Really need help with fork assembly!

Old time newbie here, couldn' find my old handle I used just a few month ago and started back in 01 I think.???


Anyhow, desperately looking for some help on getting my front forks back together, on an 01 E model.


Last year I took them apart incorrectly to pull the seals. Basically I just pulled the spring out and slammed the inner tube out until the seal came out (don't ever do that) because that's how it worked on my old KDX, simple forks.


Well at first nothing seemed damaged, it pulled the seal out fine and the new one went in fine. Then I filled up with oil, put the spring in, put the cap on and let go and the inner tube pushed out too far, I was looking at the end of the inner tube with it at rest.


So finally I picked up a damper rod tool to take it apart and see what happened. At the base of the inner fork tube, on the inside, is a little aluminum (looks like alum. anyhow) stopper/race that is pressed into the fork, I think. Looks to me like the damper rod hits this, limiting outward travel. I figured I pushed it down by slamming the tubes apart, but now I can't get the thing to move back up into the inner tube. No groves/snap rings hold it that I can see.


I tried heating up the tube and hitting the inner part with PB blaster, then try driving it down with a 4 lb hammer and dead blow hammer. Now it's just starting to mark up the inner piece so I gave it a break.


I've looked at microfiche at ronayers and can't find this piece, only shows the inner tube, damper rod, etc. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words so I will get one up in a few to show what I'm looking at.

If anyone that has taken these forks apart before or has pictures laying around of this end of the tube that would be a start, it may be in the right place to be honest.



Thanks in advance!


Ok so picture #1 shows the empty tube, notice the inner sleeve is just about at the end of the tube.


Picture #2 shows the damper rod all the way down, hitting the sleeve. This is what stops suspension from opening up, in my case it goes too far.






I really don't have any idea what you have done.  The fork you have is a cartridge fork.  The damper rod screws into the top cap. Fork travel on extension is limited by a top-out spring inside the cartridge.


I have to assume you removed the retaining ring when you slammed the fork tube out of the slider and pulled the top slider bearing and seal.  You lost me when you started talking about 4 lb hammer. That can't be good.


If you have done serious damage to the fork, you will be better off to buy a set off ebay than try to repair.  Are you sure you have E forks?  E and S forks were different in the early years.

Found a note in my service manual. Pc 20 (the hydraulic stop for bottoming) goes in from the bottom of the slider not the top a shown in the exploded parts view.  Pc 9 (the damper cartridge) goes in from the top of the fork tube.  No hammers needed.

How exactly did you take the forks apart to change the seals? 


Okay, looking at the parts fiche:


The lower fork tube (#2) at its base has two aluminum pieces.  A "t-shaped" collar (the hydraulic stop #10) and a flat “doughnut-shaped” aluminum base (#14).  Part #14 simply is pressed into the bottom of the fork tube and only an 0-ring holds it in place (for now).  Part #10 is dropped into the lower fork tube and then the upper fork tube (part #8) is inserted (with all of its bits, bushings, seals, spacers, circlips).  When you fully insert the upper fork tube into the lower fork tube that hydraulic stop should center and come up thru the opening at the base of the upper fork tube.


Now you hammer in upper bushing (part #3), slide the spacer (part #4) down, hammer in the oil seal (part #5), followed by the circlip (part #6) and finally the dust seal (part #7).   With that all together the fork tubes can still slide apart completely (so be careful), insert the cartridge (part # 16) thru the upper fork tube.  It should drop down into the fork lower and thru the hydraulic stop all the way to the base of the fork lower.  Take your base valve (part #11) and insert it through the bottom of the fork and thread it into the cartridge (tighten).


Procedure to refill with oil, bleed and set the height.  Drop in the spring (washer on top), insert the rebound needle/spring/adj rod if necessary and thread on the fork cap (tighten).  Finally you can pull up the upper fork tube and thread in the fork cap (tighten).

Edited by bmwpowere36m3

I'm not sure what I've done, I got bored during off season almost 2 years ago and ripped into it without any instruction, besides I did it this way on other conventional forks (older, simpler, etc) and it went without a hitch.

All I did was remove top cap, remove spring, inner push rod and valve/spring. I did NOT have the damper rod removal tool, so I didn't fully disassemble the two tubes, this is where something got screwey. Then I pried out dust cap, snap ring for oil seal, and slammed the inner and outter tubes apart. Voila, seal came out. Drove new seal in, snap ring, dust cap, inner push rod/filled with oil/bled etc etc. placed the spring in, snuged the cap down, let go and the inner tube came out too far.


I was thinking I pulled that little race out of the inner tube in the above picture, but I don't think I'm on the right track with that. I'll try to reassemble once more. #3 bushing seems to be my missing link. I'll put the sledge hammer away for a night too.


And yes these are E forks, have had the bike since 0 hrs in 01. I'm going to bite the bullet and look for a service manual, made it this far without one including rebuilding the motor but I guess forks are french to me.

Thanks for the help, cheers.

Edited by oobailey454ss

Sounds like you did not re-connected the damper rod the the cap.

Sounds like you did not re-connected the damper rod the the cap.




If you didn't remove the base valve, then how did you pull out the "inner push rod and valve/spring".  Also in your pictures that "sleeve" is not what stops the fork tubes from separating too much.  At almost full compression that sleeve "mates" with a collar within the lower fork tube and acts as a hydraulic stop.  What stops the fork tubes from separating is the damper rod (~12 mm diameter dark gray and its within that light grey tube), on one end is the mid valve piston and the other end is threaded into the fork cap...

I owe you guys big. I forgot the damper rod threads into the cap. :banghead:


I really need to start riding again.

Thanks again, cheers! :cheers:

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