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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm running up to the dealer, as soon as I finish typing this, to pick up new fork seals for my 1982 CX500 Custom. I have never replaced for seals, I haven't even ever removed forks before. But, I am very mechanically inclined, I have an entire day off from work, it's warm out and I found some very helpful videos online. I was just wondering if anybody had any helpful tricks or hints that might make this go easier, for a first timer, for this particular bike.

I'm nervous to do this myself, but I can't really afford the $350 my local shop wants to do them. Who knows, maybe I will get frustrated and end up bringing them in, but I think I should be able to figure it out.

Any help is much appreciated.
 

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Just pay close attention to the direction of each ring/seal. It's easy to get confused there.
Did you see the instructions for this job on the website?
 

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did mine Saturday, really easy to do.

loosen the bolts holding the top yoke / triple tree
loosen the bolt on the top of the leg.
nip the bolts back up again
jack front of bike up.
unbolt calipers and hang to the side of the bike with rope/string/whatever
unbolt wheel. and remove
remove mudguard / fender.
then while legs are still in the bike, loosen the allen bolt in the bottom of the legs. use a sharp jerking motion to free off. then nip up again.
on one side loosen the bolts holding the yokes and remove leg.
remove dust seal / cap
now completely remove the allen bolt at bottom of the leg and drain the oil.
place a rag over the top of the leg and remove the top bolt. this is a tip for safety. watch the video, at 7 mins, if you don't know what I mean
drain any remaining oil.
and remove the internals of the leg, take pics as you go along, this aids correct reassembly mine did not have a circlip but a snap ring type thing as can be seen in the vide at 10 mins
now remove the seals. this will depend on what internals you have as to how you remove them, I had to lever mine out carefully. other can be driven out by using the internal bush that is located on the fork leg.
now clean and check the leg. install new seal, mine needed a large socket placing over seal and knocking into place, using a 3-9-6-12 pattern, others may need a driver. again see the video of how to make your own.

now reassemble the leg, fill with oil 3/4s of the required amount.
depress leg a few times by hand to remove air
top up with remainder of oil.
depress leg a few times again.
now reinstall top nut, again using the rag and being careful
reinstall leg in the bike and repeat on the other leg.

while wheel and mudguard are off clean anywhere you feel needs it and then reinstall, being careful to correctly align the speedo drive and washer,
then bolt every thing up,
torque things up to correct amounts
stand back
grin a little
clean up
test ride.
once test ride is done have a celebratory beer..

the video I used for guidance..

 

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I have the forks just about back together on my '80 CX 500 Custom right now, and the retaining rings on them aren't of the circlip variety. They're round with the little zigs in them toward the open ends to prise them out, so no circlip pliers needed. OP might get lucky- I HATE circlips, with or without the pliers at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the write ups and advice. I do have a snap-ring pliers set, and a homemade seal driver I'm going to attempt to use. Otherwise i will just buy a driver later if I need to. Thank you BEEFUK, I will be using your post a lot, especially the grinning and beer after test ride. Cross you fingers for me! I will post in a bit if I feel like I am stuck.

I just have to say that this forum is great. Not only very active but you guys are very nice and helpful, thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well today has been a failure so far.
I first loosened the bolts holding the top yoke / triple tree
Then I loosened the bolt on the top of the leg.
and then I nipped the bolts back up again
I then jacked up the front of the bike.
Next I unbolted caliper

Everything was going fine until I had to remove the wheel.

I loosened the clamp/bolt that holds the axle bolt, or whatever it's called. Next I unscrewed the bolt/rod/axle that goes through the middle of the wheel. About 3/4 the way out the brake side fork started to twist counter clockwise, (idk if this is normal).
I backed the axle out as far as I could but I can't seem to get it out, it's like stuck. Maybe I didn't unthread it all the way, but it sure seems like it. I tried putting a screwdriver through the brake side fork and giving it a few taps on the axle to hopefully push it out, but I didn't want to hurt anything so I didn't try that much.

I've never removed a front wheel before, it seems straight forward but I must be doing something wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To clarify, I was able to bolt everything back together fine, so I know I didn't damage anything, I just wasn't able to get the front axle removed.
 

