How to install the GL1500 shifter brace


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:05 pm



Goldwingdocs user peppilepew came up with an idea for a product that solves a long standing problem - the GL1500 shifter.

The GL1500 shifter shaft comes out of the transmission, poking through an oil seal that keeps the oil inside the engine. From there it connects to a lever which offsets it for about an inch, where it connects to another shaft, which pokes out for about another five or six inches. At the end of this long shaft is where the shifter arm actually connects, and that's what you step on. A horrible design!

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As you would expect, the end result is that all the leverage on the shifter shaft that occurs from people stomping on the shifter eventually wears out the oil seal - and sometimes the bearings inside the transmission. The oil seal is a bear to change, but the bearings require engine removal and splitting the case - a very costly and time-consuming procedure.

peppilepew came up with a better way: a pivoting brace that fastens to the end of the shift shaft, right next to the shifter arm, that supports the far end. This takes all the strain off the shaft, and allows the shifter to move only in the way it is supposed to move. This is what he came up with (and patented!):

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Carved precisely out of a solid aluminum billet with a CNC machine, this very precisely designed and manufactured item does exactly what it is designed to do. The pivot itself has a teflon-coated bushing inserted into it, for many years of problem-free shifting. It works amazingly well, as you can see.





The whole installation process took me about 90 minutes, including stopping to take pictures along the way. If you are installing this shifter brace, chances are you are going to need to also replace your shifter oil seal - and you definitely want to do that at the same time. For more on replacing this seal, see How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

1. Remove the pinch bolt from the shifter arm. This bolt must be removed in order to remove the shifter arm - loosening it is not enough!

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2. Pull the shifter arm free of the splined shifter shaft.

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3. Carefully remove the left side cover. Start by pulling the bottom front post free from its grommet. Next pull the bottom rear post free. Pull the bottom slightly toward you - but not too far, or you risk snapping off the remaining post! Pull the cover free from the metal post at the top front, then gently work the top rear post free of its grommet, and pull the side cover away.

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4. Pull the front engine cover free of its grommet. Pull the cover to the rear to disengage its locking tab, the pull it away from the bike.

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5. To remove the fairing front cover, press inward at the center of the top of the cover. This will expose the posts seated in the grommets at the top corners.

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6. Gently pull the top corners away, one at a time, to unseat the posts from their grommets.

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7. Once both posts are unseated, remove the front cover.

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8. Remove the screws from each side of the under cover.

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9. Remove the center screw from the under cover, then pull the under cover free.

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10. Remove the three acorn nuts from the bottom of the exhaust shield.

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11. Remove the bolt holding the front of the exhaust shield in place, immediately behind the front crash bar mount point.

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12. Remove the bolt holding the rear of the exhaust shield in place.

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13. On the bottom of the exhaust shield, there are very thin metal washers, two on each stud, holding the exhaust shield in place. Remove each of these. It is impossible to remove these without bending and creasing them - try to keep from destroying them as much as possible. They can be flattened and reused during reassembly.

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14. Pull the exhaust shield free of the studs, and remove the exhaust shield. If you have foot warmers as shown in this picture, they can remain connected.

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15. As you can see the shifter shaft is quite long, and filthy.

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16. And unfortunately for me, I was a bit too late doing this job: my shifter oil seal has failed, and as a result I have oil leaking all over the place. Once I replace this seal, I don't expect to have to do it again, thanks to the shifter brace.

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17. Clean the grime and grease off the shifter shaft. I used brake cleaner, and it worked very well.

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18. Use fine sandpaper to polish any surface rust away. I started with 400 grit paper.

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19. I then moved to 600 grit, and then 1500 grit, for a smooth polish.

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20. Remove the crash bar mounting bolt. If there is any welding spatter, dirt or inconsistencies on the crash bar mounting plate, they must be removed. Welding spatter from the manufacturing process will need to be filed down. The face of the mounting bracket must be perfectly flat, to prevent the brace from binding (remember, it has extremely tight tolerances).

