Tech Zone > Other 2 strokes

Pre 1973-ish forkleg assembly


The bike in question is a 1971 Suzuki T350R, but the question affects other bikes like the 125 Stinger, and the Yamaha CS5E, etc.  How do you get the lower clip into the recess on the stanchion without wrecking the chrome?  The legs were very rusty so I didn't worry about removal, but now they are back from Philpots I'm a bit more concerned.  The various manuals only show seal renewal so the clip isn't mentioned, it's not even listed in the parts book or fiches.  I've seen a CS5E fork rebuild on YouTube, but it didn't show the installation, only the mention of heating the clips before installation.  I wonder if he overheated them and took the tension out, as fitting the fork lowers took some fiddling.  Has anyone successfully installed these clips without scratching the chrome?

Nearly 200 views and no advice, it shows you how often this job comes up.  It's all done now, partly thanks to advice from Howard Atkin at the VJMC.  I cut a Diet Coke can into strips with scissors, made the length of the strips the same as the fork diameter, wrapped it one revolution with electrical tape, to hold the alloy together and to give the snap ring something to grip.  I cut myself to ribbons trying to the snap rings back onto the fork so bought a pair of Knipex snap ring pliers, with were about 2mm too short in their maximum opening but it was enough to lever each end of the rings onto alloy carrier.  I used a bit of WD40 to smoother travel down the stanchion and the ring clicked into place.  I removed the tape, and the alloy just ripped out from under the ring, then I did the same for the other fork leg.

Problems:  The rings lose a bit of tension with all this opening and closing making it tighter for getting the slider on, a bit like piston rings in a barrel, so I put a post-it note under the ends of the rings, to protect the chrome, and dressed them a fine file to take away any burrs.  They make a bit of a scratching noise in the slider now, but hopefully that will go away once the fork oil is in.  The other problem was of my own making.  I reassembled the forks, mudguard and wheel, and then realised the chrome holder for side reflector has to slide onto the lower yoke before the stanchion goes in, so I've just stripped the lot again. 

Maybe this will help someone else who is facing this pain of a job.

Astute Greaser:
Assume you are talking about this wire clip. Rust shouldn't get that far down.
When I sent to Philpots I left in place. Came back A-Okay. They didn't grind or chrome that far down
Lack of response to your original thread is probably down to lack of a photo and unfamiliar bike. Felt you're pain doing that job through

Yes, that's the one.  I did wonder if Philpotts would have chromed that far down, they did on mine, but everything above the clip runs through the bush that is held in place by the screw-on fork seal holder. 

I'm pretty sure lots of bikes of that age have the same sort of setup, eg drum brake RD200, CS5E, Suzuki Stinger, Kawasaki S1, S2, and even the H1A, etc, so I thought it would have been a relatively common problem with restoration.


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