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Help with Dampner Rod Fork Bolt

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Question for you suspension heads...

At the bottom of the forks there is a damper rod bolt which is suppossed to be set to 58 ft lbs. It requires a special tool to hold the nut inside the fork. Without the fork apart, is there anyway to torque this? I was running down the 600 mile check list and I backed it off to then reset and I think I loosened it. Now it just spins. :bonk: I doubt if it is 58 ft lbs....the other side is tight. I have a big ride tomorrow. Should I worry about this or can it wait? Can it be dangerous?

Thanks for your help.

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You can tighten it with an impact gun,, but you still need to hold the rod. Remove the cap, lower the tube, hold the spring and rod to the side with your fingers while you tighten the valve on the bottom of the fork. It sounds trashy.. But I learned the trick from a very well respected suspension tech,, and have been told by others that is the way they do it. It has worked for me more times then I can count. You can also make the tool to hold the inside with nothing more then PVC pipe. But you really need access to the part to make the tool. Ok if your taking the forks apart anyway, not such a great plan for what you need to do.

One last idea.. another suspension guy that worked on my junk....when he was just swapping out shim stacks,, would simply put the fork upside down, and zip the valve out with an impact, swap shimes, and zip it back in with the impact. I guess the installed spring holds it well enough, like your fingers can as described above.. I've seen it done, on my forks .. but have not tried it myself. Pretty neat way to easilly play with the shim stack, no further disassembly needed, and you lose no fork oil.

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Holy Smokes Bronco-you still in Iraq?

Thanks for the input....I'm worried if I start tearing it apart I'll get in deeper then I want to be on this Saturday. Could this be a dangerous situation or can I wait until next week? This will be a 400 mile very mild gravel road run.

Thanks for responding.

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I was in the states just a few days ago, but am now back in Iraq. Waiting on a flight to get me to my little corner of hell.

If the valve assembly is loose, yes, you need to tighten it. I'd bet that if you hit it with an impact, just like it is on the bike installed ect ect. It will tighten up.. Do not go overboard with the impact.. You only using it for the speed and shock.. Not it's ability to really TQ down that part. It's aluminum, going into an aluminum part. Threads will pull in a hurry if you’re not careful.

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Yep - I just did that...it tightened up as tight as it was when I started but it is still not as tight as the other side. I'll get it taken care of next week....The fork oil needs changing anyway.

Thanks for taking the time to help and talk "motorcycles".

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I would not ride with a loose damper valve. It holds the whole fork tube together. I wonder if the threads are siezed but you will only know that if you take it out and reinstall. To do that, you need to have the fork off the bike and upside down (or the bike upside down). What kind of torque does it take to turn the valve now? To tighten it, use tie-down straps to compress the forks. With a little help you can compress the forks 4 to 6 inches. That will put enough load on the springs to hold friction on the damper body in the fork and stop it from rotating. Then you can try a torque wrench but usually an air or electric impact wrench works better. Then you can follow up with a torque wrench. This is Al threaded into Al so don't get carried away.

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Thanks Noble - I hit it with the impact and it tightened up but I do not know the torqe setting. I'll have to reinvestigate. Thanks for the words of caution.

I would not ride with a loose damper valve. It holds the whole fork tube together. I wonder if the threads are siezed but you will only know that if you take it out and reinstall. To do that, you need to have the fork off the bike and upside down (or the bike upside down). What kind of torque does it take to turn the valve now? To tighten it, use tie-down straps to compress the forks. With a little help you can compress the forks 4 to 6 inches. That will put enough load on the springs to hold friction on the damper body in the fork and stop it from rotating. Then you can try a torque wrench but usually an air or electric impact wrench works better. Then you can follow up with a torque wrench. This is Al threaded into Al so don't get carried away.

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Well here's what I did....removed the fork...compressed with a tie down strap. Backed off with the impact and then retightened up to the 58 ft lbs. with the torque wrench. Everything is cool now and I don't have to worry tomorrow...it's going to be a long ride....now about that seat :naughty:

Thanks Bronco, Noble, and Neil........this site never ceases to amaze me...

Bronco-all the best to you on your tour of duty. :bonk:

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