Bottom screw help on Forks


New Member
Well, I've been working on a really cheap cafe CB100 and just about have everything but the motor torn apart. The forks have like a #3 Phillips head screw in the bottom of the forks and they do not look so good. I've tried with my screwdriver and a pair of vise grips for leverage... no prevail. Does anybody have some tips? I have a small torch and a hand impact that I can hit with a BFH. Before I try that, I just was curious if anybody had some tips.
You mean the allen is stripped, or the bolt spins? That bolt isn't (shouldn't be) torqued very tight so that shouldn't be a problem. The problem might be getting that bolt to stay in place while you try to loosen it. First things first, you will need a reverse threaded bit, sometimes called an ez-out. There are many on the market, some are made to use with an electric drill but they can strip easily. I use a hand tool. First drill a small hole in the center of the bolt the size of the tip of the ez-out. Make sure the hole is in the center of the bolt. Then using the hand tool (looks like a T) gently tap the ez-out into the hole with a hammer or rubber mallet. Then you turn the tool counter-clockwise, the ez-out bit grabs the sides of the hole you just drilled and the bolt comes out. If the bit is not far enough in the hole or the hole is too big the bit will strip the hole. Now, as I said you may also have a problem with that bolt spinning in place since the part it is threaded into also spins. Normally this bolt comes out easily with an impact wrench but that isn't really an option for you. To stop that bolt from spinning you may have to compress the fork as much as possible to apply pressure to the damper rod end and stop it from spinning, while you extract the bolt with the ez out. It's possible to do this by putting the fork upside down in a bench vise then using a floor jack to compress the fork upward. Just be careful everything is secure and don't launch your fork upward like a saturn rocket!

Just don't waste too much time and money on it since rebuildable fork replacements can usually be found pretty cheap.
The bolt has a Phillips head on it. Forks I've worked on in the past all have had allen heads. If I'm not mistaken, the rod is screwed to that bolt even on older bikes??? The bolt is not moving. It looks like somebody has messed with it before. I thought about drilling it out and taking an easy-out to it. I have all the tooling, but I tend to ask first and then beat on it later. Since the bike isn't worth much, I'm trying to salvage any usable parts if possible. My time is free. I haven't removed the retainer on the tube to try to get the seals out, but I do not think that they will come out without the bolt on the bottom coming out. At least that's how it is on cartridge type of shocks. Again, I appreciate all responses and help. I'll try to get some pics soon of this POS. Some A-Hole covered the whole bike in latex house paint. Su-weet.
Do not take the top caps off. As far as I know, Honda has never used phillips head bolts on fork lowers. That said, someone screwed up. Probobly a cheap bolt, with no copper gasket, so its seized to the aluminum lower. An impact should work fine, just be careful not to hit the fork itself and start lightly. Than once you have it out GET NEW ALLEN HEAD BOLTS FOR THE FORKS. And use the copper washers. If the impact isnt working you may have to take it somewhere (if you cant do it yourself) and have the bolts drilled out. Just dont hit the threads, or your screwed.
Are these little screws on the side of the fork lowers or right on the bottom where the axle goes? The small ones on the side are drain holes to allow fork oil to be changed without taking the forks apart.

Tim said:
Are these little screws on the side of the fork lowers or right on the bottom where the axle goes? The small ones on the side are drain holes to allow fork oil to be changed without taking the forks apart.


I *think* he's talking about the bolt in the bottom that threads to the damper rod, not the drain hole. I didn't notice he said it's a phillips bolt. Who knows what someone used, it could be a wood screw. Personally I would try to ez out it first. If it's stripped an impact wrench won't do any good. Another option is to use a dremel with a cutoff wheel to cut a notch for a big flathead screwdriver, but it might be difficult to get the cutoff wheel deep enough without cutting into aluminum of the fork lower.

*edit* an no, the seals won't come out until the upper fork tube is removed, which is held in place by that bolt into the damper rod.
The torch is a good idea, along with the impact. Just make sure you hold by the stantion so your impacts are directed at the screw and not just colapsing the fork.
If it's the damper rod bolt, you can drill the head off it and the forks will be able to be split. Then you can worry about getting the bolt out of the damper rod later (you will have a "stud" left in the rod to grip / heat / whatever). Choose a drill that is just a tad smaller than the head of the screw.

If it's the drain screw, then smack it with a hammer to "reshape" the head, then hammer the screwdriver back into it and try to loosen it again.
Well, I was defeated twice this morning. My hammer impact bit couldn't reach the head and heating up with a torch and using a screwdriver with vise grips just finished stripping it. I drilled the head, but I stopped because I didn't have a clear view of when I would have the head completely drilled to prevent doing damage to the fork. Plan B now it to easy out. I have a smaller hole drilled, but my dad has the easy out set. The other fork seems to be just like this one... Same Phillips head screw. I am wondering if that is what was used from factory... especially on such a small bike. With any luck, I'll be shopping for fork seals this weekend and cleaning up the triple tree and maybe some fresh rattle can... When I get past this little hump and find me a very cheap gas tank, I'll really get to have some fun. I'll start snapping pics soon.
If you can get the whole head removed you can seperate the slider from the stantion and then remove the damping rod from from the slider. It will be easier to just work with the damping rod when you e-z out the screw.
Ezy-Outs are anything but in my experience....

And the damper rod will start spinning anyway and you'll be defeated again....

Keep drilling the head off - it wont matter if you go into the fork leg a bit (you wont though if you're careful ;))
I went ahead and drilled out the worst one. It went smoothly and the damping rod is now free... I have no idea if it was damaged or not, because I have a new problem. I can not get the tube to seperate. I looked for a retainer clip, but I do not see one. I haven't beat on it much, but it's flat out pissing me off. The seals and bushing do not come close to the top though when I use the tube as a slide hammer. I suppose there is a clip in there, but I can not see it. I must be a little slow or something this week... I'm open to anybody calling out my stupidity and helping me out.
Edit: I got it all apart to find that I have two bent fork tubes... Yippee!!!
Re: Bottom screw help on Forks... new fork possibilities???

Seeing that the local guy wants $100 to straighten mine, what else will fit this little bike... It seems like bigger bikes are easier to come by, and I may try to stuff a XR200 motor in it in the future. Plus I'm not exactly a toothpick myself. I haven't measured the neck or anything, but it seems like enough guys here have larger bikes that may be able to shoot me some measurements. If you are in KC, there's a cold PBR in it for ya!
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