Honda Gold Wing, Sticking Valves, How much to fix?

Discussion in 'Motorbike Technical Discussion' started by Rick, Jun 18, 2007.

  1. Rick

    Rick Guest

    I have a 1989 Gold Wing 1500 with 73,000 miles on it, on which one of
    the engine valves is starting to stick.

    When I start it up cold, it sometimes runs on 5 cylinders for a while,
    then the sticking valve frees up and it runs fine after that.

    I'm pretty sure it's a sticking valve because when running the starter
    I can hear the starter surge when it goes past the cylinder with the
    open valive.

    In general how much should it cost (i.e. how many hours should it
    take) to do a valve job on a 1500?
    Rick, Jun 18, 2007
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  2. I doubt it, myself.
    The Older Gentleman, Jun 18, 2007
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  3. Rick

    Ken Abrams Guest

    Before you do anything drastic like tear the engine down, I'd try a Marvel
    Mystery Oil shock treatment. Sometimes works good to free up sticking rings
    and valves. Might not help but certainly won't hurt.
    Ken Abrams, Jun 19, 2007
  4. Rick

    Rick Guest

    Good afternoon, Ken.

    I will try that.

    What exactly is a "shock treatment"? Normal treatment is 2 oz per 5
    gallons of gas or 1:4 ratio in the crankcase. Does a "shock"
    treatment just use a higher does of MMO?
    Rick, Jun 21, 2007
  5. Rick

    Ken Abrams Guest

    In addition to BOTH of the above.................
    You put some directly into the cylinders (hot), thus:
    (In a cage, you just pour about 8 oz. rapidly into the carb. at fast idle
    until it dies.)
    Warm engine.
    Remove plugs.
    Put about 1-2 oz. in each cylinder (depending on the size of your jugs!)
    Put back plugs finger tight.
    Turn over a couple of times but DO NOT START.
    Let it sit (at least) overnight.
    Tighten plugs (cleaning optional).
    Fire it up and pray! (Expect some smoke and maybe a hard crank the first
    rev. or two).

    The only drawback with this is: going in through the plug pretty much misses
    the intake valve guide(s).

    Good luck!
    Ken Abrams, Jun 21, 2007
  6. Rick

    Rick Guest

    Good evening, Ken.

    Thanks for the info on the "shock" treatment.

    I think I am not quite in a condition that will require that, yet.
    But, we'll see.

    I bought a 16-oz bottle and put about 3 oz in 5 gallons of gas and
    poured the rest into the crankcase. Started it up and it ran nice and
    smooth (but, it usually does that anyway... it's only occasionally
    that I get a sticking valve, or whatever it is, and it runs rough for
    the first minute or three).

    Ran it a couple of miles at 60 mph and then put it away for the
    upcoming thunderstorm :-(. Ran nice and smooth, if anything better
    than it has in a while.

    I'll have it out again tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm wondering if I should park it on the center stand rather than the
    side stand, if it's going to be parked for a while (overnight or
    longer). Someone said something about oil flowing into the lefthand
    cylinders when it's parked on the sidestand ... wouldn't have any
    effect on sticking valves, but sure would make it smoke for a short
    time after startup (which mine sometimes does).
    Rick, Jun 22, 2007
  7. Like I said originally, I doubt that it is this. It's so rare nowadays,
    and on a low-mileage Wing....
    Ah. You're starting to see sense...
    The Older Gentleman, Jun 22, 2007
  8. Rick

    Rick Guest

    <TOG>>>>>Like I said originally, I doubt that it is this. It's so rare
    nowadays, and on a low-mileage Wing....<<<<<

    Good morning, Gent...

    It has 73,000+ miles on it, all of them mine. I'd say that's probably
    "mid-mileage" for an 18-year-old bike.

    I always did, I think... I never said "It's definitely a valve", only
    deduced that that's probably the most likely given all of the

    The main symptom that points to a valve is that when the starter motor
    is turning the engine, but before the engine fires, I get a sort of a
    surge in starter speed as it pulls one of the pistons through the
    compression stroke, sort of what you might expect to hear if you left
    one of the spark plugs out.

    When it does that, the engine runs rough for a minute or two, then
    smooths out, Shut the engine down, run the starter again, and it
    sounds normal.

    If not a sticking valve, what else could that be?
    Rick, Jun 22, 2007
  9. Rick

    Ken Abrams Guest

    OK, back to square 1.

    I think this means that one cylinder is firing and one isn't.
    Although it could be valves, that's probably the last thing I'd consider.

    Ignition: How long since plugs were changed?
    Plug wires & boots: Can arc in the morning when damp.
    Fuel: Pilot jet on one side partially blocked or if FI one injector sticky
    Choke or enricher not working right on one side.
    Crack in boot between carb and engine (closes up when warm/hot)

    If you have been parking on the side stand, there might be enough ring
    leakage that it simply is a matter of momentary oil fouling of the "down
    side" spark plug.

