front shock has developed a "clunk"
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  1. #1
    Junior Member misterpepper's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Like the title says, when I compress my front shock I can hear some kind of clicking or sticking sound. Nothing metal on metal, it almost sounds like there is some sort of wire hanging low and hitting something when the shock is compressed, but it is definitely inside the shock. The bike is a 2002 and likely has never seen the shock oil changed or even looked at. I've owned it for the better part of a year. It needed fork boots so I bought those as well as the oil seals. What are the odds that replacing the seals and refilling it with good fork oil will solve my problem? I have heard a very similar clunk on my brother's 2003 so I'm guessing this is a somewhat common problem. Is there anything else I need to check/replace while I'm in there?

  2. #2
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    NW Tennessee
    Disassemble, clean, inspect, compare the parts of each fork (don't mix them up). If something is wrong, it should show up in the comparison. Reassemble, fill with oil, and ride.

  3. #3
    Junior Member misterpepper's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Just thought I'd revisit this and let you all know that the "clunk" was due to the shocks being low on oil. Everything was fine with the seals and there was no sign of leaking, but I had some new boots to put on to replace the cracked ones, so I decided to go ahead and replace the shock oil. It was an easy job with the only "special" tool being a little ruler to measure the fork oil depth. One of the top cap bolts was pretty tight and the metal used for them is pretty soft and rounds easily, so be careful to get a good grip on it with the socket or wrench. I had all new seals handy, but everything looked to be in great shape so I just hung onto the seals and didn't install them yet. The moral of the story, though, is that now the clunk in my front suspension is gone and everything seems to be working great

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  5. #4
    Senior Member RodneyReed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Thanks for the update misterpepper. Nice to hear it was an easy fix.

  6. #5
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Desert, SoCal
    You can flush them with cheap ATF. Just pour a few ounces in and cycle them a few times without the springs or caps while you have them off, dump and repeat til the gray goop is gone. +1 on loosening the caps before loosening the pinch bolts.

    Fork oil never really wears out in use in the sense that the oil in your crank case does. does. It's a "time" function. It gets contaminated with moisture and acids over time and emulsifies ( gray goop ), so try to flush and fill at least annually.

    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  7. #6
    Member chevchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Salem, Oregon
    What level to you put the oil at? You can buy a tool for it, but trying to keep cost down & have plenty of scrap metal for measurement.

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