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Ok.....

Bringing this thread back up here towards the top....there was sure a lot of misinformation....and I am still trying to figure out exactly how to do this....Now that we are in 2008 at the time of this writing perhaps enough people by now are replacing their oil in their front forks.....I have a 2002 Road King Classic that I am wanting to replace the front fork oil....and I definitely DO NOT wish to remove my fork caps if not needed since I am running Race Tech Emulators with ADDITIONAL Pre Load, I can only imagine how much the front fork caps will want to jump out at me under the preload I had the indy mechanic put in when we installed them in 2004. Currently I have 14,000 on the fork oil and as I said I have the Race Tech Emulators in both fork tubes as both of my fork tubes are "Conventional" WITHOUT cartridges.....

It seems like Ed Y was the most accurate on putting out how to do this....

I GET how to drain the fork tubes what I am really trying to determine is how to put back in.....I am reading the Mighty Vac.....anything else....has anyone made a threaded "hollow" type bolt the right size to insert into the threaded fork tube or perhaps does Mighty Vac have a attachment that actually is the right size that is capable of threading on to the fork tube to be able to force the oil back into the fork without having it "fly" off and "squirt" every where....???? See what I am thinking??? Also how long should one plan to have your forks drain adequately given that the fork cap is remaining on...... Also it makes sense to me what ED Y states about never knowing how much oil remains in the tube considering the "clinging factor of oil". I would love to know how much remains in there....You may ask why, well simply when I had the Indy Mechanic put the Race Tech Emulators into my forks in 2004 we did it with essentially "Dry" tubes because of the disassembly involved in drilling out the dampening tube as Race Tech requires....so we started with a "dry" tube....so then I had the indy add a bit more preload "pvc" spacer than what the was originally suggested by Race Tech and what I have has for 4 years worked perfectly....so whatever amount of oil the indy put in is then what I would like to replace again....and I am just not sure what amount he used....I know he put in Bel~Ray 20 weight Fork Oil....just not sure the amount...so the only thing I can figure is to drain each front fork tube preferably of course as mentioned above with the fork cap still in place one at at time perhaps over nite to get as much of the oil to drain out slowly or until it stops dripping, while using a measuring funnel to determine the exact amount that comes out....if I were to do this, then the question is how much would be estimated to be left behind due to the "cling" factor.....in other words I am highly motivated to have everything back the way it is presently, since for 4 years it has worked wonderfully...Any additional ideas for me???? sorry for the rambling....just trying to explain what's going on....

Any NEW help would be appreciated....

Regards,

"ClassicRider"
 

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First off if you go to ToolTopia.com they have some very good deals for the various MityVac's. Whether you go air vac or hand it is your preference. I bought one of the hand models and it comes complete with everything you need. hoses, pump and many different size rubber plugs that will fit into the fork drain screws to pump it in. The plugs have a hole in the middle for the hose/fluid to pass through. If you have an air shock setup like my 2000 you can simply add through the air fitting and let bleed out the drains. When draining the oil you will need to pump them out by grabbing the front brake and bouncing the frontend until no more comes out. Reverse process with pump. Use between 9-12oz synthetic, I use AMSOIL 10w40 in each leg. Here is the info on the pump I bought. It also alows you to do brakes, hydraulic clutches and compression tests. I would by this first and later add the airvac seperatly. More bang for the buck. Here is the info.

MityVac (MIT4050) Silverline Plus Automotive Kit

Part#: MIT4050

Manufacturer Part#: dec07-120

(Qty: 1 x $66.99)

ps IF you ever need to pull the fork caps, first drain forks as mentioned above, then jack the bike up w/front end off of the ground! This will relieve the spring pressure in the forks.
Good luck.
 

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theloudone....

Thank you for responding.....and thanks for the tip on the Mityvac....

=============================================================


Just to be clear specifically (as I am only concerned right now about my exact bike...lol) my 2002 Road King Classic (FLHRCI) never had air to the front forks...My rear shocks were "originally OEM air shocks...but I removed that long ago and replaced with Progressive 440 gas shocks, do forgive my digression here....staying on topic....no air lines ran to my front forks....I do have of course the "drain screw" at the bottom...and both forks are "conventional" meaning no cartridge exists in either fork...just a dampening tube, of which as I said above I drilled out for the Race Tech Emulators that I installed in 2004.

Any 2002 Road King Classic or 2002 Road King Standard Owners here in La La land....or indy mechanics that know the exact model I am talking about and have personally replaced their front fork oil and know specifically the procedure they followed, as that is what I am actually after.....

pssss sorry jut anal retentive trying to understand someone's actual procedure for my exact bike....

(I added or "revived" this "thread" because it started out requesting information for a 2002 FLHR essentially just like my bike when it comes to the Front Fork Oil Changes....)

Regards.

