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Old 09-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #1
shortbritches OP
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Front fork problem?

Had the front tire off the bike today and noticed that I can rock both fork tubes back and forth in the stanchions.It is not play in the steering head.Anybody got an ideas on this.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by shortbritches View Post
Had the front tire off the bike today and noticed that I can rock both fork tubes back and forth in the stanchions.It is not play in the steering head.Anybody got an ideas on this.
Sounds like it's time to replace the bushings.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:02 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by oso blanco View Post
sounds like it's time to replace the bushings.
+1.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:15 AM   #4
Snowy
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How much back and forth is "back and forth"?

I noticed the same thing with my set of Showa MX forks, and the suspension guy told me they have a lot of clearance in them. 5mm front to rear at the axle is normal for them, apparently. It has been on 3 different sets I've owned.

At full extension you have the minimum distance between the bushings, so you get maximum play. The F800 has more distance between the bushings than a Showa MX fork, but the principle is still the same. At full unloaded extension you'll see far worse movement than you'll see loaded under brakes.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by oso blanco View Post
sounds like it's time to replace the bushings.
+2
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Old 09-11-2012, 07:22 AM   #6
shortbritches OP
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Thanks fellas for the replies.

Snowy, after reading your reply this morning I went out and checked the play with the tubes up in the stanchions about an inch and the play is non-existance.At full extension with the wheel off the play was no more than 3 mm.Don't think I will worry about it for now.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
Snowy
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Yeah that sounds about normal.

They have to have a bit of play, and at full extension there's not much distance between the 2 bushes on each leg, so it amplifies the amount of play that's there.

I remember when I first noticed it on a new set of RMZ forks and straight away I thought I'd been done out of my money.

With 3 front end transplants and a number of front end rebuilds under my belt over the last few years, I look at the trail bike sitting there with oil weeping out of the forks and just shrug. Get the feelers, pop the dust seals out, scrape under the oil seals, throw it back together, check the oil level, top up as required and ride. I was always sceptical about using feelers to do this, until about 6 months back when I thought my trail bike forks needed a rebuild and I had nothing to lose. Scraped the muck out with feelers, hosed the seals out with degreaser as well, then changed the oil. Like new forks.

When it gets to the point that it's lost enough oil on a ride to be noticeable as far as damping performance goes, it's off to the suspension builder for a rebuild.

Don't sweat the small stuff. If there's not oil pissing out of it, it just needs a clean and top up. You'll wear out a few sets of seals for one set of bushes, if you do a lot of off road work. On road, it may be worth changing seals AND bushes at the same time. Maybe. It just depends on how often the oil was changed.
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