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Ohlins Steering Damper fluid change

Old 02-09-2011, 05:28 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 275
Default Ohlins Steering Damper fluid change

I just got a used Ohlins Damper for my F4i and I figured I might as well change/refill the oil. Any guideline on this? Should I use a heavier oil?
Old 02-09-2011, 10:03 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: West Monroe,Louisiana
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Since we're not supposed to link to other forums, here's a copy & paste from a ZX10 rider.

Well I'm new to the board and first want to say hello. I recently bought a buddies 06 zx10 that he wrecked and I am in the process of repairing. So while its down I decided to mess around a little. As many have reported the stock Ohlins damper on the 06 can be a little weak. So I decided to mess with it and see if I can make it any better. This is what I did.

I decided to see if I could make this stock damper better by using a heavier oil. What I used was sepectro SAE 15w fork oil. To change the oil oil out there is a cap at he reservoir end of the damper near the ball joint. You can remove that using a 6mm allen key. Once that is removed there is a foam cyclinder along with a metal body piece in the reservoir need. by pumping the piston you can get those two pieces to work themselves out. Once those are free the oil will flow out. With that said I recommend doing this over some kind of catch container. Do you best to pump all the excess oil out.

Once you have all the oil out its time to refill the damper. The metal body and the foam shpuld still be out at this point. It did not seem to matter if the piston was in or out when you are refilling the damper. To fill the damper I using a glue syringe. It made it much easier. I filled my syringe and then fill the reservoir to about the middle of the inside threads. Now once you have your oil in you need to SLOWY pump the piston. This will fill the main body of the damper. As you do this keep and eye on the oil level and add oil as need. Yoi do not want the reservoir to go dry as that will allow the main body to suck in air. Repeat the above process of pumping the piston and adding oil several times. You will notice the air bubbles coming out. I did not have a precise way of measure the oil I added. I just went until I was personally satisfied.

Once you are satisfied with the results then replace the metal body and the foam piece. Then next replace the reservoir end cap. You will lose a little oil when all the parts are replaced so be ready. Now you done. Just check your work and make sure you are satisfied.

The above details are the steps I did to modify my stock 06 damper. I am satisfied with the results. There is a night and day difference at full hard. If you do decide to try this mod you do it at you own risk. What worked for me may not for someone else. If you do try it and fine a better way or just want to post your results please do.
Old 02-10-2011, 04:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 275

Sounds pretty good. Only thing I'm worried about are any differences in the unit because I have heard the OEM Kawi units are not as good as the aftermarket units you buy.
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