SP2 DIY Fork seal replacement - Speedzilla Motorcycle Message Forums
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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SP2 DIY Fork seal replacement

Figured I would post up a "how to" on the SP2 since the manual doesn't cover shit when it comes to the SP2 forks. This was my first set of fork seals I've ever done, so it was a learning experience for me. Figure I would pass on what I learned, hope it helps anyone looking into doing this on their own. If anyone has any suggestions on anything, I'd be glad to add it to the posts below.

A quick disclaimer: This is a fairly involved process, allow yourself the time to do it, and ensure you have everything you need before hand. Another thing to consider is that if you aren't 100% confident in doing this yourself, but want to give it a shot, have the money set aside to take it to a shop if you get stuck. It is better pay a professional if you aren't confident that you can do it yourself correctly. These are your forks after all, and are pretty damn important and expensive. Another note is that depending on what tools you have buy to get this done yourself, chances are very good that you will spend more to do it yourself the first time than a shop would charge you. My local shops quoted around $200-$280 for changing the fork seals and new fluid. If I would have bought the racetech spring compressor, I would have easily spent over $200 in tools on top of the other normal stuff I already had. The reason why I chose to spend more, is that the next time I need seals, I can do it myself for only the cost of parts/fluid. So I will be saving money the next time I do seals or refresh the fluid (which should be done yearly according to some). I also don't really like paying for things I can do myself, unless I don't have the time.



Tools needed:
Front and rear stands. The front stand needs to be the kind that lifts the bike by the underside of the triple clamp. Any way of raising the front will work, but the stand is the best option.

Wrenches and Sockets. You'll need a 32mm socket for the fork cap. A 19mm wrench, two 14mm wrenches, an 11mm wrench. And you'll also need whatever tools you need to remove the front wheel and forks. You'll need an Allen socket for the fork centering bolt (I'll have to look up the size) and one for the compression adjuster (same size as all the fairings, 5mm I think).

O-ring pick and a small flat head screwdriver.

Something to compress the fork spring while removing the cap. I used a ghetto-rigged solution that you'll see below due to not having the time to wait for the proper tools to come in the mail. I recommend at the very least getting something like this: Fork Spring Compressor Kit and using a ratchet strap like this: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...s/01060001.jpg If you want to spend more money, the racetech spring compressor (I'll be buying one of these soon).

43mm Fork seal driver. I used the newer motion pro "ringer" style. Not sure if it works any better or worse than the normal kind. I think the other kind might be better as there are less parts and this one seemed kinda cheap and had sharp edges on the inside that required filing down. http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/..._seal_drivers/

A plastic bag. I used a zip-lock freezer bag to get the new seals over the threaded portion of the fork slider. I had bought one of the bullet things, but it wasn't long enough and didn't work that well.

A "fork oil level gauge". It is basically a big syringe with an aluminum tube on it. There are other ways of setting the fluid level, but this thing is dead nuts easy to use.

Damper rod holder tool. The motion pro one worked well, but did require slight filing/grinding to get it to sit all the way down in the cartridge. You can see that below also.

Torque wrench. 25 ft-lbs is what is needed for the fork cap and the centering bolt.

Random stuff: A bucket or something to catch all the old fluid when you need it. Clean rags, a couple cans of parts cleaner (I used non-clorinated brake cleaner), and of course new seals and new fluid (each fork uses about 500cc of fluid). A vise with soft jaws really made this much easier to do also.

Not 100% needed but made things a ton easier: a vise with soft jaws, and an impact wrench. I just have the Ryobi cordless lithium one, and I have to say I am very impressed with the thing. I am normally a dewalt or makita guy when it comes to power tools, but their stuff is getting more and more expensive, and the alternatives are much better than they were 10 years ago. I can do an entire set of wheels on and off my truck with zero issues. I don't think I'll ever be able to not have one of these in my toolbox again.

Hopefully these numbers are readable, don't forget fluid. I used the Honda SS-8, which is 10w oil.



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Last edited by b.miller123; 09-04-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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I backed out all my adjusters to full soft. I can't remember, but I think the manual says to do this too. Don't forget to write down where they all were at before backing them off.

First step after that is to loosen the "fork cap" which is the big blue nut on the top. It is a 32mm, same size as the rear axle. Do this before loosening the triple clamp bolts and do this on the bike. It will be pretty hard to do off the bike. Just loosen the bolt to hand tight, no need to remove it while on the bike.

The blue part is the fork cap (shown off the bike):



Next you remove the forks from the bike. The manual gives you the procedure for this. If you aren't comfortable pulling the forks off, I suggest you don't do seals yourself as pulling the wheel is rather easy and detailed in the manual.

