Now, let´s get back to business, creating a Guzzi V7 front fork “as good as new”.
Since everything is apart, clean all bits and pieces again. I used a weapon brush with 35 mm diameter and brake cleaner for the new fork tubes and lower end. A soft, wet rag on a long stick helps getting rid of the last dirt particles inside. Then, everything can be sanded (wet; 400, 600 and 1000 grade), filled and painted. Black with a very light gloss effect in my case – delivering not too much shine that contrasts the worn rest of the bike…
You can then renew the following parts as needed:
- Sealing rings; twin set of 35x50x10 mm, recommended
- Collar rubber seal; 2,5 x 50 mm (inner diameter), standard hardware, replace when defect
- Plug rubber seal; 3 x 23 mm (inner diameter), standard hardware, replace when defect
- I also replaced the drain screws (worn heads) with cross-slotted stainless steel M5 x 1,0 hardware, about 8 mm long
- New oil will follow later – see my next article
I additionally had to build myself a replacement thread body for the fender mounts and polished the caps of the front light bracket.
Suggesting that you have cleaned and painted everything in your favorite color, you just need to reverse the steps of the removal: First, install the fork seal rings (spring side visible while installation) by hammering them into the chromed collar. Use a matching (>34 mm) nut and be careful with brute force. You better distribute your power regularly on different areas of the nut/seal ring. Then, close the drain hole in the lower fork end. You can do this at the very end of the work, too. But this area will be less accessible later. I also replaced the fiber washers and glued the bolts into place with sealing Loctite.
It’s time for new hardware, most probably. I guess that 90% of Guzzi V7 forks on the road will be worn, so you might need to change both the fork legs and two sliders on each side. Lucky, if you can still live with he old sliders and tubes… The longer, upper slider plus its shims should be installed first (joke to the top). Use your favorite fork oil to help sliding it over the tube. The lower slider might fit tightly, which is why I warmed it up with a torch. Put it on the fork leg (joke to the bottom) and screw the slider nut into place with your special tool. Putting everything in a vice is very helpful again.
The complete tube assembly can then be put into the bottom end of the fork. It should fit neatly. Put the collar rubber seal in place and install the retaining spring into its inlay gap. Using tools for this work is not a good idea – your hands are the best tools you have for this step. The collar will now fit onto the bottom end, screwed in place with the special collar tool. I resisted cleaning the collar from inside, because its grease film was a good rust protection already, which it will be for the next decade again I guess. This, by the way, is when everything starts looking like a fork again.
The fork spring should be cleaned and covered in resistant protective. I used modern stuff, but the good old bearing grease will work as well, protecting the steel spring from rust. On top of the spring comes its finishing cover – and off you go with a brilliant “new” fork.
The last step of installation and oil refill will be captured in the next article.