Fork Oil change - GL1800Riders
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Fork Oil change

I have looked all through my OEM maintenance book and can't find where I can drain, change and service my front forks. Is there a drain on the forks or do I have to remove the forks?
Also, while we are on the subject, If I read correctly, Is it as simple as removing the top caps and pulling the springs out to change them?
Where do you find the specs on fork oil viscosity and amount?
Do we have anyone (or has everyone except for me) done this?
Thanks for th future input.
Ray (Msgt)

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 07:27 PM
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The following info is from Fred H.

Try looking here http://www.pbase.com/fredharmon/forkoil
You may find it helpful.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Forks

You and Fred H are the Men.
Thanks
Ray

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 07:41 PM
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Oh no. Just Fred H. I just happen to know where it is located.

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Originally Posted by mynext30years View Post
You and Fred H are the Men.
Thanks
Ray
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 07:53 PM
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I changed the fork oil when I installed my Progressive Springs. The only problem encountered was removing the 6 mm bolts at the bottom of the forks. They are allen bolts, they have a torque value and are fairly tight. Mine were on the verge of rounding (allen head) out. I ordered new ones for my next fork oil change. I saw a set of Craftsman allen sockets at Sears that would have made that part of the servicing a little easier.
In the OEM for the 2006 model fork oil is discussed in the disassembly/reassembly of the forks (left and right) in the chapter pretaining to Front Wheel/Suspension/Steering.

Good Luck, David

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 08:29 PM
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Ray,
Do yourself a favor and get Fred's DVD's for Goldwing service and repair. You can order them here:

http://www.angelridevideos.com/gl1800.html

Well worth the money, you can ask pretty much anyone on this board who has purchased them. The whole fork oil change procedure is covered in gorey detail. Oh, but just remember, they are for "entertainment purposes only"

Cheers!

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1983 CX650 Custom (I wish I'd kept her)
1978 CB400T (A fun ride)
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-12-2009, 11:50 PM
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Fred H "entertaining" videos

+1 on this. I finished this project yesterday, rebuilding the fork, installing new Progressive springs and disabling the ADV. All done and I simply love the ride, so much better now. I also replaced the front pulser ring which was totally rusted.
You will need the Service manual also, and it is available online as a PDF file here:
http://www.goldwingdocs.com/index.asp
Download and use without moderation !
The great advantage of Fred H.'s videos is to show the steps and the inside, without doing the actual work and getting your hands dirty. It gives you an idea of the project, a list of necessary tools, and a scenario.
Basically it boils down to:
Removing the front fender, wheel side covers, fork protector, front brake system (without opening it), front wheel, rear of front fender. Don't forget to adequately strap the center stand and jack the bike
Removing the front panel and the black plastic part looking like a Batman symbol off the top bridge.
The draining bolts are inside the fork legs masked by the front wheel axle, 6mm socket, and TIGHT wit Loctite if OEM, so be prepared to have a spare set with washers. Have a good solid long allen wrench socket, mine is from Harbor Freight.
If you envision a simple change of fluid and/or springs, the forks can stay on, no big deal. As I was rebuilding them, I found it easier to take them out and work on them at home. I do not have a garage, meaning I work in the street or in my apartment
It may be a good occasion to inspect and change the seals if necessary, maybe change the bushings, up to you. My choice was to go for the big one, as my bike needed it. The PO was not great with maintenance, and the dust covers looked suspicious to me. And, man, I was right: t'was time to do somethin' on those... I found the seals' stop rings almost soldered to the fork leg groove , and that the idiotic mechanic shop where I had my tires changed just screwed back the front axle bolt way over torque specs... The old oil was also nasty, really nasty.
Fork oil depends also on your preferences, Honda genuine SS-8 or else, including Mobil 1 Synth. ATF, which I used and it seems to work very well (cheaper too here in NYC). You'll need also something to really clean the legs inside.
One thing I could add to those "entertaining" videos is the home-made seal driver I have now. It comes from a T union of white PVC, 1"-3/4 inside diameter, that was sawed off in the length on each side of the short middle arm and filed proper to drop the burr. It worked wonders, and gives a great leverage to drive the upper bushing and seal in place. I almost did not use my rubber mallet on it. Instead of a MightyVac, I used a basting pipe, marked at 5", 5"-1/4 and 5"-1/2 for adjusting the oil level.
The whole ting went on for 2 days, mainly due to the fact I had to get that *(^%#@#$% axle bolt cracked loose at my car shop. They were nice enough to lend me a 7/8 wrench to get it back on and off at home.
Have fun !

BMW RT80 K75 then 15 yrs on 4 wheels. Back on a saddle and HAPPY!
'01 Blue GL1800 ABS
BT45 front - Falken 195/55R16 rear - DS #926
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 01:06 AM
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I just finished rebuilding my forks. Fred's videos are great. When you undo the center bolt in the bottom of the fork to drain the oil, make sure you use an impact wrench. The impact wrench breaks the bolt loose with out any problems at all. I use a little 3/8" drive impact wrench I got at Home Depot for $49.00. The hammering breaks it loose with no damage to the bolt. Then you only have to replace the washer, not the bolt. A word of warning, do not use the impact wrench to install the center bolt!!! A couple of weeks ago a friend tried to loosen the center bolt with a Craftsman allen socket. I just rounded out the center bolt allen head. I don't know what he intends to do now.
RogerB

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 09:10 AM
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Just as Wildpat detailed in his post, if you're going to do the fork oil change and your bike has 20,000 plus miles on it, you really need to replace the seals and bushings. I have done mine twice, using Fred's videos, and it's not a difficult job, and doesn't cost much. Seals and bushings are available from Hal for about $35. While you're at it, if you really want to make your wing ride and handle better, spend another $350 and install the Race Tech Fork Kit and Springs. Makes a big difference, IMO. I am not affiliated in any way with Race Tech; just a satisfied customer.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-13-2009, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS_Winger View Post
Just as Wildpat detailed in his post, if you're going to do the fork oil change and your bike has 20,000 plus miles on it, you really need to replace the seals and bushings. I have done mine twice, using Fred's videos, and it's not a difficult job, and doesn't cost much. Seals and bushings are available from Hal for about $35. While you're at it, if you really want to make your wing ride and handle better, spend another $350 and install the Race Tech Fork Kit and Springs. Makes a big difference, IMO. I am not affiliated in any way with Race Tech; just a satisfied customer.
I'm curious as to why you need to change the seals and bushings if there is no problem with them I have 28K on mine with no problems...

Randy
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