Fork Cap Seized - Removal Tips? - SV1000 Portal
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 8th March 2020, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Fork Cap Seized - Removal Tips?

I decided I was going to service the forks this weekend since I fixed enough things on the bike to finally take it for a proper ride (it was awesome), and I was going to check the spring rate since it felt like a straight rate. Loosened the top pinch bolts in the triple clamp to make life easier. The right fork cap came off no problem, but the PO must have hired a gorilla to torque down the left one. Things progressed from socket -> socket with breaker bar -> wrench -> pipe wrench with no success. The pipe wrench is starting to shred the remaining aluminum, so I don't want to take that route further and remove all the material.

The left fork cap is completely toast, and will need to be replaced. Anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the cap without possibly damaging the rest of the forks? I'm thinking I can max out the preload to move the spring as far away as possible from the cap, then drill a hole on each side of the cap as close to the center adjuster as possible to prevent getting near the threads. Then either find a small pin wrench for the holes, or tap an M6 or M8 bolt into the holes and hit them with a chisel until the cap breaks loose.

Also, if anyone has a spare fork cap laying around, well, you could say I'm in the market. I wish these things were made of aluminum that is at least marginally stronger than cheese.

Thanks

2004 SV1000S - 29k miles
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 9th March 2020, 12:45 AM
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Damn....thats crazy.....

I would loosen the top and bottom tripls on both sides, and slide the forks up through so they acouple of inches at least
out the top....as far as possible....maybe reove the wheel an dfender and just slide the stuck one up as far as it can possibly go....tighten the triples top and bottom again..... (be careful to clean the chrome tube all the way down first so it doesn't get scratches)

Then, get some heat into the tube with a propane torch...... be careful to make it hot, but not scorch it.....too much and it will discolour the chrome and destroy orings.....keep the flame away from the cap as much as possible to stop it from growing too much...... Then try again to undo it.......

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 9th March 2020, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missing Link View Post
Damn....thats crazy.....



I would loosen the top and bottom tripls on both sides, and slide the forks up through so they acouple of inches at least

out the top....as far as possible....maybe reove the wheel an dfender and just slide the stuck one up as far as it can possibly go....tighten the triples top and bottom again..... (be careful to clean the chrome tube all the way down first so it doesn't get scratches)



Then, get some heat into the tube with a propane torch...... be careful to make it hot, but not scorch it.....too much and it will discolour the chrome and destroy orings.....keep the flame away from the cap as much as possible to stop it from growing too much...... Then try again to undo it.......


The cap will expand more than the tube though....


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 9th March 2020, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinsCanFly View Post
I decided I was going to service the forks this weekend since I fixed enough things on the bike to finally take it for a proper ride (it was awesome), and I was going to check the spring rate since it felt like a straight rate. Loosened the top pinch bolts in the triple clamp to make life easier. The right fork cap came off no problem, but the PO must have hired a gorilla to torque down the left one. Things progressed from socket -> socket with breaker bar -> wrench -> pipe wrench with no success. The pipe wrench is starting to shred the remaining aluminum, so I don't want to take that route further and remove all the material.



The left fork cap is completely toast, and will need to be replaced. Anyone have any suggestions on how to remove the cap without possibly damaging the rest of the forks? I'm thinking I can max out the preload to move the spring as far away as possible from the cap, then drill a hole on each side of the cap as close to the center adjuster as possible to prevent getting near the threads. Then either find a small pin wrench for the holes, or tap an M6 or M8 bolt into the holes and hit them with a chisel until the cap breaks loose.



Also, if anyone has a spare fork cap laying around, well, you could say I'm in the market. I wish these things were made of aluminum that is at least marginally stronger than cheese.



Thanks


I have done a bunch of forks and have never had a cap that stuck.

Make sure that the top clamp pinch bolt is loose. If the cap is junk, put a six point socket on the hex and smack with a dead blow hammer. You are trying to loosen on the cap nut and not the preload correct?

Also, you need to be very specific about the fork cap you need, as there were 3 different caps.

03 Naked. Square drive rebound adjuster
03 S, and 04 S large piston rod type on the serviceable cartridges.
Then 05-07 cap for the steel small piston rod non serviceable cartridge.

-ms


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 9th March 2020, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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That is correct, I am attempting to loosen the hex part of the cap, not the blue preload adjuster. The right side came out with no problem after I loosened the top pinch bolt, backed the preload all the way out, and lowered the clip-on for good measure, but the left side would not budge with the same procedure. The issue now is that the hex part of the cap has been so mangled due to the final attempts with the pipe wrench that the hex pretty much no longer exists.

I was able to find pictures of the cap at various angles, and decided to drill two holes 180 deg from each other in between the hex and the threads for the pin wrench. An M6 hole perfectly cleared the preload piston and the threads. Good old harbor freight sells an adjustable pin wrench for removing grinder wheels that will go as small as a 3/8" diameter which is smaller than the diameter of the imaginary circle the holes lay on. Just for fun, after drilling the first hole I jammed a 5mm T-handle into the hole and gave it a few good smacks with a rubber mallet, but it only managed to deform the edges of the hole. If the pin wrench doesn't work then a more creative solution will be needed... This has definitely been the most difficult removal for me as well. Even worse than some '90s bikes I have owned that were in bad shape.

