How to Replace Goldwing Fork Sealsby Kyle McBride
Honda Goldwing fork seals can easily be replaced without any specialty tools or equipment. The fork seals are supported from below by a large washer and clamped into place with a large snap-ring. The spring-loaded rubber seal helps keep the fork oil contained in the lower leg and prevents water from dripping down into the leg and mixing with the fork oil. Age, extreme temperatures, dusty conditions and worn fork bushings can lead to fork seal failure. This is usually indicated by excessive oil leaking by the seal. The oil will be visible on the fork tube and will likely attract and hold dust and road grime on the fork tube just above the lower leg.
Remove the lower leg drain plugs with a wrench and drain the forks. Reinstall the drain plugs with fresh drain plug gaskets and torque the plugs to factory specifications for your year of Goldwing.
Remove the large snap-ring at the top of the lower leg with a pair of inside snap-ring pliers. Remove the Allen head bolt in the bottom of the lower leg to release the internal damper. Discard the copper gaskets.
Push the lower leg up onto the fork tubes, compressing the fork. Slide the lower leg down forcibly with a slide-hammer like action. The lower leg will separate from the fork tube, leaving the upper bushing, fork seal, washer and snap-ring on the fork tube. Inspect the upper bushing at this point and replace it if it is worn or damaged.
Remove the washer and old seal from the tube. Install the new seal onto the tube with its writing facing up. Slide the washer back onto the fork tube.
Squeeze the upper bushing on the fork tube with hand pressure to allow it to slide past the lower leg bushing. Slide the lower leg back up onto the fork tube and push it up until the internal damper hits the bottom of the lower leg. Install a fresh copper washer onto the damper bolt and replace the bolt in the bottom of the lower leg. Torque to factory specifications for your year of Goldwing.
Push the large washer on the fork down into the lower leg. Place the new fork seal into its recess in the top of the lower leg. Cut a 2 foot section of 1 1/2 inch PVC pipe. Slide the pipe onto the fork tube and use it like a slide-hammer to drive the new seal home. Tap the seal with the pipe until it bottoms out.
Reinstall the snap-ring with the snap-ring pliers. Ensure that the snap-ring seats fully into its retaining groove in the lower leg. Refill the forks with oil as per factory recommendations for your year of Goldwing.