Author Topic: Sonic Springs Install (by Michael "mikeinrichmond" Krause).....Part 2  (Read 7195 times)

Offline elvin315

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 139
  • Country: us
Continued from Part 1

Now we backed out the preload (Red arrow) using a 10mm box wrench and loosened up the top 2, 12mm pinch bolts (Yellow arrows), then began to loosen the fork cap 19mm (Green arrow). The trick is to keep downward/vertical pressure on the cap while loosening it because it will pop out with a bit of force once the cap is all the way out.



After you remove the cap, there will be a metal spacer with 5 holes in it on top of the spring. I took both the cap and spacer and put it in a baggie labeled left or right as the case may be. Oh yea, do ONE fork at a time to help avoid any confusion. Now you can slowly start to pull the spring out, to let the excess fork oil drip back into the fork instead of going everywhere. I just trashed 'em since I figured no one would want played-out springs anyway.

Then carefully loosen the 2 bottom bolts holding the fork to the triple tree. It may take a little twisting to get the forks to slide down and out of the triples, or they may drop out so loosen the bolts carefully. The bolts face the driver.



After you slide one side out, take it to a used oil container, turn upside down slowly, and let the oil run out. Pump the forks back and forth to aide this. I also hung them upside down for several minutes to get as much out as possible. My oil was very black and looked like it had not ever been changed, so we took a bit of Mineral Spirits and poured it in, sloshed it around, and drained again pumping the fork back and forth. Hung it back up to get the last of it out, labeled it 'right/brake' side, then repeated the procedure for the left fork. I also took some '000' steel wool and using Mineral spirits again, cleaned up the outside of the fork tube to make sure there were no nicks or burrs to cut the seal or wipers. The '01 had some plastic fork protectors on, and since I was also adding Murph's KB fork brace that has new metal guards with them, I just took them off. One twisted off, the other I had to carefully cut off with a Dremel. I didn't replace the inner seal, but did replace the wipers as one had been cut by the PO and sealed with RTV. It was working, the forks weren't leaking, but I didn't trust it. The cut had also let some crud get down onto the inner seal, so cleaned that out too before installing the new wiper. A little flathead screwdriver and cloth did the trick. Then use the dull side of a small knife to pry out the edge of the wiper and work your way around it. Slide the new wiper on. Wish I had taken some more pics along the way, but I was trying to learn the order of things and forgot about the camera. ::)

Now you're ready to reinstall the forks back into the triple tree. Once you have them in place and aligned with the top of the triple, snug up some of the bottom and top 4 pinch bolts to hold the forks in place. Then we put the front tire back on to let the forks compress to measure the oil level. I set the fork oil level to 150mm, which was right at 400ml of the 15W oil in each leg. To measure, Justin used a plastic tube that we measured and labeled at the 150mm mark, then hooked it up to a MightVac to make doubly sure there wasn't too much oil in each leg.
Then my other friend Jeremy sat on the pillion to bring the front back up and decompress the springs. We then loaded then unloaded the forks, pumping the oil a bit, and remeasured. All good..
 
I received lots of good advice on how to get the cap back on without stripping/cross threading. This is what we did: With the springs still out, use a Sharpie to mark the top of the tube, and start to put the cap back on. Turn the cap COUNTER-clockwise like you are trying to loosen it and you will feel it click, this is the start of the thread. Mark the cap so it is aligned with the mark on the tube.  Once done, you slowly insert the new spring, then the new metal washer provided on top of that, then cut the PVC spacer pipe, again provided with the springs, to 6-3/4 inches to make up the difference for the Sonic's, which are shorter than stock springs. I used a rounded PVC pipe cutter with a very sharp blade I got from H.D. for about $15. Worked great. Now insert the PVC spacer then the original metal spacer with the 5 holes in it, then the cap. Interestingly, with the preload all the way out still, it didn't take hardly any effort to get the caps back on. We postulated that perhaps it was harder to do if replacing the stock springs with another set of progressive/OEM springs. Dunno.

Now you're in the home stretch..Make sure each fork leg is straight ahead/adjusted properly, then snug up and  torque all 4 of the top and bottom pinch bolts on the triple tree. Then we adjusted the preload all the way in like it was when we took it off. (Will measure the sag in a sec.) Put the handlebars back on and torque it down. Installed Murph's fork brace at this point, a little blue loctite on the bolts here then torque it them down. (The brace is nice quality piece of machining and well worth the money IMHO.) Now we took the time to pull out the speedo cable and recoated it with new grease. Put it back in, line the 'U-shaped' end with the speedo drive and make sure it slides all the way in to the cap. You might need to adjust the orientation of the 'U' back and forth a bit until it goes in all the way. Tighten it back down. Now the brake calipers, used a little blue loctite on the threads and then torqued them as well. Put the brake hose guides back on the forks. Recheck that all the bolts are torqued to spec, or at least 'gudentite'. 

Lastly, to set the sag, I put a somewhat loose zip tie around the fork and just above and resting on the wiper. This allowed it to still slide up and down the fork. I sat on the bike, now off the jack and centerstand, then placed it back on the side stand. The zip tie moved up only about 10mm with the preload all the way in. It was suggested to set the sag at 35mm, so I backed both preload adjusters out to the 4th groove on the adjuster and tried again. Right on 35mm. Sweet!
                                                                                                                                                             
After saying many thanks to Justin (who did a great job teaching me what the heck to do) and Jeremy, cleaning up, then gearing up, I took her out for her first spin. WHAT a DIFFERENCE!  ;D No more ridiculous amount of brake dive, took the corners much easier and faster, and felt rock solid all the while. Not sure how much to chalk up the difference percentage-wise between the new springs, heavier fork oil, and Murph's fork brace, but all together it is so much better that I wish I hadn't waited so long to get it done...Can't wait to hit some twisty's tomorrow... Highly recommended farkle. I'd give it a 10 out of 10!  ;D


Offline Abaton6

  • Arena
  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: us
Great write up!  I'm about to try this myself.  Question...What is the purpose of removing the forks?  If it's only to drain them, why can't I just suck the old oil out with the mighty vac and a long thin hose?  Pardon my ignorace, I've never done this before.   ;)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 05:07:18 pm by Abaton6 »
Reasonably priced Tibet

Offline elvin315

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 139
  • Country: us
It's the best way to empty the tubes of oil unless you have the early bike with the drain holes. The Mity-Vac can't get the sludgey oil at the bottom of the tubes. If you're going through the trouble of upgrading why leave dirty oil behind?

Offline connie_rider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1040
Re: Sonic Springs Install (by Michael "mikeinrichmond" Krause).....Part 2
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2011, 11:19:26 am »
Which # Sonic Springs did you use?
I have a new set that I accumulated somewhere. Think they are 1.0

Ride safe, Ted