Front fork hydraulic question


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virgilmobile
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Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:02 pm



83 gl1100i 150k miles.How much downward force is normal to pull a shock lower through the hydraulics with no spring assist? I,m rebuilding the damaged front end(bent triple tree,bent axle,deformed lower tubes,Teflon slides)I found that the"oil lock piece"has a restrictive disk in it and was badly warn.It allowed so much fluid to pass by I had no hydraulic resistance.I make-shifted another restrictive disk under it and secured it in the tube end.I now have hydraulic drag,but how much is OK? Can it be measured using a fish scale and pulling through the stroke or ? Oil viscosity will change the drag but how much is acceptable? Any ideas?



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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby robertdawber » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:06 pm

I don't understand the question.
What I think you are asking and my answer would be that if you took it all apart and have replaced everything (I would have bought the new part and not made one)
the correct amount of fluid poured in would give you the correct amount without the need to do any other measuring.
I think it is something around 9oz empty.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:36 am

The question:Lift front wheel off the ground..Remove the springs...Check oil level...Lift wheel by hand...It should drop to the bottom with hydraulic drag,not slam down,right?The drag indicates good hydraulic dampening.My forks would just slam to the bottom.After I tore them apart I found the "oil lock piece" had a large gap around the piston compared to another tube.This allowed the fluid to leak by too fast.I could not replace the part because it is permanently mounted into the bottom of the fork tube.(see pix)After the part is installed at the factory the tube end is pressed over to secure it in.I was able to remove one from a bent fork by grinding the bottom of the tube off then taping the oil lock piece out.Thus the modification.I was wondering how much dampening is OK.
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby goldtr6c » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:11 am

I went through this with my 85LTD. For some reason the inards of the LTD are different than the rest of the Gl1200s. Mine were all busted up and coming out in pieces that were hard to identify. I don't know how long the PO rode it like that but I'm sure there was some eratic wear because of it. I opted for an 86 Aspy front end on eBay and got it over with.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:10 am

Sounds like an easy fix,but finding a fork assembly in good shape for a 28 year old bike is subject to interpretation. I would rather understand the part to be able to repair and restore it than lift the seat and replace everything under it.If it's not a mystery,then I ride with confidence.Thanks,Virgil

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby lowmanj » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:41 pm

Tore down the forks today on 81 Interstate. Oil lock piece on one fork is attached inside fork. On the other, the oil lock piece came tumbling out on disassembly.
? On reassembly, will allen bolt attaching the piston to bottom of fork hold oil lock piece in place, or am I screwed?
Thanks
Jesse

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:18 pm

Ouch.The oil lock piece is secured into the bottom of the fork tube at the factory by bending the end of the fork lip.The only way I got mine out was to grind the bottom of the tube and tap it out.Can you post a close up picture of what you have?
If all the parts are OK,it still can be re-secured by grinding a few thousands off the lock piece and taping the fork lip back.It MUST be secured to the fork tube.A lot of hydraulic pressure there.
I'll try to draw a breakdown.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Jul 16, 2011 3:21 pm

Here's the best I can do in a pinch.The "oil lock piece" is not sold separately to my knowledge.When I repaired mine,I made sure that both were exactly the same as they directly control the dampening effect of each fork slide.This mechanism controls how fast the tubes can return to full stroke.Too sloppy a fit and the slide slams down fast,too tight and it seems to drag really hard.
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby lowmanj » Wed Jul 20, 2011 11:23 pm

Virgil,
Thanks for your post! I better understand now. I don't know how to re-affix the part way down there inside the fork.
1. Will the allen bolt from the bottom hold the part in?
2. Why is the top of the part beat up so bad.
3. Should the piston spring really settle on it, or is there a washer to bear the force?
Thanks.
Jesse
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:23 pm

The spring on the piston is correctly positioned.the piston goes in from the top and extends all the way down to the bottom of the slide where it stops on the oil lock piece. the allen bolt holds it to the bottom of the tube.

I have no idea what that sleeve is you show.It looks too small to be the oil lock holder.Someone may have added it to the piston trying to adjust the suspension.

Where did the sleeve fit.Was it on the piston you show?

The oil lock piece looks like a part of the fork tube.You should be able to see it in the bottom of the fork.It's up in the bottom about a inch or so and has a hole the same size as the shaft of the piston.The actual part is loose in the holder.

The oil lock piece ,includes the holder,2 washers and a 3/8"thick dampener.They are pushed into the bottom of the fork and peened over to secure it.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby N2PPN » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:37 am

Hi Guys,
I had posted a question in the DIY section (viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5601) about front forks and rebuilding them.... any input from people following this thread would be much appreciated..

