Ohlins refresh

Discussion in 'Tech' started by Dieselboy, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Does anyone here work on their own forks? I have a leaky seal on my 25mm kit and would rather learn how to repair and refresh them myself instead of sending them out. Are there any instructions how-to's out there? Thanks
  2. tophyr

    tophyr Parkour Champion

    I've done it, it's not impossible but it's not the simplest task, and you need some specialized tools. I learned by watching, if you're friends with a suspension guy it'll pay loads to have him do it once and let you "help"/watch.
  3. RM Racing

    RM Racing Tool user

    That costs double.

    For the OP, 25mm cartridges are very simple, but you need a couple of special tools to do it correctly.
  4. tophyr

    tophyr Parkour Champion

    Understandably so, I wouldn't really expect otherwise :) But long-term it works out cheaper. I'm learning to refresh my own engines too.. not very cheap while I'm learning but knowledge is valuable, can't get it for free :beer:
  5. SPL170db

    SPL170db Trackday winner

    To just change the seals, I would say that working on a 25mm kit fork is easier than the stocker. With the 25mm kit you don't even need a spring compressor to take apart the upper and lower legs.

    Here, watch these 2 of Chris Lessing servicing Josh Hayes' fork. It's not a step by step process so to speak, but you'll see how relatively simple it is.......it's also just a cool vid in general. He gets to the service about 4 minutes into the first video.



    Oh and BTW, don't buy one of those expensive Ohlins tools to take off the cap. This $5 one from Harbor Freight works just fine :D

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  6. alocker

    alocker Well-Known Member

    I went through this and purchased some of the tools. It's not brain surgery but it was not fun and I usually enjoy working on bikes. By fork seals were leaking by the end of the season.

    Now I pay a local tuner to do it. The best value besides knowing it was done correctly, is they are usually willing to baseline and tune your suspension for free or at a heavy discount.
  7. SPL170db

    SPL170db Trackday winner

    I've heard a few [horror] stories of local tuners severly f'ing almost routine suspension service jobs. I think the best value is learning to do it yourself and knowing it's done properly because you watched it happen right in front of you.
  8. some guy #2

    some guy #2 Well-Known Member

    Unless you are tearing into the suspension internals these jobs are not rocket surgery.
  9. alocker

    alocker Well-Known Member

    Yep, I have heard horror stories too. Problem is your just because you watched it go back together does not mean it went back together correctly. If you are just doing fork seals, maybe its the way to go. If you want to make sure you get the most out of your setup and want to go faster, its nice to have someone trackside that knows whats up.

    To properly service forks, you need to tear into the internals.

    Don't forget about your shock.
  10. metricdevilmoto

    metricdevilmoto Just forking around

    Last week, I had a guy call in and price out a quart of Ohlins R&T fluid, R&T fork seals and a seal driver. I mentioned a fork cap tool and cartridge holder makes the job significantly easier to do correctly and reminded him that it's a real good idea to disassemble the cartridge completely clean all the internals while he had the forks apart.

    This week, his forks showed up in the mail.
  11. some guy #2

    some guy #2 Well-Known Member

    Replacing fork seals does not require complete dis-assembly of the cartridge, if that is was the OP is talking about.

    And by internals I mean the shim stacks, not taking the spring and damper rods apart.
  12. alocker

    alocker Well-Known Member

    Yep, but changing fork seals and a "service" are not the same thing.

    There are obviously different definitions of "service" but if you ask Ohlins USA they will disassemble your cartridges completely when you ask them to be serviced. You have to tell them to change the fork seals if you want them to.

    I understand what the OP is asking but "repair' and "refresh" are pretty general terms. Besides suspension work not being fun, maybe he should consider a full service instead of just changing his fork seals. That's all I'm trying to get at.

    I have learned that tires and suspension are 2 areas not to cheap out on, it always costs way more in the long run if you do.

    Back to the OP. Buy the Race Tech Suspension Bible. It has the most detailed step by step instructions on USD cartridge forks.. I would sell you mine but I donated this summer.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  13. slower than u

    slower than u Well-Known Member

    Its not difficult, but ,by the end of a season it would be a great idea to have someone take them all the way down and inspect them as said above . Yeah a bit more cash now,but, its worth it just for piece of mind .
  14. Thanks for the videos, made it look simple.
  15. ChrisMag

    ChrisMag Member

    It is, but it's also easy to get lost in the process unless you have clear instructions and there are plenty of steps which are easy to screw up.

    Also, if you do run into a snag, it's possible to get stuck. My opinion is, of all you're doing is swapping fork oil then it's definitely a do-able project at home provided you're methodical and detail oriented, and you have the correct tools. Go slowly do not guess your way through steps.

    If you want to clean the forks thoroughly (ie clean the pistons/shims), swap the forks seals, replace bushings, etc, I would highly recommend you pay a suspension tuner to do the work or at least to babysit you through the project.
  16. GixxerBlade

    GixxerBlade Oh geez

    It's not rocket science.
  17. some guy #2

    some guy #2 Well-Known Member

    Rocket science is easy, rocket surgery is where it gets rough.
  18. alocker

    alocker Well-Known Member

    +1. Oil changes aren't rocket science either but there is plenty of drain plug stripping going on.

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