Race Tech Gold Valve Installation
Contributed by Dave Hernandez
Only the Compression shim stack and valve are replaced with the GoldValve. The rebound shim stack is basically sealed in the KLX. Also note that valving controls the speed of compression, not the extent of compression, so make sure the spring rate is correct for your weight and riding style. Most everything else you need is in the video or the guide. Thanks to JB who helped me with my installation.
1 => The guide is a bit generic, and the video rebuilds a Showa fork, so use them to supplement the photos and steps below. It's not necessary to totally disassemble your forks to install GV's -- unless you need to replace the seals. If you do rebuild your forks at this time, follow your shop manual. I went through Race Tech's custom valving set up, then used the shims and springs they recommended for my weight and riding style.
2 => You will need a few special tools to complete your installation. A flat file, 14mm hex socket, an in/lb torque wrench, Loctite 242 blue, impact gun (not necessary but makes disassembly quick) a few basic had tools, and a cartridge holding tool.
3 => You may want to wait until you are ready to remove the cartridge and valve assy to build this cartridge holding tool. I built mine from the 1-inch tubing on top rails of a chain link fence. The necked down end is the perfect diameter for the working end of the tool. Cut off about a foot and a half, then, two inches from the fat end, drill a hole through the pipe large enough to put a screwdriver through for leverage when wrenching. The necked-down end needs four teeth about a quarter of an inch long to fit the cartridge, so I placed eight, equally spaced marks around the end, then ground out every other section. Debur the teeth, clean the tool, then wrap duct tape around the entire length to keep the tool from damaging the insides of the fork tubes.
4 => Loosen the top fork cap, and pull the spring up, then drain the oil.
5 => Using two wrenches loosen top cap from dampening rod end.
6 => Slide the holding tool over the rod and into the cartridge. Hold the tool with a large screw driver threw the hole you drilled and loosen it with a ratchet or impact gun. The tabs you cut into the tool might get damaged. If they break cut them off and make a new set.
7 => The O-ring on the compression valve makes it hard to remove. Push the cartridge down with the holding tool to help pop it out.
8 => The old compression valve
9 => To disassemble the old valve for the first time the peening on the threads must be filed off. File the top of the shaft even with the top of the nut before removal or you will tear up the shaft. Clean up the threads after removing the old shim stack.
10 => The only original valve assembly, the part that goes back in the fork is the valve body itself. The rest, the nut, base washer, shims, spring and minuscule looking valve go in the trash. Clean off all parts with brake parts cleaner.
11 => Select shims according to the chart for your application. Measure the thickness and diameter, then lay them out in the order they will be installed. Use one thick and one thin brass base plate per valve to assure that the nut is being torqued down on the stack, not on the base of the threads. Next, place your high speed stack shims from small to large. Next is the cross over shim, then the low speed stack, also from small to large. Slide the GV on the shaft with the recess facing up. If it will not slide onto the shaft easily, clean the threads again. Next, place the check plate, spring, and nut. You will be using a one-piece nut/cup. When you torque it down, use a in/lb torque wrench (25 in/lb.) and make sure the check valve plate moves up and down against the spring. Pull it up while torquing to make sure it moves freely after tightening. The valve looks like this when its all together -- compare with Figure 2 on last page of guide
12 => Lube all the o rings make sure the copper washer is on the base valve and slide it in the bottom of the fork. With the holding, tool push the rod and cartridge into the fork and torque the base valve to specs.
13 => Stand fork upright and fill with oil. Stroke the dampening rod till no more squishing sounds are heard. With the fork compressed and no spring installed fill to the proper height which in my case was 120mm. Stroke it a few more time and recheck. Install spring and top cap. torque cap to 16 lb. Don't forget to torque your triple clamp bolts when you install your forks to prevent crushing your tubes.