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Old 09-12-2014, 04:53 AM   #1
Disturbed OP
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To change or not to change, Front fork oil 07 DRZ400

Heya fellas,

Long time lurker and occasional poster here.....

Just wondering what the general consensus is with regard to fork oil?? I have a genuine suzuki workshop manual for my 07 DRZ400 and it states to inspect front fork leg initial 5 hours , then every 60 hours after that. There is no mention to replace oil after X amount of hours or kilometers. I bought the bike new in 07, wherein I managed to clock up some 21000km, but in 2010, the bike through a big end and sat collecting dust until earlier this year.

Long story short, I finally wrangled enough dosh and oh so precious time to rebuild and with her back on the road, am a little concerned about the front end and if to whether the oil should be replaced and or will it damage any components within the forks..... In the past I have replaced fork seals, valves and bushes in my old GS which meant fresh oil to boot, but am a little sketchy on the process involved with these modern multi adjustable forks...

Any imput would be greatly appreciated

Cheers

Jake
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:01 AM   #2
troy safari carpente
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here's an idea...

Yes, it is time to change the oil (and likely the seals while you're at it)

Google: Suzuki DR400E Front fork service



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZwpWQQ01aQ
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:41 AM   #3
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Yep .......what Troy said.......you'll be very surprised at the difference.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:58 PM   #4
stujamur
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To change or not to change, Front fork oil 07 DRZ400

Its a quick and simple process , i did fresh oil and new spring on my mates drz last week .
Just remember to crack the top nut while the bike is on the ground while the forks are tight in the clamps . I had to use a breaker bar to get mine to undo .
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
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Upper clamps compress the tubes onto the cap threads. It is much easier if the upper clamps are loose.

Fork and shock servicing is an annual or 20k maintenance job for me. The oil is a lubricant and once it starts to go off wear increases. It is a lot less painful to stay on top of it. The shock is dead simple too...
While it is apart it is a good thing to clean and repack the head bearings... linkage and swingarm when the shock is out. If feeling keen strip and clean the brake calipers. All annual jobs if it gets ridden off-road at all.
The whole lot is a morning's work after it has been done once or twice.
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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What he said.
Loosen the top clamp before you loosen the top fork cap it could mean the difference between the cap coming easy or stuffing it.
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:04 PM   #7
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And remember ' fork oils aint fork oils' . The same 'weight' oil in differnent brands will have a totaly
different viscosity index. For example ; A Bell-Ray HVI 5 wt has a centiStokes@40c rating of 19.50 and a Shell Advance fork 5wt has a rating of 33.05 .The only oil that stays the same across the range of brands is the good old ATF. Fork oil weight is not not calulated by the SAE motor oil grading system and is only put on the bottle for a very rough guide.
I find an ATF that suits my viscosity needs and use it in my forks. It's cheaper and can get it anywhere. A Dextron 3 has about the same rating as Motul fork oil comfort (medium 5-10) . ATF is too thick for modern cartridge damper forks but fine in older style fork systems.
You might do an oil change with 10 wt and find your fork action a bit quick so to slow them down you will change to a 15 wt , a different brand 'cause that's all that was on the shelf. You could have gone in the totaly opposite direction because the 15 wt might have a lower ISO VG rating than the 10wt.

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Old 09-12-2014, 11:41 PM   #8
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Hey guys

Thanks alot for all the feed back thats fantastic! Ill put it down as a annual event then and give it a crack soon as im back from work. Watched the vid it dosnt seem to be to difficult a task. Any sugestion on oil viscosity or just go with what the manual states?
Ive always kept the grease gun up to the rear end so that seems pretty good but will take a peek at the head stem as well.

