How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
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How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:18 pm



The GL1500 shift mechanism is not a particularly well-designed device, and appears designed by committee. The shift shaft exits the side of the transmission case, directly behind the exhaust manifolds for the left cylinders. A dogleg lever is attached to the splined shaft which moves the shaft by about an inch and a half to the rear, and another, six-inch-long shaft is then welded to this dogleg, and pokes its way between two exhaust manifolds. The end of this shaft is splined, and this is where the foot lever is attached. The end result is a great big lever that you stomp down on with your foot, causing tremendous pressure to be exerted on the bearing inside the case. Over time, this bearing wears, and the shift shaft starts getting some free play. This free play can be mitigated with the use of an aftermarket shift brace, as reviewed here: GL1500 Shifter Brace, and as installed here: How to install the GL1500 shifter brace





Without this brace, this excessive free play eventually wears out the oil seal that surrounds the shift shaft exiting from the transmission case. The end result is an oil leak out the side of your bike, coating the bottom of your engine (and eventually your bike) in oil:

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This seal will need to be replaced. Fortunately, the replacement seal from Honda, part number 91206-286-013, is available for less than $2.00, and will likely be available forever, as Honda uses this same oil seal on the shifter of virtually every motorized conveyance they manufacture up to (but not including) the GL1800. Replacing it is a bit tricky as it is hidden behind those pesky exhaust manifold pipes, but it can be done without tearing the exhaust off the bike if you have a bit of patience.

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. I suggest you pull the drain tubes out of their holder to give you extra clearance. While you're at it, go ahead and drain them. You did know you're supposed to drain these as part of regular maintenance, right?

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17. The pinch bolt holding the dogleg bracket onto the inner splined shaft is just like the one holding the shift lever on the outer splined shaft: it has to be removed completely for the bracket to be pulled free. It's a little tough to get at.

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18. One method to get at it is to use a wobble socket extension.

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19. With a wobble extension, the socket can tilt at the end, allowing you to go in at an angle to the bolt being removed.

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20. A better tool is a universal-joint type extension, which works at any angle.

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21. I temporarily pushed the shift lever back onto the shaft, then propped it up as high as it would go, to help make the bolt face upward more, and aid in its removal.

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22. Fit your tool into the space and remove the pinch bolt. The removal and replacement of this bolt is the toughest part of the entire procedure. It took me about five minutes of work to do.

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23. Make sure you remove the bolt, not just loosen it, or the dogleg bracket will not pull off the shaft.

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24. Pull the outer shaft outward to remove it from the inner splined shaft, and maneuver it free of the bike.

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25. The shaft will be covered in oil and grime.

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26. I used my favorite all-purpose solvent, brake cleaner, to clean the grime away.

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27. For removing the old seal, you'll need a sharp pick or a screw tool as shown. In a pinch, a drywall screw can also be used.

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28. Carefully use the pick to pull the old seal free. Be careful not to nick the aluminum case! In my case, the old seal had already worked its way partway out, which had contributed to the oil leak. If you can't get it free with the pick, screw your tool (or drywall screw) gently into the seal and pull it out.

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29. The seal will easily pull off the shaft.

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30. As you can see, the difference in the opening between the old seal and the new seal is quite significant. The old seal had been worn open by the constant movement of the shift shaft.

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31. Use some brake cleaner to clean the grime away from where the old seal has been removed.

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32. To help guide the insertion of the new seal, use some engine oil to lubricate the shaft and the case.

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33. Also add some oil to the inside and outside edges of the new oil seal, to help it slide into place.

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34. My fingers aren't long enough to reach the seal, so to push the new seal into place, I used the rounded end of a wrench. You don't want to use anything sharp that might damage the new seal!

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35. Gently push the seal over the splined end of the shaft, and into place. On some bikes, you would cover the splined ends with masking tape in order to prevent them from cutting into the seal. However, on the GL1500, the non-splined portion of the shaft where the seal sits is quite a bit larger in diameter than the splined portion, so this isn't a problem.

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36. The seal should go in flat, so if one side starts pushing in farther than the other, make sure you correct it as it pushes in. Push on one side, and then the other, to make sure it is in even and flat.

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37. This new seal is fully seated - a far cry from the condition of the old seal, which had worked its way partially out (shown on the right):

ImageImage

38. Maneuver the dogleg bracket up into the shaft space.

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39. Make sure the split in the pinch bolt is exactly straight up, then push the bracket onto the splined shaft. Before going any further, you should probably temporarily install the foot lever on the end of the outer shaft, to double check that you have the inner bracket installed correctly. Having the inner bracket off by a single spline one way or the other will make a fairly significant difference in shift pedal height, so you want to make sure you get this right before tightening it into place!

