Rebuilding an 88 GL1500


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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reddeth
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2022 7:46 am
Location: Asheville, NC
Motorcycle: 1988 GL1500
2022 Z650

Re: Rebuilding an 88 GL1500

Post by reddeth »



Howdy y'all! Haven't had much to post for the past couple of months, the bike has been running pretty well and while I still get a little bit of a clunky shift going into 5th I think the new clutch cable, flushing, and just adjusting my shifting habits have made it a lot better!

But now since it's starting to get a little cold out here I figured I'd tackle the last real maintenance item from my list when I first bought the bike! Time for suspension work up front!


I have to admit the 1500 without a front wheel has such a cool retro-future look to it? Like some kinda Star Wars speeder bike almost. Anyways, got the front wheel off, pulled the forks, and used my own homemade 3d printed spring compressor to remove the old springs, which I conveniently didn't take any pictures of. And y'all, when I say there was not a drop of oil in the fork, there was not a drop of oil. Barely even a film on the moving parts. No wonder my suspension felt like such crap!


I know it's not the best picture but the black film on the old springs is just this disgusting sludge. And the smell! Smelled like I was walking through a dinosaur locker room after chili night.

Anywho, drilled and tapped a hole in the fork cap to facilitate future fork oil changes:


Replaced the bushings and seals on the forks after that, flushed a couple runs of fork oil through it, and finally put the whole thing back together. Check out the spring compressor! I was a little worried about 3d printing it, but it didn't even flex a tiny bit. Was printed with very thick outer walls and heavy infill, and worked beautifully!


Realized I was missing the small bushings on the anti-dive mount for the brake caliper, and I think that's what was causing my "clunking" while braking I described earlier. Although it also might have been the lack of oil in the fork. Ordered those bushings and hoping they show up soon, not riding too much until they do. But the brief ride I did once it was all back together was phenomenal! I didn't think the rear needed much attention before, but after feeling how much improved the front is, might be time to rebuild the air shock and replace the rear coilover lol.


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Snowmoer
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Location: Cedar City UT
Motorcycle: 2012 GL 1800
1977 GL 1000
2012 KLR 650

Re: Rebuilding an 88 GL1500

Post by Snowmoer »

When you refill the forks, use Automatic Transmission Fluid, not motorcycle for fork oil. The shop manual calls for AFT. I tried fork oil in my 88 and the front end would bottom out at any good bump. Drained and put ATF in, the forks worked like they should. No more bottoming out. Honda had a thing for ATF in forks in the late 80's. My 88 NX 650 was the same way. It used ATF in the forks.
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WingAdmin
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Re: Rebuilding an 88 GL1500

Post by WingAdmin »

ATF is just 10 weight hydraulic oil, so ATF or 10 weight fork oil, either is going to work fine (and the same).
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Snowmoer
Posts: 259
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:23 pm
Location: Cedar City UT
Motorcycle: 2012 GL 1800
1977 GL 1000
2012 KLR 650

Re: Rebuilding an 88 GL1500

Post by Snowmoer »

WingAdmin wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 6:22 pm ATF is just 10 weight hydraulic oil, so ATF or 10 weight fork oil, either is going to work fine (and the same).

That is what I thought and used the first time. It did not work. The ATF did. That is why I pointed it out. From the Clymer manual, they only did this on the 88/89's. Then went to braded fork oil.


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