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Fork Damper Bolt - Weird Issue, maybe Nightmare?

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  • Fork Damper Bolt - Weird Issue, maybe Nightmare?

    Hey friends,

    I am at my wit's end with these abominable forks. Spent the whole day trying to replace the seals; things were going well until I forgot to replace the inner (?) bushing and "oil seal retaining ring" on the left hand side. (whatever they are - pic below) As such, I drove the new oil seal in with the old seal as a safety buffer and it went in... too far - and I couldn't get the old one out.

    (Forgotten parts):

    Disclaimer: For some reason I find it hard to grasp the inner working of forks - and this was probably stupid:

    To try and get the old buffer oil seal out, I tried the "slide hammer" technique extremely vigorously. I forgot that I had already secured the damper screw in the bottom, which I believe rendered my efforts in vain. As such, I took a razor blade and a flat-head to the old seal, and was able to get it out. Well, I thought, at least the new one was well-seated! (but I did not yet realize I had forgotten to install two components.)

    So I put the new dust seal on and filled with oil, and then realized I forgot the two pieces. Shit. So I remove the dust seal, dump the oil, undo the damper screw... wait. The damper screw isn't coming out. It's just turning and turning forever.

    Here is a picture of what things look like now. The bottom part with the oil sieve-like holes (emulator?) came out, (which I believe the damper bolt screws into) but the damper screw is not coming out - it is just spinning forever, like it is still engaged with something.

    Question 1:
    What have I done? Did I f*ck up the silver "oil lock piece" that goes in the very bottom by slide hammering? I don't know what else the screw could be stuck on. I suppose it's possible that I kind of embedded threads into the oil lock piece by slide hammering?

    Question 2:
    What should I do now? I think I am clear to slide-hammer the new oil seal out to get the stanchion out, then maybe I can see if the "oil lock piece" is indeed just spinning when I turn the screw...?

    (Question 3 - is my fork FUBAR'd?)

    Geez I hate these things. Carbs were a pleasant experience compared to these - I don't have space to stay organized with these long components, which is why I forgot the extra pieces (along with my own stupidity).

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by Heeltoeclutch; 08-28-2017, 12:06 AM.

  • #2
    The lower leg is clocked. It has a flat spot to lock it in place. You need to get that into the slot and you may have the install the spring and cap to hold it in place. Some advice slow down, reference the manual while you reassemble. Looking at the blowup while you reassemble will ensure you install every piece the first time.
    "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you when I called you stupid. I thought you already knew..."
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    • #3
      Thank you junker -

      Welp, after taking a break and thinking about it more I went back and tried to pull the stanchion out - it came out, but left the new seal in (didn't hammer it out) because of the missing pieces. Had to cut/pry the new seal out.

      The oil lock piece is fine. I stuck a broom in there after pulling everything out and the damper screw came out. I honestly don't know what it was stuck on or why it kept spinning like it was still engaged with something. I did the solder-the-crush-washer trick and I may have put too much solder on, but I wouldn't think that would cause it. So, now I need to order a new oil seal, and not forget anything, and I think it should be fine.

      What an anti-climactic thread. A few things I've learned:

      1. Stay organized, even with big unwieldy components
      2. Take more breaks, and your brain works better
      3. Hammering those new seals in, I guess, is supposed to be quite arduous, not quick and easy - if it is the latter then some pieces are missing
      Last edited by Heeltoeclutch; 08-28-2017, 01:38 AM.