base valve removal

Having never yet seen the innards of my forks,I am having trouble figuring out a few details on a fork oil change. I want to get all the old oil out and want to take the base valve out to clean any dirt out.I don't have an impact driver. Do I need a damper rod holder to remove the base valve without an impact driver? Do I need a new copper washer on the base valve? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

You can plan on needing a cartridge holder. And the copper washer should be okay unless it is distorted. As long as the shape is nice and round and flat, it should work fine.

Someone here suggested to me some time ago that it was possible to make a cartridge holder from a piece of PVC pipe by cutting squares from the end. I have not tried this yet but after seeing the price for a cartridge holder this looks to be at least worth a try to me. Hopefully someone else will have more details on this.

Check this out... If the PVC pipe doesnt work (which it should since you are just taking the base valve out) you can go buy a 1 1/4 deep socket (and cut out 4 grooves just like the PVC pipe trick) and weld a pipe to the end of it and this will keep the cartridge from spinning. Metal piping is also another alternative...much better than spending $70 for Race Tech's tool IMO! Later,



If you have access to an impact gun, that elimates the need for a cartridge holder.

Just make sure you start the threads by hand upon reassembly. Continue with short burts from the impact gun until tightened. (becareful not to over-tighten).

Also, we always grease up the threads(to prevent galling of the threads)and o-ring(for sealing purposes).

Take Care, John

After refering to Garrett's site, we were able to easily construct a cartidge holding tool from a piece of galvanized pipe (approx 1 1/4" or so dia)...worked great! Thanks Garrett.


Also, don't under estimate the availability of the 14mm socket you need to get the base valve out. I thought I could just run down to NAPA or Capitol Yamaha and get one. I went all over god's country and still couldn't find one, I finally machined down a SAE allen wrench to fit. I would also suggest buying the bushings as well as the fork seals and dust covers ahead of time. Don't want to get everything apart and discover neither you or the Yamaha dealer have the parts you need.



Good post about the elusive 14mm allen wrench. I have seen them at Auto Zone in a three pack (12,14,16...I think) for less than a ten spot. Not a bad price and pretty heavy duty.

Take Care, John

Yes, the 14mm hex socket. I broke down and got mine from snap-on online. It was $30 I think.


Thanks guys for all your help. The collective knowledge on this site is incredible. How about building a portable nuclear fusion reactor? Any good ideas out there???

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