How to renew your air compressor dessicant


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WingAdmin
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How to renew your air compressor dessicant

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:39 pm



Many GL1500 owners do not even know that the on-board air compressor in their motorcycle's suspension system requires regular maintenance. It contains a dessicant, which is used to absorb moisture before it is pumped into the suspension. This prevents moisture-laden air from being pumped into the suspension, causing corrosion. Over time, this dessicant gets to the point where it can not absorb any more moisture, and it needs to be renewed. Fortunately, it's relatively easy - and free - to do so. No spare parts are required!

The official Honda Service Manual says that quite a bit has to be disassembled to gain access to the compressor - including the trunk and rear inner fender! This is not true. Also not true is the Service Manual's insistance that the dessicant be replaced - this is wasteful and not required - it can easily be renewed and reused indefinitely.

1. In order to get to the compressor, we must first remove the left saddlebag. Start with the motorcycle on its center stand. Remove the left side cover, and also remove the seat. Next, the bottom cover of the trunk must be removed. There are four recessed screws along the bottom, near the outer lip. In this picture, I am removing the leftmost screw. Remove all four screws.

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2. Gently slide the left side of the lower trunk cover backward to disengage it from the tabs on the bottom of the trunk sidelight/reflector. Be careful, as these tabs are fairly brittle, and easily broken if forced.

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3. Pull the tab at the front of the lower trunk cover free from the antenna frame. Repeat the process to free the right side of the lower trunk cover as well.

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4. With the sides of the lower trunk cover free, slide the cover forward so that it is no longer held in place by the trunk and saddlebag release levers.

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5. Once free of the release levers, lower the lower trunk cover and put it aside somewhere soft where the paint won't be scratched.

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6. There are two screw/trim covers that must be removed. They are removed simply by prying them away with your fingernail, or a small, thin, flat-blade screwdriver. They should be tight - if they are loose, it's a good idea to give them a slight gentle squeeze with a pair of pliers to make sure they grip the trim tightly. They can be easily lost if they are not tight enough. The first cover is on the back of the bike.

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7. The other one is on the left side, just a few inches from the back of the bike.

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8. Remove the screws exposed by each of the screw/trim covers.

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9. Once the two screws are removed, the lower rear saddlebag cover can be removed. Set it aside.

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10. Wiring for the lights will be exposed by the removal of the lower rear saddlebag cover. You may have a simple 3P connector such as the one I am holding, or you could have a rats nest of aftermarket wiring such as is shown in the top of the image. I decided after seeing this mess of wires and vampire clips to cut out and replace all of this wiring. These connectors connect the lights on the saddlebag to the bike's wiring. Because we're removing the saddlebags, these wires need to be disconnected.

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11. Open the left saddlebag. Inside the saddlebag, at the top, near the rear of the bag, you will find the release mechanism. It consists of a cable, connected to a nylon piece that snaps over the metal release bar. Unsnap the nylon piece from the bar.

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12. Rotate the nylon piece on the cable, and pull the cable free through the slot. Set aside the nylon piece.

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13. Here you can see the end of the release cable after the nylon piece has been removed. Squeeze the four locking tabs surrounding the cable and push it through the hole.

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14. Remove the four bolts fastening the saddlebag to the frame.

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15. Here you can see the saddlebag with the bolts removed. The large circle on the left is an adhesive rubber patch that can be removed to gain access to the rear brake caliper, in order to bleed the caliper without first having to remove the saddlebag.

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16. Tip the top of the saddlebag outward and make sure the release cable has come fully out of the bag.

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17. Gently lift the saddlebag away from the motorcycle. Here you can see the emergency release button on the top of the saddlebag that is accessed from inside the trunk.

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18. Remove the two bolts holding the compressor in place.

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19. Under the seat, immediately in front of the trunk, you will find the connector for the compressor. Depress the locking tab and pull the connector apart (pull on the connector, not on the wires).

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20. The end you pull free is connected to the wire that leads to the compressor.

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21. Using a wrench, loosen and remove the bolt holding the suspension air line to the compressor. Pull the air line out of the way.

