Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 18226
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

Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:47 pm



I went to pump up my rear shocks this evening. They would pump up to 17 psi, and no higher. When I let go of the compressor button, I heard the telltale hissssss of a leak in the pneumatic system, and all the pressure bled out of the system.

"Oh darn, not again," I said, (or words to that effect).

This is the third time I have fixed this problem with my Progressive 416 shocks since I installed them. Hopefully it will the be the last.

The problem is that the shock casing tends to rotate over time as the shock compresses and expands, no doubt due to the spring inside. Looking down at the shock from the top, it rotates counter-clockwise.

On the right side of the bike, this isn't a problem, because the air inlet contacts the inside of the saddlebag, which prevents it from rotating any further.

However on the left side shock, the air inlet rotates until it jams up against the inner fender, compressing the air line at a 90 degree angle, and eventually shearing the air line, at which point the system will no longer hold air.

Air inlet jammed against inner fender
Air inlet jammed against inner fender


Closeup of air inlet (and air line) jammed against fender
Closeup of air inlet (and air line) jammed against fender

Rotating the shock outward (easily done by hand), you can see how the air line is bent at a sharp angle.

After rotating shock outward
After rotating shock outward

When you remove the inlet cap, the air line falls apart, as it has been completely sheared.

After removing the screw cap, the air line falls apart, completely sheared
After removing the screw cap, the air line falls apart, completely sheared

This is easily fixed - pull out the rubber O-rings and compression fitting from the inlet fitting, cut the air line square, insert it through the cap and compression fitting, slip the O-rings over the end, and reinstall.

Cut the air line flush and reinstalled into inlet
Cut the air line flush and reinstalled into inlet

I decided that I am not fixing this problem again, and figured I'd try to solve the problem with some lockwire.

Lockwire and lockwire tool
Lockwire and lockwire tool

After the shock was rotated into proper position, with the fitting facing the back of the bike, I wrapped lockwire around the inlet and tightened it. The other end I wrapped around the air compressor mounting bracket.

Air inlet lockwired to frame
Air inlet lockwired to frame

Now when the shock attempts to rotate inward, it will be prevented from doing so by the lockwire. The amount of torque trying to rotate the shock housing is negligible, so fingers crossed this should be a permanent fix.



1965Honda90
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 6:41 pm
Location: Tulsa, Ok
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it

Post by 1965Honda90 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 1:58 pm

Thank you WingAdmin! This is very timely information for me. I installed new Progressive 416 air shocks on my GL1500 last month, and am getting ready to change my rear tire in a couple of days, so I must go back into the rear portion of my motorcycle to do the tire change. I will make sure and apply your fix to my left shock when I re-assemble everything. I wonder if this is a new issue? The housing on my old Progressive 416 shocks did not seem to have rotated at all, either on the left or right side.

1965Honda90
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 6:41 pm
Location: Tulsa, Ok
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it

Post by 1965Honda90 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:30 pm

WingAdmin,
I just now got off the phone with one of the Progressive Suspension Customer Service representatives. I had called them to order a rebuild kit for my old Progressive 416 Shocks. After I placed the order, I mentioned the problem you had with the rotating housing on your shocks. He said that this should not happen. They should be fixed solid and should not rotate at all, and if the housing does rotate, they are defective. When I removed my old Progressive 416 shocks, they had not rotated at all, and in fact, I could not rotate the housings by hand after I removed the shocks from the motorcycle.

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 18226
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: Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:05 pm

1965Honda90 wrote:WingAdmin,
I just now got off the phone with one of the Progressive Suspension Customer Service representatives. I had called them to order a rebuild kit for my old Progressive 416 Shocks. After I placed the order, I mentioned the problem you had with the rotating housing on your shocks. He said that this should not happen. They should be fixed solid and should not rotate at all, and if the housing does rotate, they are defective. When I removed my old Progressive 416 shocks, they had not rotated at all, and in fact, I could not rotate the housings by hand after I removed the shocks from the motorcycle.
That's interesting, because BOTH of mine have been able to rotate this way since I got them right out of the box!

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 18226
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: Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:09 pm

I didn't realize it, but I actually wrote about this the LAST time I fixed it as well:

Problem with Progressive 416 air shocks rotating on GL1500

1965Honda90
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 6:41 pm
Location: Tulsa, Ok
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100

Re: Design problem with 416 Progressive shocks - and how to fix it

Post by 1965Honda90 » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:08 pm

Now I wish I had asked the guy's name that I talked to. You may want to give them a call. If your shocks are still under warranty, then you might get them to send you a new pair. At any rate, I appreciate he heads-up about this issue. I will keep an eye out for it, and might just apply your fix as a precautionary measure when I get back in there. I did not check my new set for this before I put them on, so I am not sure if the covers will rotate or not.



Post Reply