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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took out my forks to fix the little oil weeping by replacing the seals. Instructions on the Haynes manual, this site as well as several videos on YouTube have been incredibly helpful in aiding me through the way. However I have an inherent problem with my suspension.

In every instructions I have read and any photo essay put together on front fork disassembly, there is always a special tool you need to take out the dampening rod. The haynes manual shows the tool, the triumph delaer sells the tool, many have made a tool by attaching a 30mm nut at the end of a 14inch or longer metal rod.. However my dampening rod has no socket for a rod to hold on to.

I was able to get it out by applying a bit of downward pressure on the dampening rod while loosening the screw at the bottom of the forks but when I need to put it in, there is a specific torque I need to bolt it to - I am worried about how I will be able to hold the dampening rod in place without a socket on the head of the rod.

Please see the below photos - what appears to be completely round in my case (1st photo with the pavement background), is supposed to have a 30mm socket (2nd photo with the table background).

Is this normal? How do I get a grip on the dampening rod if the head is completely round?
 

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not to sure on it works on a thunderbird but,

on other bikes I have put the forks back together the did the final torquing of the damping rod bolt then. the forks spring springs and caps held the rode tight.

I took out my forks to fix the little oil weeping by replacing the seals. Instructions on the Haynes manual, this site as well as several videos on YouTube have been incredibly helpful in aiding me through the way. However I have an inherent problem with my suspension.

In every instructions I have read and any photo essay put together on front fork disassembly, there is always a special tool you need to take out the dampening rod. The haynes manual shows the tool, the triumph delaer sells the tool, many have made a tool by attaching a 30mm nut at the end of a 14inch or longer metal rod.. However my dampening rod has no socket for a rod to hold on to.

I was able to get it out by applying a bit of downward pressure on the dampening rod while loosening the screw at the bottom of the forks but when I need to put it in, there is a specific torque I need to bolt it to - I am worried about how I will be able to hold the dampening rod in place without a socket on the head of the rod.

Please see the below photos - what appears to be completely round in my case (1st photo with the pavement background), is supposed to have a 30mm socket (2nd photo with the table background).

Is this normal? How do I get a grip on the dampening rod if the head is completely round?
 

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not to sure on it works on a thunderbird but,

on other bikes I have put the forks back together the did the final torquing of the damping rod bolt then. the forks spring springs and caps held the rode tight.
That's exactly how I did it on my Tbird. It's reckoned there's enough pressure from the springs to hold the damper rod for both removing & torquing up on reassembly. Worked fine for me, tho' I had to use an impact drive to get the bolt loose initially with a torx bit hammered into the allen bolt head as it had rounded a bit from my earlier efforts.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys -

but arent you supposed to screw the bottom retainer bolt BEFORE you put in the oil and before the springs go in?

My understanding of assembly in order is:
- install top bushing on the stanchion
- install bottom bushing on the stanchion
- put the stanchio inside the lower fork
- drive the oil seals, retaining clip, dust seal squarely into place
- insert the dampening rod seat
- insert the dampening rod
- screw in the dampening rod from the bottom
- fill up with oil (measure level)
- put in the washers, spacers, spring
- close off the top of the fork

...

Should I change the order and put in the washers, spring, spacer, top cap, damper rod seat and damper rod temporarily BEFORE I fill it with oil so that I can get the downward force needed to screw in the bottom damper rod holding bolt?
 

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Thanks guys -

but arent you supposed to screw the bottom retainer bolt BEFORE you put in the oil and before the springs go in?

My understanding of assembly in order is:
- install top bushing on the stanchion
- install bottom bushing on the stanchion
- put the stanchio inside the lower fork
- drive the oil seals, retaining clip, dust seal squarely into place
- insert the dampening rod seat
- insert the dampening rod
- screw in the dampening rod from the bottom
- fill up with oil (measure level)
- put in the washers, spacers, spring
- close off the top of the fork

...

Should I change the order and put in the washers, spring, spacer, top cap, damper rod seat and damper rod temporarily BEFORE I fill it with oil so that I can get the downward force needed to screw in the bottom damper rod holding bolt?
I haven't done the seals, so I'm assuming that part is right (I was drilling the damper rods for RaceTech emulators), but, yes, bolt up without oil, torque up damper rod bolt, then remove caps again & do the oil.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Excellent!

THanks MIke - I will do...

How are the emulators working for you? I wonder if I can fit those into my Legend forks? It would be nice to have some type of adjusting ability.
 

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Is this normal? How do I get a grip on the dampening rod if the head is completely round?
The tool goes inside the head of the damper rod, not outside of it. The inside of the head is shaped like a socket.
 

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Excellent!

THanks MIke - I will do...

How are the emulators working for you? I wonder if I can fit those into my Legend forks? It would be nice to have some type of adjusting ability.
I think they are very good. It's been a slow process playing with them & learning, sharpened up immeasurably by the rear now totally sorted with a ZX9R shock. And the challenge of getting the suspension toward modern standards here in Ireland can't be understated - we must have the worst (rural) roads of any 'developed' country.

I'm getting close, tho', to a decent front end. It wouldn't be possible without the adjustability of the emulators & the better linearity they provide too for compression damping. Little fear of (but still respect for) bumpy bends now.