    Good luck. I really don't think you are going to need a valve
    least not from this "symptom".
    Ken Abrams, Jun 22, 2007
  10. Rick

    Rick Guest

    Good morning, Ken.

    The crankcase capacity of the GL-1500 is 3.7 US quarts. The MMO
    bottle instructions say "One quart of Marvel Mystery Oil added to
    crankcase oils...". To my knowledge most cars hold 4 quarts of oil, 5
    if the filter is changed, so I think that the dose I gave it (13 oz,
    or 3 oz short of a pint) is about half of the dose recommended on the

    My oil was a little over half a quart low when I started this exercise
    so now it's just a shade under the full mark.
    Rick, Jun 22, 2007
  11. Rick

    Rick Guest

    I would agree with you (and would never have considered a sticking
    valve) except for ONE thing.

    When you engage the starter on any piston engine, the sound you hear
    (prior to the engine actually starting) is the starter turning and
    getting loaded down (thus speed momentarily reduced) every time it
    pulls a piston through the compression stroke.

    Now imagine that somebody stole one of your spark plugs during the
    night and you didn't notice. You hit the starter and hear the normal
    starter motor sound UNTIL the cylinder with no spark plug gets its
    piston pulled through its compression stroke. There is no
    compression, nothing to resist the starter, so the starter momentarily
    surges in speed (and sound) as it pulls that piston through.

    This is what I'm hearing (occasionally, not often, just sometimes).

    There are really only four things that can cause that... a spark plug
    that's been removed, a bullet hole in the cylinder :), some SERIOUSLY
    worn rings, or a valve that's stuck open, badly worn / burned, or has
    heavy deposits.

    The plugs are all there, I'm pretty sure no one drilled a hole in my
    engine, the rings seem OK as evidenced by not a lot of oil consumption
    (if any), and anyway the problem is intermittent and any of those
    things would cause the problem to be continuous.

    The only remaining thing I can think of is a valve that occasionally
    sticks open. ANYTHING else would cause that symptom to be present
    continuously and not just occasionally.

    What am I missing?
    Rick, Jun 22, 2007
  12. It still sounds like a hell of a lot of additive, compared with the
    quantity of oil it's being put in. I really would change the oil, and
    forget the snake oil claims.
    chateau.murray, Jun 22, 2007
  13. It's not fuel injected, if it's a 1989 bike.

    This is possible. Some BMW Ks suffer from the same problem sometimes,
    for the same reason

    Agree 100% - I'd do the simple stuff first like a plug swap, and then
    an plug cap swap, and then an HT lead swap, and then, er, then I'd
    scratch my head. But it isn't going to be a stuck valve. And pouring
    snake oil, sorry, magical fluids into the fuel and the oil will only
    waste time and money.
    chateau.murray, Jun 22, 2007
  14. Rick

    Ken Abrams Guest

    Not really. Re-read my previous post, re: intermittent

    And if you know so much about it that you are SURE that a valve is the ONLY
    thing it could be, why in hell are you asking here in the first place????

    Ken Abrams, Jun 23, 2007
  15. Rick

    Ken Abrams Guest

    First hand experience with several different types of engines (old) leads me
    to believe otherwise.

    It is, after all, kind of like penetrating oil and that works wonders on
    stuck bolts (sometimes).

    OTOH, I never use the stuff routinely in anything........just to loosen that
    occasional stuck "nut".
    Ken Abrams, Jun 23, 2007
  16. Rick

    Rick Guest

    I did. Nothing in your previous post could account for the loss of
    compression in a cylinder.
    I never said I was sure it's a valve, I only said that seems the most
    likely cause given the action and sounds of the starter motor and the
    intermittent nature of the problem.

    And for the record, I never asked what the problem was, I only asked
    what I could do about it. I got some very good advice here, which I
    have followed and it seems to have fixed the problem. We'll see in
    the next week or so whether the problem is really gone.

    Ken, I'm really not interested in having you put me down here from
    behind your keyboard in ways you'd probably never do to my face. So,
    gentlemen, I tnank you (sincerely) for your assistance, as I said it
    appears to have fixed the problem (we'll see). Ken, the last word is
    yours ... I'm outta this thread.
    Rick, Jun 23, 2007
  17. I use penetrating oil all the time to loosen seized fasteners.
    This is rather different from pouring it into an engine and adding it to
    the fuel, though.
    The Older Gentleman, Jun 23, 2007
  18. Rick

    Ken Abrams Guest

    This is where we got off the track. Just for the record, you DID ask:

    And then when I offered other possible causes, you dismissed them all
    I may have over-reacted a bit but that kind of exchange is VERY frustrating.
    I think it was ME who supplied you with the "Fix".
    We should have stopped the discussion there!
    Hope it holds up.
    Ken Abrams, Jun 23, 2007
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