Is there any way to determine if the piston and it's sleeve are worn out?? As Virgil had stated, there isn't any data for the clearances on the piston and it's sleeve...

I am about to open up my forks and hope to find what should be a normal rebuild for 40K miles...

Just want to arm myself with as much ammo as I can before I do battle with the project..

Any ideas??


Rich
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby PAPete » Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:38 am

1. Will the allen bolt from the bottom hold the part in?
2. Why is the top of the part beat up so bad.
3. Should the piston spring really settle on it, or is there a washer to bear the force?


If I understand your question right, the piece you are questioning is a "sleeve" but with a bottom that has a hole in it. Honda must have made a change, because it doesn't show up on the drawing (I think). Anyway, that part fits on the end of the piston with a washer-like backup plate on top. The the piston assembly then goes into the slider and the allen bolt goes through the slider and the hole in the "sleeve" and screws into the piston.

Your questions are right on, and here are the answers:
1. Yes the allen bolt holds the part in.
2. The top of the "sleeve" is beaten up probably because the washer/backup plate was missing.
3. Yes, there should be a washer/backup plate to bear the force of the spring (now obvious).
Pete
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:54 pm

PAPete wrote:1. Will the allen bolt from the bottom hold the part in?
2. Why is the top of the part beat up so bad.
3. Should the piston spring really settle on it, or is there a washer to bear the force?


If I understand your question right, the piece you are questioning is a "sleeve" but with a bottom that has a hole in it. Honda must have made a change, because it doesn't show up on the drawing (I think). Anyway, that part fits on the end of the piston with a washer-like backup plate on top. The the piston assembly then goes into the slider and the allen bolt goes through the slider and the hole in the "sleeve" and screws into the piston.

Your questions are right on, and here are the answers:
1. Yes the allen bolt holds the part in.
2. The top of the "sleeve" is beaten up probably because the washer/backup plate was missing.
3. Yes, there should be a washer/backup plate to bear the force of the spring (now obvious).



The allen bolt holds the PISTON to the slide.

I don't believe the sleeve shown in the picture is even suppose to be in the assembly.

The spring does go on the piston an does not have any washers.It it a rebound spring to soften the end of the upward stroke of the shock.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:09 pm

"Is there any way to determine if the piston and it's sleeve are worn out?? As Virgil had stated, there isn't any data for the clearances on the piston and it's sleeve..."

I had asked that question before and I got no response except to replace the whole thing.So before you jump into rebuilding the whole thing,determine what's wrong.

Worn sleeves can be verified by a push and lift measurement.

This is what I determined about the hydraulic portion.
I removed the wheel,brace,fender,springs.
I lifted 1 shock tube at a time then pulled it back down.
what I expected was a good hydraulic drag on the down stroke.
Well 1 seemed to be OK.the other just slopped up and down with no resistance to speak of.
Thats when I tore into the oil lock piece buried in the bottom of the fork.! was OK and the other was broken in 3 pieces.
I also replaced the slide bushings on both.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby PAPete » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:46 pm

virgilmobile wrote:[

The allen bolt holds the PISTON to the slide.

I don't believe the sleeve shown in the picture is even suppose to be in the assembly.

The spring does go on the piston an does not have any washers.It it a rebound spring to soften the end of the upward stroke of the shock.

Yes, the allen bolt holds the piston to the slide; the threads for the bolt are in the piston. But from 83 on at least, the piston fits into the oil lock piece first. See page 12-16 of the Service Manual which says in part] "Fit the oil lock piece on the end of the piston, then insert the fork tube into the slider," and there's a picture showing the piston protruding from the fork tube. The exploded view on page 12-14 shows the "mystery" part labeled: oil lock piece. Maybe we're dealing with a post-83 fork here, but there are an extra spring and two washers on the newer version.
I have a disassembled fork from a Nighthawk (86) that has the identical arrangement, and can post a picture tomorrow. Let me know what you think.
Pete
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby PAPete » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:07 am

[quote="PAPeteI have a disassembled fork from a Nighthawk (86) that has the identical arrangement, and can post a picture tomorrow. Let me know what you think.[/quote]

Disassembled
Disassembled


Virgil,
Here's the assembly without the slider. The piston assembly with its re-bound spring, then a collared washer, the another spring and another flat washer, and then -- what I think is -- the oil lock piece. All this goes into the fork tube and then into the slider. Then the bolt goes through the bottom of the slider, through the lock piece and is screwed into the bottom of the piston holding everything in place.

