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2018 Honda Gold Wing
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just wondering now that we all got a few miles on out 2018's, has anybody been checking the Tie Rod play? Honda's spec is no more than 5mm of play.
 

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I'm just wondering now that we all got a few miles on out 2018's, has anybody been checking the Tie Rod play? Honda's spec is no more than 5mm of play.

I had to get the steering head nut and the tire rod tightened. The dealership use lock tight to keep them in place.


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17,000+ no notable play. 11,000 of that in the Smoky Mountians twisties around Maggie Valley.
 

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zero play for me in 9000 miles
 

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2019 Darkness Black Goldwing DCT (1800BD)
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I play WITH mine all the time, as I go blasting around. No play IN the tie rod, though...
 

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I have NOT checked by the official method as I do not have the special pin used to check it. I have wiggled the bars a few times now and then with the front tire on ground and there has been the same tiny amount of tie rod slop on the tight right side since delivery. I have also checked twice with front tire suspended above floor and the total play at tie rod seems similar with gentle wiggles and impossible to tell with stronger motion -- I think using the lock pin is the only way to really tell unless there is a very noticeable slack. I intend to get the pin and the passenger grip handles from Max, just have not had time to get on that yet.

All of that said, I notice no ill effect on handling due to steering inputs. Max has two youtube videos RE resetting the steering head bolt on these bikes. The first is his shop's improvised method before the Honda official version was known and the second shows the Honda method (I think). I can not get to my shop manual right now (interior home remodeling in process), somebody check the method there to see if thread lock is recommended and what grade of that (if any). I will see if I can review Max's second video on subject to see if he used a thread lock agent or similar.

BTW; I am having some trouble wrapping my head around "adjusting the slop" out of the active tie rod. I can see where lengthening or shortening could change the relation to wheel alignment to handlebar position a bit, but since the left side is sort of free floating in a generously elastic bushing I think the only cure would be replacement of the active side. But, this is pretty new to me at this point.

prs

Emergency method:

Improved (easier than Honda method):

Method to align steering:
 

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I have NOT checked by the official method as I do not have the special pin used to check it. I have wiggled the bars a few times now and then with the front tire on ground and there has been the same tiny amount of tie rod slop on the tight right side since delivery. I have also checked twice with front tire suspended above floor and the total play at tie rod seems similar with gentle wiggles and impossible to tell with stronger motion -- I think using the lock pin is the only way to really tell unless there is a very noticeable slack. I intend to get the pin and the passenger grip handles from Max, just have not had time to get on that yet.

All of that said, I notice no ill effect on handling due to steering inputs. Max has two youtube videos RE resetting the steering head bolt on these bikes. The first is his shop's improvised method before the Honda official version was known and the second shows the Honda method (I think). I can not get to my shop manual right now (interior home remodeling in process), somebody check the method there to see if thread lock is recommended and what grade of that (if any). I will see if I can review Max's second video on subject to see if he used a thread lock agent or similar.

BTW; I am having some trouble wrapping my head around "adjusting the slop" out of the active tie rod. I can see where lengthening or shortening could change the relation to wheel alignment to handlebar position a bit, but since the left side is sort of free floating in a generously elastic bushing I think the only cure would be replacement of the active side. But, this is pretty new to me at this point.

prs

17-39 is the tie rod section and it does not reference any loctitie for installation
 

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17,000+ no notable play. 11,000 of that in the Smoky Mountians twisties around Maggie Valley.

Wow, Palm Harbor to MV, lots of miles to and around the Smokies , you spend a lot of time on the road, or a place in Maggie, either one is great. Great riding there, I get to spend some time around Sevierville, a friend in Kodak TN, always fall in love with the place.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have NOT checked by the official method as I do not have the special pin used to check it. I have wiggled the bars a few times now and then with the front tire on ground and there has been the same tiny amount of tie rod slop on the tight right side since delivery. I have also checked twice with front tire suspended above floor and the total play at tie rod seems similar with gentle wiggles and impossible to tell with stronger motion -- I think using the lock pin is the only way to really tell unless there is a very noticeable slack. I intend to get the pin and the passenger grip handles from Max, just have not had time to get on that yet.

All of that said, I notice no ill effect on handling due to steering inputs. Max has two youtube videos RE resetting the steering head bolt on these bikes. The first is his shop's improvised method before the Honda official version was known and the second shows the Honda method (I think). I can not get to my shop manual right now (interior home remodeling in process), somebody check the method there to see if thread lock is recommended and what grade of that (if any). I will see if I can review Max's second video on subject to see if he used a thread lock agent or similar.

BTW; I am having some trouble wrapping my head around "adjusting the slop" out of the active tie rod. I can see where lengthening or shortening could change the relation to wheel alignment to handlebar position a bit, but since the left side is sort of free floating in a generously elastic bushing I think the only cure would be replacement of the active side. But, this is pretty new to me at this point.

prs
From what I've read there is no adjustment at all with the tie rods....they are either in spec or not. I bought the special pin and checked my tie rod play at around 4000 miles or so, I can't remember the exact mileage now....but the tie rod play with my bike exceeded the 5 mm called out by Honda.

