How to rebuild your front forks


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:31 pm



The forks in a motorcycle are pretty much the worst designed suspension system available in a vehicle today - apart from the "springer" front end, perhaps. However...they are the only option available. People have tried creating front swingarms, inboard suspension, and other inventions, but nothing works as well or is as relatively simple as the telescopic fork suspension.

On our rear suspension, the swingarm and its pivot bearings bear the brunt of longitudinal (acceleration, deceleration, hitting a pothole, etc.) and lateral (cornering, wind gusts) forces. The rear shocks have one job only: to provide support and damping for the suspension. The only forces the shocks see are direct up-and-down.

The front suspension is completely different. Our front forks not only have to provide support and damping, they have to handle every other force we throw at them - and by far braking is the most brutal force. Under heavy braking, the front forks must be able to handle in excess of a thousand pounds of longitudinal force, while at the same time easily sliding up and down to absorb bumps - and to provide the suspension required against the diving force created by the braking. So it's really a miracle that the forks work as well as they do.

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The above image is the basic layout of our front suspension system. Inside the forks are a set of one or more springs that provide the support to hold the bike up and cushion against impacts. The upper, or fixed forks, are a set of smooth, chrome-plated cylinders that slide up and down inside of the lower forks, or hydraulic chambers. The forks are filled with a thick oil. This oil is forced through small holes when the fork is compressed. This limits the speed at which the fork can be compressed, and also the speed at which the spring can expand the fork. This is called damping.

There are also bushings in the fork. These are teflon-coated sliders inside the fork that allow the fork to handle very strong forces and yet still slide up and down. Lastly, at the top of it all is an oil seal, whose job is to keep the oil inside the fork.

Over time, the bushings wear out, as do the oil seals - particularly if the chrome fork tubes are dirty, which cause accelerated wear. When this happens, you will start to see evidence of oil on the outside of the fork, as seen here:

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You will need:

- A Honda oil seal/dust cap kit, one kit for each fork, available from Cyclemax: Fork Seal Kit
- A Honda slider bushing and a guide bushing, one set for each fork, both available from Cyclemax: Front Fork Bushing
- Fork oil, one liter

Here are the Honda part numbers:

Dust Cap/Oil Seal set: 51490-MN8-305
Slider Bushing: 51415-KCR-003
Guide Bushing: 51414-KCR-003

1. To begin, the procedure, the motorcycle needs to be lifted so that the front wheel is in the air. To do this, I use a motorcycle lift, positioned so that it is lifting the motorcycle frame. If you don't have a motorcycle lift, you can leave the motorcycle on the center stand and put a standard automotive trolley jack under the engine block, near the front of the bike. This will lift the front wheel into the air. Be careful when working with the bike this way, as it is not as stable as it normally is!

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2. Lifting a heavy bike like a Goldwing with a bike lift can make it somewhat wobbly and unstable. For safety's sake, always strap down your bike when it is on a bike lift.

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3. When lifting the bike on the lift, it can become slightly unstable in the longitudinal axis. Once the bike is lifted, I slide some pieces of wood under the rear wheel, then gently lower the bike until the rear wheel touches the wood. This stabilizes the bike and keeps it from rocking from end to end while you work.

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4. Once the bike is lifted, the front wheel will be several inches in the air.

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5. Pull the rear of the front fender cover to release the post from its grommet. Carefully release the two tabs from the front of the cover (next to the fork) - these tabs are easily broken, so be careful! Remove the cover. Repeat on the other side of the wheel.

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6. Remove the allen bolt holding the top of the wheel cover. You may have aftermarket accessories such as the wiring and light bracket shown in this picture. If that is the case, keep in mind how they fasten, so that you can refasten them when reassembling.

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7. Remove the two allen bolts from the bottom of the wheel cover.

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8. Note that the two allen bolts on the bottom of the wheel cover have a collar - don't lose the collar!

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9. Remove the wheel cover. Repeat the process on the other side of the wheel.

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10. Note the brake line stabilization bracket that goes on top of the wheel cover. The top allen bolt goes through both of these brackets, then through the wheel cover, then screws into the fork. There are two brackets on each side, and both of them are stamped "L" or "R" to identify which side of the wheel they are from. The two brackets on each side link together at the back, go around the brake line, and then go together at the front, where they are fastened, along with the wheel cover, into the fork. The inside bracket has a small flange that fits into the hole in the plastic rotor cover.

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11. Remove the lower allen bolt holding the brake caliper bracket to the anti-dive piston.

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12. Remove the upper caliper bracket bolt.

Helpful note: When removing the left caliper, remove the LOWER bolt first, then the upper bolt. On the right caliper, remove the UPPER bolt first, then the lower bolt. When installing, do the reverse. This prevents the calipers from rotating when trying to remove/install them.

