fork oil level procedure question

Xclimation

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The manual says when filling the forks with oil...of course it is filled with the spring out......but...the manual also says the FORK SPRING GUIDE must be out to get the proper oil level......so it appears one has to take out the damper rod assembly to take out the fork spring guide.......I know there's a way to do this..? I already dumped the oil and didn't measure what came out. Does anyone know what the level (measuring from the top of the fork) should be if adding oil WITH the fork spring guide left in? I have a non es model. The manual says the measured level should be 150mm (5.91") but that is without the fork spring and fork spring guide. And the fork spring guide takes up a significant amount of space....Thank You in Advance!
 

Xclimation

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As I was!!!! The FORK SPRING GUIDE DOES come off without taking out the damping rod assembly! Compress the spring...loosen jam nut....remove cap.....remove jam nut....remove metal collar that is below jam nut....Whala! the fork spring guide just pulls off!

It's a good thing I double checked the service manual! After pulling the fork spring guide....my fork oil level would've been too low by quite a significant amount!

Also to note.....when reinstalling the jam nut you must level exactly, 13 mm (.51") of exposed thread above the jam nut before reinstalling the cap assembly....

When servicing forks on our bikes, I HIGHLY recommend having a service manual (RTFM!!!) When searching and reading past threads...there are quite a few things People leave out!

Does anyone know how to remove and especially reinstall the damping rod assembly without the damping rod tool and/or holder?
 

RCinNC

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I've never taken out the damper rod assembly, and it isn't necessary to do that in order to remove the fork spring guide. The fork spring guide sits on top the damper rod, which pulls out of the damper rod assembly without any further disassembly. When I refer to the damper rod, I mean that small hollow tube that pulls out of the lower part of the fork.

That part numbered 19 in the diagram is the fork spring guide. The part numbered 10 is what I'm referring to as the damper rod (although in the diagram, that number refers to the entire damper assembly). Both those items come out of the fork without removing the damper rod assembly from the lower fork.
 

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RCinNC

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I tie a small zip tie around the end of the damper rod, and then tie a piece of string to that and thread the string up through the fork spring so I can hold it from falling back into the damper assembly while I reassemble the fork.
 

Xclimation

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I tie a small zip tie around the end of the damper rod, and then tie a piece of string to that and thread the string up through the fork spring so I can hold it from falling back into the damper assembly while I reassemble the fork.
I use that zip tie method as well. In an ideal world I like to take out the damper rod assembly and I usually like to clean out the inside and bottom of the fork tube with ATF. Little particles like to sit on the bottom of the fork tube (based on other bikes I've had) I'm used to dealing with forks on cruisers. But I'm not messing with taking out the damper assembly. My fork fluid looked great after 24k miles and 4 years.
 

Eville Rich

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Sep 15, 2016
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Wisconsin, USA
The factory volume is 485 ml for non-ES forks. If you just did a dump, filling with a little less than that is probably fine. Maybe 465 ml. Naturally, you'll need to measure that. ES forks have a little bit more oil per the FSM but not that much. I'm recalling 493ml for the right fork and 505ml for the left. Not sure if the dump and fill in an ES leaves more behind or not, but assuming it does not, adjust your fill accordingly, I guess.

If you want to fill by the level method, I guess it needs to be taken apart.

Eville Rich
2016 S10
 

jrusell

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Aug 23, 2017
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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
As I was!!!! The FORK SPRING GUIDE DOES come off without taking out the damping rod assembly! Compress the spring...loosen jam nut....remove cap.....remove jam nut....remove metal collar that is below jam nut....Whala! the fork spring guide just pulls off!

It's a good thing I double checked the service manual! After pulling the fork spring guide....my fork oil level would've been too low by quite a significant amount!

Also to note.....when reinstalling the jam nut you must level exactly, 13 mm (.51") of exposed thread above the jam nut before reinstalling the cap assembly....

When servicing forks on our bikes, I HIGHLY recommend having a service manual (RTFM!!!) When searching and reading past threads...there are quite a few things People leave out!

Does anyone know how to remove and especially reinstall the damping rod assembly without the damping rod tool and/or holder?
12mm is the measurement for exposed thread. (C in the service manual) 13mm is the measurement inside the cap back to the rebound adjuster. (D) Better practice is to ignore the 13mm measurement and back out the rebound adjuster fully counter clockwise. You don't want the rebound needle to bottom out before the cap bottoms on the lock nut. If it does you could bend/damage the needle.
In reality 12 or 13 or 11mm doesn't really matter. The only thing this will change is the total number of clicks available on your rebound adjuster. Only the first 12 or so actually do anything. The stock needle is pretty blunt and once you get out 12 or so you are flowing as much as possible anyway.

You can remove the complete cartridge by just removing the bolt in the bottom of the fork and many times to reassemble you do not need a cartridge holder. Usually there is enough friction between the cartridge and the fork lower that it doesn't spin and the bolt will snug up nice and tight.
Unfortunately sometimes this isn't the case and you will need the a holder to prevent it from spinning. I made my own out of an old socket and a piece of pipe. I would not remove the cartridge unless you plan on making or buying a proper holder.

Redneck way to get it tight without a holder is to tighten as much as you can until it spins. Then a quick hit with an electric impact gun will usually get it tight without it spinning.
I would not do this. good chance of stripping out the bottom of the cartridge. But hey you asked.

If you want to get the lower nice and clean spray it out with brake cleaner a few times and hang upside down for a while. I sometimes refill the fork with atf fluid bleed the cartridge to help get the inside of the cartridge as clean as possible without disassembling the cartridge. Drain and hang for a while to make sure all the atf is out.

1DF7DC54-9992-451D-B4C6-148464B12010.jpeg
 

jrusell

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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
15/16 ---1/2" drive. Must be 1/2" drive to allow the damper rod to pass through. Outside must still be ground down slightly to fit inside the outer ring on the top of the cartridge.

It's rough but it works. A 22mm socket would have worked better, but I didn't want to trash a metric socket. Really anything 30mm od will work fine, it's just what I had on hand.
 

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Xclimation

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Ft. Worth, Texas
15/16 ---1/2" drive. Must be 1/2" drive to allow the damper rod to pass through. Outside must still be ground down slightly to fit inside the outer ring on the top of the cartridge.

It's rough but it works. A 22mm socket would have worked better, but I didn't want to trash a metric socket. Really anything 30mm od will work fine, it's just what I had on hand.
Awesome! Thank You! I put things back together...but next time I will be doing this. I have the exact same micrometer!!! Had it for a few years and it is pretty accurate! The On/off button doesn't work and I take in and out the battery to turn it on!
 
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