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Author Topic: Rebuilding GL1800 forks  (Read 2870 times)
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« on: January 31, 2011, 08:30:49 PM »

As some of you know, my Goldwing decided to give up on supporting my big a$$ and aggressive riding and blew the left front fork seal.   I've done a little research and this is a problem that WILL happen with an 02 and up GL1800.  Mine just decided to wait 9 years and 80,000 miles to do so.  Mine is the exception.  Most go at about 20,000 miles, at least the spings are worn by that time.  The odd thing about the springs on the GL 1800 is that they were only designed to support the bike and a 200 pound rider.  I am heavier than 200 pounds, and there aren't many Goldwing riders that I have ever met that weigh less than 200 pounds.  The weight combined with the anti dive feature causes the left fork seal to go.  

Anyway, I took the forks off and it is ALOT more work than the little CX 500.  The Goldwing has the anti-dive feature, calipers on both sides and linked braking, all of which lead to a lot more stuff on the front end.  I haven't taken the fork internals apart but I plan on documenting this change just in case anyone is interested.

Today I contacted Traxxion Dynamics, in Woodstock, GA   www.Traxxion.com and talked with them about fork springs.  They ask several questions about my weight, my wifes weight ( I told her she had to be honest with me) and my riding style.  They have fork springs for the weight and riding style that I need.  They are also sending me fork seals and upper and lower internal bushings for both forks for $165.00, and they will be here tomorrow.

I'll post pictures on the progress.    
« Last Edit: January 31, 2011, 11:17:45 PM by Postmaster » Logged

Scott Brimer
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2011, 10:38:11 PM »

You are correct. Mine went out on the 03 a few years ago. I took it to the bike place in Hueytown on Brooklane and had them replace them with Progressive Springs. Haven't had a problem since. I've heard nothing but positive things about Traxxion, so I'm sure you'll be happy with your decision.
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Mel Travis
2003 Candy Orange GL1800
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2011, 09:33:28 AM »

"The odd thing about the springs on the GL 1800 is that they were only designed to support the bike and a 200 pound rider."

I am substantially less than 200 lbs. Grin Wonder how long the springs on my wing will last.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2011, 02:54:42 PM by MOwens » Logged

Marshall
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2011, 10:58:05 AM »


"The odd thing about the springs on the GL 1800 is that they were only designed to support the bike and a 200 pound rider."

I am substantially less than 200 lbs, wonder how long the springs on my wing will last.  Grin

Springs will probably last a long time.  The left fork seals will eventually go, it took mine 9 years and 80,000 miles.  It has a tremendous amount to do with the anti dive feature on the Goldwing.  But some very simple maintenance will ensure that the anti dive works and should at least prolong the fork seal.  The maint/cleaning is amazingly simply and requires 1 allen wrench.  I will show you how to do that during this repair. 
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Scott Brimer
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 01:06:11 PM »

I think when you install the traxxion fork springs you will disable your anti-dive. They did mine. Marshall part of the problem with the Goldwing suspension is that the bike weighs so much (900lbs). One thing that happens other than the front springs loosing their strenght, is the rear springs loose their strenght and wear out the rear shock. Also they have a rubber line feeding the hydraulics to the adjusting valve in the rear system. This rubber tube over time will swell such that you are not getting the full capacity of the adjustable suspension. Traxxion makes a metal line to replace this rubber line. I would definitely replace that line as well Scott, if you are going to do anything to the rear (I assure you it needs it the way you RIDE!!).  The way you can test this is to put your bike on the center stand and start with the suspension setting at 1. Raise the suspension level until you can hear the system load up (you will hear a change in the sound), at that point the suspension is just now really starting to do something. That noise should start at 1 or 2, with most bikes with some age it will only start at 7 or 9 or more. That is how much of the adjustment you no longer have!  You can tell how worn your suspension system is by seeing how much the weight of the bike depresses the suspension or dips when you are sitting on it and take it off the center stand. With my new traxxion front and rear springs, it hardly depresses and comes back up. On a worn suspension, it will depress a good bit and not come back up. You dont have much suspension at all if that is what is happening.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 01:07:45 PM by Capt. Zumo » Logged

Ever dream about getting paid everytime someone that you dont even know in Ohio turns on their lights? Call me and let me explain: Bo Harrison - 205.216.2133
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 01:17:56 PM »

Also you will need to make certain your fork tube is not worn beyond its capacity, one of mine was and I had to purchase a new one. They used a micrometer to ascertain that one of mine was too far gone (it was the one with the anti-dive mechanism in it) and they showed me the different micron measurements in each fork.  They recommend that you service your forks every 20,000 miles at least (change the fluid). I never did and had 73,000 miles at the time on my 2006.  My understanding is that the Honda manual does not show the need for this service.
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Ever dream about getting paid everytime someone that you dont even know in Ohio turns on their lights? Call me and let me explain: Bo Harrison - 205.216.2133
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 11:30:25 PM »

February 5, 2011.

