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Discussion Starter #1
My '01 900ss is due for its fork service. My dealer wants $520 for parts and labor and I know they are screwing me, but there isn't another place that will do them (that I trust anyhow). I'm mechanically inclined (I do my valves, belts, oil, brakes, ect) but I've never done a set of forks before. What tools do I need? What specific parts do I need and where should I get them? What's the level of difficulty and how long should it take? Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!
Cheers, Reuben
 

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price

Thats not bad if they replace with Race Tech springs and valves! I just had mine done for $ 460 parts/Labor with Race Tech Parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats not bad if they replace with Race Tech springs and valves! I just had mine done for $ 460 parts/Labor with Race Tech Parts.
Hmmm....they didn't say anything about replacing springs or valves..I thought they were just going to change fluids, seals, and dust covers?
 

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I just finished my first fork rebuild tonight. 97 Monster 900, Showa 41mm non adjustable. I’ll try and share the pertinent info as I see it, in no particular order.

Measure/record position of top of each fork relative to upper triple to aid in reassembly.

Loosen top caps before unclamping from triple.
Slightly loosen very bottom bolt that hold in each damper system also before unclamping.
(be ready to catch the oil that will come out of this bolt hole when you completely remove bolt)

Set up a large area (at least beach towel size) to disassemble and lay parts out. Same for reassembly. For reassembly lay out all parts, but only parts for the reassembly so you can easily see if a part has been forgotten.

I used diesel fuel about 3” deep in a large plastic storage container so I could lay parts in and clean. Inside of fork tubes wiped by forcing shop towels thru like cleaning a gun barrel.
Spray brake fluid is handy for cleaning threads, tubes, etc.

Take many detailed up close photos during disassembly. I never found an exploded view that exactly matched my forks to aid in reassembly.

My upper and lower fork sleeves were a total bitch to separate! The only thing holding them together is the oil seal. Normally you just grab the upper sleeve in one hand and the lower in the other and using somewhat of a slide hammer motion just yank them apart. I won’t even go into what I had to do. Let’s just say there were a couple of fence posts, a ratchet strap, a come-a-long, a 12 ton bearing press and maybe a goat involved. Don’t forget to remove the metal clips that lock the oil seal into place. Before you say AHAH, no that was not what caused my separation anxiety.

Parts were purchased at Traxxion Dynamics, a fairly well known purveyor of all things forky. They appear to have a busy shipping and receiving area, taking in forks for repair from all over the country. Lucky for me, they are less than 2 miles from my home.
2 dirt seals, 2 oil seals, 2 upper Teflon coated bushings, 2 lower Teflon coated bushings, 2 crush washers for very bottom bolt and 1qt of fork oil.

I checked the chrome fork halves for straightness by rolling them on a flat counter top. They both were a little bent. Traxxion measured about .008” bend. Fortunately, it was just a gentle bend and not a crease creating the bend, so it was fixable. Repair cost was $40 each and included polishing some slight vertical slide related scratches out. Forks were repaired to within .002” of a bend. Upon reassembly there was no binding.

Thumbs Up to Traxxion. They were very generous with their time and knowledge. Walking me thru the process as a do it yourselfer, even though their bread and butter is doing the rebuilds themselves.

Special Tools. I would buy the spring compression tool. $38 from Traxxion. They say to use one person to use the tool to compress the spring while a second person adds or removes locking collars as needed. If you don’t have a second person, I just ran a small ratcheting tie down strap thru the axle hole and put the hooks over either handle of the tool. Tighten as needed, no second person needed.

There are 2 ways that I am aware of to measure the amount of fork oil to use upon assembly. Your manual will likely give you a volume in cc’s to add to the fork or you can just pour oil in the tube till it fills up to a measured distance from the top of the fork tube.
Apparently using the volume measure is preferred when starting with totally disassembled, dry fork parts. During oil refill process you will need to prime each damper rod. On my second damper rod, it didn’t seem to want to prime (sliding action never firmed up) For some reason by changing the orientation of the fork from vertical to as horizontal as possible without oil spilling out, the priming was successful after about 10 strokes.

It will be easiest to finish tightening the top caps after the tubes are snugged into the triple.

