air shock


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Dogsled
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air shock

Postby Dogsled » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:40 am



I finally got a stock Showa air shock and the seal is leaking. I can't find any reference to ANY rebuild parts or how to. I called CycleMax and the guy on the phone said there is no way to rebuild them. Tell me it isn't true... Is this a fact???? :cry:


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bill55
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Re: air shock

Postby bill55 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:38 pm

I'm not sure about your 97 goldwing, I have an 82 GW, but I just purchased oil seals for my stock rear shocks. I got them online from Mrcycles.com. As far as a how to, look in the "how to articles" at the top of the forum. Like I said not sure about your 97. If you can replace seals on an 82, I would think you could do it on a 97.

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dingdong
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Re: air shock

Postby dingdong » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:26 am

If that is the stock rear shock all you need is the oil seal.

Seal is a 91257-KE8-003 $16.xx Nothing terribly special about it. There's only circlip (wire type) holding it in place.
The 1500's air shock has no springs to worry about -- the oil seal is also the air seal, so it's quite simple. Be sure to drain the old oil before trying to remove seal.
Tom

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:28 pm

OK, I called MR cycle as well as a BIG variety of dealers and online parts stores. The GL air shock is NON-REBUILDABLE.

Ding Dong, you didn't say where you bought the seal you listed the part number for. If you notice the outside of the shock housing there is no where for a groove to retain that clip. It is pressed in with the seal when it is made and can't be removed. I was up at the Honda shop and even though they told me it wouldn't come out, allowed me to try.....without success.

So DD, how did you get the seal out and where did you buy it........I can't see why they would make something you can't change seals in so as long as someone gives me a ray of hope....i'll still try.

A Honda mechanic told me that the intent was to toss them if they went bad he believed. Look at how thin the other shell is on the shock. No way to put a groove in it to hold the clip. Compare it to the front fork with the thick metal and groove to hold the clip after replacing. Also look at the clip on the rear and front. The front has the clip bump out to put a screwdriver in the remove it. The rear is smooth all the way around.

I bought this used from a re-cycler in Kittaning PA called One Stop Outlet for 50 bucks. When I called him and told him it was leaking he said toss it in the trash and re-imbursed me my money.....Just a bit of kudos for an honest company that cares about customer satisfaction..... It was a shock off an '88 but would have worked had it not leaked.

I look forward to Ding Dongs experience.....a guy can still hope. Now if I go one step beyond and someone else posed this question when we were talking air shocks. What the heck the oil is for. Some kind of damping I assume. But I drained all the oil out of my shock and pumped it up and it's still holding. I can't figure out how this thing is built. If oil leaked out, why the heck isn't the air leaking.......
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Re: air shock

Postby dingdong » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:03 am

I apologize for any confusion. My 1500 is a 93. That part # is for a 93. I just assumed they were the same. I don't know for sure if there are any differences in reality. If you say there is no retaining clip then sometime or other there was a change.
Tom

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:06 pm

Here is the configuration I ended up with and love it. I got into this jam by buying a set of 412 progressive shocks to replace my OEM set-up. I was hand filling the air shock since my compressor went south. The 412's added no performance qualities over the OEM after installation. The problem was there is no ride height adjustment with the 412's. I'm 6' without shoes and had the coils set at the lightest weight. At 250 lbs they didn't move and the bike was noticibly HIGH even when riding. Here is the option I did and it works great......now this is for single rider at 250 lbs.

I set the one shock on the left side to one less click than max and on the driveshaft side I removed the spring set-up and am running just the shock. It sits low like I like it and I haven't bottomed it out yet. This was a massive waste of money but i'm status quo except in the wallet.

I've talked to Progressive and they said I should have bought 416's. My retort was if Honda had thought dual air shocks would have worked better, they would have put them on. I don't understand why Progressive didn't go with the same setup Honda originally had.... Progressives assistance is useless, everything they tell you is text book right off the instructions page of the website.
I'll keep looking for a good air shock and maybe someday i'll come across one. But for now i'm lovin the slammed down ride I have.
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ct1500
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Re: air shock

Postby ct1500 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:30 pm

All OEM air shocks use the same seal held in by a wire circlip.

