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Hi everyone,



I have replaced my fork oil today. I would describe the front feel as “jittery” over small bumps. A bit of an uncomfortable feeling. The forks are not leaking at all, but I have to run some serious air pressure in front to get an OK ride. There does not seem to be any play there in the front end as if the bushings were worn. I plan to go to progressive shocks in the fall. So I have decided to just “refresh” the oil. Boy, was I glad I did.



I was totally blown away with the condition of the oil… or should I say sludge. Some parts of it were thicker than others. Some of it indeed did “gloup” out with the consistency of yogurt. On top of that, there was no where near what should have been in there. Probably about 1/3 to ½ was missing out of each side.
 

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Both forks had about the same oil come out of them. I am not convinced that all of that was oil. I think there may have been a “bit” of moisture in there too. Smelt like no oil I have smelled before. Real funky.



For those of you thinking you should do this I would encourage you to do so. It really is not hard. I have no ideal when last this was done. But it’s done now. I think I heard my bike sigh with relief as I was doing this.



I used ATF. This will act as a good cleaner. The one thing that I was not looking forward to was filling up the forks after they were drained and cleaned. I did not want to take the caps off and deal with the spring issue. As well, I did not want to feed it a drop or two of oil at a time through the air line hole. Instead, I used an electric pump system that I made up for “refreshing” my brake fluid. It worked great here too!



In a nutshell, the oil was drained as usual from the drain bolt at the bottom of the forks. This was done AFTER the air line from the compressor was removed from the right hand fork. This will equalize the pressure in the fork. With the front brake on, the fork was pumped a few times to get all of the oil out. I put the bolts back in and let it sit for a few hours and did the same thing over again twice.



After making sure that 1 of the bolts was plugging a drain hole, I then hooked up my super duper home made electric vacuum pump to the air line fitting that is now open on top of the right side fork cap. I simply started the pump up and fed the premeasured amount of ATF through the DRAIN hole with a large syringe! The vacuum of the pump was enough to keep it in there as I kept filling the syringe and squirting it into the drain hole. I totally filled each fork with 10 oz of ATF in about 90 seconds and then put the bolt back in the drain hole! DONE!!! It was AWESOME!!




This is what my pump looks like. It was draining the front brakes at the time of this picture. It is just a 12v diaphragm air pump used to inflate air mattresses. It’s a good 15 years old.
 

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This is the common syringe that I used to feed the new ATF into the drain hole of the fork.
 

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As it turned out, all the “oils” in this bike were in very serious shape. The rear shocks were just as bad as the front forks and missing a lot of their oil to the point that when I filled up the rear shocks with the recommended amount of ATF, I thought I was over filling them. See this thread for that info:



http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/73007.html



This is the brake fluid that came out of the rear caliper. It was pictured here diluted with about 1/3 clean brake fluid.
 

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The moral of this long winded story of mine is that for you guys that have just purchased a bike in the last year or so and you are not positive about what service work was done to these systems (brake and suspension) spend a little time to get to know your bike. I put it off because I thought it would be a bit hard where I have never done this before. It is easy if you stop and think.



I didn’t write this to tell you how to do it (I am new to it myself) but to ENCURAGE you TO do it. There is lots of help here in the forums. You could have a new bike hiding under your oily mess. I did!



Thanks to Steve Saunders for a great board and to all the guys that answered my questions.



Tim.
 

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Nice write up. I just witnessed the same thing with a fellows bike I'm working on the oils locked like sludge :shock:

Ditto on what you said:clapper:
 

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