There are 5 video segments that I highly recommend

Showa disassembly pt 1
Showa disassembly pt 2
Showa reassembly pt 1
Showa reassembly pt 2

More details on setting oil level by height in tube, not by volume.
How to Set WP KTM Husaberg Fork Oil Level - YouTube

Great time to clean the wheel, new rotors while it’s off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Whistlebritches - I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness you put into your response. Now is there another tool I need to loosen the top of the forks? All the specialty tools I own are homemade :) any particular brand of fork oil you recommend?
Thanks again!
Cheers, Reuben
 

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Time For Fork Service

Officer Bagels. The top nuts of my forks are just 17mm bolt. (non adjustable Showa). As I understand it some adjustable forks require a special tool, don't know about yours. BTW when loosening the top nut prior to fork removal, be sure to loosen the upper tree fork pinch bolts. Leave the lower pinch bolts tight for this operation. This is because tight upper pinch bolts can make it hard to loosen the top nut. As for the fork oil, I don't even remember what it is. I'm too lazy to go to the basement and look. It's a mute point anyway. I have no knowledge or opinion on the oil, I just bought what Traxxion recommended. I did see that a lot of people were going to a lighter than original weight oil (say 10 to 7.5, or 7.5 to 5). Again I went with what Traxxion recommended. 7.5http://www.peterverdone.com/archive/lowspeed.htm
Interesting read on fork oil. Worth the read. Talks about the importence of how different brands of oil react to variations in riding temperature.
Don't forget to protect the oil seal when first sliding it onto fork leg. I used blue painters tape over the end of the fork, I have heard of using saran wrap. Do put some fork oil on seal and fork for sliding seal on. Double check that seal is facing lettering out, and that other associated pieces are stacked in the correct order. You don't want to have to pull the seal after you finally get it in. I did not purchase a seal driver, or make one out of split pvc pipe. I installed just as shown in the video. A hammer, a small drift, and some tlc. Be very careful not to scratch fork tubes when re-installing, unless your going for the rat look. Your second fork will go 100 times quicker than the first. The parts I listed in the my first post cost around $100 plus $80 to straighten both forks. Oh, btw. The teflon coated bronze bushings are split and will easily bend with fingernail pressure for taking on and off. Enough random thoughts, time to go test ride my forks. A final reminder as I said earlier, I'm a total NOOB on forks. Double check everything for yourself and weigh what the more experienced have to say. Have Fun, Be Safe.
 

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Pull the forks off and ship them out. You don't need to replace the springs, just seals and oil far as I know.

I personally like Rick Tannenbaum's work at Cogent Dynamics, he's a ducati guy and does great work, reasonable prices.

MotoCD - Cogent Dynamics Services

Suspension is too critical to go to just any bike shop to do the work.

Chris

My '01 900ss is due for its fork service. My dealer wants $520 for parts and labor and I know they are screwing me, but there isn't another place that will do them (that I trust anyhow). I'm mechanically inclined (I do my valves, belts, oil, brakes, ect) but I've never done a set of forks before. What tools do I need? What specific parts do I need and where should I get them? What's the level of difficulty and how long should it take? Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!
Cheers, Reuben
 

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Suspension is too critical to go to just any bike shop to do the work.
I am going to disagree with that statement. there are only a handful of parts and is only slightly more involved than changing your oil. If you have the tools, it is cake.
 

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no you're right. I was speaking of taking it to a bike shop. I took my forks to a local sportbike shop, new seals and oil, forks were never right after that, they underfilled the oil

I am going to disagree with that statement. there are only a handful of parts and is only slightly more involved than changing your oil. If you have the tools, it is cake.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Suspension is too critical to go to just any bike shop to do the work.

Chris
I completely agree with you. I'm just a big DIY kind of guy and like to learn new things every chance I get. I think that if I can tackle the valves and belts, among other things, then the forks should be a more simple feat..I would hope.
 

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You might consider getting one of the giant syringes race tech sells, it's easier way to accurately measure the oil coming out and going in.

Tools

As it's your bike you'll do a far better job than the average bike shop.

I completely agree with you. I'm just a big DIY kind of guy and like to learn new things every chance I get. I think that if I can tackle the valves and belts, among other things, then the forks should be a more simple feat..I would hope.
 

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Good Find!

I was going to do mine but it never fails when working on this bike a nut or bolt gives me HELL! Local Duc Wrench di it all for under $500 with Race Tech parts.

Just did the Nichols bolts and sure as chit the rear made my night.:mad:
 

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$800 and you pay shipping in Chicago IL and he puts in Ohlins parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You might consider getting one of the giant syringes race tech sells, it's easier way to accurately measure the oil coming out and going in.

