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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had this nasty pull to the left for a while now (FYI Bought the bike from a front end wreck)- thought the lower triple looked bent.

So I bought a new triple clamp- 40 bucks on fleabay and put it on this weekend. Sadly things weren't lining up still.

So we laid a straight edge on the forks (don't ask why I didn't do this first... honestly didn't realize a 2mm bend could cause the fork (at the axle) to be 1/2"+ off- makes sense though... exponential thing I guesss.

So we found the high spot and tossed it into his 20 Ton press (his dads a engineer... has all these great tools haha).

And voila! Everything is perfect again.

Well almost.

Question (my bro stories suck): The front end now sounds like I tied a bag of rocks to it- not all the time but when I run over rigid bumps its kind of unsettling... Any ideas?

I tightened the nuts over the steering stem as much as I could without inhibiting the steering motion... What else could cause this?
 

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Well first off, you don't want to crank down the nuts on the steering head. There is a torque spec that you tighten them down to, and then back them off a bit. I believe it's around 35ft/lbs, then back off a quarter of a turn or something like that? You want the front end to be able to easily move.

Second, what do you mean by tossing it in a press? Just like a standard dead press? I'm not sure how forks are straightened, but I do know that there are specific procedures needed, otherwise all you do is crease the fork tube.
 

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i think the spec for the fork cap is 16 pounds and just leave it.

i wouldnt have tried straightening them. theyre probably not perfect, and could possibly be messed up more. they may look straight from the out side but could possibly be binding internally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will check the head nuts- I probably tightened them more than that.... Would be good to get a proper tool for it and get the right measurements..

As for straightening them... I see nothing wrong with what we did- its a dead press- we put wood and cloth down to buffer the fork - kept and even spread from end to end where the fork rested... and we put a piece of wood over the high point to buffer the press there... 10 minutes later we put the straightedge back on it and there was no high or low points... just a dead straight fork.

Nothing kinked, no binds... the fork operates exactly as it should - better than when it was bent IMO... in fact the whole front actually responds to the road ... before it was slow to respond and I think that is because this fork was dragging- it doesn't do that now.

I understand the detailed precision that this stuff can require... but in this case I am just riding the bike on the street.. commuting and some touring- I don't need a fined tuned race bike, I wouldn't know the difference anyway.

When I take my hands off the bars now the bike runs dead straight... the forks operate as they should and there is no weird vibration or trouble to put things back together.

As far as I am concerned it is just fine... just trying to figure out this little knocking.

I just looked at it over lunch- I noticed that the knocking DOESN'T happen when the forks are going down, but if I pull them all the way up, like higher than their rested position- I get a little bump/knock...
 

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Where was the kink at on the tube? They can be creased internally, and as parts slide against each other something might be catching a bit.
Also, you may have made the fork a little oblong as well. Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where was the kink at on the tube? They can be creased internally, and as parts slide against each other something might be catching a bit.
Also, you may have made the fork a little oblong as well. Just food for thought.

This is EXAGGERATED


This is FIXED.

There was NO kink... that's what I've been saying, no offense intended... just trying to get the point across... one of those "easier if you see/hear it things".

There was a minor bend, with straight edge on the high point in the middle of the fork tube (the shiny section) you could see it was bent by about 2mm - just a simple even curve, the top of the fork was in 2mm and the bottom (close the dust cover) was in 2mm. The structure of the tube itself was fine, no kinks, dents, or scratches...

Moving past the forks:

Perhaps I should have named this thread differently- My forks are "STRAIGHT" (as straight as they are gonna get.) - the problem I am having is in the steering head or something... a clunking sound that originals from a central position in the front of the bike...

Ill check the nut tonight ... see if I can find a tool for it haha
 

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kinked, bent, warped, it doesn't matter. :p

I didn't have a tool for those castle nuts; I just used some big channel locks to get them on and off, haha. With the front end off the ground and the bike mostly level, you should be able to move the wheel off center with just a pound or two of force (applied on the bottom of the fork leg, I believe), and it should travel all the way until it hits the stop. Mind you this is without brake lines or control lines inteferring with the motion. I just used this line of thought as a guide for setting the preload on my steering head, and it seems to have worked fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
kinked, bent, warped, it doesn't matter. :p

I didn't have a tool for those castle nuts; I just used some big channel locks to get them on and off, haha. With the front end off the ground and the bike mostly level, you should be able to move the wheel off center with just a pound or two of force (applied on the bottom of the fork leg, I believe), and it should travel all the way until it hits the stop. Mind you this is without brake lines or control lines inteferring with the motion. I just used this line of thought as a guide for setting the preload on my steering head, and it seems to have worked fine.
That is exactly what I did- channel locks. And yes the movement is just like that- smooth and about a pound of force - it just rolls side to side.

I even greased up the bearings a bit as they looked a little dry- none damaged or missing though.

hmmm.

Also- I was only examining the difference between "kinked" and "bent" because sometimes when a fork bends it "ripples" and is then totally unusable because it will leak/crack further very easily... Just saying- this was not the case... "kink" is generally really really bad as far as I see it- and "bend" is generally fixable.
 

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I would re check the internals, did you get the damper rod bolt tightened all the way using either the suzuki tool or a plunger or my method...the rake handle that has a rubber grip on the end? Just re installing it by hand wont work since the damper rod will just spin with the bolt. You need to loctite these as well. If the bolt is not tight it will likely cause some noise every time you compress and release the fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And the 10 people telling you to do that through 20 responses didn't ring that bell either? :p

No.... actually I knew it was bent long before I posted here... it was fixed a full day before I Posted here... just people weren't getting past the bent forks, while I am trying to figure out a clunk that didn't seem to have anything to do with the forks.

As it turns out- I think it might have to do with the forks... (ironic right?) - I think the right fork- the straight one ... something changed... now that the forks are straight I think I am getting this knock from the spring (in the originally straight fork) .

I will try and shorten the spacer in the tube this weekend... I put the riccors in without doing that so I think the springs are a bit over sprung... maybe the spring could be kinking over and touching the inside of the fork? cause this knock?...
 

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Yes , springs indeed can make that sound. Shorten the preload spacers. Also, make sure all spacers, etc are cut 90 degrees to the line of fork. Any other angle of cut propels the spring into the fork sidewall on compression.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just for funzies I adjusted the preload setting on each fork (turned in almost all the way)- the clunk disappeared...

Not sure how more tension helped... doesn't make any sense to me... Probably going to just buy new fork springs, and seals (saw some residue from the right fork... *sigh*)
 

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Was there tension on the springs just from installing the fork caps, IE they were kind of a pain to put on? The springs may have just been kinda rattling around in there.
 
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