Rebuilding front forks for FIRST time, HELP

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May 13, 2001
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#1
I did a general search but came up empty handed.

My problem is, my left fork(caliper side)is LEAKING, or has already leaked all the fluid out. The ride is pretty SPONGY to say the LEAST! LOL! Its werid, alota guys at the bike shop, say they havent heard of that. They hear of fork seals(where the shock slides in and out)going if anything?! What could MY problem be!?

But, my bike is a 97 model, ridden hard, and i figure this would be as good a time as any to upgrade to some FRP stuff(21# springs and all that accompany the rebuild). Keep in mind, i have NO CLUE as to what i NEED, or how to even accomplish this feat. Is it HARD?! Do i need special tools?

Anyone that can help me, i would be deeply thankfull to you,
Tony
 
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#2
Where are your forks leaking from? What shop are you going too? I'm guessing maybe Alcoa Good Times (am I forgetting a closer Kawasaki shop?). If you're at Good Times, talk to Richard Goins. He's the head mechanic, and really knows what he's doing. I used to work there, and I think either Rich or Tim Levan would be your best bet.
 

Canadian Dave

Super Power AssClown
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#3
Its not a big job if you have the right tools, a shop manual and decent mechanical ability. You can find instructions to build most of the tools you’ll need at www.justkdx.dirtrider.net and $35 will get you a manual at the local dealer.

Where are the forks leaking if not at the seal? Are they leaking for the bottom of the fork?

David
 
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#4
Thanks for a quick reply guys.

Also, really appreciate the LOCAL recomendation, SCRAMBLER!

This is the story of my LIFE. I have a problem that NO-ONE else has really had. I guess this applies to my BIKE as well as my CAR! Ahh, WELL!? :)

Yes, the fork is leaking, or HAS leaked out at the VERY BOTTOM of the fork. ONLY at the bottom. Its not leaking from inside that rubber grommet thing(where the adjuster is). but leaking from the, well, i guess, SEAL at the bottom. I dont know if you can even TIGHTEN that thing? It has kinda like a REVERSE BOLT HEAD, and i have no way of doing ANYTHING to it.

Im leaning more and more toward just removing them, and sending them to FRP for their "touch". In the long run, i belive this may be more benificial to me. Anyone know HOW to send your forks out of state? Im assuming some big BOX, but i dont wanna build that thing. Could i call FRP and ask them to send me a box, then i could send it back after im done transferring the product with them?

Thank you all,
Tony

P.S. SCRAMBLER, do you think it would be a good idea to just get ALL/EVERYTHING ill need from FRP sent to me, then just take my FORKS with the new supplies to RICHARD GOINS@Alcoa Good Times? May save me some FREIGHT costs, eh? FRP is pretty considerate with thier prices for INSTALL however. Just dont know....
 
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#5
First, I'd try finding the right socket (big hex head) and see if you can tighten that bottom down. It is made to come out (with a lot of force) so maybe the factory (or somebody else) didn't get yours cranked in. If you're gonna get the forks done, I would send the whole thing to FRP and let them work their magic. Being their products, they should be the experts in installation. Last I heard Rich didn't really enjoy suspension rebuilds, but he's been to factory schools and all, and if he doesn't know exactly what's wrong, he can get you headed in the right direction. On the other hand, as Dave said, doing the installation yourself is not a big deal, if you want to save money, but the factory service manual is a life saver.
 
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#6
The valve body is at the bottom of your fork..where that big hex head is (just for general reference).

On a general note, it's money well spent to have your suspension done right. If that's something you can do, great. If not, get it done by somebody that knows how.

The difference in my bike pre/post jeremy wilkey (MX-Tech) valving/springing is B-I-G! I would have kilt myself at least a dozen times in the past 6 months if my suspension was still OEM.

As far as your leakage problem..there are some seals on the assy. Maybe one of them is bad/damaged. Or maybe it IS just loose (yikes!).

One thing for sure...with oil it in..it will work a whole lot better!!
 
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#7
I would like to thank all of you for your input, THANK YOU

I called Jeff@Fredette on Wednesday and ordered the 21# springs, MOTOX rear fender, Factory EFX grafx kit w/matching seat cover. I wanted the "kickstarter" they have, but Jeff said its back ordered.

I am goin to let the local shop tackle my front forks, just seems easier to do for me. I passed on the GOLD VALVE KIT, cause mainly i dont race for money, and the fact that the OEM suspension i could handle well enough.

I did, forget to ask Jeff what compression/dampening i should run on the front forks when i get the bike all back together. I am still running the factory spring in rear, but i have increased the rate considerably because, well, i just like the feel i get in the jumble of rocks i ride in. So, can anyone give me a good "median" of clicks i should run with the new setup(front and rear)?

I cant wait to get back on the bike! Itll be like a whole new one for me! Cleaned up the ol' air filter and box, gonna have new brakes all around, new tire....WHOO WHOO! Whos up for a GROUP RIDE in TELLICO(Tn)here in a few!!!???

Thank you again, im glad i found this board!
Tony