Thanks agian
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by blade07 View Post
And remember ' fork oils aint fork oils' . The same 'weight' oil in differnent brands will have a totaly
different viscosity index. For example ; A Bell-Ray HVI 5 wt has a centiStokes@40c rating of 19.50 and a Shell Advance fork 5wt has a rating of 33.05 .The only oil that stays the same across the range of brands is the good old ATF. Fork oil weight is not not calulated by the SAE motor oil grading system and is only put on the bottle for a very rough guide.
I find an ATF that suits my viscosity needs and use it in my forks. It's cheaper and can get it anywhere. A Dextron 3 has about the same rating as Motul fork oil comfort (medium 5-10) . ATF is too thick for modern cartridge damper forks but fine in older style fork systems.
You might do an oil change with 10 wt and find your fork action a bit quick so to slow them down you will change to a 15 wt , a different brand 'cause that's all that was on the shelf. You could have gone in the totaly opposite direction because the 15 wt might have a lower ISO VG rating than the 10wt.

Life wasn't meant to be easy.
That bout sums it up!

Cheers man
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disturbed View Post
Hey guys

Thanks alot for all the feed back thats fantastic! Ill put it down as a annual event then and give it a crack soon as im back from work. Watched the vid it dosnt seem to be to difficult a task. Any sugestion on oil viscosity or just go with what the manual states?
Ive always kept the grease gun up to the rear end so that seems pretty good but will take a peek at the head stem as well.

Thanks agian
Hi, there are limitations in the standard DRZ fork low speed orifice and shim stacks. The low speed character is an undesirable sharp edged hump in the bottom of the velocity/force curve that becomes worse as the adjuster is screwed in and increased oil viscosity. The shim stack has an weak velocity/force gradient (even for my weight) that is not improved appreciably by the screw or oil viscosity.

Screw and oil adjustments might make the bike feel better on the road where the suspension is moving at low velocities however, the bike will still feel front heavy with a tendency to tuck when ridden even moderately hard off-road. It is a common criticism of the bike even though descriptions are often different.

The recommendation is to keep the oil in the 16-20cSt range, the screw about 1/3 in and fix the shim stack. Fork compression stacks are changed by removing the lower fork body and replacing shims. It is designed to be easy and shims cost less than a dollar each. Many of yours can be reused if they are still flat.

Numbers has designed and previously shared general purpose fork compression stacks that work much better than standard for average weight riders. Iff you're seriously interested I can dig them up for you.

The swing arm bearings do not have grease fittings and also need to be cleaned and packed occasionally. They are almost dry from the factory.
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Old 09-13-2014, 02:25 AM   #11
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The swing arm bearings do not have grease fittings and also need to be cleaned and packed occasionally. They are almost dry from the factory.

Hey mate'

Mine has grease nipples one on either side of the swingarm pivot that greases each side along the main bolt and several over the linkages to the shock? They definitely work because i basically hook up the grease gun and keep pumping until i can see grease extrude between each of the pivots? Occasionally after some creek runs ill pump them until the grease changes color ha.....
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Old 09-13-2014, 08:29 AM   #12
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Hey mate'

Mine has grease nipples one on either side of the swingarm pivot that greases each side along the main bolt and several over the linkages to the shock? They definitely work because i basically hook up the grease gun and keep pumping until i can see grease extrude between each of the pivots? Occasionally after some creek runs ill pump them until the grease changes color ha.....
You're funny.

If ^^that^^ was all that you came away from her post with, then good luck.
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Old 09-13-2014, 01:44 PM   #13
XRman
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7 years overdue

Or if you use the DRZ a lot ;14 changes overdue! My suspension bloke used to growl at me if I left it too long.

I bought my 2010 late in that year, then broke my leg and had two year bike holiday for healing. Since late 2012 l have had three fork oil changes in 16,000 Km.

Like engine oil, you could leave it in there for 6000Km , but the oil performance reduces after 1500-2000km. I choose to change engine oil in the DRZ at 1500-2000 intervals, or after a particularly hard ride.

The maintenance guide is just that; a guide.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:32 PM   #14
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16,000km Wow but then horse for courses.

I've done mine twice on the TDM in 100,000Km+ and it was well worth the time to do. probably due again and it does feel ready forit too.

Rear shock is due for a rebuild as its never ever been looked at other than lube the linkages.

Fork oil is cheap for the improvement you get.
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