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13. Pull each caliper back off the brake rotor, and then away from the wheel. Once the calipers have been removed from the wheel, do NOT depress either the brake lever or brake pedal, as this will move the pistons out, and you will not be able to fit the calipers back over the brake rotors.

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14. Using a bungee, rope or wire, hang the caliper so that it is not suspended using the brake line.

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15. Using a Philips screwdriver, remove the screw holding the speedometer cable into the speedometer drive.

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16. Pull the speedometer cable rearward out of the speedometer drive.

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17. Remove the two allen bolts holding the plastic fork protector in place.

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18. Remove the fork protector. This protector helps keep dirt off the forks, to prolong the life the oil seal.

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19. Using a 22mm socket, loosen the axle bolt on the right side of the wheel.

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20. Remove the axle bolt from the axle.

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21. Loosen the axle pinch bolts on both sides of the wheel.

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22. Remove the axle pinch bolts and the rotor cover brackets.

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23. Looking at the right side of the wheel, you can see the end of the axle now that the axle bolt has been removed. This axle needs to be pushed out the left side of the wheel. Using a socket extension or small piece of pipe is a simple way of pushing the axle out. You should use something that is smaller than the opening, but larger than the axle itself, so that it will push on the end of the axle, and not damage the threads inside.

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24. A couple strikes with a hammer will push the axle through the right fork leg.

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25. Once the axle has been pushed a couple of inches, it will easily pull out, releasing the wheel. If there is resistance, it is the weight of the wheel itself binding the axle. Lift the wheel slightly while pulling the axle out.

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26. Set the axle down where it will not get dirty, and roll the wheel out from between the forks.

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27. Pull the spacer free from the left hub of the wheel. Pull it free, so that it can be cleaned. Now is a good time to check the wheel bearings. They should turn smoothly, with no lateral play.

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28. The speedometer drive is press-fitted into the right hub of the wheel - pull it free, so that it can be cleaned.

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29. Roll the wheel free of the forks. NEVER lay the wheel down on the brake rotor - this can damage the rotors, and they are very expensive to replace. To set the wheel aside, lean it up against a wall so that only the rubber tire touches both the wall and the ground. Or, set a couple 4x4 blocks of wood on the floor at approximately the diameter of the wheel, and set the tire down on the blocks, so that the brake rotor goes between them.

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30. Remove the four bolts fastening the two forks to the fender. In this picture the bike has a SuperBrace installed - your bike may or may not have a fork brace (this is an aftermarket item).

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31. If you have a fork brace, pull it upward to remove, as in this picture.

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32. The bracket on the inside of the fenders may fall free, or you may have to pull it out, depending on how dirty the insides of the fenders are. This bracket is where the four bolts from the forks (or fork brace) screw into.

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33. Remove the 10mm bolts from either side of the forks. Support the rear of the fender while doing this.

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34. Gently remove the rear of the fender.

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35. Remove the 10mm bolts from the front of the forks. Support the front of the fender while doing this.

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36. Gently remove the front of the fender.

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37. You will now have the two forks hanging, unsupported.

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38. Put a drain pan under the forks to catch the fork oil.

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39. Note that once the forks are unsupported, they can rotate (relatively) freely. The only thing that keeps them aligned with one another is the brace and the axle.

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Note: For those who are using a portion of this article to simply drain and refill their fork oil without rebuilding their forks, the fork oil can be drained without removing the axle or wheel:



40. Using a hex driver, push it up into the bottom of the fork.

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41. Inside the fork as shown is the drain screw. Push the driver into the drain screw and remove the drain screw.

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42. If the fork rotates, preventing you from removing the drain screw, push the axle through the left fork, and partially into the right fork. This will prevent the right fork from rotating while you unscrew the drain screw.

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43. Once removed, the fork will begin to drain.

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44. The same technique can be used for the left fork. Insert the axle partially into the INSIDE of the fork, and brace it against the front of the left fork while unscrewing the drain screw.

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45. This bike had regular fork oil in the right fork (see above) and automotive ATF (automatic transmission fluid), which is red, in the left fork. ATF is an acceptable substitute for fork oil.

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46. The drain screws have copper crush washers used to ensure a seal. If the copper washer is not there, make sure it isn't still stuck up in the fork. Honda specifies that these washers should be replaced at every fork oil change - but the only place I have found these washers to be available is from Honda, and I rarely actually change them.

Leave the drain screws out, and allow the forks to drain.

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47. Remove the handlebar bridge by gently lifting the back posts from the rubber grommets, then gently pulling the front tabs free.

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48. Remove the inner fairing covers by starting with the tabs at the back, then working around to the front.

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49. Gently pull each cover free and set aside.

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50. Unscrew the fork cap covers and set aside.

