Dirt Bike Fork Rebuild Made Easy!

Dirt Bike Fork Rebuild Made Easy!

what up everyone coming at you today
with some fork assembly let’s jump right into it as you can tell I’ve got the
forest completely disassembled and here are the essentials needed to rebuild
them pivot works came through with the bushings and seals and Maxima hooked it
up with the oil so Big Bang key to those guys so of course the assembly process
is gonna be the same for both the right and the left fork I’m just gonna bring
you through the assembly on one fork here and before we get started I’m gonna
make sure I’ve got all the bushings and seals I’ll need for this rebuild so I’m
gonna open this thing up alright definitely looks like everything is here
got an even number of bushings the seals for each style it’s amazing how many
pieces pivot works provides you with a couple of things to check before
reassembling the forks on the lower fork tube here it’s common to have nicks or
scars and those in turn will cause the seals the leak so I’ll run my finger
down the fork tube and if anything hangs up it’s got to be buffed out or fixed
somehow so this fork tube feels pretty good it
is ready to go now we’re gonna check out the piston rod on the damper it should
slide in and out of the damper freely if there’s any sort of hang-up that’s
something you got to check into and lastly the adjuster should click through
the positions you’ll be able to hear it click as you’re turning the adjuster now
that I’ve got everything inspected I’m gonna pull the bushings and seals off
the lower four tube you just simply expand the bushing and you can slide it
off the tube and as I’m pulling these parts off I’m gonna set them in the
order they came off of the seal I’m pulling off right now is
the actual oil seal and the one further down is the dust seal just gonna wipe
things down and get it ready for some new parts here here I’m gonna match up
the new parts with the old ones got oil seal here is the dust seal looks like
the correct one all right we’ve got two bushings an oil seal and a dust seal and
as far as the clip and washer they don’t provide those since those really are not
wear items here is the order that everything is going to be installed in
and as you’re sliding the seals on you’re definitely going to want to use a
fork bullet or like a little sleeve that goes over the end as you’re sliding the
seals on this will protect the seals from being cut by the grooves in the
fork tube here and if you don’t have one of these you can always wrap tape around
the top of the tube here it’s mainly these two grooves right here that are
gonna cut up the seals we’re gonna pop that on and apply some oil here so that
way everything slides on a bit easier gonna bust out the maximum oil and fill
up the cap that way we can dab the parts in it I’m just gonna dab my finger here
in the oil give things a nice little coat so if the dust seal goes with a
spring side facing down now we’ve got the clip and then the oil
seal this is definitely the most important seal of the whole fork so you
want to make sure it goes on correctly and take your time putting it on on this
one the spring side is going to be facing up we’ve got the spring side
right here just gonna slide it on like so good idea that apply some oil to the
inside of the seal as well now with the Steel’s and the snap ring
on I can slide off the bullet and pop on the washer and the two bushings and as far as these bushings go through
the same either way so it doesn’t matter which way they go on I’m just going to
expand the bushing and pop it into place with everything assembled here I’m gonna
move on to the damper the damper has one bushing down here that can be replaced
this bushing seems like it’s a bit more difficult to remove so I’m going to use
a flat blade screwdriver to expand it and hopefully pop it off the damper here kind of destroyed that one taking it off
but that was really the only option make sure this new one matches up looks like
it’s the right one and going on should be quite a bit easier all right next up
there’s a little seal up on top of the damper here that we can replace just got
a little pick that we can get underneath the seal and pull it down and this
should be the new seal right here and that is it for the damper I’m going to
move on to the outer fork tube so there’s a little wear ring here on the
end of the tube that pivot works gave me a replacement for just gonna go ahead
and pop that off and replace it looks like there’s some dirt underneath the
the clip here good opportunity to clean that up this one is pretty straightforward let’s
pop it right into place looks like this assembly has three over
dings on it one here on the bottom one halfway up and one at the top unfortunately this
one’s got two bushings on it so hopefully they come off easy not too difficult definitely easier than
the last one so there were two bushings and three o-rings on this set I’m gonna
go ahead and find the replacement ones for that looks like we’ve got the
correct bushings here and these should be the seals so I’m gonna go ahead and
install the bushings first just like the other bushings of seals I’m gonna boil
everything up and the bushings can go on either way they are not directional well guys that is it for replacing all
the bushings and seals time to put this fork together
now the lower fork tube and the upper fork tube are going to be installed onto
each other before we slide them into place I’m gonna make sure everything has
a good layer of oil on it now I’m just gonna simply slide the two pieces
together and then once you get to the oil seal that will need to be pressed in
so for right now I’m just gonna start pressing it in by hand
so there’s fork seal drivers out there that allow you to push the seal into
place but what I’ve got here is a piece of PVC pipe obviously cut open and this
is what I’ve been using for years to press in fork seals once you have the oil seal pressed in
