Is there an easy/lazy way of swapping fork springs? - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Is there an easy/lazy way of swapping fork springs?

So it turns out my front end is now too stiff after going up 1 size in spring stiffness and servicing the forks over the winter. I want to at least change one of them back to what I had before, but I really just don't want to take the time to take the forks out again. Is there a way to just swap a spring without taking the forks off?

Taking the cap off is easy, but I'm not sure if I can reach the spring and the damping rod without compressing the fork tube all the way.
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 08:18 AM
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I think this could potentially work if you jack up the front, remove the top caps and then slowly lower the front to compress the forks enough to access the springs.

I've never tried doing this, but I think it would probably work. It would just be using the bike's weight - supported by the jack - to compress the forks. The only downside to this is that you'll need a jack that can fit far enough to the front without falling afoul of the headers.
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 09:59 AM
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What bike?
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:00 AM
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I have done it with Ohlins cartridges. Easy but the spring is on top with easy access.
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:38 AM
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:42 AM
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Personally I think it would be easier to just take the forks out again. Not sure of your bikes setup but I got the forks out in like 15-20 minutes

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post #7 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Twistee View Post
I think this could potentially work if you jack up the front, remove the top caps and then slowly lower the front to compress the forks enough to access the springs.

I've never tried doing this, but I think it would probably work. It would just be using the bike's weight - supported by the jack - to compress the forks. The only downside to this is that you'll need a jack that can fit far enough to the front without falling afoul of the headers.
I think I can probably give that a shot. I was going to use the Pitbull front stand and lift from the steering head, and then put something underneath the wheel to push it up, or just slowly lower the front a few inches to compress the forks. The only problem with this is I'd have to open up both and do it at the same time.

The other option I thought would involve removing the front wheel, and then I can just push up on each fork from the bottom.

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I have done it with Ohlins cartridges. Easy but the spring is on top with easy access.
That's what I have too...30mm Ohlins cartridges on my '09. How did you do it?

I think the spring is accessible, but without compressing the forks I don't see how it's possible to unscrew/screw on the caps on the damping rod inside.

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post #8 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Personally I think it would be easier to just take the forks out again. Not sure of your bikes setup but I got the forks out in like 15-20 minutes
I just hate doing it. Lots of things to take off and bolts to loosen up. I know it's not really difficult, I've done it quite a few times in the past on 2-3 different bikes, and still never enjoyed going through that. Just being lazy and trying to avoid it if I can
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbk1198 View Post
I just hate doing it. Lots of things to take off and bolts to loosen up. I know it's not really difficult, I've done it quite a few times in the past on 2-3 different bikes, and still never enjoyed going through that. Just being lazy and trying to avoid it if I can
I'm super lazy too, lol. I keep finding out that trying to shortcut it usually ends up taking longer because it becomes a PITA job working around other things. Thank God for race mechanics to help out...

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post #10 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbk1198 View Post
I think I can probably give that a shot. I was going to use the Pitbull front stand and lift from the steering head, and then put something underneath the wheel to push it up, or just slowly lower the front a few inches to compress the forks. The only problem with this is I'd have to open up both and do it at the same time.

The other option I thought would involve removing the front wheel, and then I can just push up on each fork from the bottom.
Another alternative to a jack might be to use a rear paddock stand and run a rope under the headstock pivot (assuming you have a sturdy rafter or similar in your garage/shed/workshop). If you have a pulley, this would give quite a bit of control of the height of the front end.

Despite having replaced a clutch by leaning the bike against a pit garage wall, I'm definitely more the 'If you're going to do it, do it properly' mindset. Still... should work fine.

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post #11 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:57 AM
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I didn't even put it on a head stand. Do it while the bike is under its own weight. I don't even think I put it on a rear stand. Can't remember but it was easy. One at a time
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 10:59 AM
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Once you have one cap loose, you can move the front end up and down slowly and access the keeper nut.
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 11:00 AM
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I was thinking this is awesome, I love Ohlins for shit like this.
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post #14 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Well I'm glad I decided to do this and I pulled the bike out of the trailer into the garage, because I noticed somehow I left the ignition on since Sunday and drained the battery. FML!!

Had I not wanted to mess with the forks, the bike would've stayed untouched in the trailer until my next track/race day and I would've been screwed!

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post #15 of 26 Old 04-18-2017, 04:32 PM
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Good to hear you spotted that in time! In little things like that which can make even a wet race on slicks seem like a welcome prospect.
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