Be careful of running no spring on one shock. I have seen a tire with the rear tread completely worn off the left side only. This was on a bike that had an inoperative air shock open to atmosphere and the only conclusion I could draw after a thorough check was the swing arm flexing either when in use or when it was bottoming out which it had been doing for quite some time and was ridden 2 up mainly.
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Re: air shock

Postby dingdong » Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:26 am

I now have looked at the parts fische for the 1500. Thru 93 there is a parts breakdown of the shock that includes the seal and clip. From 94 up there is no parts breakdown shown. Complete shock and air connections only. Go figure ??? Something fischy here. ;)
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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:00 am

Good find DD. I got the shock soaking in some PB Blaster but so far it's like the ring is welded in there. I'll keep working at it. CycleMax told me the shocks weren't repairable, Maybe he just never looked at the older models. The shock I bought, is off an 88'.
I got the seal size off the fische and can get one at a local bearing store (maybe). Also I wonder what that back-up ring is. It seems to me that i'm looking at the seal and the ring holding it in, like the front forks do.
Here's what else I can't figure. The only time it leaked oil was when I pushed the shock in and out with medium to no air pressure. I am assuming the oil and air share the same space since you drain it through the air filler location. I drained the oil and filled it with air, wouldn't it seem that the air would leak out fast......but it is still up for several days now. Man does that PB Blaster stink! Upside down in the vice with the seal filled with PB, you think you'd see air bubbles when you pumped it, but no.
i'll keep working at it.

CT, I am running this setup with confidence. I wouldn't do it if I was bottoming out, here's what I have observed. Even at the lightest setting the 412's have a hard ride, i'm quite sure it has to do with the springs. They have no give with both springs and I think I know why. Because the Shocks only have a 4 1/4" stroke....compare that to the long OEM spring shock.
I put on the shock alone just so the driveshaft side had a bit of damping. I am keeping a close eye on the handling, but so far It seems to be a good combo. I'm not gonna dump alot of money into the air shock because I don't know how compatable its gonna be with the spring/shock Progressive.

I do say to think long and hard when going to Progressives, if you do you will probably have put more thought into it than Progressive did when they made them. A better move would have been to duplicate what Honda did originally. But I think they did this just for money, and the dual air shocks make no sense to me.
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Re: air shock

Postby ct1500 » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:48 pm

With air in the shock it is expanding the seal lip into the piston providing a tighter seal.

And do not scratch, nick or gouge the chrome piston during retaining ring removal/install or it will be ruined.
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Ed Z
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Re: air shock

Postby Ed Z » Sun Aug 17, 2014 9:40 pm

I have found that tapping the seal inwards just a tad with some penetrating oil on it breaks it free from the case and must easier to remove...

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:38 am

CT, what I see is the ring is smooth all the way around. The front fork rings have the little bend for you to get a tool under and pry it out. I can't get this ring to budge. Air or oil.air, I assumed it was leaking because the seal was bad. It would either leak or not.

Heck Ed, I can't get the ring out let alone the seal. I figured once the ring was out you could bump it like the front fork but I did think about blowing it out with a big blast of air. Wire the two ends together so they don't fly out of the shop when they come apart... :D

Ah but first things first. RING
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Re: air shock

Postby Ed Z » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:44 am

Tap the seal a bit forward then the ring is easy to get out... I believe I used a small piece of hard wood...

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:24 am

ED,
did you do this before? The reason I ask is when I looked at the fische it says the ring isn't against the seal (but as I stated before it looks like the seal to me) but the 'ring back-up'. I'm gonna call around and see if I can actually buy these parts OEM.....I'm gonna say I doubt it and they'll say unavailable.....but.....I got nothin else to do.
I'll give it a shot. The outer shock housing is pre-formed and I can see where the ring back-up is locked in but can't really see a ring spot to lock this thing together. ANYWAY, good idea using the wood piece to tap down and break everything loose. That should quell CT's point about scratching the chrome tube.

NOTE: just got off the phone with CycleMax and they are gonna check the availability of the parts in the fische and e-mail them back to me. I will paste and copy their e-mail when I get it.
I was looking at the fische and they showed the other side of the suspension system, the coil over shock.... $329.00....If this were still available and there was somebody stupid enough to pay that price for a simple shock I can't understand whay Progressive couldn't have come up with a matching system to OEM, charged 3 times less and still doubled their profits.
When I saw that price....IT WAS TRULY A SHOCK!!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
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Re: air shock

Postby Ed Z » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:48 am

If memory serves there is a captive washer that prevents the snap ring from being removed until the seal is driven into the shock housing about a 1/4 inch or so... Once the seal is moved the washers "step" moves off the snap ring and allows it's removal... It was about 3 years ago that I rebuilt the air bag shock...

