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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this info is in the database somewhere but quite honestly I've given up trying to find it with this search engine.

My question is does anyone have a good write-up on the steps to take to change the fork oil on an 1800? I checked my service manual last night and found iterations of items to be removed before I could get the forks removed to drain them (I have an '06 and have been spoiled by how I could do this easily on a 1500 without removing the forks and a gazillion other parts and pieces).

I know Fred covers this in his videos but the '06 is different in the tupperware (and other) departments and I don't want to get the videos if thy don't apply to my bike.
 

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Fred's procedure is good, but to make it easier to work on, I recommend you take the forks off the bike. There is one bolt at the top clamp on each fork, and two on the bottom. From where Fred is at in the video, you are less than 5 minutes from having both forks off the bike and loose on a bench.

Also, if you have more than 20,000 miles, your lower fork bushings will almost certainly be worn out, and should be inspected and most likely replaced. Never reuse a fork seal. It isn't worth the aggravation of having it leak right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Max thanks for your reply. I have an '06 and I'm not sure if that is unique from the earlier model 1800's but looking at the Honda Service Manual I need to take off a lot of tupperware to remove the forks. It may be the same in Fred's method, I don't know at this point. I used to take of the windsield on my 1500 to drain and re-install the progressive springs so it may be the same procedure. But taking the tupperware off an '06 is a real pain compared to my 1500 or even earlier 1800's.

Your comment about the bushings intrigues me though. I never had a problem with my bushings on my 1500 up to about 80,000 miles when I traded it. I also have friends with more than that mileage on 1800's and they have not had a bushing problem. Is it possible that the bushing problem you are familiar with was unique to your bike?
 

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We don't take a single piece of plastic off of the GL to get the forks off (except the fender).

A common hand ratchet with a 12mm socket is all that is required to loosen the lower clamp bolts, and the left upper clamp bolt. You need the box end of a 12mm wrench to get the right upper bolt (the throttle cables make it really hard to get a ratchet in there).

There is a flimsy plastic cover over the fork caps, you can just pull up to put the tool on. You can't hurt that cover no matter how hard you pull it up.

In the hundreds of 2001-2006 GL1800 forks we did last year, over 80% had the lower bushings worn out by 20,000 miles (particularly the left one).

Once you can see brass through the teflon, it is worn out. If you got 80,000 miles on original fork bushings and they still weren't worn out, that would be a miracle, regardless the model of bike or manufacturer.

This is one of the contributing factors to "The Wobble"... :wink:
 

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Max is right. Fork bushings are one of the more commonly ignored items, and really should be replaced periodically. Anytime you have a leaking fork seal replaced, you also should replace the upper and lower bushings while you are in there.

I show how to replace both upper and lower bushings as well as the seals in my video. You can see how mine were worn nearly down to the brass at around 25K miles when I pulled them out.
 

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I think a "fork oil change" would be appropriate for a real maintenance maniac. If you wanted to "change the oil" you might do so for optimum performance, and could so every 10,000 miles.

But by the time you are at 20,000 plus miles, you should have your forks "serviced", meaning taken apart, cleaned, and inspected for worn parts.

What can happen if you don't is pretty extreme internal wear. With the mechanical slop that is created by having worn out bushings, you start to wear the inside of the lower legs like barrels. Then if you have the forks rebuilt way out around 50,000+ for the first time, you will have new parts and clean oil inside of worn out legs. If you keep the parts in decent clean working order, the forks will perform (as intended) for the life of the bike.
:)
 

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Max McAllister said:
But by the time you are at 20,000 plus miles, you should have your forks "serviced", meaning taken apart, cleaned, and inspected for worn parts.
:)
Sounds like I should look to purchase a different model or different brand of motorcycle. Having my forks rebuilt 3 times every two years just isn't going to happen! :evil:
 

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Red said:
Max McAllister said:
But by the time you are at 20,000 plus miles, you should have your forks "serviced", meaning taken apart, cleaned, and inspected for worn parts.
:)
Sounds like I should look to purchase a different model or different brand of motorcycle. Having my forks rebuilt 3 times every two years just isn't going to happen! :evil:
You don't need a different model or a different brand of bike. No other bikes are any better than the Wing. My advice is for people who want their bike to be in proper working order while they are touring. 8)

