To remove the forks, it is necessary that you first undo the locking
ring nut at the top of the fork stem. There is a specific tool required
for this job, but if you are very careful, it will undo with a good pair
of sharp adjustable pliers. If you feel a lot of resistance when trying
to remove this locking nut, do not continue. It is better to take it to
your local dealer who will remove it for you in a couple of minutes.
You do NOT want to be damaging the locking nut or the thread at the head
of your forks.
When loose, remove the locking nut.
Now remove the lock nut washer. It has a tab and can only be refitted on way, so it will not spin as you try to remove it.
Now you can access the lower nut, which is also the bearing race at the top of the forks. The top edge has two cutaway sides which are tailored for another specialist tool. If you are carefull, again, you can remove this with adjustable pliers. The underside is the bearing race.
And looks like this:
With the top race removed, we can now see that is was covering the bearing basket at the top of the column. You can remove these bearing all in one go. You should replace this bearing set with a brand new one. The bearing race on the underside of this set of bearings, is situated in the top of the chrome ring.
If your forks have not already dropped under their own weight, a smart tap on top with a wooden mallet will do the trick. DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES HIT THE CHROME RING.
With the forks dropped out, you can now see the bearings at the bottom of the column. These operate in a race around the top of the forks shoulder and underneath this is a thin metal dish which acts as a dust cover. you can see all three components in the image below.
And looking up the fork tube, you can see the upper bearing race, which is a track that is pressed in to the bottom of the frames steering column. If this bottom race is not damaged, then I highly recommend that unless you are having your frame powder coated, that you leave it there. They are difficult to remove without some specific tools and considerable heat. they are a VERY tight fit and once they are out, they have to be put back EXACTLY right. It is crucial that this race sits flush with the frame tube and is horizontal to the bearing race at the TOP of the frame column.
If in any doubt, call your local dealer (or take your almost bare frame), who can assist you in removing both the bottom bearing race and the upper chrome ring.
Removal consists of inserting a metal bar to the correct diameter and hammering out the two components, whilst not damaging a frame lug on the inside of your frame column.
To strip your forks, you will need a selection of special equipment and tools for both holding the forks and removing the springs etc within. I suggest you contact your local dealer to do this job for you. It might cost you half an hours labour, but it will save you making some damage to parts that are expensive to replace.
I shall update this blog later with a full and detailed report for stripping and re-building forks.
This grub screw must be removed before any attempt is made to remove the upper bearing and chrome ring. Look down your frame columns stem and you will see the lug welded on the inside. You MUST avoid hitting this if you attempt to knock out the races using the iron bar method.