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Old 31st January 2013
Capricesquad's Avatar
Capricesquad Capricesquad is offline
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Default $6 fork boot install

Following advice of this forum I installed some rancho shock boots on my 2002 1200.

I posted this writeup with more pictures to my blog here.
http://motogastro.blogspot.com/2013/...-fork-you.html


I just figured someone else might want a more thorough set of directions.
Quote:
I like the retro look of fork gaiters and decided I would like to throw a set on my 02 Sportster 1200. Harley has some that are off the nightster available but they are too short for standard length forks and somewhere around $60 a set from what I've seen online. There are also sets on ebay ect. for around $40. I decided to see if there was a cheaper option and found some recommendations on xlforum.net to use Rancho shock boots off a 4x4 truck. I found these Rancho RS1952 Shock Boots on amazon and one of the reviews said they were used on a Harley 39mm fork. Other reviews said they had split sides on the bottom that made them not work well as for boots.

I decided that for $6 each I would give them a shot.

I got the forks and eyeballed them and decided to give them a shot. According to my service manual I would need to:
1. Remove the Caliper
2. Remove the Tire
3. Remove the Fender
4. Remove the Forks

I knew I would need some tools so I found I needed a T45 Torx or star bit so I decided to run to Harbor Freight and Grab a full Torx set, a full SAE allen key socket set and some ratchet straps to hold the bike on the lift.

I jacked the bike up and strapped it down on the lift this was pretty tricky but once it was on and strapped it was stable. Then I had to remove the caliper. Shit, the caliper is held on with two 10mm 12 point bolts. I don't have any 12 point sockets and harbor freight just closed. Luckily I had a set of combination wrenches that had a 12 pt end. I went to turn the bolt and the whole bike rocked backwards and scared the shit out of me. I realized that the jack itself was tilting so I raised the bike up a bit more and stacked 45lb plates under the back tire to form a solid platform and then lowered the jack back down and cinched the straps. Now the bike wasn't going anywhere. After some help from a cheater bar I got the caliper free.

Next I had to remove the wheel. I started by removing the pinch bolt before I double checked the Fing manual (The fing stands for factory). Turns out you're supposed to remove the axle nut first so I put the pinch bolt back, removed the axle nut and then loosened the pinch and tapped out the axle.

Now I had a wheel/tire that was stuck between the fender bolts. The manual said to spread the forks and voila the wheel popped out.

Next step was removing the 4 fender bolts without dropping them. When I got to the last one I was so busy holding the hardware the fender somersaulted backwards and planted itself shiny side down into the dirt and oil dry on my concrete floor. I had intended to put cardboard down in case something like this happened but someone took all my cardboard and recycled it so I swore silently and told myself I would be extra careful. Luckily all I got was some minor scuffing from the floor, no major dents and nothing that won't buff out with some elbow grease.

Now all I had to do was unsnug the top and bottom pinch bolt and wiggle the forks out of the neck. STOP and put something on the floor! I had put a board down after the fender fell and I almost needed it. Once I loosened the bolts I expected the fork to be tight but it shot out the instant I applied any pressure, luckily I was paying attention and grabbed it before it hit the floor.

Next, I cleaned up the fork and rerouted my throttle cable outside the forks for a future modification. The problem was the brakeline also held the throttle cables but since the caliper was free, I just unbolted the hardline and moved the caliper over the cables.

Next step was test fitting the boot, the slit portion was not going to work so I cut off the slit portion of collar but left the small amount of the bottom pleat that was slit. If I were to do it again I would have cut off another pleat as the finished product could be a bit shorter when installed. I also punched 3 holes on the back of each boot on the lowest pleat with a leather punch. Some people reported that even the stock harley boots spilt from the air pressure created when they compress so I decided a bit of venting and drainage couldn't hurt. It was an absolute pain getting the bottom aligned over the fork level while trying to hose clamp it in place but I managed. I just zip tied the tops as with the long boots there is no force pulling the tops out of place. I measured the excess hose clamp and cut 2 spares to size and painted them black so I could have a set to match the boots. Now it was as simple as measuring the side that I hadn't touched and putting the fork back at the same spacing and then repeating on the other side. I then reversed the steps and torqued everything to the specs listed in the manual.

I then tried the throttle after I moved it and it was sticking when I moved the bars. I tried lubing it without any change. I adjusted everything 2 or three times and it was still sticking horribly. I figured maybe there was some way to route the cables different so I retreated inside to look at other sportster pictures online and see what I could find. After half an hour of finding bikes with the same routing I figured I'd try adjusting again and the cable was free and not binding at all. Turns out the lube fixed it but it needed time to run all the way down to wherever it was binding and dry to a film and actually lubricate. I then took it back apart and shot a bunch more lube down each cable and then adjusted the cables once more and turned the bars so gravity had the best path and now the throttle is butter smooth.

Here is the end result. The bike is pretty nasty as took it for a ride in the Indian Spring we had and had hosed it off to get the salt and dirt off but I have water than can cut diamonds and I didn't get it dry quick enough.
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  #2  
Old 31st January 2013
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Thanks for relating your experience carrying out this mod.
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  #3  
Old 1st February 2013
Turbo Sporty 48 Turbo Sporty 48 is offline
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Default

$6 is a sweet price.
I paid more for my set of boots and I think yours look better.
Good write up too, thanks.
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  #4  
Old 16th February 2013
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Default

I ended up cutting 3 additional pleats out when I added my nacelle but I think I still need to cut another when I get a chance.

The link below has pictures of how it looks with 3 pleats removed.

Fork Boots Redux
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