Front fork Damper rod bolt

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by VFR1200, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. VFR1200

    VFR1200 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    You are all a great source of advice and I am back for more!
    I am changing the seals, fluid etc on my 2007 VFR800 front forks. I have done one fork with no issues. I am working on the second one and the damper rod bolt at the bottom of the fork leg is spinning and the rod is turning inside the tube. Even if I hold the end of the damper rod to stop it, the lower section in the tube is spinning.
    I have put it all back together to add tension again, but still no joy.

    Any help or advice....

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
  2. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Member

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    If you’re not using a rattle gun you’re going to struggle.
    I had to put lot of pulling pressure on the spring with the top cap still attached to get it to come out.
    I used a large square shaft screwdriver which I threaded onto the spring turning it until it placed a lot of pulling stress between the damper rod and tube.
    The manual states to use loctite on bottom bolt, never do this as it makes it nearly impossible to remove again.
    After that first time nightmare, I pulled them apart many times while I was experimenting with shim stacks and never had a problem again.
     
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  3. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Common problem... really need speed, so rattle gun as OZ suggests. Otherwise, lots of preload on the spring, with forks clamped horizontally in a vice, have a helper place a piece of plywood against the top cap and compress the fork as much as possible against his chest while you hit the bolt with the rattle gun (or if you're lucky, your hand tools). Not sure what the top of the cartridge looks like, some have a nut... take a piece of lightweight 1" square tube, cut some slits 1/2" deep or so in the corners, flare out the resulting tabs, slide it in over the nut and you should be able to hold the top of the cartridge.
     
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  4. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    Generally, the problem is that the bolt threads into the damper base; that base is a cylindrical steel piece that is pushed into the damper body and retained by a circlip. The only thing stopping that from spinning is friction with the body. I would suggest that you also look at putting some heat onto the bolt head, as this will soften the threadlock and reduce the force needed to start the bolt loosening. Also as Oz suggests (and it is counter-intuitive but we are from the Southern Hemisphere) if you pull up on the damper shaft you pull the rebound valve against the roof of the cartridge and that will pull the damper base harder against the circlip. A rattle gun really is your friend at that point. If you have a local bike shop, you could take the fork there and see if they will help; my locals have been great in that regard.
     
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  5. VFR1200

    VFR1200 New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I decided to take it to Honda to get it separated... $150 later and done. :(
     
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