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Discussion Starter #1
First time poster. Can anyone tell me the difference between a 1983 and 1981 GL1100 engine? I am helping a friend swap an 81 engine into his 83 GL1100 Goldwing Standard. I have both motors side by side on the bench and I found a sensor on the lower right side (single wire) of the engine block on the 81 but on the 83, there is a blockout plug in that location.

On the 83, there is 2 wire harness coming out of the right side front of the engine just below the timing cover and above the front engine cover that the oil filter screws into.

What are these sensors and do they perform the same function? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I just found another post that seems to indicate that the wire harness coming out of the 83 on the right side behind the front cover could be the neutral switch. Does this just drive the idiot light? Will the bike run without it? What parts would I need to transfer from the 83 to the 81 to use the neutral switch?

Still trying to identify the sensor onthe right side of the lower block.
 

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the gearing is slightly different
 

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Interesting. I didn't know that. By comparing the schematics, I have determined that both are neutral switches but the 83's also is the overdrive switch. It appears i can swap the front cover and switch from the 83 block onto the 81 and everything should work.
 

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i did the same thing the wires u are talking about are the neutral switch and overdrive lite other than that just gear ratios are different 83 has better highway gears also the way they hold the gears in the block are different the gears will interchange though
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your reply. I finally found schematics and figured out what they were. The motor is in and running but it makes quite a bit of slapping noise when you take off. We are planning on rebuilding the original engine this winter using parts from the 81 engine.
 

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I am doing the same thing right now. I own and 83 naked goldwing GL1100 that I wrecked and then blew the motor on. Well the bolts holding the piston to the crank shift came loose and pretty much messed the whole motor up and now there's a hole in the top of the crankcase on the right side.. So I went and bought an 81 GL1100 fully dressed with a seized motor. What my overall goal is to do is to take everything off of the 81 and put it all on the 83 frame that is in my name. I have to do motor, forks the whole shebang. What problems do you think I will encounter doing this? This is my first actual rebuild and restoration ever.
 
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