Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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triketrash
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Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby triketrash » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:37 am



What do you guys think of aftermarket kits like "All Balls" and so on. I think I used something like that for my XR650. My GL is puking pretty badly on the right. If I get water pump together this weekend, I'm gonna want to change that next.

thanks,
triketrash



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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby Dogsled » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:43 pm

I just did mine. Called Cyclemax and they were shipped out that day. I like OEM part for seal and bearings. My opinion
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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby cbx4evr » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:38 pm

Fork seal and brake pads are two items I always by OEM.

Only time I used non-OEM fork seals I had to do the job again a year later.
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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby newday777 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:58 am

OEM honda for honda,
The springs in the aftermarket seals are what will give you the problems.
Try to go cheap and you'll be back at it again sooner than you will with the stock seals and bushings.

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby triketrash » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:50 am

OK OK- OEM it is. You guys are gonna make an honest mechanic out of me yet:)

thanks for the replies- triketrash

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby Dogsled » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:00 pm

While you have it apart, do the bushings too, two on each side....my bike handled like new with that done.
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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby triketrash » Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:13 pm

OK so seals, bushings and dust caps? Did that all come as a kit? johnnysmoke was talking about the progressive springs. You just have the stock spring setup Dogsled?

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby Dogsled » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:42 pm

I do have progressive, but someone gave them to me. I personally don't feel the difference like I did with the bushings but other people here swear by them, so I don't want to start that debate all over again. I talked with Progressive and they said stock spring can lose original tension after 5 years. They do know springs and shocks and I trust them more than just somebody who stuck a set in and swears by them..... So if you got 100 bucks to invest, any product by progressive has got to be worth it in my opinion.

Here is the thing, when you put everything in at once, it's hard to judge what is giving you the excellent handling. I did the springs first and there was no performance difference. But in defense of the Progressives I was not as meticulous with the amount of fluids I put in the tubes. Then the lower bushing where I saw the performance difference. Funny I wouldn't have done the bushings had the seals not started leaking and I had to tear it apart for that.

When you follow Scotts excellent instructions on working on them, work slow and take care with handling everything (seals especially), clean and slow, every step is explained and follow them exactly.

One thing I did was to make my own seal driver out of PVC. I pushed the seal in by hand as best as I can and wrapped a rag around the seal. I oiled the upper tube so the PVC slipped on without scratching the tube then at the bottom I took off the oil soaked rag off and tapped the seal down. If I did it again I would cut the PVC lenghtwise on both sides and just hold the 2 halves together (maybe a hose clamp), it taps in pretty easy though. You never realize how rough the inside of a piece of PVC is til you're sliding it down a shiny chrome tube you can't scratch.
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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby triketrash » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:54 pm

OK Dogsled- I'll take your advice and just do the seals and bushings- I always have thought the stock handling is ok, but I'm not a real agressive rider. Just got waterpump and radiator back on. I'll order up the kit from Cyclemax. thanks again guys

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby Dogsled » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:33 pm

OK.....I've been reading and talkng to alot of people like Progressive springs. (go to their website and call them) the actual oem spring life isn't that long....in your case giving or taking 5 years means everything.....(oh heck, me too).

The seals are just something I assume you would have to do to replace the bushings and have no factor other than your tubes leaking or not....BUT those bushing made a world of difference in slow corner handling.

If you are as comfortable as I am with pulling both tubes in 1/2 an hour it may be worth it to try not changing the springs. I had progressives given to me and in the bike when I did my work. I have just spent alot of time with Progressive explaining the 'for tube system'. The first time I stuck the springs in I paid no attent to oil level detai....Progressive said 'first mistake'

draining the oil, cleaning out the old oil, pumping up the new level (progressive springs or not) until you are to factory specs......if all the mechanicals are in good shape, these steps make them perform properly. Skip a step and you may as well not done anything. IT IS THAT CRITICAL. Scotts fork rebuild post explains all this, follow it to the letter.

My problem right now to do a rebuild like i'd like is finding an upper set of tubes that do have something wrong with the chrome. I have enough stuff to rebuild a set of legs that i'd throw in and would feel 100% confident it would handle perfect......PROBLEM...finding the tubes.

So tear it apart, clean the innards, new bushings, new seals and see how it performs. If you get some extra cash buy the progressive springs, drop the tubes and throw them in. The forks are such a fragile system for such a heavy bike....... I tried to cheap out several times and have gone full cirlce on this from talking and reading and feel you should consider a total rebuild as being the only answer. But I like tearing my bike down at noon and having it running with the new parts by 5:00......

I will continue to just to conclusions, make no mistake about that, but i'll post the errors afterwards..... you need to make your own errors and learn from them too. Al
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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby triketrash » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:32 pm

OK- I'm about to re-do my forks with the OEM parts. I pulled the cap off the first fork this morning and found two springs instead of one, one long one down below and a short one up on top. According to my Clymer manual there's only one. Does this mean someone has already replaced the stock ones with the progressives?

Also I noticed that the coils of the longer spring are closer together at one end than the other. The way it was oriented in there was looser down below and tighter up on top. Does this sound right?

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:15 am

triketrash wrote:OK- I'm about to re-do my forks with the OEM parts. I pulled the cap off the first fork this morning and found two springs instead of one, one long one down below and a short one up on top. According to my Clymer manual there's only one. Does this mean someone has already replaced the stock ones with the progressives?

Also I noticed that the coils of the longer spring are closer together at one end than the other. The way it was oriented in there was looser down below and tighter up on top. Does this sound right?


Progressive springs are a single spring, and they are progressively wound (one end tighter than the other). Technically, it doesn't matter which end is up in the shock, but I prefer to put the more tightly wound end down, as it adds a little bit less to the unsprung weight on the wheel, which helps the tire keep contact with the road.

