GL1200 fork caps removal - pinch bolts? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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GL1200 fork caps removal - pinch bolts?

I'm trying to remove the fork caps with the fork still on the bike - do I need to loosen the pinch bolts on the triple tree? I'm probably just being a bit lazy about removing the pockets again, so I'd rather just hit it with a breaker bar (when it arrives) but I thought I'd ask first. Couldn't find anything in the various guides.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I managed to get them off with my 18" ratchet but it was kind of a bear (nearly dislocated my shoulder again), and the caps are a little bit damaged. Probably ok to reuse, but might need to use an electric impact gun to get them off next time. Note to self: buy one.

But the question remains - is it safe to torque the caps during the reinstall with the pinch bolts tightened?

Also, any tips on drilling and tapping the caps to make oil changes easier?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 08:54 PM
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Loosen the upper pinch bolts. Definitely. Hopefully you haven't ruined the threads on the caps.

You have four pinch bolts on the lower tree, not to mention the axle, fender and fork brace bolts to keep things from slipping, plus the positioning ring.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bike...and Dennis View Post
Loosen the upper pinch bolts. Definitely. Hopefully you haven't ruined the threads on the caps.

You have four pinch bolts on the lower tree, not to mention the axle, fender and fork brace bolts to keep things from slipping, plus the positioning ring.
Yeesh. Will do. The threads on the caps look good.

The front wheel/fender/brace is off, but the lower pinch bolts should be plenty.

Feels like I'm messing this whole operation up - moved the forks up to get the lower set of springs out and now there are fine scratches in the chrome at the upper levels of travel, I guess I didn't clean the tubes well enough. Not a great start. I'm replacing that seal, but now I'm going to be worried about it, planning to sand it with 1500 grit to smooth them out. And one of the Trac drain bolts isn't draining - seems I'm going to have to pull the mechanism apart.

I was hoping to pull the springs, fill up the forks with ATF, pump them up and down a bit to wash things out, and flush - then replace the springs and do the seals, putting the fork oil into the lowers. But none of that worked out correctly.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 11:43 AM
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When I did mine I had never done the fork seals. I just left the forks in the bike. I made myself tools for the job as I went, including a spring compressor. I didn't drill and tap the fork caps, but I should have since that would have been an easy thing to do. It was a learning experience. Personally I don't see the advantage of taking the forks out of the bike to change the seals, but to each his own.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 02:53 PM
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.... and I think that shows why a torque wrench is a VERY useful idea, specially if its a thing you don't do very often .

My Pinch bolts and top cap springs had been tightened , probably 25 years ago, by a Gorilla .
The Hex wrench/allen key was bending on removing the pinch bolts ... after two, I went and got my torque wrench , and measured the next 4 pinch bolts, as I removed them

-- They were at about 85 to 90 ft-lbs !!

Good Grief : my manual says 10 to 16 for the pinch bolts, and about 20 for the top seal cap.

Bolts over tightened THAT much can stretch ... so I spun each into a nut, by hand , before re-installing them in the triple clamp ..... and set them at the correct torques , too.

I'd humbly suggest that you carefully check both your caps, and pinch bolts before buttoning it up .
If bolts are tight enough to damage your shoulder ( Or bend the black metal hex wrench ) then some damage to threads and bolt may have already been done .

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskachig View Post
Well, I managed to get them off with my 18" ratchet but it was kind of a bear (nearly dislocated my shoulder again), and the caps are a little bit damaged. Probably ok to reuse, but might need to use an electric impact gun to get them off next time. Note to self: buy one.

But the question remains - is it safe to torque the caps during the reinstall with the pinch bolts tightened?

