Fork Oil change
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Thread: Fork Oil change

  1. #1
    Seasoned Member Bigyellow1's Avatar
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    Default 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)
    Msgt Ray Parker (Ret)
    2005 Hot Rod Yellow and Beautiful
    DS #863


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  3. #2
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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.
    Last edited by TravelinLite; 08-12-2009 at 08:02 PM.

  4. #3
    Seasoned Member Bigyellow1's Avatar
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    Default Forks

    You and Fred H are the Men.
    Thanks
    Ray
    Msgt Ray Parker (Ret)
    2005 Hot Rod Yellow and Beautiful
    DS #863


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    Oh no. Just Fred H. I just happen to know where it is located.

    Quote Originally Posted by mynext30years View Post
    You and Fred H are the Men.
    Thanks
    Ray

  6. #5
    Member Dwatson59's Avatar
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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


    2006 Titanium - Premium Audio
    A Joy to Ride GWRRA#268312 SW Louisiana

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    Seasoned Member wtaelewis's Avatar
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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!
    Live Free or Die!

    2007 GL1800 Silver - Premium/Comfort/Navi (I'm in love!)
    1983 CX650 Custom (I wish I'd kept her)
    1978 CB400T (A fun ride)
    1964 Honda 50 (My first)

  8. #7
    Seasoned Member Wildpat's Avatar
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    Default 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

  9. #8
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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
    2003 non-ABS
    Ex-Darksider

  10. #9
    Seasoned Member MS_Winger's Avatar
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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.
    "If you don't know what you're doing, it's best to do it quickly." Jase Robertson

    Mark in Mississippi
    2003 GL1800A Pearl Yellow DFT Trike
    2002 Pearl Yellow Bushtec Turbo +2
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by ibboatin28 View Post
    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
    You may not NEED to but the idea is that if you have the forks all apart anyway, change the bushings and seals.

  13. #12
    Licensed Tooth Torturer robeth's Avatar
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    +1 on all the comments about Fred's videos.....very entertaining!

    After watching I immediately felt the need to rebuild my forks, so that's what I did.

    Ordered all parts from Hal, including the Progressive springs I replaced the OEMs with.

    I'd never done anything like this project before, but was very confident in tackling it because I'd been "entertained."

    Seriously, a real advantage of watching the videos before turning a single wrench is you find out if you have everything you need for the job....both tools required and parts.

    For example, I found when watching I'd need a 30mm socket, which I didn't have. I made a list of this plus the other things I needed and made a trip to Sears. As a result, I didn't have to stop the project to go to town for tools.

    Having cycledude's steering stem tool in the toolbox ahead of time was a bonus, too (purchased from him about a year ago).

    Ride (and wrench) safely.

    .

    Bob E.






    It is like sport to a fool to do wrong, but wise conduct is pleasure to a man of understanding.

  14. #13
    Seasoned Member Roadie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibboatin28 View Post
    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

    You will never know how worn the slide bushing are if you don't do a fork service....they may be fine...then again they may be worn like mine were at 20K miles



    Frank
    Bear, Delaware
    03 Candy Orange


  15. #14
    Seasoned Member MS_Winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibboatin28 View Post
    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
    Mine were worn at 26k, and you may as well put new seals in, as cheap as they are. If the bushings get too worn, they can mess up you fork slide and tube, then you've got an expensive problem replacing them. Good luck with your project, whatever you decide to do.
    "If you don't know what you're doing, it's best to do it quickly." Jase Robertson

    Mark in Mississippi
    2003 GL1800A Pearl Yellow DFT Trike
    2002 Pearl Yellow Bushtec Turbo +2
    CMA Member #149669
    Email: w5ezy@yahoo.com

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