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40. An old mechanic's trick: To install a bolt somewhere deep inside an area you can't reach, first put a piece of shop towel in your socket, then push the head of the bolt in on top of the shop towel. It will hold the bolt tightly in place, so that you can maneuver it into position and start tightening it.

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41. Prop up the shifter again to raise the dogleg bracket angle make the pinch bolt installation easier.

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42. Carefully tighten the pinch bolt. It would be easy to cross thread this bolt being that you're coming in from an angle, and are somewhat removed from it physically, so feel for resistance that might indicate you are cross-threaded. Once you've "bit" in a few threads, pull your socket off and visually check that the bolt is going in straight, and not at an angle that would indicate it is cross-threaded.

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43. Now's a good time to reinsert the drain hoses into their bracket, so that you don't forget later on. Also, if you are installing the shifter pivot brace (a good idea!), now is the time when you would do so.

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44. Remove the shift pedal from the outer shaft spline, and reinstall the exhaust heat shield, the metal washers and acorn nuts.

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45. Install and tighten the rear heat shield bolt.

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46. Install and tighten the front heat shield bolt.

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47. Lift the under cover into place.

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

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49. 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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50. 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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51. Push the engine cover's tab into its slot, then push it into its grommet.

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

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53. 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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54. Tighten the shift lever pinch bolt.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby peppilepew » Fri Nov 29, 2013 9:53 pm

Good Job! Just the type of quality post we all have come to expect from you.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby Wingsconsin » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:21 pm

Do you need to drain the engine oil before doing this repair?
Wouldn't want to create a bigger mess than I already have in the garage
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:47 pm

Wingsconsin wrote:Do you need to drain the engine oil before doing this repair?
Wouldn't want to create a bigger mess than I already have in the garage


No. There is a bearing in there to keep oil inside the engine (mostly). I didn't have a single drop make it out while I had the seal out (as you can see in the pictures). I suspect it has to be hot (i.e. thin) and moving around for it to weep through the bearing and out past the seal.

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HELP

Postby Greytful » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:51 pm

OK, I'm to the point where the outer shaft is unbolted; however, the shaft does not clear the inner splined shaft when I pull it back. It hits on the frame rail, and although I can rotate it left and right on the inner shaft, I can't get it to clear. Is there some sort of secret word that I have to know before it will clear? I've tried all of the @X#(&^(@*&^$@ words I know with no success! :evil:

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Re: HELP

Postby peppilepew » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:23 pm

Greytful wrote:OK, I'm to the point where the outer shaft is unbolted; however, the shaft does not clear the inner splined shaft when I pull it back. It hits on the frame rail, and although I can rotate it left and right on the inner shaft, I can't get it to clear. Is there some sort of secret word that I have to know before it will clear? I've tried all of the @X#(&^(@*&^$@ words I know with no success! :evil:


Some bikes require a wedge to increase the clearance between the frame and engine block. I had to pry the two apart to get my shaft loose from the splines. It will come out. I then ground the dog leg thinner to make installation easier.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby cbx4evr » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:41 pm

39. Make sure the split in the pinch bolt is exactly straight up, then push the bracket onto the splined shaft.



Not sure if this is exactly right. I'm doing this right now and my "split" is not exactly straight up. There is a mark on the end of the shifter splined shaft that the split is supposed to line up with.

Looking at your pictures it doesn't seem like it's exactly straight up or let's say 12 o'clock.
"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 replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:39 pm

cbx4evr wrote:
39. Make sure the split in the pinch bolt is exactly straight up, then push the bracket onto the splined shaft.


Not sure if this is exactly right. I'm doing this right now and my "split" is not exactly straight up. There is a mark on the end of the shifter splined shaft that the split is supposed to line up with.

Looking at your pictures it doesn't seem like it's exactly straight up or let's say 12 o'clock.


I had to tilt the camera in various ways in order to get it in close enough to get a picture, so it doesn't look straight up - but it is. If you're not sure, put it on where you think looks right, then mount the shifter onto the end of the shift shaft, making sure you get the marks lined up:

Image

If you got the inner one off by one spline either way, you'll know right away, because the shifter pedal will either be much higher or much lower than normal.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby peppilepew » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:54 pm

There is an alignment dot on the crankcase to align the dog leg in the correct position. The inner must be correct. You can have the foot pedal off a tooth. I have mine 1 tooth off intentionally to make room for my size 16 boots.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby cbx4evr » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:07 am

A short while after I posted I found this picture in my Clymer manual. Maybe it shows it better than how I said it. Not the easiest thing to see in the position it is.

"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 replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby samellring » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:28 am

New to this place but already liking the articles, especially this one.

