GL1800Riders Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of MAY's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have some spare time so I wanted to post and update to my transmission issues and repairs. My 2002 non ABS wing with just over 80,000 miles on it lost fifth gear on the way home from work about two months ago. The bike had been purchased new in 03 from Shady Side OH and oil changed every three thousand with synthetic blend oil. I am a very aggressive rider and so I tend to shift in the higher rpm ranges.
At about 58,000 miles I would shift into fifth gear and it would make a grinding noise like it did not engage all the way. At first I thought that I was not completing a shift, but it would only grind going into fifth gear. Also it this shifting problem was very intermittent and I could not ever know when it would happen.
As time passed a new problem developed, the grinding was gone but now if I shifted into fifth gear it would feel as if the rear tire was on wet leaves and spin. The more I rode and started to pay attention I noticed a pattern to this problem. If I shifted into fifth gear and let the rpms drop belown 2500 the bike would skip or jerk right as I was bringing it up to 2800 rpms. I found that I could avoid this by pre loading the shifter and then shifting the bike. Again after doing this for a while the bike would run like normal for a bit. Then while in fifth gear as I was riding it would do this jerking like the back wheel was breaking loose and catching again.
Took the bike to Ft Walton Beach Power sports and they drove it and found “a non reproducible occurrence”. Took the bike to Andalusia Jackson Honda and the immediately told me I had a bent fork shifter. That my bike was not the first they had seen with this issue, the fix was a complete tear down and rebuild for three thousand dollars. My bike was out of warranty and so this cost would be out of pocket. Took the bike to one more Honda dealership and was told I did not know how to shift and my bent fork shifter was the result of aggressive or power shifting.
Wanting to get the bike fixed and fixed to where this problem would not ever happen again I started to Google transmission problems with GL 1800. I also was at Daytona Bike week and managed to talk the to the national service rep who admitted that Honda was aware of transmission issues and the machining process was being looked at. Since the number of bikes with this issue was rather insignificant and not reproducible Honda was dealing with them on individual basis.
A friend who owns and operates a independent shop in MD (Motovationcycles) told me I should talk to someone named Greg from Justwings.com about undercutting gears. After several long and very detailed exchange of information I choose to have the bike rebuilt by Greg. The one Honda shop would not have the gears undercut so that eliminated them.
After delivering the bike to Greg on the trailer I started it and I thought he was going to pass out. The gut wrenching sound of grinding gears and metal on metal contact was more than he could take. He said to shut it down before it completely goes. At that time we had a lengthy conversation about what all has to be done and that the machine shop would be delayed due to heavy work load at this time.
I must say that during this process Greg would call me and inform me of other options I had while the engine was out and the case split. The alternator pin was replaced, the engine was cross cut and new rings on the pistons were installed. There was a list of other things that I wanted done since the bike was at 80,000 miles and I planned on keeping it for the next 80,000.
So three weeks ago I flew to Tampa and picked up my refurbished wing. The 383 mile ride home was like a sweet reunion with an old girl friend. Of course for the next 10 days it rained buckets limiting my riding .
So now that I finally completed my thousand miles of riding here is what I have found. Shifting this bike is like nothing ever before. Each and every shift is so clean and rock solid that if feels as if the gears were welded together. One thing I noticed is that the clunk is 50 to 60 percent decreased over stock. It is still there but you have to almost want to hear it. Shifting from neutral to first is oh so sweet, before it would be one huge bang.
I have put street miles and highway miles on this wing, been 250 miles with two up just to see how the transmission feels. After about 600 miles I did take her up to the 5500 rmp mark and shift into fifth and I was all smiles. So it is nice to have a transmission that I feel confident in again.
Still from time to time as I ride I tend to tense up shifting into fifth gear. Still waiting for the “ghost shift” and fearing the jerking of the bike. Hopefully as time goes by and miles pass my anxiety will ease. The way the bike rides has not changed, none of the dynamics of the Wing are altered. What has changed is that this bike now feels they way a motorcycle should. A nice push down or pull up on the shifter with the clutch pulled in and a smooth shift occurs.
This is one of many bikes that I have owned, each being different in its own way. I have never in my 39 years of riding ever had a transmission problem till the Gold wing. So I just added this to let people know I do know how to shift a motorcycle.
I know there have been others on this board that has lost their transmission due to ghost shifting. I think most were warranty repairs or Honda decided to cover the repair. Since most of these failures are happening well into the miles it will be interesting to see what the reoccurrence rate is. Right now most repaired bikes are no close to putting the miles back on again. Hopefully none will ever have to be repaired again and they run forever.

