Q&A: I’ve left the fork slider misshapen on my Honda CBR600F

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Q: Can I take this early opportunity to thank CMM for what was my enthusiasm for motorcycling and home mechanics. The problem is with the forks on my CBR600F. Yes I know it’s a jellymould, but better than the Tiger Cub I started my biking with which should give you some idea of my age.

The bike is now 18 years old and I felt, through reading your magazine, that this winter would be an opportunity to renew the fork oil and while I am at it will fit new seals, dust covers and bushes. Following that very detailed manual, Haynes, and with continual turning back to the exploded view of the forks to figure what was supposed to be happening, I very soon had the right fork dismantled. Easy. But there is always one, isn’t there?

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I dismantled the left fork down to the part where it tells me to ‘pull the fork tube sharply outwards until the lower bushing strikes the top bushing, repeat until the top bushing and seal are tapped out of the slider’, yeah, right. I can only assume that somehow the bottom bush is getting under the top bush and spreading it in the fork slider because there is no way these two parts are going to separate. I tried release oil, heat, brute force and a big hammer, swearing, no, nothing worked.

All I’ve done is badly score the fork tube and left the fork slider slightly misshapen. So it looks like a search through eBay but they seem to be sold as pairs and I may be faced with the same problem again. Where did I go wrong? Reading your magazine? Tackling things outside my capabilities? Doing the job myself to save a few pennies? That’s funny now. Have you any advice, if you have perhaps met this problem yourself or where do I go from here?

Still a great bike – 1995 CBR

A: That is an interesting question! You have checked the Haynes manual, and I have checked both the Clymer and genuine Honda manuals and this should be a fairly straightforward job. Just to check, the drill is to remove the socket head cap screw (Allen bolt) at the bottom of the slider and both the dust seal and snap ring (internal circlip) in the top of the slider, then to do as you say.

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The only thing that is holding the components together is the fit of both the bush and the oil seal in the slider. I cannot imagine that the bush can be an excessively tight fit as it is made to the correct size and as it is, I believe, copper plated there should be no corrosion sticking it in place. That leaves just the oil seal, which should come out fairly easily.

One thought though: you did remove the snap ring didn’t you? Yes of course you did! These can often be quite hard to remove as they become rusted in place after years of soaking in rainwater and road salt. Maybe some remaining rust was jamming against the oil seal?

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