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Discussion Starter #1
This may be the weekend for my rear shock replacement. I have Fred’s videos, which I hope to watch tomorrow or Friday, and I have the service manual.

I’ve seen mention of not having to fully remove the gas tank in order to get to the shock.... is this adviseable, or does it create more problems than its worth? If I don’t remove the gas tank, do I still need to remove the top shelter?

Thanks.
 

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I asked the same thing a year ago.
I was better off taking the tank out since I needed to tighten the hose clamps. Had antifreeze smell.
I had to take most of the shelter off.
I changed the air filter while it was that far apart.
Even if I didn't need to tighten the clamps it would have been impossible on My '12 to change the shock without taking the tank out. I tried at first just to see if I could. Wiring harnesses were in the way if I remember right.
 

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One of the the members here Hydor had a really good easy to follow step by step instructions on how to replace rear shock see if you can search for it :thumbup:
 

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IronMan
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Take tank out- tighten all clamps (theres a bunch ) do air filter - adjust cruise if out of sync
 
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Take the tank out for sure. It is not too hard to do, take your time and take some pictures of the orientation of the shock preload hose routing. I wish I would have taken that bit of advice because you can run the line a couple different ways. Good luck, don't stress.
 

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If you have Fred's DVDs you are in good shape. I watched the one on the shock change twice before I did anything. One thing not mentioned is to make sure the tank is nearly empty - if i recall I drained down to an 1/8 tank. As the rest have said, check the hose clamps, the main ground clamp, and good time to do the air filter. You and Fred will do ok. Ride and wrench safely and enjoy the ride.

Crabby Bob
 
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When you take the tank out remember... The closer to empty the better. I'm sure one could get a full tank out but it would be an unnecessary hassle.
 

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Anytime I do one, I always remove the tank. It is the only ways to know if the hydraulic hose going to the pump is routed correctly and not touching anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info and encouragement! I would be lying if I said I’m not nervous about doing this, but I will do it anyway, and then hopefully be super proud of myself!
 
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When you go to take the tank out, spray it with a silicone spray before and then when you go to put it back in. Makes it slide out and in much easier.
 

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If you need to drain fuel from the tank..DO NOT put a hose down the fill neck to syphon. This can and will mess up one or both the floats on the fuel pump and sending unit!!! Have seen that happen too many times.
There is a post here somewhere on how to use the bikes fuel pump to drain the hose.
I've changed and re-sprung the rear shock. But I always did it with the tank empty to start with.


Corventure Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So yesterday I tackled the job. I still have to put everything back together today, but I did manage to put the new spring on, along with the new take-off 2012 shock and actuator. Because of poor planning, I’m now waiting for the stores to open this morning so I can go buy some oil for the actuator.

I’ve been around motorcycles for pretty well my entire life, and I have never been this deep into a motorcycle before. I can only admire the amount of designing and engineering that goes into making a bike as complex as the GW. It’s fascinating to me.

Hopefully the muscle soreness I’m feeling this morning from yesterday’s work doesn’t impede my progress today. If all goes well I’m hoping to take it for a test ride late afternoon!
 

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See - We all told you it would go pretty easy. You had Fred H, the book and obvious patience ya done good! I agree it is amazing all that stuff that is under that plastic. Good job eh? Ride safe and enjoy the ride.

Crabby Bob
 

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Isn't it also amazing how dirty it is under all that plastic?

Good for you digging in deep.

Sent from my cellphone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, because of a dinner commitment, and the fact that since I had half the bike apart I figured I should put on my newly arrived risers, AND because of some bodywork assembly frustrations, I didn’t finish putting it all back together today. Probably another 2 hours or so to go... maybe. I’ll have to tackle that tomorrow after work.

Putting that shelter back on is pretty slow going, and kind of a PITA. A younger, less patient me would have broken many pieces putting that back together today...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Finally got a chance to finish putting the bike back together and take my first short (30 minute) test ride. Wow - amazing difference! I’ve never had aftermarket suspension on before so didn’t really know what to expect. I was mainly hoping to eliminate the hop hop hop the bike had with the upgraded racetech suspension in front, and stock in back. It has done that, but so much more. The bike feels about 100lbs lighter when rolling! I’m amazed at how much more flickable the bike feels. I thought it would be smoother, which it is, but dont think I realized how much better it would handle! Much, much better!

I guess the stiffer spring holds up the weight of the bike better, which is what makes it feel lighter. Previously I had a few concerns with ground clearance, but I have a feeling that will be much less of an issue now, based on last night’s short ride.

I think I’m going to really be happy with the rear spring/shock upgrade. Well worth the many, many hours it took me to complete!

Things I learned during this job:

- I’ve read it over and over again on this forum, but Fred H’s DVD’s are invaluable. The DVDs came with the bike when I bought it this past winter, and I’m sure glad they did because I’m the type of guy that probably would not have spent the $100 to buy them separately, and my life would have been much more difficult without them. As an example - the Honda service manual has about half a page devoted to removing and installing (“Installation is the reverse of removal”) the gas tank. I would not have been able to remove and install that tank without watching (over and over) Fred do it on the DVD. I had a laptop in the garage with the DVD playing the entire time I was doing the job, at least until the laptop died - but by then I was done the tough stuff. If you’re tackling this job, get the DVDs.

- That gas tank is one major PITA to take out but especially to put back in! That is one tight fitting tank. Toughest part of the job for me.

- next time I do a job like this my work bench has to be much cleaner. I wasted a fair bit of time trying to zoom my eyes in on what I was looking for among the messy work bench.

- Taking bolts out of the fairing is a lot easier than putting them back in! I had a lot of trouble lining things up sometimes... most frustrating part of the job for me.

- putting bolts and washers and nuts in little ziploc bags and writing on the bags what they’re from is the best way for me to keep things straight to know what goes where.

- My bike has a hunger for washers, bolts and nuts. I lost one of each in the bowels of the beast... so far one bolt has fallen out, but a washer and spring nut have yet to make their escape. I’ll probably have to order new ones.


All in all, it was a great experience, and a great way to learn about my bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
For those of you that like pictures of naked Gold Wings, here are a few pics from my weekend of work.
 

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WOW! Thanks for the pictures, this makes this job even more fascinating......Good job!

Ronnie
 
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