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Center bolt spinning

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I'm trying to replace my fork seals and the center bolt won't come lose from the cartrage. Anyone know out to break it loose? Or is there a way to replace the seals without taking out the centerbolt?

I don't have any pnumatic tools either, so that isn't an option for "quick spinning" the bolt out.

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You have to hold the cartridge from spinning while you loosen the botton bolt. If you had an impact gun it would zip loose without holding the cartridge. You need to make a tool like this to hold the cartridge or find someone that has the proper tool that you can borrow.

Made from a length of 1" id black pipe, cut with 2 castlations in one end to mate with those in the top of the cartridge. Drill a hole in the other end to insert a screwdriver thru to hold the tool from spinning while loosening the bottom bolt.

F-tool2.jpg

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Sometimes it works if you reinstall the spring and fork cap then try and remove the center bolt.

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K, the springs didn't work, and the pipe didn't work either. I have teh castations in the notches and its catching, but the bolt is still not letting go, just still spinning.

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Grab your socket or fitting for the bolt, take it to your local tire shop and ask them to use their impact (pneumatic) wrench on it, that will get it out. If they are reluctant to help, show them your puppy eyes and offer them $10 or a 12-pack.

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What bike are you working on?

So the tool is engaged with the cartridge and you're holding the tool from turning while you loosen the bottom bolt, right? The bottom bolt is a very fine thread, takes several turns to loosen it completely.

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ok i just did my fork seals two days ago and here is the answer to your problem. The "nut" on the inside is a 27mm. Get a 27mm socket out of ur tool kit and go to lowes and get a nut that fits it. Also, buy a 4 foot peice of 1ft pipe. Weld the nut to the end of the pipe.....oh heck heres the link LOL

http://flightoftheplatypus.blogspot.com/2007/11/maintaining-your-front-suspension.html

:cool:

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ok i just did my fork seals two days ago and here is the answer to your problem. The "nut" on the inside is a 27mm. Get a 27mm socket out of ur tool kit and go to lowes and get a nut that fits it. Also, buy a 4 foot peice of 1ft pipe. Weld the nut to the end of the pipe.....oh heck heres the link LOL

http://flightoftheplatypus.blogspot.com/2007/11/maintaining-your-front-suspension.html

:cool:

That is an awesome site, thanks for posting that. I took a break for a couple of days and thought I'd take the forks down to my local shop to see what they would do. I just asked if they could spin the bolts of and slip the new seals on, nothing else, and they wanted $100. Screw that.

I'll try it again today, that site I've quoted has a nut welded to a pipe, not sure that will work with the 400s forks, but I'll take a look. I'm just not sure, I spent about 15 minutes spinning that damn bolt and I've got the pipe in a vice to make sure it doesn't move, and still nothing... I'll got back to cranking here in few minutes.

Also, they guy at the shop showed me the "official" tool for taking the forks apart, and its the same thing as the black pipe cut with castlations, so I know that isn't the problem. I'm so freaking confused...

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I have a 97 XR 400 and am having the same problem. I have the tool and it properly engages with the grooves but when i spin the center bolt to take it off it just spins. My next attempt will be with an impact gun to try and spin it off. Hope it works.

The manual dosn't say much about taking off the center bolt for a 97. It goes into detail about the 98 and up. Hmmmm.

Any more ideas. I must be DUMB.

Thanks

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I managed to get one of my forks apart and was able to see first hand what was inside. The center bolt on the other fork just spins. From what i can see the threaded tube that the center bolt screws into has a pressed on piston thing on the other end. If the center bolt is frozen into the tube then the pressend on end where the special two pronged tool mounts could spin. This would explain why the center bolt seems to be just spinning and not loosening.

How the heck would one get this off? Drill out the center bolt ($85)? Does any one have a fork or a center bolt they would like to sell cheep?

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That is an awesome site, thanks for posting that. I took a break for a couple of days and thought I'd take the forks down to my local shop to see what they would do. I just asked if they could spin the bolts of and slip the new seals on, nothing else, and they wanted $100. Screw that.