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21. Make sure the pinch bolt is loose. Orient the shifter brace as shown, and gently slide it onto the shift shaft. The tolerances are extremely tight - you may need to gently push a flat blade screwdriver into the pinch opening to allow the brace to slide onto the shaft. Align the hole in the upper part of the brace with the hole on the crash guard.

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22. Insert the supplied allen bolt and fender washer through the upper brace and into the crash bar mounting point. Rotate the upper brace clockwise as far as it will go, and tighten the bolt. Pull the lower part of the bracket outward on the shaft, to make sure it is fully seated in the upper part of the bracket.

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23. Temporarily install the shift lever onto the shift shaft. Shift upward and downward several times until free play is felt. If a screwdriver was used in the slot, remove it at this point.

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24. Tighten the pinch bolt. This may be easier said than done, as there is virtually no clearance between it and the exhaust pipe next to it.

**Note: The new version of the brace now being sold has the pinch bolt coming in from the right side instead of the left, so this is no longer an issue.

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25. The method I used was to insert a 5mm hex bit into the bolt...

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26. And then use a wrench to rotate the bit. The bolt does not need to be tightened very much. I think I may end up using some Loctite on this bolt, but it will need to be high-temperature Loctite, as it lives right next to the exhaust pipes.

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27. If the shifter arm was removed, temporarily reinstall it, start the bike, and test the shifter. Make sure the foot lever returns on its own to the middle position - it should spring back normally, not be hung up with any kind of friction. There should be a small amount of free play - if there is not, loosen and readjust the upper brace bolt.

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28. The tunnel on the inside of the exhaust shield needs to be trimmed in order to fit around the new brace. This is a bit of a trial-and-error procedure, and can be done with a Dremel-type tool, or tin snips. I used tin snips - using a grinder or Dremel tool will heat up the metal quickly, and can damage the paint on the piece.

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29. To make the "trial and error" procedure easier, I unpinned the rubber cover on one side by pushing the rubber pins through from the back side. This allowed me access to see inside and determine what needed to be trimmed. Careful with this rubber - a replacement piece is $30 from Honda! (part number 18322-MN5-000)

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30. Carefully cut away the tunnel as shown.

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31. This is what I determined needed to be cut away in order to fit my installation.

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32. Another view of my trimming.

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33. I did a quick coat of Rustoleum spray paint on the cut pieces to cover up the exposed metal area and prevent rusting.

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34. Reinstall the exhaust heat shield, the metal washers and acorn nuts.

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35. Install and tighten the rear heat shield bolt.

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36. Install and tighten the front heat shield bolt.

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37. Lift the under cover into place.

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38. Insert the center screw to hold the under cover in place.

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39. Ensure the posts at the front, on the bottom of the lower cowls fit into the holes on the top of the under cover (visible at the front edge where the lower cowl and under cover meet) - on both sides! Once the posts are in place, replace and tighten the screws on either side.

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40. Make sure the tabs at the bottom of the front cover fit behind the ridge of the under cover, and that the tab on the bottom center of the front cover fits into the slot in the under cover. Align the front cover, then press the posts on either side into their respective grommets.

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41. Push the engine cover's tab into its slot, then push it into its grommet.

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42. Replace the side cover, starting at the top, then pushing the lower posts into their grommets.

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43. Place the shift lever back onto the splined end of the shift shaft. Make sure the triangle on the shift lever lines up with the dot on the end of the shift shaft. Reinstall the shift lever pinch bolt.

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44. Tighten the shift lever pinch bolt.

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Once the shifter brace is installed, it would be prudent to do some test rides to ensure the shifter mechanism operates correctly, and is not binding.



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BUBBACAYMAN
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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby BUBBACAYMAN » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Thanks for the How To especially the pictures and step by step. I should receive mine today and will install it
this weekend. Did you replace your shifter oil seal, if so a How To with pics would be great.

Will let you know the outcome of how long it takes the OLD MAN to do the install. :)

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 22, 2013 3:28 pm

BUBBACAYMAN wrote:Thanks for the How To especially the pictures and step by step. I should receive mine today and will install it
this weekend. Did you replace your shifter oil seal, if so a How To with pics would be great.