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51. If you have an SE, you will have a schraeder valve in the top of your fork. Aspencades have a female hex fitting instead.

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52. Using a deep socket, remove the schraeder valve.

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53. Using a wrench, loosen each of the pinch bolts on the top of the triple tree.

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54. Using a hex driver, loosen both hex bolts on each fork.

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55. Pull the fork down and free of the bike.

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56. Set the forks down somewhere clean - remember, you don't want any dirt or grit on those fork tubes!

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57. Next, we are going to remove the springs from the fork. This step can be dangerous, as there is a tremendous amount of force with the springs compressed inside. Do NOT attempt to remove the fork cap without a tool of some kind. Several things will happen: The cap's threads will let go when it is ALMOST out, tearing out the threads on the cap and/or the fork tube, the cap will shoot across the room with great force, and lastly you can be seriously injured.

Many people have manufactured their own fork spring removal tools using pieces of wood and threaded rod. I decided that I do this often enough that I would spring for the actual Honda tool. It works on several different models of Honda motorcycles (including all Goldwings) and is a quality (if not overpriced) tool. I bought mine for $138 from Cyclemax. The part number of the tool is: 07KMF-MT20300

If you visit the Cyclemax OEM Parts section and type in the part number of the tool, it will come up with the item and price.

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58. The tool has a reversible driver on the end of the threaded rod, which can be reversed by pulling it off the rod and pushing it back on the way you require.

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59. For SE's, install the driver with the large end down, as shown in the picture. For Aspencades, reverse the driver so the small end is down.

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60. Place the tool over the top of the fork tube so that the very top of the tube is even with the bottom of the tool's opening. Tighten the pinch bolt.

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61. Wind the threaded rod downward making sure that the driver is lined up with the fork cap.

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62. After it is engaged, continue winding it down until resistance is felt. Do not tighten.

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63. Use a wrench to turn the driver, which loosens the fork cap.

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64. After each 1/4 turn of the driver, loosen the threaded rod slightly. The idea is that the threaded rod of the tool will maintain the pressure against the spring, so that the threads of the cap and in the tube are not under any pressure as it is removed.

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65. At this point, the cap's threads are no longer engaged, and the threaded rod can be wound back to relieve the spring's pressure.

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66. Continue to wind the threaded rod out until all pressure is released from the spring.

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67. Once pressure is released, loosen the pinch bolt on the tool and remove the tool from the fork. You can see how much the spring was compressed into the fork!

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68. The threads on the fork cap are quite fine, and had it been unscrewed without the tool, the tremendous pressure from the spring would have torn the last couple threads out as it was unscrewed. Note the O-ring on the fork cap to maintain a seal.

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69. Pull the spring from the fork tube and set it aside somewhere where it will not get dirty. Some bikes will have multiple springs with spacers and washers. If this is the case with your bike, take note of which order they come out, so that you can reassemble them in the same way. Or better yet, replace the springs with a set of Progressive fork springs, which will improve the ride of your bike immeasurably!

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70. Using a screwdriver, very gently pry up the dust cap on the top of the lower fork.

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71. Pull the dust cap up and off the fork tube. Discard the dust cap.

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72. Looking down the top of the fork, you will be able to see the locking ring. This is what prevents the oil seal from being pushed out of the fork. It sits inside a slot on the inside of the fork tube.

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73. Using a small screwdriver, very carefully hook one of the indentations of the locking ring near the end, and pull it up and out of the fork. Be VERY CAREFUL when doing this not to scratch the fork tube! Any scratches on the fork tube will quickly cause oil seal failure once reassembled. If you're worried, you can try using a plastic pick or other plastic tool for this step.

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74. Pull the locking ring up and off the fork. Keep this item, as it will be reinstalled.

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75. While holding the fork lower securely, slam the fork tube vigorously up and out of the fork lower several times. You will see it start to drive the oil seal out of the fork.

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76. Here the oil seal has been driven out of the fork lower.

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77. Pull the entire fork tube out of the fork lower. This is what you will see, in the correct order. Gently pull everything except for the slider bushing up and off the fork tube.

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78. With a screwdriver, gently pry apart the slider bushing. It is very thin, and not hard to pry apart.

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79. While spread, pull the bushing off the bottom of the fork tube.

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80. Another view of the parts as removed from the fork tube. Before installing new parts, clean the fork tube of any foreign material (brake cleaner works well for this) and wipe it completely clean. Next, coat it with a layer of fork oil.

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81. Here are the old bushings from this fork. Note how the guide bushing is worn, and the teflon is worn and scratched on the slider bushing.

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82. In comparison, here are the new bushings.

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83. Lightly coat the new slider bushing and the fork tube with fork oil, and very gently slip it over the end of the fork into the slots in which it fits. Coat the new guide bushing with fork oil and slide it down the length of the fork tube next to the slider bushing.

