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HELM Air Spring Complete 100 Hour Service Instructions

June 2022 orig.

Table of Contents

Recommendations and Warnings

Cane Creek recommends only trained suspension technicians perform service on all suspension, using all required tools and following all proper procedures. Anyone without access to the proper equipment or with any concerns on the procedures should defer to an authorized Cane Creek service center for service. Improper service can result in loss of performance or suspension failure.
All Cane Creek forks have pressurized oil. Follow the service procedures exactly as written to avoid possible injury or harm to the suspension. Always wear eye protection while performing suspension service.
Please dispose of all waste products and materials through proper channels to avoid contamination of the environment.

Any damage or issues resulting from improper service will not be covered by warranty. If you have a fork still in its original warranty period and do not wish to void your warranty, please contact an authorized Cane Creek service center.

These service instructions cover the basic service procedures using standard service kits. If your suspension requires parts beyond standard replacement parts – CSU, compression rods, etc. – please consult your authorized Cane Creek service center or contact us at our Cane Creek Support Center.

Service Notes

These instructions cover just the air spring leg of a complete 100 hour service. Combine these instructions with the appropriate damper side and 50 hour lower service to get a complete 100 hour fork service. 

Additionally, you can send the damper for a service with an authorized Cane Creek service center.

Service Kit

BAG0451 – HELM Air Spring Rebuilt Kit

Required Cane Creek Tools

AAD0555 – 8mm & 9.5mm Shaft Clamp

Additional Tools & Supplies

Sockets – 8mm, deep well 22mm & chamfer-less 30mm 
Crowfoot wrenches – 20mm
Open Ended Box wrenches – 10, 20 & 22mm
Torque wrenches
Suspension Grease
Royal Purple 10w-30

Torque, Loctite & Oil Specs

Torque & Loctite Chart

Part Torque Spec Loctite Spec
Seal Head Assembly 5 Nm 243 (Blue)
Air Piston to Shaft  6 Nm 263 (Red)
Seal Head Install 16 Nm None
Doublair Top Cap 36 Nm 243 (Blue)

Oil Chart

Oil LocationOil TypeOil Amount
Top of Air SpringRoyal Purple 10w-302.5 mL

Related Technical Service Bulletins

Review all related TSBs before performing any service.

No specific HELM Air spring TSBs at this time.

Lower Assembly Removal

Prior to beginning damper service, remove the lower assembly per the 50 hour service instructions.

Spring Assembly Removal

Step 1 – Doublair Top Cap Removal

Secure CSU. Double check all air has been removed from air spring of BOTH the positive AND negative chambers by pressing the main air fill valve AND the negative charge button simultaneously. Failure to do so can result in injury. Using 30mm chamferless socket, remove Doublair volume piston. Breaker bar may be necessary. Note position of volume reduction, if present. 

Step 2 – Compression Rod Assembly Removal

Press negative charge button and compress shaft all the way down. Remove and discard sag o-ring. Using 22mm wrench, remove air spring seal head. Dispose of splash oil. Remove air spring assembly by walking piston out past stanchion threads. Note orientation of travel spacer, plastic spacer, top out bumper and any metal shims on either side of top out bumper that may be present.

Step 3 – Air Spring and Stanchion Cleaning

Thoroughly clean air spring assembly and stanchion. Use a very clean rag or shop towel to clean interior of stanchion.

Compression Rod Disassembly

Step 1 –  Air Piston Removal

Remove and discard back up and quad rings from main air piston. Using 8mm shaft clamp, clamp air spring assembly between the air seal head and air piston. Using 8mm socket, crack free air piston and remove.

Step 2 – Air Seal Head Removal

Remove any travel reduction, spacer, and top out bumper. Remove and discard air seal head/top out spacer and foot nut o-ring. Inspect shaft for any wear. Remove any Loctite residue.

Always use extreme caution when using a pick in this step or others to avoid scratching metal parts. Failure to do this can create scratches in the o-ring glands which cause leak paths for oil or air. When possible, pinch and remove o-rings rather than using a pick.

Compression Rod Reassembly

Step 1 – Air Seal Head Assembly

Grease and install foot nut o-ring (.AD0111) on air spring shaft foot nut. Grease bushing on new air seal head (AAG0179). Slide air seal head onto air shaft, noting correct orientation. Thoroughly grease air seal head quad ring (AAD1809). Walk it past the threads onto shaft. Press quad ring into air seal head. Install back up ring (AAG0383) on shaft. Press back up ring against quad ring into seal head.

Step 2 – Top Out Spacer & Air Seal Head Assembly

Apply blue Loctite (243) to seal head threads. Install new top out spacer (AAG0312) and thread onto seal head. Hold top out spacer with 10mm open ended wrench, avoiding putting wrench flats on port hole. Torque seal head to 5 Nm using 22mm deep well socket.

Step 3 – Air Piston Install

Install top out bumper (and any metal shims if present), plastic spacer, and any travel adjustment. Apply red Loctite (263) to rod threads. Thread air piston onto rod. Clamp rod in vise directly under air piston with enough space to torque. Torque air piston to 6 Nm using 8mm socket.

Step 4 – Air Piston Assembly

Grease air piston gland. Thoroughly grease all sides of air piston quad ring (AAG0115). Install first back up ring (AAG0116-01), quad ring, and second back up ring with flat sides of back up rings facing the quad ring.

Spring Assembly Install

Step 1 – Air Spring Assembly Install

Install sag o-ring (AAG0408) on stanchion. Thoroughly grease inner stanchion and air piston. Install air spring assembly by carefully walking the air piston past threads on stanchion. If needed, use damper side stanchion to better seat rings on air piston to aid install. Keep hand above seal head to avoid pinching hand. Press negative charge button and compress shaft all the way down. Torque air seal to 16 Nm using 22mm deep well socket.

Step 2 – Doublair Top Cap Install

Add 2.5 ml of Royal Purple 10w-30 to the top side of the air spring. Lightly grease stanchion below the threads. Lightly grease o-ring on Doublair top cap o-ring and volume reduction if present. Apply blue Loctite (243) to threads on Doublair top cap. Install assembly. Torque to 36 Nm using 30mm socket.

Lower Assembly Install

Upon completion of the spring side install and any damper service, install lower assembly per the 50 hour service instructions.

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