GL1500 Engine Rebuild

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Rednaxs60

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Have made the decision to rebuild the 1500 engine and to do this hopefully before next summer, but more realistically fall of 2021. C-19 could help with moving this project up to this fall/winter.

Not a lot of information on the various forums regarding 1500 engine rebuilds. Found one YouTube video, and lots of threads on the ancillary items, and why would you want to.

Have considered a used engine, but the availability in Canada is quite a bit less than in the US. Importing an engine from the US is cost prohibitive. I mentioned on my other thread viewtopic.php?f=7&t=14098 that selling and buying a depreciating asset such as a motorcycle is an exercise in spending money. Better to invest a smaller amount into a known entity than to start new that comes with work/maintenance that you have already taken care of with the bike you presently have.

I notice what seems to be a gearing noise when the engine is at idle. This could be a bearing issue. Have perused the various forum threads and have found information that indicates gearing noises in the 1500 engine are a result of worn bearing(s).

Have been gathering information regarding costs. Parts availability is better for the 1500 than the 1200. Unfortunately have to rely on ordering from the US and Europe. Estimate the cost of the engine rebuild will be $2000.00 to $2500.00 CDN with the labour being done by me. If I'm going to spend money on this bike after having done the paint job, want to do it sooner than later so I get to enjoy it - don't want to do work later for someone else to enjoy. Should have at least another good 10 years of trouble free riding, and as this is not a long time it will go quickly, no reason the bike won't make it - jury is out on the owner.

The only external work will be the machine shop if needed. Won't be able to determine this until the engine is taken apart and the exhaust valve seats are inspected, and what shape the cylinders are in. I'm hopeful that the engine will be in a similar condition to that of my 1200, cylinders were good and only a hone was required.

The rebuild will have new crank journal and con rod bearings, set of piston rings, valves lapped or have machine shop do work. If I use the machine shop will have heads and cylinders done there with a requirement to make sure the heads and block are true and flat.

New clutch to be installed, engine is apart, don't want to revisit. I towed a trailer last year, and it's realistic to think a PO did as well because the bike came with a trailer hitch. My 1200 had a hitch installed and I was told that a trailer was pulled. I pulled the engine for stator work and at the same time inspected the clutch. All steel plates were blue in colour indicating an overheated condition - 115,000 Kms on the clock at the time.

New water pump may be installed, along with other items.

Carbs will be rebuilt as well. 25 years and 176,000 Kms can take a toll on any mechanical part.

Good time to renew all vacuum hoses, and possibly install SS brake and clutch lines.

Will be looking at the various OEM connectors, inspect, take apart, clean and put back together. The 1000/1100 fraternity restore/refurbish on a regular basis, why not the 1500 crowd.

There are special tools required for this build, specifically when putting the case back together. There are two jigs needed to support the pistons and piston ring compressors. May be able to use hose clamps for the 1200, but I think the 1500 will not be as forgiving. The ring compressor(s) are the expensive part. The parts needed are:

Piston Ring Compressor(s) – qty 3 – P/N 07JMG-MN5000A
Piston Base A – qty 1 – 07JMG-MN5012A
Piston Base B – qty 1 – 07JMG-50111
Crankcase support blocks – wood – 1 ½ X 1 ½ X 3 3/8 inch (40 X 40 X 86 mm)

Will be checking the hydraulic valve clearance. The shim tool for the 1200 is used on the 1500 as well.

Have been perusing the OEM service manual, mine is for a '99, but should be the same. The level of complexity is more than the 1200, but manuals can make the simplest task appear to be more daunting than the task is.

My readings indicate that the crankcase assembly will be the most demanding part of the rebuild. Need special tools, and a second set of hands is recommended. Applying the crankcase sealant will be a challenge as there are two hard to reach surfaces that need to be coated.

More to follow.
 

Rednaxs60

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desertrefugee is taking on an '82 CX500 Turbo. I think I have the easy one.
 

Rednaxs60

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Have read several restoration threads on the CX forum that includes engine rebuilds. There are lots of threads on the turbo alone. If I had room a 650 turbo would be nice. Apparently not as twitchy as the 500 from what I have read.
 

Rednaxs60

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Have been looking at the parts fiche to get a sense of what may be required for the engine rebuild. Have a listing of bearings, o-rings, collars, dowel pins and oil seals. Have checked and most of the bearings are commercially available. Oil seals will require a bit more research.

Have thought about the piston rings. The pistons have a service limit of 70.85 mm with a cylinder diameter max of 71.1 mm. Not a lot of wiggle room. These are very expensive from Honda, probably some $300.00 CDN. Have read where others have used rings from early model Chev Trackers for a 1200. Will be looking at this alternative.

Looked into what parts would be need to rebuild the carbs. Randakk's carb kit(s) are highly recommended, and are to have everything needed for a rebuild. New vacuum pistons would probably be a good idea. These vacuum pistons are very expensive from Honda - looking like approximately $180.00 CDN plus shipping out of the US. Will ask the local dealer here as well. Can get aftermarket ones for $50.00 shipped. The carburetor insulators, piece between intake manifold and carb, should be replaced.

Shopping for parts is an eye opener.
 

Rednaxs60

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Checked it out. Not a lot there, but will keep it for future. How's the SE-i running?
 

