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Discussion Starter #1
Merry Christmas everyone!

1998 VN1500 Classic here again :)

I'm about to replace front fork oil and I'm confused regarding correct oil level fill limit.

I have top plug + retaining ring fork type.

The fork section of the manual for my bike send me back to base manual for Vulcan 88 A. In that section it says that for fully compresses fork, oil level should be 124mm from the top for Vulcan A and 140mm for Vulcan B.
But fork telescope there is a bit different since according to manual it has drain screw that does not exist on mine.

Then I've looked at the manual for 1500 Classic FI model for years 2000-2008. There suspension fork looks like mine exactly (i.e. without the draining screw) and states that oil level should be 137mm.

So how much oil do you fill? Currently the options are:
  • 124mm
  • 140mm
  • 137mm
Thanks!
 

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Merry Christmas everyone!

1998 VN1500 Classic here again :)

I'm about to replace front fork oil and I'm confused regarding correct oil level fill limit.

I have top plug + retaining ring fork type.

The fork section of the manual for my bike send me back to base manual for Vulcan 88 A. In that section it says that for fully compresses fork, oil level should be 124mm from the top for Vulcan A and 140mm for Vulcan B.
But fork telescope there is a bit different since according to manual it has drain screw that does not exist on mine.

Then I've looked at the manual for 1500 Classic FI model for years 2000-2008. There suspension fork looks like mine exactly (i.e. without the draining screw) and states that oil level should be 137mm.

So how much oil do you fill? Currently the options are:
  • 124mm
  • 140mm
  • 137mm
Thanks!
Just to confuse you even more, I have the clymer manual for a 98 and it says distance from top is 135-139mm.

The simplest way to have peace of mind is to measure what you have in there now, before draining. Then tip the fork leg upside down into a measuring jug and let each one drain overnight. If you do one fork at a time you can see what the amount is.

the most important thing when you refill is that each leg gets EXACTLY the same amount. The clymer states 395ml per leg for an oil change, and 460-468 ml on a complete strip down

there is no drain plug on these forks. the bottom screw holds a plunger rod in place inside the fork. Do not remove this unless you are completely stripping the fork.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just to confuse you even more, I have the clymer manual for a 98 and it says distance from top is 135-139mm.

The simplest way to have peace of mind is to measure what you have in there now, before draining. Then tip the fork leg upside down into a measuring jug and let each one drain overnight. If you do one fork at a time you can see what the amount is.

the most important thing when you refill is that each leg gets EXACTLY the same amount. The clymer states 395ml per leg for an oil change, and 460-468 ml on a complete strip down

there is no drain plug on these forks. the bottom screw holds a plunger rod in place inside the fork. Do not remove this unless you are completely stripping the fork.
So I think 137mm will fall into range of all manuals: Base manual for my bike states it 140+-7mm, and FI manual says its 137+-2, which is 135-139 in Clymer's wording.

I don't trust the amount of oil that I'll find in the forks - I'm not sure if it has ever been replaced and if it was then how accurately it was done. I've already found too much "stuff" in this bike. That's why I prefer to do "factory reset" wherever I can.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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395 mila liter not MM is 13 oz. per leg is about rite.
460-468 mL is 15.5-15.8 oz. for a complete flush and refill. which is the proper way to do it.
take the springs out, wipe them down clean, and drain it.
Then run 8 oz of seafoam in each leg thru several times. you will be surprised how much garbage will come out. When yor sure you have all/most of the old nasty(?) out, put the spring back in and top each leg with 16oz of hd 20w fork oil, new is clear as water. button her up. and take for a spin. front end handling will be immensely improved. poncho
 

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Discussion Starter #5
395 mila liter not MM is 13 oz. per leg is about rite.
460-468 mL is 15.5-15.8 oz. for a complete flush and refill. which is the proper way to do it.
take the springs out, wipe them down clean, and drain it.
Then run 8 oz of seafoam in each leg thru several times. you will be surprised how much garbage will come out. When yor sure you have all/most of the old nasty(?) out, put the spring back in and top each leg with 16oz of hd 20w fork oil, new is clear as water. button her up. and take for a spin. front end handling will be immensely improved. poncho
Are you saying you put 20w oil instead of factory 10w?
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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Are you saying you put 20w oil instead of factory 10w?
that is what I wrote. 10w is crap oil for a hevy cruiser. 20w will give you the handling you want and need. try it. then write yor results here. poncho
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Opened the telescopes. The old oil has a color of strong black tea left for overnight. Did not peek inside yet - left them to drain out.

Did not want to put it in a vise and I don't have a vise :) So here is my home made fork telescope compressor:


Made from long heavy-duty clamp and two shorter ones to secure it between two wooden blocks so it would stand still by its own.

Here are the springs, after a cleanup. I noticed slight signs of wear on their edges (probably where they touched telescope tube):


Refill is coming.
 

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while the springs are out, check the length.
the book says new is 560.2mm (22.05")
service limit is 550mm (21.65") Below this, dump them.
they must be identical lengths.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
while the springs are out, check the length.
the book says new is 560.2mm (22.05")
service limit is 550mm (21.65") Below this, dump them.
they must be identical lengths.
Oh, saw this just after reassembling the telescopes back. I guess I'll live with that. For 50k miles, how bad could they be...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Keep those pictures coming...we love pictures...15w or 20w is what you should use...
Here is my old oil:



As you tell is has zero opacity - its full of tiny metal dust. And I cleaned quite a bit of this black dust while washing the telescopes from inside.

Here are some more pictures of oil filling with another "special" tool for equal oil level measuring in both tubes:





At the end gave my lower telescope parts some polish (left one is not polished yet):
 
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