You can just drive your bike in whatever state of repair suits you.
:wink:

If you drive a Goldwing 60,000 miles in two years and expect to have no maintenance costs other than oil changes and some tires, you have been misled.
:?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Max. I'll check that out. I used to take off the winshield on my 1500 so that when I needed to compress the progressive springs I could get my shoulder into it and push down on my speed wrench. The windshied was in the way. With the stock springs I may not need to do that. I'll check out the bushings while I'm at it.

Fred, keep it up and I'll have to get those videos :D .
 

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Max McAllister said:
If you drive a Goldwing 60,000 miles in two years and expect to have no maintenance costs other than oil changes and some tires, you have been misled.
:?
You might be correct, but most of the people I've known over the last 25+ years that own Wings, own them mainly for that purpose. Dependability and almost no maintenance cost!
 

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Crossrodes said:
...
I know Fred covers this in his videos but the '06 is different in the tupperware (and other) departments and I don't want to get the videos if thy don't apply to my bike.

As long as you have the 06 shop manual to reference (also noted in Fred’s video as the sole source for information regarding servicing your bike), Fred’s video can still be very useful. Seeing the process in the video can remove the intimidation that the task may cause. The bulk of what Fred does will still work.

Fork oil change remains the same as the older 1800's.



Differences I encountered so far:

Do not remove speaker grills, just pull up dash cover from key area and center below speaker grills.

Wire plug under dash panel has a button to push to release. No more need for finger nails or a small screwdriver to pry up a tab. (Similar plug as the heated seat plug or button panel below faring pockets.)

The screw under speaker grills moved to below speakers and are seen after removing dash cover.

Left and right faring pockets require removal of side trim and lid stays with the pocket.

Left pocket reshaped for a new location of power plug (front right corner). The center point of required hole is marked with a bump, but circle around it is smaller than the required hole size.

No screw under license plate for rear fender.

Need to remove Audio Amplifier (or loosen to swing out of way???) behind rear fender for rear wheel removal.

Left and right button panel below faring pockets have a disconnectable harness. A locking tab will release harness from radiator grill and a button on the socket to pull apart.

More rows of relays under the seat. Relay locations are different.

Lower faring vent tube goes though center trim in front of radiator grills, not up and over the top of radiator.

New wire harnesses under seat for Audio Amp, heater, and GPS. One stretch of wires going to the trunk lid has nothing connected on either end under seat and trunk lid. Not sure what the intent of the 2/6 wires. (2 wire plug under seat, 6 in lid).

New plug style on front turn signal and license plate light. Adapters available for turn signals (various styles and prices depending on vendor) for plug and play items.

Missing brake light wire on inner trunk bulbs. This wire harness will not interchange with older models because Honda reversed the gender on the plug under the seat.

Smaller radio antenna plug under the seat. Uses a longer version of the 200x General Motors radio antenna. The GM adapter will NOT work… too short to plug in. The radio side connection still uses the traditional Motorola plug allowing you to use an extension to use CB-AM/FM splitter for single antenna.

Bag tail lights have a different hole pattern for mounting. If you want the older style lights here, you need to buy new bags and possibly paint them. Wire harness and bulb sockets will not work on the older style either.

No power plug in right side of faring (intended for added OEM heated grips).

Driver headset plug near ECM, not in front of left pocket where AUX input plug and power plug is located.

Radiators and fans slightly larger, fans now have a 30 amp fuse full time hot on the relay instead of the 20 amp switched power of the older bikes.

Removal of instrument cluster required to get a wrench on the head bearing nut (may not be required for non-GPS models). Instrument cluster is removed by 4 bolts and two large plugs in back.

06 manual has 21# on head bearings, not 20# listed in the older books.

Lever, cable, and openings for toe warmers. Cable releases from lever similar to cable for right faring pocket. Cable must be disconnected for top shelter removal.


Other differences may exist as I may not have encountered them yet.
 
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