Beware shade tree mechanics! KLX fork DESTROYED by incompetence >.<

Discussion in 'Technical' started by TonyBKK, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    So, a mate sends me his KLX via Thailand Post Logispost so I can install some upgrades. First thing I notice when I pick up the bike from the post office here in Bangkok is that both forks are leaking badly:

    Left fork:

    Right fork:

    That's weird I think to myself. These are quite good quality, Made-In-Japan forks and it's a low mileage bike. Even if Logispost shipped the bike with the forks fully compressed I really wouldn't expect them to leak like this...

    It was an interesting ride home with the front brake disc completely soaked in fork oil! :shock:

    Forget about using the front brake!!!

    Ok, so obviously these forks need to be rebuilt. I ran over to Rama 9 and grabbed new oil seals, dust seals, fork oil, etc and get to work.

    The caps won't come off... :think: WTF, they are supposed to be torqued to 22 ft-lbs, I swear they were closer to 80! :shock:

    OK, that was weird... Seems someone may have worked on these forks before? They are a mess-

    But why would someone have messed with these forks when the bike has only 8000km on the clock? The massively over-torqued top caps should probably be replaced...

    I unscrew the cap and discover the next surprise:
    Holy crap! The piston rod is not connected to the cap! :shock: If this happened on both forks the inner fork tubes will simply slide right out of the outer tubes and you'll find yourself on a unicycle!! :oops:

    This is how it's SUPPOSED to look:

    I remove the dust seal and discover that the inside edge of the outer fork tube has been beat to hell:

    Pulling the tubes apart I discover that the degenerate who "serviced" this fork last had even managed to damage the oil seal seat:

    But wait, there's more!!! They also managed to destroy the inner fork tube:

    Check out the guide bushing!

    I'm at a loss! There is NO REASON to hammer this bushing into place- it slides right over the inner fork tube. At most you might have to spread it a wee little bit with a flat edge to get it onto the tube, but that's it. There is NO REASON to use a hammer on this part!

    Fortunately the left fork is in MUCH better shape:
    Just a bit of corrosion in the retaining clip groove, but otherwise it appears this fork was not abused like it's brother on the right, though the top cap was massively over torqued...

    How the heck did this happen?

    My guess, and it's only a guess, is that the previous owner, for reasons unknown, gave this KLX to a shade tree mechanic who had never seen or worked on an inverted fork before. Rather than simply separating the tubes it appears the "mechanic" tried to pry the oil seal out with the fork tubes still assembled! I can't believe this person didn't notice the damage they were doing to the fork tube?!? Seems they did manage to disconnect the fork piston from the top cap. All they needed to do after that was remove the dust seal and oil seal retaining clip, then pull the tubes apart. Then everything slides right off!

    This fork is ruined, and it's made in Japan. I'm going to run over to Kawasaki now to see what a new fork will cost- I reckon it's not going to be cheap!

    Moral of the story: If you want something done right, use a competent mechanic or do it yourself!! Be very wary of letting unqualified mechanics work on your bike!!! The result can be expensive and quite dangerous! If this "mechanic" had disconnected the fork piston in the left fork, as he did in the right, chances are you'd lose your front wheel the first time you catch a bit of air over a bump!

    Happy Trails!
  2. Loading...

  3. Hoghead

    Hoghead Ol'Timer

    He must have "learned" on the R one
  4. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Like most Mechanics here Car or Bike! No knowledge or experience and Rough as Guts!
  5. Mooter

    Mooter Member

    Worth being there and watching the work being done
  6. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    New fork will cost nearly 13k baht and will take about a month to arrive from Japan! :oops:
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Yuk! What a bike.
  8. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    I once managed to get a full set of honda workshop manuals for big bikes in thai , gave them to a well known pattaya bike mechanic who used them for bog roll .....he can read but reckons that tje Japs have nothing to teach a Thai ..
  9. Eddie The Eagle

    Eddie The Eagle Ol'Timer

    I have said it before ..... if you want something done properly Do it yourself ...(more so in LOS) .. My Late Father favourite saying as he worked on his Sunbeam S7 ... Strange .. things you don't forget .... Safe Riding !! ..
  10. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Wow, that is about as bad as I have seen. Complete butchery!
  11. CBR250

    CBR250 Ol'Timer

    Remember that with any mechanic shop, electrical repair shop, any shop at all here, only one thing is certain.

    Not that the owner has any experience or training, just that at one point in the past, they had enough money to buy a sign.
  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    :lol-sign: well said!

Share This Page