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Premium Member
2,522 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From some recent posts, it appears some people are interested in changing their own fork oil and seals. I've detailed the process below and linked to an older thread that shows you how to make the proper tools for a full rebuild. This process is the same for all TT600, S4, and Daytona 600/650s. Remove fairings as needed. The following direction come partially from the service manual but also include many steps from my own experience that the manual conveniently decides to leave out.:rolleyes:

To change the oil seals, you will need to fully dismantle the forks which requires two special tools: a combo square wrench that holds the damper assembly and also retrieves the damper rod and a seal driver. Both can be purchased for insane prices through Triumph, or you can make your own by following this thread: Homemade Fork Tools

If you intend to change only the oil and not the seal (I recommend changing the seal too in most cases), you won't need these special tools.

*I suggest wearing clothes you don't mind getting oily and stinky, as the old oil is pungent as a sewer and seeps into everything. Wear surgical gloves if it's your preference, but be ready with a good hand cleaner and wreaking hands if you don't. To promote safety, I recommend wearing safety glasses when fooling with the oil and solvent.

Aside from the proper wrenches/sockets, you'll need:
*1 quart of 10 weight fork oil per spec. You can adjust weight for fork performance, but I recommend sticking to 10W.
*2 New oil seals through Triumph most likely (not needed for oil change alone).
*1 or 2 cans of compressed break or carb-choke cleaner.
*A handful of lint-free rags.
*A drain pan of preferable larger size.
*A VERY clean assembling area, like a workbench covered in fresh cardboard or the like.

Dismantling for both oil only and for seal change:
1. Check that the fork compression and rebound damping are set at the same level by counting the clicks out until you feel the slightest resistance (topped out). Write down these numbers as "clicks in." Now turn the adjusters back in the proper amount of "clicks." Make sure both forks share the same settings. Check to see that the preload setting are the same on both forks and note the bars visible.
2. Break loose the fork tube caps by way of the large hex head.
3. Break loose the axle, first loosening the four pinch bolts.
4. Jack up the motorcycle by the chassis by way of many options (a strap hung from ceiling joists, jackstands on frame sliders, triple tree motorcycle jack, etc.). You must get the front high enough to slide out the fork through the bottom so that it clears the bottom triple clamp!
5. Remove in order the calipers, the wheel, and the fender, being very careful with the speedometer sensor on the left of the wheel (D6s don't have a wheel sensor). Tie up the calipers to the chassis out of the way (using rope, wire, a bungee cord, etc.) so that they do not hang by their own weight.
6. Back off the following machine screws per fork: 1 clipon-to-top-triple-clamp small bolt; 1 clipon-to-fork pinch bolt; 1 top-triple-clamp pinch bolt; 1 bottom-triple-clamp pinch bolt. Completely remove the bottom-triple-clamp pinch bolt and set aside.
7. While holding the fork so that it doesn't slip down and contact the ground, take a small cold chisel or large flat screwdriver and wedge it into the bottom triple clamp vertical gap to lightly spread the clamp. Be very careful not to ram the tool into the inner fork tube! The fork should now easily fall out by way of gravity, but a little twisting and pulling down action might be needed to help it along. Remove the fork assembly.
8. With the fork upright, remove the plastic seal guard/shroud, and then remove the fork cap. There will be slight spring pressure, so push down on the cap as you turn to protect from marring the aluminum threads, and watch for flying oil. If you don't compress the cap while doing this, you can destroy the aluminum threads. The cap will not come off completely, but it will rise up.
9. Compress the spring with your fingers and remove the slotted washer.
10. Holding the preload adjuster with a very well-fitting wrench, loosen the damper rod lock nut and then the cap. If you use a loose wrench, you can easily round off or chip the flat sides of the adjuster.
11. Remove: the damper tube inside the damper rod, the damper rod lock nut, and the fork spring.
12. Invert the fork assembly and drain the oil into a pan. Work the inner tube in and out to dispel all oil.


