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Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

15 Jan 2020, 17:46

My fork oil seals were leaking so I ordered genuine Kawasaki parts, took the fork legs off the bike, tried to get the bottom bolts out while the legs were complete.
You know what comes next.........spin, spin, spin.......bolts don't wanna come out, tried tapping the socket ratchet handle with a hammer to shock it loose, still no go, what to do? I tried the old fashioned Impact Driver, still no go.
Searched the interweb for a quick fix, lots of info about Air Tools or Battery Drills with variable this 'n' that 'n' the other, or cutting a broomstick to some un-specified length and jamming it somewhere?
I have got wind machines (compressors) but I've never had experience of using air tools, I had to use what I've got, brains, a blow lamp, a hammer and a ratchet strap :idea: I came up with this idea (see pic), I compressed the forks with the ratchet strap, gave the bolts a bit of heat with the blow lamp, then give the bolts quite a few claw hammer belts with the impact driver, I'm sure it would have only been a couple of belts if I could've found my lump hammer! Both bolts were out in no time, it took me longer to get the strap set up than to take the bolts out.
fork strip strap 002.JPG

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

15 Jan 2020, 18:17

I would just like to state that the previous Grizzly Bear that used to own the bike had managed to half shag up the Allen bolt heads and used something like PTFE tape on the bolt threads then tightened them up with possibly an Air Tool on the Infinity setting, those buggers were unbeleiveably tight!

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

16 Jan 2020, 03:17

The damper rod bolt was installed with semi-permanent thread locker in the factory, and should be reassembled that way. Oil leakage is taken care of by a copper washer that should be on the bolt.

While you have it dismantled, take the damper rod down to a fastener specialist supplier and get the size bolt that fits into the shape of the damper rod head. It is 26.6mm across the flats, so I suppose its a 27mm bolt. Then make up a T handle (decent size handle) from a bit of 10mm reo bar 600mm long and weld it onto the bolt. An engineering shop should do this for a few bucks if you don't own a welder.

Now you have essentially the correct tool. It will prove invaluable when you go to tension up the bolt with a torque wrench. I doubt the ratchet strap method will work to tighten it up. You may have already proved me wrong. The tapered broom stick method will work if you really wedge it down the damper rod throat. But still no where as good as the 'proper' tool.

Whatever you decide, if not already back together again, make up a tapered broomstick. Its still a useful tool,to assembly the forks as this is best done up side down. Wedge the damper rod (with top out spring) on the broom stick, feed it up through the inner tube, fit the oil lock (that plastic thing) and then feed the whole assembly up through the outer fork tube till it bottoms. Clamp the broom stick in a vice to hold the assembly (no vertical and upside down) while installing the bolt down from above.

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

16 Jan 2020, 09:00

Freddy wrote:The damper rod bolt was installed with semi-permanent thread locker in the factory, and should be reassembled that way. Oil leakage is taken care of by a copper washer that should be on the bolt.

While you have it dismantled, take the damper rod down to a fastener specialist supplier and get the size bolt that fits into the shape of the damper rod head. It is 26.6mm across the flats, so I suppose its a 27mm bolt. Then make up a T handle (decent size handle) from a bit of 10mm reo bar 600mm long and weld it onto the bolt. An engineering shop should do this for a few bucks if you don't own a welder.

Now you have essentially the correct tool. It will prove invaluable when you go to tension up the bolt with a torque wrench. I doubt the ratchet strap method will work to tighten it up. You may have already proved me wrong. The tapered broom stick method will work if you really wedge it down the damper rod throat. But still no where as good as the 'proper' tool.

Whatever you decide, if not already back together again, make up a tapered broomstick. Its still a useful tool,to assembly the forks as this is best done up side down. Wedge the damper rod (with top out spring) on the broom stick, feed it up through the inner tube, fit the oil lock (that plastic thing) and then feed the whole assembly up through the outer fork tube till it bottoms. Clamp the broom stick in a vice to hold the assembly (no vertical and upside down) while installing the bolt down from above.

Thanks for that Freddy, I haven't put them back together yet, that will be today's fun! Just one question.........what plastic thing???? No plastic thing came out of the forks, it was all metal.

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

16 Jan 2020, 09:03

First time I did mine, completly improvised with what I had in my garage. I could not find a proper tool on line. I actually bought this tool thinking would do it, but it was way too small for the Zeph's forks. DID NOT WORK.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/YAMAHA-XJR-FOR ... 2749.l2649

What I ended up using was a 10mm threading die that had a 26 mm hex outside, a 10mm bolt, about 75mm long, and three nuts to lock the die on the bolt.. The 26mm hex is rather small, as Freddy said, but enough to stop the damper rod from turning. Then, a socket for the bolt, 1/2 inch long extensions, a ratchet, and turn the whole fork upside down.

I step on the ratchet to keep it from turning with my foot, a long screwdriver on one of the brake caliper bolts against my torso, to hold the outside from turning, and apply a impact gun on the bolt with small extension and allen socket, all this on the vertical.....it works.

.....I quit using the mild locker on the bolt. To me the copper crush washer is enough, but that's just me.

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

16 Jan 2020, 09:30

Shedman wrote:Thanks for that Freddy, I haven't put them back together yet, that will be today's fun! Just one question.........what plastic thing???? No plastic thing came out of the forks, it was all metal.


It's most likely sitting in the bottom of the outer fork tube. I generally use a very long screwdriver (any thin rod will do) to dislodge it. This of cause is assuming it was installed by the previous owner. In the following parts diagram its the bottom bit of the damper rod p/n 44022. Diagram is slightly misleading as the top 3 parts are on the inside of the inner fork tube, and the 4th bottom plastic bit (called an oil lock) sits on the outside, between the inner and outer tubes. That tight bottom bolt passes through it. Think of it like a plastic seat for the damper rod in the bottom of the outer fork tube. It's probably still sitting in position. Just bump it free.

Many might think its a plastic seat, but its job is to stop the outer fork tube smashing into the bottom of the inner tube if driven right up. It goes into a small recess in the inner tube, just in front of the small seal ring. Oil gets trapped in the recess to act as a hydraulic stopper upon full travel. Hence why it is called an 'oil lock'.

Image

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

27 Jan 2020, 15:12

I don't know how on Earth it is supposed to be possible to tighten the damper rod bolts with a broomstick or anything other than a proper sturdy tool as suggested by Freddy, everything I tried would not stop the damper rod from spinning. I found a 27 mm Landrover wheel nut on ebay for peanuts and got my brother to weld it to 10 mm bar and weld a T handle to the other end, thanks Freddy!
I clamped the T handle in my Workmate, slid the fork down over the tool and tightened the damper rod bolts to 61Nm so easily that it really wasn't worth the effort of wasting my time trying anything else, I should have just made the tool first. If anyone else is going to make one just make sure the you weld the wheel nut with the flatter side to go into the fork first as these wheel nuts are very domed on one side.

vice 003.JPG


vice 004.JPG

Re: Stuck Fork Bottom Bolts Solution

30 Jan 2020, 21:54

good result there , well done :)
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