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Pwhoever
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I had an interesting experience yesterday. I got in a hurry putting my bike back together after doing a rear wheel swap. I wanted to take the bike to work. Since I work afternoons, I had about an hour to do it so I figured I had plenty of time. I've had the rear wheel off several times and thought I could do it in my sleep. One thing I usually do is loosen the lower left shock bolt to assist in removing and replacing the rear caliper mounting bracket. I know that I had pushed the bolt back in but somehow I forgot to tighten it. I got called away for a few minutes and then returned to the garage to finish tightening the rear axle and putting the left saddlebag back on. I finished in plenty of time to still take a shower and make it to work on time. I was pretty happy.

Now I am driving to work and I just got off the expressway and I am approaching a red light. I use the front brake and rear brake. All of a sudden, I hear a loud band from underneath and I felt what appeared to be an impact of some sorts in my feet. At first I thought my front tire had kicked up something in the road and it hit the underside. After the light changed green, I started to accellerate but was having a hard time doing so. At this time the sick feeling hit me and I remembered that lower shock bolt was never tightened. I found a safe place to pull over just after the light to see if I could find the problem. All I had was the tool kit from the bike. I put the bike on the centerstand and climbed underneath. Now I see that the rear caliper mounting bracket had rotated way forward and was pushed up against the rotor causing the rear wheel to be impossible to rotate. I loosened the axle in order to get a little free play. Finally I got it loose enough to get the bracket in the right spot. Now I started to try and get the lower shock bolt pushed in. Nothing I tried would work. The pressure from the springs was too much. I even tried putting it down on the side stand to compress it a little but no luck. I needed something to pound it in. I called a buddy who was at work and asked him to meet me since I was only about 3 miles from work and bring tools. During this only one car stopped to offer assistance even though this is a pretty busy stretch. Since I already had my buddy on the way, I thanked him but told him I was ok. My buddy shows up with the tools and I start working on the bike. My buddy was wearing his work uniform so he was unable to help me. I was just glad he was able to bring the tools so I didn't care. About this time, another goldwing ( I will call him JW) was passing by and immediately stops to lend a hand. I had already pounded the shock bolt in far enough to start grabbing the threads and into the caliper bracket. I had to use the 14mm ratchet with the extension to finish. The standard toolkit would have been a bear to get this bolt tightened and I am glad to have had access to the ratchet. Mental note: always have a few extra tools that may be needed.... So now the shock bolt is tight, I get the rear axle tightened, I rotate the left muffler back up and get that tightened. Everything is done. I thank JW and he sticks around for a few minutes just to make sure evereything was ok. Now I am ready to head to work. The bike fires up ok and I start to move ok, no binding. I go over a small bump and now I realize there is something else wrong. It bottoms out and I hear a mettallic clinking. I keep going a little futher and hit a bigger bump and felt clunking from under the seat along with it bottoming out even worse. I pull over and pump up the air shock to 50 psi figuring that this would take the pressure off the left side. It worked pretty good and I was able to finish the ride to work. Since it was a slow day at work, I was able to tear a little further into the bike to see if I could find what was wrong. I didn't want to tear into it too deep on the street. Now I take off the seat. The top shock mount looked ok. Next I take off the left saddlebag. Now I see the problem. The rod inside the spring on the left shock was completely snapped in two so the only thing working on that side was the coil spring on the outside of the shock. It turns out that when I hit the brakes getting off the highway, the rear caliper grabbed the rotor and thats how the bracket rotated forwards. The impact of the caliper on the shock bent the spring on the shock and broke the piston rod. This was a very expensive mistake because I have the Progressive 450 IAS shock. Since there was nothing I could do, I buttoned everything back up and decided if I take side streets home I would be ok.

After work, I start the slow journey of 15 miles on side streets home. Since it is around 11:30 p.m., there wasn't a lot of traffic so I could take my time. I carefully keep avoiding as many potholes as I can but have to cross several sets of railroad tracks along the way that aren't in the best condition. Then I get to the last mile and a half and the road is completely torn up because of resurfacing work going on. I finally get home in one piece but noticed that the bike seemed to be bottoming out pretty bad again. Once inside my garage, I decided to let some off the pressure out of theright shock. I checked the pressure and it was at 0 psi. I try pumping it back up. I get it to 20 psi and can see it quickly loosing air. At this point, I was so aggravated at my stupidity that I couldn't think straight. Now I am probably looking at replacing not only the 450 IAS shock but my air shock also.

So the point of my long story is to make sure that when working on your bike, take your time and make sure ALL the bolts are put back on and tightened properly because if not, the results can be very expensive and hazardous. I am lucky that all that happened was I have to replace parts. What if this had happened on the expressway and the rear wheel locked up? I know that I am not the first person to make a mistake like this or the last. I just wanted to give a reminder to others and by writing this, it will stick in the back of my mind.
 