13. Right the fork assembly and insert the square specialty tool so that it settles into the damper rod indentation. While holding the specialty tool with a wrench, remove the machine screw and copper washer from the bottom of the outer fork tube.
14. Use the threaded end of the special tool to catch the damper rod threads, remove the damper assembly and set aside.
15. Remove the dust boot from the outer fork tube and the c-clip underneath.
16. Holding firmly both the outer and inner tubes, sharply pull up on the inner tube. You will feel resistance at full extension and might need to do this move several times. Eventually, the inner and outer tube will separate with the oil seal, large washer, and upper and lower bearings staying with the inner tube. During this move, do not invert the outer tube!
17. Taking the outer tube alone, very gently tip it only as far sideways as needed to drain any oil. Take a flashlight and look down the tube. Gently tip it and watch for the oil lock assembly at the bottom which will slid toward you. Try not to let it roll or come apart. Note how the assembly is positioned/assembled because you can accidentally invert the outer ring if you're not careful upon assembly, and I don't have a picture of the proper way it goes together to explain it here (never once mentioned or pictured in the service manual). Remove the oil lock and make a drawing of the outer ring's positioning.
18. Note the direction (as in what side is up and down) of the old oil seal! You can install the new seal upside down by mistake which will cause leaking. Remove the oil seal from the inner tube and compare it's OD and ID along with sealing/wiping edges to the new seals to verify you have the proper new seals. Discard the old seal. Remove the large washer and upper bearing and set aside.
19. Clean all the parts with brake clean or carb-choke cleaner and set on a clean assembly surface. A solvent tank works very well here too, but make sure the solvent is clean of any debris/grit, possibly blowing off everything with brake clean when done. If you have compressed air, blow off the parts. If not, let them air dry a bit on the table. Note: carb-choke cleaner leaves an oily residue which is normal and okay while brake clean fully dries. Clean off any debris with a lint-free cloth, and now look to be very clean during assembly.

*Inspect all parts for wear or damage and replace parts if necessary.
20. Lightly lubricate with fresh oil and install the upper bearing onto the inner tube. Lubricate the bottom bearing too.
21. Install the oil lock into the bottom of the outer tube, making sure to use the proper outer ring position as discussed in step 17.
22. Insert the inner tube into the outer tube being careful not to ram the tubes together by dropping which will damage the oil lock.
23. Install the large oil seal washer over the inner tube down onto the outer tube.
24. Lightly lubricate the ID and OD of the new oil seal with fresh oil. Slide the seal over the clean inner tube and seat it on the outer tube. Make sure to install the seal right side down!
25. Carefully slide down the homemade seal driver until it rests on the seal. *If you are concerned about marring the inner tube finish, rap the tube in blue masking tape (don't use anything that will leave residue). Take a ball-peen hammer or other suitable tool and gently wrap on the top of the seal driver, moving from one side to the other and around the seal to slowly and evenly seat the seal. Do not let the seal cock to one side and continue hammering away! Watch that the driver remains in contact with the seal's outer edge (where the metal is) and that you don't hammer the inner tube. Once the seal is completely seated (you'll hear and feel it), install the c-clip and dust boot.
26. Insert the cleaned damper assembly by way of the special tool and make sure it seats at the bottom. Engage the damper assembly with the square end of the special tool. Fit the bottom machine screw with either the old copper washer (if good) or a new washer. Holding the special tool, torque the machine screw to 43 Nm.
27. Insert the damper tube into the damper rod.

28 *FOR OIL CHANGE STEP Only: Because you will not disassemble the forks, I recommend not using solvents to flush out the forks before refilling with fresh oil. My reasoning is that solvent can and probably will get trapped in the damper rod assembly and oil lock located in the bottom of the outer tube, and you won't have the ability to blow out these parts. That solvent will then mix with the fresh oil. Instead of using solvent, I recommend pouring a little fresh fork oil into the fork, swirling it around, and draining it until the fluid runs clear. If you do flush with fresh oil, note that you should pick up an extra quart of fork oil. If you don't flush the fork at all, you risk allowing heavier metallic debris to remain in the bottom of the fork that will dirty the fresh oil.