Have a look at part #9 to see what I mean here...
http://www.partzilla.com/parts/search/H ... parts.html

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:11 pm

OK, I can't see the captive washer but from looking at the outer shock housing I can understand the 1/4" backwards move releasing the ring.....maybe. If I take all that air I pumped into it out, maybe I can move it :?

I hate trying to do this when there is no way to anchor the shock in the vice where every hit of the hammer moves it.....dang

No e-mail from cyclemax yet. She said they couldn't get onto the Honda Direct website. Usually overloaded on Monday
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Re: air shock

Postby Ed Z » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:32 pm

Place the top mounting eye in the vise... tap downward on the captive ring... Remove the snap ring... remove from vise... Place right side up in a container and apply air pressure to push the seal out... If you use some penetrating oil when tapping the ring inward the seal comes out easier in the last step...

Ya can order the seal from the site I provided earlier...

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:40 pm

I'll give it a try. Somehow I missed the Partzilla link. Prolly won't be til tomorrow I get it out. The shop is about 100 degrees now........ I should have a leg up, been soaking in PB Blaster for a few days now.
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Re: air shock

Postby dingdong » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:04 pm

You can also try Western Honda for OEM parts. Cheaper than most other places.
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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:36 pm

Interesting:


SHOCK INFORMATION AND TECH (Provided by PROGRESSIVE SUSPENSION INC. U.S.A.)




Definition of Terms :

Rear suspension on a motorcycle is comprised of a damper and a spring. This combination is commonly referred to as the shock absorber.

Damping is divided into two parts: Compression Damping and Rebound Damping.

Compression Damping comes into play when the shock is compressed and helps absorb the impact when a bump is encountered and the wheel goes up.

Rebound Damping controls the return of the shock absorber and wheel to its original position. If this occurs too quickly, the wheel may bounce back (pogo). If it returns too slowly the shock absorber may not allow the wheel to return to its correct position for the next bump causing the tire to lose contact with the road surface. Control is the key word. Rebound damping controls the speed is which the spring and damper combination return to its original position.

Spring rates are selected by Progressive Suspension to match each motorcycle application. Leverage ratio (wheel travel vs shock travel), wheel travel and load determine the required spring rate for your motorcycle. On those applications where you have a choice of a standard spring or a heavy duty spring, the heavy duty spring should be selected for a load weight over 200 lbs, not by how fast you ride. There are four common types of springs.

Straight wound springs of 100 lb/in. require 100 lbs of force to compress each inch of travel. A progressively wound spring will usually have coils closer together on one end producing a progressively stiffer spring rate. At the beginning of compression, less force is required. As the spring is compressed, more force per inch is required to compress the spring. Two springs are stacked to produce a "dual rate". When the softer rate is used up, the springs jump to the higher rate (i.e.; 70-100).

Air spring When air in a shock absorber is compressed the pressure increases. This increase in air pressure acts the same as a spring rate. The purpose of adding air to the shock is to easily set the correct ride height for changes in load. For safety reasons, Progressive air shocks feature a combination of a steel spring used for the standard load capacity, air is then added to adjust the correct ride height.

___________

Technical Issues:

Types of Shock Absorbers

There is a shock absorber available for each type of riding and every type of motorcycle. Determine which type of shock absorber will best fit your riding style.

Conventional Steel Spring - The rider who has a fairly consistent load from one trip to another and is looking for outstanding performance will choose Progressive Suspension's conventional steel spring shocks.

Adjustable Damping - The high performance rider will want to choose the Progressive Suspension adjustable damping shock for outstanding performance, damping adjustability and a reasonable price.

Air Shocks - A touring rider with widely varying loads from one trip to another should consider our famous Progressive Suspension air shocks. The correct ride height is easily adjusted by adding or subtracting air pressure. These shocks offer exceptional control and comfort.

