fork oil?

51 replies to this topic
  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 22, 2002 - 08:32 AM


Did you make the damper tool ?

Sorry dang fingers hit return

If the Damper assembly is not connected to the Base valve, then the base valve is not screwed or not connected, it should remove easly.

Maybe I am not understanding you post.

If I do I assume that you did not assemble the components correctly so it should come apart with ease

[ July 22, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • MX_Tuner

Posted July 22, 2002 - 11:56 AM


From what your'e describing, the cartridge came apart. I've never heard of this. That doesnt' mean it didn't happen, just that I haven't heard of it before now. You should be albe to remove the cartridge by using a pneumatic impact with your 14mm allenhead on it.

Personally, I find a seal driver is a *very* worthwhile investment. It works way better than a piece of pvc pipe.

  • Dansgarage

Posted July 22, 2002 - 01:44 PM


Here is a better description. I made a damper rod holder out of 1 inch pvc. I used it to hold the damper rod and cartrige while I used a 14mm allen head on the base valve. instead of the base valve and the cartrige seperating like it should, the damper rod and valving inside of the cartrige came out of the cartrige housing. the base valve and the cartrige housing are still connected. I don't know how to get the thing out now. Every time I try a air tool or anything else on the base valve like some of you have suggested the cartrige housing just spins with it inside the fork tube. does that help give you a better idea of what I am dealing with? I can't think of a good way to hold the cartrige housing without damaging it. hence I can't think of a way to remove the base valve

  • Dansgarage

Posted July 23, 2002 - 11:04 AM


can anyone help me with this? :)

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 23, 2002 - 01:01 PM



Sorry but I think what may be happening is the tool you made is not mating correctly.

Have you validated the tool is slipping into the 4 prongs deep enough ?

I also had to sand the outside edge a bit to make it slide into the cupped washer to get a tight fit.

Sorry thats all I got.

  • DaveJ

Posted July 23, 2002 - 09:23 PM



Well...if this is true, you may be in a bit of trouble.

Removing a cartridge valve from the top of a cartridge tube is both a precious and rather complicated process.

If this was done via excess force, while the cartridge tube was still within the fork, there is a good chance you may have some significant damage to the tube. Or a defective fork.

In either case, the first thing you need to do is separate the two halves of the fork. Remove the dust seal, the retaining clip, and then force slide the two halves apart, taking the main with it.

This will provide closer access to the cartridge tube still remaining in the bottom section.

At this stage, closely inspect the threads on the top of the cartridge tube. If the threads are in good shape, you'll need to re-attempt removing the bottom valve assembly with an air impact. If the threads have sustained serious damage, let me know.

I'm going to stop here because I need more details as to what is taking place.

Now that you have a better visual on things, let me know the condition of the threads at the top of the cartridge, and what exactly happens when you try to impact the base valve out of the bottom.

If MXTuner or ScottF chime in, take their advice and go on without me. If not, wait patiently until you go any further.


[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: DaveJ ]

  • Dansgarage

Posted July 23, 2002 - 09:45 PM


I already have the two fork halves apart. I can see the cartrige very well. I didn't use an excessive amount of force when trying to take out the base valve. The Tool that I made fits just fine and I am sure that it is sliping all the way on to the cross. The threads look just fine. I don't think that I caused any damage at all. it went back together just fine (I mean the cartrige not the rest of the fork. I haven't done that yet). The cartrige screws back together just fine. heres the thing, when trying to separate the base valve and the cartrige I turned both the 14mm allen and the damper tool counter clock wise like I should. My ponder is this: If I am supposed to turn the cartrige and the base valve lefty loosie to get them apart then I would think that the cartrige housing and the internals would be reverse threaded to prevent this from happening. The cartrige housing and the internals came apart the same way that everything else does. Why this hasen't happened to more people I can't understand. It was just a matter of the housing/internals mating breaking free before the base valve/cartrige mating did. Did I explain that well or did I just confuse the HECK out of everyone?

  • DaveJ

Posted July 23, 2002 - 10:16 PM


First of all, both the base valve and cylinder valve are right threaded.