enough you’ll be able to see a little groove where the ring snaps into so
right now we are gonna pop this ring into position as soon as you get that
ring into place you’ll hear a pop and it’ll sit inside that groove and then
the dust seal can be slid down into its position time to do some work on the
dampening rod all right what I’m gonna do here is extend the dampen your uh
piston all the way down and add some oil in through the top for this bike the
recommended amount is six point six ounces so I’ve got a mixing Cup here and
it’s got a lence measurements on the side here I’m just gonna simply pour
this into the damper and then I’ll need to bleed the air out of the system
alright to bleed it I’m gonna pump the piston slowly several times and this
should get all the air out of it next up I’m gonna set the oil height
within the damper so it needs to be 42 to 47 millimeters above this mark and
how I’m gonna check that is grabbing a piece of cardboard and sliding it down
to right here and however much the oil comes up on that piece of cardboard
I’ll base the oil height off of that and adjust it up or down alright I’ve got my
strip of cardboard here I’m just gonna slide it down in the damper until it
stops and by the way this is with the piston rod extend it all the way down so
right there is where it stopped its gonna pull it up and measure that so
we’re looking at a little over 42 millimeters right now I’m just gonna add
a touch of oil that way it’s well within that recommended range now it’s on to
installing the fork cap into the damper I’m just gonna apply some oil to the
seals here and the bushings as well all right now with the piston all the way
extend it out I’m gonna slide in the fork cap definitely gonna take a little
bit of wiggling to get it into place the recommended torque spec on the for
cap is 22 foot-pounds for this bike I don’t have a way of torquing it so I am
just gonna have to get it close enough by hand what I’ve got to do now is I’m
gonna compress the damper piston about four inches several times and this will
bleed the damper assembly once that is done I’m gonna turn the compression
adjuster counterclockwise to the softest position so now there’s gonna be a
little extra oil left in this upper chamber that’ll need a drain out out of
this hole and as I’ve got the damper upside down here I’m pumping the piston
rod get all that extra oil out just giving this thing a wipe down and then
I’m gonna inspect the piston one more time all right a few things to check for
on the damper first of all when you compress the piston it should return on
its own to the full length looks good and also once the piston is compressed
there shouldn’t be any oil on the shaft here and if there’s any oil on the shaft
that is gonna need some attention and the last thing the lock nut on the
bottom of the damper will have to be spun up to the top of the threads here
all right I’ve got the damper assembly all finished up it is time to slide it
into the fork tube it’s always nice to put the fork in a vise for this step and
this is where a set of soft jaws on a bus will be handy I’m too cheap for that
so I’m just using a couple blocks of wood here definitely don’t want to forget to
install the fork spring that would not be good with that in place I grab the
damper here and slide it all the way through at this point I’ll need to
compress the fork spring putting pressure on the damper from the top and
this will push the dampener rod out of the bottom of the fork here once I have
the rod pushed out of the bottom of the fork I’m gonna slide a wrench
underneath the rod and that will hold it into place so there are companies that do make a
tool for holding the rod out of the bottom of the fork or you can make your
own but I’ve always found that wrench works just fine too now I’ve got the
adjustment rod to slide into place I’m gonna turn it and tell it seats all the
way there we go and now for the adjuster just gonna line up the flat part right
here with the rod all right there it is now I’m just gonna spin it onto the
threads here the torque spec on this particular bike is 16 foot pounds for
the adjuster nut just going to compress the fork spring again by pushing on the
damper carefully slide the wrench out and then slowly let the damper into the
fork here try not to damage the threads at all yeah next up is going to be
tightening down the nut to 51 foot-pounds the last couple of things to do here are
to add oil and tighten down the fort cap once again I’ll be using the mixing cup
to measure out the oil and pour it into the fork for the CR 250 each fork takes
13.7 ounces of oil so I’m pulling the upper fork tube down so I have room to
pour in the oil nothing too complicated here just add in the oil to the fork the
last step in the process is to slide the fork tube up and tighten down the fork
cap it’s a good idea to have some oil here on the o-ring almost make assembly
go a little bit smoother to help with tightening down the fork cap I’m going
to slide the bottom triple on to the forks and get it tightened down I know
if I don’t tighten down the fork cap right now I’ll probably forget and put
this bike together in the fork will fall apart on me just got my fork cap wrench
here and gonna cinch down the fork cap the recommended torque is 25 foot-pounds
so not really too tight already guys that is gonna do it for the left fork
leg enjoy the time lapse as I put together the right fork I am pretty stoked for extra all done
and everything went together very smoothly these things are ready to go
gotta give a big THANK YOU to pivot works and Maxima for helping out with
this build go show them some love by clicking over to their websites using
the links down in the description and doing some shopping with them I’ll also
link some of the special tools I used throughout the video such as the steel
bullet and the four cap wrench down there as well
always appreciate you guys watching the video and I will catch up with you all
in a few days take care everyone

