bleeding forks

I was reading in my manual that I need to bleed the forks after I have changed the fork oil. Do I bleed them like a car: pump a few times, let up, open bleed screw, push down slow until all air is gone? Do I need to get all the air out of the forks? Thank you for the advice.


Sounds like a bad translation from Japanese to English.

They are referring to the oil that needs to be circulated in the cartridge tube before you reassemble the forks.

When you are refilling the forks, you need to move the damping rod up and down, (springs out of course). Add oil as it sucks it up. When you get full resistance from top to bottom, you have bled the air out. Top off and set oil level and you're all set.

Lastly, there is also an air bleed screw that relieves any air trapped in the forks. Once you have them fully assembled and fully extended, undo that little screw on the top cap, and then replace. This just equalizes inside and outside air.

Hope that helps.


DaveJ: I want to learn more about working on my suspension and do my own oil and seal changes. I feel very comfortable doing my own engine work, but have felt intimidated with the fork internals. I just don't have the experience....yet...of how the whole thing works. Over the last few months, I have accumulated suspension tools from Scott's and am now adequately equipped...tool service my forks. I've read the section in my service manual several times about disassembling and servicing the forks, but still feel less than confident about this. Any advice? What to watch out for? Do's?...Don'ts? Anyone else who would like to contribute would be appreciated as well.

Hey Boit,

Well, as with engines, there's the general service stuff, and then there's the modification side of things.

You’ll have to let me know how far you want to get into it, or if there is something about how the front end performs that you don’t like.

I can tell you, however, that there is much to be done with these forks. With some money and a lot of time, you can make these things really smooth. That almost always results in faster times and less rider fatigue.

The point I’m at now is the ability to build the nirvana fork, I just can’t make it last. It’s like building an engine that has 5 or 10 more horsepower, but the top end needs replacing every 10 hours.

I’m trying some new things this week to increase reliability. If they work, I’ll give you the whole run down on what to do.


Hey Boit,

Tearin' into the forks is rather easy compared to engine work! I have taken apart many top-ends and rebuilt engines, etc! I also have put new fork seals/new fluid/internals about 15-20 times (for friends and my bikes)! The forks are really straight forward, make sure you have a couple clean white towels and lay them on the garage floor (because forks are messy and the oil stains everything) then follow the manuals instructions and take them apart slowly! The only "challenge" I have had was getting the "plug" out of the bottom of the fork. I used a 240ft/lb torque air impact and that will get it out quick. They sell a special tool to hold the assembly in place so you can remove it with hand tools but I have used the air impact method and it works great.

The other thing that is a "poor mans" trick whenever installing new forks seals is: to use your old oil seal as a seal driver! This works just as good as an "expensive" seal driver just take your time! I'm sure you know to put a plastic bag over the sharp edges of the inner fork tube when installing seals (so you dont cut the seal lip)!

Since I am just a kid I have a limited amount of funds! I have done many repairs/etc I have learned many things and now enjoy working on my bike almost as much as I enjoy riding! So I believe "necessity is the mother of invention"

Check out this site: it has some good info (the fork is not the same as the YZ but it is similar)

Hopefully I didnt confuse you too much...



I get my kicks on a 2001' YZ426!

Friendswood, TX

[This message has been edited by motoman393 (edited 05-16-2001).]

Thanks for the info Davej. That clears it up. With any luck I will be roosting this weekend!!!

Thanks for the info and tips. That was exactly what I was looking for.

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