How to service your air compressor dessicant


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
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WingAdmin
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How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:49 am



The pneumatic suspension system on the Goldwing allows the rider to adjust the ride of the motorcycle easily based on the weight the bike is carrying, utilizing an air compressor to pump air into the front and rear shocks. This system works very well.

One of the problems with using compressed air however is moisture. Water vapor is present in the air when it is sucked into the air compressor - and the more hot and humid the environment, the more moisture is sucked into the system. The higher the temperature of the air, the more moisture it can hold. When the compressor compresses the air, the air is heated up, which means it can hold even more moisture. When this air is pumped into the suspension, it cools off, and the moisture condenses out of it - leaving water inside the suspension. This can cause corrosion.

The way Honda mitigated this problem is by putting an air dryer in between the compressor and the suspension. This air dryer is filled with a dessicant, which adsorbs the moisture from the air. The dessicant is a silica gel - the same sort of thing you see in little packets inside new product packaging. However, at some point it will become saturated, and incapable of adsorbing any more moisture. At this point, it has to be restored. This is something that should be done every year or two, depending on how often the motorcycle is ridden (and how often the suspension level is adjusted).

1. Open the false tank compartment and manipulate the compressor/dryer assembly to allow access to the hoses. Remove the banjo bolt fastening the hose on the left side of the control panel (1983 model is different). Be careful not to lose the O-ring between the banjo bolt and the control panel.

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2. Remove the banjo bolt fastening the hose to the left side of the dryer. Again, be careful not to lose the O-ring between the banjo bolt and the dryer.

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3. Disconnect the wire harness for the compressor.

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4. Remove the compressor/dryer assembly from the motorcycle.

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5. Unfasten the rubber tabs holding the top cover to the bottom cover surrounding the compressor and dryer. Pull the top rubber cover back to expose the compressor (on the left of the picture) and the dryer (on the right of the picture).

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6. Lift the dryer and identify the cap. Remove the three screws fastening the cap in place. Be careful as you do this - there is a spring inside that will lift the cap as you remove the screws, so hold the cap in place until all three screws are removed.

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7. Remove the dryer cap, and the spring, and set them aside.

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8. Remove the retainer plate and set it aside.

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9. Remove the packing and set it aside.

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10. Once the packing is removed, you will be looking at the dessicant beads inside the dryer.

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11. Line an oven pan with clean aluminum foil, and pour all of the dessicant beads onto the foil. Ensure all of the beads come out of the dryer.

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12. Spread out the dessicant beads evenly on the foil.

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13. Bake the beads in the oven at 350 degrees. When the beads are saturated with moisture, they will appear pink and red.

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14. After approximately five minutes, the beads will turn blue. This indicates that the moisture has been removed from the beads.

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15. Remove the beads from the oven and allow them to cool off for a minute or two.

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16. Lift the sides of the foil to gather the beads.

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17. Use a clean spoon or funnel to pour the beads back into the dryer.

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18. Replace the packing and retainer plate in the dryer.

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19. Replace the spring in the dryer, and carefully push the retainer plate down, compressing the beads.

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20. Position the dryer end cap in place, compressing the spring, and replace the three screws.

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21. Place the dryer back into the rubber housing, and refasten the rubber housing top in place.

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22. Place the compressor/dryer assembly back into the false tank and reconnect the compressor wiring connector.

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23. Reinstall the banjo bolt on the dryer fitting, making sure the O-ring is place. The O-ring should be lubricated slightly with oil, and the shaft of the banjo bolt should fit between the tabs on the dryer, to prevent it from rotating.

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24. Reinstall the banjo bolt on the control panel, making sure the O-ring is in place. The O-ring should be lubricated slightly with oil.

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25. Close the false tank, switch the ignition on, and repressurize the front and rear suspension to the correct pressures.



MIKEB13US
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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby MIKEB13US » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:35 am

This is a great how-to ..I think this is a very simple and effective way to save some cash..and parts... :D
Life is like a Coin;
You can spend it anyway you wish,
But, you can spend it only once...............
MICHAEL BERRY

clanphear
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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby clanphear » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:02 am

Very good article, pictures, and "how-to". Thank you for sharing that with us. I had no idea it needed to be serviced.

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chiritc
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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby chiritc » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:44 am

Yesterday my Dad followed this procedure as you indicated.

Regards.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:44 pm

Glad to hear we could help. In the humidity of Costa Rica, you'd probably want to do this at least every couple of years, if not every year - depending on how much you use your compressor.

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elopezchacon
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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby elopezchacon » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:02 pm

Yes Sir, I will have it on mind.

