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Is it really worth fixing the air shocks on the 1100? Mine leak down in 2 hours. Even when they hold air, they bottom out with 2 people even at 40psi. I can hear and feel it bottom out. Whitney sells normal shocks for 89.00. Starting to wonder if the 1100 is worth it. Maybe get it running, sell it and go to a 1500. They seem to be going for less than than I am gonna have in this one. God I wish I woulda kept the 1000.
 

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If you go with shocks off an 83 1100 there is a sping inside the shockthat keeps the shocks from bottoming out

Keep an eye on fleabay, you may get lucky
 

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Air shocks with an internal spring

A guru will be here shortly

Your stock shocks are pretty easy to rebuild, that may be the cheapest rout

Are you sure it is your shocks?
 

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Some of this best money I ever spent was when I sprung for my Progressive Suspension 416's. They went on an 28 year old GL1100 Interstate and the difference in the ride was miraculous. No regrets here!
 

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Hi Canadian *******,



Rebuild them.



I just did mine. It was very easy to do. Actually, I didn’t rebuild them as much as “refresh” them. The only thing that you would probably have to do different was replace the seal. Mine were great (not leaking and in good shape). They are only a few dollars compared to getting a new bike or $100 of dollars for Progressives. Progressives are great though.



If your loosing air, could their be an air leak in the line somewhere? Have you lost fluid or just air? My fluid was like molasses and that where all my problems were. Use soap and water put on by a brush to find an air leak.



I ride now like a Cadillac now. They great!



Really, it’s worth a try.



Tim.
 

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Is it in the manual how to refresh them? What type of oil to use, amounts, etc? Seals I imagine are still available from Honda? I willing to try a cheap repair first, hell they dont work now! Cant take a passenger, bottoms out on every dip on the road whether I have 20 or 40psi. Should be able to do the same to front? I wonder if this is whats making it sway all over the road above 65? It has new tires, fork seals, fork oil and a superbrace.
 

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It's that Superbrace that's causing all the trouble...send it over here!!!
 

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Yes... The manual has everything you need to know to do the job.



Tim.
 

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If you do a search on shock rebuild you will find a nice step-by-step with pics that's even better than the manual.



The rebuild is not as good as the new Progressives but it is a world of difference.



If you are leaking air and no sign of oil (trans fluid) then you should look at the connections and not a rebuild. Each connection has an o-ring or it is a compression fit (no o-ring). They are easy to replace and can be found in most hardware stores. In my area Ace hardware works great.



If you can afford it, the Progressives are the best route and will make the ride better than it was when it was original.
 

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Don't mess with garbage shocks - too much is riding on them in terms of handling and safety - I was (before retiring from manufacturing) the Senior Manager of Engineering for Showa America (who builds nearly all Honda and Harley shocks, including service parts).

Go here: http://www.crescentmooncycles.com/html/honda_gl1100.html

Good folks at crescent moon, they will take good care of you. I haven't needed the shocks yet, but they have been a great help in finding a wide variety of new and/or used parts to support the refurb on my 80 GL1100. According to Frenchy the 412 are better than the OEM and the 416 are superior even to that - I would agree based upon my knowledge of both shock designs.

Again, it's not worth the risks or the problems - you wouldn't ride with a grinding wheel bearing, why would you ride with worn out shocks? Replace them and enjoy the ride for another 30 years!
 

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I bought replacement shocks for my 81 1100 from fleabay and they have done very well. I also rebuilt the front forks and installed progressive springs. Huge improvement in the ride.
 

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It is possible to rebuild them - just take your time and pay attention to the order of the internals. The result will depend heavily on how worn the parts of the shock are - you could wind up with a Cadillac or a so-so ride, hard to tell. You could just try the rebuild (lesser cost option) and if it doesn't work, get some progressive shocks per the previous post.
 

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Hey Canadian *******,


Take a look at this thread. When I did mine I gave a little explanation here of what I did:



http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/73007.htmlfor the back.



http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/73104.htmlfor the front.



When you read through this thread, pay attention to the other threads I mentioned in it. They are what I referenced when I did mine.



Really though... what do you have to loose but your time? There not complicated. For the time and effort I put into mine it was worth it 1000 fold! Single best thing I did to my bike ever.



Tim.
 

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The rear original shocks on my 81 1100 had got to the point where it was bottoming out on small bumps when we were riding two up, We are are not small people. To compensate I was raising the air pressure up to 80 and 90 psi, This would work alright for the daybut the next daythe pressure would be back down to 20 or 30 psi.

Finally I bought Progressive replacement springs, the best price I could find was at Bike Bandit.

http://www.bikebandit.com/product/13179?mg=3493&t=1&td=1


I bought the seals from Honda Direct line.

http://www.hdlparts.com/fiche_section_detail.asp?section=145518&category=Motorcycles&make=Honda&year=1981&fveh=3432


I also bought The Munroe Boot kits from Advance Auto for $5.49 a piece.



http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_SHOCK-MATE-BOOT-KIT-Monroe_15740047-P_1377_R%7CGRPSHOCAMS____


I spent just over $80.00 on parts, shipping, Parts cleaner and ATF to refill them.


I used Gambler's excellent howto, It's for 1200 shocks but there are only very minor differencesto 1100 shocks.

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=14189&forum_id=9&highlight=Progressive+springs+rear+shock


I spent another $15.00 at Home depot to build Gambler's homemade spring compressor which worked fantastic (Thank you Gambler)


Remove, clean, rebuild, reinstall took approx 2 hours per shock.


Thiswas without a doubt one of the best upgrades for the money I have done.With both of us riding I can now run the shocks with 20 psi and not bottom out.As an added bonus I did not think there was anything wrong with the way my bike handledon the interstate until I rode with the new springs and seals,She handles like a dream now.


So as you might have guessed my vote would be to rebuild the original shocks.



Peter
 
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