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84. Looking closely, the back-up ring is chamfered on one side - the edges on one side are rounded (chamfered), while the edges on the other side are much sharper. Slide the back-up ring down the fork tube with the chamfered side toward the slider bushing and the sharper side toward the oil seal.

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85. Looking at the oil seal, it is tough to tell which is the top and which is the bottom. To help you identify which is which, this is the top of the oil seal, which faces the dust cap.

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86. This is the bottom of the oil seal, which faces down toward the back-up ring. It has a deeper ridge inside it.

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87. Generously coat the fork tube with fork oil. If the top of the fork tube (where the cap screws in) has any burrs, wrap the top in electrical tape before installing the oil seal. Any damage to the inside of the oil seal will cause leaks!

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88. Generously coat the inside of the oil seal with fork oil and slide it onto the fork tube.

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89. Spray out the inside of the lower fork with a solvent to remove any existing used fork oil. Brake cleaner works well. Make sure the top inside of the lower fork is clean, so that the dust cap seals properly.

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90. Pour fork oil down the sides of the lower fork to coat it, as well as wash out any residual solvent.

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91. Carefully insert the fork tube down into the lower fork as far as it will go.

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92. To drive the oil seal into place, I use this Motion Pro Fork Seal Driver - a fantastic tool. However, you can do the same job with an appropriately-sized piece of PVC pipe.

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93. Slam down onto the oil seal to drive it into place.

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94. Carefully insert the lock ring into place, pushing it down until it snaps into its slot.

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95. Coat the inside of the dust cap with fork oil and slide it down the fork tube. Press it into place so that it seals correctly.

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96. Temporarily insert the spring into the fork tube.

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97. Invert the fork and rest it on the spring as shown. This keeps the piston pressed up against the bottom end of the fork so that the drain screw can be inserted.

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98. Insert and tighten the drain screw.

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99. You can partially insert the axle into the fork in order to give you sufficient torque to properly tighten the fork screw.

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100. To fill the forks, I fashioned a sort of dipstick from a piece of wire, and a large syringe. The dipstick should be 239mm for 1988-1994 GL1500's, or 194mm for 1995-2000 GL1500's.('95 +)

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101. With the fork upright and the SPRING REMOVED, push the fork tube down into the fork lower as far as it will go.

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102. Pour fork oil into the tube until it is approximately the correct depth. Slowly pump the fork tube up and down as far as it will go in each direction at least ten times to remove all air from the fork lower.

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103. Using the dipstick, make sure the fork oil reaches exactly the end of the dipstick. If not enough, add oil until it reaches the dipstick. If overfilled, use the syringe to siphon off small amounts of fluid.

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104. Insert the spring (and spacers, if used) into the fork, and place the fork cap on top of the spring.

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105. Place the fork spring tool onto the cap and make sure the driver properly engages the fork cap.

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106. Retract the threaded rod all the way, then compress the spring enough to install the tool onto the tube. Tighten the pinch bolt.

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107. Wind the threaded rod down, compressing the spring, until you feel SLIGHT pressure. At this point, begin using a wrench on the driver to screw the fork cap in place. After every 1/4 turn, screw the threaded rod in slightly, to ensure the spring pressure remains on the threaded rod, and not on the fork cap threads.

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108. Once the cap is fully threaded, remove the fork spring tool. Do not torque the fork cap at this time.

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109. Temporarily install the schraeder valves (finger tight) to prevent leakage during installation.

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110. Push the fork tubes up into the triple tree. The fork caps should be level with the top of the top triple tree. Torque the upper pinch bolts to 8 ft-lb.

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111. Tighten the lower pinch bolts to 40 ft-lb. Now that the pinch bolts are tight, remove the schraeder valve and torque the fork cap to 17 ft-lb.

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112. Reinsert the schraeder valve and snug it (not too) tight.

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113. Reinstall the fork cap covers.

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114. Reinstall the fairing inner covers, starting at the top and working down around the bottom and then the inside.

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115. Reinstall the handlebar bridge, inserting the tabs first, then the posts into their grommets.

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116. Rotate the forks so that they are facing correctly.

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117. Replace the fender front, and bolt it into place.

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118. Replace the fender back, and bolt it into place. Thread the speedometer cable through the hole on the left side of the rear of the fender back.

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119. If you have a fork brace, push it into position now.

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119. Push the fender bracket into place, and hold it in position.

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120. While holding the bracket in place below, tighten the forks (and fork brace, if installed) into place.

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121. Install and tighten the fork protector into place.

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122. A minute or two with some brake cleaner and a shop cloth will remove the dirt and grime from the speedometer drive. Pack the inside of the speedometer drive with grease.