Holding the fork perfectly upright (don't get out the level), fill the fork with fresh oil until there is a 132mm gap between the oil and the top of the inner tube. Slowly expand and compress the inner tube six to seven times until the small air bubbles stop rising. Thread the cleaned special tool onto the damper rod and extend and compress the rod as well to dissipate any air. Remove the specialty tool and top off oil to 132mm gap. *For those who have only done an oil change and don't have this specialty tool, you will need to find a clean way of retrieving the damper rod (long needle-nose pliers? Flex claws? I don't recommend a magnet wand because of metal flakes getting into the oil.)
29. Install the fork spring. Going through the spring center, thread on the specialty tool again, raise the damper rod, hold it with one hand, and remove the special tool.
30. Thread on the lock nut and set it to where 11mm of thread are showing above the nut (where the cap threads on).
31. Slip on the slotted washer and thread on the cap. Ensuring that the lock nut does not move from the 11mm position, tighten the nut against the cap 15 Nm. Personally, I tighten it snug by feel because 15 Nm isn't much; just don't tighten the crud out of it to strip the threads.
32. Lubricate the cap threads and o-ring. While compressing the spring, tighten the cap into the inner tube as far as you can by hand. You will torque it later. Install the plastic seal guards.
33. Install the forks into the triple clamp in reverse order of disassembling. Don't forget to spread the bottom triple clamp a little to ease the process, and watch the clipons because they can rotate to block the fork tubes. Tighten the clipon down onto the top triple clamp BEFORE tightening any other fork-related pinch bolts so that you can slide the fork into the clipon to the proper level. This spec level is where the top of the inner tube is level with the top of the clipon, so you should only see the cap thickness sticking up. (Note that this is spec and can be modified for performance or lowering reasons, but that's another discussion.)
34. When installing the wheel, coat the axle in a thin layer of axle grease, making sure to grease the threads. Also, clean the grease from the speedometer sensor housing and magnet. Remove and inspect the magnet ring for cracks which are common and lead to failure. Grease the sensor assembly with fresh wheel bearing grease. Clean the axle spacers and wheel bearing grease seals. This is a good time to replace any damaged or worn seals. Grease the ID of the seals and the edges of spacers where they contact other aluminum. Before installing any of the stainless steel bolts on the front suspension (pinch bolts, caliper bolts, and fender bolts), I recommend applying a small dab of anti-seize compound to ward off aluminum corrosion since the front end takes a beating from water.

Tighten fasteners in order as follows:
Clipon-to-top-triple-clamp small bolt: 11 Nm
Bottom and Top triple clamp pinch bolts: 20 Nm
Clipon-to-Fork pinch bolt: 27 Nm
Fender bolts: 3 Nm
Axle: 65 Nm
Axle pinch bolts: 20 Nm
Caliper bolts: 40 Nm

*Note: These are factory spec ratings for brand new parts, but some aged fasteners and threaded bosses cannot withstand these ratings in my experience. The axle and caliper bolts should with no problem. If the pinch bolts or fender bolts continue to turn after torquing to spec, stop and either replace the bolt that is probably stretching or think about investigating to see if the aluminum threads are stripping.

35. After the forks are secured in the triples, torque the fork caps to 23 Nm. Don't forget this part!
36. Double check that the compression, rebound, and preload settings are where they were originally and are matching.
37. Let down the motorcycle off the jackstand device. Bounce the front suspension to ensure that it is functioning properly. Wipe off the inner tubes near the seals so you can keep track of any leakage, and get to riding! I'd take it easy for a little while to make sure you've done things properly and have everything good and tight.;) I hope this helps some.

4,146 Posts
Excellent guide.....unfortunately by the end of reading step 2 I think I decided to have someone else do it....

Premium Member
2,522 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone.

Bombfactory: I noticed you own an 02' CE, do these instructions also work on the 02" 955I ?
The Daytona and Speed Triple 955i forks have a slightly different process because of their different design. The 955i forks are actually easier to rebuild because they don't require a special damper rod tool. For the most part, yes, you can follow the same procedure. I've outlined below the modified steps to use for Daytona/S3 955i forks. Note that some directions like securing the clipon down on the top clamp will be reversed because the clipon 955i models secure to the bottom of the clamp, so I assume people will modify those steps as needed.

Needed Parts/Material Different from 600/650cc:
*2 quarts of 10W fork oil (larger capacity forks take over 1 pint per fork)
*2 oil seals (different seals from 600/650cc)
*Might need new oil lock and damper rod o-rings

Modified Procedure for Daytona/S3 955i Forks:
5. (addition) Before loosening any fork pinch bolts, crack loose the damper rod mounting bolt located in the very bottom of the outer fork tube. Once it is cracked open, close it finger tight to stop the oil from leaking out.
8. (modification) Remove the fork cap in the same manner, but the cap can be fully removed. Below the cap, there is a series of slotted washer, guide washers, and guide tube nonexistent on the 600/650cc forks. Note the order of these parts, and remove them. Remove the fork spring at this step also.
9, 10, & 11. (disregard)

