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We have a 1978 GW and the forks are oil filled. They need to be raised and was told at a cycle shop we could buy inserts and fill them with air. Some kind of valve used in cars, my question is..... once the cap is off, and an allen wrench takes off the next plug and you insert the valve, there is no way of putting the plug back on. Can this be done or should we just invest in air forks? Or do we try and put oil back in them to raise them up?
 

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If I had your problem, I would skip the air and use a short spacer on top of the springs to add some extra preload.

You need to get the front wheel off the ground. Use a socket with a long (about 12") and an assistant to grab the extension with both hands and press down while you press down on the ratchet while removing the cap. Be sure NOT to stand over the cap whole removing!

Set the spacer on top of the spring. I'm guessing about 1" to 1 1/2" should do. Be very careful not to cross the threads when replacing the caps.

John
 

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will that space add enough, my hubby complains that he feels like he is nose diving into the ground and when he hits minor bumps in the road the front tends to wobble back and forth. We need to raise the front up so that when we raise the shocks in back it wont sit like a "crotch rocket"..ewwwww
 

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Have you tried replacing the springs ? it sounds like they might be shot.
 

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My 76 sagged becuase with age the stock springs compress and lose the strength.

Replace your stock springs with Progressive Suspensions set.

They raise the front back up and give a great ride.

You can get them for under 100 bucks in the U.S.



Then all your probs are gone.
 

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Replace the stock springs with Progressive springs and follow their directions for the amount of atf to put back in. The atf is for dampening the ride so as to take out the harshness of the bumps. Usually Progressive springs don't need much air at all. There is a link to the Progressive instructions in another thread, I'll see if I can find it and post it. It even explains about using spacers to adjust the pre-load.
 

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These are oil forks so that's what they have to have. You have to make sure you only put in the reguired amount. If you overfill you'll blow the seals. Replace the fork seals if your going to have it apart. You could put on some air caps & put a little bit of air into the front forks but they won't take much. Not really worth the cost. You have to buy air caps & replace the existing caps.

Spacer is a cheap fix but I would only add about a 1/2" spacer at a time and try that. Pay attention to the safety comments above.

Set of progressive springs ( not that expensive ) would probably do a lot to beef up the front end. This is probably the best course of action.

Wobbling back & forth wouldn't normally be because of the springs. I would check the steering bearings as well.
 

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I just put Progressive Springs in mine this weekend. It made a huge difference. If you just add spacers to worn out springs then you will just be taking away travel. It may sag as much but the overall ride will not be improved.
 

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Replacing the springs is the best way to go. My point is, not to bother adapting air valves to the forks. Its way too easy to blow out the seals.

The spacer trick seems most common among 1500 owners. Some years had rather spongy front springs.

As far as the spacer goes, a 1" to 1 1/2" spacer will not reduce the travel of the forks. It is a cheap fix to see if the results are what you expected.

John
 
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