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123. Note that on the inside of the right fork, there is a tab. This tab engages a tab on the speedometer drive, to prevent it from rotating with the wheel.

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124. Here is the tab on the speedometer drive.

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125. When the wheel is reinstalled, the speedometer drive must be rotated so that the two tabs are butted up against one another as shown.

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126. Clean the axle, and coat it with a thin coating of grease.

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127. After cleaning the spacer, reinsert it into the right wheel hub. Pack the dust seal lip with grease.

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128. Coat the speedometer gear drive in the hub with grease, then insert the speedometer gear drive.

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129. Roll the wheel between the forks and push the axle in from the left side. Tap the axle into the fork until it is fully seated.

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130. Rotate the speedometer drive so that its tab is against the fork tab as shown.

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131. Install the rotor cover brackets and pinch bolts. Snug, but do not tighten the pinch bolts on both forks. This is to help prevent the axle from rotating when the axle bolt is tightened.

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132. Insert the axle bolt and thread it in by hand to ensure the threads are not crossed.

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133. Using a torque wrench, tighten the axle bolt to 65 ft-lb. If the axle rotates, preventing the tightening of the axle bolt, insert a screwdriver into the hole that passes through the axle on the left side of the wheel, and use it to prevent the rotating of the axle.

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134. Once the axle bolt is properly torqued, tighten each pinch bolt. Torque the pinch bolts to 16 ft-lb.

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135. Using brake cleaner, fully clean the brake calipers, pads and rotors to remove any grease or oil residue.

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136. The caliper mounting bolts need to have high-temperature brake lubricant applied.

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137. Apply the lubricant to the non-threaded portion of the bolts.

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138. Making sure the brake pads straddle the brake rotor, slide the caliper into place. Start the bolts in by hand, then finish using a torque wrench. The top caliper bolt is torqued to 17 ft-lb, the bottom caliper bolt is torqued to 9 ft-lb. Repeat the process with the other caliper.

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139. The speedometer cable has a slotted end that rotates within the cable.

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140. The speedometer drive has a flat drive that rotates with the front wheel.

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141. Rotate the front wheel so that the drive rotates and properly engages the slot in the cable. Push the cable fully into the drive until the bottom screw retainer butts up against the drive.

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142. Replace and snug the screw in the speedometer drive. This screw is tough to get exactly right - too tight, and the plastic screw retainer will split, causing the cable to back out of the drive when under way. Not tight enough, and the screw will back out and fall out, causing the cable to back out of the drive when under way. I used blue Loctite on this screw to encourage it to remain within the drive, without having to tighten it too much. Don't use the screw to pull the cable into place - make sure it is fully inserted before you tighten the screw.

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143. Place the two brake line stabilization brackets around the brake line and link them together. Make sure you get the correct brackets on the correct sides.

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144. Fit the wheel cover into place, making sure it fits under the brackets, and that the flange of the back bracket fits into the hole of the wheel cover. The back of the wheel cover also needs to fit into the back of the wheel fender. Screw the top bolt into place, but do not tighten.

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145. Replace the two bottom bolts - don't forget to use their collars. Tighten these bolts, then tighten the top bolt.

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146. Fit the two tabs at the front of the front fender cover into the back of the front fender, then push the rear of the front fender cover into place, inserting its post into its grommet.

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Any time you work on brakes, wheels, suspension or any other safety-critical system, it is beholden upon you to TEST RIDE thoroughly at slow speed in a controlled area, to ensure that everything is working correctly.



User avatar
liquineer
Posts: 245
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:28 pm
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500 Panther Trike

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby liquineer » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:10 pm

That sure is a lot of stuff to take off and put back on. Approximately how long did it take (assuming you were not taking photo's normally)
Again very clear pictures and instructions, thanks for this- won't need it yet, but like all the other "How To" articles, It will be helpful someday. I have printed all the articles and keep the copies in a ring binder for future reference.
Are we having fun yet?

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WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:05 pm

liquineer wrote:That sure is a lot of stuff to take off and put back on. Approximately how long did it take (assuming you were not taking photo's normally)
Again very clear pictures and instructions, thanks for this- won't need it yet, but like all the other "How To" articles, It will be helpful someday. I have printed all the articles and keep the copies in a ring binder for future reference.


It's hard to say - I was actually doing several procedures at once, which weren't represented in this pictorial. So...I'd say, if I was JUST doing the front forks, and not taking pictures, I could probably have it done in two hours or so.

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Fiberthree
Posts: 447
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Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Fiberthree » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:28 am

Are you running the progressive springs and if so, do they have a specific top or bottom orientation? You also said that they will greatly improve your ride. What difference did you or will you notice?
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:42 pm

Fiberthree wrote:Are you running the progressive springs and if so, do they have a specific top or bottom orientation? You also said that they will greatly improve your ride. What difference did you or will you notice?


