Fork Seal Repacement


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1100
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Here2Learn
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 20, 2019 3:01 am
Location: Crudup, AL
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100

Re: Fork Seal Repacement

Post by Here2Learn » Thu May 23, 2019 1:03 am



Thank you very much for the article, as well as others continuing the discussion. I am helping a friend with an oddball VW engine powered trike that has 1982 GL1100 forks. It has been an adventure! I am at the point of reinstalling the damper rod socket head bolts and washers after installing new seals and bushings. After new oil, I get to hand them back to him. :)

For anyone who takes on this project in the future, I have an experience and a couple of tips to add that I learned from not just doing the 1982 GL1100 forks, but also several sets of MX and trail bike forks over the years.

1. If you are not the original owner, get ready for possible surprises from some previous mechanic / owner. On these forks, someone reused the damper rod bolt copper crush washers instead of replacing them with new ones. Also, since the washers didn't seal well, they cranked them down until they were concave. I assume one leaked, as it also had silicone sealant on the threads. I didn't even know how bad they were, but laughed instantly when my friend said he would get an "Allen wrench" to remove the bolts. I told him no, and pulled out a battery operated 3/8" impact driver with 6 mm hex bit socket. The impact driver got the first one off after a while, but the second one had to have the bolt and bottom of the fork leg heated with a propane torch before it finally broke loose. Fun times! :shock:

2. When it was time to separate the sliders from the chrome inner tubes, a propane torch was used to heat up the slider area where the seals are. It was only warmed to where a drop of water would barely sizzle. This allows the aluminum to expand slightly, making it much easier to separate the tubes. A few modest tugs are all that was needed. Slamming the tubes apart can cause damage to the bushings. The teflon coating can be peeled away from the metal. If you are trying to save them, and don't think they are worn out from use and age, then take it easy on them. The top of the inner bushing (on the end of the chrome inner tube) hits the bottom of the outer bushing (inside the top of the slider / outer tube). This is what causes the outer bushing, thicker washer (back up ring in Honda-ese) and oil seal to come out. Also, if someone is concerned about the propane usage on the slider, I have a different method I have used in the past for forks that are off the bike and in a safe work area. Get a big cooking pot, and boil some water. Pour boiling water onto the seal area of the outer tube before attempting to tug them apart. It also makes it easier to get the tubes apart.

Thanks again to everyone who contributed and made this fork job easier for me and others that read the article and thread!



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