Assembled (partially)
Assembled (partially)
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby N2PPN » Mon Jul 25, 2011 4:33 pm

After disassembling my 1981 GL1100's forks, I noticed the same thing... The oil lock piece is a kind of "bushing" that is pinned to the piston/fork tube through the fork tube's bottom. It is not attached to either the slider or the fork tube.

This holds the piston "stationary" in the slider as it moves up and down the fork tube. the piston has the job of providing hydraulic dampening of the fork fluid.. For the top of the oil lock piece to have been damaged like the one in the picture, I think that the hex bolt may not have been tightened correctly and it allowed the piston to move up and down in relation to the slider and the oil lock piece got "smashed" into it's seat in the fork tube...

When I was removing my sliders from my tubes (I had not removed the fork springs as yet) As I slid the sliders up and down to dislodge the seals I felt the slider "hit" the oil lock piece once or twice, and after the slider was removed the oil lock piece showed some slight damage like the one in the picture (thankfully it was extremely slight and didn't ruin the oil lock piece) the second slider wasn't slid upwards as far and only the downward stroke to remove the seal was forceful and the second oil lock piece came out undamaged....

I wonder if possibly when reassembling the forks if you don't manage to fully tighten up the piston to the slider with the hex head cap screw through the bottom of the slider (either due to the piston "spinning" inside the fork tube or other variables) if the resulting looseness might cause damage to either the oil lock piece or it's seat in the fork tube?? The service manual doesn't address this, but it would seem that if you couldn't tighten the hex bolt fully to eliminate any "slop" in the connection, it would cause the piston to "hammer" the seat and the lock piece and the seat itself... Maybe the answer is to tighten the hex bolt AFTER you reinstall the fork tube springs?? this way the piston is held down into the seat from above and should be a little more prone to NOT spinning when the hex bolt is tightened...

As for the 1981 GL1100 all the data seen here in this post and others seems to bear out as factual.. I don't know about the Oil Lock piece being "set" into the tube end..

On The service manual page 12-11 for the '81 GL1100... the sleeve like thingy is called the oil lock piece... the bushing that is set into the end of the fork tube that Virgil is describing is part and parcel of the fork tube assembly..

Just my $0.02 worth....


Rich
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:02 pm

OK as the translation goes.The oil lock piece is the part that centers and locks the piston to the bottom of the slide.

The part that gave me problems is not shown on any print,or referenced in any breakdown I can find.I would call it a Hydraulic flow control valve,as it controls the flow of oil from the piston to the slide.It's buried up in the bottom of the fork and appears non repairable.(ha..not to me)

It just so happened that my "oil lock piece" stayed in bottom of the slide,thus the error on the description of the part.When I did get it removed,the style of the mount differed from what is pictured.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby PAPete » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:02 pm

Maybe the answer is to tighten the hex bolt AFTER you reinstall the fork tube springs?? this way the piston is held down into the seat from above and should be a little more prone to NOT spinning when the hex bolt is tightened...

Hey, Rich. Thanks for your comments. I understand most of it, but I do have a couple of questions:

1. In order to tighten the hex screw into the bottom of the piston, don't you need to use the special tool from Honda (or a home-made version of it) to hold the piston in place while you tighten the allen head bolt on the bottom The list of torque values on page 12-3 says it requires 14 ft/lbs. That's not much torque, so maybe the springs would hold it tight enough to get that.

However, I found it very difficult to get the bolt started into the piston. I finally had to insert the "special tool"* that I made into the top of the slider and engage the top of the piston with it. Then I turned the whole assembly upside down with the non-business end of the special tool resting on the floor, and the inverted slider resting on the piston inside it. Used a Workmate to hold steady the (now) upper end of the slider.Then I put the allen bolt thru the slider and jimmied it a little to get it to line up with the threads in the piston, just to get it started. Then I put the slider in a vise, held one end of the tool with an end wrench and then torqued the allen bolt with an allen head socket. It's the only way I could get it done.

2. If the allen head hex bolt is not holding the piston in place tightly, isn't the fork oil going to leak out the bottom? Seems to me that if the piston's not tight then the bolt would be loose too. No?

3. My thought was that the reason the oil lock piece got beat up a little was that the small spring assembly just below the rebound spring which includes that collared washer and a flat washer as well as the spring, may have been assembled improperly or missing. In that case the rebound spring would bang against the (aluminum) oil lock piece fairly hard and could chew up the lip, which is slightly champfered making it even more susceptible to damage.

