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08-04-2016, 01:54 AM,
Fork Rebuild Gone Wrong..
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 Cool

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!

2003 V-Star 650 Custom
08-10-2016, 06:14 AM,
RE: Fork Rebuild Gone Wrong..
I've done overhaul and upgrade (progresive springs) with few bumps on the road ... as it turns out - peddler which imported bike from states done some selling refurbishment (almost 90% of used bikes from US imported to Europe has Salvage title on them - sometimes few bumps and scratches - sometimes colission with tank :/)
mine has bent fork tube and with creative hammering it was straighten - and second one..... was longer !? WTF ? it also have longer dampener pipe inside

I bought new sets , new seals, and progressive springs - however I used fork oil as manual stated - 10W - I will replace it on next time to 15W - so front will be harder.

as for your questions - put fork tubes on flat table (dark surface is better) - roll them - and see if they are wobbling .
to mount oil seal best to use special tool bought in ... home depot - 50mm PVC pipe with seal fitting on one end (I do not know if in US there is similar size in imperial unis) - put sealing on tube ant then PVC pipe - and then tap it with hammer - it will seat in nice and easy.
as for allen bolt on the end - it is good to have another special tool - about 3/4 inchwooden broom stick from home depot - sharpen stick slightly - jam it into the tube (spring removed) - as for allen bolt best to use power drill with allen bit - stick will give friction and drill will unbolt screw fast.

get new copper washers !
I had no problem with locking without oil :|

as for putting caps back on - car jack ? really ? for rebuild I get out both fork legs out of bike and put in on table :P
to put caps on - I had just put forg leg against ground - and push cap down with my palm - ant then rotate fork with other hand till cap tread gets few turns - and from that just use spaner to tighten it

hope it helps a bit
09-23-2016, 09:36 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-24-2016, 01:57 AM by TwoWheels.)
RE: Fork Rebuild Gone Wrong..
Bike has been sitting on the jack for too long. Had plans to bring it to a buddy to help show me what I did wrong but schedule conflicts have been an issue- im frequently out of town for work (refrigeration tech).

I took the other fork leg apart to see if I could get that one going- exactly the same symptoms... I removed fork cap, spacer and spring and then turned fork upside down, and pumped fork several times to remove residual oil- as manual the Clymer repair manual states to do. 4 pumps in, fork locks, exactly as the other one did. Feels like a mechanical lock. Compared height of this fork to other fork lock position- they are within 1/8 of an inch of each other- I believe they are fully or near the fully compressed position. WTF is going on?

Once damper rod is unbolted/removed the fork tube moves freely up and down the fork slider.

The only step I skipped last time was to "remove the oil lock piece if it is still on the fork tube." Manual says if still in place, remove it, then later, install damper rod in fork tube then install oil lock. Could this be my issue? This locking issue while pumping out oil really appears to happen by design- at least that's what I suspect.

How do I remove the oil lock piece- manual does not elaborate and I can't seem to get it off.


*edit* I mixed up some terminology and have corrected it

[Image: oil-lock_zpsiudpy9qm.jpg~original]

[Image: slider-damperrod_zpsckhdnsus.jpg~original]
09-24-2016, 01:53 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-24-2016, 02:04 AM by TwoWheels.)
RE: Fork Rebuild Gone Wrong..
Problem solved. Turns out the the fork oil lock (sometimes called the damper rod seat- which is the white plastic piece in the photo) isn't lodged in the fork tube during normal operation. This was preventing the fork from actuating and keeping the fork stuck in a completely compressed position.
This also makes it much more difficult to get the fork cap back on-- much more force-- blew a hole almost complete through the garage door when fork cap, slider and spring shot out while trying to put it together the first time Biggrin .

To remove- I put the damper rod in the fork slider (seated in the oil lock), then put a broom stick in the fork tube and a single hammer action stroke and the oil lock popped right out. Such a simple thing.
09-24-2016, 05:44 PM,
RE: Fork Rebuild Gone Wrong..
even though I have fairly low miles at only 9k am thinking that I need front fork work as they squeak when get worked hard, my old one with 40k never had an issue but newer is a heavier bike, ideas?
2006 VStar Stratoliner, Freedom Performance split dual exhaust, Mustang seats, Sissy bar with back rack, bolted saddlebags to mounts.
Life's tough .. it's even tougher if you're stupid. - John Wayne

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