Fork seals and bushes (again)


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omnione
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Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:37 am



I own a GL1500 with sticky front fork action. I have drained and flushed the fork oil and even after adding the new oil, although there was an improvement, its still not quite right, so I was thinking of replacing the bushes

I've read most of the articles about fork seal/bush replacement but all seem to say the same thing, loosen the end cap, undo the bolt at the bottom of the fork leg, remove the entire fork leg then remove the end cap and spring ect and then remove the lower leg. My question is (and I'm sorry if it sounds a little bit stupid) why can't you just remove the socket bolt at the base of the fork leg and just slide the leg off without disturbing the spring or stanchion. i.e. leave it still attached to the bike.

I realize that if the stanchions are damaged in any way then all bets are off and they will then have to be removed but even just to check bushes its got to be a lot simpler.

Anybody done it this way?



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themainviking
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby themainviking » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:45 am

I am not going to address the work end of this situation, I am going to address a possible other cause of sticky front fork action (known as stiction). This can be caused by the improper tightening of the axle and axle retaining bolts. A method of determining this is to loosen the axle retaining bolts, and then the axle nut. Bounce the front end and check for sticky action (stiction). If it goes away, you have solved your problem. If not, then rebuild the forks. To prevent it recurring, retighten the axle nut, to the exact torque specification required by Honda, and then retighten the axle retaining bolts, again, "to the exact torque specifications required by Honda". To many front ends are sticky for this reason. the down tubes are slightly twisted by excessive torgueing of the axle retaining bolts.
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omnione
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:08 am

Thanks for replying so quickly. I have already done what you suggested, the previous owner of the bike told me he had just one fork seal replaced by a dealer to pass our annual MOT and the first thing I thought of was misalignment.

The repair was done recently and because I could see no evidence of the top yolks being disturbed it made me think they may have used the method I was inquiring about.

Thinking back to when I changed the fork oil it was a pretty grotty colour out of both legs hence the flushing.

Its now making me wonder just how did they replace the seal and how come the oil was the same colour in both the legs?

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virgilmobile
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:49 am

omnione wrote:I own a GL1500 with sticky front fork action.
Anybody done it this way?


In a word...Yes...The hard part it re-seating the seal.I used a split PVC coupler,ground off the lip in the middle,taped it to the fork and used a long(3 foot)piece of 1/2' pipe to tap it back in from the top.Right through the faring.It went quick.The fork tubes didn't have to come off,but I did use a piece of glass to check the alignment.It was off just a bit.....Here's a post that includes a bunch or pix,videos and stuff to read......viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10786

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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:43 am

Thanks for that virgilmobile, I did glance through that post but still couldn't work out if everything would stay put if I just pulled the lower leg off, now I know it will guess what I will be doing tonight.

I was planning on using waste water pvc pipe split and slipped round the stanchion to install the seal once the leg was refitted so its nice to know I was on the right track. Hopefully this should be relatively straight forward unless my problem lies with the stanchions. I'll let you know how I get on.

Poor pakkies what a nightmare for him!

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virgilmobile
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:09 am

When you lift the dust cover,there is a retainer clip in there,remove it.
Remove the bolt in the bottom of the slide and drain the oil out.
Lift the slide and thump it down.This will take several times to free the seal.
On reassembly,I cleaned the lip of the slide where the seal sets first.Then bolt the slide back on.
Using the split PVC coupler(I think it was a 1-1/4'') tap the bushing into place first and then the seal.
Don't forget,the seal has one lip with a spring on it.On my 88 the spring goes up.I think it's because it is not a air shock.On my 84 with air ride,it goes down.

Hopefully pakkies will get his exchanged by the dealer.He had them "REPAIRED" by them and that's the condition that they left them in.He only wanted a re-chrome and new seals.The dealer destroyed his front end or just swapped it with a junk one.
Sheesh,can't trust anybody.

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noeleo
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1989 Honda GoldWing GL1500

Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby noeleo » Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:19 am

virgilmobile,

Are you saying that I don't have to mess with taking the upper caps off and dealing with the springs? I'm just trying to get around this in my head. :oops:

I, too have stiction problems with my 1500. Had it on the "OldWing" 1200, but thought when I got a different bike, my fork problems would be down the road. Noticed over the past few days that it seems to "stick" when sitting. When I mount, the front wants to "jump up". Before I tear it down, I will retorque the axle bolt and pinch clamps to see if it helps. Just dreading taking off the rotor covers. Haven't been into the front end as of yet.

Thanks for all your tips and tricks. :D

noeleo
Ride your GoldWing no faster than your angel can fly.

omnione
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:11 pm

Just got in from my garage, Virgilmobile was spot on, great advise.

The stanchions and top caps (and springs) are still on the bike and the legs are off. Just the one hiccup, the center of the o/s lower securing bolt was damaged so I bashed a spline drive into it then it came out (phew), wonder if that's why the other repair shop only did the one seal?.

Ordered the parts 4 bushes and 2 seals from a Honda dealer I found on the net, my local Honda dealer quoted me well over £70 for the parts yet the internet dealer has done them for £49.00 and that's including £5.90 postage to my door (genuine parts too).

