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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alrighty, I got this front end as a donation from someone who was getting me back on my feet when I crashed in Virginia. Ever since I got it it's been very stiff, I attributed that to fork oil that was too heavy, or possibly too much oil. Drained the oil from the caps using an oil pump, and the forks had trouble compressing without any oil or any springs in them! After putting in some 20 weight fork oil and putting the springs back in, it felt a little bit better than the original oil, but still was stiff and wasn't traveling properly.



We think that one of the forks may be bent, or either that something else that we know little about is happening. Worst part is that I was planning on leaving tomorrow for a trip
. This really blows. Oh, and I had yet another problem pop up after this one...which I will make another thread for to avoid confusion.



I recorded videos of both, and have posted them below.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMN-nClmJHI without oil or springs.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j6UPFUI8-8 with oil/springs all added and everything put back together.
 

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Just to rule out dry seals I would lubricate the fork tubes. See if it changes since adding fork oil seemed to help.



These forks are really simple. I suggest that if lubing the forks doesn't change anything to take the next possible chance you get an pull the forks off the bike. It isn't really that hard.



Plus these forks are cheap compared to others.
 

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Could be bent but could also be binding in the triple clamp or the triple clamp itself could be bent. Try loosening the fork clamps, particularly the lower clamps and then work the fork up and down before tightening them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was told from a local salvage yard that good quality used forks would be in the neighborhood of 300 bucks :X. I don't have time to get them shipped, as I was supposed to leave on my trip yesterday morning...it was pushed to tomorrow morning, and now probably another day, if I can even get to go with these issues popping up. A parts bike would cost me that much, so I'm probably just going to buy the parts bike if I need new forks.



I'll try those things when I get my bike tomorrow. Another thing...the triple clamp came with that front end. The triple clamp I had originally was tweaked beyond repair. I kept thinking that if the forks or triple clamp were messed up someone would have noticed when putting the bike back together, though they were thinking more on the lines of getting me back on the road so I could make it home rather than making a perfect motorcycle.
 

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You my friend fell into the salvage yard mess. You can easily get a good set that needs to be rebuilt for $50. A rebuild costs maybe $20. Less if you have good dust boots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You my friend fell into the salvage yard mess. You can easily get a good set that needs to be rebuilt for $50. A rebuild costs maybe $20. Less if you have good dust boots.


The fork seals themselves though require special tools, right? That'd require a visit to the mechanic. Regardless, I wouldn't be able to get the set on short notice...if I can't get the parts bike that I'm thinking of buying (searching for his number misplaced it somewhere >,>) I'll probably just order a set and call off my trip..which sucks since I've been looking forward to it since January.



The salvage guys are good people, they were straight up in telling me the price, and even said "Look, you don't want to get the forks from us. They'll be way too expensive, but they are here if you can't find them anywhere else."
 

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The fork seals themselves though require special tools, right? That'd require a visit to the mechanic. Regardless, I wouldn't be able to get the set on short notice...if I can't get the parts bike that I'm thinking of buying (searching for his number misplaced it somewhere >,>) I'll probably just order a set and call off my trip..which sucks since I've been looking forward to it since January.



The salvage guys are good people, they were straight up in telling me the price, and even said "Look, you don't want to get the forks from us. They'll be way too expensive, but they are here if you can't find them anywhere else."


You need to roll up your sleeves and do some basic work. Take the forks out completely thoroughly wash the insides. Then is shouldn't be too hard to check for straightness. Install new seals and oil and then go on your trip. I would not go an a trip with bad forks. BTW I'd sell my old stock forks (Straight but need seals) for $50 any day and that includes the triples, front fender and all. I'm not really trying to use this as a sales pitch but only to say these forks are cheap.

Cheers, 50gary
 

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You need to roll up your sleeves and do some basic work. Take the forks out completely thoroughly wash the insides. Then is shouldn't be too hard to check for straightness. Install new seals and oil and then go on your trip. I would not go an a trip with bad forks. BTW I'd sell my old stock forks (Straight but need seals) for $50 any day and that includes the triples, front fender and all. I'm not really trying to use this as a sales pitch but only to say these forks are cheap.

