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Fork Cap Tool

1586 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  marquette

I am posting some photos of a simple tool I made to compress my GL650 fork springs after changing the fork seals. I cut this piece of scrap wood to match the config. of the fork cap air valve. I found that wearing a thick leather glove was just not good enough for my soft "white collar" hands, and by creating this "tool" I could spread the force across my palm that I was applying to the fork cap. It gave me more control to easily line up the fork cap threads and get them rotated sufficiently to stop squeezing the fork springs. It worked for me.

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nice,cheap,and it worked for you.

better than me pulling my shirt out of my pants to put over the caps.

another tip,is[if the 650,has a small top spring,500,s do]pull the top spring out and premark with a felt tip,the start of the does save a lot of work.
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Very timely for me, thanks!
Very timely for me, thanks!
SM,are you just about to replace your fork seals?

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I used a real big socket that the cap fit in perfectly, I think it was on the order of an inch and a quarter socket or somesuch. I wouldn't use it to twist the cap in to tight, but to push down with a T-handle and the socket just for starting the threads was perfect. Good idea on the block though!
I have used the socket idea also. It works well if the forks are out of the bike, but when we did Showmedudes forks a couple of months ago, the socket wouldn't remain square to the cap. The sloped ridge for the air fitting caused the socket to seat at a angle. And on his 650's there was other crap in the way so we couldn't get a good angle on it.

I found a piece of 1-1/4" (?) EMT conduit, about a foot long laying around and slotted a 3/4" section the width of the cap's ridge. Then bent the slotted part in to conform to the angle of the ridge. Now the pipe remains straight up and aligned, and you have a very thin walled tool to get into tighter configurations.

I didn't take a picture, Showmedude probably still has it in his safety deposit box and could probably remove it for a photo if the need arose.
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I'm in the process of replacing the fluids in my forks. I bleed the schrader valve, removed the bleeder screw, removed the air line attached to schrader valve, and removed the cap. I'm having a BUGGER of a time compressing the spring and getting the caps back on.

Does anyone have any sure fire suggestions? I see the socket suggestion listed above (and others), and it was midnight before I gave up. I tried pushing down on the cap with the spring until my hands gave out. Very Frustrating. I'll give the socket idea a try tonight. I think Fib created his own tool as well. If you guys could let me know suggestions, lesson's learned, that would be great.

Otherwise I might be PM'ing a local cx'r over and feeding them beer to help me....

If anyone has a second, please let me know.


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While I havent done it yet, I've read that doing a 'dry run" is helpful. Try it on without the spring, so you know where the threads start. Then reaplce the spring and you should be able to at least know where the threads start so you arent spinning all over trying to find em.
Thanks, I did try this last night as well. I removed the spring and tried to get a feel for getting it threaded prior to inserting the spring. Also, I should note, that the forks are on the bike and I did remove the handlebars. This has been a frustrating and humbling experience
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Fib has a new tool he is selling for $13 shipped in the selling section. I don't have one, but it looks pretty cool. It should allow you to get more force behind it while turning. Good Luck.
Yes, thanks. I finally found that thread with Fib's Cap tool. If this doesn't work tonight, I'll be PM'ing him.

I was able to successfully get my fork caps in using an 1 1/8 socket. I'm pumped!

The oil was probably original, so it made a HUGE difference. I haven't test drove it yet, but it was bottoming out before.

I even had time for the final drive oil change

Thanks All!


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