"ClassicRider"
 

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I only mentioned the air for anyone elses benefit who has them. There are 2 ways. 1) Pull fork leg plugs and pump (hold front brake,bounce front end) get oil out. Refil each side using anykind of vacuum source or syringe through the drain plugs. It takes time because you must replace the air that is now in the front end with the 9.7 to 12 oz of synthetic 10W40 oil that you put in. put plugs back in and go riding.
2) Start out doing same as in number one with the exception of adding the oil through drain plugs. You must jack up the bike to get front end off of ground. Unscrew top forkcaps with downward pressure until free. Then pour in the oil and reassemble. I can't make it any simpler than that. It's the same way everyone has been doing since 1958.
 

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Well.....as it seems...from all of my research.....for a 2002 Road King Classic or a Road King which has no air to the front shocks as occured for touring bikes in 1997, 1998, 2000, and 2001. In 2002 the air went by by....and based upon a conversation with the tech support from MityVac it seems that they have a very strong concern with trying to either "push" or "suck" oil back into the forks at the location of the drain screw located at the bottom of the forks. They feel the potential exists since there is no "escape" for the displacement of air caused by the placement of oil because the fork cap bolt would be secured to the fork tube, making it a "closed system" that one could "risk" the potential of "blowing out the seals" with the force required to push the oil back into the fork. I have no clue about whether this would be true or simply them covering themselves....but it does make one ponder the risk of such happening. Which then leads me to visiting the idea of why don't I find the same parts that make the touring bikes with air and put them on my bike....and yes one could do that.....there are basically are only 3 different part numbers, one for the top fork cap bolt which for prior years would have a hole in the center for the connection to the air assembly which makes sense right??? and a different part number for the fork tube bolt which is what keeps the spring from unloading or releasing...This particular bolt has a center hole as well....but is a different part number from the bolt that is in my year of bike (2002) and I have CONFIRMED that the Fork bolt in my bike part HD# 45838-77 which is called the Fork Bolt has a hole in the center. (The Fork Cap Bolt is part HD# 45419-80 for a 2002 Road King and Road King Classic) The reason the bolts must be different part numbers would be because the Fort Cap Bolt for prior years (HD# 45839-84) is hollow in the center and must have to thread differently into the Fork Bolt...if you look at your parts diagram this will make sense...

Anyway one of the concerns I had was if I were to remove the Fork Cap Bolt I would then have alot of force from the tension of the springs wanting to spring out of the tube, but because of the Fork Bolt (HD# 45838-77) this is not possible....as it holds the "guts ie: the spring and everything else in the tube and keeps it from releasing, it should also be noted that this bolt is hollow in the center which allows one to pour oil into the tube which is very slick) so that removes that concern....so essentially....to order all of the parts necessary would cost around $175.00 + the purchase of a mityvac. Based on the fact that one only does this service every 20,000 miles it's not really worth the expense to set it up to have a "venting" system like the pre 2002 touring bikes so that one can "mityvac" the oil back into the fork at the bottom successfully....In fact a buddy of mine purchased a 2006 Road King Custom which has the very same set up as a 2002 Road King and Road King Classic and his manual says not to replace fork oil for 50,000 miles....go figure...

So unless one can tell me for sure that they have used a Mityvac with (Absolutely) NO PROBLEMS on a 2002 Road King or Road King Classic since they too WOULD HAVE a "NO AIR" set up as well, I am not going to be the "trial" test....It does make me wonder if the people who mention that they have "leaky" oil forks are the ones at some point may have changed their fluid by using a "MityVac" procedure....I wonder if there is any consistancies with that thought.....

Thus the procedure for changing fork oil for a 2002 Road King or Road King Classic would be:

1 Place bike on stand keeping it firm to the ground so it doesn’t wobble per say.
2 Remove the windshield.
3 Remove the Phillips screw at the bottom of the head lamp door (chrome ring).
4 Remove the headlamp door (chrome ring).
5 Remove the seven Phillips screws to free the headlamp housing from the
headlamp nacelle. These wellnuts have a tendency to dry up and fall out over
time. Now is a good time to replace them.
6 Squeeze the two external tabs (if present) to remove the wire connector at
the back of the headlamp bulb. Remove the headlamp housing assembly from
the vehicle.
7 Reaching inside the headlamp nacelle, remove the flange nut 5/16” to release
the chrome strip at the top of the nacelle.
8 If present, remove the wireform clip holding the halves of the nacelle together
at the bottom.
9 Carefully pry off the fork lock plate at the rear of the handlebar clamp shroud.
10 Remove two Phillips screws beneath the lock plate.
11 Loosen the Phillips screw from tab at the front of the handlebar clamp
shroud (but do not remove)
12 COVER the FRONT FENDER with suitable material to protect the FENDER paint.
13 The Nacelle halves are secured to the bike with the same 4 acorn fasteners
that hold the windshield mounts and passing lamp/turn signal assembly (light
bar) to the bike.
14 Now loosen the 4 acorn nuts with a ½” socket on both the left and right side
of the nacelle which secure the passing lamp/turn signal assembly (light bar)
but don’t remove them completely just yet
15 Now remove the passing lamp/turn signal assembly (light bar) by rotating the
bottom towards the front of the bike, then sliding it downward to release it
from the two upper mounting studs.
16 Lay the passing lamp/turn signal assembly (light bar) on the fender.
17 Now Remove the 2 acorn nuts from the left side fork studs as well as the 2
acorn nuts from the right side fork studs. Doing so before would leave
one with a handful. Trying to hang onto the two Nacelle halves, as well as
the passing lamp/turn signal assembly and 4 acorn nuts could easily have lead
to dropping or scratching the parts.
18 Remove the grommets (and clutch cable clamp) from the left and right side
fork studs.
19 Raise the handle bar clamp shroud slightly and while separating the “halves” of
the headlamp nacelle, remove the shroud from the motorcycle.
20 Raise the bike on the stand to where the front tire is barely touching the
ground and so it doesn’t wobble.
21 Now you are ready to begin removal of the Fork Cap Bolt which will require a
1 3/8” socket to remove the Fork Cap Bolt from the top of the fork tube.
22 Remove the Fork Cap Bolt on the right hand fork.
23 Next remove the drain screw at the bottom of the right hand fork. 5 mm hex
key.
24 Place a measuring cup to let you know exactly how much old fork oil you are
able to remove from the fork tube.
25 After allowing the majority of the old fork oil to drain:
26 Have someone hold the passing/lamp Turn Signal Assembly (Light Bar) and then Lower bike back to ground as you will need to pump as much of the oil as you
can out of the right fork tube by grabbing the front brake and bouncing the
front-end until no more comes out.
27 After you have removed all of the old fork oil, replace New Drain Screw &
Washer back into the Front Fork. Tighten Screw to 72-96 in-lbs.
28 Raise Bike on jack stand to where the tire is barely touching the ground.
29 Measure out the amount you desire to place back into the fork tube matching
what you measured coming out.
30 Use Bel~Ray 20W Fork Oil most likely at 11.5 oz.
31 Pour half of the amount you intend to use into the fork tube.
32 Reinstall the Fork Cap Bolt.
33 Lower Bike to the ground
34 Pump the front end about a dozen or so times grabbing the brake while you do
it.
35 Raise the bike back up on the lift to where the front tire barely touches the
ground again.
36 Remove the Fork Cap Bolt
37 Finish pouring the remainder (approximately) of the amount of new fork oil into
the fork.
38 Now torque the Fork Cap Bolt to 50-55 ft-lbs.
39 Repeat exact process for Left Fork.
40. Put everything back together again.

Perhaps this may help someone in the future...

Regards,

"Classic"
 

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Hey Classic... I was stressing out over this whole deal recently myself. I purchased some redline synthetic for oil and started researching how to change it. It is possible to do it using a mityvac, and there are plenty of people who do it that way, but for me, I decided I wanted to KNOW 100% how much oil was in there when I finish the job, and I want to know that both forks are absolutely equal. So I took my entire front end apart and did it the slow way. Yes, it was a project, but with 25K on it, I feel better knowing everything is correct. I was also able to clean my caliper pistons very well, change my brake pads over to Lyndall Z+, check my steering head preload and grease the bearing, etc.

While I had it apart, I ended up changing out the stock springs with Race Tech springs and I lowered it 1 inch. To check the oil level, I took a 10" long piece of 3/8" hard plastic line, like for a semi truck brake line, and I made a mark for 6". Then I slipped the mityvac hose over the end of the hard plastic line. I stood up the fork leg on the shop floor, completely collapsed, and poured in about 10 oz of oil, cycled the fork a few times, then I stuck the plastic tube down in the fork tube to the 6" mark and used the mityvac to pump out any excess. This way anything above 6" from the top was sucked out, leaving the correct amount of oil in the fork tube.

I also added more preload as you mentioned, by using a 1.8" preload spacer instead of the 1" they recommend. To get the fork tube plug installed, I had a friend hold the tube upright with the spring and spacer and plug on top. I stood over the fork with a short piece of 2X4 and placed the block carefully on top of the fork tube plug. I then pushed straight down, applying my weight to compress the spring, at the same time he held the fork tube up and started turning it... essentially we were turning the fork tube while holding the plug stationary. It worked fantastic and we had both tubes back together in literally 15 seconds each.

I took it for a ride the next morning and it was fantastic, no more clunking pulling out of a parking lot onto the road. The ride was much smoother yet firm... just the way I like it. I wish I would have taken some photos of the process, but I didn't. I am super happy I did it the way I did and I don't have to worry about how much oil I have and I can duplicate the results or change it if needed too, if I wasn't happy with the ride.
 

