Anyone install their own fork/shock valves?

Recently I read that one of you out there installed Race Tech valves and springs (successfully) and had never attempted to do such a thing before. Having read that I decided to do mine myself as well. The parts are on the way and I would like to know if I need any special tools or will I need to replace any seals after disassembly so that I can get those before I begin the work. Do I need a nitrogen tank for the shock? If I don't know the answers to these questions should I even attempt this?

If you have reasonably competent mechanical skills, have basic mechanics tools (vise, torque wrench, impact driver, sockets, wrenches, etc.) and like doing this kind of work it should not be a problem. When you get the parts from Race Tech, watch the video a couple times and then you can make the decision to do it your self or take the parts to a good bike mechanic.

I replaced the O-rings while I had everything apart. Use the Suzuki manual and watch the video that comes from Race Tech a couple times before you start.

A good quality 1/2" drive impact wrench will spin the valve/nut off (bottom of fork) but you need a tool to hold the cartridge while you tighten the nut when you re-assemble the forks. Here's some good info on the tool you need to buy/build to remove/replace the fork cartridge.

Everybody has an opinion on how to get the shock out but my two cents is below.

1) Remove the bolt holding the overflow tank

2) Remove the lower two subframe bolts

3) Loosen the upper subframe bolt

4) Loosen the intake manifold at the back of the carb

5) Pivot the subframe up and secure it in the up position with a strap

Take the rebuilt shock to a reputable dealer to have the nitrogen re-charged. Cost is about $15 bucks.

Suspension work was the best money I ever spent. Plus taking the suspension apart really helped me understand how the suspension works so I can fine-tune the suspension much better.

Good luck.

[ November 20, 2001: Message edited by: MReimler ]

Thank you for the input. It sounds like great advice.

Just to add; you shouldn't need any holding tools to re-install the base valve. Just CAREFULLY use the impact to put it back in. (thread in by hand first!!) I would use it to get it most of the way in, then tighten it by hand the final bit. I install Race Tech components for a living, and this is how I do it. However, I've been doing it for a long time, and have a good feel for the ol' impact wrench. My advise to you though is to be CAREFUL!!!

DISCLAIMER: I take NO responsibilty for stripped bolts or base valves!!!!

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