96 xr4 with left over 2000 compression shims?

So, I know that the compression shim stack mod has been beat to death, and I have searched and read about how the 96-97 only has 7 shims to begin with and they are different than the later models... But I am doing forks on both a 96 and a 2000. So, if I take 6 out of the 2000 center bolt, should I use them on the 96? The logic sounds good to me, but I guess if the passages were different it wouldn't really be the same.

We won't really have a good baseline on the 96 for the "Before and after" experience as the seals were junk, the forks had almost no oil in them, the oil was wicked old, and the clickers were totally wack. Bed springs for sure. I am sure that whatever I do with the shims, it's going to be a completely different bike because it was junk before.

Anyone done this?

How about 10 weight in the forks? I thought that was what everyone was using, but today I saw a bunch of references to 2.5 and also 5. I thought 10 was stock?


'96 and '97 have 2 x .008" and 5 x .005" shims.

'98 onwards have 12 x .004" shims.

I took the 2 .008" shims out of my '97 leaving the 5 x .005"s. Common advice is to remove 6 of the .004" shims from the later models. This leaves a similar stack in both bikes; 5 x .005" (.025") in early models and 6 x .004" (.024") in the later ones. I doubt you would be able to tell the difference between those stacks in a XR fork.

I weigh a bit over 210 lbs kitted up and run 5 weight oil and 0.48 kg/mm springs. Clickers are around standard settings depending on terrain/speed/etc.

Great improvement over standard.


Thanks Gary,

I was building the shim stack for the 96 and just said to myself "Screw it. I'm putting the 6 left overs in..." Then I felt really stupid like I was about to ruin the bike and ran in here and searched again and found one of your postings where you had listed the thickness of the 7 early shims. I did the same math in my head, then flipped a coin and went with the 6 left over shims in the old bike. So, like you said, we will basically have the same stack. Has to be a quicker reacting fork with easier blow by.

I guess the oil blows past the inside diameter of those shim? Sure looks like they are held down secure on the outside diameter.

I'm going to take a couple quarts of the 10w back to Cyclegear and trade it out for 5w. Should have everything together and both bikes back on the trails soon. I'll be sure and post my "wow what a difference" results when the smoke clears.

Thanks again.

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