I got the springs and other things in from Traxxion Dynamics earlier this week and

today I replaced the fork seals in my 2002 GL 1800, Goldwing.  It took 9 years and

80,000 miles but the left seal finally went.  The Hinda service manual says that the

oil never needs to be replaced unless it is leaking from a fork.  It is suppose to be a

lifetime oil.  Hmmmmmm......never really understood that.

Here's how it's done.




Bike is lifted off the ground and secured.





This is the anti dive unit.  It is only on the left fork and it is the one that leaked.

 The general thought is that this thing malfunctions and cause too much pressure on the

fork seal causing the blow past effect.



Oil on the upper tube.



The top portion of the anti dive is taken apart.  The odd thing about this device is

that the top portion of the valve operates on brake oil and the botton portion operates

on fork oil.  When the brakes are applied, the fluid pushes this plunger down into the

fork oil thus causing the front end to not dive as much.  It mostly tries to compensate

foor the weak fork springs that Honda put in the Goldwing.





After I removed the front wheel and the calipers from the fork tubes, I didn't want the

calipers dangling from the brake lines, so I zip tied them up.





The upper fork bolts and caps are under this, so it must come loose.







After you loosen the upper and lower pinch bolts, you slide the fork tubes out.





You take the cap off easy, there is a pretty good bit of pressure behind it.  You then

remove a spacer, spring spacer and the spring, then pour out the oil.  It was really

nasty and stunk.



After the oil is drained out, you must remove this bolt from the bottom. 




It is a 6mm and is in way too tight to remove with an allen wrench.  I then sacrificed

another wrench that I had and made this tool.  Worked just fine.






After the bolt is removed, the entire upper fork slides out.You then remove the fork

seal large washer and bushing.



The lower bushing showed signs of wear, just as Traxxion said it would, so I replaced

it with a new one.



All the internals.




Now all the new parts must be put back in and the order is simply reversed.

Old Honda spring on top, new Traxxion spring on bottom.  The new one is much beefier.



The fork seal requires a special tool to properly seat the seal and the bushing in the

lower fork sleeve.  Not having this tool, I got creative.  I got a piece of 2" PVC

pipe, a 2" to 1 1/2" reducer and a 2"cap.  It is a trademarked item as you can see.





It is then slid over the tube down to the fork seal.



You then tap the top and the fork seal seats perfectly!









BEFORE all the parts are put back in, oil must be put in the forks.  I used 15 weight

fork oil.  The Goldwing oil measurement system is different than most bikes.  You do

not fill the forks with a preset amount of oil, the oil must be measured from the top

of the fork down to the oil.  With the Traxxion springs the distance is 125mm from the

top, with the Goldwing springs it is 128 mm.  There is a tool you can buy for this

measurement, but I decided to make some with some things I had lying around.  I got a

large syringe, a thin piece of wood and some tubing.



I then cut a hole in the wood shim, inserted the tube in the hole, and then measured

the distance from the bottom of the wood to the bottom of the tube.  I then slid the

wood down until it was 125mm from the bottom of the tube.



I then inserted plastic tube into the fork and sucked the oil out of the tube.  I

sucked until no more oil came out, then I knew it was 125mm from the top.





All the parts back together, then tighten the cap.





In order to disbale the anti dive, I simply cut the pluger off with a Dremel.  It will

be permanently disabled, but it is not necessary with the new springs.



The forks are then slipped back in, pinch bolts tighten, all the brake components put

back on the and the upper shelter reassembled.











The strange thing is that when I finished, I had some bolts left over?Huh???




Just kidding.


If anybody wants or needs this done to their wing, let me know and I can help you

through it.


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Scott Brimer
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2011, 10:24:58 AM »

Good job Scott, I guess its too late to mention that I have Freds GL1800 maintenance set of DVD's over at Rodney's monster garage that may have been a time saver for you, but it looks like you handled it just fine without them!  I hope that fork tube wasnt worn beyond specs, or you might have some leakage later down the road.  Now its time for you to tackle the rear suspension, I am sure the shock and the rear springs are worn out. The Traxxion front springs will raise the front end a little higher causing more weight to shift to your worn out shock and rear spring. The ride wont be such a huge improvement until you replace the rear.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 10:27:26 AM by Capt. Zumo » Logged

Ever dream about getting paid everytime someone that you dont even know in Ohio turns on their lights? Call me and let me explain: Bo Harrison - 205.216.2133
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011, 10:49:25 AM »

I checked the runout and I was within spec.  I did notice that the front sat a little higher, but I thought it was just me.
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Scott Brimer
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2011, 05:57:47 PM »

Great post & I sure do like the color of your wing.
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