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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Fork Removal:

1. Front wheel: Remove brake calipers(12mm) and tie them to your front stand to keep them from just hanging with tension on the brake lines. Loosen right pinch bolts(12mm), remove axle nut(22mm), remove left pinch bolts(12mm). Remove axle and front wheel.
2. Remove nuts holding brake line brackets(10mm) to front fender. Remove 4 bolts that mount fender to forks and remove the front fender.
3. Remove one 8mm bolt holding clutch lever to clip-on so you can rotate it for better access to upper triple clamp bolt and remove (2) 8mm bolts holding front brake handle to clip-on for better access on right side.
4. Loosen the upper triple clamp bolt on each side. Using a 32mm wrench or socket loosen the fork cap.
5. Loosen the bolt holding each clip-on to the fork. This only leaves the 2 lower bolts holding the fork in place.
6. Using a 12mm socket loosen the 2 bolts on the lower triple clamp. Be ready because the fork will slide out as soon as you loosen the last bolt.
7. Slide the fork down out of the triple clamps and off the bike.
8. You are now ready to disassemble the fork.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
CBR 954 Fork Disassembly: Remove all rebound, compression and preload by turning all adjusters counter clockwise until they stop. Write down your settings.


1. Remove the handlebar stopper ring by hand. Using a small screwdriver or sharp pointed tool remove the clip on the top of each fork holding the preload adjuster cap on the fork. Put these aside for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Loosen the fork cap and lower the upper fork tube. Now holding the bottom with one hand and upper with your other hand turn the fork down at an angle and drain the fluid out of the fork. Be patient here and allow as much fluid as possible to drain out of the fork to keep from making a mess. Replace the fork cap and lightly tighten. (My process is different from the service manual and does not require any special tools.)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
You will need a vise or some way of holding the lower fork tube for this step.

Place the axle holder in a vise and make sure you are using soft jaws or towels so its not metal on metal on the axle holder. You will need an extra long 8mm allen socket to remove the lower damper bolt. I used a long breaker bar with the socket and it was very easy to loosen this bolt. Remove the bolt and washer. (You need to buy a need cooper crush washer to prevent leaks after reassembly)
Be prepared for some fluid to come out after you remove the bolt. Keep the fork upside or place over your drain pan.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Now loosen the fork cap and remove the complete fork internals. Make sure you get the centering plate out that fits on the end of the damper. Have some towels or rags on your work area because there will be fluid in the damper that will leak everywhere. (Tip: I found that Puppy pads made for dogs are great for this type of project. Place them over your work bench and they will absorb any fluid and you toss them in the garbage when finished)

You should now have the fork tubes and the internals separated. Clean the parts with Brake Cleaner as you take them apart to keep down the mess. (Notice how dirty the parts look)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Now its time to remove the fork cap. Clean all the fluid and dirt you can off of the damper, fork spring, spring collar and fork cap. You will need a 15mm wrench and a 3/4in wrench for this step. If you have a spring compressor or access to one it will make this step easier but its not required. You may need a second person to help here.

Place the damper on a firm surface like a rag on the floor or top of your work bench. (Now look at pic2 of the damper without the fork cap. Your 15mm wrench goes on the body not the lock nut at the bottom.) Using a towel for grip in one hand pull down hard on the spring collar compressing the spring until you can slip your 15mm wrench on the damper. Now using the open end of a 3/4in wrench you should easily be able to remove the lock nut on the top of the fork cap. The cap will be tight on the damper. Remove your 15mm wrench. Now turn the fork cap counterclockwise until it stops then lift up. It should come off the damper. Remove the white plastic spring collar and fork spring. You are done with disassembly of the internals. Clean all parts and put them aside.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Now we are ready to separate the fork tubes. Using a small screwdriver loosen the dust cap and slide it down the tube for now. Using the same small screwdriver pop out the snap ring that was between the dust seal and fork seal. You are now ready to separate the fork tubes. Get a good grip on each fork tube and slide the tubes in opposite directions until it stops. Now push them back together and pull hard in opposite directions. Do this 2 or 3 times to pop out the fork oil seal. You now have the tubes apart. Pay close attention to the order of the parts.

