Concerning Issue After Fork Oil Change 03 KX250

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7/1/2018 6:02 PM

Currently changing the oil in the forks on my 03 KX250 which is a pretty simple job since the forks are the 48mm KYB Open Chamber Forks as compared to the Later Twin Chamber designs.
I have a service manual and followed it verbatim and my issue is that after completing one fork leg and putting it back together exactly as it came apart, i noticed the spring isnt preloaded anymore like it used to when i unscrewed the cap from the damper rod. I had to hold the spring down to get a wrench on the rod and use a socket to unscrew the fork cap. NOTHING was displaced as far as parts above the spring. The metal cup, plastic spacer, min bumper, and plastic collar the slips inside the fork cap were all put back exactly as they were when i removed them.
Not only is the spring a little loose with freeplay and i can hear it rattle around when i shake the fork but the compression and rebound adjusters dont seem to be effective and maybe thats just in my head but i maxed them both out to fully closed and the fork action really didnt change. YES i put the rebound adjuster rod back in the damping rod .... like i said everything was put back together exactly as it came apart and nothing weird happened on disassemble or reassembly.
Due to the spring not having preload on it there is about an inch of slop at the VERY top of the stroke.
None of this is very drastic but it is something ive noticed so if anybody has any advice on whats going on here ir if the spring just needs to seat itself better, please let me know.

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7/1/2018 9:01 PM

My memory is foggy but I recall those having the spring on top (ie just under the fork cap). I’d check that when you spun the cap on, you weren’t actually spinning the jam but upward toward the cap instead of the cap all the way on. This would effectively lengthen the damper rod, taking preload off the spring.

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7/6/2018 12:58 PM

Are you saying that if you completely extend the fork and go to push down on them it kind of drops a little before turning into “suspension”?

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7/12/2018 6:24 PM

Blackjack31 wrote:

Are you saying that if you completely extend the fork and go to push down on them it kind of drops a little before turning ...more

Yes .....for about the first 1" of travel.... I dont recall it being like that before i took them apart i only removed the fork cap and rebound rod plus tge springs seemed to have preload on them where as they now have 1/4 to 1/2 inch of free play ...and yes the fork caps are fully screwed down

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7/12/2018 7:12 PM

You need to take a second look (or third, or 4th) at your reassembly. You missed something...Maybe take the other one apart to compare it to?

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7/12/2018 9:33 PM

mxracer666 wrote:

You need to take a second look (or third, or 4th) at your reassembly. You missed something...Maybe take the other one apart to ...more

Believe me I have over and over and they both have a similar bamount of Freeplay between the spring and preload spacer ....it's literally 1/4" and I've since reassembled them, I made sure to note EVERYTHINGB on the fork that I am 1000% sure everything went back exactly as the Kawasaki service manual for the KX250M1 had denoted. M1 is the model designation for the 2003 KX125 and 250 and it was also done exactly as the fork that wasn't yet disassembled.
Maybe I just didn't notice it before and am being a little too tedious. Just wondered if anyone knew of any trick I may have been overlooking but I'm pretty skilled with wrenching on bikes so I thinking I'm good but am just so used to Showa stuff it kinda threw me off I'm riding this Saturday at either Club Moto or Riverfront as my last NorCal hurrah before I move back to lovely Orange County... Been here for 9 months everyone remotely close toy age I used to know are married with kids and have LONG given up riding as per their wives so I'm looking forward to coming back to the OC.

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7/12/2018 10:20 PM

An inch of free play (or1/4") is not normal -- should at least have some amount of preload. Maybe 5mm? Are these the stock springs in the forks? If not, maybe these springs needed an extra spacer to make up the diff?

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7/12/2018 11:38 PM

I had a similar deal with my 05 kx. I just paid a shop to do them. I was in a time crunch between working and wanting to race. They have the PC works kit in them. After I got them back one fork leg was noticeably different when u put pressure down on them. There was a large amount of free play and the spring clunked around. Guy said it was normal for PC valving which I don’t really believe. Had them redone by a shop I trust and they are back to normal.

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7/14/2018 1:40 AM

Something is wrong for sure. I would not ride it like that!

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