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'03 XR400 USD Conversion, process, pictures... parts used.

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I bought another XR400, a 2003... with 3200 miles :lol:.

I decided to upgrade it to USD forks, just like I did to my 2004 XR400 in "my garage", and then lost my job. So it's in process of being sold... however, I documented my process for the 'newbie' or to show how simple it is for the average joe with minimal power tools, experience or knowledge of bike mechanics. I'll also refer to other posts I've seen in the XR4 forum(s) and how other's did their USD swap. Lots of good knowledge on TT, and even better when people share! :thumbsup:

Here's some other links as well;

The Regulator (thread and post of his conversion); http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8302705&postcount=1

JohnnyAirtime (my 2004 XR400, and first conversion); http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9251502&postcount=51

Na-22-83 (from portugal) http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8864046&postcount=1

jmperu (poweder coated) http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7965683&postcount=11

(I have the stock XRsOnly valved and resprung forks, as well as triple clamps and front tire available for anyone interested - as well as stock XR400 fork springs/valves, speedo, fork boots, wheel spacers...etc --> PM me if interested, as it'll soon go on Ebay or Craigs)

FIRST...

The bike I started with, just after a wash;

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Edited by johnnyairtime

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Why would you put on a set of forks that don't work as well as the stock forks. Stock XR400 forks work quite well and much better offroad than USD forks. Are you going to be racing MX or SX ? I question why anyone would want to replace stock XR forks. Even Scott Summers went back to using Stock forks after he followed me on some trails at a ISDE Qualifier. Just what are you trying to accomplish ?

Just saying.........

Dwight

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To make it easy...

I bought a top and bottom bearing, spacers, and bearing seals... from Alex at All Balls. http://www.goallballs.com/Bearings_seals.asp?page=WBK

He's packaging the bearings up as a "kit" for when you call and explain your task. Very knowledgeable and customer service oriented.

Bearing kit part #99-3540-5 $80.00

Here's the bearings, and how they came (as well as how the spacers are used - 5mm on the bottom of the stem, and 5mm under top bearing race);

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Edited by johnnyairtime

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I also bought a set of forks off of Ebay... From a CRF-250X. $200.00

And a set of triple clamps, from also a CRF-250X. $60.00

And to make it even easier, found a complete front wheel off of Craigs List from a CRF-450R, with tire/tube, rotor, axle and spacers. $140

Here are the forks, triple clamps, and wheel.

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Next step, readying the lower triple clamp for proper fitment.

I ground off the lower triple clamp bump stops for clearance of the oil cooler.

Using a pneumatic tear-drop alum grinder (as pictured)

... another TT user used a hack-saw blade, and did a fantastic job (I'll see if I can find the link to the post)

Once ground down, I'll re-install the steering stem, with bearing seal, spacers, and lower bearing with my '12 ton press'. This can be done by the 'freezer' method, and how other TTers have described (if a press is not available or handy at the time) (I'll see about including a link for this as well)

I didn't do any final sanding on the lower triple once the bump stops were ground off. No need to, as it's mostly hidden under the oil cooler and behind any lighting or other frontal obstructions. On my '04 I spent an extra hour or more with a small sander. I don't think it was necessary other than peace of mind.

Here is the ground down lower triple clamp; before, during and after (with the tools used to do the job);

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Edited by johnnyairtime

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Next step, installed triple clamp assembly... ready for new bump stops.

I followed another TTers example of tapping the lower triple, and inserting a allen headed bolt with a nyloc nut as a locknut as the steering stop. It's worked great thus far, even though the lower triple isn't a solid alum. piece. Being careful to tap the triple clamp uses as much thread as possible.

Here's some example links;

The Regulator; http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8302705&postcount=1

JohnnyAirtime; http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9266151&postcount=70

Alex 400; http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9251563&postcount=52

.. and; http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8113566&postcount=16

jmperu (triples powdercoated) http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7965683&postcount=11

I used a 5/16" bolt on my '04, but am using a 1/4" on the '03. It was a bit easier to tap and get as much bite as possible.

BOLT USED; 1/4" x 20 thread x 1.5" long

Here's the installed triple clamps, steering stops, and nearly complete;

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Edited by johnnyairtime

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Why would you put on a set of forks that don't work as well as the stock forks. Stock XR400 forks work quite well and much better offroad than USD forks. Are you going to be racing MX or SX ? I question why anyone would want to replace stock XR forks. Even Scott Summers went back to using Stock forks after he followed me on some trails at a ISDE Qualifier. Just what are you trying to accomplish ?