Dust seal, snap ring, fork oil seal, back-up ring, outer bushing, inner bushing.

The bushings in my 954 were really worn and needed replaced. If you are replacing your forks seals I would recommend replacing both the inner and outer bushings along with the copper washer in the bottom of the fork.

Using your fingers separate the inner bushing and slide it off the fork tube. (Its the one that sits in a groove on the fork tube). Remove the outer bushing, back-up ring, fork oil seal and snap ring. If you are not replacing the dust seal then leave it on the fork tube.

You now have your forks completely apart. Clean everything really well with brake cleaner and keep the parts in order. The upper fork tube is easy to clean because you can push a small rag through it. Fork the bottom fork tube I straightened a wire coat hanger and bent one end into a loop. Then I sprayed brake cleaner down the tube and using 2 paper towels I pushed them down the fork tube using the damper assembly to the bottom. Now feed the coat hanger through the hole in the bottom of the fork and push the paper towels back up and out of the fork tube. They will be black from dirt and I had to repeat this procedure several times to get them clean.

I will be posting the installation of Racetech springs and the complete rebuild of the forks with pictures step by step in the next few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Rebuild: New springs, fork seals, inner and outer bushings

Now we are ready to rebuild the forks. First lets compare the old parts to the new parts. The first pic is the stock spring and the racetech spring. Notice the Racetech spring is a little shorter.

Next we have the outer bushing. The left one came off my bike and the right one is the new one. Big difference. This explains all the metal flake in the old fork fluid.

Last Pic is the inner bushing. Again the left came off my bike and the right is new.

The bushings from the other fork looked just as bad. I would recommend changing them if you have to change your fork oil seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Make sure you have all your parts ready and cleaned. First place the lower fork tube with axle holder in a vise. Next place some grease on the fork bullet (if you bought one) and slide in down on the lower fork tube until it covers the lower groove for the inner bushing. Place a small amount of fork grease or high quality grease on the dust seal, fork oil seal, inner and outer bushings.

MAKE SURE TO PUT PARTS ON IN CORRECT ORDER!!

1. Dust seal
2. snap ring
3. fork oil seal
4. back-up ring
5. outer bushing
6. inner bushing.

Remove fork bullet after fork oil seal. We are now ready to install the fork seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Now with the upper fork tube in the vise place the lower fork tube in position. Slide the dust seal, snap ring and oil seal up the tube a little until we set the outer bushing. Use the fork seal driver against the back-up ring then the outer bushing. A few good hits and the outer bushing will be set.

Slide the fork oil seal down to where it starts to seat in the upper fork tube. Using the fork seal driver tap it lightly at first to get it started. Once you know its started it should only take a few good hits with the driver to seat the fork oil seal. You will hear a difference in the sound the driver makes when it hits the seal when its set. Now with your fingers start the snap ring. Once its started all the way around the fork use the fork seal driver again and with light pressure you will hear the snap ring set into place. Lastly using your hands press the dust seal into the upper fork tube.

Now the fork tubes are back together and we are ready to reinstall the internals.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now you are ready to reinstall the damper unit. Make sure you have cleaned it the best you can. You will need the centering plate that goes on the end of the damper. You also need a new cooper crush washer and some loctite for the bottom damper bolt.

Place the lower fork tube in your vise. Install new washer on bolt and apply a small amount of loctite to the threads. Now place the centering plate on the end of the damper. I had my fork tilted down in the vise so when installing the damper it went up to keep the centering plate from falling off. You can look through the bottom of the fork to make sure you are lined up with the damper. Using your long 8mm start the bolt into the damper. It should be easy to thread the bolt into the damper. Now you need to torque the bolt to 25ftlbs. I held the opposite end of the damper with a 15mm wrench to keep it from rotating while I torqued the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Now its time to add fluid. With fork still in the vise pour one bottle or about 16ozs of fork fluid in the fork. I used Pro Honda SS-8 10w oil. One bottle is plenty per fork when you upgrade to heavier springs.

