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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I had a leaking fork seal but have run into a snag replacing it. When trying to remove the hex bolt on the bottom of the fork it moved out a turn or two and then just jammed. It will not move in or out at this point.

I have tried applying weight to the fork to stop the interior from spinning. I have also as much preload into the fork as I can by compressing the spring and adding a portion of another spring to the inside of the fork. I then STOOD on the fork and still could not get it to break loose in either direction.

I'm looking for any ideas, my planned steps for today are:

1. Apply heat.
2. Attempt to drill head off of the bolt.
3. Remove bottom of the fork with cut-off tool.

As you can see I'm moving into brute force, any ideas welcome.

-GW
 

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Impact wrench will definitely get it off. That bolt is a bugger.
 

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Sounds like it's galled in there. Become one with the bottom of the fork. I think if you remove it with an impact wrench you will likely remove the thread from the fork too. If you want to save the fork thread, you could grind the bolt head off and carefully hand drill the bolt out, using a succession of increasing dia. bits, so as to leave both threads behind, and then pick the bolt thread out.
Alternately. Try heating it and giving it a blast of WD40 or the like, but turn it CW first, as this will do the least damage to the thread. Sometimes you can break them loose by repeatedly applying heat WD , CW, CCW, heat and so on, trying to gain a little each time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I suppose I should have mentioned that I do not care about saving the threads, I have replacement parts for most of the fork.

I don't have a hex drive that would be long enough (or really OK to use on an impact wrench) but thats a solid idea and I'll try it.

Thanks,
-GW
 

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I suppose I should have mentioned that I do not care about saving the threads, I have replacement parts for most of the fork.

I don't have a hex drive that would be long enough (or really OK to use on an impact wrench) but thats a solid idea and I'll try it.

Thanks,
-GW
You can try an electric drill rather than an impact wrench if you don't have one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the reply's. I don't know why it never occurred to me to use the impact wrench but it did the trick almost instantly. Thanks a million.

-GW
 

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Thanks for all the reply's. I don't know why it never occurred to me to use the impact wrench but it did the trick almost instantly. Thanks a million.

-GW
Glad you got it off, Eli, almost everybody needs the impact wrench to do it. My problem was finding a long enough Allen wrench -- but when I did, I gave it a few hammer whacks in lieu of the impact driver. It worked.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well rebuilt *again* and *again* they leak. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong here. Too much fluid maybe. Nearly everything is new at this point.

-GW
 

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Well rebuilt *again* and *again* they leak. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong here. Too much fluid maybe. Nearly everything is new at this point.

-GW
The fork seals leak, or the sealing washers at the bottom?


Also, (believe it or not) Harbor Freight has a VERY nice set of impact hex sockets from 6mm - 19mm. They're long enough to reach up inside forks to grab those bolts, and are very well made. I've abused the hell out of mine on lots of forks and other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The fork seals leak, or the sealing washers at the bottom?


Also, (believe it or not) Harbor Freight has a VERY nice set of impact hex sockets from 6mm - 19mm. They're long enough to reach up inside forks to grab those bolts, and are very well made. I've abused the hell out of mine on lots of forks and other stuff.
Around the fork seals, the brand new fork seals. The bottom is in good shape. I'm really not sure whats going on and it has me worried. Its not like I've never had these apart before, I'm not running stock springs and had to add fork oil with those. Same amount now but it leaks like a sieve. I suppose its possible I put the seals in upside down.

Pretty frustrating.

-GW
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, and harbor freight is where I picked up the impact hex, you are right, good set, right price.

Anyone know a quick and dirty way to determine "this side UP" on those fork seals?

-GW
 

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Anyone know a quick and dirty way to determine "this side UP" on those fork seals?
The seals are open in the middle on the bottom and "closed" on top.

These seals are upside-down:




The other thing that occurs to me (but I do think it's unlikely in your case) is that you may have set the fork oil level the wrong way. The proper way is to measure from the top with the forks collapsed all the way and the springs out.

For some reason, it's common to see people measure fork oil level with the forks extended. If you're filling them on the bike, there are sometimes brake fittings or fork braces in the way preventing the forks from collapsing all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The seals are open in the middle on the bottom and "closed" on top.

These seals are upside-down:




The other thing that occurs to me (but I do think it's unlikely in your case) is that you may have set the fork oil level the wrong way. The proper way is to measure from the top with the forks collapsed all the way and the springs out.

For some reason, it's common to see people measure fork oil level with the forks extended. If you're filling them on the bike, there are sometimes brake fittings or fork braces in the way preventing the forks from collapsing all the way.
I think its more likely I put them in upside down. I put in approx 500ml in each fork which as I recall was what I did when I rebuilt with the sonic springs.

I'm going to pull them tomorrow. I replaced the stockers with an aftermarket part so it is possible they look differently then the stock and caused me to make the mistake. That is my hope anyway.

Thanks,
-GW
 

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once fill up, measure the air-gap dont just rely 500ml approx - takes an extra 2 minutes, saves you a lot guess work later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well I have to say its not rocket science, overfilling is one thing, 500ml instead of 512ml or even the reverse is not a big deal. It appears the problem was that both ends of the aftermarket seals were open and damn near identical. I used the manufacturers site to determine that they were indeed upside down (stamp in the rubber). I had to drill out the bolt this time as the impact wrench hopelessly stripped out the bolt. The rebuilt shocks are no longer leaking, however, my brake pads appear saturated with fork oil and do not work well. I'm hoping it burns off but not putting a lot of hope in it.

For those of you who care, 500ml was 1mm off when measured. Building a contraption to make that measurement was a much bigger pain then using a graduated cylinder to measure the fluid. Its a step I'll do again but only because I've already created the "contraption".

-GW
 
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