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Greetings all,

It is time to rebuild the rear shocks on the wing that is now over 57,500 miles. I was a Honda tech and Service Manager between 1973 and 1984 but never had occasion to rebuild these shocks as they were still new at the time. The time has come to do it on this wing and would like to know how the inner dampening works. I have seen the parts fiche but that they do not show the oil dampening and how it works. For me the mechanics of rebuilding is not a concern but would like a better idea before I dive in head first. Anyone out there have any good digital pictures of the disassembled shock?

Mark Gaeth

Decatur, IN
 

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Correction - 1986 GL1200A
 

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Mark,

If you do a search on SHOCK REBUILD or similar, you should get the instructins you need. This has been covered a few times here before.
 

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markgaeth wrote:
Greetings all,

It is time to rebuild the rear shocks on the wing that is now over 57,500 miles. I was a Honda tech and Service Manager between 1973 and 1984 but never had occasion to rebuild these shocks as they were still new at the time. The time has come to do it on this wing and would like to know how the inner dampening works. I have seen the parts fiche but that they do not show the oil dampening and how it works. For me the mechanics of rebuilding is not a concern but would like a better idea before I dive in head first. Anyone out there have any good digital pictures of the disassembled shock?
Mark, there isn't much to those rear shocks, they are just a standard piston-in-tube design. About all that is available for replacement parts thoughis the oil seal, guide washer, & boot.

If there isn't anything wrong with yours other than an oil leak, you can re-seal them. If you want a little more dampening then try some 15 weight shock oil. The boots are (were anyhow) still available & should be replaced if yours are weathered or torn.

Twisty
 

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No oil or air leaks but with the miles on it I believe the oil has served its purpose. So, to that end I am sure the oil has broken down and aerated with some sludge. I have owned the bike just over a year and have put 15,000 on it so without knowing its past history I will rebuild them. The most time consuming will be removing the bags etc to get them off.



Thanks

Mark
 

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Mark,
Be sure to post your results. I have an '85 1200 with air shocks that bottoms easy. I hope to save this project for winter. It would be good to know how your rebuild works out.
 

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John,



I will leteveryone know how it went. The parts will not be here until this weekend but I fly out to Minnesota on Saturday for a week for the company. I am planning on the rebuild the first weekend in August. I will also try to get some pictures of the inside of the shock for future reference.

Mark
 

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John et all,



The rebuild of the rear shocks are done. I think someone had rebuilt them before I bought the bike by a prior owner. I know it was not the selling sealer as I bought and took delivery the same day it was traded in a little over a year ago (14,000+ miles).

Anyway the worst part of the job was the removal of the bags and equipment. I only did one side at a time. Each side took a total of 3.5 hrs each. This includes about an hour each side to clean the areas not normally seen with the bags and stuff on.

Once the shock is off I followed the directions to remove the circlip as described by the progressive instructions. However, I did not want 8 + oz's of oil blowing out so i drain the major amount of the oil out the air inlet. It was time consuming as you only get out a little at a time and have to tune the shock right side up to burp and then back down to bleed out.

Once the oil is mostly all out then push the seal and holder back into the shock to allow the circlip to come out. Remove the circlip and lock ring. Wrap a shop rag over the shock and apply air (90 psi or less) to the inlet and the seal and bushing guide will pop out. Be prepared as it will make a loud pop when it comes out. Reassembly is the reverse but make sure you put in the proper amount of oil. Dexron ATF is the recommended fluid. You will need to plug the top hole when you fill with oil as it will comeout as you are putting in the new oil. There are pros and cons to ATF as it can be 5W to 17W as there is no standard viscosity other than between that the 5 - 17W. If you want to be precise then get a regular fork oil in the desired weight. My 86 aspy call for 8.77 oz's so get a good measuring cup for this job. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE THE BETTER HALF's COOKING MEASURING CUPS!!! NOT A GOOD IDEA!!!!!!!

