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Hello all
took the bike out today and for the first good ride since i bought it and notice the front shocks are bottoming out. what are your suggestions for me to do. 97 GL1500SE no air valves to top up like others bikes i have owned
thanks
 

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Could be no oil in the forks, I'd check that first. If that's not the problem it would be a good idea to take the springs out and check their length.
 

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It sounds like the seals have been leaking and the forks are out of oil. The seller could have cleaned up the evidence in preparation for the sale.:shock:

By the way it looks like it will be a good weekend for riding here on the Wet Coast after the morning frost clears.
 

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sounds like i have to take a look at the fluid and stay clear of the pot holes have it on a permit till sunday night and then its away for the winter. my brother lives in Chilliwack may go see him on Saturday (hes on majuba hill above Yarrow)
 

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lance0195 wrote:
sounds like i have to take a look at the fluid and stay clear of the pot holes have it on a permit till sunday night and then its away for the winter. my brother lives in Chilliwack may go see him on Saturday (hes on majuba hill above Yarrow)
I grew up in Yarrow and spent most every weekend riding the trails on Vedder Mountain on a dirt bike and still enjoy riding the twists, turns, ups and downs of the Majuba Hill road.
 

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I believe if you remove the black plastic caps on top of the forks you will find the Schraeder valve to put air in the forks. Not too much though. Use a basketball hand pump, and I wouldn`t go moore than 6 pounds. More likely the cure will be a pair of Progressive fork springs to prevent the bottoming out effect.





Gumbyred
 

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If the fork oil isn't leaking, it is probably gone past its service life. Replacing the fork oil will probably cure the problem.
 

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I popped off the two plastic caps and the only thing there are allen head type caps and by the way what size are they lol bigger than any I have
 

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Lance ... can you 'turn a wrench'/do any mechanical work on your bike?



Dusty
 

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I believe so im CT mechanic for local transit and 26 yrs at Greyhound. lol what do you have in mind for me
 

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No air valves on the Canadian models. I don't recall the wrench size for the top bolt, but when my brother-in-law installed the Progressives on my 1500, he drilled and tapped for air valves which madereplacing the fork oila breeze. Because of the air valves, I was able to make multiple changes to the fork oil level to get the kind of ride I liked, which wouldn't have been practical if I had to take the forks off or fight with the top bolts every time I wanted to make an adjustment :)

I didn't notice the mileage on your '97 but you just might be ready for a spring change and Progressives are a good choice.Didn't have any problems with seals, so we didn't remove the forks from the bike.

Greg

lance0195 wrote:

I popped off the two plastic caps and the only thing there are allen head type caps and by the way what size are they lol bigger than any I have
 

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1st thing I'd do is assess the seals on the forks. Are they showing any signs ofleaking? Might be wise to replace the seals/bushings at this time.

If you don't have a 17mm hex socket, you can substitute a 17mm hex bolt with a couple of nuts, a lock washer and a bead of weld over the nuts/bolt, to remove your fork caps, in combination with a deep 17mm socket and cheater bar (carefully, as they are under a lot of spring pressure!!) Usually for some reason, one of the fork caps will be on real tight, straightfrom the factory. :stumped:

Here's the one I made;







Drain your fork fluid by removing the 10mm bolt on the anti dive plate, on your sliders. (protect your wheels/rotor as it will make a mess while draining)








Once the fork caps are off and the forks drained, remove the spacers and measure your springs to see if they are still within their service limits. ( > 382.8mm/15.07")

If they are near the lower end, you'll want to replace them with Progressive Springs. (cheaper/quicker if you get them shipped to your name ata 'receiving business' in either Blaine/Sumas[$5-$10fee])

If you need/decide to do your seals/bushings, here's a pretty fair tutorialon how to do that.

Now, seeing as you have a typical Canadian bike, there's no air valves in the fork caps, so I would suggest you drill and tap them to accept either a set of air valves, or a set of hex socketbutton head bolts to make future fork oil changes a much easier/simpler routine.







Just make sure you add a compatibly sized o-ring under the air valve, or under the washer and another under the button head bolt, to keep the air/oil from leaking out!

Now comes the part which is perhaps the most difficult - installing the fork cap once the springs are installed. Extremely difficult to do by yourself, if the forks are still in the bike. There are different jigs/methods of doing it and perhaps the easiest of the jigs to make is a 2x4 ith a hole drilled through it to allow you to slip an extension bar through it and attach your socket to the one end and your ratchet to the other. Get a big friend to apply downward pressure on the 2x4, while you are standing on the pegs and applying downward pressure with theratchet and turning. Be very careful you don't start the threads on an angle. Very easy to do as they are fine threads.

Others have made a jig out of PVC pipe and used that successfully.







While others have made another type of jig. Our Len (nobbie) made this one.

Myself, .... I used the 2x4 method the 1st time. I had to slide the fork tubes as far up in the triple clamp as I could and then had to remove the windshield in order to use it. Still was a PITA!

The next time, I was rebuilding the forks, installing new seals/bushings and installing new steering head bearings, so I completely removed the forks from the bike. Not a bad/hard job, taking me about 1 - 1.25 hrs to get the bike to look like this.





After I rebuilt everything, I installed new fork fluid (I like to use ATF). If you are not rebuilding your seals/bushings, I'd rinse out the old fluid by adding some new and then working the tubes up/down a few times and draining. Do this a few times to remove as much of the old fluid as you can and then refill to the recommended level.

Me, ... I like my ride a little on the 'plush' side, so I slightly under fill my forks. I don't trust measurements, as there is always some fluid left in the forks, so I built myself an inexpensivelittle 'jig' (Turkey baster and some vinyl tubing)so that I would arrive at exactly the same height of fork fluid in both of the collapsed fork tubes. I would slightly overfill and then use this to suck out the fluid to my desired height level.







When I had my forks out of the bike, I built Exavid's jig to reinstall the fork caps, seeing as I was working by myself.







Once you get everything put back together again, you should notice a big improvement in your ride.

When it comes time to change out your fork fluid again (I now do mine yearly), you can use a large syringe, some vinyl tubing to connect that to a length of either copper tubing, or brake line that slips down the tapped hole in your fork caps and add the fluid to the correct levels.

Here is a good discussion about what those levels should be, with the forks in your bike, with the forks fully extended. - http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/forum1/112695.html



I probably forgot something here, but this should be enough to get you wellon your way to a better riding/handling bike. ;)



Cheers, Dusty
 
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