Secondly, the cylinder valve is assembled to the cartridge tube in a manner that would make it nearly impossible to come apart unless a lot force was applied to it. The only way it's going to come out is to rip some thread with it.

If these two halves came apart like you described, you either had a problem before you knew it, or you have one now but haven’t seen it.

Lastly, it's very disappointing to read that you have torn down a fork in this manner, when all you were doing was a simple fork oil and/or seal change. Neither of which requires the removal of the cartridge tube.

And I'll spare you my thoughts on using the right tool for such a job.

Where to go from here is questionable. It sounds like you’re ready to re-assemble a fork that is going to pull apart when put back into service.

Here’s why.

Normally, removing a factory cartridge valve from the top of a cartridge tube requires drilling out four machine peens, then heating the unit, then applying a moderate to heavy amount of consistent force to unscrew the two items. It takes a lot of work.

Yamaha designed the cartridge assembly as one that was not meant to separate while in use and you’ll know why when you go through the process of separating the two.

Unless the fork was incorrectly manufactured, or somebody else has modified this fork, the amount of force that it would take to pull these two items apart would surely be enough to rip the cartridge threads apart. And by no means, would a plastic cartridge holder be strong enough to do such a task.

So there’s something else going on here. Either we are not talking about the same components, or the fork has had prior work, or there is damage that you are not seeing.

In either case, you can’t simply screw this thing back together. It can and will most likely separate in a few hours of heavy riding.


  • CAL

Posted July 24, 2002 - 02:43 AM


Originally posted by DaveJ:
Lastly, it's very disappointing to read that you have torn down a fork in this manner, when all you were doing was a simple fork oil and/or seal change. Neither of which requires the removal of the cartridge tube.

And I'll spare you my thoughts on using the right tool for such a job.


My thoughts exactly. You do not have to remove either valves to do a fluid/seal change. I've done two sets of forks in the past month-neither required removing the valving.

And I won't spare you my thoughts on the proper tools. I did one set of forks using a PVC home made driver and the other set with a Motion Pro seal driver. You cannot compare a PVC driver to the real thing. It made the reassembly go MUCH quicker and smoother. $60 is alot. But find a riding buddy or two that will go in on it with you. It's well worth it!

BTW, I'm running Mobil 1 ATF in my forks and am very pleased with the results...and price. :)

  • DaveJ

Posted July 24, 2002 - 07:55 AM


As for fork oil, the right oil is the oil that feels best to you, and your budget.

Oils such as Bel-Ray, Maxium, Sprectrum and such offer a ride that is smooth, easy and simple. And most of these oils are a good price and easy to find.

Mobil ATF offers a ride that is smoother than the above, yet the front-end feels more "tough".

Look at it this way, if Bel-Ray is the "cotton" of fork oil, then Mobil ATF is like "denim".

And Race-Tech oils are like "polyester". Smooth, yet fake.

As for KYB from Enzo fav, it's a big price oil that offers a "silk" like ride. However, a silk-like-ride can be overly sensitive, edgy, and a bit sharp for many riders.

So sometimes selecting fork oils can be like selecting tires. It's all about what you want, what feels right, and the application in which you're going to use it.

So feel free to experiment and ask for inputs from other riders.


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

Posted July 24, 2002 - 08:55 AM


No reason to ripe into the guy for making his own tools and doing a complete tear down on his forks.

Geez we promote do it yourself and we can help but geez the guy makes a mistake or somethng goes wrong and its eat the dude for lunch.

Dan has a problem, I thnk we all can be a little more eager to help then to ask why did you do that.

I tore everything apart on my forks to drain and clean (Squeaky Clean) the tubes and all.

I had no issues. Some how I get a feeling we are missing something in Dans translation.

DAn do you have a digital camara you can snap shot the issue and post ?

or is someone in you area willing to go by and lend a hand

I have used Belray, Yamalube and Silkolene

I finally broke down and got the yamaha 01

never use anything else I sware by the yamaha 01

[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • neWRiver

Posted July 24, 2002 - 09:21 PM


I agree that "do it yourself" is a commendable approach. And we all can't afford every single special tool out there. However, if I'm this guy and there is something seriously wrong with my fork, I think DaveJ is trying to help me out here not just trying to be a "know-it-all".