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I change my fork oil this last week in my 04 RK according to the service manual. It's not hard. Worst part is getting the Nacell (sp?) cover off to get to the top of the forks. It takes a couple hours but it's not difficult. The right fork oil looked very clean as it drained. The left fork oil was gritty looking. I replaced the oil with type E according to the manual and all is good.

RQ
 

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Flyn Brian....

Hey thanks for posting your results....It appears that you have an 06' Street Glide, which would mean your front forks for 2006 have "emulator" type fork set up....with the new "conventional" style triple circut "dampening" system. I am sure you experienced a positive result with new fork oil....From what I have read in various places it's not unusal to see HD not being very consistant with their oil levels....Another thing is that they typically put in 5 weight fork oil.....so with new springs and putting the "exact" proper amount in as it appears you "painstakingly" did....you probably INDEED are experiencing a "much" better ride with great improvement. You said you measured, so how much came out of each fork since you did measure, if you remember?

In talking with the Race Tech "tech" person a couple of weeks ago, (since I do have the race tech emulators in my 2002 RKC) I asked about how they desire a person to maintain their "emulator product"....I was told that they wanted me to remove my forks, drain the oil out by dumping it out of course, then putting it back together and putting oil into the tube until the "air space" between the top of the fork tube and the level of the oil was at a certain measurement....Of course I am a "visual" learner, and pretty much shut him down early in his long "explanation".....Only for me to ask him, So.....If I can "accurately" measure how much oil comes out of my tubes...is it ok to just put the same amount in if I have liked the performance....and is there any problem if I can figure out how to get the oil into the forks by some sort of pressure tube or "mity~vac" set up as long as I get the right amount in did it matter how it went in from either the top or the bottom....His answer was, get it in anyway you can, drain the oil out totally, and if you get it "right" and figure out how much "oil" precisely comes out and put the same amount in....you are good to go...Well....let's see here....HD puts as shown more of a "model" in behaviour of putting less than the specified amount, and they use typically 5 weight oil when they do put it in.....and So....I am thinkin....get the oil out....let it drain over nite to get a very very precise amount...lol the "drip" method....come out in the morning figure out how much is out...calculate a 1/2" oz most likely for "cling" and come "fly away with me" like Frank Sinatra sings....lol....while leaving my forks on my bike...What I found out during this whole discovery is that without an "air vent" system one is not able to use a "mity~vac" situation.....and since I am not motivated by spending $175.00 - $200.00 to give it that option....I will continue to do perform my "fork oil" procedure performed as listed above......I am thinkin because of the limited amount of posting on this topic....for 2002 Road King and Road King Classic owners....they aren't changing their fork oil....lol...or else Indys are staying busy doing it for them....1999 - 2001 Touring bikes had front fork air assist for all bikes I believe, in 2002 except for Road Kings and Road King Classics you had the left fork cartridge...which basically required that fork to come off which also meant if that one is might as well do the other one that way too....Same with 2003, 2004, and 2005. Might have even been all touring bikes had the left fork cartrdige....and then back to 2006....where Road Kings, Road King Classics, Road King Customs...were the ones again back to conventional forks....no cartridge in either leg or the "new" triple circut "dampening" system....where as all of the Electra Glides and Road Glide Models featured this "new" system....I have no idea what happened in 2007 or 2008....

Regards,

"ClassicRider"
 

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02 RKs do not have cartridge in left fork.
I don`t subscribe to shortcuts when it comes to servicing front forks.
What`s the point of draining `most`of the contaminated fluid only to be replaced with fresh stuff to be contaminated instantly once it mixes around with the `leftovers`

With fork on bike and bike on lift.
1. Remove nacelle.
2.Remove front axle, wheel, calipers, fender.
3.Loosen pinch bolts on triple tree.
4.Remove fork bolt and cap
5.Remove spring.
6.Remove drain screw.
7.Pump fork leg a bunch of times so all fluid is removed from fork slider AND damper tube
8.When no more fluid present, re-assemble drain screw with new washer to fork slider
9.Use T-handle hex as a level (attach or tape a length of hose or a wooden dowel)
10. Pour recommended amount of fluid in one leg. Measure distance from fluid to top of fork with T handle. Adjust per manual. Mark spot on T handle.
11.Repeat to other leg.
12.Re-install, fork cap bolts, fender, wheel, calipers.

No, it`s not a five minute job but...
There`s no old fluid trapped in the dampers vs the Mitivac way.
You can easily adjust your compression preload by using a longer spacer on the spring. Right diameter PVC tubing works like a charm.
There`s no shortcuts, it`s done right by the owner, front suspension is now fully serviced.

