Replacing GL1100 Rear Springs

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:20 pm
Location: Arlington, Va
Motorcycle: 1981 GL1100 Interstate

Replacing GL1100 Rear Springs

Post by timwingard » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:48 pm

I am moving this to a new topic to give it a little more visability. For those of you who choose to put in new rear springs, it can be done with the assistance of some tutorials spread around in the forums. Don't expect to see all the parts in the parts fiche because they are not all there (the springs for example). The new progressive springs alone are better than what I had before I did the rebuild and I expect my shocks are not holding air at this point although they are not leaking at all (I did install new oil seals as well), but I should be able to correct the air leak. My original write up follows and I am still interested in hearing from those who replaced there rear springs with Progressive 1170s since I did some work arounds.

With the assistance of several forums I rebuilt my 81 GL1100 rear shocks with the Progressive 1170 springs and Honda oil seal last weekend. This rebuild was not so straight forward as I had hoped and I ended up with a few questions and I can use some advice from those that have done this before.

First the Honda parts manual doesn't show all the parts. Once you remove the top of the shock, unscrew it, the shaft of the bolt that you unscrew it from appears to be part of a damper. I noticed in someone elses picture, that on the shaft of this "damper bolt" there was a rubber bushing or something. Mine had turned to a glob of gue. Does anyone know this part that is not in any parts diagram is? What it is for? Can I live without it? (Well right now I am living without it. I cleaned the gue off the shaft since it was doing nothing but disintegrating and fouling the ATF fluid)

Second issue is that the 1170 springs are not the same as the original springs. The original springs have an outer and inner spring of the same height, with a while plastic cap riding on the outer spring. The inner spring merrily slides in and out of the plastic cap an it compresses and decompresses. The progressive 1170s, and I rechecked that these are the ones I purchased, has a shorter fatter inner spring. It will not merrily slide in and out of the white cap, it is a litte too fat. And as I mentioned it is also an inch or so shorter that the original inner spring. Since the inner spring could not easily go in the white cap, I left the white cap off. It seems to work ok without it, but I am wondering if anyone noticed this same problem and if so what did they do?

After reinstalling the new springs and oil seal, I inflated to about 30 lbs of air pressure and I took a few short rides on the bike. The suspension seems firmer but the red suspension light in the tach seems to be coming on and staying on for long periods of time before going off. Then comes back on for a while then goes back off. What is this telling me?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:24 pm
Location: Stow Ohio
Motorcycle: 84 gl 1200,87int,91asp

Re: Replacing GL1100 Rear Springs

Post by triwing » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:29 pm

Put the plastic cap back into your shocks. It will fit very snug,springs are the same length.New dampers are in order.With new springs,dampers,& seals,you have progressive shocks in stock cans,& save about half the cash.Very nice this way. :)

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