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I have the dreaded rear suspension problem with my '01 1800A. The bikes suspension doesn't even begin to lift till it hits "10" on the display. It is, however, still under full warranty until 2008. I read Stu Oltmans article in Wing World about all the issues with the rear suspension, but I have a feeling that it will be a big argument to get ANY type of warranty from mother Honda. I'm wondering if anyone has recently been successful at getting the rear shock assembly replaced under warranty? I so, any tips on how you convinced them to replace the unit ? Apparently Honda doesn't see the rear suspension problem as a warrantable issue????? Hmmmmmm....
 
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depends on your dealer

Mine is doing the same thing, does not labor until 13. Selling local dealer said bring it on in and we will remove the saddlebag to get at the rear shock and see what we can do. So i guess it depends on the enthusiasm of your dealer.
 

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Fred H. said:
The only way I am aware of Honda doing warranty work on the rear shock is if it is leaking fluid.
What kind of fluid should you squirt on there then? :lol:

I am taking a Goldwing in for a frame check tomorrow to a dealer with a good reputation. I haven't swapped my rear shock to this one yet and the stocker doesn't move until 8. I will see what he says as well.

I am quite sure if a few people began to take these units into small claims court Honda would quickly find that they should service these "unserviceable" parts. The small claims amount would be for $900, the retail price of the defective and "unserviceable" part. Honda and other motorcycle manufacturers seem to feel they are allowed to accept items for warranty service at their discretion. Car manufacturers would never get away with as much.

The most interesting part is that if an owner chooses to service his "unserviceable" part (an easy fix) he would likely void his warranty on the part. The only parts that are likely to fail would be the electric motor on the pump or the indicator potentiometer, neither of which are affected by bleeding the line, yet the owner's servicing would give Honda an out. This is why I think that this would be a much better class action suit than the "look Ma no hands" wobble suit. It affects almost every Wing built from 2001 to 2005 and Honda has set themselves up for greater and easily documentable damages by declaring that the unit cannot be serviced. Therefore, $900 damages times the number of Wings manufactured for five years is a worthy class action. (25,000 Wings per year times $900 = $112 million.) Discovery would be easy. The only real cost is the normal legal maneuvering.

I am generally not one who is fond of dubious and abusive class action suits, but this situation is actually the kind of thing these kinds of actions were designed for. Honda is certainly capable of understanding the technical issue here. In fact, they appear to have had their subcontractor correct it in 2006. They could instruct the dealers to fix it and it would cost them at most, an hour's labor; probably more like a half hour if they made some type of bleeding tool.

But to leave the owner with the option of either leaving his preload defective or servicing it himself, thus voiding his warranty on the part, is unacceptable IMO.
 

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Fred H. said:
The only way I am aware of Honda doing warranty work on the rear shock is if it is leaking fluid.
Hey Fred,
Whats typical?? My preload doesn't start to labor and load up until 4. Terry
 

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I don't understand whats not happening with the suspension when the pump doesn't labor until 4 to 10 on the meter? The numbers start going up when you first hit the switch and that means the suspension is moving due to the potent meter switch moving. Does the suspension not go all the way up or down when the pump doesn't labor until 10 is reached on the meter? Does it affect the ride or the travel of the suspension while riding? Could it be possible that the suspension moves easy at first and then when you get up to the 4 to 10 mark it takes more effort to raise the bike and you start hearing the pump work harder? What problem is this causing? I'd like to know what problem to look for other than the sound of the pump working.
 

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Cockleburr said:
I don't understand whats not happening with the suspension when the pump doesn't labor until 4 to 10 on the meter? The numbers start going up when you first hit the switch and that means the suspension is moving due to the potent meter switch moving. Does the suspension not go all the way up or down when the pump doesn't labor until 10 is reached on the meter? Does it affect the ride or the travel of the suspension while riding? Could it be possible that the suspension moves easy at first and then when you get up to the 4 to 10 mark it takes more effort to raise the bike and you start hearing the pump work harder? What problem is this causing? I'd like to know what problem to look for other than the sound of the pump working.
The actuator is an electrically driven hydraulic pump that is filled with oil. It is connect with a hose to a slave piston on the shock body that sits on top of the spring and increases and decreases pre-load on the spring. It is kind of like a brake, where you pull a lever on the master cylinder that pumps oil down a hose to a slave piston on the brake caliper.

There is a rheostat on the side of the actuator that is driven by the position of the piston. This is what makes the numbers change.

If the pump is low on oil (and has air in it), the piston will move down but won't pump any oil to the slave cylinder on the shock. This means the piston on the actuator is indeed moving, but nothing is happening on the shock end.

Sometimes the oil leaks past the ring in the piston which causes the pump to loose oil, and sometimes they just aren't fill properly at the factory. The fix is to put the actuator at the 0 position, open the line (without loosing any oil in the hose) and fill the pump up to the top with oil.
 