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PWwho - glad it's only bike parts that need replacing and not your parts!! Thx for the story, as they tend to stick in ones mind.



I have stripped my bike down almost completely and always have this nagging feeling I forgot to tighten something important.....
 
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yea i always doulle and sometimes triple check as i go forward working on my wing.
My sons tell me "Well lets go it's time to finish lol"
But i just take my time.
 

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My daddy always told me, "measure twice, cut once". I hear his voice saying that every time I work on the car, truck, bike. I put everything back together and then check everything I did again, just to make sure. Too many times I find that I missed something. Even then it takes a couple of days of riding to get past worrying that I forgot something. Glad it wasn't worse than it was for you.
 

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Glad for the -sharing- though not funtimes in your Goldwing memories, for sure... I have my rear wheel bearings, and rear wheel/ and et al to reinstall this weekend.... You made a safety memory for me.... good luck getting your ride back together....
 

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Pwhoever
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An update to my saga. I finally got a chance to climb into it and the air shock looks like it did blow the seal. I pumped up the shock and could hear air escaping from inside the rubber boot along with visible oil all around the shock. Looks like it's time to replace this one. I'm going to see if I can locate a used on in decent shape. I thought I remember seeing one from a trike conversion on the "For Sale" board. Brand new is gonna cost me another $200.00
As far as the left shock, I got lucky with fleabay and was able to win a brand new one for $250.00 which is about $70.00 cheaper than anywhere else I saw. Hopefully it ships soon.
On a brighter side, this gives me a chance to get some usually hidden spots cleaned up.

Thanks you guys for the comments and support. Trust me, no one is harder on myself than I am. This was a valuable learning lesson and hopefully a not soon to be repeated mistake.
 

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WE all do some forgetting when we get into a job. I do try to be exact when I'm working on the trike. I double check and when I come back the next day, I still find something I missed or didn't do. Before I go out on the streets, I will check everything again just to make sure.
Good lesson learned. Sorry it happened to you, but the bike is repairable, you, that takes longer and usually costs a whole lot more.
 

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Pwhoever
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Final update. I have the new 450 IAS installed. I also found a trike shop a short distance (160 miles) from home that had the air shock. I took a trip down there to "Trikes by Dennis" and he sold me a practically brand new one from a 2000 GL1500 for $20.00. He told me upfront that a lot of the oil had leaked out and I would have to refill it. I was able to pick up some Honda SS-7 suspension fluid for about $5.00. I completely drained the shock and went about filling it. I used one of the cone shaped rubber fittings from my mityvac set. I was able to wind the back end of the fitting into the air fitting on the shock and it was pretty tight. I then had a length of clear hose that I attached to the fitting. Lastly I had a 60cc syringe with a long fitting that I stuck into the clear hose. I used a long screwdriver to go through the bottom mount of the air shock so I could keep it straight up and keep it steady. I started off with the shock collapsed and popped oput the plunger on the syring and filled it with 60cc of fluid. I pulled up on the shock with one hand to create a vaccum and squeezed the syring down with the other hand. I collapsed the shock again after the first filling. I did that 2 more times with the last being 20cc to fill with the proper 140cc of fluid. It worked like a charm. I got the air shock installed and tightened the air fitting from the compressor.
After that, I went about doing a thorough inspection and cleaning of a lot of stuff under the saddlebags. At this point, I noticed that there was a point on the left side where the saddlebag frame, upper left rear crash bar, and main frame should be attached but there was no bolt. I noticed it when I first did the wheel swap but I mistakenly thought that one of the bolts from the inside saddlebag attached to it. After looking this time, I realized that It was not in the right spot for it and was a larger hole than a saddlebag bolt would fit. Obviously the bolt had come out and was missing. On the fiche, it listed it as a 8x20. I also discovered that the passenger foot mount was 8x25 and had 2. I took one of those from the left side and used that to bolt the saddlebag frame/ rear crash bar back up again. It will be easier to replace this one.
I took it out for a ride and it was like a new bike. I felt like I was riding on air. The bumps except for really big ones were almost unoticeable. I set the 450IAS on the second notch and 15psi in the air shock. I don't know what made it better whether it was the new IAS, the practically new air shock with fresh fluid or the practically new rear rim with practically new wheel dampers inside. It was just amazing! Everything felt nice and tight again. I am sure replacing the missing bolt helped on the feel also.
This has got me to wondering. All the rest of the fluids are changed periodically: fork oil, clutch, brake, final drive, etc... How come there are no recommendations for the shock oil? After doing the fill, I realized that it wasn't very difficult, just messy but no more so than doing the forks. I think I might just add this to the list of things to change every so often.
 
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