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After getting nicked for 40 bucks by the dealer to replace a cracked fork boot I have decided to replace the second one myself with a daystar fork boot.



fork boot



It doesn't look very technical to drop out the fork but are there any tricks to make sure the forks are realigned when I put it back together. I don't have a torque wrench so I am a little concerned about getting the bolts tightened correctly.
 

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Take note of how high your forks stick up above the top triple clamp. When reassembling, make sure you put them back in the same spot, and make sure they are exactly the same on both sides. The TW is a bit more forgiving than most modern day bikes when it comes to the triple clamp bolts.



Here is the method I use when I don't have a torque wrench.



Use a ratchet and place the palm of your hand on top of the forward/reverse switch at the head of the ratchet. In other words, wrap your fingers around the end of the ratchet. Tighten the bolt about as tight as you can get it without hurting your hand. Then grab the end of the ratchet like normal and turn the bolt just enough to barely move it.



On the bottom triple clamp, there are two bolts, so once you tighten the second one, you'll need to recheck the first one. Just go back and forth until you know they're both tighened properly. After a while, you'll get the hang of it.



If in doubt, you can usually borrow a torque wrench at the auto parts store for a deposit, which they will refund when you bring the tool back. If you go that route, make sure the wrench you get has 17 ft lbs in the middle of it's range, as that's the spec for the triple clamps.
 

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Pretty straight forward procedure. Chap 6 of the manual will outline all the specifics, but I will hit some of the highlights.



Depending on which fork your replacing the boot on (and year), you may have to remove the speedo cable, brake cable, etc. Also remove the fender, axle, and pinch bolts (not listed in order). I know you said you don't have a torque wrench, which you should get, but if you don't, use thread lock, blue I believe, and snug tight. The torque specs are 17 ft lbs for the pinch bolts and 65 ft lbs for the axle nut. Be sure to double check these figures in the manual.



There is no trick for fork realignment. When you are putting the axle and wheel, this aligns everything back up. Also when you put your fender back on, the fender bracket should help verify fork alignment. Also, when replacing your fork back in the clamps, make sure your mark the placement of the top of the fork with the upper clamp or look at the manual for the proper measurement. The manual specifies 6mm space (top fork) from the bottom of the fork cap bolt to the top of the upper clamp.



If you take your time it should take less than an hour and save some dealship costs.
 

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The Daystars tend to be a bit longer than the O.E.M. and can look a little floppy if you don't trim them.



If that's the case just trim about 3/4" off the lower portion and thay'll accordion more evenly.



Also, "bounce" your front end a few times by holding the front brake and compressing the forks before you tighten down the fender. This will eliminate most of the minor missalignment.
 

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$400 for a single fork boot? Your dealer is a crook.



1) Disconnect brake brake cable from the wheel or wedge something in the brake lever so it can't be squeezed, unbolt the caliper, and hang it from the horn out of the way.

2) Disconnect the speedo cable from the wheel.

3) Devise some method to raise the front of the bike so the tire is firther off the ground than the distance from the lower triple to the top of the fork tubes. I have used 3 screw hooks into ceiling joists and 3 ratchet straps--2 straps on the rear subframe going up at a 45* angle, the third vertical under the top tube of the frame behind the sterring stem. I've used come-a-longs, fork lifts, engine hoists, jacks, blocks and tackle, you name it, any way to securely get the front wheel off the ground. I've even loaded a bike backwards on a trailer, tied the back end with straps, and placed a jack under the engine. I've loaded the bike in the back of a pickup, blocked under the engine, then removed the tailgate to gain sufficient tire clearance--it's easier to work standing up.

4) Loosen the triple clamp bolts and slide the front end out as a unit.

5) Remove and replace the fork boots.

6) Slide the front end back in. It helps to have help as the front end is kind of heavy. If you lift the front end with a jack or hoist you can gradually lower the jack as you wiggle the fork tubes into place. The 2000 pound electric winch on my son's wheeler threaded through a snatch block suspended from an angine crane works great. One man on a rope over a tree branch or rafter while the other aligns the forks works just as well.

7) Tighten the triple tree bolts.

8) Fasten the top of the boots to the triple tree.

9) Reattach the cable(s) and, if used, the caliper.

10) Ride it like you stole it.



Walmart sells a Torin Jacks torque wrench that will calibrate from 10 to 150 pounds for under $30. It would be a wise investment.
 
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