Water Pump Replacement on Wing - Nov 2011 - 235,000 miles

Lessons learned and mistakes made ...

1) A Goldwing water pump installed incorrectly the way I did the first time will result in the boot shaft of the water pump not sliding into the slot in the rear of the crank shaft and it can prevent your engine from starting. It did mine. The only sound (symptom) I heard was the clicking because the starter was unable to turn the engine over.

--> The correct way to install the water pump is once the water pump is out rotate the crank shaft until the slot on the end of the crank shaft where the water pump shaft fits into is orientated to the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock position. I did this by opening the timing hole cover and rotating the crank shaft from there. You can use a mirror in front of the hole where the water pump goes into the engine to see how the slot is orientated. Next orientate the water pump shaft to the same 12 and 6 positions and slide it in. Once in and bolts snugged up some you need to verify. Try and rotate the crankshaft from the timing hole to verify it’s not binding and can turn. If it turns without binding that will mean the water pump shaft is in the slot and is rotating along with the crank shaft. This is where I initially screwed up. I did not do this verification the first time.

2) If you suspect the water pump is bad on your Wing or that your coolant leak is coming from the water pump you need to check the Weep Hole in the water pump. Unfortunately, the only way to view the Weep Hole on the water pump is to remove the water pump from the bike. You can’t view that weep hole when the water pump is in place attached to the engine. When I pulled my old water pump out and looked at the Weep Hole it was easy to see a little trail of green coolant had been leaking out of it. You could see that it leaked and created a trail of coolant down along the back side of the engine case.

3) I think the Service Manual says you have to do both but I found that you do NOT have to remove both the Starter and the Alternator in order to get the Water Pump out. It will come out with just the Alternator out of the way.
(There was another thread on that as well I found that helped). If you have Fred’s DVD you can follow to get down to the point where you have the top shelter off, seat removed, coolant drained, reservoir removed and gas tank out. From there you can take out the Alternator and then have enough room to extract the Water Pump after removing the 3 attached hoses.

4) I learned that it’s easier to rotate the crank shaft when the spark plugs have been removed. I also learned where the spark plugs were and how to get to them

5) I learned how the Starter Relay Switches “A” and “B” work and where they are located behind the left saddle bag.

6) I learned about a great product called Q-bond. I used it to fix part of a missing plastic tab that holds one of the screws that secures part of the top shelter. I had a tab broken off and with this stuff you can fill the gap in. Great stuff.

7) I learned that the Water Pump for the Wing is much cheaper if purchased through Direct Line Parts. The parts department at my Honda Dealer wanted $230 dollars for one. Got mine (yes both of them) from Direct line parts for $170 dollars each.

8) I learned there is no substitute for having the right tools and knowing how to use them. Otherwise you run to the store constantly and buy what you need when you need it. Not fun. Also don’t try and learn how to use a new tool when it matters most. One of those clicky torque wrenches got me … with that busted bolt. Had never used one like that before.

9) Never underestimate Wingers and their capacity and generosity for helping a fellow Wingers.

10) I learned how to change the Air Filter (while waiting for parts)

11) I learned how to change the final drive oil (while waiting for parts)

12) I learned that I appreciate my bike so much more now that I’ve worked on it myself

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