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Fork drain screw?

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I was thinking of replacing the fork oil, no seal rebuild or anything. What I found with a search here was stories about fairly laborious procedures, taking the forks off. I prefer not to do that if I can avoid it.

The shop manual for my 91 XR250L shows what appears to be a drain screw or bolt on the back of each fork, however the screw is not labeled in the diagram. That IS a drain screw, right? I checked, my forks have this screw.

Assuming it is, I just open it up, and the caps too, pump the oil out, put drain screw back in, and dump 550cc of oil in, right? (The manual specifies that amount.)

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Yes, the little bolt like looking plugs coming out the back side of the forks at the bottom are the drain plugs. Don't forget to take the top caps off the forks BEFORE you take the drain plug out. Don't loose the washers either, they're also the gaskets.

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Well, I went ahead before I saw your message (too damn impatient). Would have been better to wait, because I opened a fork drain before I took the cap off, and I didn't let the pressure off either. Talk about a stream of oil! 👍 More got on the floor and wheel and tire than in the pan.

It's like Will Rogers said, "There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

Seems like every time I work on forks, I end up with a mess for some reason.

Anyway I changed it... I suppose I should put a few pounds of pressure back in, although it seems to work OK without. Not sure really why forks are pressurized, as the older bikes I had were not like that. Does it add some adjustability to the spring rate, or make the seals work better? What pressure do folks like to use on these things?

I don't see a torque rating for the drain screws; maybe 7 ft-lb like so many fasteners this size?

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I peed on the fence too, that's how I knew about taking the caps off first. For pressure I recommend nothing. Put the bike on a stand so the front is hanging and zero it out. I've never ran any added pressure and I'm a heavy dude.

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I weigh a little under 200 lbs and in my XR250L I removed the upper spring and replace it with a PVC pipe per Rick "Ramz"s instructions. This basically shortens your fork spring and makes it stiffer, although I don't know what the spring rate is, it felt right though, very balanced with the new spring I ended up with in the rear.

I ran 6psi in my forks before I went to Race Tech Cartridge emulators. The air helped a bit on faster riding, so did the stiffer springs but neither completely prevented hydro locking inherent in damper rod forks, that's why I went with the RT Cartridge Emulators.

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