Just saying.........

Dwight

every body knows usd forks look cooler duhh:smirk:

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Lastly, Once the triple clamp is successfully installed with a bump stop on each side, it's time to mount the forks, and remaining components.

In no time at all, once the major parts are complete... you'll be able to re-install most everything you'd need. I chose however to leave the stock odometer off the bike, and remove the upper clamp for the odo itself. As well, I remounted some of the stock items and had to buy new fork guards for the USD forks. All in all, it came out nice and will eventually be revalved by Precision Concepts Suspension... along with the back shock. Making this bike handle, and soak up the big stuff like my '04... or my Precision Concepts Revalved and Resprung CRF-450X. The XR seems to handle like a dream, and the bike laughs at anything you can put in it's path.

No more slowing down for the BIG G OUTS!!! Hit'em as fast as you can, or for as long as you can hold on!!

(I'll add more detail to the final install, as soon as I have some time)

The final pictures of it being done, and not much of an appearance change. Just a change in function, and what parts now work with the front end (no odo... since I didn't use a X wheel with odo spline)...etc;

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Edited by johnnyairtime
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Why would you put on a set of forks that don't work as well as the stock forks. Stock XR400 forks work quite well and much better offroad than USD forks. Are you going to be racing MX or SX ? I question why anyone would want to replace stock XR forks. Even Scott Summers went back to using Stock forks after he followed me on some trails at a ISDE Qualifier. Just what are you trying to accomplish ?

Just saying.........

Dwight

every body knows usd forks look cooler duhh:smirk:

... I'm not all about 'bling' or being the cool guy of the group, I could care less. I'm all about function first... if it looks cool, then it's a bonus!! But, if they work better for 'your' needs, then it's a given as to "why" I'm doing it, as well as many others... as you'll read, some like them... some don't;

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=801459

I'm 6'3" and 210, and very aggressive. The USD forks are much better for my needs (all desert, cross country, and dual purpose hard core).

They work better than the stockers, and even better once Precision Concepts gets a hold of them. Simply amazing :thumbsup: If Scott Summers like's them... so be it. I think "just because" he or someone with a name uses them, doesn't make them 'the only option' or the 'best option'. And it's not the intent of my post... to discuss which is better, or for whom it's better.

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I bought another XR400, a 2003... with 3200 miles :).

I decided to upgrade it to USD forks, just like I did to my 2004 XR400 in "my garage", and then lost my job. So it's in process of being sold... however, I documented my process for the 'newbie' or to show how simple it is for the average joe with minimal power tools, experience or knowledge of bike mechanics. I'll also refer to other posts I've seen in the XR4 forum(s) and how other's did their USD swap. Lots of good knowledge on TT, and even better when people share! :thumbsup:

Here's some other links as well;

The Regulator (thread and post of his conversion); http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8302705&postcount=1

JohnnyAirtime (my 2004 XR400, and first conversion); http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9251502&postcount=51

Na-22-83 (from portugal) http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=8864046&postcount=1

jmperu (poweder coated) http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7965683&postcount=11

(I have the stock XRsOnly valved and resprung forks, as well as triple clamps and front tire available for anyone interested - as well as stock XR400 fork springs/valves, speedo, fork boots, wheel spacers...etc --> PM me if interested, as it'll soon go on Ebay or Craigs)

FIRST...

The bike I started with, just after a wash;

sorry you lost your job man... but excellent work on rounding all of those posts up, looks good, I hope someone can follow this and do their own :lol:

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Just my opinion, do we really need to have a discussion on which is better, this thread is a write up on how to install USD forks onto a XR400..........lets leave it at that.

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[quote name='johnnyairtime;9374251I'm 6'3" and 210' date=' and very aggressive. The USD forks are much better for my needs (all desert, cross country, and dual purpose hard core).

I sincerely believe that if you had put half the effort into the stock forks you would have a very compliant and responsive set of forks for your needs. You obviously believe that USD forks are better without really knowing how good standard forks really are and how they are superior in offroad situations. ALL OFFROAD SITUATIONS. USD forks are only better on a MX track and that is debatable. BUT, If you like them that is all that really matters, doesn't it.

Just tell me what is it that you think that USD forks are superior at ? Just wondering.

:thumbsup:

Dwight

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Just my opinion, do we really need to have a discussion on which is better, this thread is a write up on how to install USD forks onto a XR400..........lets leave it at that.

sorry. my bad. it's a interesting subject. he did do a great right up.

