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Hey folks,

I recently added a 1982 GL500 Silverwing "Interstate" to my garage as a coronavirus quarantine project. I say project, because the bike is pretty rough. I purchased it for $180 as a muddy, greasy mess whose rear wheel was locked and engine didn't turn over.

I have a 2009 WR250X and 2011 Versys 650 in my garage as well, which provide reliable fun. This GL500 is my first "vintage" bike and I'm happy to take my time and learn. Worst case scenario, I screw it up badly enough where I have to sell it for parts. Still having fun dismantling it and learning!

If anyone is in the St. Louis area and has experience with boring/honing/cleaning CX500/GL500 cylinder walls...feel free to message me :)
199665
 

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You are going to find that you can’t find oversized pistons or rings. Bearings too! You will save yourself a lot of trouble finding a used motor to swap in. By all means take that motor apart and learn about it and see what’s the matter with it, but don’t be set on fixing it.
 

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You are going to find that you can’t find oversized pistons or rings. Bearings too! You will save yourself a lot of trouble finding a used motor to swap in. By all means take that motor apart and learn about it and see what’s the matter with it, but don’t be set on fixing it.
Hey Doug, thanks for the reply!

I have been reading this forum pretty intently the past 48 hours since I dropped the engine, and your words pretty much perfectly sum up what I've learned. Seems like boring is a lost cause, but if I put in a little elbow grease to clean out the rust, maaayyyybe I'll be lucky and the metal underneath won't be badly pitted.

My goal is to:

1. Clean the cylinder wall as well as I can and see if the original engine can be salvaged without boring (cleaning and slight honing only). Even if its ugly, if the piston moves smoothly against a smooth wall I may as well try!
2. In the likely case that its not worth saving...I will likely buy a new case block for $50-100 on eBay, but first...will need to open the case to determine if my old engine internals are still in good enough shape. Looks like a headache, and I've never split an engine case before, but would be a good learning experience.
3. If the pistons and below are in good shape, I'll attempt my first go at a case swap. It does not appear rust has made it past the upper half of the cylinder wall, and the piston skirt appears rust free from what I can see. The engine turns smoothly when not blocked by rust (180 degrees), and the oil when drained looked without any metal or murkiness. I am cautiously optimistic that the only issue is a rusty upper half of the right cylinder wall.
3a. If a case swap is in order, I will need to do some serious work on the rusty valves...or also buy a used right cylinder head.
4. If the rest of the engine is uglier and not really worth saving...I will have a hard decision to make. Used engines are going for $400-500 on eBay (not sure about shipping). This bike is without title, without a key, and without battery. I am not sure if its worth the $500 risk for a new complete engine...at least not without methodically selling off my old engine parts.

I plan to start a new thread with some pictures and videos. Overall, this is a low-budget, no-rush learning project for me, so I don't mind doing things the hard way as I fumble through my first attempted restoration!

Here is a short video of me turning the engine with a close up of my ugly right cylinder.
 

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The oil not having any metal is a definite plus. Check the oil filter for fine gold colored specs. If none, that’s a good indication your crank and bearings are still good. I would recommend getting the title before buying anything for it, but taking things apart is always fun!
 

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The oil not having any metal is a definite plus. Check the oil filter for fine gold colored specs. If none, that’s a good indication your crank and bearings are still good. I would recommend getting the title before buying anything for it, but taking things apart is always fun!
Thanks Doug!

Yep, so far the only parts I've spent money on are 5x 10A fuses (missing from handlebar) to try and see if the starter motor and/or lights worked while hot-wiring the ignition (no key). After that failed, I chalked it up to my own incompetency and figured I'd rather chase mechanical issues than electrical gremlins...

But for sure I'm focusing on elbow grease and discovery now, and will title before I invest any more money into it.
 

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When you get to the point of aquiring parts, get with me. I have a lot of gl500 parts, including heads, a matching ignition and gas cap w/key that you need so far.
 
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