I installed progressive springs as part of this process (if you look closely, you'll see the old springs I took out look different than the springs I put in). Progressive says it doesn't matter which way you put the springs in, but they will make a bit less noise if you put them in with the more tightly-wound springs down at the bottom.

Everyone I've ever heard that put these springs in their front end professes that it improves handling greatly. I'll know more once I get the chance to try them out!

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Fiberthree
Posts: 447
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:06 pm
Location: Behind the windshield
Motorcycle: Black 1999 GL1500SE

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Fiberthree » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:58 pm

WingAdmin wrote:...Everyone I've ever heard that put these springs in their front end professes that it improves handling greatly...



I know how that goes. It seem like they are trying to justify the purchace. There was a discussion on another board in regards to a specific brand of oil where one rider claimed his bike had more horsepower after he switched to this cetain brand. It would be interesting to hear back from you about the springs. I value your opinion primarily because your DIY articles are easily understood by beginers and show that you have a keen knowledge of the Goldwing.
Ed

WARNING: All posts are subject to influence from an uncontrollable dominant sarcastic gene. Offensive remarks may or may not be intentional.

User avatar
WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:23 pm

Fiberthree wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:...Everyone I've ever heard that put these springs in their front end professes that it improves handling greatly...



I know how that goes. It seem like they are trying to justify the purchace. There was a discussion on another board in regards to a specific brand of oil where one rider claimed his bike had more horsepower after he switched to this cetain brand. It would be interesting to hear back from you about the springs. I value your opinion primarily because your DIY articles are easily understood by beginers and show that you have a keen knowledge of the Goldwing.


I'm not keen on spending money just to say I have something new, but I've read enough positive comments (and not a single negative) to get me to spend the $78. I'm also putting a set of Progressive shocks on the rear, simply because I put a set on my 1100 when I had one of the originals fail, and the difference (improvement) was so eye-popping that I can't think that it will have at least a similar effect on my 1500.

Thorgot
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:22 pm
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Thorgot » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:02 pm

Forgive me if this is a silly question.
When you reinstall the schrader valves, do you need to add air? If not, what is the point of the schrader valves?
This is an excellent how to article and I appreciate how much effort you put into all of them.
Thank you.

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WingAdmin
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1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:15 pm

Thorgot wrote:Forgive me if this is a silly question.
When you reinstall the schrader valves, do you need to add air? If not, what is the point of the schrader valves?
This is an excellent how to article and I appreciate how much effort you put into all of them.
Thank you.


The schraeder valves are for adding air, and it is covered in your owners manual. It depends on the load you are carrying. It is only a few PSI, so you will want to use a very low volume bicycle pump or similar to pump it up, to avoid the risk of blowing out the seals. When checking the air pressure, remember that with such a small volume of air, losing a tiny bit when checking the pressure can and will alter the actual pressure in the forks.

That said, if you are installing Progressive springs, as I did here, they recommend that with their springs installed, you run the forks at 0 psi (no pressure), and that's what I run mine at.

mt 01 mark
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Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: mt 01, dl 1000, r100rt,

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby mt 01 mark » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:44 pm

Just read your article on rebuilding front forks, and really enjoyed it. Well written and informative. I just bought 2 1982 wings- 1 interstate, and 1 aspencade, and think (hope) the process will be similar (I'm making 1 bike out of 2). The wing isn't my normal type of ride, but here in BC a collector plate means insurance for 10% of normal cost, my kid's working/ living in L.A. and the wing's a great bike to boot down for a visit (and I don't have to worry so much about parking at hotels with a 30 year old wing). If you ever need a break from winter weather, come visit me in Victoria (we got no snow this year at all, and I really needn't have bothered blowing out the sprinkler system). My daily rides are: 1000 V-strom (going on the block soon), and an MT 01 Yamaha (a torque monster designed as a sport bike for old farts who no longer want to hump a football).

Thanks again for the timely (in my case) article, it's much appreciated,

mt 01 mark

Chiefho70
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Location: Holland, Ohio
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100A

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Chiefho70 » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:43 am

I have a 1983 GL1100A for the most part will this tutorial work for that bike or are there some major differences I should be aware of.

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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:40 pm

Chiefho70 wrote:I have a 1983 GL1100A for the most part will this tutorial work for that bike or are there some major differences I should be aware of.


For the most part, it's the same. The fork legs come out of the triple tree the same way, they come apart virtually the same way.

Dogsled
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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Dogsled » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:40 pm

EXCELLENT, details where needed and the explanations along with the pictures were short and on the money.
"Fight until hell freezes over, then fight on the ice"

Thorgot
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Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I Interstate

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Thorgot » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:16 pm

I just followed this procedure for my 1983 Interstate and it turned out great.
I purchased the special tool for removing the fork caps. My tubes area 39 mm and the tool was a bit loose so I used a section of bicycle inner tube to take up the slack and that worked fine.

