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Fork rebuild how I did it

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Gra900, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Gra900

    Gra900 XS400 Enthusiast

    hi, just rebuilt my forks and took some photos of some of the tricks which might be useful
    First, getting the top spring retainer disc out was tricky because one of them was rusted solid. I managed to get the circlip out and then had to drill and tap the disc and pull it out with M6 bolt and a flat piece of metal with a hole drilled in it. Sorry no photos of that bit. I took a lot of care getting alll the swarf out of the legs after.
    So what I found most useful was 2 legged puller. Photos below. This can be used with a top yoke to compress the fork springs and get the circlip in or out easily. See photos.
    You can also see the brass spacer I put in above the spring to give it a bit of preload. The springs were inside the length tolerance, but I always like the front to be a bit stiff so added 20 mm spacer.
    New circlips are available to buy luckily.
    Then the fork seals. These came out basically OK, with heat. The circlips were rusted to bits again, so I got some heavy duty internal ones off eBay. I did actually have to buy circlip pliers to get them in, but well worth the£10 for the tool, wish I’d bought them years ago. The Ebay sizing was odd and I had to get some smaller ones than the 46mm measured.
    The fork legs did have some pitting. I tried two methods to repair as rechroming is quite expensive. Someone recommended superglue as a filler, multiple layers and rubbing down with wet and dry got a smooth finish, but it came out as soon as they were reassembled. The second option was metal filled epoxy. Preparation was key, all old rust scraped out and the under layer of metal scored with a Stanley knife. Then add the epoxy to about 2mm above the fork and leave for several days before attempting to work it. Even though it says 5 min on the packet. I then carefully filed off the bulk, then used 600 wet and dry then 1200 to get a smooth finish.
    Fork gaiters installed more max protection instead of dust seals, and to avoid MOT failure, then back on the bike. 778565B2-3AE4-45B2-8544-EC1F02EAC0F6.jpeg ABE71153-8DDD-4C99-8651-C84F76F78BA5.jpeg

    Attached Files:

    Robsteeler66 likes this.
  2. Dang. Exact same problem I'm having right now. The retainer cap is rust frozen in the tube.

    I was thinking of going the route you did, with drilling and tapping it. But I'm gonna try to bang it out with a metal rod through the bottom before I go to that step.
  3. Gra900

    Gra900 XS400 Enthusiast

    Hi Tyler, hey thanks for the reply, that was my first attempt too, but it’s only an 8mm hole in the damper arrangement down the bottom of the fork leg and I only had a 6 mm studding rod which wasn’t up to the job
    Let me know how it goes......
  4. Hmm. So you found the rod didnt have the rigidity to transfer enough force to pound the cap out?
    I just checked and I'm quite surprised but that cap and gasket as still available parts. Which means I'll prbly just drill and tap it like you did. Since you already tried the other method.
  5. Gra900

    Gra900 XS400 Enthusiast

    Hiya again, hope it goes ok, I did loosen the cap by scratching all around it till I got most of the rust out, then a whack with a hammer moved it down a mm or two. Watch out cos the fork leg narrows about 3 mm below tha cap, so the cap can get jammed in there too

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