Fork seal replacement without removing tubes


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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piekielrl
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Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500A

Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by piekielrl »



Hi all, I've seen a few mentions of people replacing their GL1500 fork seals without having to pull the tubes completely out of the triple or removing the springs. They remove the hex bolt on the bottom of the fork and yank the slider section off from the bottom, leaving the upper section still in the clamps. Is this possible? How do you fit the new seals on from the bottom? Don't the bushings, etc., get in the way?


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Andy Cote
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Re: Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by Andy Cote »

I think there are, perhaps, a couple things going on here.

The GL1500 Valkyrie has inverted forks. The seals can be done without taking uploading the springs but the top caps still need to be unscrewed from the spring assembly. You can even install the seal and bushing back in the tube while it's in the triple tree but it's a PITA working upside down. Easier to take it out of the triple tree once the seal is popped out.

But the Goldwing does not have inverted forks. You will need to unload the fork spring tension. What I do for top loaded (or inverted) is use the triple trees as a vice. Service manuals say to remove the forks, then disassemble. I will keep them in the lower triple tree, loosen upper bolts, remove top cap, remove hex bolt, remove seal snap ring and then slam the lower legs down to pop the seals and bushing out. Big pan to catch the mess. You can also pull the forks, remove the springs, drain the oil and then put them back in the triple tree to slam the bushings out.

Feel free to review the How-To article and various online videos.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=16118
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=36765


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2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
piekielrl
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 2:44 pm
Location: United States
Motorcycle: 1997 GL1500A

Re: Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by piekielrl »

I saw a couple of thread postings on another YT video where a guy describes changing seals on his GL1800 where he leaves the tubes in the triple.
Why does one need to remove the springs to slide the bottom sections off the fork? (Again, this guy says you don't need to, as long as you have about a foot of work-room below the forks to pull the bottom sliders off once you remove the lower hex bolt).
I'm guessing the 1800s are like the 1500s.
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Andy Cote
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Re: Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by Andy Cote »

Do you have a link to that video?

Certainly can do the entire project without actually removing the upper tube but you still need to remove the spring and the upper cap which means loosening half he triple tree bolts. Frankly, I don't know why one would try it. IMHO, the amount of spring force is too great to do this without removing the spring tension first.

There are some differences GL1500 to GL1800 and there are some differences left to right but in the end, I still would pull the tubes.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
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MikeB
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Re: Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by MikeB »

Personally, I think it is folly to not remove the fork tubes.

Once you have all the hardware out of the way to do what you say can be done, there are only three bolts per tube that need to be loosened to remove the entire fork tube. Once the tubes are out, you can work on them on a bench or table. Much easier, I think, than trying to do it on the bike.

Yes, the 1500 and 1800 are different. The 1500 springs hold more tension under the cap at rest than an 1800. You will have one hell of a time trying to put the lower tube in place with a 1500 because of this. I assisted a fellow that was working on his 1800 forks while they were installed, his choice, several years ago. It was much more difficult than just removing them. I'd never recommend this.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
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Retired in Tacoma, WA
piekielrl
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Re: Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by piekielrl »

In response to Andy's question, here is the link to the YT video from Partzilla where he is changing GL1800 seals:


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If you look near the top of the comments you will see a guy (lrnskyrd) talking about what I was asking, that is, removing the sliders without pulling the tubes. My responses (piekielrl) follow, along with more remarks from him. He says the springs will NOT push the sliders off, and if true, this tells me that they only push on the damper rods (Again, I'm asking these possible dumb questions because I've never done it before, so bear with me...

Also, there is another forum post either here or on Steve's site from a user named omnione (I can't locate it now) who did this and these small pics show the result. I saved the thread and am copying HIS pics here. (All ownership of these pics is his, not mine)






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MikeB
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Re: Fork seal replacement without removing tubes

Post by MikeB »

You know, everything is possible. It is just a mater of how much turmoil one is open to endure.

For a first timer, I'd suggest taking the fork tubes out.


MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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