I used Racetech springs and cartridge emulators to replace the worn out springs. I also put Progressive 412 Heavy Duty rear shocks on to replace the original air shocks which were shot.

The positive difference in handling was stunning. I feel so much safer when braking and the ride quality is unbelievable!

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keith3po
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ST1100W 1998

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby keith3po » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:12 am

Hi are the seals and bush's the same size for all years? I have seen them advertised for all years and then some adverts have them for specific years.
GL1500L 1990 ST1100W 1998

EyeMTweek
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Motorcycle: 1992 gl1500SE

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby EyeMTweek » Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:27 pm

Awesome! Very detailed. And I was going to use the tech manual. Ha!. Not now. Thanks.

Trace Wallace
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Location: Ringwood, Ok
Motorcycle: 1998 GL1500 Aspencade

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Trace Wallace » Sun Apr 06, 2014 4:22 pm

In your DIY about rebuilding the front forks, you didn't look in to the anti-dive units. Wouldn't this require overhaul while your there. I am in the process of rebuilding the forks on my Wing Ding.

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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:39 pm

Trace Wallace wrote:In your DIY about rebuilding the front forks, you didn't look in to the anti-dive units. Wouldn't this require overhaul while your there. I am in the process of rebuilding the forks on my Wing Ding.


I didn't rebuild my anti-dive units, you're correct. Mine are operating correctly, so I didn't feel the need to tear them open (however I did open and inspect one just to be sure) - that said, I may do so in the future.

worstje
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Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby worstje » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:02 am

Awesome tutorial you got there, very helpful.
At the moment, I'm demounting the front forks of my Goldwing GL1200 Interstate out of 1986. Do you have any clue how long the oil dipstick should be?

worstje
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Motorcycle: 1986 GL1200 Interstate

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby worstje » Sat Apr 19, 2014 2:24 pm

Okay, I just went to my local dealer to buy some new oil seals, and asked how much oil they should contain. For a GL1200 out of '86 you should add 35CL, or 350ML oil into the forks.

Anyways, thanks for making this topic, it helped me out a lot.

ecarmichael
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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby ecarmichael » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:51 pm

Thanks for an awesome how-to. If I didn't know better, I would think that you have written tech orders for the Air Force. I really appreciated the detail provided, felt like I had done the task several times before because of that detail.

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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby wingpilot08 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:21 pm

I just started the process of doing my forks.(http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=24304 )..just removed the forks from the bike and was planning to take to a shop and hand them off (not having the proper tool). Another member showed his homemade tool made from 2x4's and threaded rod....so I have decided to try this approach.
5681616053_8eb405365b_z.jpg

This looks simple enough and should save a substansial amount of cash..not having to give it to a shop. But otherwise I will be following the DYI for the forks!!
08' GL1800-HPNA - Red 24,000+ miles
1988 Bunkhouse Trailer/Camper
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Evilrick
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200A Aspencade
1977 750K (hot rod), still miss it sometimes.
650 Trump. 450 CB, 400 Suzi dirt & street, 2 or 3 360 Enduro Yamaha's, 400 TM Yamaha (dirt only), 350 Kaw, 125 Enduro Yamaha, even had an 106 Allstate when I was real young, Sears sold them about 50 yrs ago. Do I really need to list the rest?
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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Evilrick » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:33 pm

The left fork seal started leaking on my (new to me) 84 1200A Aspy. I have had the tubes apart on dirt bikes but never on anything this big. So I read this post (and the clymer manual) to get an idea of the work involved. Looks about the same except for the tube caps. You show a tool for them and even give the part# and that you got it from Cyclemax. I tried to find the tool several times using the part # on Cyclemax website, but couldn't.
I called a Honda shop close to me and they said they have the parts so I went to get them, of course, they only had the seals and the lower bushings, they also showed that the upper tubes have 2 bushings on them, I looked in the clymer manual and it also shows 2 bushings on the tube, so I ordered them. While there I ask about a tool for the cap bolt and they didn't know what I was talking about. They said they just put pressure on their socket wrench when removing/replacing the bolt, the Clymer book said about the same. Now I'm not sure which way to go. I sure don't want to damage the threads. HELP !!!
These Honda dealers must really hate that these things last so long. The guys at the shop kept asking me if I really wanted to spend money on a 30 yr old bike. He said, "It's 30 yrs old, how much are you going to ride it?" I told him I just bought it. It had 53000 mi on it when I got it and now it has 56000 mi, and I hope to be riding it for a long time. He just mumbled something under his breath and rang up the parts.
No matter where you go, there you are. It's not the destination that matters. Getting there safe does.

