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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My trusty steed was making some valve train noise, seemed to me. I checked clearances and they were all still right on, even after last year's long and somewhat extreme tour. Then I realized what I was hearing was the cam chain. The dental mirror check confirmed that my adjuster is all the way out. 32,000 miles on the clock (somewhat exaggerated because my speedo was acting up, but right around 30k).
This will be the fourth time I've dropped the engine and removed the rear cover from this type of bike (the others were CX500s or GL500s).
I will do the starter clutch springs too.
This thread was a great read, btw:
Stop Riding and Do the Quadruple

I think I'll get everything but the rear cover gasket from David Silver Spares (UK stock only on the cheaper aftermarket one).

A bit of a PITA but once you get the procedure down it's really worth it to keep an otherwise very low maintenance, reasonably strong performing, tour-capable, 39-year-old bike on the road. This will bring my grand total invested in purchasing, maintaining and repairing this bike (including a couple sets of tires) to about $2000 over the course of three years. Stored outside under a tarp all year, too.
 
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It would be much appreciated if you document and post your Quadruple journey. Good luck! (y)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I bought the cam chain, rear cover gasket and some other parts from a supplier called Honda Goldwing Parts & Goldwing Accessories Shop that is based in Ontario, Canada. I used Discount Honda Parts for the cam oil seal and the various o-rings. David Silver Spares (DSS) showed only UK stock on most of the parts. DSS remains the only source for the cam chain guide blade, which I hope I don't need to replace - but I won't know until I get the rear cover off.
Dropping the engine is pretty easy once you've done it a few times and have the FSM!
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Automotive tire Automotive lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bicycle chain Rim Automotive wheel system


New chain installed. You can see the marks where the old chain ate into the case a little bit. Otherwise no damage. But it certainly was time!

Have to comment that the triple bypass pages on the Wiki are just amazing. I have nothing to add.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Everything back in, fluids filled, bike started/ran great but after an easy 3-mile test ride there was what sounded like valve noise. Some of that was exhaust leaking (one of my clamp bolts broke, and my mufflers have never been sealed in perfectly anyway). Re-tightened (gingerly) the header bolts. That took care of some of the exhaust noise. Checked valves, on #1 cylinder and the gap was over by one thousandth on all four valves. Adjusted, restarted, sounded better, rode. Came home and it was genuinely rattling like it did with a worn out cam chain. I opened the inspection cover and did the mirror check...the tensioner is almost all the way out. New cam chain, so WTF?
Then it dawned on me. I remember every bolt I tightened. I don't remember tightening the cam sprocket bolts, at least not with the torque wrench.
I certainly have to pull the engine again. I hope everything is OK in there. But I rode 10 hard miles, redlined it a couple times. I'm willing to bet the cam sprocket is loose. Stay tuned and say a little prayer for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess if I had to find an excuse for my carelessness, it would be that I was not aware that the cam would spin 10 degrees or so when I released the sprocket bolts. There is no guidance in the FSM, Haynes or the Wiki to warn you this is going to happen. So I was trying to spin the cam back into place without touching the crankshaft, as I didn't want to lose orientation. I finally got it to hold still long enough to get the chain and sprocket back on with everything lined up. At that point I probably lost consciousness and failed to tighten the damn bolts once I finally got the thing in place.
:rolleyes:
 

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I forgot to torque the cam sprocket bolts on a motor about 12 years ago. They backed out and smashed the rear cover.

I would bite the bullet and check them.

When refitting the sprocket try this:

Align the crank to the timing mark.

Fit the chain to the crank and to the cam sprocket. Align the cam timing marks {bolts horizontal}.

Using a 27 mm ring spanner or socket rotate the cam to align with the sprocket and slip one of the bolts in to keep it in place.. Use blue loctite. on both bolts.

Install the other bolt and torque both.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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I once forgot to torque the main crank bolt. That didn't end well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So are my newly-installed brand new rear cover gasket, mech seal and camshaft oil seal all reusable if I'm careful taking the rear cover back off?
 

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the mech seal will be OK if you watch out for it and keep the faces clean {or reclean them with alcohol}. The oilseal is fine to reuse.

The gasket depends on its condition on disassembly.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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If you dressed your gasket with grease, yes.
If you installed it dry, maybe.
If you dressed it with permatex, no way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Welp, I was right. The cam sprocket was loose enough for the chain to whip around in there and cause quite a bit of little flakes. I'll take photos once I get the flywheel back off.
Welcome recommendations for cleaning up the mess. Most of the flakes are the size of grains of sugar (a little bigger than fine table salt), they are aluminum. There were a couple slightly larger but the largest less than 1mm square.
I did not remove the front cover and service the oil pump during the last engine pull, I guess it's time now for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cleaning up the engine after a major reassembly mistake. I will document my success/failure with recovering from this little disaster.
The brand new oil (<10 miles) looked like metallic brown paint when I drained it. I let it settle and ran my telescopic magnet around in the bucket. One or two very tiny slivers stuck (from the cam sprocket most likely), but the bulk of the metallic contamination seems to be aluminum. So that's a relief.