Maybe we're getting a little academic here, but it does seem to me that if there is nothing between the oil lock piece and the rebound spring, the lock piece is going to get damaged, and that's important. (Sorry for the ultra-long post.) Your thoughts?
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby N2PPN » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:30 pm

Hi Pete,
On my forks the piston has no springs or washers attached to it at all, the rebound spring is dropped in first into the top of the fork tube and the piston goes in second, then the fork springs and finally the fork caps... if your model year bike has the rebound spring in any other place, it doesn't match my 1981 GL's set up... the spring is only for FULL extension rebound to protect the piston from a force trying to pull it out of the fork tube (like hitting a speed bump or deep pothole with a weak suspension and having the forks go to full extension from the rebound), if your rebound spring is UNDER the fork tube end, then it may be for a different purpose??

The piston travels up and down inside the fork tube while the slider is being pushed down by the fork springs (against the top of the piston) pushing against the pavement through the wheel/tire.

Here is a picture of my piston, which I pushed out from the bottom of the fork tube (which is still attached to the triple clamp and the bike), the spring is still in the fork tube at the bottom....

Fork Piston from 1981 GL1100
Fork Piston from 1981 GL1100


The only thing on the piston is the white piston ring...

Does this help at all, or confuse you more??

Rich
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:21 pm

lowmanj wrote:Tore down the forks today on 81 Interstate. Oil lock piece on one fork is attached inside fork. On the other, the oil lock piece came tumbling out on disassembly.
? On reassembly, will allen bolt attaching the piston to bottom of fork hold oil lock piece in place, or am I screwed?
Thanks
Jesse

Update sir.the pix you provided is OK.Just re-assemble it.the bolt holds the piston in place.There are different parts in the different models and years,but all attach the same way.

Spring goes down the fork FIRST,then the piston.It extends through the fork bottom but does not come all the way out.It's held in by the "oil damper valve" and cushioned by the spring..The 81 standard uses no other parts.The spring(about 1") does not set on the "oil lock piece"or as I would call it,the piston mount.

The part I had problems is the oil dampening valve inside the bottom of the fork.If I remember,the 81 gl1100 damper valve is held in with a "C" clip.The 83 interstate with trax in permanent(or so they thought)

I had almost no dampening effect even with 30W motor oil.The dampening disk was broken in 3 places.

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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby N2PPN » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:53 pm

OK, Now I finally "get it"..

The piston is DIFFERENT on the 1983 model than the 1981-2 models!! (see service manual page 12-14 for the drawings)

The piston for the 1983 models has all the extra stuff on it's end and a different oil lock piece set up...

The 1981-2 models do not have a removable dampening piece or flow control, they only have a machined boss inside the end of the fork tube that acts as a stop for both the rebound spring above and the oil lock piece below... the holes in the piston control the return oil flow back into the fork tube's supply... the two holes on the top are for the majority of the hydraulic action, the one at the bottom is for the lubrication of the piston as it moves up and down inside the fork tube. The oil lock piece is the seal to prevent oil from leaking out of the bottom of the fork assemble at the axle and provides the mechanical connection of the fork to the slider at the bottom of the fork assembly.

Seems like the 81-2 models were a little simpler in design with less to go wrong??

Might not have the "finesse" of the 1983 TRAC anti-dive system or the finer hydraulic dampening, but still works for me I guess...

Rich
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:28 am

Spot on mate.The non removable(I ground mine out) oil dampening piece on the 83 with trax on one of my forks was broken in 3 pieces.This lent to very little dampening effect even with 30w motor oil in it.

I had to grind off the bottom of the fork to get it out and make another one.the part that was broken was,what appeared to be cast aluminum,about 1/4" thick.The piston shaft just fits through it and there are 4 notches on one the bottom side.

The 81 without trax is removable with a "C" clip.

There is no information about this part I can find.I just guessed on how big the hole needed to be to get the piston to go through it without binding.
Here's my best pix of the 81 gl1100 fork cutaway view
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Re: Front fork hydraulic question

Postby N2PPN » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:19 pm

Virgil you are the man!

What a great drawing!!

Seems like the good folks at mother Honda made the insert removable in later years (perhaps they had a few people complain about failures such as yours), but failed to include any engineering data... maybe a search for a few bent fork tubes from this era would produce a "donor" that could have it's guts exposed for engineering review and measurements?? at the very least engineering measurements could be made to reproduce the parts with no names...

Gonna go finish my fork job and get my behind back in the saddle...

Rich


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