How to remove and replace your rear shocks


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
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How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:24 am



Rear shocks on the motorcycle perform three functions:

  • The internal springs support the weight of the motorcycle
  • The shock dampers limit the speed that the wheel can move up and down, keeping the wheel on the road instead of it bouncing into the air
  • The shock dampers dampen the natural resonance of the springs, so that the motorcycle doesn't bounce up and down repeatedly after hitting a bump

The shock dampers work by having fluid inside them. When the shock is compressed, the fluid is forced through a small orifice. This limits how quickly the shock can be compressed. On the Goldwing, the shock preload can also be adjusted. This helps adjust the amount of pressure exerted by the spring by pressurizing the shock with air, to adjust for different loads being carried.

The shocks require internal seals to contain the fluid and air, and as a result occasionally need rebuilding or replacing. One of the shocks on my Goldwing had started to leak fluid, always a good indication that a seal has failed. However, upon inspection, I discovered that there were actually two different shocks on my bike - so instead of rebuilding them, I decided to replace them with a pair of Progressive 416 air shocks.

Before starting, if you have saddle bags, you will need to remove your saddle (pannier) bags. For instructions on this, see:

How to remove and replace your saddle (pannier) bags

Also, you will need to remove both side panels, and if you have an air pressure system, use it to remove all air pressure from the rear shocks.

1. If you have a trunk, unlock the two locks at the rear holding the trunk in place.

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2. Lift the back of the trunk slightly, and pull it to the rear to remove it from the frame, leaving the trunk frame exposed.

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3. If you have an antenna, unbolt the antenna bracket from the trunk frame. You don't need to disconnect the antenna, it just needs to be removed from the frame.

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4. Looking underneath the rear fender, you will find two long bolts fastening the fender and the frame together. Remove both bolts.

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5. Locate the wiring leading to the tail/brake light and turn signal connectors.

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6. This is the connector you are looking for.

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7. Disconnect this connector and pull the harness free from underneath the frame crossmember.

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8. Move the wiring to the back, out of the way.

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9. Use a socket wrench to loosen the acorn nut holding the top of the left shock in place.

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10. Remove the acorn nut and washer.

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11. Pull the rear trunk rack frame off of the top shock mount stud, and pull it to the rear of the bike. Then pull the left rear crash bar off of that same stud, and gently move it forward to allow the shock to come off the stud.

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12. Remove the bolt fastening the bottom of the left shock to the swingarm. Pull the bottom of the shock out of the saddlemount on the swingarm, then pull the top of the shock off of the mounting stud.

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13. Now that the shock is free of the bike, the air fittings are accessible. It is possible - but extremely difficult - to remove the air fittings while the shock is still on the bike, so I recommend you do it after the shock is free. Be careful not to pull or damage the rubber air hoses too much.

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14. Holding the fitting closest to the shock in place with a wrench, loosen the hose end of the fitting slightly. This fitting acts as a jam nut to prevent the main fitting from backing off.

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15. Now that the hose end of the fitting is loose, use a wrench to remove the fitting from the shock.

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16. The shock is now free of the bike and can be removed. You can see that this shock is leaking fluid rather badly, as the shock boot is covered in oil.

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17. You can use a standard tire valve cap on the shock fitting to keep the oil from leaking out when you set it down.

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18. If you have aftermarket shocks, the fitting might not be mounted directly to the shock, and instead fitted with a separate air hose. The same procedure applies - loosen the hose end of the fitting first...

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19. ...and once loosened, remove the hose fitting. In this case, a second wrench is being used to hold the shock side of the fitting in place.

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20. Remove the upper and lower acorn nuts and washers from the right shock. Pull the rear trunk rack frame off the upper mounting stud, and then gently pull the right rear crash bar up and off the stud. Pull the old shock off of the mounting studs. Unlike the left shock, the right shock is mounted with two studs - the upper one on the frame, and the lower one on the final drive. If the shock is tightly stuck to the studs, you may need to wiggle it back and forth a bit to convince it to come off.

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21. This is one of the new shocks I will be installing - an aftermarket Progressive 416. These shocks are far better than the original OEM shocks, give a better, smoother ride, and can handle a higher load.

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22. The Progressive shocks come with several sets of bushings, for different applications. We will be using only one of them - the thickest one, which will be inserted into the rubber bushing in the bottom of the left shock.

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23. Push the metal busing into the rubber bushing in the bottom of the shock. You may find it easier to insert if you lubricate it slightly first.

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24. Use some solvent to clean all of the mounting studs, and lubricate them lightly with some light oil.

