Fork Oil?


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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portugeezer
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Fork Oil?

Post by portugeezer »



I need to do my fork seals. I have always just used trans fluid for this. Is real fork oil better? Why? Thanks for any advice.


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dingdong
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by dingdong »

Fork oil is purchased by specific weight. ATF comes in a multitude of weights depending on mfg and application with no designation on the container. You're just guessing with ATF.
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Fred Camper
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by Fred Camper »

I run 5w fork oil as I have progressive springs and weigh 165 lbs. Fork oil gives you a choice. Most folks run 15w in the fork. Never seen any data saying ATF was bad if the viscosity of ATF is good for the user.
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tfdeputydawg
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by tfdeputydawg »

IMHO, most people run what the manual calls for. In my case that is 10W.
Also, as with many "other" substitute items, the ATF might work but, my forks do not have any gears in them so........................................
Similar response on using Rotella Oil, might work but my Wings not a diesel................................
How many miles on your bike? Might be time for more than just seals?
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portugeezer
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by portugeezer »

My seals are bad from the fire. I have no idea how many miles the bike has on it. The odometer shows 27,000. Probably 127,000. I weigh around 200lbs and sometimes carry a passenger. Should I be using 10w oil for the weight?
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portugeezer
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by portugeezer »

I also run Rotella in my engine. I had Valvoline 10W 40 motorcycle oil in my engine and rode down to Colorado. It was a hot day going through Kansas and my oil broke down to the viscosity of water. I replaced it and have never had any problems with the Rotella. A friend of mine works on planes for a living and they use it on them. He was the one who called Shell and one of the techs there recommended it. Shell makes good stuff.
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1grouch2u
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by 1grouch2u »

When I finally got around to replacing the fork seals in my '76 (after adding some and soaking my brake pads) I put what I had handy in there, which was 5w-30 motor oil. Even with the added weight of the Vetter fairing they seem too stiff now. My Honda manual recommends ATF- so I picked up a can of "Type F" to put in there -maybe tomorrow. (It's a ****-bear on these rough ass rural roads, I hope this smooths things out a lot) Any spare thoughts on this move? Isn't the "Type-F" a slightly thicker product than the Mercon/Dexron? Thanks guys! 8-)
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Fred Camper
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by Fred Camper »

Use care with ATF as Honda specified ATF back in the day when there was only one kind. The new updates have different properties that Honda did not validate. If you cannot find plain Jane ATF, then Fork Oil is a better consideration.
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1grouch2u
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by 1grouch2u »

Fred Camper wrote:Use care with ATF as Honda specified ATF back in the day when there was only one kind. The new updates have different properties that Honda did not validate. If you cannot find plain Jane ATF, then Fork Oil is a better consideration.

Yeah, 'Type-F' should be about as "plain Jane" as it comes. The spec was in use back then for the C-6, C-4, and AFX Ford transmissions- and worked well in other 's -including GM's- equipped with 'shift kits' - even recommended for those applications. There's a 'new' 'Type-F II' now, and the old 'Dexron' is mostly now "Dexron/Mercon' -so I guess I'd steer clear of those- we'll see how this stuff acts- I might end up getting a slightly heavier fork oil - like maybe 15wt- because of the fairing, but hopefully I'll be alright. When I measured the free length of the springs when I had them out to do the seals they were at the long end of the spec- showing no wear/compression. Wish me luck anyway! -Thanks!
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by Fred Camper »

Your on the right track grouch, type F was back in the day. Make sure it is new or dry and not moisture ladden.
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1grouch2u
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by 1grouch2u »

Fred Camper wrote:Your on the right track grouch, type F was back in the day. Make sure it is new or dry and not moisture laden.
Yeah, thanks Fred, it's a brand-new can. I remember back in the day when you'd install a 'shift-kit' in an old Turbo 350 or Turbo 400 that they (B&M anyway) would recommend you go back with "Type-F" - so for whatever reason I'm thinking it might be the better choice. -Maybe not, since regular old Dexron would be more probably the 'plain vanilla' stuff, I'll let you know what I find out- as long as it stays behind the seals I imagine I'll be happy- and it's bound to have a smoother ride than what I've got in there!

I haven't properly timed or synched out the motor since putting that head on there, and that's got to be a pretty high priority before I tear something up- I don't know how many hundreds of miles I rode it with a broken valve guide before I finally got around to figuring that out, so these really are durable little plants- not saying I want to push it!