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22. There is a second air line attached to the compressor, it leads to the auxiliary outlet inside the right saddlebag. This line can be removed from the compressor while it is installed, but it is difficult. I found it easier to remove the hose from the right saddlebag and pull it back through to the compressor.

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23. This is the compressor with the suspension air line removed and the auxiliary air line pulled through. Note the wire has also been pulled through, and is resting over the frame member at the bottom of the picture.

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24. Maneuvering the compressor out is a bit tricky, but it can be done. Start by pushing the mounting tabs past the mounting bracket.

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25. Next rotate the back of the compressor out towards you.

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26. Then pull the compressor free.

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27. Look through the dessicant inspection window. You should see the dessicant inside, which look like small beads. If the dessicant is blue, then it does not need servicing. Most likely, it will appear pink, which means it does need to be serviced.

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27. Clean the outside of the pump (I used brake cleaner for this). Using snap ring pliers, squeeze the snap ring out of its groove.

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28. Remove the snap ring from the dessicant tank.

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29. Pull the cap off of the dessicant tank and set it aside.

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30. Remove the retaining grid.

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31. Remove the foam filter.

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32. Remove the felt filter.

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33. You will now see the dessicant beads removed. These are definitely in need of servicing.

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34. Line a pan with tin foil and pour the dessicant beads out onto the foil.

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35. Spread the beads out into a single layer.

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36. Put the tray in an oven or toaster oven and put on "broil" or "toast." Watch the beads carefully - you don't want to melt them!

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37. When the beads change from pink to blue, they are done. This should only take a minute or two.

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38. Pour the beads back into the dessicant tank.

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39. Put the felt filter into the tank on top of the beads.

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40. Put the foam filter on top of the felt filter.

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41. Put the retaining grid on top of the foam filter.

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42. Reinsert the cap into the dessicant tank. Ensure the cap is rotated to the correct orientation - refer to the pictures here.

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43. Reinsert the snap ring and make sure it seats fully into the groove in the tank.

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44. Time to reinstall the compressor. Push it into the frame as shown, with the mounting tabs behind the bracket.

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45. Rotate the compressor into place.

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46. Fasten the suspension air line onto the compressor. Make sure to use two wrenches - one to hold the air line, and one to tighten the bolt on the end. If the auxiliary air line was removed, fasten it into place first. If the auxiliary air line was not removed, feed its hose back through the bike to the right saddlebag.

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47. Pull the compressor back so the tabs are on the rear of the mounting bracket and reinstall the mounting bolts.

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48. Pull the compressor wire up under the frame to its connector and snap it back into place.

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49. Replace the saddlebag.

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50. Before pushing the saddlebag fully into position, make sure to push the release cable securely into its hole.

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51. Bolt the saddlebag into place with the four bolts.

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52. Thread the nylon piece onto the release cable, then snap it onto the release bar.

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53. Reconnect the tail/brake wire connectors.

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54. Replace the lower rear saddlebag cover. There are round, molded pins on the cover that seat into holes in the existing plastic - make sure they seat correctly, or the cover will not fully fasten in place.

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55. Replace the screws fastening the cover in place.

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56. Push the trim clips back into place. Make sure they are tight - if not, clamp them gently with a pair of pliers to make sure they do not fall off.

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57. Lift the lower trunk cover into place. Push it forward to clear the fronts of the release levers, then pull it up and back over the top of the levers.

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58. Fastening the lower trunk cover in place takes a bit of finesse - and practice. Position the cover so that ALL of the tabs on both sides are lined up, then push the cover up and forward to lock it into place. You'll find that if you attempt to do one side at a time, the process of locking one side in place will often unlock the other side - an exercise in frustration. Keep in mind the fragile, brittle nature of the tabs!

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59. Replace the four screws holding the lower trunk cover in place.

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User avatar
redial
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:17 am
Location: Kapunda, SouthAustralia
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500 Spectre Red Aspencade

Re: How to renew your air compressor dessicant

Postby redial » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:13 pm

Well done, Scott. Even a dummy like me could follow those instructions and pictures.
Len in Kapunda

The world is not going to finish today, as it is already tomorrow in Australia and New Zealand, and other islands of foreign nations such as Guam and Samoa.


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