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25. Place one of the washers included with the Progressive kit onto the mounting stud.

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26. If you are reinstalling your original OEM shocks, you would at this point reconnect the air fittings. However, being that the Progressive shocks have the fittings on the rear of the shock body, making it easy to connect after they are installed, we can do that later in the process. Gently push the top of the left shock onto its stud.

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27. If it is difficult to get onto the fitting, you can use a socket and a hammer to lightly tap it into place. Make sure the socket is large enough that it touches only the metal portion of the shock mount point, not the rubber bushing inside it! Leave the bottom of the left shock disconnected for now.

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28. Place a washer over top of the shock.

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31. Move the crash bar back onto the stud, followed by the rear trunk frame, and finally the original washer and acorn nut.

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32. Snug the acorn nut so that the washer flange fits into the frame, but don't tighten it at this point.

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33. Clean and lubricate the right bottom mounting stud on the final drive as well as the top mounting stud.

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34. Place a washer on the upper stud.

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35. Push the top of the shock onto the top stud, followed by another washer, just like the left side. Pull the right rear crash bar up over the stud, followed by the rear trunk frame, and snug the acorn nut with its washer, all like you did on the left side.

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36. Chances are, the bottom of the right shock will not be turned correctly to fit onto the stud.

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37. Use a socket extension to gently rotate the bottom shock fitting to line up with the stud.

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38. You may need to use a piece of wood under the rear wheel to lift the swingarm into place so that the rear shock will fit onto the bottom stud on the final drive case.

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39. Fit a washer onto the bottom right stud, then push the shock onto the stud.

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40. Follow this with another washer, and the acorn nut with its split washer.

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41. The bottom of the left shock should be close to lining up with its saddle fitting at this point.

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42. Use a socket extension to gently center the left bottom shock bushing with the mounting hole.

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43. Insert and tighten the bolt. Now tighten ALL four shock bolts to 25 ft-lbs.

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44. Installing the air lines for the Progressive 416 shocks is relatively simple - but the fittings and lines are plastic, and will break if they are torqued. Hand tighten all fittings only!

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45. Progressive states that you need a special adapter kit in order to connect the Progressive shocks to the existing air hoses, and you can buy this extra kit and do it this way if you wish. However, you can just as easily remove all the rubber hoses and plumb the Progressive shocks directly into the three-way valve without having to purchase the kit. To do this, disconnect the rubber hoses from the three-way valve on the right side, just behind the rear brake master cylinder. Note: If you do not have the on-board air compressor, and pressurize your shocks manually, you may have to use the Progressive kit.

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46. Here is a close-up look at the three-way valve.

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47. Disconnect the air hoses from the distributor at the top (if installed) and remove the hoses from the bike.

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48. Using the Progressive-supplied plastic air line, fit the threaded connector, the compression fitting, followed by two rubber washers onto the line. Leave approximately 2mm of line sticking out the end.

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49. Lubricate the rubber washers with ATF or light oil, and insert the assembly firmly into one of the three-way valve fittings.

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50. Hand-tighten the threaded connector onto the fitting. Cut a second line and fasten it to the other three-way valve fitting. Progressive supplies about four times as much plastic line as you will need, so don't worry about making a mistake - leave the lines long, you can trim them later.

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51. Route the air lines up through the same rubber bushings as the old rubber hoses used to run. They need to be kept tidy, so that they cannot rub against the rear tire.

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52. Route the air lines through the clip on the top of the fender.

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53. Cut each air line to fit, and terminate them with the same threaded connector, compression fitting and two lubricated rubber washers. Fasten each line to one shock. Make sure the air lines are routed neatly with no sharp turns, and won't rub or snag on anything.

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51. Using the compressor, pressurize the rear shocks.

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52. Spray soapy water on all of the fittings to check for leaks. Any leaks will cause bubbles to grow.

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53. Route and reconnect all disconnected wiring.

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54. Reinstall the antenna, then reinstall the trunk.

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colemadad
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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby colemadad » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:55 am

I probably could have done this job with just the instructions in the box but this pictorial gave me extra confidence going into the job. I have an '83 Interstate (no on board air compressor) and I ordered the adapter kit which included new inlets for the 3 way valve - these were necessary because the new line connectors would not have turned onto the too-short originals. Due to the cautions about dirt getting into the system and causing problems I was fussy about clearning the 3 way (with some brake cleaner on a rag) before I took things apart. Also, when I have the originals lines disconnected from the 3 way, I gave the system a little burst of air from my compressor and again after the new lines were connected to the 3 way (but not to the shocks) just to make sure the system was clear. I'm happy with the feel of the bike with the new shocks and will likely round out the suspension upgrade by adding the Progressive fork springs next winter. Happy riding!