Tools

As it's your bike you'll do a far better job than the average bike shop.
I actually have glass measuring cups that I use to measure out various liquids for my bike. Will those work or is that syringe really necessary?

Oh I agree, my bike is my pride and joy. Besides, working on my bike is half the fun! I think you feel more connected with your bike and appreciate more. Here I go getting sentimental about my baby..:eek:
 

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I actually have glass measuring cups that I use to measure out various liquids for my bike. Will those work or is that syringe really necessary?

Oh I agree, my bike is my pride and joy. Besides, working on my bike is half the fun! I think you feel more connected with your bike and appreciate more. Here I go getting sentimental about my baby..:eek:
No that is half the joy of owning a bike is working on it when you can!!
 

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No that is half the joy of owning a bike is working on it when you can!!
I think after all the wrenching we have all done on our bikes, we should be certified ducati mechanics lol :cool:
I bet our 2V bikes are the most shade tree mechanic friendly. With all these newer bikes, loaded with all their state of the art technology, you have almost no choice but to take it to the dealer and pay their outrageous fees.
 

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I actually have glass measuring cups that I use to measure out various liquids for my bike. Will those work or is that syringe really necessary?

...
If you're filling a fork that's been fully disassembled so there's no residual oil, just adding a specific volume of oil to each fork tube works fine, but if there is residual oil, getting an equal amount of oil in both fork tubes may be easier using the syringe and a piece of tubing that sticks down a measured distance from the top of the fork tube to suck out excess oil down to that level.

You can use a purpose-built syringe like in zvez's link above, or on the cheap with the big syringe that comes with your turkey fryer outfit (don't use it to inject your turkey afterwards though:D) and aquarium tubing fastened to a bamboo skewer that's taped to the side of the syringe. WalMart or Lowes normally sells the syringes separately in the grill department, and you should also be able to get them from the large-animal pharmaceutical section of the local agri Feed and Seed supplier (like Southern States, etc.).

Hope that helps.

Bryan
 

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The key is accurately measuring the oil going in/coming out, so that would work. Actually racetech also sells that it's called a graduated cylinder.

I know someone posted a series on servicing forks above. Here's vids on doing fork servicing I got some time ago when I thought of doing it myself.

You guys are so lucky on the two valve, what a joy to work on compared to the four valve, that's why I'll be getting a hypermotard next year I hope (an air cooled one)

Replace your fork seals - dismantling the forks - YouTube

Fork Oil Change (the easy way)

Fork servicing how to....

I actually have glass measuring cups that I use to measure out various liquids for my bike. Will those work or is that syringe really necessary?

Oh I agree, my bike is my pride and joy. Besides, working on my bike is half the fun! I think you feel more connected with your bike and appreciate more. Here I go getting sentimental about my baby..:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If you're filling a fork that's been fully disassembled so there's no residual oil, just adding a specific volume of oil to each fork tube works fine, but if there is residual oil, getting an equal amount of oil in both fork tubes may be easier using the syringe and a piece of tubing that sticks down a measured distance from the top of the fork tube to suck out excess oil down to that level.

You can use a purpose-built syringe like in zvez's link above, or on the cheap with the big syringe that comes with your turkey fryer outfit (don't use it to inject your turkey afterwards though:D) and aquarium tubing fastened to a bamboo skewer that's taped to the side of the syringe. WalMart or Lowes normally sells the syringes separately in the grill department, and you should also be able to get them from the large-animal pharmaceutical section of the local agri Feed and Seed supplier (like Southern States, etc.).

Hope that helps.

Bryan
Yes sir, Bryan, that does help. My goal is to measure everything that comes out and put the equivalent back in. if I have to hang the forks upside down over night to completely drain them I will. you better believe I have a turkey fryer! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
You guys are so lucky on the two valve, what a joy to work on compared to the four valve, that's why I'll be getting a hypermotard next year I hope (an air cooled one)
Long live the 2V! They have to be the most owner friendly. I think I should be Duc certified by now... :think: Such a great track bike as well! Very comfortable for everyday riding. Decent gas mileage. Excellent for back road twisties :) Besides, nothing sounds as great as a two valve roaring down the road :D I would love to have a modern superbike, but I'm not sure if I could afford the maintenance lol. I wonder what mine would look like with a SSSA..?


 
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