I've been really lucky the chrome on the stanchions is fine (not bad for over 120,000miles) so hopefully when its reassembled it should improve the ride.

Another quick point the seals prior to removal where installed with the spring visible from the top and my forks have the air top caps on, puzzling or what!

Sorry about the poor quality of the photos.
Attachments
one off
one off
both off
both off

omnione
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:25 am

Just had a quick look in the manual (on this web site thanks guys) and it states that the identification markers on the oil seal must face up when installing it. The position of the metal coil ring is a bit of a red herring because there are two of them, one on each side of the seal. So problem solved mine are going back in according to the manual with the markings facing up.
Attachments
Writing visible on face (and a retaining spring)
Writing visible on face (and a retaining spring)
underside no writing (and another retaining spring)
underside no writing (and another retaining spring)

omnione
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:30 pm

Well she's all back together now, I painted the fork legs while they were off the bike, the only paint I had was a dark silver metalic that I think looks rather nice. Might paint all the bright silver bits like lower front cowling and side skirts as well (just to be that little bit different).

As virgilmobile said the real difficulty came when trying to start the top bush/slider into the fork leg there is very little room under the front fairing with the forks in place, I did not do up the bottom securing bolt but supported the lower fork leg on a jack so it was futher extended but still over the fork tube and then used a plastic drift (made from a childs ruler) once started they went in o.k. I did try a bit of plastic drain pipe but it was the wrong diameter (too small) but I left it in place so I did'nt damage the fork legs whilst tapping the bushes in. The top seals just popped in with very little difficulty. I also stripped and cleaned the caliper sliders and brake pistons as well. No point in doing half a job.
Tools used
Tools used

I added more oil than neccessary and used a vacumn oil drainer that I use for oil changes on my bikes and cars to get the right level, I got the oil level measurements from another wing site (from the top of the top cap to the oil level with the forks extended) put a bit of tape at the required point on the drain tube and sucked the excess fork oil out. Made the job dead simple and both legs are exactly the same level.
Vacumn drainer
Vacumn drainer

It turned out the dealer I had ordered the parts from was not a francised dealer after all but a Honda "specialist". All I know is the parts came in what appeared to be genuine honda packaging and looked original. Comparing the new ones with the old there was a lot of the teflon coating worn off the bottom bushes but the original top bushes looked fine.
better view of worn bushes
better view of worn bushes


Was it worth it? well the fork action is greatly improved, not quite as smooth as my other bike (Moto Guzzi Norge) but it's a lot better, I can live with it now and bearing in mind the old girl is aproaching 19 years old and well over 120,000miles it's easy to cut her a little bit of slack.

*********************************************************

Since I wrote the above I have removed the rear wheel to check the bearings, cleaned and lubricated the rear caliper sliders and replaced the split gaiter on the rear air spring assembly on the o/s I have also changed the brake fluid and rear axle fluid. "Phew" I seem to have lived in my garage these past few days.
rear wheel out
rear wheel out

The only thing left now is the cruise control which did not work when I bought the bike. There is plenty of vacumn at the control unit (the device on the n/s with two valves attached)so I presume the vac lines are ok, the actuator works fine (if I suck on the pipe I can open and close the throttles on the carbs), All the lights light up to say the cruise is working and if I touch either brake or the cluch lever the cruise engaged light goes out, the same happens if I slow below 30 mph. It wont engage if the bike is not in 4th or overdrive, so again I'm assuming that all the various switches and sensors are working o.k. Must admit I'm getting a little stuck now and would appreciate any suggestions, I don't want to replace the valve block until I can be sure thats the problem.

I have reassembled the bike for now and will put a few miles on her to make sure every thing I have done is ok. We are going on our annual holiday to Spain soon which has been the reason for all the work.
back together
back together

Sorry for the long post I do seem to have got a bit carried away,

I would like to thank all the contributors to the various articles on here they have been a great help.

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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby The Grand Pooh-Bah » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:30 am

Wish I could help with your cruise control issue. I wanted to add that using a 1-1/2" PVC coupling with the stop ring removed via a Dremmel Tool fits on the seal perfectly. I then use a piece of 2" schedule 80 PVC pipe as a slide hammer to tap on the coupling and set the seal in place.











dremmel tool

omnione
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:06 am

Thanks for your reply on the cruise control issue, since that post I printed off and followed the diagnostic procedure from Honda, after a couple of hours of checking, everything seemed fine.

Honda says if all the checks are ok replace the cruise e.c.u. but if that does not fix it then it may be the speed signal from the engine that might be missing. (I think you may need an oscilloscope to check that otherwise you can damage the engine e.c.u.) anyway, far too much money involved here for me to just guess.

Out on a test ride after all my work and not expecting the cruise to work it did just that, worked flawlessly, I thought I must have disturbed something during the tests but never the less I was one very happy bunny until the next day when it did not work again!!!