For the rest of us poor bastards that have to deal with cartridges in our E and R Glides (02), our choices are: Rig a tool or buy the tool to compress the spring, or take both damn legs off, walk into dealer and let them deal with the mess. $90.00 and a couple of hours later, we`re good to go for another 20k.
 

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Flyer....

ummmm lol looking around are you talking to me....
02 RKs do not have cartridge in left fork. I never said they did....lol....and they don't I agree with you....above I stated that Road Kings and Road King Classics do NOT have a cartridge style left fork.....lol

I don`t subscribe to shortcuts when it comes to servicing front forks.
What`s the point of draining `most`of the contaminated fluid only to be replaced with fresh stuff to be contaminated instantly once it mixes around with the `leftovers`


Looks at you.....does this mean you remove the "legs" from a Road King or a Road King Classic to do what you are doing below....I am confused....or are you leaving the forks on? If you are removing the forks, then why? If you are not removing the forks then why are you removing the fender and the wheel?

And if you really are removing the forks because of :
"don`t subscribe to shortcuts when it comes to servicing front forks. What`s the point of draining `most`of the contaminated fluid only to be replaced with fresh stuff to be contaminated instantly once it mixes around with the `leftovers`" <~~~~Whacha talkin about "Willus" (teasin) you mean you take your ENTIRE engine apart too each time you change your OIL?????? Are you being serious here.....I know I know....it's your opinion....but I am really trying to get your logic on this one...."humorusly" of course...no ill will intended.....to follow this logic...I even flush my transmission fluid on my car (most don't) and I don't take it all apart to get all of the contaminats out it's impossible....and that's MY CAR...here we are talking about front forks....the worst that can happen are those contaminants affecting your seals and causing seals to leak.......heck even harley sees fit to run 5 weight oil in your forks when coming from the factory.....and probably not even the "right" amount as some have found throughout the years.....ok ok ok ok ok feels like Joe Pesci...lol...so I am trying to understand what you are saying....do you remove the forks for a road king or a road king classic that have "conventional" forks....

Thanks....

"ClassicRider"


With fork on bike and bike on lift.
1. Remove nacelle.
2.Remove front axle, wheel, calipers, fender.
3.Loosen pinch bolts on triple tree.
4.Remove fork bolt and cap
5.Remove spring.
6.Remove drain screw.
7.Pump fork leg a bunch of times so all fluid is removed from fork slider AND damper tube
8.When no more fluid present, re-assemble drain screw with new washer to fork slider
9.Use T-handle hex as a level (attach or tape a length of hose or a wooden dowel)
10. Pour recommended amount of fluid in one leg. Measure distance from fluid to top of fork with T handle. Adjust per manual. Mark spot on T handle.
11.Repeat to other leg.
12.Re-install, fork cap bolts, fender, wheel, calipers.

No, it`s not a five minute job but...
There`s no old fluid trapped in the dampers vs the Mitivac way.
You can easily adjust your compression preload by using a longer spacer on the spring. Right diameter PVC tubing works like a charm.
There`s no shortcuts, it`s done right by the owner, front suspension is now fully serviced.

For the rest of us poor bastards that have to deal with cartridges in our E and R Glides (02), our choices are: Rig a tool or buy the tool to compress the spring, or take both damn legs off, walk into dealer and let them deal with the mess. $90.00 and a couple of hours later, we`re good to go for another 20k.
 

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Hey Classic,

General comment. I'm not taking liberties on you or anyone else.
Why do I take fender and wheel off? Real simple. Ya gotta pump each fork slider a bunch of times, and that can't happen with the fender and wheel attached.

I never said I took the fork apart like disassembling a motor, (although once every 100k it should be done to replace seals and bushings). What I did say is ya gotta pump as much of the old fluid outta the leg as possible.....you know where most of it is trapped..... Inside the damper rod. And you know how gungy fork oil can get. Bad for seals, they won't swell. Bad for damper rod...traps all the "silt". Would ya change your motor oil and leave the filter on?

What's the time to remove a wheel, a fender and two calipers? Half hour?
Big deal!

You remove the forks on Electras and RGs cause of the cartridge.

Quality time well spent.


Cheers
 

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Flyer....

