Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Well, not really. At least I don’t think so. Because, at some point as part of our Great Escape, we will likely need to sell it, I am working on my motorcycle out in my man cave. In order to sell it, it needs to be road worthy. Maybe there is a certain amount of Zen going on out there, quiet thoughts, Miller Lite. Specifically, I’m replacing the seals and bushings on the front forks, left and right. I already completed the right fork, having reassembled everything and re-installed the fork. Now I’m working on the left fork. Except I’ve run into a problem.

At the bottom of each fork, pointing upward, there is a short allen-head bolt. It needs to be removed for a couple of reasons. One is that it allows for the draining of the fluid that is inside the fork. The other reason is that it attaches the upper half of the fork to the lower half. Without removal of this bolt, the fork halves cannot be separated to allow access to the seals and bushings. Although I had NO trouble unfastening the bolt on the right fork, the left fork bolt is SO TIGHT that it wants to turn the guts that are inside the fork, including a REALLY heavy duty spring. With everything turning, the bolt will never come loose. I’m at a standstill.

So now, the Zen is really kicking in. I’m in deep meditation, although my thoughts may not be sufficiently “quiet”. More beer. Fortunately, I belong to online forums for situations such as this. One of these is a forum dedicated to the preservation of my particular motorcycle, a Honda Goldwing. I post a call for “HELP!”

A few hours later, theSideview preponderance of opinion is that I need to use an impact tool with a socket that fits the allen-head bolt, the idea being that the high torque “impact” will turn the bolt faster than all that stuff inside the fork to which it is attached. Great! I have a cordless impact tool. But lately, it has seemed not to want to take a charge. At first, I assumed it was a bad battery. Then I noticed that the charger for this tool had a significant crack along the plastic housing. More than a crack. Tiny pieces of plastic were actually missing, as if it had been dropped on a concrete garage floor. Hmmm….

Well, if nothing else, I am an Ebay “preferred customer”. So, I go online to Ebay and search for Goodyear 24volt charger. BINGO! I find one in Georgia…$40.00…free shipping. Problem solved.

Not so fast. Although I ordered it several days ago, and paid for it immediately using my Paypal account, it is typical that I would have received an email by now giving me the status of the order. Something like “Your Order Has Shipped”. Nothing. Nada.

Turns out that PayPal, on its own, issued an “eCheck” as the form of payment. Even though I already have a limitless credit card and bank account backed by a line of credit on file. I called and said “what the #@!= is a eCheck? I was told it was a “electronic” check. So, why is the payment “pending”? This was 2 days ago? He says “we have to wait for the eCheck to clear. It can take 3-5 days”. I guess the speed of things “electronic” have slowed down considerably due to the economy or such other BS. Anyway, a few hours after my conversation with PayPal, a miracle happened. I received an email that MY eCheck had cleared, and payment was sent to the seller of the charger. Oh happy day.

9/28/14 Update: I received the charger and charged the impact gun battery. With the charged gun and appropriate impact allen socket, the impact made short work of the extremely tight bolt, easily removing it. Now, we can move forward with replacing the fork seal and bushings.

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