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All,
Looking for some help while I'm working on my wife's bike. It's a 1982 GL500I with dual front brakes. I recently replaced the fork seals (pretty straightforward job) and now I'm trying to mount the front axle back up and it seems like the lower fork legs are too spread apart. Almost like there should be a compression nut or something to squeeze them together but there's nothing in the parts fiche. I know some bikes have a castle nut or an axle that screws in but this one doesn't appear to. When fully assembled, the brake calibers are about .5" away from where they should be and are causing the pads to rub aggressively on the discs and will lock the wheel up. Am I missing something? The bike was a customization project by a local shop/high school and the reason the fork seals failed was the fork wasn't properly assembled. I'm guessing the front axle wasnt either. I've followed the assembly process in my Clymers manual (which isnt 100% correct for the Is) and I've crossreferenced the online manuals and still no luck.

Here's the process I've used:

1) Slide in forks into triple tree and tighten top fork bolt.
2) Finger tighten lower fork bolt
3) Install brake calibers and loosely tighten bolts
4) Install front fender and loosely tighten bolts
5) Install front wheel with arrow on clamps facing forward finger tight.
6) Try to tighten brake caliper bolts (wheel locks up here)
7) Loosen bolts and wiggle wheel and axle around to try to free up movement
8) Tighten clamp front clamp bolts and then rear clamp bolts
9) Give up when wheel won't spin again and go inside

I've tried draining some brake fluid, alternating the installation order, lubing the brake pins, and I've verified that the speedo notch is fitting in the right fork leg (even though its pretty loosely fitting). Still no go. The orginal speedo was removed and a new magnet one was installed but the spacer is still there and the magnet pickup is mounted to it. I know the speedo pickup was the problem with another member on a similar thread but the bike rode fine before the teardown. And the axle is installed correctly (as I saw in another thread too). On the right side of the bike (front brake lever side), the axle has a little lip on it that limits adjustment and clamping ability. Maybe I need to tighten that side first and then somehow spin the to compress the forks together? I was getting to the point where I was so frustrated that I was debating ratchet strapping the fork legs together and then tightening everything up. On my other bikes, theres a castle bolt on the axle and then you finger tighten the fork clamps and bounce the wheel up and down to align everything. Is there a way to do that on these bikes?

Picture of the bike when we bought it (notice no castle nut)

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I usually put the calipers back after mounting the wheel, but you don't have to. FSM does not specify that.
I'm going to assume you re-assembled the forks correctly...and replaced the bushings, etc.

Half an inch off, both calipers?! Weird. Is that a typo? 0.5" is almost twice the thickness of the rotors!

I'd like to see pics, too... based on your description, all should be well. Once you mount the wheel and tighten the clamps (with the little arrows facing forward and front nuts tightened first), the angle and spacing of the caliper mount tabs should be perfect. But if you tighten the tree clamps first, it may not all square up properly. Forks have to be the same height relative to the tree, and the caliper tabs have to be parallel to each other... tightening the axle clamps first should guarantee that.
Are you sure the forks aren't just bent? Or you have the left fork on the right and vice versa (I know, the fender attach points make it pretty obvious, but...)? Wrong calipers?? Wrong rotors??
Other than that, only thing I can think of is that the front axle and/or its nut are not correct.
 
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