Friday, April 13, 2018

Project XTracker: Rebuilding the forks & shaving lugs

I tore into the front forks to change the fork seals. Once I opened them up I figured I should change the bushings and other seals & o-rings too. 3 trips to the bike shop later I finally have the right seals. When I picked up the donor front end from the salvage yard it was marked 1992 GSX-R 750 so I bought seals to fit. Turns out these forks are off a newer model because the '92 would have had 41mm lower legs and these ones are 43mm. From what I can gather off the interwebs they are most likely 1996. A note for all you builders make sure you check the parts and verify sizes before ordering parts to save headaches like me trying to force a 41mm seal onto a 43mm shaft...

To get the forks apart I had to make a spring compression tool to access the nut to separate the top cap from the dampening rod. There is a 'special' tool you can get from Suzuki for this but I opted to make one. The spring spacer tube has 2 opposing holes so I dug around the garage and found that my tap die holder has to handles with tapped ends that fit the holes. I cut 2 pieces of steel angle, drilled and tapped holes for the handles and welded them together. Voila... worked like a charm.

I also wanted to shave the unused brackets from the fork lugs. Since I'm only running a caliper on the left side and no front fender there are a bunch of ugly extra brackets. Once I got the lower fork leg apart and cleaned up I ran it though the band saw a couple times, then smoothed things out with a flap wheel on an angle grinder I cleaned it up more with a hand file, ran a wire wheel over the entire lug and buffed with a scotch brite pad. That seemed to produce a fairly even finish. We'll see how it looks after some time. I may need to polish the cut areas further to blend better and clear coat them. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. It'll look way better.

No turning back now...

After some flap wheel action