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:29 am

There seems to be several versions of the rear air system in these bikes. Some have this splitter at the top of the rear fender, like mine:

Image

...and some don't. I had an email from someone who couldn't find this on his 82 Aspencade, and was wondering about it. Then he looked at a friend's bike, and that bike had it there.

My bike was able to hook the Progressive fittings directly into the three-way fitting (behind the rear brake master cylinder) without using the Progressive adapter kit at all. Others have had to use the Progressive adapter kit.

I ordered the adapter kit, and ended up not using it - so perhaps that is the safest way to go if you're planning this. The kit is around $15, so not a tremendous amount of money.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby florida_ump » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:43 am

Wing. I am trying to check and refill the fluid on my 83 Aspy. I am curious as how to get the fluid in. I have used a syringe and even tried to use the air hose submerged in a bottle of ATF and actuate the shock to draw the fluid in. Neither seems to get enough fluid in and the shock is spongy even thought the gauge shows proper pressure. Any suggestions? Thanks

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:29 am

florida_ump wrote:Wing. I am trying to check and refill the fluid on my 83 Aspy. I am curious as how to get the fluid in. I have used a syringe and even tried to use the air hose submerged in a bottle of ATF and actuate the shock to draw the fluid in. Neither seems to get enough fluid in and the shock is spongy even thought the gauge shows proper pressure. Any suggestions? Thanks


Use a syringe at the air port, and have a friend compress the rear suspension up and down. Every time the suspension decompresses (he lets up on the back end), give the syringe a squeeze. The shock will suck fluid in as it decompresses. It takes a bit of coordination, but it can be done in two or three compression cycles.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby florida_ump » Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:14 am

How much fluid does each shock take? Should i fill until the fluid is full when shock is compressed, or is their a specific amount? Thanks.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:17 pm

florida_ump wrote:How much fluid does each shock take? Should i fill until the fluid is full when shock is compressed, or is their a specific amount? Thanks.


For OEM GL1100 rear shocks, it is 12.5 oz of fluid in each shock.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby st1100boy » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:48 pm

Does anyone see a problem with running a 13.5 or 14 inch Progressive 416 rather than the official 13 inch version?

Even though I rarely have a passenger or a heavy load in the bags, a little more cornering clearance would be nice. Is this a crazy idea? :?:

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:36 pm

st1100boy wrote:Does anyone see a problem with running a 13.5 or 14 inch Progressive 416 rather than the official 13 inch version?

Even though I rarely have a passenger or a heavy load in the bags, a little more cornering clearance would be nice. Is this a crazy idea? :?:


Keep in mind it will do more than alter your ground clearance. It will also change the angle of your front forks, which alters the amount of trail (caster), which will make the front end more squirrely and subject to speed wobble.

st1100boy
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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby st1100boy » Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:10 am

The stability question was my only real concern. I know that GL1100s can be a little hairy at high speed and I wouldn't want to risk making that any worse. Probably should just play it safe and stay with the stock length.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby yhert82 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:14 am

I picked up a 1100A aspencade , and when I drove it home I noticed the pressure was at 60 psi and I was hiting botom on the larger pumps .What could be wrong ? Or what should I be looking for? The bike is a 82 and it only has 33.000 + on it.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:38 am

60 psi for the rear shocks is too high. The highest it should ever be is 58 psi. If you're at 60 psi, and still bottoming out, then you've got a problem - likely your springs are worn out and need to be replaced.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby ram11397 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:56 am

Hi
Question i am just about to change my shocks i am not the most mechanical guy but i find the how to's great in the first couple of pictures you say remove to long bolts to separated fender from frame why? and latter on you never mention it again.

Rick
Rick
1982 GL 1100 Aspencade

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby ram11397 » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:04 pm

OK figured it out lol
Rick
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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby stevo7108 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:22 pm

I rebuilt the stock ones that came on my GL1100I, since I didn't have $800.00 handy for aftermarket shocks. Cost me $35.00 and lot of time.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby figdog » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:27 am

Wingadmin, how did you fit the 416 supplied hose and threaded connector onto the threeway T valve on the bike? the threaded connectors supplied with my 416 shocks were 7/16 I believe, and the t valve studs require a 10mm 1.25 threaded connector. The supplied connectors seem to only thread onto the inlet ports on the shocks, but are too large to thread onto the 10mm outlet studs behind the rear master brake cylinder.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:56 pm

figdog wrote:Wingadmin, how did you fit the 416 supplied hose and threaded connector onto the threeway T valve on the bike? the threaded connectors supplied with my 416 shocks were 7/16 I believe, and the t valve studs require a 10mm 1.25 threaded connector. The supplied connectors seem to only thread onto the inlet ports on the shocks, but are too large to thread onto the 10mm outlet studs behind the rear master brake cylinder.


