1988 front fork rebuild


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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zamboni920
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1988 front fork rebuild

Postby zamboni920 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:41 pm



Does anyone have, or have seen, a good write-up on front fork rebuild? All I can find in DIY articles are "retighten steering stem bearings" and Heidebills video clip on rebuild. Unfortunately the videoclip is not complete enough for a novice like me. Want to know ahead of time wich parts would be needed, or advisable. Any possible snags/obstacles to be aware of. Honda OEM parts, aftermarket parts, progressive springs or not, oil quantity/type, tips and tricks.
I have noticed my right fork has a leak at the seal. With 138000+ miles, and not very well maintained by previous owner, I want to do all neccessary repair/maintenance in one shot. Also doing front tire at the same time.



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WingAdmin
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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:41 pm

I'll be doing mine this winter, so I'll do a write-up then. I have seen some around the web that are fairly good however.

amsoilguy
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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:48 am

WingAdmin wrote:I'll be doing mine this winter, so I'll do a write-up then. I have seen some around the web that are fairly good however.


Were you able to get around to doing this? Mine are leaking as well.
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:19 am

amsoilguy wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:I'll be doing mine this winter, so I'll do a write-up then. I have seen some around the web that are fairly good however.


Were you able to get around to doing this? Mine are leaking as well.


I'm doing it this weekend! :)

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:45 am

Great, I'll be right behind you, just finishing up the timing belts and some other maintenance items.

I assume there will be a difference on the front forks between my '88 and your '00?
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:12 am

amsoilguy wrote:Great, I'll be right behind you, just finishing up the timing belts and some other maintenance items.

I assume there will be a difference on the front forks between my '88 and your '00?


I'll have to have a look at the service manuals to be sure - I've only looked at my 2000 service manual.

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby SgtCharlie » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:11 am

Just a thought before you go tearing your forks apart. My right fork was leaking really bad (when I bought it). Bad enough that the brake pads were caked in the fork fluid and my front brakes didn't work nearly as well as they should have.

I was quoted $230 by my mechanic. She said the cost was almost all labor as the parts were only $30 or so, but it would take her 2 days to tear the bike apart and then rebuild it after they replaced the fork seals.

Then I heard about this AWESOME little gadget, the "Seal Mate"! I took the chance as it's only $7.99 for one (about $15.00 with S&H) and just got it in today!

So I went out to the garage, had the bike on the center stand and took all the accessories off the front fender so I could get to my fork seal. I used the Seal Mate, just like they did in the video on their website (http://www.sealmate.net/) and got a BUNCH of black dirt and gunk out from inside the seal. I did it again, just for giggles and nothing came out but dirty fork fluid.

Got it all cleaned up, and took it for a 30 minute ride. I got off and on at every off/on ramp on the highway near my home so that I could do a lot of stopping and starting, making sure to hit the brakes a little harder than normal, just to compress the front forks more.

After the 30 minute ride, I parked her in the garage and there wasn't one drop of fork fluid anywhere on the front of the bike!

I'm not being paid for this and if you feel that you still need to replace your fork seals then more power to you; but as far as I'm concerned, the folks at Seal Mate just saved me $215 bucks! That's a lot of chrome!

Good luck!
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:23 pm

Yup, you can also use 35mm film negatives (if you can find any). Motorcycle Consumer News this month featured a review on a similar product: Seal Doctor

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:33 pm

amsoilguy wrote:
WingAdmin wrote:I'll be doing mine this winter, so I'll do a write-up then. I have seen some around the web that are fairly good however.


Were you able to get around to doing this? Mine are leaking as well.


I did it this past weekend and spent the evening writing it up. Here you go: How to rebuild your front forks

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:01 pm

As always, excellent write up!

Have you ever heard of any bike shops that rent tools? I hate to spend that much on a spring tool with this being my only bike.
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby SgtCharlie » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:08 pm

Yep, Excellent DIY article, as always!

Thanks for the article! If I ever need to do my forks, now I know where to go to see how to do it. As for my fork leak, the Seal Mate worked like a charm! Got all the dirt out of my seal that was causing the leak and it's been a week with no more leaking at all.

Thanks again for the great articles!
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:15 pm

Sgt, I'm considering that at least as a temporary measure.