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Cockelbur;

The display numbers change as a function of a potentiaometer switch that is actuated along with (but independant of) the piston in the drive pump body by the drive motor. The drive pump cylinder contains hydraulic fluid that is (should be) compressed and pushed into the outlet hose and onto the shock cylinder. Upon reverse of the motor drive the hydraulic fluid is pushed back into the pump cylinder away from the shock by the compression forces of the shock spring.. When the shock spring reaches its point of relaxation it no longer assists in pushing the fluid back toward the pump body. The pump drive is not fastended to the pump piston and the although the electric motor will continue to retract the drive unit away from the piston as as you head toward "0" on your screen -- the piston can not retract to follow it after the shock spring quits pushing it since the drive motor can not pull a vacuum. So when you energize the pump motor to again increase the screen numbers, the drive unit is initially expanding into the pump body, but just closing the gap between its end and the outer surface of the piston. Once that gap is closed (drive unit contacts the piston) then the piston will be forced against the fluid and the fluid will be forced into the shock to compress the shock spring and you will hear the pump labor normall instead of free spinning. Adding more hydraulic fluid to the pump body's cylinder effectively eliminates the gap between the piston and the drive moter when the spring is at rest, allowing the pump drive to be in contact with the piston even when the shock spirng is relaxed and the pump drive is at "0" -- its ready to do work as soon as you activate the pump. Hope tht helps more than confuses.

prs
 

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Pigeon Roost said:
Cockelbur;
The pump drive is not fastended to the pump piston and the although the electric motor will continue to retract the drive unit away from the piston as as you head toward "0" on your screen -- the piston can not retract to follow it after the shock spring quits pushing it since the drive motor can not pull a vacuum. So when you energize the pump motor to again increase the screen numbers, the drive unit is initially expanding into the pump body, but just closing the gap between its end and the outer surface of the piston.
prs
PRS raises a good point here, and this is why when you set the actuator at 0 and open the pump to fill it up with oil, you should first insert a screwdriver and push on the piston to make sure it has indeed traveled to the bottom of the chamber to the zero position.

This may be the mistake they are making at the factory when they fill them. If the piston is not all the way against the plunger at the zero position when they fill it, then it won't have a full charge of oil.





 

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My 02 begins to load at 12. Took it to my dealer in Tupelo Ms last summer and the service manager stated "well thats about right." Soooo much for my extended warrenty.
I'm gonna remove mine and send to Traxxion, but just haven't felt like taking the thing apart.
 

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PR and Fred, thanks for your great replies! Sounds like I WILL be beating a dead horse on this issue with Honda! Without me presuming anything, can the oil can be added at the banjo bolt/fitting on the top of the motor/pump, where the hose attaches? Or would you suggest to remove the hose at the top of the shock and fill from there? Perhaps fill both? What type of oil would you recommend? Do I need to unbolt the motor to access and fill it? Sounds like I need to remove the banjo bolt and hose, then gently push a small screwdriver straight down into the hole to seat the piston. Ya ya, lots of questions, but hey, I like to do it right the first time. Thanks Guys!!! Alan
 

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Wingdreamer said:
PR and Fred, thanks for your great replies! Sounds like I WILL be beating a dead horse on this issue with Honda! Without me presuming anything, can the oil can be added at the banjo bolt/fitting on the top of the motor/pump, where the hose attaches? Or would you suggest to remove the hose at the top of the shock and fill from there? Perhaps fill both? What type of oil would you recommend? Do I need to unbolt the motor to access and fill it? Sounds like I need to remove the banjo bolt and hose, then gently push a small screwdriver straight down into the hole to seat the piston. Ya ya, lots of questions, but hey, I like to do it right the first time. Thanks Guys!!! Alan
I show how to do this in great detail on my videos. I also have a photo gallery that outlines the procedure here:

http://www.pbase.com/fredharmon/rearshock&page=all

You will need to remove the actuator from the bike and disconnect the hose, and add the fluid thru the hole where the banjo bolt goes in the bottom of the unit, after first pushing the piston all the way down.

I recommend using Honda SS-7 rear suspension fluid. If you have access to the video, you should go watch the rear shock section as I demonstrate doing this.

papa benny said:
My 02 begins to load at 12. Took it to my dealer in Tupelo Ms last summer and the service manager stated "well thats about right." Soooo much for my extended warrenty.
I'm gonna remove mine and send to Traxxion, but just haven't felt like taking the thing apart.
Traxxion is another good option, as you not only get a new shock but they will recharge your actuator with oil for you so it works right from the 0 setting.
 