I'll try it again today, that site I've quoted has a nut welded to a pipe, not sure that will work with the 400s forks, but I'll take a look. I'm just not sure, I spent about 15 minutes spinning that damn bolt and I've got the pipe in a vice to make sure it doesn't move, and still nothing... I'll got back to cranking here in few minutes.

Also, they guy at the shop showed me the "official" tool for taking the forks apart, and its the same thing as the black pipe cut with castlations, so I know that isn't the problem. I'm so freaking confused...

Most of the shops I've encountered in WA would be the same way. Whereabouts in WA are you? There are a few shops that I know of that might be kind enough to help out.

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When you spin the center bolt, the damper holder tool turns too, right? That would indicate that you do indeed have it engaged. If the tool doesn't try to turn when you spin the center bolt out, the tool isn't engaged.

Or it's already loose. It's hard to know what's going on without actually seeing it.

The center bolt on the other fork just spins.

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When you spin the center bolt, the damper holder tool turns too, right? That would indicate that you do indeed have it engaged. If the tool doesn't try to turn when you spin the center bolt out, the tool isn't engaged.

Or it's already loose. It's hard to know what's going on without actually seeing it.

When I engage the tool into the notches and rotate it while holding the fork housing i can see the center bolt rotate as well. When i use an impact gun to try and loosen it i can feel resistance on the tool but the bolt dosn't unthread. Thats why i think the pressed joint between the internal tube and the piston on that same tube is spinning not allowing me to loosen the center bolt. Almost like some one used high temp lock tite on the threads. :ride:

When i get home tonight i will take some pictures to help explain what i mean.

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Today i went down to the local bike shop and asked them if they could get the bolt out. The said they would try. As they were doing so i watched. To my amaizement they got it out free of charge.:ride: Here is what they did:

One tech person pulled on the fork tube while the other held the fork slider housing and operated a butterfly impact gun at the same time. A couple pulls of the trigger and out came the bolt. I asked them how it was that it came out and they said that by pulling out on the fork tube gave enough preload (friction)to the bolt. They said i could do the similar thing by putting back in the fork spring and cap. Oh yeah, they didn't even use any special fork tool to hold the other end of the fork damper.

After taking the fork apart i found out what was spinning, preventing me from taking the unit apart using the special holding tool. The two slots that the tool engauge into is only a small peice of metal that is press fitted into the end of the fork damper. Obviously there isn't enough of a press fit to prevent it from spinning while trying to remove the center bolt with out an impact gun???

Hope this helps.:thumbsup:

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I just did one fork seal. The local shop would not take the bolt out on a Saturday but told me to pull on the tube and slider apart as hard as I coulkd and hit it with an impact. Didn't work.

So I got a long skinny screw driver and engaged it in the notch in the piston and got it out with an impact.

The piston is put in with red locktite (high strenth) which breaks up into little particles and jams the threads together. Therin lies the problem you either need an impact or heat to overcome the red locktite. Real bad choice of materials. Just because it is Honda does not mean they get everything right.

With 2 people and the tool that was described in an earlier post you may be able to get the bolt out with a conventional socket.

Maybe the best course is buy an electric impact from harbor freight. If you have a compressor you should get a cheap harbor freight pneumatic impact. I have seen them on sale for $20 to $40

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I thought about trying to describe that method to you here but my brain froze up when trying to figure out how to word it.

Glad you got it out.

Here is what they did:

One tech person pulled on the fork tube while the other held the fork slider housing and operated a butterfly impact gun at the same time. A couple pulls of the trigger and out came the bolt.

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Did one fork and now I'm having this problem on the second. I've tried everything I can think of. I don't think heat is the answer because heat can't be applied to the correct place. I'm thinking of soaking the entire bottom end in MEK to see if it will dissolve the loctite. The nut has come of some... There is probably 1/8 or so of movement, but now the castle nut inside the tub is just spinning.

My last answer is to cut the tube and slide it off the slider. Then I can hold onto the compression tube and back the nut out. A lower tube is available on ebay for $69.....

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I put my fork spring in the fork, closed the top cap and then compressed the fork (a lot) to put pressure on the top of the inner assembly. I then used a rattle gun to take it off. Just be careful to not damage the top cap of the fork.

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