PARTS AND ADVICE FOR YOUR 'OLDEN GOLDIE'
An online source dedicated to Honda's amazing four cylinder Goldwings!
Used engine oil contains carcinogens (cancer causing). Use rubber, latex or vinyl gloves when doing an oil change, or at the very least use a proper barrier cream and make sure you wash you hands thoroughly afterwards. Please dispose of old oil sensibly, preferably at a recycling depot.
Petrol / fuel / gasoline :-
Whatever you call it, it's dangerous! Yes I know, totally obvious. But it's very tempting to use it as a cleaning agent, cheap and effective, until someone walks into the workshop with a lit cigarette and blows the two of you up! Now, don't mock me for this!
THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO A MATE OF MINE! Fortunately they both survived, but they will carry the reminders for the rest of their lives!
So, if you must do it, do it out in the open where fumes cannot build up, and keep containers capped.
Clean your parts:-
No! Not your parts; the bits of the bike that you are going to be working on. Whenever you can, clean down the area you're going to be working on as it's much easier to see, hold and work on parts that are dirt and oil free, not to mention lessening the possibility of getting debris into places you don't want any, like carburettors.
Wear protective gloves! A lot of cleaners are very nasty towards skin, removing the natural oils in the skin if not actually removing the skin itself!
Keep the area around you clear as you work! This advice because I have just tripped over the cable of a drill that I had been using a short while before, knocked into one bike and only just managed to stop it falling into my other one. Cables or air lines lying across the floor are a major danger. Tidy them away as soon as you have finished with them.
Mentioning air lines reminds me to add this. Never, EVER play wth air lines. Compressed air can easily take an eye out. An airline pressed against the skin in the wrong place can send an air bubble to the heart, resulting in death. Horseplay, sticking it to someone's rectum for instance, will kill by rupturing the intestines and that is a truly horrible way to die!
Always buy the best quality tools that you can afford! CHEAP TOOLS ARE THE MOST EXPENSIVE THINGS YOU CAN BUY!
It may seem to be ok to buy cheap to do that one job, but if the tool lets you down while you're in the middle of a job or if it damages something so that the part has to be replaced, you will soon see the value of the above advice.
The golden rule is 'If in doubt, throw it out!' Nothing is more frustrating than to have a worn wrench round off a nut or bolt, or a screwdriver that slips and gouges your new paintwork.
Flat drivers should have their blade filed or ground with nice sharp edges.
Posidrive or Phillips drivers can often be reclaimed by filing them. On a Posi, again the edges should be nice and sharp.
Most of the cross-head screws on Hondas are in a format called JIS. They look very like a normal Phillips head, and a Phillips screwdriver will fit, but it does not fit correctly. The result is a ripped out cross, as Honda screws are rather soft metal.
JIS screwdrivers and bits are available but you may have to hunt for them.
Wrenches / spanners:-
Always try to use a socket or a ring rather than an open end wrench. Check your open enders for being splayed from wear or stretch.
Grips / pliers:-
If they have rubber or plastic handle grips, make sure they are well glued on.
Check the teeth for wear, they are not usually reclaimable.
Sockets last for ages, but they can still wear. Check them for cracks due to overloading them. If there is a need to use a breaker bar with a socket, try to use an impact socket as they are much stronger than the standard ones.
Not really a safety thing, but use a bar first to crack open the nut or bolt before using your ratchet. This will add years to the life of the ratchet teeth.
If you have the luxury of an air impact tool, always use the proper impact sockets with it. Ordinary sockets can shatter very easily with one of these tools.
Torque wrenches are precision instruments. They should not be used as an alternative socket bar!
Never load a torque wrench beyond it's maximum. Use the appropriate size of torque wrench for the job.
Always release the spring pressure before putting the wrench away after use.
Hammers and mallets:-
Make sure the hammer head is tight on the shaft and that the shaft is not splintered. New shafts are cheap; the bit that the hammer head hits when it comes off the damaged shaft is probably not!
Chipped hammer head faces will mark whatever you hit with them, so replace them.
Mallets with soft face inserts such as copper or aluminium will burr over at the edges over time. Remove these burrs periodically.
Make sure the inserts are tight in the head.
Chisels and drifts:-
A blunt chisel is worse than useless! Keep the edge ground or filed sharp and square. The same goes for your drifts.
All chisels and drifts will burr over from the hammering. Remove these burrs before they remove themselves into part of you!
Whenever you are chiselling, wear eye protection!
Rotary wire brushes, buffing pads and grinders:-
Alway, Always, Always wear eye protection when using these.
My mate Bill has recently found out the value of this advice, very painfully! Your eyes cannot be replaced, so take good care of them!
If your wire brushes look as though bits will come off, be sure that they will, because they will come off even if they don't look like it!
When using polishing buffs, always were a mask as well as eye protection. Cotton bits flying off the buff are just as dangerous to your eyes as bits of wire. Breathing in alluminium dust is also dangerous. It's toxic as well as a lung irritant.
Grinders, pedestal or bench, are one of the most useful AND dangerous tools. Never remove the guards. Wear goggles if the grinder doen't have built in eye shields (good idea even if it does!). Wear protective gloves. Keep your stones trued up and the work rest properly adjusted with the minimum of gaps.
I'm sure that this will be viewed by many as 'teaching your grandmother to suck eggs' (whatever that means!) but it would be remiss of me to encourage you to do your own maintenance without making mention of some safety factors.
WinGovations Copyright 2015-2020
J G Evans
Basic to all safety is knowledge!
Knowledge of your particular machine, knowledge of your tools and how to use them in the proper manner, knowledge of the inherent dangers of doing your own maintenance.
Solving problems on your bike can give you a huge feeling of satisfaction, but get it wrong and the consequences can be catastrophic!
Before starting out, do your due diligence. Buy the appropriate workshop manual, preferably the official Honda one; failing that the Haynes manuals are good. Beware of the Clymer manuals: mostly they are ok, but they have mistakes scattered through them.
Join the forums! You can find a list of them on the Links page. Huge amounts of knowledge are stored on them.
Ask questions! You will not be the first one to ask the very thing you think is a stupid question. Experts on these forums love to help owners. Your question might just be the one that someone else was too afraid to ask, thus you are helping the community.
Use the 'Get Help' button to ask me for help.
There are no stupid questions in the quest for knowledge.
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