Fork Cap Tool

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by easyridin5150, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. easyridin5150

    easyridin5150 To young to feel this old

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    Overcoming spring preload while reinstalling your fork caps can be an exercise in patience and self-control. Usually it takes to people. I made a new tool that makes replacing the caps quick and easy.
    I started by putting a 24mm socket in a lath (a grinder would work) and removing the chamfer so the socket gets a better bite on the cap. Next I welded a piece of round bar to a 4" ratchet extension forming a T-handle. Now with the slider secure in a vice or in the triple trees, you simply use your arm and shoulder muscles to push the T-handle and cap into place, engaging the threads with a simple twist of the wrist.

    Socket with chamfer removed
    [​IMG]

    Round bar welded to extension
    [​IMG]

    Finished tool
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Good solution. And by sticking with that short extension for making the handle, you have better control holding it straight while pushing on the cap and spring.
    #2
  3. easyridin5150

    easyridin5150 To young to feel this old

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    :evil
    #3
  4. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Good tip - thanks!!!!
    #4
  5. xroad

    xroad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
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    775
    When I did my springs on my Concours, I purchased a 3/8 drive sliding T-Handle. I pop in a 4" extension and then the appropriate socket.
    #5
  6. xroad

    xroad Been here awhile

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    Jun 20, 2007
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    775
    The aluminum fork cap have very soft delicate threads. Be very careful not to cross the threads. That is the reason for the short 4" extension. (Does a shorter extension exist? )

    What I did was ...

    Try the cap without the spring to get a feel of how tight the thread mates together. I lubed the threads to get rid of the notchy feel making a smoother turn.

    Here it goes ...

    Standing straddling the bike.
    Closed fist holding the T-Handle/extension/socket/forkcap.
    PALM side of the hand facing forward.
    Knuckle side of the hand toward the back of the bike.
    Push down on the fork cap onto the top lip of the fork.
    Making sure the fork cap is alligned with the fork tube axis.
    Rotate COUNTER-CLOCKWISE ...
    ... and feel the cap riding UPWARD on the top thread.
    Keep rotating until you feel the top thread runs out and ...
    ... "drops" or "clicks" down to the second thread.
    Now I know the threads are alligned.
    Start rotating CLOCKWISE.
    You may have to turn your body toward the right ...
    ... as you reach the limit of wrist rotation.
    You don't want to let go while only a small part of the thread is mated.

    It was a long time ago. I think I remembered the caps were cut with double threads. That means one thread starts at one side of the cap and the second thread starts at the other side of the cap. If you concentrate, you can feel the cap drops one side and the cap is "cocked" then the other side dropped and the caps is back in alignment.

    To get the most force ... bend your elbow all the way, roate arm far back so the hand and tool near the side of your body. Use your body and shoulder to press downward. Otherwise, you'll be using your arm muscle and it'll get tired very fast. Tired arm means shaking ...

    Do this while the front wheel is OFF the ground. Prop up the bike at the bottom of the engine while it is on the center stand. Otherwise, the weight of the bike will compress the spring making it much more difficult to press downward.

    I figured this out after screwing up the threads on one of the caps.

    By the way, a welded T-Handle is better than my sliding one. I did not have any mishaps with the sliding handle but I would have felt more confident if it was welded.
    #6
  7. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    Your sliding tee handle will plug directly into the socket, further reducing the leverage you've got available. If you feel you must have a welded handle, then go ahead and fix the sliding tee. e
    #7
  8. xroad

    xroad Been here awhile

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    775
    I tried without the extension. I needed knuckle room. Perhaps a deep socket would work, but then, the socket is pretty fat.
    #8
  9. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

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    Sure, use a reducer or expander on a different sized driver. Say a 3\8th t handle with a 3/8th female to 1/2" male adaper.

    they actually do make 1, 1 1/2, 2" extensions, no idea why as a deep socket would do the same.

    I have this by Calvan tools, simply awesome to have around.
    expander, reducer, 2" extension and finger driver all in one.

    Oh yea, they do make non sliding T handles, check MC tool companies (MSR, Motion Pro, Pit Posse, e.t.c.)
    #9