Gl1800 a4 rear shock - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Gl1800 a4 rear shock

Hi, hoping someone can give advice on possible rear shock issue before i go too far down a expensive path. Took wife away for a weekend on my 2004a4 with 38k on clock. I noti ed ride quality was far from as plush as expected and my wife had a really hard time on back. I suspect new fork springs and oil would help, but this seems a rear shock issue.
She was describing feeling every road surface issue, with sometimes severe bumps under her seat and today aches every where! I did notice a lot of that, but not as badly as pillion.
Looked at rear shock as obvious suspect, but hard to tell what may be wrong.
The pump sounds like its operating when use switch, and figures run full range up and down.
Underneath no obvious signs of oil leak but hard to see if any spring problem - might have to pull pannier of and wheel out.
So questions are :
if pump sounds ok with pressure figures moving, no sign of oil leak, what else could cause that ride quality?
New shocks oem are horrendous price, where do people get decent none oem replacements if needed? I have a call out to Hagon.
And it says all none serviceable, so if problems a replace, but how do i tell if shock is definitely shot?
Would you expect rear shock to go at that mileage?
Many thanks for any help.

Nyme 1998 GL1500SE and 2001 F6C Valkyrie
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:48 AM
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The pump will operate from 0 to 25, but starting at zero, at what number do you hear the pump begin to operate "under load"? The sound of the pump will change noticeably when it starts actually moving against the spring.

What number of preload were you running at yesterday?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hi thanks for reply. I was running around 20 but did drop to 15 or so to see if a difference for her - and no! Just re checked that pump tone. Dropped it down to zero, and then when raising pressure the tone changes at 7-8 psi as though it is working harder.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Nyme View Post
Hi thanks for reply. I was running around 20 but did drop to 15 or so to see if a difference for her - and no! Just re checked that pump tone. Dropped it down to zero, and then when raising pressure the tone changes at 7-8 psi as though it is working harder.
7 to 8 is about normal for most if the rear shock actuator has not been topped off. Try running it all the way up to 25 and see if it helps the ride. Take off rear shocks with low miles are plentiful from trike conversions and the 2012 and later have a heavier duty spring. Otherwise I would suggest a progressive spring.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:59 PM
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If it starts to "bog" at 7-8, then you're losing that much adjustment in the range. So, set it at 25, and it'll ride like a spring would normally at 17-18.

It's quite easy to top off the actuator if you have a small bottle of the fluid and a few hours to tinker. There are videos available on how to do it. I did mine about six weeks ago and it made a big difference - mine didn't start bogging until 11. I ride with it set to 25 all the time, and I'm only riding 1-up.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for replies to date, so it looks like immediate actions are top off the actuator (can anyone point me to a video of that?), and run it up at 25 to see if that improves pillions life.

Question : manuals say all none serviceable and dont separate shock and actuator, but looks like you can actually do that and just replace individual components with used i.e replace shock and keep current actuator if sold separately.

After that its either a used shock (will any years fit?), or a progressive spring. If i replace the spring, how do i know if the underlying shock is ok and worth fitting a new spring to?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 05:59 AM
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All 2001-2017 shocks will fit. Yours is probably OK with the low mileage.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 06:01 AM
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This guy pretty much covers it.

Only thing he misses is backing off the cover of the actuator a little (1/4") before refilling it so that when you put the hose back on and re-torque the cover down you get a little compression. But, that's not absolutely necessary, it's just a little nice to have.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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great thanks for that. Instructions all seem to suggest disconnecting hose and holding above shock so dont lose oil and let air in, is there any particular reason why people dont just clamp the hose prior to disconnecting it as i would for brake caliper?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 07:31 AM
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is there any particular reason why people dont just clamp the hose prior to disconnecting it as i would for brake caliper?
Clamping can break the internal structure of the hose ruining it just like it can for brake hoses.
Don't do it!
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