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Learned a Lesson While Still Looking for Fork Plug Caps

Christophero

Big Wheel
UPDATE:  Even though online sources mentioned to loosen the bottom fork clamp bolts first, keeping the top clamp snug to hold the fork in place, what I didn't do was to raise the fork up high enough to keep the pressure from the top clamp from pinching the threads of the plug cap tight.  The buggered plug cap was my doing for not paying attention to that detail.  Speaking with a power sports store owner and operator yesterday was enlightening.  I am grateful for his insight.  This evening all I had to do was hold the uninstalled forks in my left hand while easily unscrewing the plug cap. 
In the process I've replaced the lower fork bolts with stainless ones that have 6mm allen heads.

Still looking for a new plug cap, though, if you see any laying around let me know. 



Used and reasonable, preferably.
My son and I were performing the dump, flush and fill fork (suspension) fluid routine yesterday on our C14's.  His proceeded swimmingly.  Mine was the opposite.  The fork clamp bolts were the first hint that trouble was brewing.  Those things suck, especially when the hack that last tightened them cranked them well past the 22 ft pounds my service manual recommends.  A trip to Fastenal will replace them. Then, using a brand new 24mm deep well socket it took all my might to break free the plug cap on the driver's side.  Success was fleeting, as the nut then crumpled under the pressure.  Doesn't anyone use a torque wrench anymore?  The passenger side will have to wait for now.  New plug caps start at $150 and go up from there.  This is a 2008, non ABS model.  I love the bike but have a hard time spending this much on a new cap if a good used one is obtainable for an acceptable price.  In reality, once I muster the courage to face the second plug cap I'll probably need two. 
Any and all suggestions are appreciated. 
 

TireguyfromMA

Member
Member
I wonder if Traxxion Suspension, or RACE TECH might have some fork caps left over from a suspension upgrade, or offer a alternative to the OEM?
 

ZXtasy

Member
Member
I always crack the caps loose while still clamped in, to get a good purchase and position above the fork with the tool, then take them off the bike. Since it sounds like the caps hex is buggered and you already have it off the bike, I suggest using a rotary tool or hand file and just work on the flats aggressively to get to the next hex size down. Also maybe try a 1/2" drive impact socket and hit it with air. Happy wrenching!
 

Christophero

Big Wheel
Good suggestion about Traxxion or Race Tech.  I'll give them a call.
Yes, we kept the forks in the clamps on the bike to loosen the caps.  My son's unscrewed very well.  Wish mine had :mad:.  The frustrating part of wrenching that I've grown accustom to ever since growing up on the farm.  Thanks.
 

TireguyfromMA

Member
Member
You might also try putting the cap end of the fork in some ice for a few hours. The aluminum of the cap might get cold enough and shrink to loosen up from the steel tube. Works great when installing bearings.
 

gixerhp

Street Cruiser
Member
Industry Vendor
UPDATE: Even though online sources mentioned to loosen the bottom fork clamp bolts first, keeping the top clamp snug to hold the fork in place, what I didn't do was to raise the fork up high enough to keep the pressure from the top clamp from pinching the threads of the plug cap tight. The buggered plug cap was my doing for not paying attention to that detail. Speaking with a power sports store owner and operator yesterday was enlightening. I am grateful for his insight. This evening all I had to do was hold the uninstalled forks in my left hand while easily unscrewing the plug cap.
In the process I've replaced the lower fork bolts with stainless ones that have 6mm allen heads.

Still looking for a new plug cap, though, if you see any laying around let me know.



Used and reasonable, preferably.
My son and I were performing the dump, flush and fill fork (suspension) fluid routine yesterday on our C14's. His proceeded swimmingly. Mine was the opposite. The fork clamp bolts were the first hint that trouble was brewing. Those things suck, especially when the hack that last tightened them cranked them well past the 22 ft pounds my service manual recommends. A trip to Fastenal will replace them. Then, using a brand new 24mm deep well socket it took all my might to break free the plug cap on the driver's side. Success was fleeting, as the nut then crumpled under the pressure. Doesn't anyone use a torque wrench anymore? The passenger side will have to wait for now. New plug caps start at $150 and go up from there. This is a 2008, non ABS model. I love the bike but have a hard time spending this much on a new cap if a good used one is obtainable for an acceptable price. In reality, once I muster the courage to face the second plug cap I'll probably need two.
Any and all suggestions are appreciated.
When loosening the caps, did you have the pinch bolt loosened?
 
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