How to change fork oil

10 replies to this topic
  • rohar

Posted March 20, 2004 - 06:19 PM


OK. I snarfed this post from the suspension forum and was curious if anyone can comment on it. I have never changed the oil on my own with these inverted forks, but this procedure doesn't seem too bad.

1. Loosen the fork caps
2. Remove fork
3. Undo the fork caps from the outer tube
4. Hold bolt under fork cap and finish removing cap
5. Pull something off the spring(don't really understand it yet but doesnt sound difficult)
6. Remove spring
7. Dump oil and pump dampener rod into container
8. Pump lower tube and dump in container
9. Compress fork all the way and fill fork up
10. Pump dampener
11. Fill fork again
12. Pump lower tube
12.5 Check oil height and adjust (almost forgot)
13. Replace spring
14. Replace piece on top of spring
15. Replace fork cap and tighten to spec
16. Replace fork

Anyone agree/disagree with this procedure (step five cracks me up) or have one that they like for changing the oil? :)

  • Hamish

Posted March 20, 2004 - 09:03 PM


pay someone else to do it! My local suspension guy charges $AU90 to service a set of forks, which includes synthetic fork oil. There are 'special' tools required to do the job properly. You can change the oil as per your step by step guide, but it's a good idea to get the bottom of the fork fully disassembled to get out all the dirt and crap that you can't remove doing it the 'easy' way.


  • Balcs

Posted March 20, 2004 - 10:17 PM


Deffinately take the forks off and bring em in. When I was young and had a llot of time on my hands I used to do it but now I work for a living and am deffinatly to busy for dealing with that. Pay the $$, you will almost feel like a factory rider. (One with a lighter Wallet) :)

  • Treebark

Posted March 23, 2004 - 10:37 PM


You don't know that the dealer's are going to actually disassemble the whole fork to get all the oil out. It's not to hard. You may need to make a tool out of pvc and cut notches in it to hold inner part of the fork to seperate. I can sometimes get them seperated with quick blast of an air wrench. I clean my parts with kerosene and blow them off with compressed air. Don't use any thing like brake clean or carb cleaner on inner fork parts will cause seals to fail. Good Luck

  • MN_Kevin

Posted March 24, 2004 - 02:19 AM


pay someone else to do it!

Definitely take the forks off and bring them in

I respectfully disagree w/ these statements. EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE that has taken a shot at their forks found out the job was VERY EASY, and would gladly do it again.

By bringing in your bike, your car, your laundry to someone else, you will remain ignorant/afraid of your own abilities. Each oil job can easily run just under $100.00. When is the last time you took out (5) Twenties $$ and just threw them into the air (and was still sober :D)??

All the tools you will need for your own fork maintenance:

Seal Driver (or home-made)
Cartridge rod holding tool (or home-made OR air impact wrench)
14mm allen socket (for base valve)
Some balls

Look here for more help:

I have ALWAYS recommended pulling the base valve as well. The two fork pieces (upper & lower) will come apart. You SHOULD thoroughly clean the forks before changing the oil. You can also MUCH MORE EASILY pump the cartridge to get all the oil out.

This job is so easy YOU WILL BE SICK thinking you actually wanted to pay someone else to do it (kind of like paying someone to wipe your a$$ after you take a dump).

3 weeks ago I got two estimates to swap out the after exhaust manifold on my Dodge Grand Caravan. BOTH were ~ $1000 parts included. I did it and it cost me < $200.00.

I am now replacing the timing cover gasket and ALL seals (crank, balance shaft, oil pump) on my Mitsubishi Eclipse. I was told $800.00. It is costing me $65.00.

There is NO END for Shysters to take your money based solely on your ignorance.

Remember you too can prevent Forest fires ...oh wrong one.

The only thing preventing you from doing it....IS YOU!!

Now ROCK ON and kick that fork's a$$!! :)

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • RCannon

Posted March 24, 2004 - 02:59 AM


The directions are not bad, but I found it was a waste of time to change the oil without cleaning out the fork. I found that alost 1/3 of the oil stayed inside the fork.

A person is far better off doing the work themselves. Take the money saved on labor and buy a seal driver and a damper rod holding tool.

  • LiquidSilver

Posted April 02, 2004 - 09:34 AM


Does anybody know what happened to Garrett Berg?

I haven't heard the story.


  • jchantzWR400F

Posted April 02, 2004 - 09:56 AM


Does anybody know what happened to Garrett Berg?

I haven't heard the story.



Read about it here.

  • LiquidSilver

Posted April 02, 2004 - 10:17 AM


Truly heartbreaking.

God bless him, and his family.


  • Moon

Posted April 02, 2004 - 10:27 AM


If you are half way mechanically inclined and interested in learning then do it yourself. It is pretty easy. Some things to note.
1)Loosen the top triple clamp bolts before loosening the fork cap. The bottom clamp bolts will keep the fork from spinning. Otherwise, the top clamp bolts are pinching the cap threads as well.
2)pump it a lot. to get the old oil out and to get the new oil in without air. After adding new oil and pumping let it settle for a while before measuring. There are tiny air bubbles that need to rise. No special tools needed that I know of if you are just changing oil this way. Yes, some dirt will remain but it is more important that you have fresh oil than some residue in it.
3)An easy way to get to right level is to use a clear hose, mark it with the length(depth) you desire. Stick it in the fork to the marked line and suck out any extra oil til the hose sucks air. A turkey baister can do the sucking if you like.
4) you want to over fill it and then remove the excess oil.

Good luck. Enjoy and be glad you learned something new and easy while saving money and knowing the job was done right.

  • rohar

Posted April 04, 2004 - 09:44 AM


Thanks to everyone who responded with feedback. My guess is that since I was able to succesfully replace the head gasket on my toyota truck, I can probably handle this. :)


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