I am still lost here.....this afternoon matter of fact I just helped a buddy change his fork oil, he owns a 2006 Road King Custom with of course conventional forks just like I have on my 2002 Road King Classic...he only has around 8,400 miles on the bike he did it because it wasn't feeling firm enough for him [knowing that HD uses 5 weight fork oil, he also was a bit concerned that they would have put in a less amount of volume as has been reported by others throughout the years].......It's his bike of course so we did it his way....I just actually acquired the "motion pro" 1 3/8" fork cap socket for around $25.00 shipped....it proved to be a great tool and allows one to remove the fork cap bolt on a Road King Custom as well as it will do for my bike, a 2002 Road King Classic...without removing handlebars because the "tool" is fairly thin in height......[as one knows there is only so much room between the bottom of the handlebar and the top of the fork cap bolt....when using this tool one can use a 1/2" rachett as the motion pro is a 1/2" drive to remove the fork cap bolt...and in my case I have a 3/8" drive torque wrench so w then used a 1" crow foot open end with a 3/8" drive and attached that to my 3/8" drive torque wrench, the motion pro tool has a 1" outside diameter hex....lol for those of us who don't own a 1/2" torque wrench....and calculated the difference with the extension and torqued the bolts to 51 ft-lbs]. When I arrived he had already removed the nacelle, and head light and so the forks were exposed....So we took one drain screw out of the left fork....and let it drain...took the fork cap off to allow air and it seem to all come out in a little over 20 minutes or so....after there were no more drips (which really ocurred after 10 minutes) he put the fork cap back on and then lowered the bike to the ground and pumped the bike several times....rolling it forward and rolling it back while pulling the brake lever....nothing more came out while doing this.......the total amount that came out was just a smidge over 11.0 oz....we went to ACE hardware and purchased 4 (2 for him and 2 for my later procedure to do this to my bike) 6 point bolts same thread, it's metric...about an 1/8" longer than the "stock" screw and used the same crush washer...the "stock" screw" was destroyed getting it off....had to use vice grips....now next time all that has to be done is getting a socket out and removing the bolt....by the way the bolt's length was no problem because he was able to hand tighten the bolt all the way without any resistance like you might feel if you hit something on the inside of the fork tube...he screwed it in by hand without any problem......no running to the dealer to replace screws...lol not that it's that often in life anyway....he poured in the volume he decided upon (Bel~Ray 20 W 11.2 oz..by eyesight...) and he torqued the fork cap bolt and all is good. Moving to the other side he drained the old fork oil out and again just a smidge over 11.0 oz came out....didn't even bother pumping the forks because the last time on the other side did nothing to remove more oil.....

Ok so......you are discussing the removal of the forks from the bike, and then doing what....taking the fork cap off...and then what....I mean you do realize that the spring and the dampening rod are secured by another fork cap bolt which is beneath the "top" fork cap bolt [by the way for those reading that may not know don't worry the second fork cap bolt within the fork tube has a hollow center and so you can pour oil through]....so in order to get to the dampening rod or the spring would require taking the next bolt out and thus it seems you are taking it all apart.....but that is what you said you don't do....So...I am confused here....and I am not picking just trying to grasp what you are saying you would do....I guess I am lost how you would pump a fork any better than when the fork is already on the bike and you have full "leverage" to pump.....

Regards,

"ClassicRider"
 

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Ok, my turn I guess... haha

I did measure the oil coming out and it was 3/4 of a red SOLO plastic cup like you'd see at a kegger party. Same in both legs. I was more concerned with the oil level because I bought my bike with the chrome sliders already installed at the dealer, and the dealer I bought my bike from is not on my list of places I let work on my bike now that I have seen some of their other work. So since it was exactly the same amount and probably 9 ounces or so, I was happy that they had the right amount.

Now with 25K miles on that oil, it was really yucky, and I definitely wanted to get it all out of there. I was shocked to find out how much oil stayed in there after pulling the fork completely off the bike and pouring it out, and even pumping the tube a few times. I continued doing this and more oil came out, so I cant imagine you could get it all out while its still on the bike.

I took the tube caps off with a big box end wrench I had here in the tool box... used to be a diesel truck mech in a previous life and saved the big tools even!! Glad I did.

So I wish I could report how much better it rides but the day after I changed my oil I took my motor apart and I have been without it all this time, and only got to ride it that morning to warm the oil up. Here's to hoping its up and running soon!!
 

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Flyer....

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr this is my second attempt at this post....lol....I lost everything I wrote as I was trying to go back and read what you said....and put it in context....lol

Alrighty here we go again....yes....photos are very helpful to me as I am a "visual" learner....and as Kodak says a picture is worth a 1,000 words....so thanks for the photo......

I just know if I were reading this post a year from now, I would be curious about the things I am curious now about....so here we go.....(not challenging you) I am really trying to learn here.....I am always interested in doing A+ service to my bike.....and if it seems logical I do it....so let's see:

