Frontend work

While I had the bike apart I decided to go through the frontend and do maintenance and mods. I'm going to install All Balls roller bearings, change the fork oil, install Progressive springs, disable the anti-dive valve, and install a Traxxion fork brace.

Like I mentioned on the reservoir fill page, if you're gonna do these types of things to your Goldwing you really need to buy Fred Harmon's maintenance videos. The videos give much better detail than is possible with pictures. Plus, it's just fun to watch Fred do it.

I'm going to hit the highlights of this procedure. For more detail get Fred's videos.

After removing the front wheel and forks this is what you have.

I decided to disassemble the forks to let them drain while I did other parts. There are drain plugs in the bottom of the forks which require a long 6mm hex wrench. I was hoping to avoid destroying an Allen wrench to make the above tool but nothing else I tried worked. The drain plugs were in there SOB tight...that's where you're saying "Son of a bitch these things are tight!"

I put the forks in a vise to remove the plugs and caps. I should have loosened the caps when they were on the bike because off the bike the tubes just spin. I ended up putting the top bridge back on so I could grip the tubes.

With the plugs and caps off the forks drain nicely. I didn't realize that fork oil smelled that bad. Tip: If you quickly compress the tube oil will puke all over the floor. Compress the tubes slowly to make sure all the oil is out.

I disassembled both forks and let them drain overnight. Here is the damper system from the right fork.

Remove the handlebars. Use a 30mm socket to remove the steering stem nut and the top bridge.

It takes a special tool to remove the upper bearing adjusting nut. You can jury rig something or punch at it with a screwdriver, but from experience it's best to get the proper tool. I got this fine work of art from 'Cycledude' at the GL1800 riders forum.

With the bearing nut removed the steering stem drops out. The lower inner bearing race is still on the stem.

I put the steering stem in a vise and used a screwdriver to pry the lower race and seal away from the bottom. With the race lifted up you can use a punch to drive it the rest of the way off. Here is the destroyed seal. I don't normally abuse a screwdriver like this but this one was already ruined by someone using it for a punch.

The upper and bottom races in the frame neck are removed with a punch. It took a couple minutes to get the bottom out. The upper race came out in about ten seconds. At this point we are ready to start reassembly.

Here is the All Balls roller bearing kit. I like the roller bearings much better than the stock ball bearings. People say the roller bearings are a very noticeable improvement.

The new lower bearing and seal need to be pressed on the steering stem. Fred put the stem in the freezer to make the process easier. He also drove the bearing onto the stem using the old race to pound on. I had Fred beat here. I used my press.

I found that a 1 3/8" socket fit the top race perfectly so I used it to drive the race into place. Put a light oil in the race seat to help it slide into place. A 36mm socket worked for the lower race.

Reinstall the steering stem, top bridge, and empty forks. Refer to the service manual or Fred's videos for the many details this entails. Like Fred, I used a MityVac to remove the excess fork oil. I used a piece of brake line marked for the depth I wanted (5.5" according to Progressive).

I reinstalled the fork guts substituting Progressive springs for the stock ones.

Next I installed the Traxxion fork brace.

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