BTW...thank you for your service!
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:49 am

amsoilguy wrote:As always, excellent write up!

Have you ever heard of any bike shops that rent tools? I hate to spend that much on a spring tool with this being my only bike.


Like I mentioned, several people have built their own, some examples are shown below. I questioned the safety of some of these contraptions, and like I said, with several bikes, I do this relatively frequently, so I "sprung" for the actual tool. Your mileage may vary.








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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:27 am

My '88 does not have the schraeder valves. Is it possible to replace the caps with the schraeders?
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:36 pm

amsoilguy wrote:My '88 does not have the schraeder valves. Is it possible to replace the caps with the schraeders?


Sure. Just get a set of the SE caps, and screw them in place of your caps. I put a set of Progressive springs in while I was doing this, and they recommend that you run with no air pressure added at all, so my valves are essentially unused.

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:40 pm

I finally got started on this last night but only made it as far as pulling the fork brace...which will not budge after removing the 4 screws. I don't have anything to leverage against except the plastic fender. Any suggestions?
Attachments
My fork brace looks identical to this but will not budge.
My fork brace looks identical to this but will not budge.
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby WingAdmin » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:28 pm

amsoilguy wrote:I finally got started on this last night but only made it as far as pulling the fork brace...which will not budge after removing the 4 screws. I don't have anything to leverage against except the plastic fender. Any suggestions?


You may need to remove the wheel first. The axle nut could be putting enough pressure on the fork legs that it is squeezing the brace in place, preventing you from removing it.

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby amsoilguy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:01 am

That was it. Got the wheel off last night and was able to tap the fork brace out. The forks are now off and time to order parts. I found a local shop that will rebuild them for $80 if I supply the parts. Thanks.
Allan

'88 GL1500

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Re: 1988 front fork rebuild

Postby Dusty Boots » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:22 am

Just thought I'd chime in here with some advice.

Scott already has shown a photo of my home made fork spring compression tool to safely take off/install the fork caps which are under a lot of spring tension.



For those of you who like me had/have no Schrader valves in your fork caps and don't want the added expense of buying new caps with them in, you can do as I did and drill/tap a hole in the caps to accept either a set of Schrader valves, or some button head hex bolts that fit. This allows easier fork fluid changes without having to remove the fork caps in the future!


My stock fork caps;



I drilled them out and used a 8mm tap to thread them;



I used a 8mm shaft button head hex bolt. fitted with a washer and a couple of tight fitting o-rings under the hex bolt/washer to prevent any possible leaks due to the concave surface of the cap bottom where you drill;








Now when I want to change out/flush the fork fluid (I do that at least once a year), it's just a simple case of removing the hex bolt from the fork caps and placing a catch pan under the fork drain bolt and remove that bolt to drain the old fluid.


.

I use a large vet syringe with some vinyl tubing connected to it and a length of 3/16" brake line.
I place the brake line end of that into a container of fresh fork fluid/ATF and then draw back on the syringe's plunger to suck fork fluid into it. After reinstalling the fork drain bolts, I then insert the brake line through the hole in the fork cap and push on the plunger to 'inject' the new fork fluid into the forks. I'll do that a couple of times and then bounce the forks up and down a few times to flush the forks and then drain.
I then will use a scissor jack under the engine to lift the front end of the bike so the fork tubes are fully extended, with the wheel off the ground. I reinstal the fork drain bolts with new crush washers and tighten to torque specs. I then start refilling each fork tube until I figure I have enough fluid in each tube.
I then insert the tube until the vinyl tubing touches the fork cap and I then pull back on the syringe plunger, extracting any excess fluid.
I keep doing that until no more fluid is being extracted in each tube and that ensures I have the exact same amount in each fork tube.
I have a set of Progressive springs in my forks, with the tightly wound end inserted downwards and I have the length from the bottom of the brake line to the leading edge of the vinyl hose where it bottoms out at the fork cap set at 15 7/8", which ensures I have the proper amount of fork fluid for my year/model of bike (1992 Aspencade) and the Progressive springs installed the way they are. Different year 1500s (95 and newer?) will require a slightly different amount and the same with whether or not you are running OEM, or Progressives in your bike, but that will give you a ball park figure to shoot for.





Dusty




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