Thinking it might be the terminal block under the seat (it was the only thing that I really disturbed), I cleaned it with contact cleaner, put a little more tension on all the pins and tried again, result cruise control working fine again, only to stop two days later. Really confused now obviously something is happening but what?

I have since discovered that if the cruise does not work first time then switching it on and off a couple of times whilst riding restores its function, and using this method it has worked for several journeys over quite a few days.

I thought of a sticking valve block but when checked the resistance reading are correct and if you carry out a function test the valves can be heard clicking.

One more bit of information if the cruise has been used at any time during the day it does not matter how many times the engine is stopped and started it will work fine everytime until it is left overnight.

So its now working reliably (of a fashion) and is usable but I am no nearer to a permanent cure, I would be very grateful for any suggestions.

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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:36 pm

It's easier to diagnose something that ISN'T working than something that is working (and fails intermittently). So the fact that you can get it to fail relatively reliably is good.

If NOTHING else is being disturbed, and it's failing intermittently, I would venture to say it's the cruise computer that has the problem. However, heat and vibration could cause a connection or sensor to start/stop working, so it's not a slam dunk.

Can you go through the Honda diagnostics while it is NOT working? Do the diagnostics check out OK then?

omnione
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby omnione » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:46 am

Again thanks for the reply.

My reason to keep going to the valve block is because when doing the function test sometimes the exhaust or release valve does not work first time, but if that valve stuck then the cruise should work but not release (I think) unless there is a fail-safe in the valve that tells the ecu what state the valve is in and if it does not get the signal it requires then the ecu shuts the whole thing down

Funnily enough one of my collogues suggested (like you) bad/dry soldered joints in the control ecu or the valve block circuit panel so that may be worth a second look.

In my day job as a motor mechanic, customers cars with this sort of problem can be a nightmare to sort ( and that's with all the diagnostic kit) we sometimes have to resort to substitution with known good parts to get a final diagnosis but that can be difficult when some parts are hundreds of £'s.

So one other option is to see if anybody is breaking a wing and buy the valve block and cruise computer if they are not too dear, new parts are out of the question. As you say the only way to really fix it is when its stopped working altogether.

We leave on our holidays to Spain this weekend so it will have to wait until I return. It will be interesting to see if it continues to work over the whole fortnight though.

Might be a case of kill or cure!

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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby Ericson38 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:12 pm

noeleo wrote:virgilmobile,

Are you saying that I don't have to mess with taking the upper caps off and dealing with the springs? I'm just trying to get around this in my head. :oops:

I, too have stiction problems with my 1500. Had it on the "OldWing" 1200, but thought when I got a different bike, my fork problems would be down the road. Noticed over the past few days that it seems to "stick" when sitting. When I mount, the front wants to "jump up". Before I tear it down, I will retorque the axle bolt and pinch clamps to see if it helps. Just dreading taking off the rotor covers. Haven't been into the front end as of yet.

Thanks for all your tips and tricks. :D

noeleo


Virgil,

I have progressives already, and just plan on pulling the forks tubes with lowers out of the bike to change the bushes (2) and seals (2) per side. I don't have to pull the fork caps, correct ? I don't want to mess with the springs, they were changed about 40,000 mi ago (bike has 73K now).

Charlie

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virgilmobile
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:40 am

You don't HAVE to remove the caps to change the bushings and seals...
However..Putting the oil back in....Well,I tried to pumped mine into the bottom like I did on the 1200 ...The fork pressurized and out it came.

There is no air valve to open on the 88 like I did on the 83 and 84 air shocks.
I might have been able to loosen the cap to relieve the air pressure but I ended up removing the cap and filling the shocks from there.
I made a large "T" handle driver and marked the cap where it starts to thread in.All my weight and turn.It wasn't too bad but harder then the other bikes.
The "T" handle is scrap 1/2 rod with a bolt welded to the bottom.It's 2' long.

amsoilguy
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby amsoilguy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:29 am

Hi Virgil, I don't suppose you have a picture available of that T-handle tool? Thanks.
Allan

'88 GL1500

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virgilmobile
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:45 am

I'll look.If I don't have it in this computer,I'll measure it and post it this afternoon.

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Ericson38
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Re: Fork seals and bushes (again)

Postby Ericson38 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:58 pm

virgilmobile wrote:You don't HAVE to remove the caps to change the bushings and seals...
However..Putting the oil back in....Well,I tried to pumped mine into the bottom like I did on the 1200 ...The fork pressurized and out it came.

There is no air valve to open on the 88 like I did on the 83 and 84 air shocks.
I might have been able to loosen the cap to relieve the air pressure but I ended up removing the cap and filling the shocks from there.
I made a large "T" handle driver and marked the cap where it starts to thread in.All my weight and turn.It wasn't too bad but harder then the other bikes.
The "T" handle is scrap 1/2 rod with a bolt welded to the bottom.It's 2' long.


Thanks Virgile. Mine's a 2000 SE, I think like the moderators bike. Anyway, local Honda dealer had all 8 pieices (four bushes/four seals) for $94.00, beat the bundled price of 104.00 from wingstuff.




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