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Ok, after rebuilding my '85 Goldwing from a junk heap, then putting several thousand miles on it, I just ran into my first problem. All those miles were with just me on the bike, and it felt and handled fine. This morning I decided to take my 130 pound daughter for a ride. We didn't get very far till it was obvious something was wrong. Something was rubbing on the rear tire. Apparently my daughter and myself (220 pounds) were to much weight for it. It has standard spring rear shocks that I got from eBay in the stock length. This was an LTD model, but the air suspension system was completely shot, and the stock rear shocks were leaking badly, the fluid had already leaked out of them, and they would not hold air, even when I tried to put air in them with a pump. The boots were missing, and the lower part of the shocks were rusted and pitted, so I didn't even consider trying to rebuild them. And I still cannot afford air shocks. Does anyone know of any place where I can get some spring only shocks that are about 2" longer than stock?

I thought about trying to cut off part of the rear fender where it is rubbing on the tire, but even if that worked, I'm afraid it would not leave enough ground clearance to be safe in turns. Remember this started out as a scrap heap with a decent engine and not much else. I've already spent more on it than I really could afford, so $500 for a set of shocks is just not possible. Thanks for any help or suggestions.
 

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Jerry, Hope all is well with you.

2 Suggestions. Can you make something that would extend the top part of the shock and the body where it connects? Like a 2 - 3" peices of metal per shock mount, drill 2 holes in them, one end bolts to the shock and the other end bolts to the mount?

Or

Like they have for springs on cars to stiffen them up, could you put wedges between the spring to help support it and not let it drop as much. Like these as an example:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Twist-I...Parts_Accessories&vxp=mtr&hash=item43ac2d4de6
 

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pm sent
 

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Check the for sale/wanted forum here or ebay and find a good or repairable set of stock shocks, get a set of seals, grommets if needed and a pair of Monroe SA1997 shock boots (about $5 each at Advance auto parts). Refill the shocks with 15w fork oil, put the new seals in, air them up manually if you have to and you are good to go.
 

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just for your info the interstate air block in the rear has a fill port(schrader) only which makes it a fill only,doing away with the air commpressor input
 

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Have you tryed just goin' down and pickin' through the yard at Bob's? I know they're a pain in the *** to deal with some times, but they do have a lot of bikes out there. It may just be the shocks you got are for a much lighter bike.
 

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Thanks for the replies. I partially disassembled it and found where it was rubbing. I was hoping it might be around the edges somewhere, that I could trim off, but it is the very top of the tire rubbing against the very center of the rear fender. The reason for that is obvious, it's those cheap $130 shocks I put on it. The extra 130 pounds was too much for them.

I can look at Bob's, but with shocks you have to be careful. I would have to find a set where the lower part was in really good condition. I learned the hard way decades ago with forks that replacing the seals won't do any good if the fork tubes themselves are all dinged up. Thats the condition my rear shocks were in.

I would really like to have some spring only rear shocks with REALLY strong springs. Longer shocks would probably also work, but from what I have been able to find out so far, the GW already uses about the longest motorcycle shocks made.

Thanks for the info about the Interstate air block, if I do wind up going with air shocks, they will need to be fillable with a pump of a small portable compressor like I carry to fix flat tires with.
 

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I just realized that what happened shouldn't have happened. Due to my weight, I have had the rear suspension bottom out on smaller bikes with less load capacity while carrying a passenger that equaled or slightly exceeded the bikes load capacity. But, it was always the shocks that bottomed out, I have never had a rear tire actually hit the underside of the fender. The shocks should bottom out before that could happen. Anyone else ever had the rear tire actually hit the fender? I might be able to get the shock apart, and install rubber bumpers on the shock rod, inside the spring, limiting their compression. I think I could make these out of those rubber donuts from compression plugs of the right diameter.
 

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Here in mexico, we have shops that rebuild car shocks and can make motorcycle shocks out of parts. work great and cheapper than oem. i guess it may be worth asking around your city and see if someone does that kind of job.
 

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Great, thanks for the info. The shocks I have worked fine for just me, with a light load, but I want to be able to carry a passenger sometimes. The more I look at the shocks, the more it looks like I can modify them so they will bottom out before the tire hits anything. I realize a lot of people would disagree with riding on bottomed out shocks, as it basically means you have no rear suspension left. But I wouldn't be doing it much, and just can't afford several hundred dollars for air shocks. I don't even think the bike is worth it. It is a pretty beat up 1200 with 100,000 miles on it, though it runs great, and I would not be afraid to ride it anywhere. But it would be just my luck to put $500+ worth of rear shocks on it, then have another major failure of some kind, and besides I want to move up to a 1500 in the not too distant future. Would rather have the money to spend on that.
 