Also, any tips on drilling and tapping the caps to make oil changes easier?
DON'T unscrew the fork caps with the top pinch bolts tight! It can cause damage to the cap threads AND the upper tube threads. The proper procedure is to loosen the top pinch bolts and leave the lower pinch bolts tight in order to hold the tube. You mentioned an impact wrench to remove the caps - don't, properly torqued caps should break loose easily with the above technique. To restart the caps, I made a tool from a short broken shove with a "D" handle on one end and a 1/2" square at the other for the appropriate socket. It allows for you to have excellent control while allowing for a great big push against the spring. (Remember to torque the caps and pinch bolts!)
As far as drilling and tapping the plugs to facilitate future fork oil changes. While the caps are out, I tap them for 1/8" NPT and use brass socket head plus. Works great!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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.... and I think that shows why a torque wrench is a VERY useful idea, specially if its a thing you don't do very often .

My Pinch bolts and top cap springs had been tightened , probably 25 years ago, by a Gorilla .
The Hex wrench/allen key was bending on removing the pinch bolts ... after two, I went and got my torque wrench , and measured the next 4 pinch bolts, as I removed them

-- They were at about 85 to 90 ft-lbs !!

Good Grief : my manual says 10 to 16 for the pinch bolts, and about 20 for the top seal cap.

Bolts over tightened THAT much can stretch ... so I spun each into a nut, by hand , before re-installing them in the triple clamp ..... and set them at the correct torques , too.

I'd humbly suggest that you carefully check both your caps, and pinch bolts before buttoning it up .
If bolts are tight enough to damage your shoulder ( Or bend the black metal hex wrench ) then some damage to threads and bolt may have already been done .

SilverDave
I have a bad shoulder anyway - the fork caps were really tightened down (felt like 80s to my butt-torque wrench, reminded me of putting a hitch on my car), but when they went they really went, it wasn't a linear decrease. It's the snap that tends to pop my arm out. And I'm having the same situation with the pinch bolts, they are incredibly tight, going to need to clear some room to get one of my big ratchets in there because the hex wrench is just bending and threatening to slip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by basil3w View Post
DON'T unscrew the fork caps with the top pinch bolts tight! It can cause damage to the cap threads AND the upper tube threads. The proper procedure is to loosen the top pinch bolts and leave the lower pinch bolts tight in order to hold the tube. You mentioned an impact wrench to remove the caps - don't, properly torqued caps should break loose easily with the above technique. To restart the caps, I made a tool from a short broken shove with a "D" handle on one end and a 1/2" square at the other for the appropriate socket. It allows for you to have excellent control while allowing for a great big push against the spring. (Remember to torque the caps and pinch bolts!)
As far as drilling and tapping the plugs to facilitate future fork oil changes. While the caps are out, I tap them for 1/8" NPT and use brass socket head plus. Works great!
Wish I'd seen that somewhere else, sigh. This might have to be a "learner set" of forks for me. At least it's not hard to find another set in decent shape sigh. Going to hope the legs polish back up, and the threads hold.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 08:30 PM
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Re space inside the fairing for the Hex bolt fastening and unfastening :

I bought a " Short Stubby" allen key, and used an 18 inch piece of narrow , strong pipe ( about 5/8 ?) as an extender. It lay right along the shocks .. There is not enough room in there to get a regular sized ratchet wrench , or a regular sized torque wrench, either .

To refasten , I snugged them up to what I thought was about 10 ft-lbs, with the Stubby allen key and did the rest with my ( much smaller ) inch-lb torque wrench with a small socket with a cut down short piece of allen Key , and a tube extension . Just set the wrench at about 200 inch-lbs and twist it( Blind ) until it "Clicks ".

Working blind in there is a real pain , but taking off the entire front fairing would be even worse.

Just work slowly and methodically and the 6 of them will be done in no time .

Don't forget to align the shocks :
replace the axel , and loosely snug up the fork brace to align everything before snugging up the pinch bolts .

SilverDave

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2016, 08:44 PM
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For the lower tree bolts, I sacrificed an allen key to make a shorter allen socket. It works but my torque wrench is too thick to get in there.
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