80s Pro-Link Shock Refresh
Mike Nixon

The particular kind of rear shock Honda used in a number of models from 1981 thruough about 1986 is an emulsion design. An emulsion shock mixes air and oil together in the same housing. Current designs are far superior. However, properly servicing the Pro-Link style shock will maximize its effectiveness. A booklet is available on changing and adjusting the oil level in this shock, as well as replacing he seal. These pictures are designed to give an idea of the kind of work that is done to this shock. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check out the booklet offer also.


This job is started by cleaning the shock all over and then getting a good look at it. If there are obvious issues, we don't want to invest too much time or money into a unit that may not be competely serviceable.

Here for example, we find a worn air fill hose. Must have been routed incorrectly on the bike, resulting in its rubbing on the rear wheel. This hose will have to be pressure tested to make sure it still holds air. If not, a replacement must be found, and Honda no longer sells them. I also look at the o-ring on the shock end of the hose. They often leak.

There's a lot of dirt in there, which is not too unusual. The dirt must however be cleaned out before the shock is opened up, or the shock will become contaminated. It also must be clean so a good look can be had of the chrome finish, which must be perfect or a new seal will not last. This really is step one on servicing this shock.

The snap-ring is removed with special pliers. It's a big snap-ring, and takes a lot of force. You must be careful to not nick the shock's shaft. You also don't want this bugger flying up into your face.

After the seal is hydrauliced out using the special factory tools, and removal of the outer case and a period of draining the, a new seal is pressed into place by hand. Then special factory tools are used to finish the seal installation. Note the electrical tape around the weld.

 

There is a lot more to this of course and a complete treatment of this job of servicing Honda's early Pro-Link shock is available in booklet form. This book takes you step by step through replacing the seal and putting in the correct amount and type of damping oil. Contact me or go here for more information. Also, check out the new "white paper, " a discussion of how they work and their limitations.

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