Rednaxs60

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Continuing with sourcing parts and prices for the rebuild that includes the carbs. Oil seals and carb boots (carb to intake manifold) are reasonably priced and will order local. Have a list of dowels and collars that I will get as just in case spares.

The vacuum piston for the carbs are another story. Honda list was $202.00 CDN each, a little poking around and good customer discount to $170.00 CDN. The parts fellow was going to talk to his parts manager to determine if more could be done, but not a lot of wiggle room for these dealers - will ask if they can get the cost down to the $100.00 mark, if so may be the better way to go. Can get an aftermarket offshore vacuum piston for $50.00 CDN delivered to my door.

Have ordered a new water pump, not a lot of these available. Over the winter it did drip some coolant, enough to be noticeable. Better to have one on hand during the rebuild - old becomes spare. Found a u-joint as well, not making anymore of these either - old becomes spare as well. New brake rotors coming - knew these would need to be done when I bought the bike 2 years ago.

Keeping a spread sheet of costs, be interesting when the rebuild is done.
 

mcgovern61

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Are you sure you are not working on a boat? The costs are adding as fast as my cost to keep my boat running. :smilie_happy:
 

Rednaxs60

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Good comparison. Had a 30 foot Uniflite with two 318 inboards and spent three years rebuilding it - had to update it environmentally as it was moored in the 1000 Islands outside Brockville Canada. Installed a solar array that allowed us to go out for a weekend and not require a generator when at anchor. Lived on a 40 foot Bayliner Bodega for 5 years. Know exactly what you are talking about. Here's the Bodega:
IMG_0329.JPG
Here's the Uniflite at anchor in the 1000 Islands. It's twilight time and the daughter is playing the bagpipes on the focsle. Brought many a spectator and small boat crowd out of the woodwork. An early picture before new paint and engine rebuild:
Uniflite 1.jpg
 

Rednaxs60

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Thanks Gerry - the Uniflite has a great history. The hull was used for the river boats in Vietnam during the Vietnam war. Extremely sea worthy.

Back to the thread. Perusing the parts fiche to list what I might need for the rebuild. Have to weigh the cost benefit of each item regarding package deals such as gasket set. The gasket set(s) I've found come from the UK about $250.00 CDN plus $50.00 Shipping. Will be taking a list to my local dealer and ask for prices. This will also indicate what is and is not available. There will be items sourced through Honda such as dowel pins, collars, and such.

The exhaust header bolts are quite unique. Took the left exhaust header down yesterday to do an RXR of the exhaust protector and found that the exhaust stud is a specific shape and can only be removed/installed with the exhaust header removed. You cannot remove the stud and replace with the exhaust header in place.

I've put together a spreadsheet with the parts/pieces from the parts fiche that I may need or would be a contingency spare. Not too concerned about the journal and shaft bearings after my experience with the 1200.

Here's my spreadsheet and it will be updated as needed:View attachment Engine Rebuild Parts Spreadsheet.xls

Cheers
 

saganaga

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Those boats probably don't have a shallow enough draft to do the Trent-Severn or Great Loop, do they?
 

Rednaxs60

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Both of them do. The 40 foot Bayliner Bodega was on the west coast. When the Uniflite was in the 1000 Islands had contemplated taking the Trent Severn one summer but never got around to it. The Bayliner would have been good for the Great Loop.
 

Rednaxs60

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A little more progress. Have ordered the Randakk's carb kits. Still debating on the vacuum pistons, but as my brother mentions, in for a penny in for a pound.

Received new front/rear rotors today and have ordered new brake pads. Habit in that new rotors need new pads, pads won't be here for a bit. Have some 30K Kms on these brake pads and these are worn into the existing rotors.

New items being added to my parts list. Will start getting pricing soon.
 

Dusterdude

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Rednax,if you would,let me know how you like the randakks kits

Sent from my LM-X420 using Tapatalk
 

Rednaxs60

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Will do. Everything I've read on the forums indicate that this kit should be good, only item of note that is not in the kit is the vacuum piston. The carbs will be done this fall.

Took a list of gaskets needed for the rebuild to the local dealer for a price check.

Found an engine gasket set out of Ontario that would cost about $240.00 delivered. Not bad from what I have found. Don't believe the Honda parts can match the price. The only issue may be the head gaskets; however, the engine size for the entire 1500 production reminded the same, unlike the 1000/1100/1200 GWs as there are small differences in the size of the head gasket.

There are a lot of dowels, collars, oil seals, o-rings and bearings that may be needed. Have a listing of these.

Have been looking for piston rings, but have yet to find a good alternative to the Honda rings. Probably won't have a resolution on this until the engine is apart.
 

Rednaxs60

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Spent the morning going through my parts list to put prices against individual items and correlate what gaskets are in the gasket set. I used the CMS web site out of Holland for a lot of the prices - Euro/USD comparable, Euro a bit more but it gives a good indication. My spreadsheet indicates that I should expect to be about $2,000.00 CDN in parts/pieces. The engine gasket set at $224.00 CDN is not bad, and if the head gaskets are not up to par, should be able to get. Here is my parts list:View attachment GL1500 Parts List - 8 Jul 2020.xls
 
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