Technical Info. Articles
Published: 09 August 2016
Started on the fork lower replacement today by making a tool, you can too.
Firmly sitting in the teach a person to fish mindset, he's how I loosened the stock fork lowers to put on the SV Racing lowers which change the steering trail to make the cycle handle better. This tool may not work for you, I had a very hard time getting one leg loose, but persistence paid off.
First step was to buy a cheap strap wrench.
I bought this from Advance Auto. They never work very well because the rubber strap is too soft and stretchy. That said I was surprised when I was able to loosen one leg with the stock rubber strap. In order to make these work better, you need to replace the strap with something that won't stretch. On larger wrenches I've used timing belts from cars, for this one I had a lawnmower drive belt sitting here going to waste. The wider the belt, the better the grip, it's about surface area and I'll probably look for a wider belt when I have a chance. Time to get down to business.
You will need to trim the "V" on the belt a little to make it fit the wrench plastic, but make sure you don't cut so far as to cut the woven threads.
I tied a knot in the end to prevent it from slipping out of the wrench.
Now ready to use. Pull the strap tight and turn in the direction of the "foot" on the wrench which pulls the belt tighter. You will probably want to clean the fork piston to make sure no oil is present, also clean the belt so it can get the best grip.
Now you just need to lift the front wheel with a jack, stem lift, or overhead pulley so you can take the front wheel off. Spin the lower off, add a drop of blue Loctite to the threads and screw in the new lowers. Reverse the direction of the strap wrench (flip it over) to tighten the piston. You can use the old axle bolt as a lever to help screw the pieces together (will be shown at a later date).
In your SV Racing Parts race kit, you should have a new axle, and a new spacer, use these with the new fork lowers. You will also have a self locking nut for the axle, you'll need this or you will need to safety wire the axle nut. While you are doing this, it would be a good time to install the axle sliders that are also in the race kit.