will have to shorten cables in order to get the proper fit?

I want to earn some sweat equity with this bike, but I'm also nervous I'm gonna screw something up that I won't be able to fix. Like many new bike owners on here, I've got limited experience and a limited tool selection.
Thanks for any advice!
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Alright, so I've been on this site for a while now reading as much as I can. I previously owned a 1980 CX500 that I used in grad school and eventually sold, but I have recently bought a 1982 GL500. I know the bikes are very similar, but the problems I am experiencing with this bike are very different! I bought the bike for $500 from a guy who seemed to be somewhat mechanically inclined, but took this bike to a professional whenever he needed anything done. So before I bought it he told me a few things that are wrong with it and I took my time looking at it and testing things out (thanks to the post about how to shop for used bikes!). The initial issues were:

1. Leaking coolant from water pump (seems to be from where the gasket seals, not the weep hole)
good luck with that-it can be deceptive
2. Needs new battery (check that off, thanks again to many in-depth posts)
3. Slight rust inside the tank, but he had it professionally coated/sealed.

I figured for $500 I couldn't beat myself up too much if it turned out to be a lemon, and I snatched it up.

After I took it home, I started on the New Bike Checklist that I saw in the CX/GL Wiki. Now I have a few more problems that I must've missed, or have developed in the week or so between buying it and working on it. New problems:

1. Right turn signal issue - Front right is steady on when the turn signal is off. When I turn on the right, the back right turns on steady, front right turns off...no idea...(left turn signal works fine, and these are NOT LED's)
sounds like wiring connections wrong. check wiring diagram. I have a layered one in my signature that might help explain how the connections go and how the circuit works

2. The brake pedal pushes down (albeit only a short distance) and stops the bike ok, but it doesn't come back up. If I pull it back up it stays. Maybe a spring stretched out?
see murray's post OR the spring on the shaft has not been set properly it's on the end of the foot lever axle on the other side of the bike
Ok, after all that, I actually have some questions! Should I do anything else with the rust inside the tank?........ Probably not if it's not loose rust that blocks the filter. drain the tank shake it out if required. Keep tank full with stabiliser in winter. Worst rust IME happens down near the tap outlet, where water in gas settles- watch for blisters on tank there where it might have rusted through- keep an eye one fuel flow.....I had a rusty tank on my CX and tried absolutely everything to get it out and it didn't work. From what I can see (used a little mirror and flashlight), the rust in this tank is minimal. I know that some people think the coating is not ideal, but I really don't want to buy another tank!
What should I do about the leaking coolant? The coolant levels are fine and the oil level is fine, oil is brand new, but not nasty. I've read a bit about this and it seems that the gasket may re-seal itself after being used for a while if it has been sitting (which it has). So I'm tempted to flush the coolant, add new, and put some miles on the bike (while keeping an eye on the oil, coolant, and temperature). Any advice here? Brand new oil is suspicious if you didn't put it in....don't flush coolant yet..waste of $$ if it looks bright yellow and is leaking now-wait awhile... ANY milkiness in oil is bad news... be very sure the weep hole has not been sealed. This is too common.
Could the turn signal issue be some weird relay problem?...unlikely with one side flashing..avoid weird until the obvious has been checked... Or maybe a bad ground somewhere?
Any advice for the brake pedal? Could it really be as simple as an old spring that has worn out?
Also, I want to put Daytona bars on the bike, does anyone know if I will have to shorten cables in order to get the proper fit? yes, if you have the original buckhorns now

I want to earn some sweat equity with this bike, but I'm also nervous I'm gonna screw something up that I won't be able to fix. Like many new bike owners on here, I've got limited experience and a limited tool selection....get some tools.. Service manual is number 1,....then, penetrating oil, allen wrenches, JIS screw drivers so as not to wreck what look to be "Phillips head" especially in the small size, an impact driver, a multimeter, and especially an "inch/lb" torque wrench( the small one).later, get circlip pliers and keep your patience tank full. Go easy take your time
Thanks for any advice!


so there's some advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright I checked a few of these things out, but what concerns me most is that it actually DOES look like the coolant leak could be coming from the weep hole.
Is this indicative of a bad water pump? A bad mechanical seal? I've been looking at the oil and I don't see any milkiness but I'm worried about the consequences of running the bike even for short periods of time (I'm not riding it, just running it to diagnose other issues). Can I do serious damage if I run the bike while it's leaking coolant? I'm keeping an eye on the coolant level and the heat of the engine and those seem to be fine. Are there other related symptoms I should be looking for?