Thank you.
Efraín López Sr: 1982 Honda Goldwing GL1100A Aspencade

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby tech1 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:03 pm

I preformed this yesterday . Worked great! I'm doing off season repairs and prep. I believe I'll do it every winter, It didn't take much time.
Anyone have suggestions or advise for resealing front forks?
Joe

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby gordonv » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:11 pm

Only thing missing, is that there is a site glass to view the inside and see what color the desicant is. I just added a used compressor to my bike (original was removed) and it was white. I was waiting for it to go tan, but I see from your baking that it should have a blue tinge to it.

I also see that the red ones never did change back to a blue, but just darkend up. There was still a lot of white ones that went to a nice blue.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby Roy Kirkby » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:22 am

I have only had my bike for a year and did not know this existed, now I do and will do this as soon as the weather warms up (-23C) thanks will be very helpfull

commasa
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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby commasa » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:14 am

Harbor frieght also sells 2lbs. of desiccant for around $5 if you ever need some.
http://www.harborfreight.com/22-lb-sili ... 97924.html

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby gordonv » Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:15 pm

Not a bad idea for 25+ year old dessicant, replace it.

Currently on sale for $3.77 , it would just matter what shipping is and if you needed anything else to combine to it to make it more worth your will.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby macka » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:23 am

Gord,

Where is it on sale?

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby macka » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:35 am

Just an FYI the blue dessicant has a compound called cobalt chloride which is a carcinogen. Just replace them with the orange indicating type, which is carcinogen free.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby gordonv » Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:08 pm

macka wrote:Gord,

Where is it on sale?


That was a reply to the post above, which was for HF. When I looked (date of post) it was on sale.

I like the post below yours. If you are going to do something with it, then why not just change to a better one.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby loveshaze » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:56 am

A really nice idea. I appreciate it much !

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby eton » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:44 am

Wow wingadmin thanks for sharing this here with all the pictures. I had no idea that the moisture could cause corrosion. I will definitely try to remove the moisture from the beads. I have another question: Would it also be possible to dry the beads with a hairdryer or an air compressor? I will try it because I will rent an air compressor over the weekend. I am excited if this will also work. Will let you know.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby littlebeaver » Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:57 am

I wonder if the moisture of the beads can be pulled out if you placed the beads in a sock and tied a knot in it and run it in the clothes dryer for a spell...Would that work? :D

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby NKYWinger » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:36 am

Just did this one - was quick and easy to do. GREAT write up with detailed pics!
Prob'ly should be an annual maintenance item for most of us...

besides, it gave me the chance to detail the compressor area, so when I open the shelter lid, I won't dirt and grime any more... always sumthin'....
--John--

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:49 am

littlebeaver wrote:I wonder if the moisture of the beads can be pulled out if you placed the beads in a sock and tied a knot in it and run it in the clothes dryer for a spell...Would that work? :D


It might...but there's a good chance that your clothes would smell of fork oil for the next while after being laundered....

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:11 pm

For those who would prefer to just replace the dessicant beads rather than risking their wife's wrath for drying them in the oven, Cyclemax now carries Honda OEM dessicant beads on their web site, at a very cheap price.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby ram11397 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:10 pm

Just did this step by step it was easy something that had me so scared .........lol Was wondering how often should this be done?

Rick
Rick
1982 GL 1100 Aspencade

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby WingAdmin » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:48 am

It depends on how often you use it, how humid the air is when you use it...basically, whenever the little balls turn pink, it's time to do it again. Every couple of years would probably be more than enough.

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby seagreen13 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:42 am

As indicated the 83 is different. I am having issues with my 83 air system. Actually I believe some of the hoses are mixed up or something. The air compressor runs but it does not fill my forks, both front and rear suspension up. We had taken it apart when doing some other service to the bike and I must have crossed the tubes. I'm at a loss here.

Is there a diagram that I may follow for this? The air lines going to the front and rear suspension as well as where they are connected to the mount under the actuator. (Increase/Decrease/Front/Back/dial)

If that makes sense?

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby Oldbear » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:34 pm

Check off another job done. Thanks for a great write up and who knew that this was something that needed to be done...
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

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Re: How to service your air compressor dessicant

Postby Razz1 » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:59 am

This is an excellent thread. Did it today with the microwave set on low.

I hope is solve my problem with my air shocks.


Pump works and pushes air but the shock don't fill. Tried the the auxiliary hose in the trunk and air comes out but very little. The air pressure from the pump it'self was allot greater.

So I think the dryer was clogged with moisture.

1998 1500SE




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