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I never take the axle out of mine... I just take the 2 bolts all the way off on each bottom, Put a jack with a 2x4 just under the front of the engine, and lift it until the front wheel leaves the ground. Then I just roll out the wheel/axle/rotors all together. And then unbolt the fender, and commence work on the forks.
 

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It sounds like axel (bolt) is binding due to fork twisting. Can you somehow hold fork in line while turning out bolt? As I remember it did take a firm rap with a drift to knock it free. Just make sure it is fully un-threaded before whacking and hold fork 90 degrees to bolt...
 

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I never take the axle out of mine... I just take the 2 bolts all the way off on each bottom, Put a jack with a 2x4 just under the front of the engine, and lift it until the front wheel leaves the ground. Then I just roll out the wheel/axle/rotors all together. And then unbolt the fender, and commence work on the forks.
locomo; Your gl has a different arrangment for removing front wheel. The cx here does not have the clamps on the bottom and you must take the bolt all the way out...
 

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I loosened the clamp/bolt that holds the axle bolt, or whatever it's called. Next I unscrewed the bolt/rod/axle that goes through the middle of the wheel. About 3/4 the way out the brake side fork started to twist counter clockwise, (idk if this is normal).
I backed the axle out as far as I could but I can't seem to get it out, it's like stuck. Maybe I didn't unthread it all the way, but it sure seems like it. I tried putting a screwdriver through the brake side fork and giving it a few taps on the axle to hopefully push it out, but I didn't want to hurt anything so I didn't try that much.
From this description, I think the same thing always happen to me. The threaded side of the axle is out of the fork body threads, but the binder bolt side of the axle is not letting go. Because the fork tubes flex when you hit the axle, it's not breaking free.

I think you just need to hit the axle harder to pop it free. Use a smaller axle or bolt with a flat surface that will not damage the end of the axle, don't use a screwdriver.

You can try to gently pry the binder bolt opening up as much as possible and put some oil on it. The mating surface on that side of the axle is large, you'd think it'd slide out.... all that I can say is, I've had this problem just about every time I've taken my front wheel off, I think I just have learned how much force to use. It's almost like you need a vise or a rig to hold the fork legs rigid to prevent them from spreading when you try to tap out the axle.

Good luck!
 

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Ok, thanks. I wasn't sure if the CX forks were the same, the couple pics I've seen online I thought they were the same.
 

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My cx has the clamp on bottom of the right hand leg. Undo two nuts underneath. Take axle nut off off drift out of leg job done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It sounds like axel (bolt) is binding due to fork twisting. Can you somehow hold fork in line while turning out bolt? As I remember it did take a firm rap with a drift to knock it free. Just make sure it is fully un-threaded before whacking and hold fork 90 degrees to bolt...
I don't think that it is binding though, once I have it out as far as I can get it/once I think it is all the way un-threaded, I am able to twist the bottom of the fork, so I know the bolt isn't still holding onto the threads. I will try to knock it harder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
From this description, I think the same thing always happen to me. The threaded side of the axle is out of the fork body threads, but the binder bolt side of the axle is not letting go. Because the fork tubes flex when you hit the axle, it's not breaking free.

I think you just need to hit the axle harder to pop it free. Use a smaller axle or bolt with a flat surface that will not damage the end of the axle, don't use a screwdriver.

You can try to gently pry the binder bolt opening up as much as possible and put some oil on it. The mating surface on that side of the axle is large, you'd think it'd slide out.... all that I can say is, I've had this problem just about every time I've taken my front wheel off, I think I just have learned how much force to use. It's almost like you need a vise or a rig to hold the fork legs rigid to prevent them from spreading when you try to tap out the axle.

Good luck!
That sounds exactly like what is happening. I will try to pry the binder bolt a bit and spray some oil. Thanks.
 

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The other thing that makes the axle bind is the alignment of the wheel. I use something beyond the center stand to prop up the front, either weight or strap down the back (or put blocks under the engine) so the front tire is just skimming the ground. You should be able to slide a piece of paper under the tire.

Once the far side of the axle is out of the threads, weight on the wheel will bind the bolt, so the front wheel/tire has to be aligned perfectly, ie no weight on the front wheel, or very little...
 
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