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Cameron, I have just got into your videos and I really am enjoying them. I like your attention to cleaning. Thankyou very much for posting. I am not a dirt bike rider but love all bikes.
    Have you considered expanding your parts business to include, for example, sports road bikes like the Yamaha R1, Honda Fireblade or Custom Cruisers like Harley Davidson? Would there be a worthwhile profit in such a business?

  2. Is that considered showa's SSS fork? It seems to be just like my Kayaba on my 11 kx450f. Thanks so much for that video.

  3. I have found in practice, that it is best not to tighten the fork cap to factory specs, that is if you ever want to undo again. The caps are a fairly soft alloy & can be easily damaged trying to undo a stuck cap. The friction of the o'ring & the upper triple clamp tightening is enough to stop it ever coming loose. I usually just screw it down until it just seats and that's it. Makes disassembly much easier.

  4. been watching a lot of your videos lately. good quality stuff. Not sure if you covered this before yet or not, but I recently tore down my 2015 yz250f to the frame for powder coating and an engine rebuild. and I took all of the bolts and just threw them in a jar lol. I have them all, but when you're putting it back together do you ever forget which bolt goes where and how do you get each bolt back to the correct place ? I really should've threw them in separate bags of where they came from haha….

  5. If you have a 3D printer, you can print a piston rod holder tool from the file here, https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2288237

  6. awesome video been waiting for a fork build video. any recommendations for finding a good fork spring for a specific riders weight? I'm not very knowledgable about suspension set up

  7. I'm sure this video will a great resource when the time comes to put seals in the forks on my SuMo. Your videos have already been helpful as I have put a 1977 IT400 back in order. It's forks were a heck of a lot easier then the ones in this video! I did have to make a special tool to get them apart though.

  8. Sorry, i had to rebuild forks for my ktm, is it normal that when i flip upside-down the forks it does a "glu glu glu" noise? Like there ise air inside? Thanks a lot

  9. Hey Cameron I just want to say thanks for the cr250 videos. I'm in the process of rebuilding my '01 and I've been watching your videos. After hitting some 100ft jumps last week my forks are dripping puddles after sitting for a week, so I ordered the exact hardware as you so I can watch your video and attempt to get the job done right and rip in the Oklahoma hare scramble in April . So thanks for the content man. These videos will come to good use through the season as I rebuild and replace!

  10. I never trust aftermarket seals, they usually leak even the good brands. At least when it comes to cars, you always get OEM seals, hopefully bike seals are better

  11. I have a 1976 XR 75 that I want to restore… not to museum quality but cleaned and mechanically sound. Ever thought about restoring a classic?

  12. "Looks like there's some dirt underneath the clip there"
    I swear I could hear the panic in your voice 😱 😉

  13. That's going to be very helpful I think. I own a 2016 YZ250 but I am 200 pounds. So I bought all the tools and parts to rebuild my forks but I have been afraid to attack the job. I bought springs only and I have a couple questions. 1. Should I get valves too?? 2. The heavier springs I got are slightly longer than factory spec. Will this be a problem, or does the extra spring length just get dealt with when you put the fork cap back on? Thanks a ton!!

  14. repair the suspension of my cr 250 model 2000. But I feel it very hard. The comparison with other creatures is more common. It will have another spring or something else.
    Could you guide me? Sorry for my English.

  15. Your D man. I just bet your bike really loves you. Such fine attention to detail. You must be pretty picky when it comes to a gal. LOL

  16. A better way to remove the damper bushing rather than buggering it up with a screw driver is to use circlip pliers. Initially a screwdriver or the like may be required to gain a bit more space to fit in the pliers. But once they are in, they will pry the ring open neatly since there won't be any sharp metal rubbing against the ring.

    Another option that is trickier and requires more hands is to use dental floss (especially the tape type). With a bit of fiddling, the floss can be worked inside the ring. Add a loop of floss to each side of the ring. If the split is 12 o'clock, the loops should be about 2 and 10; in some tougher jobs, adding a loop at 6 o'clock may be useful. Also, depending on how tight the ring is, several loops may be required to avoid breaking the floss.

