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How do you change the front fork oil?


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#1 plug

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 08:25 pm

Help!

I am stumped and can't find my Haynes manual. I took my front forks of recently to change the oil seal and replenish the oil that leaked out through the old damaged one.

However, I managed to get the seal off after a frustrating few hours, but now find myself stumped as to how to actually empty out and refill the fork oil. What do I have to do to accomplish this. i dont want to start undoping bolts I don't need to... So close but yet so far! blink.gif

It's a 1998 TDM 850 by the way. Any instructional advice most welcome and appreciated!

Cheers! smile.gif

#2 dandywarhol

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 10:31 pm

QUOTE(plug @ Thu 25th May 2006, 09:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Help!

I am stumped and can't find my Haynes manual. I took my front forks of recently to change the oil seal and replenish the oil that leaked out through the old damaged one.

However, I managed to get the seal off after a frustrating few hours, but now find myself stumped as to how to actually empty out and refill the fork oil. What do I have to do to accomplish this. i dont want to start undoping bolts I don't need to... So close but yet so far! blink.gif

It's a 1998 TDM 850 by the way. Any instructional advice most welcome and appreciated!

Cheers! smile.gif

Turn the fork leg upside down Plug and pump it out

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#3 plug

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:11 am

Is there nothoing else to remove? The only things I've removed from the fork is the dust seal, then circlip, then oil seal, and now the thin washer. Looking down into the fork it look pretty solid. for the oil to come out it has to get through the tiniest of gaps. Is that what I should expect to see? Anf illing it back up looks as though that will take a long time for the oil to seep back through the gap. Is that correct. How do i measure that I have the correct amount back in, or do i have to measure that before hand? In the mean time I'll try turning it upside down and pumping it out, but just want to double check that I'm not way off track in my thinking. dry.gif

Cheers! smile.gif

#4 SteveGlover

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 09:52 am

Hi plug
What I can't understand is how you've managed to remove the fork oil seal without first draining the oil, and without removing the spacer and spring. Unless you've prised it out with a bent screwdriver? Maybe you could post a picture to show us what you're doing.

I'll have a blind stab in the dark here: you say you've removed the dust seal, the circlip, the oil seal and the thin washer, and you're now trying to get oil out through the tiniest of gaps between the fork tube and slider. Is this right?

After all, you don't mention anything about removing the cap bolt, spacer or spring.

I think you could be way of track in your thinking.

Edited by SteveGlover, 26 May 2006 - 09:53 am.


#5 plug

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 04:49 pm

Hi Steve,

Yes, That's exactly what I did. Prised everything off! Found a couple of posts on the old web site and thats how they said to change the oil seal, and then the discussion went onto changing the oil, as though thats alll there was to it... But as I've found, It's not that simple. I can't see how to get the oil out. Whats the other alternative... the one you have kind of mentioned. It sounds a bit more methodical and probably makes more sense. Please explain. blink.gif

Cheers!

#6 SteveGlover

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 06:32 pm

I'll give it a go. I've done this on a TDM900, but not on an 850 so some of the details may be slightly different. I've also checked the Haynes manual, but this is well known as the "Haynes book of Lies", ie its not always correct.

I'm assuming you've got the forks off the bike.
You will need just over 1L of fork oil, so you'll probably have to buy 1.5L. The standard oil is 10W, buy some good stuff like Castrol Synthetic.
You'll also need a ruler.

1. Slacken off the preload adjuster, ie fully out.

2. Undo and take off the cap bolt - the big nut at the top of the fork tube. The damper adjuster rod (thin rod) comes off at the same time.

3. Remove whatever washers and spacers you find, followed by the spring. I think the 850 just has a spring seat (like a big washer) and the spring. Lay them out on clean newspaper so you know what goes where, and to keep them clean.

4. To drain the oil tip the forks upside down and a lot of the oil will drain out. Pump the forks 10-20 times to get as much oil out as possible. If possible, leave them for an hour or so, upside down, to drain.

5. Before you go any further look at the shape of the damper adjuster rod thats connected to the cap bolt. On the 900 its "D" shaped. Now compress the forks and look inside the fork tube. Deep down is the damper rod, with a similar "D" shape hole in the middle. When you come to reassemble the forks the adjuster rod has to slot into this hole. Mark on the outside of the fork slider the position of the flat part of the "D" so you've got an idea how to align them.

6. Pour about 400ml of oil into the fork, and then pump it up and down 10 times so you get oil past the damper.

7. Compress the fork tube fully, and slowly pour in more oil. Use the ruler to measure the distance between the top of the oil level, and the top of the fork. When you get to 130mm stop. Pump the fork a few more times - the oil level may drop so you'll have to add a little more to bring it up to 130mm (with the fork fully compressed). You will find bubbles in the oil, in an ideal world you would let them disappear before doing the final measurement.

8. Extend the fork tube fully, then put in the spring and spring seat (+any washers etc). If the spring has somes coils closer wound at one end (I don't think the 850 has this) then these go at the top.