One more thing, a great big thanks to Dan Kenny at motovationcycles for not charging me for all the phone advice, Greg @ Justwings.com who did all the work and went above and beyond, Andalusia Jackson Honda for all the advice and help on this bike and for being so honest.


Gumby
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Sounds great

What was total COST of repairs!!:popcorn:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,768 Posts
Great write up, Thanks. It would be nice to know the cost also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
My tranny went out at 50k miles, I'm at 85k now and knock on wood...I've only heard of a few reoccurrences, hopefully I won't be one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
396 Posts
I see a sore thumb - changed oil w/syn every 3000 miles and it needed rings at 80,000. Plus transmission trashed.

man finley, have you been plowing with that one!


...louie
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
18,611 Posts
Thanks Pete for writing and sharing your experience. Your choice in correcting ghost shifting issues were limited: replace the damaged gears, or replace the gears that must be replaced and then undercut. Most shops will just replace. Also limiting is your choice of shops. Of the 4 Honda shops near you, only one was willing to tackle its repair, but with a down time of 6 months.

I appreciate your trust in me. If the shop you choose was not thorough and know what they are doing, the final fix could have gone on for months beyond that. Somehow you found me from someone I have never met from thousands of miles away … but, as I continue to find out, a good reputation is global. I understood your need to ride away trouble free and not have to trailer it back hundred miles to correct something that was just done. That can happen if you just replace the gear. Also, there would be nothing worst then to pay good money just to find out you still have a ghost shifter. There is only one good choice to fix Ghost Shifting and glad you brought it to the only shop willing to fix it correctly, and one that has the reputation of doing so.

I am glad to have fixed it for you and enjoy your trip to the Smokies later this year.


Regarding price ... Pete’s teardown was a bit unusual. The first bolt I touched (seat bolt) snapped, when I flipped the seat over to inspect it for the 4 rubbers and their mount sleeves, one was missing. Just about every bolt, grommet, plastic rivet, and screw was missing, broken, or wrong. I could tell who ever had worked on the Wing before, worked in a m/c repair shop since all the wrong fasteners came from some m/c, and not from ACE Hardware. I continued removing parts and once the exhaust system was off, all was then like it came from Honda … but nothing up to that point. When under it to remove the exhaust is when the “why” or “what” was answered to all the bolts and fasteners being wrong. The frame had huge weld marks. His Wing was hacked on by a well paid professional hacker who didn’t take the time needed to correctly re-install and re-fasten what he had just taken off.

I say all the above to put price in perspective. The above are reasons that run a repair bill up. Another is not bringing in a m/c that can run at 5,000 rpms to do an oil pressure test. Doing so may do more engine damage. Examples of things that reduce repair costs are a newer looking air filter and a radiator cap that passes a pressure test.

Pete’s bike took most of 2 days to pull the motor, split the case, and remove the gears. Almost every grommet, bolt, rivet, and screw’s part number got looked up immediately and pulled from inventory. I think there was over 75 new parts needed for reassembly. To avoid waiting on a 3 days parts order, I didn’t want to find out while installing the motor that a part was missing to do a correct job. Usually the time needed for tear down is around 6 hours.

So here is how his repair cost broke down …. The total repair was just over $4,900.

