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1981 GL1100 Standard-detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:43 pm
by flyin900
I picked up this bike last month as a low mileage non running unit that had been in storage for 5 years in a dry garage. It looked good cosmetically and is a low kilometer original bike. With the exception of the two front turn signals being replaced by non OEM the bike appeared to be mostly untouched and stock. Here is the bike as it sat in the PO's garage with lots of dust and with the typical cosmetic wear of a 38 year old bike.

1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:54 pm
by flyin900
My plan is to tear the bike down to the bare frame and repaint areas that are tired on the frame and a complete motor repaint to address cosmetic issues. I am planning on replacing the valve stem seals in situ with the heads in place and rebuilding the front cover area that holds the water pump. I discovered lots of red RTV when doing a water pump bearing check, although the water pump has been updated with a new metal impeller style. A new thermostat is already installed and the belts are part of the front cover update while I am in there.
The motor has suffered leaking carbs at some point and lots of paint discolouration on the top surface of the engine, so I will repaint with the Duplicolor Engine Enamel (CDE 1615 Aluminum)
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Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:03 pm
by flyin900
I did a full rebuild on the carbs to get the bike running initially and found every accelerator pump cross feed tube was covered in red RTV to seal the area where they entered each carb body. It turned out the O rings for those feed tubes had shrunk and no longer fitting snugly to seal from leaks. The carbs were fairly clean overall and a minor adjustment of one float level and some new O rings and gaskets got them operating well again.
Here is how they looked when opened and how they now look as a finished set.

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:13 pm
by flyin900
Here are a few more pictures of the teardown and the cosmetic issues that I would like to address as I restore the paint finishes on the bike. I am down to the bare frame at this point and plan to start painting and rebuilding parts and cleaning everything as a fall/winter project.

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:41 am
by rcmatt007
nice find. I recently started my 78 and used Eastwoods aluminum for the engine. I hoping for more durability in a catalyst paint than rattle can. Down side is it is more "dull aluminum" than the slightly sparkle of OEM

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:47 am
by flyin900
Thanks Roger for another paint option. I am hoping to get a couple of days next week to get the bulk of the painting done, as it has been quite cool and rainy here recently. Hazards of a northern climate and mother nature. The Duplicolor is a very close match to the OEM colour and being an engine paint and with heat cure it seems to withstand chemicals quite well.



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Bead blast day today

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:52 pm
by flyin900
I was able to get the remaining items stripped of paint or oxidation today using glass bead and my new compressor. It still took awhile, since the compressor is too small for this job and needed time to catch up to the demands. The gas tank and front belt covers and other small items are ready for primer and paint hopefully early next week. The weather is supposed to warm up to the mid 20's C or mid 70's F with possibly some humidity, so we will see what the weatherman brings.


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Cleaned up the shocks and restored the rubber trim. A little tip here is when the red line on the AIR SUSPENSION label fades on the exposed side you can turn them around and mount on opposite sides of the bike to expose the still clear red line that was on the backside of the shock originally. You do need to move the metal bush on the bottom of the one shock over though and since I am rebushing these with new OEM parts that isn't an issue.


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Some new parts for the valve stems and front cover

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:31 pm
by flyin900
I am starting to receive some of the new parts to refresh various areas of the bike and do plan to replace the valve stem seals and cam seals while the motor is out and can be tilted to expose the exhaust valve springs easier than in the frame. I also have the front cover refresh gasket set and want to see what is going on in there as a PO was red RTV happy it seems on various areas including the front cover.

A big shout out to Paul (05C50) on here who was kind enough to sell me a pretty close to NOS headlight bucket to replace the unit which came with the bike and had lots of damaged chrome from lack of care over the years. I find that once I do a complete refresh any old parts which don't get replaced really stick out in the whole big picture.
Since this bike is pretty clean overall 95% will mostly clean up to a high standard without too much money needed to get the look I want in the end.

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Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:42 am
by chewy999
Great work (so far) and good write up with pics. Looking forward to seeing the end result.

action1 anim-cheers1 anim-cheers1

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:32 am
by Graham Cracker
Nice work! Amazing motorcycles these ol' gals are... action1 action1

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:44 am
by desertrefugee
Wow! Very nice specimen to start with. I am also fully subscribed to your refurb. I had to chuckle, though. You said Winter project but at the rate you're going, you'll be finished by Halloween. You have covered some serious ground in a short time already!

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:05 pm
by rcmatt007
Yeah I have now topvoated with duplivolot

Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 5:43 pm
by flyin900
desertrefugee wrote:Wow! Very nice specimen to start with. I am also fully subscribed to your refurb. I had to chuckle, though. You said Winter project but at the rate you're going, you'll be finished by Halloween. You have covered some serious ground in a short time already!


I'm on a mission lolol since the window is closing for painting all the parts I wish to have done for the reassembly this winter. I paint outside and the garage isn't heated, so I would like to have all the painting done by mid next week. We are projected to get 3 days of warm weather Monday to Wednesday then back to fall conditions for the latter part of this month.
I switch to the basement to assemble the bike where it is warm and comfortable when the snow flies. My plan is the get the frame assembled down there into a roller with most of the key parts reattached less the motor and carbs and bodywork during the winter. I have a stairwell from the furnace room into the back of my garage, so pushing and pulling the roller frame back up into the garage in the spring is the plan.

Prepping for paint tomorrow hopefully

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:07 pm
by flyin900
I am close to finishing all the clean up of the small parts and the motor later today for a paint session tomorrow and Wednesday if Mother Nature co-operates with some warmth.
Here are the Dupli-Color paints that I will be using which vary from a low gloss black to a high gloss black engine enamel which is chemical resistant when cooked on my BBQ at 200F for an hour. Plus the VHT caliper paint which is a semi gloss finish and goes through the same BBQ treatment.
I will post some after pics once the painting is done to show the finish.

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Re: 1981 GL1100 detailed refresh and mechanical update.

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:16 pm
by flyin900
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