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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm considering changing the fork oil on my 2003 1800. I have a service manual and have been studying the difference between the left and right forks. There are many questions. To start with: Do you have to remove the forks? If not is there a positive way to drain all the oil from the forks - a drain hole maybe? If you raise the front end off the ground will that take the preasure off the springs so that the caps can be replaced easily? Since the right fork is different, how do you remove and replace the cap. Is it recommended to replace the o rings? Finally, what is the best fork oil/viscosity to use. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 07:03 PM
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Try to find someone in the area that has done it to help you.

Take the forks off, just like the manual tells you too..........work the actuator to get the oil out.....work it again to fill it...

03, put new bushings and seals in it while in there.

I use a socket and speed wrench to run the caps on , in the shop the tube is in the vise, on the bike I sit on the bike and use my weight on the caps, run the cap backwards a half turn and feel the thread catch then go forward.

Always replace all o rings and seals.

Bikes come with 8 weight oil.........8 or 10 is fine.

Bottom bolts have thead lock on them. Use a very new and sharp crisp allen socket. Also best to use an air impact tool. Put all your weight against the fastener and pull the trigger. Out they come. Worn tools and you strip the heads and have to drill them out.

Kit

The 1800 is my bike. The very best motorcycle ever made. I was enthralled with my first test ride on this machine. It is a great bike. A crotch rocket with storage bags.............As for oil I use the slick kind, and I like round tires, but as of late I have found square ones work best on the rear. Pirelli Eufori 195/55/16 @ 32 PSI
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Sounds like more than I wanted to tackle. I remember having the fork oil changed on a previous 1500 with no fork removal. My reason for wanting to change the fork oil is due to time not mileage(6 years) and I was hoping that it could be done without removing the forks.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 07:20 AM
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mroj wrote:
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Thanks. Sounds like more than I wanted to tackle. I remember having the fork oil changed on a previous 1500 with no fork removal. My reason for wanting to change the fork oil is due to time not mileage(6 years) and I was hoping that it could be done without removing the forks.
Here is a common sense answer for you. How old is the container of fork oil you buy at the store. ?? How long has it been waiting for you to come along?

Age is not a factor with fork oil. It is not like engine oil. Not exposed to contaminants , well just a few but not like engine oil.

The way it turns black and nasty is from the wear of the teflon off the bushings. The teflon mixes in the fork oils and turns it dark. I suppose a little condensation gets in it too especially from heat on the tubes during use.

There is no set service on the forks , so you just guess, put the bike on the center stand , lash the stand to the front crash guard and get the front wheel off the ground.

Wiggle it, pull it push it, it will have just a bit of play, if very much it needs new bushings.

Other than that to stay ahead of things I have just picked two numbers out of the air.

Riding two up, heavy and so on, service the forks at 35 K. One up , solo..........50K.

Then by noticing what is going on in there you can make the decision on when to service them next.

You can change the oil in the forks without removal. It is risky, but you can do it. Removal of the lower bolts will allow the oil to drain. They are not drain bolts per say, but the oil will drain. Thing is they are set to the tubes with thread lock. To the extreme. So trying to get the bolts out with normal tools , lying on the floor is risky. They will also get to turning and not come out, so now they are loose and still connected to the internal parts, so now you have to use a long screw driver or rod or something to hold the internal mech still. Hence the use of an air gun, it runs them out so quick it is done before it can play that game.

But if you do strip one, nothing says it has to come out right then, it can wait till you have it on the bench. The next time. But if it comes loose to the point it will not tighten back........hence the risk. Now no choice but to put it all on the bench. That is the risk.

But you can do it, and work the actuator up and down with the caps off, fill it up , use a little pump off of something with the pump line thorough a piece of wood or heavy cardboard and set the level of the fork oil, and put the caps back on.

Just risky to mess with the lower bolts at a bad angle. They are bad enough up where you can work on them.

Kit

The 1800 is my bike. The very best motorcycle ever made. I was enthralled with my first test ride on this machine. It is a great bike. A crotch rocket with storage bags.............As for oil I use the slick kind, and I like round tires, but as of late I have found square ones work best on the rear. Pirelli Eufori 195/55/16 @ 32 PSI
Kit
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Kit, thanks for the detail explanation. I am going to wait and let a shop do the work. I purchased the 2003 new in 2004, ride it solo, and have 29,000 miles on it. My thinking was that hydraulics needed to be changed every two years because of humidity build up. Since I like to keep my bike it top condition to prevent issues on the road, I thought it was time to change the fork oil. I called the Honda shop and they told me that they would have to take the front end apart and replace all the wearable parts - expensive. So, it sounds like from what you tell me that changing the fork oil at this time is unnecessary. Thanks for your help.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2010, 03:48 AM
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7 years is a long time for fork oil. I had mine changed at less than half that time and mileage, and the old oil was grey soup.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yep, Zeke66, that's what I was concerned with. I know when it comes to hydraulics, it's not the mileage, it's the time. Usually 2 years is the recommended time frame. But, in checking with the local mechanics, they want to do a complete rebuild of the forks which will be an expensive job. All I want to do is change the fork oil, but no one is interested in just changing the fork oil. I would normally do it myself, but having to remove the forks on a Goldwing is beyond my level of expertise. I thought that the bleeder holes on the bottom of the forks could be used for that purpose; but, if it's going to be an issue with the screws/bolts, I don't want to takle it.
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