That is a good point about the caps themselves, I didn't know there were differences between the models. I am specifically looking for an 04 S. Looks like there is a set available on fleabay at the moment located in TX, but the list of models that it fits appears to be incorrect.

Here is the aftermath of the carnage for your viewing pleasure.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 9th March 2020, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinsCanFly View Post
That is correct, I am attempting to loosen the hex part of the cap, not the blue preload adjuster. The right side came out with no problem after I loosened the top pinch bolt, backed the preload all the way out, and lowered the clip-on for good measure, but the left side would not budge with the same procedure. The issue now is that the hex part of the cap has been so mangled due to the final attempts with the pipe wrench that the hex pretty much no longer exists.



I was able to find pictures of the cap at various angles, and decided to drill two holes 180 deg from each other in between the hex and the threads for the pin wrench. An M6 hole perfectly cleared the preload piston and the threads. Good old harbor freight sells an adjustable pin wrench for removing grinder wheels that will go as small as a 3/8" diameter which is smaller than the diameter of the imaginary circle the holes lay on. Just for fun, after drilling the first hole I jammed a 5mm T-handle into the hole and gave it a few good smacks with a rubber mallet, but it only managed to deform the edges of the hole. If the pin wrench doesn't work then a more creative solution will be needed... This has definitely been the most difficult removal for me as well. Even worse than some '90s bikes I have owned that were in bad shape.



That is a good point about the caps themselves, I didn't know there were differences between the models. I am specifically looking for an 04 S. Looks like there is a set available on fleabay at the moment located in TX, but the list of models that it fits appears to be incorrect.



Here is the aftermath of the carnage for your viewing pleasure.


My assumption would be that someone jammed the cap on. You can damage the threads pretty easily and if not careful will cut off and jam metal hairs into the threads.

With your holes, you might try and wedge a chisel in at the this point and hit it hard so it tries to unthread it. If not you are likely getting to the point of making the holes bigger and trying just try and break it out or try and cut a stress relief groove in it to release pressure from the threads.

Ugly... good luck.
-ms


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 15th March 2020, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Removing the cap was a quite the sonofuh b, but finally got it off after sacrificing a set of needlenose pliers, a drill bit, a T handle hex wrench, and a pin wrench. Eventually the larger hole ovalized to the point I could get a flat chisel in and was able to pound it loose.

All is good now and the fork service and spring replacement can continue, and I even have some mangled tools and parts to display on my wall of shame. I just hope RM ATV/MC can locate a NOS cap since second hand ones don't seem to be floating around.

Oh yeah, the fork oil out of both forks looked like black paint, so I doubt either cap has ever been opened until now.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 12:56 AM
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Make sure you disassemble the forks entirely......who knows what detritis has gone the bottom of the leg from the cap....

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Good point. Most of the large aluminum debris actually got caught on top of the spring retainer and in the coils of the spring, but smaller pieces may have gotten to the bottom of the fork.

Looks like its time to DIY a cartridge tool from a piece of pipe. The fun continues!

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 03:59 AM
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Fork Cap Seized - Removal Tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinsCanFly View Post
Good point. Most of the large aluminum debris actually got caught on top of the spring retainer and in the coils of the spring, but smaller pieces may have gotten to the bottom of the fork.



Looks like its time to DIY a cartridge tool from a piece of pipe. The fun continues!


What is your location?
What year fork are you working on, 04S correct?

-ms


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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 04:24 AM Thread Starter
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What is your location?
What year fork are you working on, 04S correct?

-ms
That's correct, 04S fork. I'm in Bakersfield CA.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PenguinsCanFly View Post
That's correct, 04S fork. I'm in Bakersfield CA.


I might have a cap.
Ping me at schmidt314 @ g m a i l dot com and remind me and I can check tomorrow night.
-ms


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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:10 AM
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DOnt go to the trouble of the cartridge tool.....

If you have long reach allen key sockets, use one of those with a breaker bar, hold it real steady and give the breaker bar a wack

Or, a rattle gun, maybe even a electric impact driver...... the speed of the tool will overcome the spin of the cartridge....

once the bolt is loose, it will come free no probs.....(does work better if the spring and cap are still in place)

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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I'll give the impact gun a try first since there really isn't anything to lose. I remember trying the impact/air gun trick on a '94 VFR750 and the cartridge would just spin.

Hopefully I have more luck with the SV!

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinsCanFly View Post
I'll give the impact gun a try first since there really isn't anything to lose. I remember trying the impact/air gun trick on a '94 VFR750 and the cartridge would just spin.



Hopefully I have more luck with the SV!


Keep the fork assembled. Either dial the wiring reload all the way in or extend fork until the top out spring hits coil bind and zap it. It will come out.

I do t I have ever had to use a cartridge tool on SV forks before.

-ms


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