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I did this just like Fred said, and it works like a charm now. If you get the right saddle bag loose where you can access the actuator, there are three bolts to remove. Make sure you've set the pre-load to 0. Turn the actuator upside down so the banjo bolt is on top. Keep the hose upright so you won't lose any fluid. Use a small ended screwdriver that will fit through the banjo bolt hole, and make sure the plunger is all the way down. Fill with fluid, as Fred said, and put the banjo bolt back in. I left mine under load for some time before reassembly to the bike to make sure that there wasn't going to be any leak around the banjo bolt.
 

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THANKS Fred and Pigeon Roost I now understand why the numbers move and nothing happens, I thought the meter was hooked to the shock.

Now if somebody can answer the rest of my questions??
 

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Cockleburr said:
Now if somebody can answer the rest of my questions??
Ok, I will give it a try...

Does the suspension not go all the way up or down when the pump doesn't labor until 10 is reached on the meter?
Yes. If the pump isn't laboring, then it isn't adjusting the pre-load.

Does it affect the ride or the travel of the suspension while riding?
Yes. The adjustment affects the pre-load on the spring, which affects ride height, available suspension travel, and ride quality.

Could it be possible that the suspension moves easy at first and then when you get up to the 4 to 10 mark it takes more effort to raise the bike and you start hearing the pump work harder?
No. If the pump is not laboring, it is not adjusting the pre-load on the spring.

What problem is this causing? I'd like to know what problem to look for other than the sound of the pump working.
The problem is that your pre-load adjuster is no longer able to adjust the pre-load on the rear spring through it's full range of adjustability. This means you won't be able to fully adjust for load on the rear of the bike like you should. You may find yourself bottoming out the rear end when you have a passenger on board and the bike loaded down. You may also notice diminished ground clearance when leaned over as well as poor ride quality (too soft of a rear end with too much sag).
 

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So is the poor mans fix, buy an after market shock spring to replace honda's spring and then do the shock. Recharging it with the oil? I Realize it's no traxon shock but will it work as a close second or third? Larry
 

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orange winger2 said:
So is the poor mans fix, buy an after market shock spring to replace honda's spring and then do the shock. Recharging it with the oil? I Realize it's no traxon shock but will it work as a close second or third? Larry
Yes, you could do this. You could also buy a shock from a Trike dealer off a new bike for cheap and use it. Most OEM shocks are shot after about 30k miles or less, so a new take off from a Trike rebuild will freshen it up.

Just to make it clear, you CAN NOT recharge the shock itself. What you can recharge (or refill) is the pre-load actuator pump that is used to adjust the pre-load applied to the spring.

The shock itself is sealed and charged with nitrogen and you can not rebuild it.
 

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Fred you da Man, I have in a new shock from a trike rebuild already. Price was right $5.00. saw a progressive spring at a shop, $30.00 or there abouts. I'll check Traxon to see if they sell the rear spring seperetly. Thank Fred you are a great help. Larry
 

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orange winger2 said:
So is the poor mans fix, buy an after market shock spring to replace honda's spring and then do the shock. Recharging it with the oil? I Realize it's no traxon shock but will it work as a close second or third? Larry
By the time you buy a new spring and perform the labor to install it, you have already taken a good step toward the cost a the Traxxion rear shock. The spring will improve sag, but it will do nothing to improve the damping. I have run my Wing with Traxxion rear only, Traxxion both front and rear and now now have Traxxion front on a new bike where I swapped out the forks but have not had time yet to swap the rear.

Obviously, having the whole setup works best, but I would almost say that having the rear only is almost as good as having the Traxxion forks only. It seems to me that the rear damping harshness negates some of the better front fork damping as it goes over bumps. The steering of course is better, but I really notice the absence of the rear shock.

I really think the best budget solution is front Traxxion springs and a rear Traxxion rebuild or new shock. The springs correct the sag at both ends, but I was quite surprised to see just how much difference in ride and handling comes from the rear shock. Especially for the pillion.


BTW, you can still adjust the preload after the activator and shock have been removed from the bike. Just plug in the electrical connections. When you do this, you can see that there is no movement whatsoever in the slave preload cylinder until the motor makes the sound of being under load.

I discussed this with the service manager at LeBard & Underwood in La Habra this morning. He had not heard of it, but said that as a dealer he must get permission from Honda to do any warranty work that exceeds a half hour in cost. So Honda is tightly controlling the discretion of the dealer. For those in So. Cal, I was very pleased with their service this AM. I had an appointment for a frame inspection. I got there, they took down the vehicle info, wheeled it in, did the inspection and I was out of there in an hour. It passed :D :D No service writers. I spoke to the service manager and the mechanic. Nice, knowledgeable people who did what they said they would do. I noticed several police department bikes there for service, including two Kawasaki's which the police bring there for service even though they are not a Kawasaki dealer. This is the farthest dealer in the county from me, but any warranty repair work I have will go to these guys. Good people. Like night and day from my experience elsewhere.
 
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