Lazy way to change fork springs: - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-01-2015, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Lazy way to change fork springs:

I read all the tutorials here and I know it is recommended to pull the forks to change the springs, but I wanted to see if I could change them quicker and easier.

I already have a oil change pump which uses a 1/4" tube to go down the dipsticks of my truck/tractor/suv and it works great. So here is what I did:

-bike on center stand, then propped the frame up keeping the front wheel off the floor
-backed off the preload adjuster, loosened the clamp at the top of the tubes
-removed top caps, spacer, springs w/washer
-lifted front wheel all the way up until forks were compressed all the way and put 4 - 2x4's & one small shim under the tire to hold it there
-sucked out all the oil with the 12v oil change pump
-put in just under 9oz of new oil in each fork, then double checked the air space @ 5.5"
-removed the 2x4's and let the tire all the way back down
installed new .95 Sonic springs, 3 washers & the stock metal spacers
-replaced fork caps and tightened the clamps
-done

Bike set up, oil change machine ready:


forks compressed:


oil tube in fork:

'15 DL650XT
"You do your own thing in your own time"

Last edited by Motor7; 08-01-2015 at 11:13 AM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 08-01-2015, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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All oil is now removed:


Used a wire to fish out the spring(before compressing forks):


all parts out:



Unless you are going to replace the fork seals, I don't see any advantage to removing them for a spring change.........

Btw, I think an oil change pump is my favorite tool. No drip pans & no oil spillage & no chance of cross threading the oil drain plug. Yes I still have to crawl under to replace the oil filter(on most vehicles). And no I didn't believe it would get all the oil out, so I pulled the drain plug on 3 different vehicles to check, each one had a tablespoon or so drip out.
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Last edited by Motor7; 08-01-2015 at 11:18 AM.
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post #3 of 21 Old 08-01-2015, 12:55 PM
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My preference is to remove the forks, disassemble, flush the forks clean, then reassemble. You will always find some sludge residue at the bottom of the forks from aluminum oxide and teflon from fork bushings. For similar reasons, I would always drain engine oil using the drain plug, oil hot, which helps flush out residues in the bottom of the pan. I don't see how a pump will be as good, but that is my preference.
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-01-2015, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
...-sucked out all the oil with the 12v oil change pump
-put in just under 9oz of new oil in each fork, then double checked the air space @ 5.5"...
It takes ~17oz of fork oil to fill them to that level, so that means you only got about 1/2 of the old stuff out. And the half that was left was the dirtiest, gunkiest half.
It really is better (and easier and quicker IMO) to pull the tubes off.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-01-2015, 05:46 PM
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Pull the forks, I just cannot see any good reason to not do so. And I agree that you likely left the worse of the oil still in there, no right way to do something wrong or half ass it.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

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post #6 of 21 Old 08-01-2015, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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17oz in each tube?....I thought it was 17 oz for both...hmmmmmm, ok I think I should have removed the axle & pulled that plug at the bottom of the forks then. On second thought, this is dampening oil, not engine oil, and I am not sure if dirty oil really makes a difference in this application. So I might experiment a bit with riding it as-is and checking it again in a few hundred miles. The new oil I put in was crystal clear, so I will know as soon as I pop the caps.............

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post #7 of 21 Old 08-02-2015, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
17oz in each tube?....I thought it was 17 oz for both...hmmmmmm, ok I think I should have removed the axle & pulled that plug at the bottom of the forks then. On second thought, this is dampening oil, not engine oil, and I am not sure if dirty oil really makes a difference in this application. So I might experiment a bit with riding it as-is and checking it again in a few hundred miles. The new oil I put in was crystal clear, so I will know as soon as I pop the caps.............
Yes, about 17 oz per leg to get the 5.5" level you have. 1 liter to do both fork legs. Draining the oil by pulling the damper rod bolt is reeeaaally the hard way to do things.

It's not just that the oil is dirty, although that is a factor. It also breaks down and doesn't provide the right damping.

I've never understood the aversion some people to taking the tubes off. It's 5 minutes (10 if you work slowly) to have the tubes in your hands, and it makes the rest of the job quick and easy. Overall, it's the fastest way to do the job, and it's the only way to do it right.

Rich Desmond
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-02-2015, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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I know you guys are right, and my bike has been down for over a week waiting for a LF caliper pin that fell out(see it dangling in the pic), but I just wanted to see for myself if it could be done easier/quicker and I reckon that answer is "no". Now if Suzuki had put some real live drain plugs on these forks I doubt many of us would pull the forks.....oh well, you win some you lose some

Btw, @ 58K miles I am just going ahead and replace the fork seals too.............

'15 DL650XT
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-02-2015, 07:43 AM
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It was definitely a good attempt at saving some work IMO. Ive never owned a bike long enough to get to the point of needing new fork fluid but since I love my DL650XT and I do all my own work, think that job will be in my future. Thanks for trying to show us something new!
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-02-2015, 03:04 PM
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The "plug at the bottom" is actually holding the damper rod in place. If you take it out, it might be tricky to get the thing aligned to get the bolt back in. There is no way to clean the threads up inside the damper rod, so no way to loctite the bolt in there.

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