For oil change only, skip to step 28; seal change continue from step 12:
13. (disregard)
14. (modification) Remove the damper rod mounting bolt in the bottom of the outer tube, and remove the damper assembly.
17. (modification) Disregard the gentle tipping and flashlight part for the oil lock. The 955i oil lock can be removed by taking a screwdriver or drift and pushing the lock out of place through the damper mounting bolt hole in the bottom of the outer tube. There is an o-ring that secures the oil lock in the outer tube, and it is recommended to change this o-ring if you remove the oil lock.
22a (added step) Once the inner tube is installed and before the oil seal can be installed, you must use a driver of some sort to gently tap the upper bearing into the outer tube. Finding a small piece of tubing that matches the bearing's diameter will work best here. Whatever you use, don't mar or contort the bearing edges, as this will cause binding and uneven wear.
24. (modification) The homemade seal driver for the 600/650cc might work for the 955i, but check the OD of the 955i seal to make sure. If it doesn't, you'll need to find another diameter driver.
25. (modification) The 955i dust seal requires a little driving force to seat. You can either use a driver similar to that of the oil seal, or simply use a flat bar of some sort to span one side of the seal and gently tap it into place making sure to rotate evenly around the seal.
26. (modification) Before installing the damper rod, inspect and/or replace the o-ring at the top. Install the damper rod assembly and instal the mounting bolt finger tight so that no oil leaks. You will torque this later.
27. (disregard)

*Oil change pick up here, and seal change continue:
28. (modification) Disregard the special damper rod tool. Follow all other directions here, but fill the compressed fork to 78mm below the top of the inner tube. Note: if you are only doing an oil change, you should have enough fresh oil with 2 quarts to both flush and then fill the forks, so don't buy an extra quart (as in 3 total).
30. (disregard)
31. (replace) Disregard these directions and replace with: Install the spring with the closely-coiled section facing down, the guide washers and guide tube, and slotted washer in the order noted upon dismantling.
32. (modification) Before threading the cap onto the inner tube, thread the preload adjuster onto the damper rod until you reach the desired preload setting noted by the bard visible from your previous notes.
33a. (added step) Once the forks are secured in the triple clamps, tighten the damper rod mounting bolt to 35 Nm and the fork tube cap to 22 Nm.
34. (modification and clarification) All torque specs are the same except change the 955i fender to 6 Nm.
35. (disregard)

Complete directions from here.

There you have it to the Daytona/Speed Triple 955i crowd.:)

14 Posts
Scrambler forks

Thanks for your great post. I have a 2010 Scrambler and I live in Kigali, Rwanda. I was hit by a truck on a country road out here 4 months ago, and the bike has been sitting ever since, as I slowly accumulate the parts I've needed to replace the fork tubes and front wheel / disc.

I'm a novice, yet there aren't mechanics out here that know the bike, so I've got to do it myself. I'm getting close, but I have a few questions, and will likely have more.

I've got the fork sliders in, and I'm now trying to get the fork seal situated into the outer / lower (black) fork. There's loads of emphasis in your post on placing the seals right side up, and I'm cross referencing with the shop manual, which I've found has been useless at critical times. My notes tell me that the fork seal "right side up" is that which has the thin metal band right side up. I have photos I can send, and it might be better to send via email. The issue I'm having is that the seal is flush with the top of the lower black fork; using the specialty tool that I paid a fair bit for doesn't help me push it in so it is sunk below the top of the lower black fork. Tried with hammering the specialty part in position, for 10 mins or so, but to no avail. Not sure what I'm doing wrong here, other than to suspect I may have it in wrong or that I need to use more force, which seems a bit dicey.

Secondly, the other specialty part I had to buy for this repair - a long rod that I'm unclear what to use for. Is it somehow supposed to brace the damper rod so I can fully tighten the damper rod bolt?

Grateful for any advice you can provide. Thanks a lot in advance.


Super Moderator
8,491 Posts
Considering that a Scrambler is a very different bike from a TT600, you might be better off asking in the twins forum. I'm sure somebody there has taken apart Scrambler forks.

276 Posts
BF, tremendous write-up. I have a question though on my
2002 Daytona CE. I have my forks apart and draining in my kitchen and will be replacing seals and wipers. I don't understand the oil lock part and the need to remove it. As I look through the bottom hole I don't see anything. Also, do I need to do anything with the compression adjuster at the bottom of the fork leg?

thanks, Mark.

124 Posts
Anyone found a way to do this without Special Tool 3880090-T0301?

I've done complete fork rebuilds on a Ducati, two Aprilias, and a Suzuki (both conventional and inverted), and never needed a tool like this before.

Would anyone with this tool be willing to post pictures & measurements so we could come up with a way to fabricate a less expensive alternative?

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