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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I bought my 2006 883 about 8 months ago I have been 'adjusting' it to suit me. I have been working on (and building) motorcycles for over 40 years but I am at a bit of a loss for the problem I have been having with fork oil.

I have been tuning my Progressive springs, fiddling with different weights of oil and adjusting the preload (through different lengths of PVC).

Even though I remove the caliper and hang it high prior to changing the fork oil -- to keep the oil off of the pads, I invariably get a bit of oil on the rotor, the pads pick up the oil, etc.

I use brake cleaner on the rotor prior to reinstalling the caliper, but this is the second time I have inadvertently oiled the pads by not cleaning fully prior to reinstallation.

I then remove the pads, soak them in Kereosene, spray them with brake cleaner and finish with compressed air to dry.

Then I take a sheet of 60 grit sandpaper on a piece of glass and scuff the pads to insure that all the oil has been removed.

Naturally, I have to reseat the pads which takes a couple of hundred miles.

Aside from not getting oil on the pads in the first place, is there a more efficient way of cleaning them if this happens again?
 

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Cover the rotor with a shop bag or fender cover; anything that will not soak up the oil or let it seep through to the rotor. Are you getting the oil on it when you are draining the forks or filling them up? If it's when you are draining them; turn the wheel a different way. For example, my rotor is on the left so I would turn my wheel to the left to allow gravity to pull the stream of oil away from the rotor; if the wheel is turned right the stream would flow closer to the rotor. Best thing to do is to cover the rotor.


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Wayward Son
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Slightly OT.
Why clean them with kerosene? It is oil based.
Inquiring minds want to know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cover the rotor with a shop bag or fender cover; anything that will not soak up the oil or let it seep through to the rotor. Are you getting the oil on it when you are draining the forks or filling them up? If it's when you are draining them; turn the wheel a different way. For example, my rotor is on the left so I would turn my wheel to the left to allow gravity to pull the stream of oil away from the rotor; if the wheel is turned right the stream would flow closer to the rotor. Best thing to do is to cover the rotor.


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I am getting the oil on the rotor during the drain process. I am going to try using a vacuum pump and draining from the top next time. That should obviate the mess.

I have 7 wt in it now and that is a bit light. I am going to go back to 10 wt with the standard 3/4 inch pre-load on the springs. I have 1 1/4 inch pre-load now.

15 wt was too hard, as was 10 wt with the extra 1/2 inch of pre-load.

The progressives in the back are pretty stiff. I am not an aggressive rider any more, just looking for a bit more comfort going over some of the choppy roads we have around here.

I'm sure part of the problem is the lighter weight of the Sportster itself. I used to ride 74's and 80's, and the extra 200 pounds made a lot of difference. I never screwed around with the suspension on my other Harleys, ever.

Part of it is me getting older. 65 is not 35 by a long stretch. I love the Sporty. It is a sleek little bike with a lot of character. Just trying to make it fit me.

I can pretty much change oil on my car without so much as a drop or two hitting the ground, but the Sporty's forks have a mind of their own.
 

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Wayward Son
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I thought acetone would be too harsh and might harm between the brake shoe material and the backing plate.

I certainly am open to suggestions.
AFAIK. The brake cleaner used on the rotors should do the trick.
Have used it on cars and bikes for years.

Side note. I have used a kerosene soak to clean\"refresh" clutch plates.
But they are designed to be run in an oil bath.
 

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Regular brake clean, or acetone will remove all the oil and not require sanding and reseating. The glue and pad material won't be harmed by the acetone. If you can find it, tricloraethlene is the best damn degreaser there is. But hard to find.
 

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Regular brake clean, or acetone will remove all the oil and not require sanding and reseating. The glue and pad material won't be harmed by the acetone. If you can find it, tricloraethlene is the best damn degreaser there is. But hard to find.
111 trichloroethane is what "CRC Brakleen" disk brake cleaner is . :)
 

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111 trichloroethane is what "CRC Brakleen" disk brake cleaner is . :)
Great to know. Use to buy it by the gallon. You can soak oil soaked brake pads for a few minuets and remove all the oil. Use to soak oil soaked automobile clutch discs and obtain "new" results.
 

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Great to know. Use to buy it by the gallon. You can soak oil soaked brake pads for a few minuets and remove all the oil. Use to soak oil soaked automobile clutch discs and obtain "new" results.
If you buy it by the gal, the EPA gets involved. If you buy it in a aerosol can, no EPA involvement .
 

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Yea, that's why I thought it was hard to find. Also the price per gallon has sky rocketed. But I guess it' would be cheaper than a gallon worth of spray cans. Will get some spray cans this weekend, pricey but readily available. Thanks
 

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Yea, that's why I thought it was hard to find. Also the price per gallon has sky rocketed. But I guess it' would be cheaper than a gallon worth of spray cans. Will get some spray cans this weekend, pricey but readily available. Thanks
If you just have to have a gal of it...try Lowes, they normally have it in the paint section next to the other cleaners/thinners .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It's all good. Recycle it to your head when your done and you'll have silky smooth hair.
I actually fixed the problem this week. I installed some fork caps with flush allen head bolts in them. You remove the allen head to fill/drain the fork oil.

i stuck a long piece of plastic tube into the fork, carefully threading it till it bottomed out. I then use my vacuum gauge to extract the old fork oil.

didn't spill a drop anywhere.
 
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