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do as dave0430 said, locate a set of stockusedshocks repair and install them. install a schrader valve and do away with the air compressor. regards walkabout :smiler:
 

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Jerryh, I bet you got the shocks from Sabre Cycle. I bought a pair of those on EBAY and they are not strong enough for a loaded GL1200. I put on a pair of Progressive air chocks and they work fine, although are firmer than the oem shocks. I have my oem set with new seals in them but they bottomed out also, I think because the dampers inside need rebuilt too. I ate the cost ($370) for Progressives but not until I had wasted $40 for new seals and $125.00 for the Sabre Cycle pair. I never learn.

Anyone wants the oem pair with new seals and new boots can have them for the cost of shipping. They have 80,000 miles on them.
Bobby
 

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The ones I got look different than the ones from Sabre Cycle, but are probably about the same otherwise. The eBay ad said they would work up to the 440 pound weight limit. My daughter and I were only 350, plus it was an LTD, and I removed about 50 pounds of stuff from it, basically converting it into an Interstate. What surprised me is that the shocks themselves didn't bottom out, the top of the tire hit the inside of the rear fender. I removed one saddlebag and the little plastic part behind the license plate, and you can clearly see the bright marks under the rear fender where the tire hit. It has always been my experience that the shocks would bottom out BEFORE the tire could hit the fender. Did your stock shocks bottom out, or did the tire hit the fender?
 

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it could be possible that the travel on the sprung shocks might have more "travel" than the stock shocks,hence allowing the tire to hit whereas the shocks would have prevented that with the air shocks
 

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Hey Jerry give this guy a call as he is a retired Honda mechanic and has a ton of parts. He lives in mesa. He really knows his stuff. Jim 480-619-8151.
 

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diver dean wrote:
Hey Jerry give this guy a call as he is a retired Honda mechanic and has a ton of parts. He lives in mesa. He really knows his stuff. Jim 480-619-8151.
Thanks for the information. I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible. The shocks I have work for me, and I ride alone most of the time, but my daughter has expressed an interest in riding, so I would like to be able to carry her too. We don't have many things we can do together, I was hoping riding might becomme one of them. But I don't want to spend big bucks only to find out that she doesn't like it.
 

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Check with your local Harley dealer for take off air shocks for those guys that wanted to lower their Glides. They may have like new air shocks off of a touring bike.
 

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BobbydSp wrote:
Jerryh, I bet you got the shocks from Sabre Cycle. I bought a pair of those on EBAY and they are not strong enough for a loaded GL1200. I put on a pair of Progressive air chocks and they work fine, although are firmer than the oem shocks. I have my oem set with new seals in them but they bottomed out also, I think because the dampers inside need rebuilt too. I ate the cost ($370) for Progressives but not until I had wasted $40 for new seals and $125.00 for the Sabre Cycle pair. I never learn.

Anyone wants the oem pair with new seals and new boots can have them for the cost of shipping. They have 80,000 miles on them.
Bobby

Ok, I removed one of the cheap shocks, and while working on it, I accidentally destroyed it. It was indeed cheap. After getting it apart, I can't believe this thing was designed to hold up a fully loaded Goldwing. They probably would not have lasted much longer with just me riding the bike.

Can you tell me which Progressive shocks you got for $370, and are you happy with them?

Also a question about air shocks in general. I have never used them on a motorcycle. I have used them on cars and trucks, and it was easy to put air in them. You just used an air hose and aired them up until you got the suspension height you wanted, either for fender clearance for wide tires, or for carrying heavy loads. I'm talking about the Gabriel HiJacker type shocks we used to use on hot rods back in the '70s.

I have heard motorcycle shocks are much harder to put air in without blowing the seals. Many people seem to recommend a mountain bike pump. Does the bike actually rise when you put air in the shocks? I can see it being hard to check the pressure unless you have a pressure gauge on you air hose. Using a tire type gauge looks like it would let most of the air out just from checking it.
 

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You don't need to worry much about blowing the seals, it usually takes all of 120 PSI to pop the seals out after you remove the retainer. You can air up the suspension on a 1200 if you compressor doesn't work by attaching an air hose to the auxiliary outlet and pushing the button to the front or rear. You can then see the pressure on the instrument panel.
 

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I no longer have any part of the air suspension on the bike, including anything on the instrument panel. The shock air hoses would have to be connected to each shock, and then to a block with a Schrader valve.

My Vulcan 750 has air shocks, but no crossover hose, making it impossible to get the same amount of air in each shock. I have never had air in them, they hold me up just fine without air, and I have never carried a passenger on it.
 
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