650 oil pump:
The 650 oil pump is not simply removed with the strainer like with the 500s. You have to drop the oil pan and pull the strainer loose from the oil pump from underneath, rather than extracting the whole unit together after releasing the 3 retaining bolts.
So the sequence for oil pump removal on the 650s is: remove front engine cover; remove oil pan, pull strainer from pump; remove oil pump sprocket bolt, withdraw sprocket and chain; remove 3 bolts that hold oil pump and withdraw oil pump.

On disassembly I found a gash in the cam chain tension plate from a metal shaving.

The back of the cam chain sprocket was rocking against the flange, slightly shaving both. This accounts for the couple steel shavings I found inside the rear cover and in the oil sump.
I managed to get an M7 die over the threads on the cam sprocket bolts, hoping to reuse them. Fuhgeddaboutit. They're toast. Found a CX500 cam chain sprocket for 9 bucks on Ebay that had the bolts with it.

I cleaned all of the crankcase and engine that I could get to at this point, no more signs of metal flakes. Awaiting parts for reassembly.

Office supplies Tool Writing instrument accessory Line Font
Tire Automotive tire Tread Synthetic rubber Wheel
 

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Following with interest. Most of us make mistakes 🥴
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fully reassembled. The bike sounds and runs great, except...
During my gentle around-the-neighborhood test ride, the tube from the radiator cap to the water pump sprung a leak. First I panicked thinking the reinstalled mech seal had failed, but then I saw the hose spraying, replaced it with what I had on hand, a piece of Motion-pro fuel hose. Rode half a mile to the hardware store, where that hose promptly burst in the parking lot, and gave ma a nice little boiling coolant burn through my jeans. I bought a foot of 1/4" ID reinforced fuel line and limped home leaking.
I think this hose should hold. In any case, it's no longer leaking and isn't bulging. Coolant seems to be circulating properly.
Meanwhile, I noticed my taillight wasn't coming on, jiggled the wires where I knew there were connectors, and when I jiggled the spiderman-inspired harness up front, the taillight came on. So I know some wiring is loose or shorting up front for sure, in or around the headlight nacelle.
Then, on the next 5-mile test run , the temperature gauge pegged. 5 miles or so at an easy 35-40 mph...shouldn't be overheating. Coolant level is fine in the reserve bottle. And the fan isn't coming on, but it didn't usually come on unless I was sitting still at idle and the engine got pretty hot. But I just had a coolant-related problem, so I have to think this is related. But maybe not!

So now my problem is twofold: I need to make sure the fan is coming on when it should, and I need to make sure the temp gauge is reading correctly. I once had a cx or gl500 that started showing overheating but it was just a loose connector on the little 7v doohickey. I've never had the fan fail to come on with either of the 650s I've owned, and IIRC (checking FSM now) the fan and temp gauge are independent of one another.

I generally don't believe in coincidences. The hose failed from age, but I disturbed it a bunch of times and rubbed the carbs over it to hurry its demise. The wiring up front has caused me trouble in the past and I've dealt with a short inside the harness before, and never really got all the connections to feel right. I never liked the little metal plate under the headlight that holds the connections in place, I know it's there for stability but it keeps the connectors from engaging with a nice positive click, so I'm going to look there first. The rubber mount that holds my 7v adapter in place has disintegrated, so that little guy is just sorta dangling. I'll have to pull the headlight tomorrow morning and slowly, methodically check every connector I can find.

Also will doublecheck coolant level in the radiator once it's cool.

5,000 miles last year, less than 100 so far this year. I'm really hoping to out-stubborn these problems, and I've learned a bit about myself throughout this fiasco, but I have to admit with this last round of gremlins my joy in owning an old bike has largely evaporated, along with my patience . I really don't want to learn anything more about the intricacies of this bike, I just want to ride. I realize the electrical problems will be a risk for the remainder of my ownership of this bike. I wonder what other problems to expect? I haven't changed the wheel bearings. The stator had some epoxy chipped off, so maybe it will fail, I don't know. I've lost my confidence in this bike, which is never a good thing...
 

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The first thing to do is check the level in the rad. It is possible that some air entered the system when it was leaking and when that happens it can end up allowing steam to fill the thermostat housing and that cause the gauge to read really hot while the rad isn't hot enough to turn the fan on (I found this out when the impeller nut came loose).

BTW: A "short" circuit is when things make contact that shouldn't (like 2 wires that have melted or worn insulation. Shorts usually result in blown fuses
An "open" circuit is when things that should be making contact aren't (like a loose connection or broken wire).
It sounds like your problem is probably an open circuit to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The first thing to do is check the level in the rad. It is possible that some air entered the system when it was leaking and when that happens it can end up allowing steam to fill the thermostat housing and that cause the gauge to read really hot while the rad isn't hot enough to turn the fan on (I found this out when the impeller nut came loose).

BTW: A "short" circuit is when things make contact that shouldn't (like 2 wires that have melted or worn insulation. Shorts usually result in blown fuses
An "open" circuit is when things that should be making contact aren't (like a loose connection or broken wire).
It sounds like your problem is probably an open circuit to me.
Yep, I thought I still had plenty of coolant until I checked the rad...nope! The quart and a half I had left did not fill it, so Autozone first thing in the morning for coolant.

I had a short in my kill switch circuit that caused wires to melt and fuse in the harness, but didn't blow any fuses.
 
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