Rudy's GL1500 Photo
Fork Spring Tool
last revised April 19, 2007
Reference pages are
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This content was graciously
contributed by, and posted here with the permission of: exavid
I thought I'd post a few pictures of my recent fork seal job. Mainly
wanted to show how you can make a simple tool out of a couple pieces of
wood and some all thread. Similar to one shown by a Officer Keith Crowe
of Texas. I just modified the idea to be able to build a tool with
fewer parts and one that would keep the fork bolt under control and
square to prevent flying away or cross threading. I've rebuilt an 1100
fork with stock springs previously and was able to put the fork
back in by hand but the Progressives on my 1500 are a whole 'nother
job. The pressure was just too great to get the forks back together by
hand and even taking the fork bolt off with that much pressure was
scary so I built a tool to handle the job. First a picture of my 1100
and 1500 on the jacks in my shop. BTW the 1500 is sitting solidly and
safely on a Harbor Freight bike jack. The 1100 is on one much like the
Here's the fork tool ready to go.
This picture is the tool set up on the fork tube ready to remove the
This picture shows the fork bolt free of the tube and in control under
the pressure from the Progressive spring.
This last picture shows the spring tension completely released without
any danger of flying parts. The installation is just the reverse of the
removal and worked quickly and easily. Interestingly enough I found one
spring with the close wound end down and the other fork had the close
wound up. The job was done by a Honda shop too before I bought the bike
I even have the invoice for the work. They are the right way 'round now.
I bored a hole partway through the block that holds the deep well
socket so that it could move in an out about half it's length which
makes it easier to set up. There's also a hole in the block to pass the
1/2" drive extension through. I put a washer inside the block so that
the head of the socket rides on metal instead of wood to prolong the
life of the tool.
When putting the bolt back into the fork it's necessary to turn down
the two nuts on the all thread evenly to keep things square. As the
bolt gets close to being ready to engage it's threads I keep a thumb or
finger on the space between the top of the tube and the flange on the
bolt. When I turn the all thread nuts and don't feel that gap closing I
know it's time to crank on the ratchet handle and screw the bolt into
the tube after one last look to make sure it looks straight. If it
didn't I'd adjust the two top nuts to square it up before turning the
ratchet. Anyway it worked fine and made the job pretty simple and worry
free. If you've never taken a fork with Progressive springs apart, be
advised the bolt is under a lot of pressure.
I forgot to mention if you make up a jig like this you really have
to have a drill press available. That's the only way you can keep the
holes parallel and centered. That's critical to keep the bolt from
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