At the moment I've Hagon prog springs, 100mm spacers/preload, emulators set to 1 3/4 turns & Motul 10W oil. Rebound damping is now the issue, compliance & compression damping are good, tho' it takes a surprising length of time for the fork oil to get to an equilibrium temperature, so a little harsh when cold.

As soon as I can get some Silkolene PRO RSF 10W, actually about 40% more Cst (Viscosity) than the Motul, I'll be trying that & backing off the emulators to suit, mbe to 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 turns. (Raising rebound, keeping compression the same.)
The Silkolene also has a VI (Vicosity Index -change of viscosity vs temperature) twice that of the Motul.

The Legend forks are the same as the Tbird's, so the same emulators will fit your bike. (My bike is mostly Legend, but the forks were swapped from my old Tbird.)

Mike
 

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The tool goes inside the head of the damper rod, not outside of it. The inside of the head is shaped like a socket.
Yes, but as per his picture, his isn't - looks like a production change to the internals
 

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I have never seen a damper rod that was smooth both inside and out like the one pictured. If it is any help, I have used a length of broom handle, with the end ground or filed to a taper, to remove many damper rods. Simply remove the cap and spring, collapse the fork, stand the 2 or 3 foot length of broom handle on end on the ground, then slide the inverted fork down onto the wood handle and bounce the whole thing on the ground a bit to wedge the tapered handle into the end of the damper rod. Use an impact wrench to loosen the damper rod bolt.
Reassembly usually does not require holding the damper rod, but if it does, the same broom stick method can usually be used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have never seen a damper rod that was smooth both inside and out like the one pictured. If it is any help, I have used a length of broom handle, with the end ground or filed to a taper, to remove many damper rods. Simply remove the cap and spring, collapse the fork, stand the 2 or 3 foot length of broom handle on end on the ground, then slide the inverted fork down onto the wood handle and bounce the whole thing on the ground a bit to wedge the tapered handle into the end of the damper rod. Use an impact wrench to loosen the damper rod bolt.
Reassembly usually does not require holding the damper rod, but if it does, the same broom stick method can usually be used.
That is a great tip :) What I ended up doing it to wedge my breaker bar in there, a little bit nicking on the inside of the damper rod but I was able to get enough friction to grip it in place and take out the damper rod screw from the bottom.

Thanks!. :)
 

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I have never seen a damper rod that was smooth both inside and out like the one pictured. If it is any help, I have used a length of broom handle, with the end ground or filed to a taper, to remove many damper rods. Simply remove the cap and spring, collapse the fork, stand the 2 or 3 foot length of broom handle on end on the ground, then slide the inverted fork down onto the wood handle and bounce the whole thing on the ground a bit to wedge the tapered handle into the end of the damper rod. Use an impact wrench to loosen the damper rod bolt.
Reassembly usually does not require holding the damper rod, but if it does, the same broom stick method can usually be used.
Dang - I thought I invented that shade-tree way of doing it uniquely! :D And yes it works!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was able to get the damper rod bolted into place simply by inserting the spring in and compressing it a little bit. Applying a drop of threadlocker should ensure that the bolt will stay in place..

But the BIG problem is getting the oil seal seated properly!.

I got a 1 3/4 inch tube to drive the upper bushing and the washer into place but the oil seal does not want to go anywhere. I have lubed it, I have encouraged it, I have told her stories about how much fun we will have riding around this summer, when all else failed, I banged the living daylights out of it - no luck :(

I am even thinking that maybe I can grind the lower outside lip? Maybe I got the wrong size seal? I dunno :confused::confused:

any tips on easing the seal in place would be greatly appreciated as I spent a good two hours at the garage last nite with no success!..
 

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I usually have to make a custom driver of some sort. Some folks use PVC pipe, but I prefer to make a steel driver. I also use the old seal (if it is still intact) to lay on top of the new seal until I get the new one started. You will often find that if you sand down the very slight bevel on the top edge of the seal well, it will help a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I usually have to make a custom driver of some sort. Some folks use PVC pipe, but I prefer to make a steel driver. I also use the old seal (if it is still intact) to lay on top of the new seal until I get the new one started. You will often find that if you sand down the very slight bevel on the top edge of the seal well, it will help a bit.
Hello Greg -

which one is the seal well? Is it the top part of the lower fork? The metal? Where the seal goes inside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have been trying to find the seal size for my bike (99 legend tt) which should by the way be same as the TB and the TBS I believe. I know that the fork is 43 mm and the lower fork tube seems to be 53mm when measured by a micrometer. But what are the exact directions of the seal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update: turns out the dealer ordered and sold me the wrong size seals. I found out that the seal required for my bike is:

43x54x11

but, there is another legend model which ihas a certain VIN series and it uses the

43x55x9

just wanted to contribute to the pool of knowledge :) the seal is in!..
 

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Thanks for that info! Unfortunately, most of today's dealers are relative youngsters and are unfamiliar with our bikes. I know that I stood and watched for a very long time as one of the dealers tried to look up a part for me, and he had a very difficult time navigating the Triumph dealers' site. The combination of no longer made, distributed in limited numbers, and dealer inexperience can make obtaining the correct parts a challenge. This is especially true whenever ordering something for the first time, as we don't usually know what we are looking at until we get it home and see if it fits:)
 

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Hello Greg -

which one is the seal well? Is it the top part of the lower fork? The metal? Where the seal goes inside?
Yes. Just make sure that the well is clean before you attempt to press the new seal into it. Now that you have the right seals, it should go a lot easier.
 
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