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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All
I am working on a 88 1500, when I bought it recently I knew the front fork seals were leaking. I removed the fork tubes and took them apart
I cleaned them completely then put them back together and with springs out and forks compressed filled to 5.5 inchecs from top, they have progressive springs
then without thinking I lifted the fork and then compressed it back
at this point my fluid level went down, I remembered the 4 holes at the bottom of the inner tube so I filled it up again to 5.5
I did this to the other tube as well
so now I installed them and now it's like I don't have a front suspension :wtf:, it's hard as a rock riding down the road
now when I use the front brakes instead of have a little nose dive it lifts the rear

should I have not done what I did by extending the forks once I filled them while compressed :?
I used synthetic transmission fluid
 

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too much oil

i have mine at 15" from the top of mine with the forks mounted in the bike, fully extended, wheel off the ground

with 15w oil

theres a fork oil level adjustment thread on here somwhere

can someone post a link to it?

please;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
a good link and I have read that one as well as others on changing/fillings fork oil

however I still ask if I fill the forks while compressed and the oil level is correct, then I extend the forks and then recompress them and the oil level goes down should I fill it back to the mark again or use the original amount of oil

I installed progressive springs in my 1200 and it doesn't ride stiff, the forks will still dip when applying the brakes.
actually I find them rather weak in my opinion
but I did not allow the forks to move when filling them like I did this time with the 1500

what did I do by extending then recompressing the forks that lowered the oil level
 

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Busdriver
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The manual states to add oil with the forks off the bike and fully collapsed, springs out.
Use the measurements listed in the repair manual for your bike, either in cc's or by measured distance from the top of the tube down to the top of the fluid level.
When filling by volume you should have first disassembled and cleaned the forks so you know they will be empty before refilling. If you didn't disassemble and clean first some residual amount of oil will remain in the fork and so you will not have an accurate amount of oil installed after filling. If you use the distance measuring method then make sure to pump the fork leg a few times to make sure the fluid is dispersed properly within, then check levels again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
so from what you are saying busdriver, I did it right and the hard or tight suspension is from the progressive springs,, WOW now I know why the 1200 still needs air added even though it has new progressive springs

thank you for setting my mind at ease about my rebuild, now to decide what to do about this
I don't think I like the stiffer ride, it's like I can feel every thing the front end touches now and there is NO bounce at all
I can grab a handful of front brake and the forks won't budge

any suggestions how to soffen it up without causing any damage, maybe lower the amount of oil, I mean it was plenty soft before I worked on it but I know it was low on oil, just don't know how low
 

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When you say you now grab a hand full of front brake and the front suspension doesn't budge, I'd say there is definitely something wrong but I never performed this service myself so I can't tell you what it is. I have read enough links about going to the Progressive springs to remember that what you're describing doesn't seem right and how solid the front feels also varies by the oil weight you use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK so I rode it to work, 30 miles on the hwy and it wasn't too bad but definatly too tight and not as comfy as I want it
it's funny because when I had the fork off and had just finnished them up I could lean on them one at a time of course and i could compress them some with my weight

is it possible that the antidive is causing this issue
 

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I would drain the oil out of one tube and measure it. I would think you have them overfilled. I have had progressives in a couple 1500s and they are stiff but yours sound like they are too stiff. I also used 10w oil instead of 15.
 

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Pwhoever
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You absolutely overfilled those forks with fork oil and that is why your ride is so stiff. I have said this over and over, most people are misreading the Progressive instructions. They include this exact instruction sheet with just about all of their fork springs so they are generic instructions. They state that IF your forks call for a level higher than 5.5" from the top, then only go to 5.5" max. Nowhere does it say to fill ALL forks to 5.5". They also say to follow the amounts listed in your specific owners manual. For the GL1500 in all years, 5.5" from the top is overfilled. You definitely need to remove some of the fluid in there. You should have started off with 9.4" from the top collapsed. so you have almost 4" more fluid than you should have.

I don't know if you have the air (schrader) valves on your fork caps but if you do, you can follow the info in the thread that is posted in the link above. It is a lot easier than having to take the springs out and then remove and collapse the forks. The listed levels were correct at the beginning of the thread for the 88-94.

On another note, yes you did the procedure correct. You are supposed to pump the fork tube up and down several times after putting the initial amount of fork oil in. This will allow the bottom part to completely fill and then you add to the proper amount. If you don't pump the tube, you will not have put enough fork oil in. Just as bad as having too much fluid in as you have found out.

One other note, the level on both forks must be at the same height, otherwise the forks will compress differently and cause a hars feeling as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Got it, time to drain some oil, I can pull the caps remove springs use a jack to collapse forks while they are still on the bike. why won't that work
 

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That would be one way to do it AJ1200. Why not leave the springs in and measure from the top of the fork down to the fluid level with the forks extended like is described in the link I posted by pwhoever? Seems like the easiest way to me.
 

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I have Progressive springs in both my GL1200 2 wheeler and the GL15090 Trike, when I change the fork oil I routinely drain, pump out by holding the brake and pushing with a drip collector under to catch most / all last bit. Then I refill using the amount specified in the books for each.

I forget on the 1200 but the 1500 get's 325-330 cc in each leg as I recall .... I think.

Works well for years and miles now! :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bellboy, mostly because I can't really see down the fork tubes with the springs in and them extended, I have this thing about needing to see the fluid I'm measuring to

yep looks like I got the info on fluid levels mixed up and overfilled

Thanks to all the responded to help me correct my mistake
 

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Anti-Guru
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Bellboy, mostly because I can't really see down the fork tubes with the springs in and them extended, I have this thing about needing to see the fluid I'm measuring to...

Wow, I bet filling the crankcase to proper level after an oil change is murder for ya :ROFL:

Just like Smeden is posting above -- use a length of tubing to suck-out any overfill through the air-filler holes and you'll be set perfect!

If it's easier, think of the suction tube as a hollow dipstick (like for your crankcase oil level check) -- It's nothing more than a measured stick... and , just like in a crank case, most of the stick is in free air and comes down to "just touch" the oil fill.

An advantage with using a hollow tube as a dipstick is that you can suck your overfill out through the 'dipstick' itself, and once the whole length of your dipstick is out of the oil, you'll be sucking air (like a straw pulled outta your milk-shake at the local diner) - Very precise way to set fill levels; killing 2-birds with one stone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, I bet filling the crankcase to proper level after an oil change is murder for ya :ROFL:

HAHAHA good point, never thought about it like that
I like the tube idea, I have just what I need to do that

WOW and the help just keeps coming, that's why I love this site
 
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