Will let you know the outcome of how long it takes the OLD MAN to do the install. :)


I only discovered my oil seal once I got in there to put the brace on, so I have one ordered. I'll take pictures when I do it.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby Mack » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:53 pm

That's a great looking design. Where can I purchase this brace?

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:01 am

Mack wrote:That's a great looking design. Where can I purchase this brace?


Right here: http://cyclemax.com/inc/sdetail/gl1500_ ... 037/200181

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby JDEWALRUS » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:47 pm

Would like to print this HOW TO so I could have it at my work site (bike). Is this possible ?

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby cbx4evr » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:34 pm

You can print web pages the same way you would print anythng else. Another option is saving it as a PDF.
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby JDEWALRUS » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:01 pm

Thank you for the fantastic HOW TO. I've been having problem with missed shifts & not being able to find neutral. I just happened across this HOW TO so I' buying the needed parts and starting the project. Need to have HOW TO on changing seals. Thanks again.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby cbx4evr » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:48 pm

JDEWALRUS wrote:Need to have HOW TO on changing seals. Thanks again.



If you mean for the shifter oil seal you will find that here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=19833
"It´s a friggen motorcycle, it´s not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you s**t your pants every now and then. "

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby Keef » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:06 am

Ok got it, just wanted to know HOW much metal to cut away. Not every little bitty step. Thanks every body,
And yes, it works great!!!!

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby ftmoore992003 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:22 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
BUBBACAYMAN wrote:Thanks for the How To especially the pictures and step by step. I should receive mine today and will install it
this weekend. Did you replace your shifter oil seal, if so a How To with pics would be great.

Will let you know the outcome of how long it takes the OLD MAN to do the install. :)


I only discovered my oil seal once I got in there to put the brace on, so I have one ordered. I'll take pictures when I do it.

I noticed on the video after the brace was installed, that the shaft or spindal was moving worse than before the repair. What am I missing?

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:05 am

ftmoore992003 wrote:I noticed on the video after the brace was installed, that the shaft or spindal was moving worse than before the repair. What am I missing?


I'm not sure what you're seeing in the video, but that's definitely not true - the shaft was flopping around a fair amount before the brace was installed, and it was rock solid after the brace was installed. You might be seeing the shift pedal moving a bit, as it was not fully tightened when I was testing.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby spiralout » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:42 am

ftmoore992003 wrote:I noticed on the video after the brace was installed, that the shaft or spindal was moving worse than before the repair. What am I missing?

This is what I thought I was seeing, too. I'm not familiar with the 1500 shifter, so checked the parts fiche and saw that the center of rotation isn't the center of the shaft. It's offset towards the front. http://www.westernhonda.com/fiche_section_detail.asp?section=2502920&category=Motorcycles&make=Honda&year=1996&fveh=132033
The shaft shown in the vid (that the shifter clamps to) isn't the shift shaft at all, it's just an offset extension. The brace is stopping all the lateral freeplay and still allowing the extension shaft to move up and down to rotate the actual shift shaft. It all makes sense now! I think...

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby spiralout » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:26 am

spiralout wrote:This is what I thought I was seeing, too. I'm not familiar with the 1500 shifter, so checked the parts fiche and saw that the center of rotation isn't the center of the shaft. It's offset towards the front. http://www.westernhonda.com/fiche_section_detail.asp?section=2502920&category=Motorcycles&make=Honda&year=1996&fveh=132033
The shaft shown in the vid (that the shifter clamps to) isn't the shift shaft at all, it's just an offset extension. The brace is stopping all the lateral freeplay and still allowing the extension shaft to move up and down to rotate the actual shift shaft. It all makes sense now! I think...

Instead of all that, I guess I could have just read WingAdmin's OP. He kind of explained it :oops: :oops: :oops:

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:59 am

Correct. The extension, part number 2 in the diagram, is what fastens onto the shifter spline that comes out of the engine. On the left part of it, you can see the small extension. The main shaft of the extension then travels in a bit of an arc, rather than just rotating in place like you would expect it to. This is to thread the shifter shaft out through the exhaust manifold - and to me, looks like bad design on Honda's part!

