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85 GL1200A fork cap install

634 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Subseaworker
I had to replace the fork seals and replace the oil. I read the different ways others have compressed the spring to reinstall the fork cap from brute muscle to nice jigs. So at 180lbs, I tried the brute force with no luck.
I don't have all the tools to build a nice jig, but came up with a method using an old caulking gun. Once I figured out the best way to clamp it to the tube, it was easy from then on.
I just finished the left fork and should be able to do the right fork tomorrow.
I'll take some picture and list of materials and post once I'm done. Want to make sure it works more than 1 time before I put someone in a dangerous. It's bad enough messing with springs.

Thanks for all the previous suggestions and posts on how to replace the fork cap as well as other maintenance jobs.
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Fork Spring Installation Aid

I was able to install the 2nd fork spring and everything is tight and holding.
I've attached a picture of the tool - not the prettiest but effective.

1- Caulking gun with the end cut off
1- 3/8" x 18" all thread and 3 nuts
1- 2"x 2" clamp on coupler (This should have been a 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" instead)
2- 1-1/2" pvc coupler

While I had everything apart, I drill and tapped the fork caps to make fork oil change easier.

On the 1st install, I used the push rod that is part of the caulk gun. I removed the disk on the end which fits nicely into the tapped cap.

Clamp everything together tight. The caulk gun goes outside of the pvc so you don't scare the tube any.

Point the "top" of the gun away in case cap and spring slip.
Use 2nd PVC coupling to hold over cap and spring interface and help guide down straight.

"Caulk" away until cap is inside the tube. I did read about marking for thread line up and that's important here also.

Tighten cap slowly so not to jump threads and cross thread.

On the 2nd fork, I had to replace the push rod with all thread and crank it down. The force on the 1st one put too many nicks in the push rod and it wouldn't hold when under tension.

I make no claim this is the best way or safest, but it did work.

Thanks to all the previous posts and comments on the same task. It help me get my done with little problems.


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