I'll try to cut to the chase. Doing a fork rebuild per Clymer manual procedures. Bike is a '03 650 custom.
First, I bought a universal fork seal driver tool. When trying to push the bushing and oil seal washer into the slider, I'm not sure how to tell if the bushing is in properly? Manual states to drive bushing and washer in until bushing bottoms in fork slider. Will I hear it fall into the slider? I pushed it in until the "feet" on the driver tool are touching the sides of the bore of the slider, and can't go any further. So basically, I'm not sure if the bushing is actually all the way in, or if the driver isn't appropriate for the bike and can't set the bushing in the slider properly..
Second, I put the oil seal on the fork tube, and used the driver tool (per manual instructions) and tried to push the oil seal into slider "until the seal is below the groove that the retainer clip sits in." I was not able to achieve this. I did lose patients, and did a "slide hammer" technique with the fork seal driver, and hammered that sucker in there until it was below the groove- I rotated multiple times to try and get it level. Well, it isn't quite level, perhaps one side is 1mm higher than the other. The retainer clip basically fits, but its -barely- noticeable that it isn't seated properly in half the groove. Should I remove the seals/bushing and start over? This requires me to man-handle the fork spring/spacer and screw the cap back on so I can break lose the allen bolt on the bottom that I have already loctite sealed into place- what a PIA that was to begin with. Or should I continue to slide hammer it in, and just continue to rotate to try and even it out? I didn't want to continue just yet, incase I'm really going about this the wrong (or damaging) way. Oil seal does not appear to be visually damaged from this technique..
Thirdly is most concerning, the fork leg will not actuate. It's like it is mechanically locked and was before I even tried putting the bushing in.. It moves maybe a quarter of an inch or so, and makes a metal clank noise, like it's hitting something. Is this to be expected when it is dry (no hydraulic fluid)? I say dry- just FYI parts were lubed with fork oil upon assembly. Now, I had this same thing happen, when I had the fork upside down on disassembly and was pumping out the fork oil- once it drained, it locked up. That's what has me wondering if perhaps the fork locks itself when out of fluid? I hope I didn't screw up too badly here. I anticipated this being fairly easy. I've run into more than a few frustrating issues, though I suppose it could be worse.
Also wonder if there is a better method of compressing the fork spring when trying to get the cap on, other than man-handling the thing? I saw online a guy using a jack, horizontally compressing the fork against a car tire, but he was trying to force the seal out (which I didn't actually have trouble with- manual recommended slide-hammer motion of fork tube up again slide, and a few hits and the seal/washer/bushing popped right out). Anyways, I'm wonder about when the fork is full of fluid, and the fork leg needs to be vertical... My little Nissan Hardbody is a little short to jack the fork up under it to compress the spring, but that was my only idea.. might be able to find a spot where it fits. A better way maybe?
Any advice, tips, experience, etc would be GREATLY appreciated. And please, call me out if I'm really screwing up here. Better to tell me off than let me ruin the forks. Oh and by the way, I haven't disassembled the other fork leg yet, so I can only destroy 50% of the fork
Oh boy. Anyways, I've done a few searches on the net for this and didn't come up with anything, so I decided to jump on here.. it's been awhile anyway. Thanks!