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Nice to see a modern USD fork install. I'd keep my stockers over some first gen stuff but this looks interesting.

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Are you selling the one that you just put this front end on or the 04? I am sorry you lost your job man.

"this" one.... the '03, and it's already been spoken for. :thumbsup:

Just my opinion, do we really need to have a discussion on which is better, this thread is a write up on how to install USD forks onto a XR400..........lets leave it at that.

Agreed. And one reason I linked to Dwight's comment, with the thread that already discusses "which is most liked, or debated as 'better".

I sincerely believe that if you had put half the effort into the stock forks you would have a very compliant and responsive set of forks for your needs. You obviously believe that USD forks are better without really knowing how good standard forks really are and how they are superior in offroad situations. ALL OFFROAD SITUATIONS. USD forks are only better on a MX track and that is debatable. BUT, If you like them that is all that really matters, doesn't it.

Just tell me what is it that you think that USD forks are superior at ? Just wondering.

:lol:

Dwight

Stock forks... "compliant and responsive" yet flex monsters when pushed. Why use something that's mediocre in comparison, when I don't have to?! Why not use something that's already proven to be "better" (never did I say "superior" as you've put words in my mouth) as I have shown myself on my 2004 with USD forks?! How about you move your questions to this thread, and carry on all you'd like; http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=801459 :)

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Great write up JAT, I have follow your postings from baja, 650 forum. I am glad to see you are here as well. I found Dwights comments interesting on stock forks. I have many many miles on my 96 X4 and have done lots of work to it.

I have been debating going to USD's or just staying with the tuned stock forks. To hear Dwight post in his thoughts, now has me rethinking that I want to do with my forks. Seems that USD is not the only way to go. Had he not spoken up I would have missed the other side or the coin. Thanks for the other link. I hope Dwight will post again and back up his thinking. I se that there is something to be learned there.

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I seriously doubt that anyone here can feel fork flex in a set of XR400 forks. I can't. At least not enough to cause problems when riding, although they do flex some , that makes them more forgiving in rocks and roots and transmits less impact to the rider. If you want USD forks because they look cool then fine. As for the offroad teams using USD forks, they are trying to sell bikes and the bikes they are trying to sell come with USD forks. I do admit that USD forks have come a long way in the past few years but they also usually require more maintainance than standard forks. All forks flex. Even USD forks. The reason Standard forks are more compliant, with less stiction, is because where they flex. All forks flex at the lower triple clamp. USD forks flex the sliders there causing the tubes to hangup when you hit bumps. Standard forks flex the tubes there and don't interfer with the movement of the lower sliders thus making them more compliant.

Glad you like your USD forks and are happy with your swap.

Take care,

Dwight

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I seriously doubt that anyone here can feel fork flex in a set of XR400 forks.

This guy can. I then added a SRC fork brace and removed 6 of the 12 compression stack shims which did help. Mind you the forks were sprung to my weight prior to messing with them. I then had to have a project after my son passed away to take my mind off things and ordered parts to convert to USD. Long story short it was night and day different between my modified stock forks and the 2000 CR125 with race tech gold valve forks I added.

To each their own, you don't see any folks adding stock XR forks to any MX bikes for trail riding. I know that every time someone posts a subject like this about adding USD forks to an XR there are a few people that have to dog the mod. Out of everyone I have seen do this mod, I can only think of one person who switched back to stock. The only draw back to this mod is the bike does not have as tight of turning..................but I dont think anyone has really complained about that.

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This guy can. I then added a SRC fork brace and removed 6 of the 12 compression stack shims which did help. Mind you the forks were sprung to my weight prior to messing with them. I then had to have a project after my son passed away to take my mind off things and ordered parts to convert to USD. Long story short it was night and day different between my modified stock forks and the 2000 CR125 with race tech gold valve forks I added.

To each their own, you don't see any folks adding stock XR forks to any MX bikes for trail riding. I know that every time someone posts a subject like this about adding USD forks to an XR there are a few people that have to dog the mod. Out of everyone I have seen do this mod, I can only think of one person who switched back to stock. The only draw back to this mod is the bike does not have as tight of turning..................but I dont think anyone has really complained about that.

Glad you are a better rider than I am. I think the revalve probably helped far more than the fork brace. Seriously , I doubt that you can feel fork flex on any fork bigger than 40mm. :thumbsup:

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