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Here is a picture of the assembly order of the seal and assorted parts. The one part that is not in this picture is the wire ring that is inside the air chamber tube. It keeps the metal guide in place.
 

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First the spring seat, the locking nut on the end of the shaft, and then the springs and friction tube (white plastic cup).

I found that the progressive springs are just a bit larger, especially the inner spring so the friction tube was a tight fit.

Note: I really can't stress enough the importance of keeping everything very clean. I'm using compressed air to make sure there is NO dirt or particulate of any kind on these parts.


 

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Once you have the springs compressed enough, you can install the shock eye on the end of the shaft. I use just a bit of lock tight on the threads and automatic transmission fluid to lube the o-rings.

Once you tighten the lock nut, rotate the eye so the flat tabs on the inside of the air chamber tube line up with the slots on the shock eye, you can push it down until it sits flush.

Then loosen the compression tool evenly...
 

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You need to install a plug, cork, rubber stopper or the correct thread bolt into the air inlet of the shock to keep fluid from draining. Turn you shock over and place in the vise.

Again, it is very important to keep things clean, and do not use any metal tool near the chrome service of the shock. One scratch will cause air and fluid leakage.

You will be adding 10.5 OZ of ATF in the shock before installing the seal. This is a great deal easier than trying to add it through the air inlet. I found a nice measuring cup at the dollar store, don't use your wife's, she will find out!




 

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Next make sure the wire "c" ring is installed inside the air chamber tube. Lube the shock with a bit of ATF and slide on the metal guide with the flat side out. Make sure it is in far enough to sit on the wire "c" ring. Then install the thin washer, next the seal with the flat side out, pushing it down with your fingers. Next is the thick washer.

 

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Then using a piece of 1 1/2" PVC cut flush to tap in the seal. Be gentle. Install the snap ring. You really do need a pair of snap ring pliers for this. Don't risk scratching the chrome surface.


 

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Has anybody bought this kit and springs lately? I've been looking and get conflickting info as to what fits a 1986 1200 Aspy! Also prices are all over the place. Would like a decent price in these days of BAD POLITICS!
 

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I successfully rebuilt my shocks following your posts about a year or so ago. One shock has developed a leak so I ordered a new seal and thought I'd tear it down and rebuild it again. I am having much difficulty in removing the circlip to get started. Any suggestions? I don't remember having this much trouble the first time. Your compression tool works wonderfully.
 

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I found this fix for getting to the circlip on my rear shocks. Hope it helps.

There are great guides on how to rebuild the rear shock absorber, but all of them say to just "remove the retaining ring" "remove the circlip" Even rcmatt007's guide was to vague (sorry.) This is where a lot of people get hung up. So this guide is to show exactly how to remove that darned retaining ring!

OK, so once you take the shock off, you need to remove the boot covering the damper. You do this by either stretching the rubber around the bottom of the shock and pulling it off... or cut it off and buy new ones :lol: just don't scratch the damper or your shock will leak later. (i cut it off but i also bought new progressive dampers)

now what you need to do is tap the metal holding washer down about 1/8th of an inch, which is about as far as it will go i think. thanks rcmatt007 for the tip! (link at bottom of post) The metal holding washer is not a really thin dinkey washer, it a big thick massive piece of steel that looks like a washer, sitting right below the retaining ring. I used a 1 1/2 inch abs tube with a 1 1/2" into 2" coupler with a 1 1/2" cap for the top ( which is out of the camera view.) I has to sand a lot of the coupler off the bottom and then off the sides because 2" is too wide, but 1 1/2 is too skinny. you really need a 1 3/4" coupler to tap the washer down.

Just make sure that you sand it flat so that you don't bind the washer in the shock by hitting one side harder than the other, because of an unequal mating surface you got going there. oh yeah don't forget to cover the damper with a paper towel or something so you don't scratch it.





now that the holding washer is out of the way a little, take a small flathead screwdriver, an eraser off the back of a pencil, or even a fork and hold one side, of the INSIDE of the retaining ring. Then, get a pick tool or a semi sharp, SMOOTH nail for your other hand. sorry for the blurry pic. remember, don't scratch the damper.



Now here's the tricky part. You want to take the pick and pry it under, in between the shock and the ring. while holding the ring from turning inside the groove with the other tool in your other hand. say it with me now " don't scratch the damper!" :mrgreen:



Now once you have the ring separated from the groove, hold it there! Carefully and slowly take (this is why i said a flathead screwdriver) the other tool and put it in between the ring and the shock and pry / flick it upwards. Don't worry, there's not enough tension to send it flying anywhere.





now you should have the retaining ring / circlip off and continue on to blow the seal.
 

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Oh and I also know a way around sanding the abs, I just used the rigid tube from my shop vac. Worked like a charm for me.
 

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Thanks for all the tips on the page. I'm just starting a rear shock rebuild of my 86 GL1200i. I'll keep everyone posted on the outcome. Looking forward to riding the new springs. ;)

-Shawn
 

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Success...

Well the shocks are all rebuilt. Stupid retaining clip was probably the hardest part of the entire process. 2" to 1.5" ABS Coupler with a piece of 1.5" ABS pipe and a couple swings of the hammer did the trick.

Now just to clean up the bike and put all the bags back on.

Thanks again everyone for all the great tips.
 

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Sorry to respond to an old thread but I feel compelled and obliged.. thanks Gambler and WillWilly for your step by step tips and pics. They really allowed me to do a job well beyond my talent. Bike rides like I imagine a new one would. Oh and thanks also goes to this fantastic resource of a website.
 

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Thanks to the Gambler and will willy, I have started rebuilding my shocks. Their step-by-step and pictures are wonderful. Normally, this is way beyond my skill level but like replacing head gaskets i learned. Thanks to a lot of pros but mostly glhonda.

What is the difference in using the old springs versus the pretty gold colored progressive ones? My budget is limited so if I don't go with the new springs, can I get by with seals, o-Rings and bump stops? Bump stops on the 1200?

Any comments would be helpful and appreciated.
 
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