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Hi! My name is Casey, I am new to your site, I've been a lurker for awhile and have finally joined. I am always amazed at the knowledge this forum has, hopefully I can contribute back as I have learned so much.

I live in Huntington Beach, Ca. and have a 2001 600 VLX with 4800 miles. I have a leaky fork seal on my left fork that I have to replace. I want to know what size allen is used for the front tire removal.

Also- How many cc's of fork oil for each fork?

Any tricks for removing the forks specific to the VLX?

I appreciate all your help and look forward to being a part of this community.
Thanks!
 

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Welcome, officially, to the site. You're right about the qty and quality of the information on this site. Is it simply amazing, but there is always room for more.

To remove the front wheel, if it's like my ACE was, you will support the bike, remove the pinch bolts at the bottom of the fork, remove the axle nut, and then the axle slides out, followed by the wheel. As to the size of the pinch bolt, Im not sure. However, Im sure someone will have the correct information. My method, however, would be to take some allen wrenches and find one that fits correctly and use that one.

Good luck and enjoy the experience.
 

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The front axle bolt should be a 17mm allen bolt unless they changed the size since my 99 was built. I need to change out my fork seals also, please let us know any tricks you learn on that job.
 

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I made a tool out of a short bolt and two nuts.

The bolt has a 17mm head (10 or 12mm bolt). I threaded the two nuts on to the bolt and locked them together.

I put the head of the bolt into the axle and used my 17mm wrench on the inner nut of the two on the bolt to loosen the axle.

I don't remember exactly how much oil the forks take, but it seems like the bottle of fork oil was just about exactly enough for both forks with just a smidge left over.

I also made a pair of spring preload spacers out of PVC that are 1/2" longer than the stock spacers to stiffen the ride up a bit. I was experiencing pretty bad dive on braking.
 

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The other tricks are to loosen the top triple clamp first, then loosen but don't remove the fork caps. Then go ahead and loosen the bottom triple clamps. If you don't loosen the fork caps before you take them out of the clamps it is next to impossible to get them loose.

Be careful with the little screw that holds your speedo cable into the hub.
That plastic thingie that it holds will crack very easily.

Be very careful when you are replacing the fork caps, they have a very fine thread and can be cross threaded pretty easily.

And I suppose you know the caps are under pressure from the springs, so when you are taking them off they will want to fly across the room, and going back on you have to compress the spring while turning the cap, that's another reason to be careful not to cross thread the caps.

Don't be afraid to turn the forks upside down once you have them off. The only loose parts will be the spring preload spacers (10" long tubes), the washers that go between the spacers and the springs, and the springs themselves. There are no small parts to lose unless you have the damping rods out (that's another job all together).
 

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One more thing.

I didn't change the seals on my VLX, but the Suzuki DR350 I had needed fork seals.

I found a PVC adapter at Lowe's that is shaped like a funnel. I measured the seal diameter and made sure the small end of the adapter was close to same measurement and the larger end was obviously larger. The adapter is about 3" long.

I used it as a seal driver to install the new seals.
 

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+1 on doing the fork caps after loosening the clamps, if you don't have a center stand this job can get a little hairy, you have to get the wheel off the ground which means the bike can and will be unstable so take precautions using another person or tying it down.
When putting the caps back in get the cap flush on the fork and turn it backwards untill you feel a click then carefully turn it forward, they will cross thread in a heart beat so take your time, this can be done off the bike and it's advisable to do so if you have a vise or a way to hold the fork well enough to take the pressure it will take to get the job done,,it's quite a bit.

I would suggest that you go up one grade Wt. with the oil (from8 to 10) it makes for better handling.

You don't need a driver for the seals but it sure helps, not only to seat them but to protect the seal while doing so.

Your bike doesn't have all that many miles on it so it might just be something that is caught inbetween the fork and seal, try useing a thin feeler gage and slide it in a up and down motion around the seal, that might be all it takes, you got nothing to lose doing it,,,,,, except a lot of work.
 

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Hi. I gather that you're inquiring about tips for removing the front wheel and forks. Replacing fork seals have enough nuances of it's own to deserve a separate thread. At any rate, if you don't happen to have the aforementioned spark plug wrench in your bike's tool pouch that serves double duty as an axle wrench, below is a pic of a standard axle hex wrench (adapter). Some of these don't have the 17mm step on them for the Shadow 600 axle bolt. I had to buy twice for my Shadow 600.