Image

As for the dual springs - OEM Honda springs in the 1100 (and in the 1200 Interstate, if I'm not mistaken) were two piece like you describe:


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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby triketrash » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:21 am

roger that wingadmin- and does that photo you posted come from a fork rebuild thread that you've done? I haven't seen that before.

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:29 am

triketrash wrote:roger that wingadmin- and does that photo you posted come from a fork rebuild thread that you've done? I haven't seen that before.


Nope, that photo came from eBay, from someone who was selling the springs they took out of a GL1100 that they were parting out. :)

Incidentally, the official Honda parts fiche shows the springs as equal length for all GL1100, but this is incorrect. As they often did, they updated part numbers, but used drawings from previous years, that showed the parts as the wrong type or size. Makes it confusing when you're trying to use Honda parts diagrams to figure out what something should look like.

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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby Dogsled » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:14 am

Technically, it doesn't matter which end is up in the shock, but I prefer to put the more tightly wound end down, as it adds a little bit less to the unsprung weight on the wheel, which helps the tire keep contact with the road.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Scott what would the dynamics be that could make your preference possible. When I talked to the progressive tech guy he told me the story 'it doesn't matter what end it up'....I asked him 'then why is it made one end smaller, he had a great answer, 'I don't know'. Heck I had that answer when I called him :D.
If it didn't matter, don't you think it would be cheaper to make a straight spring and if it added more pressure go with a hair heavier guage material, still straight and still cheaper to make. He still didn't know.
I asked him if it was easier to align with the smaller coil up, he said he has done it both way (so have I) and that was equal.
I can understand your point (it was better than the tech had) but the spring operates as a whole and would give first at the weakest point either way. Actually the tighter coil would never activate unless the larger coil wwould add enough pressure to make the smaller tighter wind compress no matter how it's put in.
I then asked him if I saw off the smaller spring the length of the OEM spacer and replaced it with that, wolud it still function like the original Progressive....He said he wouldn't recommend it. WHY NOT if you don't even know the purpose of it ?????? So it still remains a mystery to me why they're built like this. I like your theory though. At least he coulda handed me a line of s**t like that and I woulda neen happy... :lol:
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Re: Aftermarket Fork Seal Kits

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:47 am

Wow. This is going to be tough to explain without getting into a bunch of physics.

Let's say you have two steel rods. They are identical, except one is 1 foot long, and one is 5 feet long. Both rods are fastened securely at one end into a vise.

It would take a great deal more effort to displace (flex) the shorter rod. Why is this?

Each rod has a given amount of tensile strength. Given a specific length of rod, both rods resist being flexed the same amount. When the free end of the 1 foot long rod is lifted one inch, then each of the 12 inches of the rod (in theory) is flexing (and resisting) 1/12 of an inch. But when the free end of the 5 foot rod is lifted by one inch, there is more steel available to be flexed, so the amount of flexion of each inch of the rod is 5 times less - only 1/60 of an inch. It's much easier to lift (5 times easier) as a result. Sort of like leverage.

Now let's take the rods and curl them into the shape of a spring, with the same spacing between coils. Let's say the 1 foot rod creates a spring with 10 coils, and the 5 foot spring creates a spring with 50 coils. the springs are wound so that they are both the same height. Which one is easier to compress? Obviously the spring with 50 coils is easier to compress, because the force being exerted on it is spread across more material (steel).

This is called spring rate - the easier a spring is to compress, the lower the spring rate. Springs with thinner material, or more coils have a lower spring rate, and give you a more compliant ride. Springs with thicker material, or less coils, have a higher spring rate, and give you a less compliant ride. Historically, suspension design was a compromise between the two. Attempts at fixing the compromise were first done by using two different springs: one with a high spring rate (which is used to hold the vehicle up, and to absorb large impacts) and one with a low spring rate (which is used to absorb small bumps and give a soft ride).

Progressive springs are the best of both worlds - they are a spring with both a high and low spring rate. The more tightly wound portion of the spring absorbs small bumps and gives a comfortable ride, and the less tightly wound portion of the spring gives the vehicle adequate suspension for its weight, and absorbs large impacts.

So why put the more tightly wound end at the bottom? We need to look at the concept of unsprung weight. Unsprung weight, in suspension, is the mass of the suspension and wheels, not supported by the suspension. In other words, the wheels, brakes, and suspension members BELOW the springs. When your wheel hits a small bump, it jumps up into the air. It is the job of the suspension to very quickly shove it back against the ground, in order to maintain adhesion with the road. The more unsprung weight (i.e. the more mass being shoved up into the air by the bump), the harder it is to reverse its upward course and shove it back against the ground. Not only this, energy used to shove that wheel up into the air and back down onto the ground has to come from somewhere. You don't get energy from free, so ultimately it comes from your fuel, via the engine. Basically that means the more unsprung weight you have, the worse mileage you get.

So how does this relate to springs? Think about what is moving inside your forks every time your wheel hits a little bump (which happens many times a second): the bottom of the spring gets shoved upward, then downward, while the top of the spring stays in place. Remember that the tightly wound portion of the progressive spring is the portion responsible for absorbing small bumps. If the tightly wound portion is at the bottom, only that little bit of the spring is moving to absorb the bumps - the upper part of the spring is staying more or less stationary.

If the tightly wound portion is at the top however, every little bump you hit is moving the entire loosely-wound portion of the spring up and down, just so that the tightly wound part at the top can be compressed and absorb those bumps. This means that the entire loosely-wound portion of the spring becomes additional unsprung weight as it moves up and down inside the fork.

Now this is a very simplistic discussion - there are many more factors at play, including damping, friction, heat...but you get the basic idea.




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