I was just curious now that there are some miles on the bikes if anybody has been checking the tie rod play using the correct method to know for sure that the tie rod play is within spec.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Following here, if there's no adjustment, it's either in or out, then measuring the 5mm spec has no logic. What am I missing?
From what I've read the plastic like material used in the tie rod ball joint can wear with all the up and down movement of the tie rods...and that plastic like material wearing is what can cause the excessive play.
 

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I have NOT checked by the official method as I do not have the special pin used to check it. I have wiggled the bars a few times now and then with the front tire on ground and there has been the same tiny amount of tie rod slop on the tight right side since delivery. I have also checked twice with front tire suspended above floor and the total play at tie rod seems similar with gentle wiggles and impossible to tell with stronger motion -- I think using the lock pin is the only way to really tell unless there is a very noticeable slack. I intend to get the pin and the passenger grip handles from Max, just have not had time to get on that yet.
Using the steering bridge lock pin is the proper way to check handlebar end play.

All of that said, I notice no ill effect on handling due to steering inputs. Max has two youtube videos RE resetting the steering head bolt on these bikes. The first is his shop's improvised method before the Honda official version was known and the second shows the Honda method (I think). I can not get to my shop manual right now (interior home remodeling in process), somebody check the method there to see if thread lock is recommended and what grade of that (if any). I will see if I can review Max's second video on subject to see if he used a thread lock agent or similar.
Unless I missed it, I don't see any mention of a thread locker being used on the steering head bolt.

BTW; I am having some trouble wrapping my head around "adjusting the slop" out of the active tie rod. I can see where lengthening or shortening could change the relation to wheel alignment to handlebar position a bit, but since the left side is sort of free floating in a generously elastic bushing I think the only cure would be replacement of the active side. But, this is pretty new to me at this point.

prs
Before installing the tie rods, the steering is locked using the two steering bridge lock pins.

Before the tie rods are installed, they are adjusted to a reference length. The reference length for the right tie rod is 2.03 in. and 2.0 in. for the left. The lock nuts for the right tie rod are tightened to 27 lbs/ft torque. The lock nuts on the left tie rod are not tightened to the specified torque before installation.

Right and left tie rods are installed and the nuts are tightened to 27 lb/ft torque. The left tie rod is shorted by hand until it stops moving. It is then turned 180 degrees to the longer direction. The lock nuts are then tightened to 27 lb/ft torque.

There is no mention "anywhere" of "adjusting the slop" out of the active tie rod. When handlebar end play exceeds 5mm, the tie rods are replaced. A poster on another board mentioned to take out any "free play," the left tie rod should be shortened or lengthened until you feel resistance then stop and tighten the lock nuts. If "slack" reappears in 10 to 20K, repeat the process. You will not find this "advice" in the owner's or the service manual.

:doorag:
 

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From what I've read the plastic like material used in the tie rod ball joint can wear with all the up and down movement of the tie rods...and that plastic like material wearing is what can cause the excessive play.

So maybe that 'plastic piece' can be replaced to do a fix if a fix is needed.
 

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Wow, Palm Harbor to MV, lots of miles to and around the Smokies , you spend a lot of time on the road, or a place in Maggie, either one is great. Great riding there, I get to spend some time around Sevierville, a friend in Kodak TN, always fall in love with the place.
Sorry, should have said I stayed in an RV park for 5 1/2 months.
 

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I fitted new tie rods

I checked my tie rods when I completed my 8500 mile trip from Fort Lauderdale , Nova Scotia ,Newfoundland, Labrador and Niagara Falls before returning to FL.
There was 4.999999999 mm of play but the dealer said it was still within Honda spec of 5mm. I was so pissed off I couldn't even be bothered to complain. So Ordered a Traxxion steering rod ,while at the dealer service center. A couple of days later fitted the new tie rod. NO PLAY what so ever . One less thing to worry about.
That should be good for the life of the bike .
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I checked my tie rods when I completed my 8500 mile trip from Fort Lauderdale , Nova Scotia ,Newfoundland, Labrador and Niagara Falls before returning to FL.
There was 4.999999999 mm of play but the dealer said it was still within Honda spec of 5mm. I was so pissed off I couldn't even be bothered to complain. So Ordered a Traxxion steering rod ,while at the dealer service center. A couple of days later fitted the new tie rod. NO PLAY what so ever . One less thing to worry about.
That should be good for the life of the bike .
When I checked tie rod play with my bike there was 6.35mm or .25" of play. I replaced it with Traxxions tie rod. I couldn't see replacing the defective tie rod with the same part that was out of spec by 4300 miles. Should be fixed now for the life of the bike because there is nothing to wear out with the Traxxion tie rod.
 

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I just checked my tie rod play with Max's lock pin and have no play. Very tite. at 5100 mile, granted this is not much mileage but I am happy with it. I will add I am going to have Max do a major number on my bike. Both shocks, tie rod, seat handles and whatever he can sell me.
 
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