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I just got home from Marble Falls. I had hoped I could inspect more bikes than I did, but once I got into it, I realized it took more time than I thought to do a thorough inspection on each bike. I had to pull many belly pans off, which slowed me down some (I HATE BELLY PANS) and I had to pull the coolant bottles down to see the lower welds. I then had to clean each weld, (Honda spray polish worked well for this) before I could see them. I checked the lower crossmember welds, and the new location from above and below with a flashlight and a magnifying glass.

I spent half a day on Friday and nearly all day on Saturday on my back in the parking lot looking at frames. I only finished 12 bikes.

Here are the results and some comments:

On the new location I found MANY bikes that had scratches on the frame, that at first glance, looked like cracks, but were not. I think the frames may be getting scratched in the location at the factory during assembly, as nearly every frame had some marks in this area, even a brand new bike with only 600 miles on it. I also found some that had some dirt on them that looked like a crack, but when thoroughly cleaned dissapeared. This location is best checked from below, although I recommend you also look at it from above. I checked both left and right sides.

Inspecting the lower crossmember welds revealed some interesting info. I looked at everything from an early 01 Model with a build date of 12/00 to a 2004 with a build date of 12/03.

The 2001 models appeared to have just slightly move convex welds on the lower crossmember welds than the 2002 and early made 2003's. I could readily tell a bike that had been welded AFTER Honda discovered they had a problem. I looked at a 2003 with a build date of 09/02 and the welds were obviously more convex and had more material on them. I also looked at a 2003 with a build date of 08/02 that Honda had caught BEFORE it went out of the factory. It was very obvious that it had been gone over and had an additional TIG weld, laid in on top of the first weld. It also was very convex and had lots of material.

I also inspected a 2003 built in 07/02 that had been rewelded by a dealer. I have to tell you, this bike looked good, and the dealer applied TIG weld looked as good or better than the 2004 models I looked at. They had laid quite a bit of material on the weld and just judging by the surface of the weld, it looked much stronger and had the most material on it of any of the bikes I looked at. After seeing this re-weld, I am convinced that I would have no problem with having mine rewelded, if it came out looking like that bike.

The 2004 models have an obvious TIG overlay that covers the exact same area that the re-weld instructions do. The additional TIG material is not put on the entire circumference of the weld, but goes accross the bottom and up the back side. All the 2004 bikes I looked at had this TIG overlay, and the welds were much more convex. They all looked much better than any of the 2001 or 2002 models do.

I also examined a 2003 bike that had been cracked and was shipped back to Marysville and the frame had been replaced on it. The welds on this bike looked identical to the 2004 models.

All in all, I came away from the whole experience feeling a bit better about the frames, and definetly better about the re-weld procedures and the 2004 models. I think if you have any bike with a build date after 08/02 that you don't have anything to worry about. And if you had your frame rewelded, and it was done right, I think the reweld is going to be much stronger than the original. The early model 2001 bikes look better too, but not as good as the ones after 08/02.

I inspected a 2001 model with 150,950 miles on it, that had been to Alaska (on very rough roads) had been in a 30mph accident when it ran into a stopped vehicle, and has towed a trailer. It was the absolute worse case scenario. I removed the seat and inspected every single weld on the bike for almost an hour. It came away with a squeaky clean bill of health.

I also inspected a 2003 bike that has towed a trailer for 10K miles, that had a build date of 07/02 and had been rewelded. It showed no signs of cracks on the lower rear triangle in the new location.

Year Miles Build Date Pull Trailer? Coments
2002 11,494 ? No
2002 25,433 07/01 Yes
2001 55,753 01/01 No
2002 12,300 02/02 No
2002 5,000 07/01 No (This bike had the best welds of any 2002)
2003 7,506 09/03 No
2001 150,950 12/00 Yes
2003 18,379 07/02 Yes (Dealer rewelded under recall)
2004 2,182 01/03 No (Obvious TIG overlays from factory)
2003 2,004 08/02 No (Factory Reweld before release)
2003 600 01/03 No (Real good welds, similar to the 2004's)
2004 4,980 12/03 No (Rider heard loud POP. All welds checked, nothing found

I'm pretty tired now, gonna go unpack the bike and hit the hay...
 

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We know what you do for us and I'm sure it's appreciated by all.
Does mother Honda appreciate what you do for them?
This effort in particular. I for one am excited to have read this having just purchased an 04 which I am having a blast on.
 

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I have to say that Fred is a GEM! When he says "thorough inspection" you can count on it... He put in two long days rolling around on the ground with a magnifying glass, mirror and Honda polish checking peoples frames. Then when I asked him how to adjust my cruise control, he insisted on doing it for me. To top it off, Fred wouldn't accept payment for this or any of the inspections. He is definitely one of the "good guys". Thank you Fred!
 

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I know it has already been said but it needs to be said again THANK YOU Fred for your tireless efforts on this frame issue. I am a new 2004 owner and don't post much, as you can tell, but I have read ALL the frame and O/H posts and most of the other tech posts on this board for the last several months. There are, I am sure, a lot of us out here who you are keeping informed on this important issue. Thanks for spending so much time under all of those Goldwings for all of our benefit and for being so helpful with passing on info to NHTSA for us.
 

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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
FRED H and iN case you missed it THANK YOU :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Buck Yellow Wing :lol: 8) :lol: :goflag: :yw1: :22yikes:
 

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Fred,

Thanks for going to all the trouble. I know I appreciate all the hardwork you put into the Goldwings on our behalf. I do have one question though. How do you know what your build date is. I have a 2003 and would like to find out my build date.

Thanks in advance,

Rob Hatfield
 

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Thank you very much

Fred
Thanks you very much for your time and effort that you give for all of us. This post will go a long way in restoring some lost confidence in Honda. Honda owns you a favor<G>

BTW, my frame also has a scratch on the frame tube in the same spot next to the passenger floorboard from the factory.
 

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frame inspection

Thanks Fred ,makes riding my 03 1800 with yhe recalled reweld easy to ride and clears my mind on this ,thanks again.
 

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Fred

Thanx for the confidence booster you are one loyal gl1800 guy. Planning a big trip this summer first ever and you helped my piece of mind and my wifes also :yes: Did any of the bikes you looked at have any cracks before they were rewelded that you know of and did you find any cracks at all :?:
 

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I wasn't able to go to the TX1800 Gathering but I sure hope someone bought Fred's lunch and dinners for all the work he did.

And I now feel better about trading my 02 for the 04 I now have.

Also my 04 has a scratch in the finish on the frame in this new location, no cracks that I can find, scratch yes.
 

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Mach1970 wrote:
I do have one question though. How do you know what your build date is. I have a 2003 and would like to find out my build date.
You can find that information on the vin sticker, located on the frame near the triple tree mount. Turn the front wheel to the left, and look in the fairing gap, you should be able to see it.
 

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Thanks Fred for takeing the time and crud in the face

The dates were vary helpfull checked mine 4/03

THANKS AGAIN Chuck715
 

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My HATS OF TO YOU FRED!

My 04 Titaniun ABS & Kruzer trailer is coming next month, and I was having some second thoughts about these cracks. But you have put my mind to rest. My wife and myself thank you. We're going to ride like there's no tomorrow and enjoy every mile of it.(just like we planned)
 
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Fred: You know I appreciate the work this year and last at the Gatherings and all the info you have shared with us all along. Barney
 
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