Trundler thanks for the advice...
"What should I do about the leaking coolant? The coolant levels are fine and the oil level is fine, oil is brand new, but not nasty. I've read a bit about this and it seems that the gasket may re-seal itself after being used for a while if it has been sitting (which it has). So I'm tempted to flush the coolant, add new, and put some miles on the bike (while keeping an eye on the oil, coolant, and temperature). Any advice here? Brand new oil is suspicious if you didn't put it in....don't flush coolant yet..waste of $$ if it looks bright yellow and is leaking now-wait awhile... ANY milkiness in oil is bad news... be very sure the weep hole has not been sealed. This is too common."
I meant to say that the oil is NOT brand new. It looks like ordinary, slightly used oil.
 

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Oh, well, oil changes never hurt. Neither does coolant change, but peeing it away is sad too. Your research will have told you that the waterpump seal and the camchain are salient maintenance on these bikes. (The GL does not seem to share the stator issues of the earlier CX).
If your weep-hole is leaking, that is what it's supposed to do when the seal is worn versus; without this design,or weep hole plugged, it would be getting into the oil through the other also-worn seal...

Ride on a ways if you like. No worrys if the dash indicator indicates a proper engine temp and you keep pets away from the puddle under your bike (poison to them-maybe that's a good reason to swap the fluid for the less poisonous antifreeze. It works very well, by the way) The weep hole ensures that coolant from the "mechanical seal" never overtops the level of the simpler rubber one into the engine.
MAYBE you will be lucky and it will stop. But I'd say if it hasn't "fixed itself" inside less than 100 miles, you'd better start thinking of fixing it. But you can still ride the bike to the store/mailbox/ repairman .

Just; No long trips without a jug of fluid with you to top up. ...and stay in a river valley.
 

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I had a mechanic to install the seal . The seal is expensive and needs care.... But I would have done it myself if I wasn't confident in the mechanic.
It was much cheaper just taking the case in rather than paying him for all the drudgery of dissassembly . He liked it too. He wants to use his skills and expensive tools all day to fix things rather than hassle with the dirty and rusty peculiarities of dis-assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright, I've looked at the brake pedal, and from looking at the spring it seems like it's old and may be shot. It doesn't seem to provide any pull back when I press the brake. When I started fiddling with it, it fell out of alignment and I could easily move it around with my hand. I'm not sure exactly how the spring should act (if it should be tight on the brake arm [what I'm calling the brake arm] all the time) but it doesn't seem like it's pulling much.
A few photos of the spring (and my version of a brake arm, I just don't know what else to call it!)
Auto part Rust Pipe Tire Automotive wheel system


I could very easily pop the spring out of it's location hole and off the brake arm...
Coil spring Auto part Metal


Murray, there very well may be debris in the cross tube, but does that spring seem like it could be the culprit?
Trundler, you said it could be because the spring is not set properly...is there another way the spring can be set up? It seems like it's either in the right place or not.
Either way I'll have to take the shaft out of the cross tube I still don't know how to do that, I'll check the Haynes manual to see if they address it.

Trundler, my tool collection is sparse, but it isn't that desperate, I have pretty much everything you listed with the exception of the torque wrench and JIS heads (I didn't even know that was a thing!). I even built a little work station in my basement this past weekend so I don't have to work on the ground anymore!
 

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jacobm, your top picture is about right(loop end over arm-check!) BUT the end of the spring is supposed to go into a hole on frame. The "cant" I see of your spring suggests it is not in the hole. Mine looks straight and nice and is not so easy to get off WHEN the footpedal is also on..... Look for the hole..might be covered up with crapola... If the end of the spring is broken off, you will need another.



It's really easy to get this spring wrong when the footpedal is taken off the spline and then put back on ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey Trundler, thanks again for the help.
In the first photo the end of the spring IS in the hole in the frame. It seemed to be in the right position when I first looked at it. But even when the it is in the right position, with the curved end over the arm and the end in the hole in the frame, it provided almost no resistance when the brake pedal was pushed all the way down. Maybe I do have the pedal messed up on the spline. I'll take another look tonight and give you a more detailed report.
I also looked at the manual and it doesn't seem to discuss removing the shaft from the cross tube. Has anyone done this? Could you describe the job? I'm wondering if I have to take the brake pedal off and then pull the shaft from the opposite side, because it doesn't look like the arm comes off the shaft (at least not easily!).
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There is some "setup" involved with brakes...yes, indeed check the pedal/spline side. When your brakes are applied (stopping the wheel!) , so is the spring's resistance.
 
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