GL1500 Shifter Diagram
GL1500 Shifter Diagram


The shifter pedal fastens onto the end of that long shaft. The force created by constant stomping down on the pedal is multiplied by the leverage of that long shaft, and is applied to the shift shaft. This causes it to move around, making the seal fail.

The shifter brace attaches to the outer end of the extension. The brace's pivot allows the braced end to travel in the exact same arc as the shaft, with its pivot position in line with the shifter shaft coming out of the engine. This means that extension is now secured at both ends, and completely removes the leverage and bending forces applied to the engine shift shaft, and ultimately the oil seal.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby peppilepew » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:45 pm

I have done an installation video to hopefully help those that have more questions.




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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby ftmoore992003 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:17 pm

peppilepew wrote:I have done an installation video to hopefully help those that have more questions.




I'm sorry, I don't mean to be negative, but all I see is the shifter rod moving back and forth and up and down. I haven't seen the shaft itself turn or revolve when you shift to higher gears or lower gears. I hope I haven't spent $125 and it still wallers around.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:10 pm

ftmoore992003 wrote:
peppilepew wrote:I have done an installation video to hopefully help those that have more questions.




I'm sorry, I don't mean to be negative, but all I see is the shifter rod moving back and forth and up and down. I haven't seen the shaft itself turn or revolve when you shift to higher gears or lower gears. I hope I haven't spent $125 and it still wallers around.


My shifter had quite a bit of slop - and this device definitely fixed that issue. The shifter is tight and precise now. If yours is still slopping around, something is not right.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby peppilepew » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:16 pm

ftmoore992003 wrote:
peppilepew wrote:I have done an installation video to hopefully help those that have more questions.




I'm sorry, I don't mean to be negative, but all I see is the shifter rod moving back and forth and up and down. I haven't seen the shaft itself turn or revolve when you shift to higher gears or lower gears. I hope I haven't spent $125 and it still wallers around.


If you are unhappy with your purchase, return it to whom you purchased it from for a full refund. This pivot makes the shifter function better than new. Guaranteed!

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby Chickenlegs » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:52 pm

I am also mounting the shifter brace. I did notice my engine guard mounting tabs were a little bent (the bike must have been tipped over on that side) anyway i took it off and strightened them out. I see that the shifter brace is at the mercy of the engine guard mounting tabs (straight and square). When i get to the point of tightening the big allen bolt the shifter brace tends to lift up the shift shaft a very little bit (it does not stay in its relaxed state). My concern is the new seal and at worst the inner bearing. When i test shift it by hand (engine off) it does seem to have a very very small amount of drag (about 5%) springing back. I really can't feel the drag shifting up or down. How perfect does it have to be or should it be ?? Im thinking of putting a shim .002'' - .003'' on the top half of the back side of the mounting block (to angle it down) so the shift shaft stays relaxed when i tighten the big allen bolt. Any thoughts anybody ???

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby peppilepew » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:11 am

Chickenlegs wrote:I am also mounting the shifter brace. I did notice my engine guard mounting tabs were a little bent (the bike must have been tipped over on that side) anyway i took it off and strightened them out. I see that the shifter brace is at the mercy of the engine guard mounting tabs (straight and square). When i get to the point of tightening the big allen bolt the shifter brace tends to lift up the shift shaft a very little bit (it does not stay in its relaxed state). My concern is the new seal and at worst the inner bearing. When i test shift it by hand (engine off) it does seem to have a very very small amount of drag (about 5%) springing back. I really can't feel the drag shifting up or down. How perfect does it have to be or should it be ?? Im thinking of putting a shim .002'' - .003'' on the top half of the back side of the mounting block (to angle it down) so the shift shaft stays relaxed when i tighten the big allen bolt. Any thoughts anybody ???