You may need the Progressive air line adapter kit, their part number is 30-5082, you can see it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Progressive-Suspe ... ingdocs-20

For whatever reason, just about everywhere I look online this has a picture of a kit including black plastic air line, but it does NOT include this (to my memory) - but you shouldn't need it, as you should already have this.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby kajunmisfitt » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:36 am

Hello,
I am replacing OEM shock for OEM shocks, What I am wondering is how do I know if there is enough oil in the shock or what kind of oil do I replace it with.
The problem I am having is there is "no" leakage that I can see either from outside or on the ground. The bike seems to hold air but when my son or other passage are riding with me when I turn a corner it bottoms out. I am holding 57-60 psi on the back and 12-17 psi on front. So I have decided to just replace it all together. what I thought about doing is taking one side off at a time then replacing it as I get the side done, NOT TAKING BOTH SHOCK OFF THEN REPLACING THE OLD WITH NEW AFTER THEIR BOTH OFF.
Also what I am going thru I was told might be the reason I can not get off my bike from the left side without the bike wanting to tip over on the right. Someone told me it is due to shock not having the right amount of pressure in them, front and back.
I am wondering will I contaminate the oil when the hose is disconnected from the chock or from the compressor underneath. Thanks for your help !!! God Speed

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:37 am

There should be no oil in that hose - there might be, but the intention is that only air goes in and out of that hose.

More than likely if your shocks are sagging like that, the cause is worn out springs, not leaking shocks. You can rebuild them and try to pump them up to a pressure that compensates for the worn springs, but chances are that you will still bottom out.

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks part 2

Postby kajunmisfitt » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:31 pm

If it is the springs. Where am I to find them. I am assuming that they are inside the shock. If it still bottoms out then I guess I replace with another "new" shock. If they are inside of the casing. Please let me know thanks

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks part 2

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:40 pm

kajunmisfitt wrote:If it is the springs. Where am I to find them. I am assuming that they are inside the shock. If it still bottoms out then I guess I replace with another "new" shock. If they are inside of the casing. Please let me know thanks


Yes, the springs are inside, the shock must be disassembled to get to (and replace) them.

Rear shock springs removed
Rear shock springs removed

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aznyaz
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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby aznyaz » Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:48 am

I'm in the midst of a rear wheel removal due to a leaking final drive. In the course of this work I've discovered little bits of information and discrepancies in parts identification.

The particular question I have here is regarding the right rear lower shock mount. For as long as I've had my bike, this mount has consisted of a deteriorated rubber bushing within the lower shock sleeve. This bushing slid directly over the stud on the final drive. Now, every photo I've seen shows a metal sleeve inside the rubber bushing that rode on the stud, but when I look to the parts manual and other supplier's sites I can't seem to find anything that indicates this sleeve exists. There is one for the left lower shock mount, but i'ts too small to work correctly on the right lower mount. So, what I have is a new rubber bushing that will fit tightly over the stud with out a metal sleeve. Additionally, this DIY doesn't seem to show any kind of sleeve either.

Looking for info.

Thanks.

MJ

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aznyaz
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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby aznyaz » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:11 am

PS, I did order the part identified as COLLAR, RR. SHOCK, item #16, part #52486-463-000 but it is too small to fit over the stud on the final drive.

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Robmanda1
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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby Robmanda1 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:00 am

Jumping into this project today. Great posts! I am replacing my OEM rear shocks with the Progressive 412s. Given these new shocks are NOT air shocks, what should I do with rear air suspension system? Its pretty clear that system needs to remain clean, that said, what would be the proper way to plug the system? Are the OEMs worth rebuilding for later use? I've had issues with bottoming out and figured the 412s would solve this problem but would like to salvage the OEMs if possible. Please advise.

Thank You,
Rob

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Re: How to remove and replace your rear shocks

Postby Wilcoy02 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 12:59 pm

HERE IS A DIY on rebuilding the rear shocks. The parts needed is in the last of the thread.

http://classicgoldwings.com/forum/viewt ... =11&t=9712




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