Cheers, 50gary


That's a bloody good price in anyone's beer tokens
 

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The fork seals themselves though require special tools, right?




Yes and no.

There are special tools to do the job but with these forks it isn't that way. What I have is a circular aluminum tool with flat surfaces on the top or bottom. It is the same size as the seal so after applying a light amount of oil to the seal I can just line them up on the fork lowers and us a hammer and tool to tap them into position. A similar useful item would be a large socket or the right size pvc pipe.
 

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+ 1 on CXPHREAK.



Another simple way to check if the forks (upper legs) are bent is to undo the triple tree bolts and rotate them fork legs. As the bike already is on the jack, you may want to take off the mudguard. Put a rod / spindle through the spindle hole on one of the fork legs and see how it moves on the other side.



M´lady´s CB 400 had slightly bent fork legs. I realized that when I had difficulties fitting the front wheel and was able to do it only after having rotated the fork legs so that they came in most favourable positions.



Fork legs can (if only slightly out of true) be straightened. You need some Y-blocks, one hydraulic press, a dial indicator and a piece of chalk for that (+ some practice). I´ve got some checked (and straightened) by my local bike mech. I believe I could do it myself, now, only I had the gadgets.



B.t.w: How do the sliders look? Deformed??



Sture
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'll keep all this in mind when hitting up my mechanic today. To be a bit more clear, my mechanic isn't the "Ok, that looks like it'll be so and so hours, come back after lunch" type. He's the "This this and this needs to be done. Here are the tools if you need them, I'll be in the shop" type. Now, I COULD pay him hour by hour to fix it if it was something completely out of my hands, but he doesn't charge me anything except for parts when I do the work, even if he comes and gives a helping hand here and there, though if he does a large amount of helping sometimes he'll charge a half hour which is totally understandable.
 

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Have you actually loosened the axle to see if it's holding the lower legs in a bind? When you lowered the bike off the jack it loked like it went pretty easy once you nudged it, which would follow if the lowers are squezzed together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Have you actually loosened the axle to see if it's holding the lower legs in a bind? When you lowered the bike off the jack it loked like it went pretty easy once you nudged it, which would follow if the lowers are squezzed together.


I just got a PM from a friend on ADVrider to give that a shot. I'm going to try it tomorrow. If that fixes the problem I'll be overwhelmed with joy that I don't have to get new forks...though these are beginning to pit a little bit, so new forks should definitely be on my list. This will at least get my suspension comfortable for my trip though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, we loosened the clamp, and the right fork spread itself out quite a bit. However, my uncle says that now the forks are uneven distances from the wheel with it loosened like that. The difference in the distance is, in his words, "The same length as the clean spot on that spacer there, which means that this part of the spacer was never meant to be out of the clamp." The forks definitely seem to compress a bit better, but still not how they should....still quite stiff, but not as stiff. We still think that there's gunk in there. However, this change may or may not be affecting my handling. I've only ridden about 5 miles with it like this due to it being dark time, and not wanting to figure out the hard way that my fix for the ignition switch isn't going to hold so I can't really tell for sure....but I can say that when I take my hands off of the handlebars, it wants to just dive to the right. Quite an aggressive dive, I have to grab the bars again within half a second before it becomes uncomfortable. I didn't notice much difference in cornering, though the five miles I rode only had just normal corners, no actual curves or anything like that.



Here are some pictures that may speak better about what I'm trying to explain, though I must say that I forgot to bring my normal camera so these are all fuzzy blackberry pics.















 

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Those pictures are almost identical to what I would´ve got, had I taken pictures of the forks on M´lady´s bike before I fixed them.



As your fork is still binding, and the rhs fork leg has been allowed to freely find its home, I would bet a dime or two that your upper fork legs are bent. Had it been a damaged triple tree, you should have fine movement, by now. (As I see it).



I believe it´s time to take the fork legs out and do a proper check of the upper legs.



Taken from my own experience I think they could be straightened. Mine were like yours. Even a rather small bend (out-f-true by a couple of mm:s) where the lower triple tree holds them would show up like that , down by the spindle.



Also - this bend is sideways. If you haven´t turned the upper fork legs around (triple tree clamps loosened) chances are that you have a lengthwise bend too. (Or how to put it in English).



Sture
 
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