In order to take off the front wheel, you'll have to remove the brake caliper. In the process, the caliper shouldn't be jolted, dropped, twisted, or left to dangle in the air, otherwise that might weaken the hydraulic connections. I hung my caliper out of the way with a solid copper wire. The trick was to have the copper wire within arm's reach or already tied to the caliper body. Also, it's recommended to wedge up your front brake lever on the right side handlebar (pic below). That's to insure you don't accidentally squeeze the lever only to pop out the caliper's piston which are no longer pressing against the brake rotor. If this happens, brake fluid will shoot out. Also, when you reinstall the speedo cable, the odds are you'll break the "plastic tab" on the speedo gearbox by tightening the screw one turn too many. But no big deal, since the speedo cable will work irregardless. There is a set sequence to follow reassembling the axle. Install brake caliper (22 ft-lbs). Torque the axle to the fork legs (54 ft-lbs '97-'05 Shadow 600). Then straddle the bike, and holding the front brake lever, pogo stick the forks up and down. Only then are you suppose to tighten down the pinch bolts on the right forks (16 ft-lbs). This is to properly seat the axle, so the forks aren't misaligned to each other.

 

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Think about maybe some "progressive rate springs" while you have the forks apart. I hear they make a HUGE difference. Good luck on your task.
-Dez
 

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In order to take off the front wheel, you'll have to remove the brake caliper. In the process, the caliper shouldn't be jolted, dropped, twisted, or left to dangle in the air, otherwise that might weaken the hydraulic connections. I hung my caliper out of the way with a solid copper wire. The trick was to have the copper wire within arm's reach or already tied to the caliper body. Also, it's recommended to wedge up your front brake lever on the right side handlebar (pic below). That's to insure you don't accidentally squeeze the lever only to pop out the caliper's piston which are no longer pressing against the brake rotor. If this happens, brake fluid will shoot out. Also, when you reinstall the speedo cable, the odds are you'll break the "plastic tab" on the speedo gearbox by tightening the screw one turn too many. But no big deal, since the speedo cable will work irregardless. There is a set sequence to follow reassembling the axle. Install brake caliper (22 ft-lbs). Torque the axle to the fork legs (54 ft-lbs '97-'05 Shadow 600). Then straddle the bike, and holding the front brake lever, pogo stick the forks up and down. Only then are you suppose to tighten down the pinch bolts on the right forks (16 ft-lbs). This is to properly seat the axle, so the forks aren't misaligned to each other.
RONW - thanks for the detailed information, I'm about to try this myself. Question though - the Honda repair manual for the 98 VT600C makes no mention of removing the brake caliper. It says only to remove the speedo cable, pinch bolt caps, loosen pinch bolts, and then "remove the axle and front wheel". Why do you recommend removing the caliper?

Thanks
Alan
 

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Originally quoted by Supernintendo

.... the Honda repair manual for the 98 VT600C makes no mention of removing the brake caliper.

Why do you recommend removing the caliper?
True, if you're only removing the front wheel, it's not absolutely necessary to remove the brake calipers. Saves a step. The subject of the overall thread was Removing the Front wheel to remove forks. Specifically, replacing leaky oil seals. That's where the removing brake calipers came in, the calipers being bolted to the right fork and so forth. Either way, it's not much to remove the calipers if just to get it out of the way, albeit then you have to lanyard a dangling caliper so it doesn't swing like a pendulem, etc. etc. Dunno for sure, but could an attached caliper somehow warp the rotor disc while wrestling the disc rotor in and out in tight confines? *Btw, it woulda been perfectly okay to start a brand new thread for the same question. The forum contingent those that are forever and a day always squawking, "why you never search first you lazy dis and dat?" are simply being disingenuous. Suppose that everybody searched we wouldn't have anything to read on a regular basis. Tough crowd to please obviously.
 

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Brake lever squeezed while wheel off - d'oh!

... Also, it's recommended to wedge up your front brake lever on the right side handlebar (pic below). That's to insure you don't accidentally squeeze the lever only to pop out the caliper's piston which are no longer pressing against the brake rotor. If this happens, brake fluid will shoot out.
CRAP!! I had the front wheel off today to paint it, and to paint the lower forks, and lo and behold I decide I want to see my new brake light flash so I sqeezed the front brake lever several times. Then it hit me... you're not supposed to do that. The shop manual even warns against, as you did. Question is, what do I do about it? The bike is still elevated and the wheel is still off, and the caliper is covered in newspaper and blue tape to keep it from getting painted.

Have I dug myself into a hole that is going to require me hauling this thing to the shop to have them fix? I'm a new DIY'er and a stupid one sometimes :(

Thanks for any advice you guys have.

Alan
 
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