Suspension tools/work space

fanger
Posts
751
Joined
3/24/2013
Location
AU
2/8/2022 3:35pm Edited Date/Time 2/12/2022 8:59am
Been really interested in learning to tune and repair/work on my own suspension. For those who do it at home, what sort of work space have you got and what tools would you reccomend etc? Cheers!
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spimx
Posts
890
Joined
3/25/2019
Location
Port Isabel, TX US
2/8/2022 3:56pm
A vice with soft clamping surface, tusk seal driver.
4
soggy
Posts
3519
Joined
12/3/2018
Location
UT US
2/8/2022 3:57pm
Vice with soft jaws. Seal bullets and drivers. Tubs for cleaning and draining oil and a good sized work bench to lay out parts. Any other specific tools to the forks your working on.
2
fanger
Posts
751
Joined
3/24/2013
Location
AU
2/8/2022 4:13pm
Thanks fellas, I've got the suspension bible on order so I figure thats a start right?
soggy
Posts
3519
Joined
12/3/2018
Location
UT US
2/8/2022 4:17pm
For shocks you’ll need seal head drivers, nitrogen tank if you want to charge your own shocks. I’m sure there are other tools you’d need to but I haven’t really ventured into shocks myself.

The Shop

FWYT
Posts
2937
Joined
5/25/2014
Location
San Diego, CA US
2/8/2022 5:05pm Edited Date/Time 2/8/2022 5:07pm
Every time I do my suspension, I really wish I had a stainless steel bench with drain gutters for the oil.
Till then, I got a roll of that heavy rosin paper from Home Depot (it's cheap!) to lay down
on the bench and floor. Makes clean up much easier.
2
2/8/2022 5:25pm
Look for the plastic clips that mount to the wall to hang the forks to drain. Everyone else pretty much covered everything else. The drc bleed cups work great for kyb/Showa. I made a vacuum bleeder for wp
Joe.kersanty
Posts
58
Joined
1/11/2015
Location
Grand Blanc, MI US
2/8/2022 5:35pm
If you’re doing old school stuff, 96-01, I have a bunch you could use. I am out of moto and into life there after but have what you need
3
JM485
Posts
4834
Joined
10/1/2013
Location
Davis, CA US
2/8/2022 9:20pm
The Suspension Bible is an outstanding book, I learned to service forks and shocks out of necessity years ago but recently read it to learn more about the actual theory of valving and how it works. Between Motion Pro, Tusk, and Race Tech you should be able to get all of the tools you need, it will be a bit of an investment up front but when you consider the cost of having your suspension serviced by a shop or tuner they pay for themselves very quickly. Forks are relatively straight forward, but shocks are a bit more exclusive just because you’ll need a nitrogen tank to recharge the bladder, again this can be a bit expensive up front but can pay for itself quickly. I actually prefer to do shocks over forks though, just because there’s only one to deal with!

There are also tons of great YouTube videos specific to pretty much any common fork and shock, plus your bike’s service manual will be a great asset as well. Suspension really doesn’t need to be as big of a black box as it is for most home mechanics, just take your time and treat it like it’s the inside of your motor (keep it CLEAN and don’t scratch things) and you’ll be on your way.
2
Bruce372
Posts
5474
Joined
4/1/2008
Location
US
2/8/2022 9:54pm
And PPE and good ventilation.
Wrench
Posts
6
Joined
10/6/2011
Location
Austin, TX US
2/9/2022 4:53am
My biggest recommendation is to create a good work bench and drain system first. The tools come as you work on different bikes. I have a work bench that I cut a hole in the top and then dropped a shallow concrete mixing tub into. It is about 3' by 2' and has a lip on the rim so it won't fall through even with a bunch of weight. Bought a cheap household drain and put a five gallon bucket on the shelf below. Super cheap and I've been using it for years. Shocks can be messy when putting the shock shaft back in. I mounted a vice next to the tub that can swivel over the tub to contain the spillage. Suspension work makes me good money, but I'm not going out to the track chasing settings for the next RC. I mainly do just re-build and maintenance services for that reason. All the suspension only guys I know get frustrated from time to time with guys wanting to chase the perfect setting....Good luck!
1
2/9/2022 5:28am
Polishing kit for all fork internals. I even polish the fork springs. I think fluid flows threw the springs easier then.
4
m21racing
Posts
525
Joined
7/19/2016
Location
Reno, NV US
2/9/2022 6:14am Edited Date/Time 2/9/2022 6:20am
I got lucky with stainless drain sinks. Found a dual basin 2'x2'x11" deep. Also I put a 16"x30"x9" deep sink in my 3'x6' metal bench. I use a standard 6" bench vise with soft jaws. I'm on generator/solar power. I do this part time, and still enjoy it. I try to have a flow to my work area. Always a work in progress. When I get time, I'll have remnant flooring, and stainless top put on my bench so I can simply squeegee oil into sink. I also plan a back splash , and specialty tool area.
1
Jardo
Posts
317
Joined
11/21/2019
Location
Visalia, CA US
2/9/2022 7:12am
Whats the most cost effective way to get a nitrogen setup at home?
dmm698
Posts
864
Joined
6/24/2015
Location
NY US
2/9/2022 7:19am
my favorite addition to my shop for suspension aside from the tools that have been mentioned, I bought a junk sink off facebook marketplace, and put it in my bench. I leave forks / shocks in the sink to drain and just have a bucket under the drain under the bench.
2
garasaki
Posts
142
Joined
1/20/2021
Location
Mount Vernon, IA US
2/9/2022 9:16am
Great points about having a good little drain system set up. Never really thought about that too much. I definitely make a huge mess on my bench, especially with forks, but just clean it up old school style. I could maybe work a drain into it, that'd be kinda sweet.

