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How to Remove Circlip to Rebuild Rear Shocks?
All,

I bought all the Progressive Suspension replacement parts (springs and dampers) to rebuild my rear shocks, but I can’t even get started removing the old guts!

I’ve read every instruction that I can find on how to do this job, but none of them tells you HOW to remove the big circlip from the ID of the open end of the air shock chrome housing! They just say “remove the circlip”!

I don’t know how. This is not a snap ring with holes in which to insert the tip of a snap ring pliers. It’s just a split ring circlip with no place to grab it with any tool that I know of. Plus, there is precious little room to get any sort of tool between the shock housing ID and the OD of the black piece in the bottom of the shock housing that the damper slides through.

I have the really nice 28-page instructions on doing the rear shock rebuild that was written by “Gambler” of San Jose. He too just says “remove the circlip”. The Honda manual says the same thing but says to use a snap ring pliers! It’s not a snap ring! The Progressive Suspension instruction says the same thing. None of then say or show HOW to remove it.

Also, it seems that this circlip has to be removed with the shock fully extended by the springs and not compressed in a shock compression tool. Or am I wrong about that as well? Seems to me this circlip is always under pressure. I just don’t get it.

HELP! I’m stuck. I can’t rebuild these things if I can’t get them apart.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can teach me how to remove this internal circlip to get my shocks apart.
'87 GL1200A - Black/Grey
'06 GL1800 - Arctic White
'81 CB750C - Blue/Blue
U.S. Navy SWO (1967 to 1976)
Reply
#1 02-04-2008, 05:57 AM,
Can you take a picture of the circlip you want to remove and post it, I want to see what you're dealing with.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

Reply
#2 02-04-2008, 08:19 AM,
Vic,

There are a couple of pictures of it in Gambler's rebuild instructions that can be found in another thread in this forum topic, here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?t=152">http://gl1200goldwings.com/viewtopic.php?t=152</a><!-- m -->

or downloaded directly as a PDF file, here:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.lloyddotson.com/Rear_shock_rebuild_on_a_GL1200_Goldwing.pdf">http://www.lloyddotson.com/Rear_shock_r ... ldwing.pdf</a><!-- m -->

It is a large circlip (more accurately described as a split retainer ring) that fits in the very bottom of the upper rear shock chrome housing (the part that holds the very large diameter springs and also holds the air charge). The clip holds everything up inside that housing.

In one picture in Gambler's write up he shows all of the internal components of the shock assembly cleaned up and laid out on a table (page 12 if you have the PDF file version). Page 15 shows the grove in ID of the bottom of the chrome housing where the clip fits.

Lacking his write up: If you were to remove the shock from the bike, cut off the rubber expansion bellows that protects the damper unit, and turn the entire shock upside down, you would be looking at the bottom of the upper shock housing and see where the damper slides into it. You would also see this clip at the extreme ID of the upper shock housing. Between it and the damper body OD is a plastic (?) guide piece that centers the damper in the bore of the upper housing.

PS) I've PM'ed Gambler and asked for his help. I'm not the world's best PM'er, so I hope I did that right!!!

Had hoped to have this all done last weekend. It was just warm enough to work outside in Atlanta.
'87 GL1200A - Black/Grey
'06 GL1800 - Arctic White
'81 CB750C - Blue/Blue
U.S. Navy SWO (1967 to 1976)
Reply
#3 02-04-2008, 08:46 AM,
All,

After much studying of instructions and diagrams of the internals of the air shock housing and damper assembly, I think I have figured out on my own how to get this #@*% circlip removed!

If you compress the shock assembly at least an inch or two, the tension is removed from the plastic guide-washer-oil seal stack that sits in the bottom portion of the chrome upper shock housing. Though certainly not obvious, you can then push that stack up into the shock housing with your fingers an inch or so until it moves away from the circlip in question. Once you have that inch or so of clearance, it is then an easy matter to remove the circlip using a pick tool to pry one end of it out of the slot in the ID of the housing.

I’ll test this procedure out this coming weekend, but I’m confident that this is the solution. The problem is that this procedure is not explained anywhere and it is the first step required for disassembly of the shock. Instructions from all sources just say “remove the circlip!” No mention of compressing the shock first and pushing the existing guts up inside a bit to get clearance.
'87 GL1200A - Black/Grey
'06 GL1800 - Arctic White
'81 CB750C - Blue/Blue
U.S. Navy SWO (1967 to 1976)
Reply
#4 02-05-2008, 06:03 AM,
there is a pictorial on <!-- w --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nakedgoldwings.com">http://www.nakedgoldwings.com</a><!-- w --> that I did showing a rebuild

the circlip.... spumped me fo a while.... take the palstic pipe you will use to push the new seal in... and use this to push the old seal deeper into the shock (it will go)

now, just pop out the circlip

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nakedgoldwings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3562">http://www.nakedgoldwings.com/forum/vie ... php?t=3562</a><!-- m -->

you may need to be a ngw member to view this
78 GL1000 (original owner), 86 1200 with motorvation sidecar (wife's), 05 Road King, and 75 frame and lots of parts
state map: "Lots"-all states if you indlude all my bikes
Reply
#5 02-05-2008, 09:42 AM,
rcmatt007,

Thanks for the answer.

I also just printed out a copy of your full rebuild instruction in your other post.

All was clear from other instructions except how to get that darn circlip out of there! Now I know.

Thanks!
'87 GL1200A - Black/Grey
'06 GL1800 - Arctic White
'81 CB750C - Blue/Blue
U.S. Navy SWO (1967 to 1976)
Reply
#6 02-05-2008, 12:26 PM,
A picture say's a thousand words. Glad you got it sorted out. Big Grin
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of gl1200goldwings.com

Reply
#7 02-06-2008, 09:29 AM,
we have a saying on the NGW site..... a thread is useless without pictures Big Grin
hopefully folks will find my rebuild thread useful
78 GL1000 (original owner), 86 1200 with motorvation sidecar (wife's), 05 Road King, and 75 frame and lots of parts
state map: "Lots"-all states if you indlude all my bikes
Reply
#8 02-06-2008, 12:31 PM,


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