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Rebuilt my forks... Wow! But did a DUH!

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I went out this past Sunday to hop on the bike and go for a ride, only to find a puddle around the front tire and everything from the lower fork legs down coated in oil...:)

So instead of riding, I start wrenching. Off come the fork legs. I uncap and drain each one. The left leg has about 2 ounces of oil and four ounces of water in it. From the right one I got about two ounces of oil and a bunch of air... Lots of pretty black goo packed in the seals and in the bottoms of the forks too!

Anyhoo, after mucho quality time with a brush, a rag and a bucket of kerosene and a few trips to get brakes, seals and... a gallon of 10wt R&O hydraulic fluid (more on that in a minuet) I get everything cleaned up and reassembled. I also added another 1" in spacers (I had way too much sag).

Dang! What a difference! I didn't know a DR could feel so good on the road! I haven't really had it offroad yet, but I found a few whoops to take it over. Normally I would bottom out... nope, not now and I am so freaking happy! The bike will actually pretty easily loft the front going into second now too.

About the DUH, part... I installed the springs upside down, will that make any real difference?

About the R&O. I'm on a tight budget, buying the brakes and seals was about all I could do right now. Real fork oil was going to cost me around $40 for three small bottles. I did some research, read this, studied that and finally went to the local auto/ farm tractor parts house (old school guys) who suggested the R&O fluid. Turns out it has everything in it that fork oil has (rust and oxidation inhibitors, seal conditioners plus anti foaming agents), it's the proper weight and it was only $10 for a gallon. I works great so far.

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Knot -

> I installed the springs upside down, will that make any real difference?

Absolutely not. You done good.

Good info on fork oil, too. Thanks.

Rick

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Knothead, you might qualify as a "redneck" for the fork oil alternative. As a "redneck" I mean that in a good way. I'm always on the lookout for a low buck alternative for something. I took a Fieldsheer tankbag and modified it to make a hard tail case (low profile) for my bike. I even tried the ATV seat pad before I bought my Renazco seat. Keep us posted on how your forks perform through the summer.

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Is this the best (cheap) way of sorting out my suspension for the road?

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Is this the best (cheap) way of sorting out my suspension for the road?

He didn't upgrade them from what I can tell, basically just refurbishing to stock condition.

For "sorting it out" I would recommend at the very least getting the correct springs for your weight (stock is made for a 150lbs or so rider). If you can afford it the Racetech Gold Valve is supposed to improve things as well, but I wouldn't bother on a road bike.

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Is this the best (cheap) way of sorting out my suspension for the road?

Lukas is right. The correct springs would be the way to go, but I couldn't get new springs right now.

I am impressed with the difference in my forks now though, oil has much better damping properties than air/water! It would be work checking the levels in your forks, maybe go ahead and change the old oil out. If you're still not happy, then you're not out much money and can always opt for new springs. My bike would shimmy and shake, even through the turns... sweepers were scary due to the way the front seemed to wander. That's gone now, it feels planted and controllable.

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Coming from another Southerner, being called a redneck always is a good thing!

If you like pennytech, wait till I post pics of my rear rack... I used the side plates from an old 1.5 ton floor jack, but you'd really need to pay attention to know it. I'm not done with it yet, when I am I'll do a writeup. So far, including the topbox (an ActionPacker from Wal Mart) I have a grand total of $28 in it.

Actually, my bike is becoming a study in pennytech... My windsheild cost less than $5, $10 for LED turnsignals, $10 rear rack, $18 topbox, hydraulic fluid in the forks, home made Pellican mounts for side cases...

Knothead, you might qualify as a "redneck" for the fork oil alternative. As a "redneck" I mean that in a good way. I'm always on the lookout for a low buck alternative for something. I took a Fieldsheer tankbag and modified it to make a hard tail case (low profile) for my bike. I even tried the ATV seat pad before I bought my Renazco seat. Keep us posted on how your forks perform through the summer.

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