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Thread: Showa Front Fork Overhaul

  1. #1
    amb67
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    Showa Front Fork Overhaul

    I've always suspected that my front end was not right, it always felt vague and behaved erratically mid corner.

    Anyhow, this weekend I decided to do something about it. I ripped off all my fairings, removed my forks and set about stripping them down.
    Now stripping them down was not that bad a job, no special tools needed at all. I drained off the oil on the left hand leg first and recorded 285ml and the other leg was only just better.

    Considering that these forks are meant to have around 520ml in each fork I struggled to get that amount out of both of them. I had no leaks etc... so can only assume the previous owner overhauled them himself and miscalculated the oil quantity.

    Anyhow, all components where removed cleaned and rebuilt with Silkolene Race Fluid 5W oil, they are silky smooth now in operation.

    In total the costs involved where 21.00 for the 2 litres of Silkolene Race fluid and around 4 hours of my time.

    Really looking forward to next weekend now so I can give it a good old testing.

    Thoroughly recommend this job to anyone with moderate mechanical skills, it'll be the best 20 spent on the bike and make the bike feel like new again.

  2. #2
    One Liter Duc Eater Flick's Avatar
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    So... will this mean you will have more confidence and feel overall?

  3. #3
    amb67
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    I hope so Flick, it was so unpredictable before I didn't have enough confidence in it to throw it in to a bend at speed.

    I must admit I was hoping that I was gonna find something wrong with the forks, cause if I hadn't I'd have probably sold the bike.

  4. #4
    Shake n Bake
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    I also did my forks this weekend.

    But I have to add, it did take 2 people to strip it properly and a special tool. Only thing to note when I did it I managed to scrape the red anodizing off the top end screw which kinda pissed me off even though its just cosmetic. I tried to explain to the Mrs if I had a better tool kit and not the cheap Halfords special discount basement crap set I would of avoided the scratching.

    She came out with something about a bad workman etc...

  5. #5
    amb67
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    What make of oil and weight oil did you use Shake n Bake?

    Have you test ridden yours yet?

    Unfortunately by the time I'd finished rebuilding them and fitting them to the bike it was time to baby sit the kids. Hence no test ride


    Quote Originally Posted by Shake n Bake View Post
    I also did my forks this weekend.

    But I have to add, it did take 2 people to strip it properly and a special tool. Only thing to note when I did it I managed to scrape the red anodizing off the top end screw which kinda pissed me off even though its just cosmetic. I tried to explain to the Mrs if I had a better tool kit and not the cheap Halfords special discount basement crap set I would of avoided the scratching.

    She came out with something about a bad workman etc...

  6. #6
    One Liter Duc Eater Flick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amb67 View Post
    I hope so Flick, it was so unpredictable before I didn't have enough confidence in it to throw it in to a bend at speed.

    I must admit I was hoping that I was gonna find something wrong with the forks, cause if I hadn't I'd have probably sold the bike.
    We all noticed that the 'bend' and 'speed' thing did not happen dude...


  7. #7
    amb67
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    Yeah, gotta admit it knocked my confidence in carrying some speed in to a bend.

    Hopefully I'll be able to regain some confidence and start attacking those bends again.

    Fingers crossed!!

  8. #8
    Evil Twin
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    Pete serviced my front forks on my old Mille (Showa) and the difference was unbelievable - make sure you get the correct size socket for undoing the tops (anodized) and not an adjustable spanner as you will just round them.

    You should look to see if your fork seals are weeping matey, I understand oil foaming and going off, but they shouldn't be losing that much oil?

  9. #9
    One Liter Duc Eater Sabre's Avatar
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    Changing the fork oil is often never done, yet it make a helluva difference. Ive done mine twice now - each at around 12k and the oil that came out on both occasions was like sludge. I always flush mine out with petrol before re-assembly just to get the last of the crap out.

  10. #10
    amb67
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    Quote Originally Posted by danish ep View Post
    Pete serviced my front forks on my old Mille (Showa) and the difference was unbelievable - make sure you get the correct size socket for undoing the tops (anodized) and not an adjustable spanner as you will just round them.