9. Take the cap bolt and adjuster rod. You're now going to refit the cap bolt, but to do this you've got to align the adjuster rod into the damper rod. Try to poke the adjuster rod into the hole in the damper rod (you can't see it now cos its covered in oil). It can be tricky but you've got to get this right. Try turning the damping adjustment screw - does it feel right, or is it too loose? If its too loose then you haven't got the rod into the hole so try again.

10. Screw on the cap bolt. This can be tricky. I usually hold the slider (lower part of the forks) in a vice, fully extend the forks, and use a large socket/rachet to push down on the cap bolt against the spring pressure until you can tighten it. Correct torque setting is 24Nm (not especially tight for such a big nut).

#7 plug

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 07:01 pm

Steve,

This sounds good! Just what I think I needed. Thanks a million. smile.gif I'll have a go over the long weekend and let you know how I get on.

Cheers.

PS. Have a great bank holiday weekend. good.gif

#8 SteveGlover

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 09:18 pm

Thanks. Good luck with it.

#9 tdm850rider

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 11:43 pm

Oh for Pete's sake... it's really simple.

Just hold the bike upside down and shake it!

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#10 wicklamulla

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 11:45 pm

QUOTE(tdm850rider @ Sat 27th May 2006, 12:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh for Pete's sake... it's really simple.

Just hold the bike upside down and shake it!

help.gif




whose this Pete guy, ????

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#11 dandywarhol

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 11:51 pm

Good write up steve good.gif

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#12 aytcat

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 11:54 pm

Here is a link to new pair of TDM 850 front fork kit
http://www.lm-spares..._Fork_Kits.html

#13 plug

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:30 pm

Hi Steve,

What can I say... those instructions were spot on! I followed them just as you said and in a couple hours (I left the forks to drain for a while) my fork was sorted and the bike was back in one piece. Cheers! You're a life saver. I should be able to take it out for a quick spin tomorrow to check it out, and then on Tueasday for that dreaded MOT test, finally! smile.gif

Thanks again. I really was in a little bit of a pickle there, but sorted now thatnk to your most excellent help! blink.gif

A+++

Cheers!

#14 SteveGlover

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:45 pm

Thanks.
I see that we've got ourselves put into the Depository. Fame at last!

#15 plug

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 10:37 pm

Just an update... Took the bike in for MOT today and wouldn't you know it... It passed - no problems! Thanks again everyone! yahoo.gif

#16 SteveGlover

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 08:18 am

Just for completeness, here's the fork oil levels for the various models of TDM's:

Model, Year, Volume, Level
TDM850, 91-95, 395cc, 151mm
TDM850, 96-on, 515cc, 130mm
TDM900, 02-03, 507cc, 133mm
TDM900, 04-??, 545cc, 127mm

#17 dandywarhol

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 08:22 am

QUOTE(SteveGlover @ Sat 3rd Jun 2006, 09:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just for completeness, here's the fork oil levels for the various models of TDM's:

Model, Year, Volume, Level
TDM850, 91-95, 395cc, 151mm
TDM850, 96-on, 515cc, 130mm
TDM900, 02-03, 507cc, 133mm
TDM900, 04-??, 545cc, 127mm

Ahhhah, thanks Steve....I wonder what they've done to the later 9s and if the fork action is any better cos it's really bad on the 02/03 models................I found that the rebound hole hadn't been punched through properly at the Factory on mine when I was converting it - phoned Yamaha UK to let them know about it in case there was a batch of them - guy at the end of the phone in the Technical Dept. was barely interested blink.gif

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#18 SteveGlover

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 08:48 am

QUOTE(dandywarhol @ Sat 3rd Jun 2006, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ahhhah, thanks Steve....I wonder what they've done to the later 9s and if the fork action is any better cos it's really bad on the 02/03 models................I found that the rebound hole hadn't been punched through properly at the Factory on mine when I was converting it - phoned Yamaha UK to let them know about it in case there was a batch of them - guy at the end of the phone in the Technical Dept. was barely interested blink.gif

They made a number of changes to the forks on the 04 model: softer spring, longer spring, shorter spacer, more oil. Softer, longer springs seems to suggest a softer ride. I don't know if they changed the damper.

#19 dapleb

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 09:48 am

A clever way of getting the exact oil level was mentioned in one of the previous threads on this:

Use a piece of tube and syringe (or ideally one of those spray gun nozzles with attached tube):

Mark the tube to the required depth.
Slightly Overfill fork oil.
Insert tube into the forks to the mark you have made.
Pump or Pull to remove excess oil.
Level will be to exact measurement.
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#20 dapleb

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Posted 03 June 2006 - 09:59 am

QUOTE(dandywarhol @ Sat 3rd Jun 2006, 09:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ahhhah, thanks Steve....I wonder what they've done to the later 9s and if the fork action is any better cos it's really bad on the 02/03 models


Check out crazy French man JBX's 900 fork spec page: http://jbx9.free.fr/...ge=FORK&lang=en
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