(your results may look a little different)



With the forks off the bike, unscrew the cap all the way like so:



Empty the fluid out (not all will come out now, but empty what you can):



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Last edited by b.miller123; 09-04-2012 at 04:33 AM.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Next, remove the preload adjuster knob (it is the black nut). You do this by removing the small snap ring that holds it on with a flathead screwdriver. Here is the little ring shown:



Next you slide the white preload spacer down and pull up on the fork cap until you can cock the spacer over and keep the fork cap up. This will show the two holes in the preload spacer where the fork spring compressor hooks in. Here is my ghetto rigged spring compressor:



Compress the fork spring until you can get the 11mm wrench around the damping rod (below the 14mm locknut). Once this is done, you can get the 14mm wrench on the damper rod (above the 14mm locknut). Shown here with version 2 of the ghetto spring compressor:



With the 14mm wrench on the damper rod, use the 19mm wrench to remove the black 8 sided nut on the fork cap. Shown here after pulling the forks apart for clarity:





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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Once this is off, you can just pull up on the fork cap (the blue part) and it will slide right off the damper rod. With the cap off, the white preload spacer and black o-ring will come right off along with the spring. Once you do this, empty the fork oil again. You can also pump the damper rod in and out to get most of the fluid out.

Next, remove the dust seal with a small flathead or pick. Do it in small steps around the fork tube and you won't have to mangle the aluminum as it is very easy to scrape off the anodizing. The seals were pretty hard after 8+ years.



Then use a small flathead to pull the snap ring that keeps the fork seal in place:



After pulling down the snap ring and dust seal, it is time to pull the two halves of the fork apart. Do this by holding them in different hands and giving them a few good tugs to knock out the old seal and copper teflon coated slider bushing. You'll wind up with this on the fork slider and an empty fork tube:



Remember what order they are placed on the fork tube, as you'll need them in the same order when you replace them later.

Remove the top slider bushing with a small flathead by inserting it into the slit in the bushing and turning it. (if reusing these, be careful not to damage the Teflon coating). Then remove the rest of the old seals, snap ring etc. Don't spread the slider bushings too much if you need to reuse them, I just replaced them as I had new ones, but this isn't necessary unless they are worn.



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Last edited by b.miller123; 09-04-2012 at 04:38 AM.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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Next, you remove the "centering bolt" which is the allen head bolt at the bottom of the fork:



I used a cordless impact, which is something everyone has right? If you don't you can use a second person and a ratchet and the damper rod holder tool:



My bolt didn't want to come out after loosening and removing the damper cartridge, so I removed the compression damping adjuster:



Here you can see the centering bolt. I used a small flathead to get the bolt out:



And here it is:



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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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With all the pieces apart, you can pull the needle out of the cartridge by loosening the 14mm locknut and removing the damper needle. This will allow you to get the rest of the fluid out of the cartridge. If you are going to cut down the top out spring, there are other threads that will give details on pulling the cartridge apart, but I didn't go that far.

After everything is cleaned up, they go back together in the opposite order. There is what the manual calls the "centering plate" that goes on the end of the damper cartridge. It looks like a bushing and can only fit onto the cartridge one way. Be sure and install it so it slips over the cartridge.



Here is the top of the cartridge, and the tool with modifications:





I found the easiest way to get the damper into the fork slider without the centering plate falling off the cartridge was to place the holder tool into the vise, then slide the damper onto it and the slider onto that:





Don't forget the new o-ring on the fork centering bolt, and to clean the threads of the bolt, and the inside of the fork. New o-ring part number:




Get out your ratchet and torque wrench and torque it down. After torquing it down, you can install the needle back into the cartridge and tighten down the locknut.



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Last edited by b.miller123; 09-04-2012 at 03:23 AM.
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Next it is time to get the seals back on the slider:




If you read the manual, it mentions to remove the burrs from the slider bushings (the teflon coated copper bushings). I used some light duty sandpaper and they came right off.




Don't forget to put the larger bushing on first, then install this one:




Here is the bushing that goes onto the slider and how you press it into the fork tube with the fork seal driver (put the driver on behind the ring and use the ring to drive the bushing into the fork tube):






And here it is with the ring seated all the way down:



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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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And here is the fork seal about to be driven. I highly recommend you lubricate the fork seal on the outside with some clean fork oil. The seal can be a pain to seat. Don't forget that if you put a lot of fluid around the seal, it will leak down the fork when you turn it upright. If you don't clean it up, it will sit between the fork seal and the dust seal, and you might think your seal is leaking again when it is just the left over fluid from lubing the seal during install.