With fork on bike and bike on lift. ok
1. Remove nacelle. ok
2.Remove front axle, wheel, calipers, fender. ok
3.Loosen pinch bolts on triple tree. ok but I have a question here....why??? lol
4.Remove fork bolt and cap ok, I get the fork cap being removed....and apparently you are removing the "bolt" to get the spring out, I get that butttttt......why do you need to remove the "spring"????
5.Remove spring. why???? why do you do this???? what does that accomplish??? does not doing this keep you from pumping the fork up and down????
6.Remove drain screw. ok
7.Pump fork leg a bunch of times so all fluid is removed from fork slider AND damper tube ok get this too
8.When no more fluid present, re-assemble drain screw with new washer to fork slider ok yep get this too
9.Use T-handle hex as a level (attach or tape a length of hose or a wooden dowel)
10. Pour recommended amount of fluid in one leg. Measure distance from fluid to top of fork with T handle. Adjust per manual. Mark spot on T handle. confused by this....seems like a complicated process to do when and only if you measure what comes out put back either that amount or perhaps what you want in....++++ there are enough people over the years that have come out and said put 1 oz over and either go with a Belray 20 w or Belray 15...sometimes people go 1 oz over or only .5 oz over....my manual says 11.1 anyway as communicated by them....and YES I do realize that if you put in too too much you can ruin a seal...but there have been too many successful applications with a 1oz over without any problems to seals....so that isn't a concern....
11.Repeat to other leg. ok lol...yep get this
12.Re-install, fork cap bolts, fender, wheel, calipers. and ahhhh yes....I get this....you will be glad to KNOW!!! (tryin a little humor)

No, it`s not a five minute job but... true
There`s no old fluid trapped in the dampers vs the Mitivac way. so I take it you don't own stock in Mity~Vac???? lol yep get this too
You can easily adjust your compression preload by using a longer spacer on the spring. I agree with you here as well...anytime you remove the fork bolt you have opened the door to changing your preload by adding length to your preload....yep get this...Right diameter PVC tubing works like a charm.
There`s no shortcuts, it`s done right by the owner, front suspension is now fully serviced. actually you have done a short cut....you haven't replaced seals you haven't taken the fork completely apart and serviced it....you haven't inspected the "guts" persay...I know this sounds like I am challenging you but I am just thinking out loud.....

For the rest of us poor bastards that have to deal with cartridges in our E and R Glides (02), our choices are: Rig a tool or buy the tool to compress the spring, or take both damn legs off, walk into dealer and let them deal with the mess. $90.00 and a couple of hours later, we`re good to go for another 20k. and your right here....lol you guys have it a lot worse...and for what reason....at the end of the day...HD decides to do only one fork that way....and not both...it's all a bit confusing....and so many have simply taken the "left" fork cartridge out of their bikes and are running a "conventional" set up...hand to chin....things that make you go hmmmmmmm.......

So...I am really stuck on the spring issue, why remove the spring...again does this go back to you can't move the damper up and down while the spring is "loaded" under the fork "bolt" and releasing the pinch bolts, why.....and really how much more oil you do get out....by doing all of this....

Regards,

"ClassicRider"
 

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Flyin Brian....

Ok, my turn I guess... haha yep here we go....but you get "green" lol

I did measure the oil coming out and it was 3/4 of a red SOLO plastic cup like you'd see at a kegger party. I give it to you there....a real scientific measurement...lol...yep there was this much in the "red" solo cup...lol....and thinkin about beer...lolSame in both legs. I was more concerned with the oil level because I bought my bike with the chrome sliders already installed at the dealer, and the dealer I bought my bike from is not on my list of places I let work on my bike now that I have seen some of their other work. So since it was exactly the same amount and probably 9 ounces or so, I was happy that they had the right amount. Let's see what year and what model are you riding....my 2002 RKC calls for 11.1 oz which they specify as the "correct" amount....

Now with 25K miles on that oil, it was really yucky, and I definitely wanted to get it all out of there. I was shocked to find out how much oil stayed in there after pulling the fork completely off the bike and pouring it out, now wait here just a gosh darn moment...lol....you "poured it out....which means the oil is now reversing it's direction....which takes longer for the oil to come out....I don't think you are getting more oil out but you think you are getting more oil out...lol...what's interesting to me if HD didn't want us to drain the oil out via the drain holes why did they provide them in the first place....You are right in the manual it talks about pouring the old fork oil out....but that's because in the manual it's going on to tell you to replace the fork seals...what's really interesting is that I own a 1999 FXR2 the manual says to replace the fork oil at every 10,000 miles....I use to own a 2003 FXDL Dyna Low Rider I still have the manual and parts book exactly same parts in both bikes "except" the FXR2 has chrome lowers while the FXDL came stock with the "dull" finish...other wise exact same forks...the FXDL service manual for 2003 says change fork oil at 20,000 miles....my 2002 RKC says change fork oil at 20,000 miles my buddies 2006 Road King Custom's service manual says change fork oil at 50,000 miles...same exact same parts in both bikes....now I have read many times over and over of guys that have gone that long have created other issues for themselves....ie: seals that fell apart....it's only makes sense that moisture would have a way of getting into the forks with seals that begin to fail from up and down over 50,000 miles....so go figure....my point...HD is providing "screws" at the bottom to drain fork oil...and if your not taking the forks apart to put new seals or other "guts" in then why do it.....ok so back to our regularly scheduled "discussion" so you poured out the fluid and feel you got more out...(you know I am teasin) and even pumping the tube a few times. I continued doing this and more oil came out, so I cant imagine you could get it all out while its still on the bike. now wait another gosh darn moment....tell me you really believe this....not even my buddy above does that....lol...and he is doing "no" short cuts....you know I am just trying to be funny....but really seriously....I suppose the only way to know you got it "ALL" out (the old fork oil that is) is to take everything apart and use some brake cleaner....and replace with new seals...but then if your seals are not leaking why would anyone go through taking their forks apart, once again my buddy above isn't even doing that...and he is taking "no" short cuts....I said that again didn't I....YIKES!!! three strikes and I am out...lol....seriously though the only way to take this to the absolute finest service is to remove the forks...dump the old fork oil....clean everything off and replace all of the seals/washers put a new spring in enhance your preload if you wish....and put it all back together again....BUT none of us really believe this is necessary....and so we don't....