    Remember, some of us have no choice but to reuse parts 😉

  17. Replacing seals are they easy as the seller who I bought my forks off he said could do with oil seals kit as you made it look so easy but my bet is if I tried it I would screw something up 🙁 but don’t wanna pay the big bucks for someone to do it for me

  18. Can anyone tell me how to identify the top or bottom of the oil seal? It wasn't obvious to me and I have a weeping fork now after replacing them. I'd like to be sure I didn't put the oil seal in upside down. Thanks!

  19. Hey man Do you happen to know how much oil goies in the 97 rm 250 fork? If not do you know a way I can find out? I dont have a manual. Thanks for any info!

  20. I've heard OEM is the way to go for Fork Seals just from reading forums – I've heard good things about Pivot Works, but can you give any insight as to if OEM lasts longer?

  21. I have a pit bike I was painting the handle bars then I was going to paint more down so I invited some stuff and 2 springs fell out how do I put them back in

  22. Cameron I'm going to rebuild the forks after watching your video you made it look fairly easy . My question is what fork oil weight would be best for my 2003 Suzuki rm125. ? Not going racing just out riding with the grandkids . I weigh about 190 . If that makes a difference . And I bought the pivot works kit like you show in video . Thanks hope to hear from you soon . Happy holidays

  23. Great video.

    I'll add that it's a good idea to normalize, or relax, an o-ring after it's installed. With a small screwdriver or pick just place it under the o-ring and lift it out of the groove as if you were going to remove it. Then just roll the screwdriver or pick around the circumference of the groove to allow the o-ring to "unwind" and sit in a relaxed position.

    Also, the oil will wick up cardboard so the level is best checked with something a little more non-porous to get an accurate measurement.

  24. I like your video..very details and easy to understand…can't you make some video how to paint light yellow at your absorber..

  25. question, my damper rod does not extend all the way back on its own. maybe the last 1/2" needs to be pulled to make it all the way out. I do not hear any air and I bled it very slowly at least 20 times before inserting the cap and spring assy. my oil level was on the high end 47mm. its about 60 degrees in the garage and I am using 5 wt. AM I ok or should I start over?

  26. Thanks to you willing to share your extensive knowledge with others I've successfully rebuilt my 96 rm125 forks…chuffed as, thank you 😊

  27. The upper portion of the fork tube where the fork seals go looks like it is dirty. Does that not need to be cleaned to bright metal?

  28. Cameron if you see this I have an important question I put that one bushing on the damper piece that slides up and down. The one above the piston rod and it's not a tight fit around there the way the stock one was on. Does it tighten up with use? I literally didnt overstretch it at all I put it on the exact same way you put your on

  29. I love that your videos are so professional and clean on builds and teardowns, but yet you still show that you dont need that $80 tool!

  30. Your videos are amazing and have helped me out so much and I am glad you are doing better hopefully many more videos to come thank you so much

  31. Very organized and informative content. I’m working on a project similar to your CR250. Mine is a 06 CRF450 supermoto. Only recently subbed but every search I ended up on your videos. Keep up the good work

  32. Hello should you always replace the bushes? Im replacing leaky oil seals but didn't realise that I should put new bushes in too!

  33. Hey! Great video! going to rebuild my CRF450r forks today! Quick question. I’ve seen guys check the oil level at the top of the main shock body. I saw you just poured in the recommended amount. Is that right?

  34. hey cameron, would you be able to make a detailed video on how to adjust a dirtbike suspension to your needs? I have an 06 crf250r and I've never really messed with the suspension and it just feels all out of wack.

  35. Excellent Tutorial man!!
    Nice how you show the disassemble and assemble process !!small details and tricks are very important. Thanks!!

  36. Is it the same process for the KYB forks? I got a small leak on one of my forks and I'm just going to rebuild them since I already have all the parts!

  37. Yo, Cameron! Great vid, this helped me a lot! Thank you.. .wana check with you, if you are planning to make a vid about the actual settings for the forks? Cheers!

  38. I need some help for changing only the lower leg on my kx 450f from 2016 i think this video have helped me a bit 👍🏽😅 hope for some other fork videos! 👌🏼

  39. I know it hated and or disliked but more vids on suspension would be amazing man, definitely something to help me out alot, thanks man!!!!

  40. Gosh, it hurt me to see you working without gloves, especially after what you went through. Then I realized this was shot before that 🙂 Great vid as always Cam.

  41. damn nice video,i never seen the inside of my cr250s forks but one needs an oil seal,this gets me going in the right direction to fix it,thanks.

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