Unfortunately, I am having an issue with pulling the outer shaft outward to remove it from the inner splined shaft as the frame tube (my terminology) is preventing me from getting it done.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any responses!

Scott Mellring
Sincerely,
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 20, 2014 12:31 pm

samellring wrote:New to this place but already liking the articles, especially this one.

Unfortunately, I am having an issue with pulling the outer shaft outward to remove it from the inner splined shaft as the frame tube (my terminology) is preventing me from getting it done.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any responses!

Scott Mellring


Not sure why on some bikes (like mine) there is just enough clearance to easily maneuver it free, and on others, the frame is in the way. In any case, some owners have had to remove a couple of the frame-to-engine mounting bolts, then gently use a wooden shim between the frame and engine block to move the frame outward a slight bit in order to allow the piece to come free of the splined shaft.

Image

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby samellring » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:04 pm

Okay, at least I am not the only one that has this issue. I will look into the frame-to-engine mounting bolts to remove in order to pull the frame way to get the piece out.

Thank you for you quick response!
Sincerely,
Scott Mellring

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby eberlebike4 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:35 pm

Thank you for this DIY post,my shifter seal just puked out on me:(And i will order and install the Bracket:)This site is the BEST:):)

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby SgtCharlie » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:50 pm

eberlebike4 wrote:Thank you for this DIY post,my shifter seal just puked out on me:(And i will order and install the Bracket:)This site is the BEST:):)


I, too am looking at doing this. My question is, will the bracket still work with my heel/toe shifter?
Thanks
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby peppilepew » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:53 pm

SgtCharlie wrote:
eberlebike4 wrote:Thank you for this DIY post,my shifter seal just puked out on me:(And i will order and install the Bracket:)This site is the BEST:):)


I, too am looking at doing this. My question is, will the bracket still work with my heel/toe shifter?
Thanks


Yes it will.

www.gl1500auxiliaryshifterpivot.com

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby SgtCharlie » Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:14 pm

peppilepew wrote:
SgtCharlie wrote:
eberlebike4 wrote:Thank you for this DIY post,my shifter seal just puked out on me:(And i will order and install the Bracket:)This site is the BEST:):)


I, too am looking at doing this. My question is, will the bracket still work with my heel/toe shifter?
Thanks


Yes it will.

http://www.gl1500auxiliaryshifterpivot.com


Cool, Thanks
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby Wingsconsin » Thu May 15, 2014 11:15 pm

I tackled this project tonight ....
it is harder than I anticipated. ?.it took me a long time to get the bolt out of the shifter inner spline ...but it is off ...the seal looks good but seems to be seeping oil ...it is hard and I can't get it out ...I am taking a break until I get more time to work on it again ...

Can I pry the seal out along the outer edges ..?
I tried a screw and it had no bite ...the seal is really hard ...
and there is so little room in there all I can do is work remotely wth long tools ..my hands are too big to get into the work area...
I can see how the shift pivot will go on and it will be easy...
but first the seal...I am considering removing the crash bar and exhaust ...
do you think that might gain me better access ?

sign me

frustrated for now :(
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby peppilepew » Fri May 16, 2014 3:52 am

Wingsconsin wrote:I tackled this project tonight ....
it is harder than I anticipated. ?.it took me a long time to get the bolt out of the shifter inner spline ...but it is off ...the seal looks good but seems to be seeping oil ...it is hard and I can't get it out ...I am taking a break until I get more time to work on it again ...

Can I pry the seal out along the outer edges ..?
I tried a screw and it had no bite ...the seal is really hard ...
and there is so little room in there all I can do is work remotely wth long tools ..my hands are too big to get into the work area...
I can see how the shift pivot will go on and it will be easy...
but first the seal...I am considering removing the crash bar and exhaust ...
do you think that might gain me better access ?

sign me

frustrated for now :(


I wouldn't remove anything unless all attempts are in vain. Exhaust studs do break unless removed properly. A long pointed tool to punch a hole in the seal will create a pilot hole for a drywall screw. Be careful not to damage the surface of the shaft. Screw the drywall screw in and use it as a pry point to remove the seal. You can also use a heat gun to soften the rubber. I believe the seal is metal reinforced. Prying around the outer edges will also work. It will in the end be a worth while project.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby ImaDIYer » Fri May 16, 2014 8:59 pm

I'm trying to replace the shifter oil seal, but I've come upon a snag. The shifter rod does not have enough clearance to come off the inner splines, because it's hitting on the frame. I'm thinking I might have to cut the shaft off, and then buy a new one, and grind it down to be thinner, so I can install it on with enough clearance. I'm not a trained mechanic, so if there's any better solutions, I would appreciate it.
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby WingAdmin » Sun May 18, 2014 9:30 am

ImaDIYer wrote:I'm trying to replace the shifter oil seal, but I've come upon a snag. The shifter rod does not have enough clearance to come off the inner splines, because it's hitting on the frame. I'm thinking I might have to cut the shaft off, and then buy a new one, and grind it down to be thinner, so I can install it on with enough clearance. I'm not a trained mechanic, so if there's any better solutions, I would appreciate it.