A shim would help. If you know which side of the engine guard flat needs raising then a center punch to dimple the metal would work. Dimpling will raise the metal very small increments. The pivot should have little to no resistance to movement. It is critical that the shift mechanism return to the neutral position.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:54 am

peppilepew wrote:
Chickenlegs wrote:I am also mounting the shifter brace. I did notice my engine guard mounting tabs were a little bent (the bike must have been tipped over on that side) anyway i took it off and strightened them out. I see that the shifter brace is at the mercy of the engine guard mounting tabs (straight and square). When i get to the point of tightening the big allen bolt the shifter brace tends to lift up the shift shaft a very little bit (it does not stay in its relaxed state). My concern is the new seal and at worst the inner bearing. When i test shift it by hand (engine off) it does seem to have a very very small amount of drag (about 5%) springing back. I really can't feel the drag shifting up or down. How perfect does it have to be or should it be ?? Im thinking of putting a shim .002'' - .003'' on the top half of the back side of the mounting block (to angle it down) so the shift shaft stays relaxed when i tighten the big allen bolt. Any thoughts anybody ???


A shim would help. If you know which side of the engine guard flat needs raising then a center punch to dimple the metal would work. Dimpling will raise the metal very small increments. The pivot should have little to no resistance to movement. It is critical that the shift mechanism return to the neutral position.


I don't know if I would trust dimpling the metal, as over time with vibration and stress, the compression of the fitting would tend to flatten out the dimples.

If the mounting tab is bent enough that the pivot is binding, you need a bevel washer, available pretty much anywhere:


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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby peppilepew » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:20 am

WingAdmin wrote:
peppilepew wrote:
Chickenlegs wrote:I am also mounting the shifter brace. I did notice my engine guard mounting tabs were a little bent (the bike must have been tipped over on that side) anyway i took it off and strightened them out. I see that the shifter brace is at the mercy of the engine guard mounting tabs (straight and square). When i get to the point of tightening the big allen bolt the shifter brace tends to lift up the shift shaft a very little bit (it does not stay in its relaxed state). My concern is the new seal and at worst the inner bearing. When i test shift it by hand (engine off) it does seem to have a very very small amount of drag (about 5%) springing back. I really can't feel the drag shifting up or down. How perfect does it have to be or should it be ?? Im thinking of putting a shim .002'' - .003'' on the top half of the back side of the mounting block (to angle it down) so the shift shaft stays relaxed when i tighten the big allen bolt. Any thoughts anybody ???


A shim would help. If you know which side of the engine guard flat needs raising then a center punch to dimple the metal would work. Dimpling will raise the metal very small increments. The pivot should have little to no resistance to movement. It is critical that the shift mechanism return to the neutral position.


I don't know if I would trust dimpling the metal, as over time with vibration and stress, the compression of the fitting would tend to flatten out the dimples.

If the mounting tab is bent enough that the pivot is binding, you need a bevel washer, available pretty much anywhere:

6GA10_AS01


With time the pivot and bushing will wear in together. Easier to just repair the flat by straightening. This is only the second bike with this problem.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby Chickenlegs » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:44 am

thanks guys, i did straighten the engine gaurd mounting tabs - are they perfect like new ? probably not. Like I said before, it shifts fine and returns fine, but there is that slight drag on the return. I am very picky with stuff like this, I want it perfect. I know when I tighten the big allen bolt it does slightly raise the shift shaft a bit and thats where im getting that slight drag plus it's probably not good for the new seal. The shims are more controlable to add more or less. The heat is on in the shop, I'll post the results.

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Re: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:59 pm

Chickenlegs wrote:thanks guys, i did straighten the engine gaurd mounting tabs - are they perfect like new ? probably not. Like I said before, it shifts fine and returns fine, but there is that slight drag on the return. I am very picky with stuff like this, I want it perfect. I know when I tighten the big allen bolt it does slightly raise the shift shaft a bit and thats where im getting that slight drag plus it's probably not good for the new seal. The shims are more controlable to add more or less. The heat is on in the shop, I'll post the results.


You're right to be picky, there really should be no drag on return, it should come back to center, every time. You REALLY do not want your shifter forks partly engaging, constantly dragging and wearing down - which is what happens if the shifter is not returned to center after shifting.




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