Parts needed to correct prior repair about $300: missing, broken, damaged, worn, or incorrect grommets, mounts, pins, rivets, screws, and bolts.
Parts replaced as PM about $500: ADG, 4 coolant hoses under the intake manifold.
Parts needed for reassembly about $500: gaskets, o-rings, seals, oil, oil filter, spark plugs, clutch fluid, and anti-freeze.
Engine repair about $1000: hot tanked engine cases, cylinders honed, new rings, crank polished, new rod, main bearings, and an oil pump.
Tranny repair about $1000: 2 new gears, 1 fork, 1 shift spindle, springs, undercut, and other the other gears repaired.
Labor about $1500
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,125 Posts
My take on the rings was not so much a matter of "need"; but with the cases split and pistons removed at 80+ thousand miles, it would be almost foolish not to refresh the cylinder bores and install/gap new rings. Same with oil intake screen and alternator driven grear assembly. The actual "need' would depend upon compression readings, observance of oil smoke, and maybe used oi analysis.

prs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
+1 to what Pigeon Roost stated. If you're tearing it down and splitting the cases you might as well freshen it up all the way.

It is a shame the trans in this bike is such a turd. It's argueably the worst transmission I've ever ridden. Heck my 1980 CB650 trans felt like a Caddilac in comparison. Of course I'm not getting rid of my GL anytime soon over the trans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Who isn't?
I say that because that is the first thing I get asked when I tell someone my transmission failed. Then I hear that I did not shift properly, or that I wasn't using the clutch when I shfited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My take on the rings was not so much a matter of "need"; but with the cases split and pistons removed at 80+ thousand miles, it would be almost foolish not to refresh the cylinder bores and install/gap new rings. Same with oil intake screen and alternator driven grear assembly. The actual "need' would depend upon compression readings, observance of oil smoke, and maybe used oi analysis.

prs
That was my thoguht process, why not just do it while the bike was in the shop. My biggest regret would be getting the transmission done and five thousand miles later the alternator clip goes. So with all the pm stuff done it drove up the price but I sleep better at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Pete for writing and sharing your experience. Your choice in correcting ghost shifting issues were limited: replace the damaged gears, or replace the gears that must be replaced and then undercut. Most shops will just replace. Also limiting is your choice of shops. Of the 4 Honda shops near you, only one was willing to tackle its repair, but with a down time of 6 months.

I appreciate your trust in me. If the shop you choose was not thorough and know what they are doing, the final fix could have gone on for months beyond that. Somehow you found me from someone I have never met from thousands of miles away … but, as I continue to find out, a good reputation is global. I understood your need to ride away trouble free and not have to trailer it back hundred miles to correct something that was just done. That can happen if you just replace the gear. Also, there would be nothing worst then to pay good money just to find out you still have a ghost shifter. There is only one good choice to fix Ghost Shifting and glad you brought it to the only shop willing to fix it correctly, and one that has the reputation of doing so.

I am glad to have fixed it for you and enjoy your trip to the Smokies later this year.


Regarding price ... Pete’s teardown was a bit unusual. The first bolt I touched (seat bolt) snapped, when I flipped the seat over to inspect it for the 4 rubbers and their mount sleeves, one was missing. Just about every bolt, grommet, plastic rivet, and screw was missing, broken, or wrong. I could tell who ever had worked on the Wing before, worked in a m/c repair shop since all the wrong fasteners came from some m/c, and not from ACE Hardware. I continued removing parts and once the exhaust system was off, all was then like it came from Honda … but nothing up to that point. When under it to remove the exhaust is when the “why” or “what” was answered to all the bolts and fasteners being wrong. The frame had huge weld marks. His Wing was hacked on by a well paid professional hacker who didn’t take the time needed to correctly re-install and re-fasten what he had just taken off.

I say all the above to put price in perspective. The above are reasons that run a repair bill up. Another is not bringing in a m/c that can run at 5,000 rpms to do an oil pressure test. Doing so may do more engine damage. Examples of things that reduce repair costs are a newer looking air filter and a radiator cap that passes a pressure test.

Pete’s bike took most of 2 days to pull the motor, split the case, and remove the gears. Almost every grommet, bolt, rivet, and screw’s part number got looked up immediately and pulled from inventory. I think there was over 75 new parts needed for reassembly. To avoid waiting on a 3 days parts order, I didn’t want to find out while installing the motor that a part was missing to do a correct job. Usually the time needed for tear down is around 6 hours.