Ride Height

Progressive Suspension's spring shocks have a mechanical spring preload adjustment feature. This adjustment is used for setting the correct ride height when you have changes in load. When the preload adjuster is raised to a higher notch, it will increase the beginning spring load and raise the ride height of the motorcycle. Ride height is very important. Most complaints of a harsh ride can be traced to incorrect ride height adjustment. If the motorcycle is sagging too much, there will not be enough wheel travel to absorb big bumps and one will get the feeling that the suspension is too stiff but in reality it is too soft. Stability and safety of the motorcycle is impaired when excessive bottoming occurs. Tire wear and damage is also effected by excessive bottoming. When the shock bottoms out the tire must try to absorb the remaining force of the bump. This causes excessive side wall flex in the tire which can weaken the tire and possibly cause premature tire failure.

Lowering Motorcycles

If one needs to lower a motorcycle it must be done by choosing the correct shock and spring for that particular motorcycle. There must be sufficient clearances of the wheel and other components. Choosing a shock that is designed for another motorcycle can be dangerous. Generally when you lower a motorcycle by utilizing a shorter shock you will lose the equivalent amount of wheel travel (or more depending on the ratio of shock travel to wheel travel). For example if you lower the motorcycle 1" you will lose 1" of wheel travel. A motorcycle with 4" of wheel travel that is lowered 1" will lose 25% of the ability to absorb bumps. Decreased wheel travel will increase bottoming and decrease ride quality. Lowered shocks will generally have stiffer spring rates and damping to help compensate for the loss of travel. Initial cornering clearances will also be affected and care must be taken in making turns at any speed. Lowering motorcycles that are heavily loaded is not recommended.

Lowering Blocks

We NEVER recommend lowering blocks on any motorcycle. The use of lowering blocks changes the angle of the shock. This can cause shock failure and the spring and damping requirements will be incorrect due to a change of leverage of the shock. The use of lowering blocks voids most aftermarket shock warranties including ours.
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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:49 pm

NEXT:

Things that affect suspension

Bearings

Wheel bearings, swing arm bearings and steering head bearings all affect the handling of the motorcycle. Adjust steering head bearings and swingarm bearings to the factory specifications. Do not over torque the steering head bearings. Over torquing bearings to try to correct a wobble is a common mistake that well meaning mechanics make. Under no circumstances should this be done, it will cause even more handling problems and premature wear. If your mechanic suggests this, immediately take your motorcycle out of there!

Tires

Good quality tires of the correct size and profile are very important. Below are some of the more common tire problems that adversely affect handling.

• Wrong tire size (width) for the rim size

• Tire not sealed on the rim correctly.

• Incompatible front and rear tires (mixing makes or profiles is not recommended).

• Incorrect tire pressure - This is the #1 cause of excessive tire wear and bad handling! Do not try to improve your ride comfort by letting air out of the tires! Under inflated tires overheat, cause handling problems and are more likely to blow out!

• Worn or poor quality suspension will cause excessive tire wear, especially cupping.

• Weight - Some accessories when bolted to a motorcycle may cause handling problems. The most common causes of the problem are: Added weight of additional accessories Overloaded travel trunks and saddlebags Overloaded trailers Trailers with the wrong hitch ball height and/or weight Incorrect distribution of weight (too much weight to the rear of the motorcycle.


____________

FAQ:

(Q) What is the advantage of air over steel springs?
(A) For motorcycles such as touring bikes, where the shock is hidden by the bags and/or is inaccessible, air is a convenient method of adjusting the sag. Steel spring shocks usually require the adjustment of a cam collar or threaded ring to set the sag. Air is a spring and has its own pros and cons. Too much air can cause "sticktion" (friction) problems with seals and the spring rate of air progresses at a very high rate upon compression. But again, it is very convenient for touring bikes.

(Q) What is preload?
(A). Preload is used to set the suspension ride height (or sag) of the motorcycle. The motorcycle should sag about 20-25% of its total travel when the rider and passenger/load (if applicable) are on the bike. Not enough sag (too much preload) and the suspension will tend not to want to move initially, causing a rough ride over small obstacles such as stutter bumps. Too much sag (not enough preload) and the bike loses valuable travel, bottoming out easier and can cause stability problems. Any suspension (stock or aftermarket) can benefit from proper ride height adjustment. If a bike will not adjust to the proper sag after exhausting all adjustment settings, a different rate spring my have to be used.