The weather outside is frightful- 40mph winds, cold... what the hell? This ain't springtime in Texas! I had to buy a new cover for it and got a really cheap one off Fleabay- sucks, about to blow the damned thing off!
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Placerville
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by Placerville »

Agree with Fred.

ATF Type F contains no friction modifiers which can cause fork seals to wear prematurely. Honda has always recommended ATF for front forks because, 1. it has the correct weight and, 2. it's available world-wide. (ATF Type F does not have 'different weights' as mentioned above.) ATF works, it's inexpensive and it's available. Of course, you can buy "fork oil" in lighter or heavier weights to suit your riding preference but, keep in mind, that the heavier the oil the more likely you'll blow out your seals.

I've used Auto Zone's store brand 'Coastal ATF-Type F' for years with success.


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1grouch2u
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by 1grouch2u »

Placerville wrote:Agree with Fred.

ATF Type F contains no friction modifiers which can cause fork seals to wear prematurely. Honda has always recommended ATF for front forks because, 1. it has the correct weight and, 2. it's available world-wide. (ATF Type F does not have 'different weights' as mentioned above.) ATF works, it's inexpensive and it's available. Of course, you can buy "fork oil" in lighter or heavier weights to suit your riding preference but, keep in mind, that the heavier the oil the more likely you'll blow out your seals.

I've used Auto Zone's store brand 'Coastal ATF-Type F' for years with success.

Excellent! By sheer happen-stance that's exactly what I have! Fantasic! -Thank You! 8-)
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by dingdong »

Here is a viscosity (weight) chart of some ATFs. Seems they are all less than 10 weight. Personally I prefer nothing less than 10 weight depending on which bike. My 76 rides way to soft with 10. In her I use 15.

(Automatic Tranny Fluids - except for Redline D4 dual-use)

VI Vis@40C Vis@100C
.............8.3 = Honda CVT Fluid
.............7.6 = Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF

198 33.5 7.5 = Redline D4 ATF Dexron III / Mercon / API GL-4
.............7.4 = Mobil 1 Synthetic Dexron/Mercon
197 32.5 7.2 = Redline Synthetic ATF Dexron II / Mercon
.............7.1 = Mobil 1 Synthetic Multi-vehicle ATF
138 40.5 7.1 = AMSOIL Ford type F auto trans fluid
168 37.4 6.8 = AMSOIL Automatic Transmission Fluid ATF
..........5.5-6 = Ford Mercon SP
Last edited by dingdong on Sat May 04, 2013 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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portugeezer
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by portugeezer »

I think I will just get some type F from Auto Zone. I'm going to replace my clutch cable today the forks will be next week.
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by SteveB123 »

dingdong wrote:Here is a viscosity (weight) chart of some ATFs.
VI Vis@40C Vis@100C
At operating temps for an automatic transmission! Pity they don't give weights at room temp as well.
My forks hardly ever get up to 100 Centrigrade. :)
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Fred Camper
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by Fred Camper »

I guess that is one advantage of fork oil, as that is packaged knowing it will never get to 100oC.
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by SteveB123 »

Fred Camper wrote:I guess that is one advantage of fork oil, as that is packaged knowing it will never get to 100oC.
My Bad. There IS actually two (for some) viscosities listed in that chart.
Mid 30's Centistokes @ 40C.....so about a #10 fork oil....maybe call it a "heavy 10".

See here for a listing of fork oil viscosities at 40C and some at 100C.
http://www.transmoto.com.au/fmx/products/7799233/
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dingdong
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by dingdong »

If ??? viscosity is normally "rated" and listed on the container at 100 degrees C. that is all the info I need if comparing ATF and fork oil. My mind gets confused too easily to absorb all the other stuff.
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Re: Fork Oil?

Post by SteveB123 »

dingdong wrote:If ??? viscosity is normally "rated" and listed on the container at 100 degrees C. that is all the info I need if comparing ATF and fork oil. My mind gets confused too easily to absorb all the other stuff.
Well, the "other stuff" would be the viscocity at the temperature that you'll be using it at.

One oil is expected to be @ 100C for most of it's operation, and one is not.


Current:82 GL1100 Interstate, 60 Amp Poorboy, MSD coil
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