So here is how his repair cost broke down …. The total repair was just over $4,900.

Parts needed to correct prior repair about $300: missing, broken, damaged, worn, or incorrect grommets, mounts, pins, rivets, screws, and bolts.
Parts replaced as PM about $500: ADG, 4 coolant hoses under the intake manifold.
Parts needed for reassembly about $500: gaskets, o-rings, seals, oil, oil filter, spark plugs, clutch fluid, and anti-freeze.
Engine repair about $1000: hot tanked engine cases, cylinders honed, new rings, crank polished, new rod, main bearings, and an oil pump.
Tranny repair about $1000: 2 new gears, 1 fork, 1 shift spindle, springs, undercut, and other the other gears repaired.
Labor about $1500
Thanks Greg for the break down of the repair, I would have been just been guessing. You forgot to mention that the price included a nice scrub down of the bike. That alone was worth it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,367 Posts
"UNDERCUT" what exactly is that ?
Look at Goldwingrgreg's pic at the bottom of his response. The shiny part is what has been "undercut". The base of the dogs are narrower than the tip when done right. It forces the two cogs towards each other when pressure is applied to them. In a stock transmission the tips can get a bit rounded off which will make the two cogs want to separate under load.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Look at Goldwingrgreg's pic at the bottom of his response. The shiny part is what has been "undercut". The base of the dogs are narrower than the tip when done right. It forces the two cogs towards each other when pressure is applied to them. In a stock transmission the tips can get a bit rounded off which will make the two cogs want to separate under load.
You should see the pictures of my transmission parts before the repair.
 
G

·
"UNDERCUT" what exactly is that ?
This transmission just like all MC transmissions has gearsets that have "dogs" or pockets. All the older Yamaha 2nd gears had occasional problems with ghost shifting as the pockets are slightly tapered due to the casting process. In general it is not a problem however a missed shift at the wrong time and the gears may be forced apart which can cause the fork to get bent. Once that happens the problems just intensify and the dogs and pocket corners get rounded off and pretty soon it will not stay in gear. Replacing the fork and doing an undercut is a good fix and I have done many on the yamaha's (BTW the company the manufactures the Yamaha gears also makes all the gears for Kawasaki,Honda and used to make the EH gears too)

The transmission on this wing is really no worse than any others out there. It's good and solid with the occasional problems. Nothing is perfect and it's just another mechanical device that by percentage will fail.
Like frame issues I would guess the problems in general are extremely rare.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,396 Posts
What Greg failed to say was.Most guys are in warranty when their transmission fails.

Here are the problems he didn't mention!
1) If a shop undercuts your gears and you are still in warranty-You can kiss that engine warranty good bye. Honda will find out if you have the gears undercut Either by the Honda Rep of when they are shipped back to Honda for inspection.

NO One and I mean no one knows right now if a undercut tranny will come apart after miles are put on it??.
It's a "I hope so" game at this point.
Just like when you install All Balls beaings,A "Band Aid".without knowing the true cause!!

2)If the dealer (Which I doubt) failed to warn Honda about cut gears,They'd be on the hook for your repair bill.

3) it's hard to find a mechanic that is smart enough to know about undercut gears.

4) Even if your bike is out of warranty.It takes a Good Machine shop 4-6-8 weeks depending on how busy they are to get the 2-5 gears cut..THey the shop has to reassemble the bike.
Not many guy can stand to wait the normal time,never mind add in the extra wait time from the machine shop!!

5) Most shops (Dealers) won't bother with this service even if they know about it,because your bike will be in the way of other big jobs.

Now you know why dealers won't bother with undercutting.

Dealers just take them apart and put them back together as stock.

BTW:
It just isn't true to say that a rebuilt transmission will be a 5th gear ghost shifter again.Anyone who tells you that is Blowing smoke up your arse on purpose! :wrong:
 
G

·
You can undercut yourself with some care and a hand held mini grinder. The key is to do all the dogs and pockets the same so you don't overload one or two dogs. Best practice is to use blue dye and a micrometer to gauge progress.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top