Now slowly pump the damper rod up and down to remove air trapped in the damper. The movement should get smoother the more you pump the damper. (If its hard to pump make sure the adjuster at the top is turned fully counterclockwise) Once you can't feel any difference by pumping the damper place the palm of your hand over the end of the fork tube. Now slowly raise and lower the fork tube with your other hand. You should feel suction and pressure on you hand while doing this part. Do this 8-10 times then leave the fork upright for at least 5 minutes before checking the oil level.

Homemade Fork Oil Tool for around $7. Buy a meat injector at your local grocery store. Get some 1/8in clear plastic fuel line or similar tubing. The injector I found had a nice point that I could sit on the fork lip so I cut the tubing to exactly 110mm since it would fit on the injector right up to my reference point. I cut a piece from a wire coat hanger and taped to the tubing to keep it rigid and pointing straight down. this setup worked great for me. I withdrew fluid until it started to suck air so that I know my fluid levels are set the same in each fork.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We are now ready to install the springs, fork cap, lock nut and finish up the rebuild.

Remember in the earlier post that the Racetech springs were a little shorter than the stock springs. I called Racetech to make sure I was doing to right thing in regards to installing the springs to get the preload within range. Louie with Racetech said with the preload adjustability in the 954 fork cap all I needed to do was get their spring as close to the same length as the stock spring by using the washers provided. I found that adding 2 washers under their spring got me very close. The washers sit under the spring on the top lip of the damper. Do not put them between the spring and spring collar or above the spring collar between the collar and the fork cap.

Its time to install the springs but first we need to add the 2 required washers. Place them over the damper and drop them into the fluid. They will settle down to the top of the damper. Remember the springs have an up and down side. Make sure you install them with the larger part down where it will rest on the washers and the smaller part up. Slide the spring over the damper. Pull the damper rod up then slide the plastic spring collar down over the damper. While holding up the damper place the fork cap over the end of the damper. Start the lock nut on the damper to keep the damper from falling back through the fork cap. Make sure you have the fork cap fitted correctly on the damper otherwise the preload adjuster inside the fork cap will not work correctly. Tighten the lock nut on the damper. If you remember when you took them apart the nut stops just below the flat sides on the top of the damper. I tightened it as much as possible before the damper started to turn with it. I then placed a 1/2in wrench on the flat sides of the damper and tightened the lock nut a little more.

Now you can raise the upper fork tube and install the fork cap into the fork tube. Now place your preload cap back on top of the damper and install the lock ring.

You are done rebuilding your forks.

 

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NICE write-up :clap: I've used a plasic bag or tap instead of the fork bullet. Where can I buy one of those nifty fork bullets?

Can you post what the ride was like with the new RT springs. I'm ready to rebuild my forks soon.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #15
NICE write-up :clap: I've used a plasic bag or tap instead of the fork bullet. Where can I buy one of those nifty fork bullets?

Can you post what the ride was like with the new RT springs. I'm ready to rebuild my forks soon.

Thanks
I got the Fork Bullet from motosport.com after seeing it used in one of their videos on youtube.

I will post an update later about how the bike rides with the freshened up forks and new springs . Right now we have snow and so it will be a while before a test ride.
 

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I got the Fork Bullet from motosport.com after seeing it used in one of their videos on youtube.

I will post an update later about how the bike rides with the freshened up forks and new springs . Right now we have snow and so it will be a while before a test ride.

I see. So you probably sit on your bike when your in the garage LOL That's what I do when I can't ride. :rotfl:Again, this was an excellent write-up compared to others that i've seen.
 
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