(Q) What are spring rates?
(A) The rate of a spring is the amount of force necessary to compress the spring, usually measured in one inch increments. A straight rate spring will take the same amount of force for the entire travel of the spring. For example a 10 lb rated spring will take 10 lbs of force to compress it one inch, another 10 lbs (total 20) to compress it the second inch, and so on until the end of the spring travel. Now a progressive rate spring changes the force requirement as the spring is compressed. A 10-15 lb rated spring will require 10 lbs of force to compress the spring the first inch, another 12 lbs (total 22) to compress it the next inch all the way to the last inch where an additional 15 lbs of additional force is required to compress.

(Q) Why progressive rate?
(A) A progressive rate allows a plush, comfortable ride in the initial travel but since the rate shifts higher during compression, it can control the "diving" the bike wants to do under heavy braking or when you hit the big bump. A straight rate spring can't do it all like a progressive rate can because it is a compromise.

(Q) Why should I buy your 420 Single Shock?
(A) Our shocks are designed for the real world of street or dirt riding without the unneeded complexity of racing shocks. Our shocks are engineered and built to perform to a high level of excellence for many, many miles. And as a bonus, they perform without busting the budget by being value priced, sometimes hundreds of dollars less than the competition! Progressive offers true value for your hard earned dollars.

(Q) Why should I upgrade my suspension?
(A) Motorcycle manufacturers have a big job in choosing such things as suspension. They must consider many factors including cost, a soft and comfortable ride, various rider and load weights and a wide range of road conditions. In the final analysis manufacturers supply a suspension system to fit the "average rider", including road and load conditions.

(Q) Why do OEM shocks wear out so fast?
(A) Cost is a major consideration for manufacturers. Keeping within budget is mandatory and long term quality and life expectancy of high wear items such as shock absorbers and springs often suffer. Over stressed components such as internal valving parts, oil and springs are generally the first to wear out. The motorcycle manufacturers have to produce a product at an affordable price for the "average" rider. To achieve this some cost cutting must occur. Automotive manufacturers have the same problems, however, they offer optional suspension upgrade packages to improve handling, increase load capacity or offer adjustability. These options are expensive, sometimes costing several thousands of dollars but are quite popular because of the improvements they offer in handling stability and load capacity. Motorcycle manufactures do not offer these options so we must turn to quality aftermarket manufacturers for these improvements.

(Q) Why do I need aftermarket shocks?
(A) Most stock suspension's are setup for maximum plushness down the interstate, especially on touring motorcycles. However, this may cause problems when heavier loads are carried or more rugged and twisty roads are traveled. You're probably not "average". You may carry heavy loads, or pull a trailer (or sidecar) which taxes the stock suspension. Or you may just want a more controlled, stable ride, especially over rough or winding roads.
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Re: air shock

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:05 am

I have to say, I have the dual 416's on my 1500, and the improvement in ride over the OEM shock/air shock setup is considerable. Why Honda went with a shock on one side and an air shock on the other is likely cost - it's cheaper to make an air shock and use a standard shock on the other side than it is to incorporate air adjustability into a standard shock like they did on earlier Wings.

To me, having two shocks on either side of a swingarm with different compression/resistance/rebound settings is not ideal, they impart a twisting motion on the rear axle every time it hits a bump, and that torsion is imparted directly on the swingarm bearings. Having identical 416 shocks on either side of the swingarm eliminates the twisting motion and puts far less stress on the swingarm bearings. Plus to me, the springs on the 416 shocks are just better (a little firmer, but better springing and damping than OEM) and give better feel to the bike.

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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:07 am

Scott,
If you feel that having two shocks at different compression/ etc is bad. How do you account for Honda's OEM difference? I'm sure the air and coil over had different torsin ratio.

I'm workin on getting things back though. This was temporary so I can ride. With all the help I got here I got the shock apart. 'Tapping the seal in was the key. Some new parts from CycleMax and I should have a good air shock, then go from there.
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Re: air shock

Postby Dogsled » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:23 pm

EDZ.

Thanks for the Partzilla link. they had everything in stock and shipped it out today....
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Re: air shock

Postby Ed Z » Tue Aug 19, 2014 3:58 pm

You are most welcome sir...




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