Tip: If the ring clip is loose and getting in the way when installing the fork seals, slip it over the dust seal and keep it from rattling around your seal driver. It will go over it just fine.





Put the circle clip back in, and seat the dust seal (reused the old pictures):





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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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Now it is time to fill the fork with fluid and get the level set. This is done before putting the spring or anything else back into the fork. Fill the fork up with about a quart of fluid:



Bleed the fork by taking the fork tube and sliding it up and down on the slider. Just be careful not to pull it up too far as it will puke fluid out the side of the slider where the holes are (yes, I did that). Also bleed the cartridge by pulling the damper rod up and down. The manual says to do each of these 8-10 times slowly, then let the fork sit upright for 5 minutes. Another time when a vise comes in handy.

Now it is time to set the fluid level to 135mm according to the manual:





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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Then you install the spring with the tapered end up. Do it slowly so you don't spill fluid everywhere. (never mind the first photo with the fork tube still removed):






New o-rings for the fork cap and damper rod (the first one is the o-ring that is missing in the picture, no the one that is at the top):








Then it is time to use the crappy spring compressor again and install the blue fork cap the same as when it was removed. Get the 11mm wrench to hold the damper rod up, put the 14mm wrench on there, and tighten the black eight sided nut with the 19mm wrench.





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Last edited by b.miller123; 09-04-2012 at 03:31 AM.
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:25 AM Thread Starter
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After this, you tighten up the fork cap hand tight, and then you are done. After installing the fork back into the bike, you can torque it down to 25 ft-lbs. Hope this helps!



Pre-load adjuster nut installed with the cir-clip:



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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:36 AM
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Pretty damn clarified, nice write up, and nice bike.

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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:41 AM
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Good Job!


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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:02 AM
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B Miller nice job, I was just gonna post asking if anyone has the SP2 fork supplement to the manual. One question:

If you're removing the rebound adjustment needle from the damper rod isn't there the usual deal with re-installing it to ensure correct adjustment, equal on both forks? The procedure on other Showa forks I've worked on is something like: screw the rebound adjuster fully out, then screw it in X no. of turns; thread the needle into the damper rod and screw it down by hand until it seats; back off the rebound adjuster slightly so you won't damage the needle tip when tightening the jam nut, tighten the jam nut.

Just asking, thanks again for the write-up.

JB
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:40 AM
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The way he takes them apart, he does not remove the rebound needle. It stays with the cartridge. I have never done it that way but it seems to work just fine.

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b.miller123 View Post
With all the pieces apart, you can pull the needle out of the cartridge by loosening the 14mm locknut and removing the damper needle. This will allow you to get the rest of the fluid out of the cartridge.
I took this to mean he did.
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBs_SP3 View Post
I took this to mean he did.
I missed that sentence.

I would think you would want to turn the rebound adjusters all the way in until they seat before removing the rod. And then during assembly you can screw the rod assembly down until it seats, back the adjuster off just a little and set the lock nut.

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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBs_SP3 View Post
B Miller nice job, I was just gonna post asking if anyone has the SP2 fork supplement to the manual. One question:

If you're removing the rebound adjustment needle from the damper rod isn't there the usual deal with re-installing it to ensure correct adjustment, equal on both forks? The procedure on other Showa forks I've worked on is something like: screw the rebound adjuster fully out, then screw it in X no. of turns; thread the needle into the damper rod and screw it down by hand until it seats; back off the rebound adjuster slightly so you won't damage the needle tip when tightening the jam nut, tighten the jam nut.

Just asking, thanks again for the write-up.

JB
The manual doesn't say anything about pulling the rod/needle. I just put them back to where they were before, which was showing about two or three threads on the rod after tightening the jam nut (I can remember exactly as I did this a couple weeks ago before a trackday).


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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 01:44 PM
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Excellent write up and pics. Thank you very much.

Mike
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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:41 PM
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Hey Brett,

Sweet job and Great Details on "How to Do" a Fork Rebuild, very Nice Bro.!

Also, FWIW: I've got a Great tip to aid the "Bushing Install" which ofcourse will help make this go Much smoother & easier to do... as you said "it can be a pain to install"

That is to put the Bushings into your freezer for a min. of around 15 to 20 min., Longer is good, upon taking them out of the freezer, then QUICKLY Spread a fine coat of fork oil around the OD of the Bushing and the ID of the fork tube, then QUICKLY Install said Bushing.

Again, Great Write Up Brett!


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