Fork Caps are Tight


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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RockportDave
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Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
Previous bikes:
1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Fork Caps are Tight

Post by RockportDave » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:17 pm



Need some ideas.
Last weekend while changing the front tire, I noticed the left fork seal leaking. Bought the seals and bushings and made a tool from Wingdings “how to” to replace the springs with Progressives. (Thanks to Wingdings for the how to).
I have the forks out, but the caps are TIGHT! I was going to loosen them before removing the forks, loosened the top pinch bolts and tried turning them with a wrench, but no luck. I removed them and tried a 3/8” impact, no luck. I installed the right fork about an inch high in the triple tree and tightened all the pinch bolts and tried a very powerful 1/2” impact and the cap will not budge. The flats on the cap are getting distorted from the impact so I stopped.
Any ideas?
Dave


1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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MikeB
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Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by MikeB » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:07 pm

You could try applying heat to the top of the fork tube with a propane torch. Use a breaker bar and a six sided socket. I used an impact socket that I milled the face flat for better contact with the fork tube nut because that nut is not very tall.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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RockportDave
Posts: 420
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:39 pm
Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
Previous bikes:
1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by RockportDave » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:44 pm

Thanks MikeB.
I used heat on one and it broke loose. The other not so well. After heating, we tried rachet, impact and hammer impact with no luck. The flats were rounding off so the next move was a chisel and hammer. It finally broke loose after some serious hammering with a 4 lb. hammer. I have 2 new caps coming from Partzilla.


On a positive note, the tool I made using Wingdings guide worked great.


I bought a 18” piece of exhaust pipe from the auto parts store, got washers, nuts & bolts and all thread from the hardware store and and a cheap impact socket from Tractor Supply. Welded it all together with a cheap AC 70 amp stick rod welder I’ve had for 20+ years. Got less than $50 and 4 hours work in it.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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MikeB
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Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by MikeB » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:09 pm

Great job.

Been a while since those forks have been taken apart I'd guess.
MikeB
Tacoma, WA, USA

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RockportDave
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Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
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1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by RockportDave » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:10 pm

MikeB wrote:
Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:09 pm
Great job.

Been a while since those forks have been taken apart I'd guess.
I would guess never been apart. 46,000 miles and it set a lot of its life. I changed the fork oil last year, but filled them through the schreider valve holes. One tube had signs of the seal stuck to it so I had to polish it with emory and steel wool. Bushings and seals in and waiting on the new caps.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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ct1500
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Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by ct1500 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:07 am

A quality 6 point metric socket is essential in these cases instead of the usual 12 or HF stuff. ;)
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Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by GlimWas » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:07 am

Did the fork seals a few years back and replaced the springs with progressive springs but had no trouble what soever to compress the springs with my own weight. No help needed , apart from a workmate...... So i am a bit surprised that so many people have problems with putting the fork caps off and on....
Most motorcycle problems are caused by the nut that connects the handlebars to the saddle

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RockportDave
Posts: 420
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:39 pm
Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
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1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by RockportDave » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:11 am

ct1500 wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:07 am
A quality 6 point metric socket is essential in these cases instead of the usual 12 or HF stuff. ;)
Thanks for the info ct1500.
We had a good Proto USA 24 mm 6 point socket.


I will do as MikeB said and take off the bottom 1/16 of the socket to get a full bite before installing the new ones. The caps are very soft and before we heated the tube I had already distorted the flats on the one. The second one we heated and then had to use the impact to get it broke loose. The one I had to chisel was very tight even after heating the tube, but it finally broke loose.
I’ve been turning wrenches for many years and have a lot of “special wrenches”, just need to remember where they are every few years when I need them.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by CrystalPistol » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:22 pm

I've done fork seal / bushing replacements on my trike, stripped the forks too when I did the EZ Steer "rake" kit mod too (only time I had to remove the tubes). Any 6 point socket that fits those caps, whether HF or other, should be more than adequate. I also did my 1200's forks too. I was always able to pull lower legs off tubes from below, leaving the tubes in place . I even did new seals and bushings on a friend's GL1500 a couple years ago, it went well, tubes never left the bike's triple trees.

Hardest part is always pressing down on that cap against the springs while rethreading the cap. I use a 2x4, about 18" long, recess in center on one side accepts "knob" of 1/2" "speed wrench (looks like a crank) and an extension and socket lets me turn the wrench while standing on the pegs with bike on center stand and blocks under front, 2x4 resting against my chest. Actually, I don't own a 24mm 6 point (but I have all the popular ones") … but I have 15/16" ones and 15/16" is 23.8125mm (24mm is like 15.1181/16") … and it's a really good fit on my '97's fork caps.
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RockportDave
Posts: 420
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:39 pm
Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
Previous bikes:
1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Re: Fork Caps are Tight

Post by RockportDave » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:04 pm

Worked from home today and the fork caps came in. Got the Progressive springs in and all good.
With the new front tire and the springs, it is riding 1/4”-1/2” higher in the front and a lot better ride. No more sag during stops. I can still see over the MadStad, but I can tell it’s a little higher.
The stock springs are 15-1/4”, still within the factory limit of 15.07”, but the Progressives feel much better.
Dave
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1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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