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Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:02 pm

Evilrick wrote:The left fork seal started leaking on my (new to me) 84 1200A Aspy. I have had the tubes apart on dirt bikes but never on anything this big. So I read this post (and the clymer manual) to get an idea of the work involved. Looks about the same except for the tube caps. You show a tool for them and even give the part# and that you got it from Cyclemax. I tried to find the tool several times using the part # on Cyclemax website, but couldn't.
I called a Honda shop close to me and they said they have the parts so I went to get them, of course, they only had the seals and the lower bushings, they also showed that the upper tubes have 2 bushings on them, I looked in the clymer manual and it also shows 2 bushings on the tube, so I ordered them. While there I ask about a tool for the cap bolt and they didn't know what I was talking about. They said they just put pressure on their socket wrench when removing/replacing the bolt, the Clymer book said about the same. Now I'm not sure which way to go. I sure don't want to damage the threads. HELP !!!
These Honda dealers must really hate that these things last so long. The guys at the shop kept asking me if I really wanted to spend money on a 30 yr old bike. He said, "It's 30 yrs old, how much are you going to ride it?" I told him I just bought it. It had 53000 mi on it when I got it and now it has 56000 mi, and I hope to be riding it for a long time. He just mumbled something under his breath and rang up the parts.


I haven't removed the fork caps on a 1200, so I can't say if you can or cannot remove the caps by hand. I know on the 1800 they are under considerably less pressure, and can be easily removed by hand. The caps on a 1500 are under tremendous pressure and definitely need a tool to remove them.

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Evilrick
Posts: 57
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Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200A Aspencade
1977 750K (hot rod), still miss it sometimes.
650 Trump. 450 CB, 400 Suzi dirt & street, 2 or 3 360 Enduro Yamaha's, 400 TM Yamaha (dirt only), 350 Kaw, 125 Enduro Yamaha, even had an 106 Allstate when I was real young, Sears sold them about 50 yrs ago. Do I really need to list the rest?
Contact:

Re: How to rebuild your front forks

Postby Evilrick » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:34 am

Evilrick wrote:The left fork seal started leaking on my (new to me) 84 1200A Aspy. I have had the tubes apart on dirt bikes but never on anything this big. So I read this post (and the clymer manual) to get an idea of the work involved. Looks about the same except for the tube caps. You show a tool for them and even give the part# and that you got it from Cyclemax. I tried to find the tool several times using the part # on Cyclemax website, but couldn't.
I called a Honda shop close to me and they said they have the parts so I went to get them, of course, they only had the seals and the lower bushings, they also showed that the upper tubes have 2 bushings on them, I looked in the clymer manual and it also shows 2 bushings on the tube, so I ordered them. While there I ask about a tool for the cap bolt and they didn't know what I was talking about. They said they just put pressure on their socket wrench when removing/replacing the bolt, the Clymer book said about the same. Now I'm not sure which way to go. I sure don't want to damage the threads. HELP !!!
These Honda dealers must really hate that these things last so long. The guys at the shop kept asking me if I really wanted to spend money on a 30 yr old bike. He said, "It's 30 yrs old, how much are you going to ride it?" I told him I just bought it. It had 53000 mi on it when I got it and now it has 56000 mi, and I hope to be riding it for a long time. He just mumbled something under his breath and rang up the parts.



Update on my 1200 front forks..
So I got all the parts and tools together for the rebuild of the forks including the new springs. Since I was doing this in a friends garage, and he has projects that he needs the garage for, I had only the weekend to get this done. My main concern was the springs. I went with the manual and used only a ratchet & socket for the cap screw, no special tools. While they do have a lot of pressure on them, they came out without problems. No problems getting the tubes apart. That's when things went bad. Not with the forks or tubes, the problem was the Honda shop gave me the wrong bushings. Not even close, measured everything with a dial caliper just to make sure they wouldn't fit.
As I said, my friend needed his garage so I couldn't wait for new parts to get ordered and sent to me. Took a long look at the old bushings, looked very good (the coatings looked almost as smooth as on the new bushings decided to put it back together, (not much choice). So the fork rebuild ended up as just a seal and spring replacement. I've ridden the bike about 30 miles (coming home) and so far everything looks OK, outside of the tubes are dry of oil and the bike has a new feel, (solid).
Next project = getting my money back from Honda for the bushings that I couldn't use because they are the wrong ones. Will probably be harder than changing the seals. Hopefully these photos will speed up the process.
Attachments
The original slider bushing, and the new (useless to me) one
The original slider bushing, and the new (useless to me) one
The original tube bushings (2 separate bushings)
The original tube bushings (2 separate bushings)


No matter where you go, there you are. It's not the destination that matters. Getting there safe does.


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