For me, just having a dedicated bench with lots of light, that I make sure is always clean after each project I complete on it, was a game changer. I have it in my basement so I can comfortably work during the middle of winter or summer.

I just take my shocks to the local shop for nitrogen. It's 10 or 15 bucks each. I usually do no more than 2 shocks a year. I don't see the economy in having my own setup.
kijen
Posts
857
Joined
10/1/2010
Location
Jacksonville, FL US
2/9/2022 12:46pm Edited Date/Time 2/9/2022 12:47pm
Jardo wrote:
Whats the most cost effective way to get a nitrogen setup at home?
I got mine from a welding supplier.

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mxtech1
Posts
1799
Joined
7/21/2011
Location
Galesburg, IL US
2/9/2022 1:15pm
Jardo wrote:
Whats the most cost effective way to get a nitrogen setup at home?
buy a certified used tank from Ebay. buy a pressure regulator & pressure gauge setup w/ fill hose. take to local SJ Smith welding store and have it filled.
1
Sandusky26
Posts
1757
Joined
7/28/2021
Location
Eastern, NC US
2/9/2022 2:32pm
I cover my wooden benches in aluminum trim coil.
FWYT
Posts
2937
Joined
5/25/2014
Location
San Diego, CA US
2/11/2022 10:27pm
m21racing wrote:
I got lucky with stainless drain sinks. Found a dual basin 2'x2'x11" deep. Also I put a 16"x30"x9" deep sink in my 3'x6' metal bench. I...
I got lucky with stainless drain sinks. Found a dual basin 2'x2'x11" deep. Also I put a 16"x30"x9" deep sink in my 3'x6' metal bench. I use a standard 6" bench vise with soft jaws. I'm on generator/solar power. I do this part time, and still enjoy it. I try to have a flow to my work area. Always a work in progress. When I get time, I'll have remnant flooring, and stainless top put on my bench so I can simply squeegee oil into sink. I also plan a back splash , and specialty tool area.
Can you, or anyone else that has a sink/drain set up, post pictures? Much appreciated!
1
m21racing
Posts
525
Joined
7/19/2016
Location
Reno, NV US
2/12/2022 7:10am Edited Date/Time 2/12/2022 7:12am

I was getting some things sorted. I'll post a better one when I'm working there today.
3
lumpy790
Posts
7681
Joined
9/18/2007
Location
York, SC US
2/12/2022 8:57am Edited Date/Time 2/12/2022 8:59am
Back in my suspension shop days my box van had limited space so the parts cleaner tank was built right into the work bench. I have always used a kitty litter tub to dump the suspension fluids into that simply sat below the vice. Clamp the fork or shock in the vice upside down and let it drain. Back in the 1980’s Honda sold the Pro-Gas aluminum nitrogen tank all set up with the line and screw on fitting with a T that screwed down to open and close the Schroeder’s valve so I bought that and still using it today.



mxshot
Posts
22
Joined
7/21/2012
Location
Fountain Valley, CA US
2/13/2022 11:09pm
This cartridge stand makes assembling base valve and cartridges easier and less messy.

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