    You should look to see if your fork seals are weeping matey, I understand oil foaming and going off, but they shouldn't be losing that much oil?
    When I stripped them all down the seals looked relatively new, so I can only presume from what's happened that the oil level was done incorrectly. e.g. The numpty did it with all the gubbings in and cocked it up.

    I have a pretty comprehensive tool kit (Ex Technician), I covered the caps with tape before using a socket to undo them, no damage from me but the last animal had scratched them very slightly.

    Sabre, I read all your posts about this subject before doing it, was a great help. Mine too had immense amounts of black/grey sludge all over the bushes and valves, cleaned them all up with carb cleaner, good as new.

    It feels very plush now when you bounce up and down on it, let's just hope I can regain my confidence in the bike, cause I don't want to be the only guy on a ride out with 4" chicken strips.

  11. #11
    AMA Pit Boss andirsv's Avatar
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    I'd love to have the confidence/knowledge/bravery to do mine but unfortunately it'sgoing to have to go to the local garage for mine

  12. #12
    amb67
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    Quote Originally Posted by andirsv View Post
    I'd love to have the confidence/knowledge/bravery to do mine but unfortunately it'sgoing to have to go to the local garage for mine
    Andi, it's a relatively simple job mate and anyone who knows their way around a well stocked tool box can overhaul a set of forks.

    These Showa forks are only made up of a handful of parts and the Aprilia manual has some pretty good instructions with piccies.

    All you need to do when doing jobs like this is take your time and be careful not to damage any parts during the process.

    I would have done a how to guide but if I'm honest, follow the manual and you can't go wrong. Plus I'm not an Octopus, if you do this procedure then you'll know what I mean. LOL

    Can't wait for the weekend to test ride them now.

    PS. Andi, I'd offer an overhaul service but with the weather and all that I'll be out riding.

  13. #13
    AMA Pit Boss andirsv's Avatar
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    Cheers Alan mate......you've done enough for me recently anyway!!!! I really do need both forks and shock serviced as it's been 3 years now!!! Way to long!! I'll have a look at the manual and THINK about it..............

  14. #14
    amb67
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    If you get stuck just drop me a message on MSN and if you have a webcam I can talk you through it.

    I promise not to laugh much!!!!

    Just ask Tim (Areesmill) I am a great help once I can control my fits of laughter. I sent Tim off for a 10mm spanner and he came back with an 8" adjustable, I almost wet myself laughing.

  15. #15
    One Liter Duc Eater Sabre's Avatar
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by andirsv View Post
    Cheers Alan mate......you've done enough for me recently anyway!!!! I really do need both forks and shock serviced as it's been 3 years now!!! Way to long!! I'll have a look at the manual and THINK about it..............
    If you need any additional info then give me a shout. Too far for me to come and help though. Take a lot to get me away from Devon roads aaargh

    Seriously though, take your time and you will be fine. Having a mate/wife g/f b/f ,small passing child, on hand can come in useful. Unless, that is you are an Octipus with the grip of a Gorilla!

  16. #16
    Shake n Bake
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    Quote Originally Posted by amb67 View Post
    What make of oil and weight oil did you use Shake n Bake?

    Have you test ridden yours yet?

    Unfortunately by the time I'd finished rebuilding them and fitting them to the bike it was time to baby sit the kids. Hence no test ride

    I used 5w

    I don't know what was in there previously. Probably the original oil as, although it was a 2003 bike it had only done 1500miles (f*ck all I know). Like you, the demands of family and spending all morning in the garage limited my afternoon pass so I only gave it a quick blast but felt pretty good. Well the wheel didn't fall off any how which always a good start.

    I'll give it true ride out next weekend assuming last weekend wasn't the only day of summer we get.

  17. #17
    AMA Pit Boss andirsv's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, i'll prob give it a go then,once Griff's been and serviced it............cheers again!!

    Alan......you think you've laughed at Tim.......you'll piss yourself at me bud!!!

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