Besides, how often do we get a guy with his kind of knowledge who can communicate so well on this complicated subject and is willing to take the time to share his experience with us? :)

I've changed my seals with the PVC pipe trick and, umm..., I'm gettin' me a "real" seal driver before the next time. :D

[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: neWRiver ]

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 24, 2002 - 09:23 PM


Not trying to take away form the subject our slam DaveJ

at all sorry if that was implied

I just felt it was not needed to do an I told ya so...

I am sure Dan is feeling his own boot i his butt by now, Thats all

[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • neWRiver

Posted July 24, 2002 - 09:37 PM


Originally posted by E.G.O.****:
...I am sure Dan is feeling his own boot i[n] his butt by now, Thats all

I know what that feels like, myself. :)

Sounds like you do, too. :D

[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: neWRiver ]

[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: neWRiver ]

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 24, 2002 - 09:42 PM


I dont make mistakes

Its always someone elses fault :)

  • DaveJ

Posted July 24, 2002 - 09:43 PM


Now that I have crawled back up from the floor in my pool of tears, I will forgive you EGO.

Even for guy with no tattoos or piercings, you’re not all that bad.

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 24, 2002 - 09:46 PM


I new I would start breaking you down I knew it :)
This mass has ended go in piece

  • MikeOK

Posted July 24, 2002 - 12:52 PM


stinkin' dang pvc pipe!!!

  • John_Lorenz

Posted July 24, 2002 - 04:27 PM



As I sit here lookig at me manuals (Yamaha & Clymers) with me brite smile monthly tooth douche' on. I am puzzled as to the what happened.

If I am getting this correct

Dan you say the Base valve seperated, I assume this is the Compression Valve at the bottom of the Tubes.

Pluse you say the Damper rod and Valving came apart instead of what normally would be the Compressin valve removing from the Damper Rod/Cartridge assembly.

Man I have been looking this over real real good and All I can come up with is what MXtuner stated that something has broke and it was probably like this prior to you taking it apart.

Or the Screw, up inside the Cartridge, that holds the Damper assemble just backed out.

The reason I say that is the compressin valve is a direct screw right into the base of the Cartridge the only way the rod and valve would pull out is one the bolt holding the nut snapped or the nut backed out. I may be wrong but its the only way I can explain or reasonably understand what went wrong.

I would thnk a call to the MX-Tech Gurus are at hand...

[ July 24, 2002: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

  • Dansgarage

Posted July 24, 2002 - 04:49 PM


Wow! This has really turned into a free for all. I really appreciate the help from everyone. I can handle criticism as long as it's not negative. I don't think anyone was trying to cut me down or anything like that, just sharing their honest point of view. I personally don't see anything wrong with the tools that I have made and they seem to be working just fine. I have even thought of doing it one better. For the damper rod holder $60 is just silly. I don't see spending that much money. On the other hand the pvc peice that I made is working for now, but how long will it hold up? What I think I am going to do is go and buy a 2ft piece of 1in. schedule steel pipe and use my pvc tool as a template. The metal pipe and a t handel to weld onto it shoulden't cost me more than $5-10 and it will be better quality than the pvc one.

But anyway on a better note. What is looking to be like quite a mind puzzler might not be something that I did at all. :) I took the fork down to my local yamaha dealer and had them take a look at it. They said that from what I told them happened and what they could see that it wasn't my fault. The fork came faulty from the factory. I purchased the bike new so I knew that no one had messed with the suspension before. I have had the bike for a few months over a year so I am beyond the MFG. Warranty I guess. But my dealer said that this should be covered anyway. He took my VIN and said that he would make some calls on my behalf and see if he could get me a NEW PAIR of forks for FREE!!! :D

How cool is that. I'm not counting my chickens yet, but that would just be soo cool if it worked out that way. I really appreciate everyone's help and input. I will keep you all informed on my plite.

Next time you go riding do ten minutes for me. I think I'm going to be grounded for a while :D but in the works of Arnold "I'll Be Back!!!"

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