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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm replacing my front fork seals and oil (a shout out to Black Lab Adventures for the good guide!) I'm puzzled by a couple of things:
- at the bottom of the inner tube, there's an internal "collar" that can rotate. In both the inner tube and in this collar, there are four holes that I guess are to let oil through. But as the collar rotates, it can make the holes be either open or obstructed. I'm baffled. Can anyone 'splain this? Photo showing holes half obstructed attached.

Secondly, the preload adjustment at the top seems to me to be pretty much nothing. It just compresses or relaxes the spring at most maybe 1/2". Am I missing something here?

Thanks for any clues you can give me.
 

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Tg, unless the manual specifically calls for indexing the holes, their orientation is not an issue at all. Of all the forks Ive rebuilt Ive never had that come up as an issue.
When I replace fork seals, I always replace the fork bushings as well. They're inexpensive, , take the wear/slop out of the fork, and prolong the life of the seals. There is also a piston ring in the assembly of your '08 DL650 fork. I'd replace that also along with the upper cap o-ring and lower tube gasket.
The parts diagram shows a preload adjusting screw in the cap, and before I take a fork off the bike I measure static sag. Once apart I measure spring free length, and if out of spec replace the spring and/or make up a preload spacer accordingly. Motion-Pro makes a fork fluid level tool that takes the mess and time out of setting fork oil level. Inexpensive, and instead of the supplied syringe, I connect it to my air-powered brake bleeder. 10 seconds or less and you have the correct fluid level every time.
 

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As for the holes I'd like to know myself. The half inch of compression (preload) on your fork spring makes a difference. The rear shock spring has about the same amount of adjustment. A half inch is much better than no adjustment. On my last bike 1 inch spacers on the springs improved the ride and handling immensely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
. . . When I replace fork seals, I always replace the fork bushings as well. They're inexpensive, , take the wear/slop out of the fork, and prolong the life of the seals. There is also a piston ring in the assembly of your '08 DL650 fork. I'd replace that also . . .
Thanks. The official manual mentions a "slide metal", a thin ring on the end of the inner tube. And, in fact, they tell me to replace it. I guess maybe I should ? Is that what you're calling a "bushing"?

As for "piston ring", I don't know what you mean by that here.
 

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Tg, go to MR Cycle-->Suzuki Motorcycle Parts-->'08-->DL650-->Damper. Look at the exploded view, There is an upper and lower bushing. The piston ring is on the internal piece. I believe to be the spring seat. The upper bushing is pressed into the lower fork tube just below the seal seating area. The lower bushing fits into a wide groove on the lower end of the upper tube and slides into the lower tube.
 

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TG, look at the lower end of the pic you posted--that is the outer surface of the lower bushing between the hole and the end of the tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
TG, look at the lower end of the pic you posted--that is the outer surface of the lower bushing between the hole and the end of the tube.
(I'm posting this mostly in the hopes that it might help others.)

Maz4me, thank you for your patience. I have been looking at such diagrams at various vendors, as well as the same diagram but with different words in my service manual. I've concluded that what you and the vendor are calling "bushings" are what other resources are calling "slide metal" and "guide metal".

Specifically, on the page you reference, there is item 5, "BUSH, SLIDE", part #51121-11J00 (formerly 51121-03F00) that clips tightly to the end of the inner tube. Others call this "slide metal". Pretty clearly this is what you're referring to as the "lower bushing"

Then there is item 10, "BUSH, GUIDE" part #51152-13E00. I think this stays at the top of the outer tube, and is the "top bushing". Others call this "glide metal".

Right?
 
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