I will post some pictures when I get them smaller in size in the next day or so. All in all not a bad job just a little time consuming. On a mechnical scale of difficulty I would rate this job a 2.5 on a scale of 0-5. Mostly a time consuming job but can be done in less than a day with normal garage hand tools air supply. No special tools are needed.

Mark Gaeth

Decatur, IN
 

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The only thing I can add is that if you're rebuilding Progressive Air/Spring shocks such as the 416s you will need a method of compressing the shock so that the circlip can be removed. I used two large turnbuckles one on each side of the shock and a piece of 1/2" all thread passed through the end of one turnbuckle, through the eye of the shock and through the end of the other turnbuckle. Nuts and washers on both sides of the turnbuckle eyes kept things nice and solid. Ditto the other end of the shock. When you screw the turnbuckles in, it compresses the shock easily and safely with full control. The 416s have rather heavy springs and you can't just push them down. I found my regular snap ring pliers rather undergunned removing the the circlip so I found a small bolt that was the same diameter as the hole in the circlip, cut off the unthreaded part of the bolt, drilled holes in the side of the face of an old pair of pliers and stuck the bolt pieces in the holes with a little Locktite. It made a very skookum circlip removal tool after I ground the nose of the pliers away leaving just enough meat to hold the pins. I could get hold of the circlip with plenty of clearance from the piston shaft. You always want to cover that so it can't get scratched when disassembling the shocks. Also tape over the eye end of the shock before sliding the new seal on with lots of ATF or whatever oil you are using for lube.
 

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Here is one picture of shock.

Mark
 

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Here is picture #2.

Mark
 

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Thanks for the pictures, Mark. Does the bike ride better now?
 

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John,

The ride for a single rider does seem better especially over the smaller ripple in the road. I cannot even feel them now. I have yet to ride with the better half yet and with a loaded trailer. We have a 325+ mile trip planned in about 9 days and will give it the ultimate test. I feel like I will need less air pressure to give it the ride I want. The oil in it was not bad but it was not ATF. It did seem a little thicker oil viscosity than the ATF but was not too badly aerated or sludged. I think a prior owner had it replaced as the seals looked and felt very supple for the age of the bike.

Was it worth it - Yes! Would I do it again - Yes! Would I do it for someone elses bike - Yes. If they brought me the shocks off the bike. I just do not have a lot of extra space in my garage with the model railroad in there too.

Mark
 

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OK,We all do dumb things from time to time.Mine was removeing the shocks from my Gl 1100I and sitting them in the way.I turn one over and did not notice till several days later with a big oil puddle under it. I tried every thing in my power to get the rest of the oil out and it was a bump and flip process{boreing process]

Found a syringe made of plastic that was big enough to screw into the airhose fitting .Turn the shock upside down and pumped air in and it filled up with oil.Removed the plunger and the oil drained out.Repeat that till the oil is emptied out then flip shock back over and fill it the same way. Remove plunger fill with oil ,install plunger and force the oil in .Pull plunger back up ,filled with air. Repeat to desired level.

Works to put oil in the front shocks also.

I found my large syringe at the local feed store as a give away with old calf vitamins in it.

Keep it vertical.Fred
 

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Thanks for that tip, Fred. I have one of those that I used for bleeding my brakes. Seems to be a good tool for wing owners.
 

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youngrider wrote:
Is it possible to rebuild the stock shocks on a 1987 GL1200 Interstate?:?
:waving::waving:Welcome to the Best Goldwing Site on the Internet youngrider!:waving::waving:

The shocks are rebuildable if you can find the parts, I don't know if Honda has the seals still, but you can try some of the vintage bike dealers as well as eBay. If you can't find what you need a pair of Progressive 416s should fit the bike and improve handling in the bargain, though they aren't cheap.
 

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The seals are available through Honda yet as that is where I got mine. I used ATF Dextron. You will need to get a measuring cup to measure the oil quanity. Check with someone or the honda shop for the amount oil capacity you need. The Clymer manual only states to have it done by a Honda shop but you can do it at home and save a bunch of greenbacks.

Mark Gaeth

Decatur, IN
 
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