A few people have had this problem - I don't know why some have it and others don't, it doesn't seem to be consistent with specific models or years of GL1500. The best way to get around it is to loosen a few of the bolts holding the frame to the engine around the bottom, then use a stick or lever to pull the frame away from the engine in order to allow the lever to come off the splined shaft.

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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby Wingsconsin » Mon May 19, 2014 8:59 am

..I gave in and tackled it another way...
I dropped the crash bars off, and removed the header pipes from the exhaust.
Suddenly there was a lot more room to get in there....
The fasteners all came out without trouble (for me) and I was able to make this repair...
Now on to re-installing the Compufire I had rebuilt this past winter - and installing the Shift Pivot - and rebuilding the brake calipers - and ... <sigh>
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby ImaDIYer » Tue May 20, 2014 6:37 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
ImaDIYer wrote:I'm trying to replace the shifter oil seal, but I've come upon a snag. The shifter rod does not have enough clearance to come off the inner splines, because it's hitting on the frame. I'm thinking I might have to cut the shaft off, and then buy a new one, and grind it down to be thinner, so I can install it on with enough clearance. I'm not a trained mechanic, so if there's any better solutions, I would appreciate it.


A few people have had this problem - I don't know why some have it and others don't, it doesn't seem to be consistent with specific models or years of GL1500. The best way to get around it is to loosen a few of the bolts holding the frame to the engine around the bottom, then use a stick or lever to pull the frame away from the engine in order to allow the lever to come off the splined shaft.


After I posted my dilemma on getting the shifter rod off because of the clearance between the frame and the motor, I went out to the garage to close up shop for the night, since it was around 10pm anyway, but decided to try one more time to maneuver the rod loose. I laid down facing the opposite direction I had tried before, for about 30 minutes, I might add, and using a long flat head screwdriver was able to pry it loose. It must have been that it would only come loose at one particular angle. This gave me a new burst of energy to proceed with the oil seal replacement. I will say that I did file the flat part of the pinch bolt down, so the install, or any future repair on this shaft would go smoother. Afterwards I also installed the shifter shaft brace, and I mean to tell you, this brace improved how this bike shifts ten fold. I've tried to brag to some mechanics on the improvement the brace would do for their customers, but they just said, well, if the customer has an oil leak, we just replace the oil seal. Must be job security for them.

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Loulou-67
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:59 pm
Location: strasbourg FRANCE
Motorcycle: GL 1500 ASPENCADE 1993 - 174 500 km or 108429.05 miles
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Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby Loulou-67 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:27 am

WingAdmin wrote:
samellring wrote:New to this place but already liking the articles, especially this one.

Unfortunately, I am having an issue with pulling the outer shaft outward to remove it from the inner splined shaft as the frame tube (my terminology) is preventing me from getting it done.

Any ideas/suggestions?

Thank you in advance for any responses!

Scott Mellring


Not sure why on some bikes (like mine) there is just enough clearance to easily maneuver it free, and on others, the frame is in the way. In any case, some owners have had to remove a couple of the frame-to-engine mounting bolts, then gently use a wooden shim between the frame and engine block to move the frame outward a slight bit in order to allow the piece to come free of the splined shaft.

Image


Well i confirm. i do it on a gold 1500 aspencade 1993 and you need to do like it's wrote over

I will do a post with pictures. Wingadmin your gold white is Year?. Perharps yongest gold you can put it easily but mine's from 1993 impossible. I use not a wooden shim but something in metal one centimet or for you fried us 1cm = 0.032808334366796 ft (survey). Because it's hard. But there not other solution
So good work yourself

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Loulou-67
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:59 pm
Location: strasbourg FRANCE
Motorcycle: GL 1500 ASPENCADE 1993 - 174 500 km or 108429.05 miles
Contact:

Re: How to replace your GL1500 shifter oil seal

Postby Loulou-67 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:46 am

Idea
To remove the joint spy I took beams(shelves) of bike.

Here in France for these opération a motorcycle's garage, the note : you must paid for 6 hours work for a seal spy shifter paid less than 4 euros or 4 dollars !!!.

You can see my work (little) as soon as i will finish to put pictures on my blog.

Thank you for your work in How-to-Articles.
http://www.unsersbandebikersdu67.com/2015/03/goldwing-changer-ce-punaise-de-joint-spy-du-selecteur-de-vitesse.html

You can translate by clicking on your flag.

Good Saturday




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