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Author Topic: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet  (Read 3139 times)

fnickel

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Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« on: January 14, 2008, 01:02:46 AM »
Working on an '89 or '90 500 Bullet for a friend. This one was purchased in India, used there for travel for a year or 2 and then brought into Canada. Frame # 9B-5052, Engine # B-5052. I have questions about front fork removal and disassembly to change the fork seals. I have done this type of work on other Japanese motorcycles, but this looks a little different. I have removed the clamp bolt and nuts. Do you need to wedge something in the clamp area to get the forks to slide out? Then, how do you disassemble the lower outer fork from the upper inner forks? Are there special tools required, or can some be improvised? These forks have a metal fork cover over the inner forks, that are just below the headlight and are about 10 inches long. I have looked for some detailed descriptions on this work, but have not found anything detailed enough. I do have the front wheel off already. Thanks for any help that any of you can give. 

cyrusb

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 01:20:31 AM »

fnickel

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2008, 01:45:38 AM »
Sorry for the double post last night. After the first attempt, it told me to send it again, which I did. As a result, it came up twice. Thanks for the link to the workshop manual. Still not completely clear. Is mine one of the old type forks, or is it one of the newer ones? Has anyone actually done this work, and can provide helpful hints or cautions? It sounds like I may not need to pull the main (inner forks) out of the triple tree at the top to replace the oil seals. Some of the names used in the description do not match the labels on the diagram, hence the questions. Thanks for the help any of you can offer.

mbevo1

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2008, 02:12:01 AM »
fnickel -

I responded to your first post...  you might want to check out the yahoo groups, too - bullet-mania and royalenfield are the largest.  Someone there probably has years of experience with the exact model you're trying to work on...  I understand your confusion - I wasn't getting a very good word picture about the front-end from the manuals I was reading, but it's pretty straightforward once you get going..

Have fun...

Mike and Stumpy in Michigan
« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 01:55:26 AM by mbevo1 »
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SRL790

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2008, 04:55:12 AM »
fnickel,

The attached file is in Microsoft Word.  If you can't read it I can probably convert it to Adobe or something.  This is a little earlier than the one you are working on but should be similar.

Good luck,

Andy

[old attachment deleted by admin]
Andy Wiltshire
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HRAB

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2008, 05:29:38 PM »
I found the process to remove the lower from the upper tube to require a little persuasion. Once the nut is romoved from the damper rod and the top cap is removed, the lower tube should come off the upper with a little force. Specifically, I "bumped" it by hand, down against the resistance until it came free.

I found re-assembly was easier if the upper tubes were removed from the headlamp casing. They thread out using a 3/8" allen. Note that the tube is actually a bolt, and will be threaded out to the right. (remember you are looking a t the wrong end of the "bolt).
Good luck
jim
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fnickel

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2008, 02:19:45 AM »
Thanks to all of you for the postings and suggestions. Andy, I have been able to save and print the Word file. I find it a little more helpful than the other workshop manual. I see some things look familiar, but there seems to be more description. I'm getting a much better picture in my mind now of what I need to do, and which tools I need. Are the rubber seals above the outer cover tube still available? It looks like mine have somewhat disintegrated. Thanks for all of your help, Cyrus, Mike, Andy and Jim.

SRL790

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2008, 03:19:48 AM »
If you are talking about the big fat "O" ring the part number is 38877.  Just go to CMW's parts page and type the number in the search field.  Alternatively a good industrial supply store (such as McMaster Carr) should be able to match it up.
Andy Wiltshire
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fnickel

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2008, 02:48:44 AM »
More questions;
I got the lower fork off by bumping it down against the resistance, as you said, Jim. Now what I have looks different than the descriptions show in the manuals. I see no oil seal housing or bushing. The main tube is a mating fit to the inner bore of the lower tube. The double oil seals are a friction fit in the top of the lower tubes. Is this a unique model of front forks for the RE, or am I missing something?
A half inch allen key fits the top hexagon bolt. Do you undo this top bolt, or does the main tube thread out from the fixed top bolt? Is this a right hand thread? How do you grab the main tube to turn it if this is what you need to do?
Thanks again for your help.
Frank

fnickel

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 12:54:57 AM »
Well, I found an answer to one of the questions even before any of you got to enlighten me. I just noticed in one of the other manual printouts the comment that "In the latest version the oil seal housing and steel bush has been eliminated on introduction of integral oil seals in the bottom tubes". That's exactly what mine is. It does not say when this occurred, but I'm guessing in the late 80's. So that's out of the way.
However, if any of you can still shed some light on the other questions I had in my previous post it would be appreciated. Also, is the only way of removing the outer cover tubes to remove the main tubes from the fork head and crown?
Thanks,

Frank

mbevo1

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2008, 02:30:08 AM »
Frank - The upper fork tubes have a standard thread and they screw into the headlight casquette from the bottom.  The caps that you removed to uncover the hex fittings keep the rain out and let you pour oil in.  When you put the allen key on the top hex fitting and spin in CLOCKWISE, you are unscrewing the top main tube out of the casquette (you're doing lefty-loosey, but from the other end of the screw).  Don't know if yours will have them, (mine are '06's) but there are small o-rings in the top of the upper tube that helps them seal in the headlight casquette.

Only way to remove the cover tubes is to remove the fork tubes, then get some separation between the headlight casquette and outer cover tubes and the lower tree... there's a locknut assembly (another hex fitting) on the back of the headlight casquette underneath the handlebar assembly.  Loosen that dude, and you can then loosen the BIG bolt that holds the upper/lower trees together... make sure you support the bottom tree before you loosen things - it can fall out if you don't, and you will have ball bearings all over the place...  you'll probably have to catch loose bearings from the bearing races... I've never been able to keep them all in there, but if you're carefull, and things aren't gummed up, you  might be able to ease the lower tree down to get the separation you need to slide the plastic bushes out of the headlight casquette, then remove the cover tube from the lower crown.  If you're lucky, you only have to worry about the bearings in the lower race.  If not, plan on doing the upper, too.  When putting things back together, clean the bearing race and pack a glob of grease around the ball bearings (19 go in each race) when you put them in. The grease holds them in the race where they need to be while everything is eased back together.

Its really pretty snazzy the way everything goes together, just WAY different then "modern" engineering...

Hope this make sense...

Mike and Stumpy in Michigan
'07 Classic - Stumpy
'10 C5 Military - Sherman

baird4444

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2008, 01:49:27 PM »
SLR - Good file, thank you.

I have read many versions of this procedure, never done it,  and this is a different one as well. The only thing I can ad is that I've read that playing cards can be inserted when installing new seals to keep threads from damaging the seal. Another special tool it is said to protect the top when levering out the seal...  A hose clamp will prevent this damage. As I said, I've read a dozen versions but have yet to do...
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« Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 01:53:54 PM by baird4444 »
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fnickel

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Re: Front fork removal and disassembly, '89 Indian 500 Bullet
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2008, 12:58:28 PM »
With your generous advice, we have finally succeeded in getting the upper forks out of the top. It was not easy, mind you. We had to put a length of pipe over the half inch allen key for leverage. One of them came out this way. For the other, we had to lay the bike on its side to get a proper amount of force on it. Both wheels were off the bike at this point, so it was difficult to apply force without having the whole bike twist around. It certainly is an interesting design. I've never seen anything like it before.