I took the tube caps off with a big box end wrench I had here in the tool box... used to be a diesel truck mech in a previous life and saved the big tools even!! Glad I did.

So I wish I could report how much better it rides but the day after I changed my oil I took my motor apart and I have been without it all this time, and only got to ride it that morning to warm the oil up. Here's to hoping its up and running soon!! I would love to hear that your ride has improved and I guarrantee that what you have done has improved it....of course back in 2004 right after I purchased my 2002 RKC I removed the "stock" lowers and put on "chrome ones" which then because it was all apart it only made sense to use new seals and I put in race tech emulators with race tech springs....and of course the ride was so so so much better....from what I was riding on which were the "progressive" hd spring of some sort...and whatever level of oil was put in the fork from the factory....all I know whatever it was really wasn't up to par because the forks always felt like they were "diving" away from me....what I will never know unless I take the emulators out...is what would have been the change had I only added say clean fork oil alone...you know what I mean....people talk about the emulators being the best thing....yeah maybe so....but are they basing that decision like me coming from a stock spring and a stock oil in their forks that may not be heavy enough to begin with and perhaps too little in the tube to begin with as well...I looked high and low for any posts on several boards that might speak to this issue of replacing fork oil for a 2002 road king or RKC and I found only this post that even came close to addressing the specifics for my bike....there just isn't that much information about the road kings or road king classics with "conventional" forks....my point is......there may be someone else reading this two more years down the road wondering what to do....and I want the "debate" or the "discussion" to help them understand what should really be done and why....ok it's your turn to hit the ball....Breckinridge got 10 inches of snow last nite and we need rain here.....going to Florida this weekend to meet my new grandson..and it will be 96 aprx there....all I want is good fork oil....and proper procedures...I will rest well in Florida knowing you guys are helping me OUT!!!! LOL...Batter UP....

Regards.

"ClassicRider"
 

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Classic,

I'm riding a 2006 FLHXI Street Glide, so I have the same non-cartridge forks as the 2002-2005 RKs, and I'm sure other years too.

I certainly wouldn't have taken this thing all apart if I was only planning on changing the oil. I bought a set of gold springs and 1" lowering kit from Gold Tech, but I really couldnt afford the emulators(well I couldn't afford the springs either but I did it, and the shop I went to had the lowering kit and I asked about the emulators too...haha, not in stock). I have a mity-vac and read all of the posts about how to do it. One of the things I keep seeing is people saying you can't force the oil in from the drain plug since it is a closed air space, but removing the fork cap nut is super easy and doesn't affect the spring, so IF I hadn't decided to change the springs, I would have rigged a fitting for the drain screw, drained the oil out and pushed the new oil in via the drain screw port with the fork cap nut removed which would allow a vent at the top of the fork.

The part about not getting all the oil out just meant that I had the fork out of the bike, and dumped it over into the drain pan. I held it there 3 minutes and pumped the tube. I would have thought all of the oil was out. Thats when the valve thingy fell out and about a 1/4" cup of oil came out of the damper tube. That oil was still in there and I thought it was empty... who knows if it would have all drained completely by the drain screw, but I got the happy feeling that I was avoiding a possible complication that I might have had if I had done it the cheap and easy way.

As for oil levels... as I understand it, the reason an extra ounce increases damping is this: The spring is there to hold up the bike. The shock damping is performed by the oil and the airspace above the oil. The damping rate is tied to the amount of air above the oil, so adding an extra ounce means there is less air to compress, so when you hit a big bump, the air that is there gets compressed to a higher pressure than it would have with the stock amount of fluid. Now I may be way off but that's the way I have always understood it.

So I am one of those guys now... I changed springs and oil type and oil level, but I am using stock valves. I will run this at least 5K and see how I like it. I have a new front fender I am planning on painting one of these days, when I do, I might just make a little adjustment to the oil level if after the 5K miles I think there is room for a slight improvement, or maybe I will try the emulators.. who knows?

I sure enjoy these discussion!!
 
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