PayPal now available at checkout
Free US Shipping On Orders $99+
Previous slide
Next slide
Cane Creek Logo

HELM Damper 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 damper leg of a complete 100 hour service. Combine these instructions with the appropriate spring side – air or coil; original or MKII – and 50 hour lower service to get a complete 100 hour fork service. 

Additionally, follow these instructions for damper removal and reinstall if sending the damper off for a service with an authorized Cane Creek service center.

Service Kit

BAG0714 – HELM Damper Rebuilt Kit

Required Cane Creek Tools

BAG0405 – Compression Retaining Nut Socket – Thin Walled 11mm socket
AAG0086 – HELM Cartridge Fill Tool
AAG0367 – HELM Oil Seal Head Bullet
AAG0406 – HELM Compression Outer Sleeve Spanner

Additional Tools & Supplies

Allen wrenches – 4mm
Torx wrenches – T10
Sockets – 10mm & chamfer-less 30mm 
Crowfoot wrenches – 10 & 18mm
Open Ended Box wrenches – 10 & 18mm
10mm Shaft Clamp
Torque wrenches
Knipex pliers

Suspension Grease
PolyLube Grease
Motorex 2.5wt Racing Fork Oil
Vacuum Oil Fill Machine

Torque, Loctite & Oil Specs

Torque & Loctite Chart

Part Torque Spec Loctite Spec
Rebound Piston Assembly 3 Nm 263 (Red)
Rebound Piston Install 5 Nm 243 (Blue)
Rebound Adjuster 5 Nm 243 (Blue)
Damper Top Cap to Gold Coupling 9 Nm None
Oil Seal Head to Damper Tube13 Nm None
Damper Install 36 Nm 243 (Blue)
Compression Nut Hand Tight 243 (Blue)
LSC Knob Screw 1.6 Nm 243 (Blue)

Oil Chart

Oil Location Oil Type Oil Amount
Damper Fill Motorex 2.5wt Racing Fork Oil Fill to 2 Bars

Related Technical Service Bulletins

Review all related TSBs before performing any service.

Lower Assembly Removal

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

Damper Removal

Step 1 – Low Speed Compression Nut Removal

Secure CSU. Using T10 Torx, remove Low Speed Compression knob screw. Remove LSC knob. Using thin walled 11mm socket (BAG0405), remove Low Speed Compression retaining nut. Remove High Speed Compression adjustor. Remove Low Speed Compression take up adaptor.

Step 2 – Damper Removal

Using 30mm chamferless socket, remove damper assembly. Breaker bar may be necessary. 

Step 3 – Damper & CSU Inspection

Clean excess oil from damper assembly and inspect. Clean and inspect CSU. Remove and discard sag o-ring. Clean all small parts in solvent.

Damper Disassembly

Step 1 –  Oil Seal Head Removal 

***Do not clamp damper tube. It will collapse.***

Using 4mm Allen, thread in (clockwise) Low Speed Compression needle to expose retaining circlip. If necessary, use pick to remove circlip and discard. (Circlip may not be present and will not be replaced.) Using Knipex or vise, secure damper on gold damper coupling. Use 18mm open end wrench (or crowsfoot) to loosen oil seal head. Remove oil seal head and rebound circuit using a circular motion. Discard damper oil in appropriate container.

Step 2 – Compression Circuit Disassembly

***Use caution when removing Low Speed needle. Ensure damper shaft is not compressed and top of damper is pointing away from harm in case oil and/or needle have pressure.***

Remove Low Speed needle from top of damper using 4mm Allen. Clamp damper coupling in vise. Using 30mm socket on top cap while simultaneously holding bladder with hand, loosen entire assembly above damper coupling. Remove bladder assembly, compression check spring and compression piston assembly.

TBS029 – Check Spring Change

Step 3 – Compression Outer Sleeve Disassembly

Using Compression Outer Sleeve Spanner (AAG0406) and 30mm socket, unthread top cap from compression outer sleeve. Remove top cap, helix and claw from outer sleeve. Take care as detent balls will fall out upon disassembly. Remove and discard bladder from outer sleeve.

TSB017 – Change to Rebound Range

Step 4 – Rebound Shaft Disassembly

Thoroughly clean rebound assembly. Using 10mm shaft clamp, clamp damper shaft between seal head and rebound adjuster. Using 10mm open ended wrench, remove adjuster. Pinch & remove and discard o-ring from rebound adjuster. Remove rebound shuttle rod. Remove and discard oil seal head.

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.

TSB017 – Change to Rebound Range

Step 5 – Rebound Piston Removal (if necessary)

Reclamp damper shaft with piston facing up. Using 10mm open ended wrench, remove piston assembly from damper shaft. Remove low speed return spring Take care to not remove low speed rebound needle and return spring. Remove and discard piston band from rebound piston.

TSB015 – Rebound Piston Flip

TBS029 – Check Spring Change

Step 6 – Rebound Piston Disassembly (if necessary)

Using two 10mm open ended wrenches, remove jam nut. Take care as it is spring loaded. Remove spacer, shim stack (noting order), piston, bottom shim and check spring or wave washer. (Check spring and waver washer we re both used in production and are interchangeable.)

Damper Reassembly

Step 1 – Rebound Piston Assembly (if necessary)

If necessary, install check spring or wave washer on piston seat with concave side up, bottom shim, piston with small ports facing up, shim stack, and spacer. Shim stack goes in order from largest to smallest. Apply red (263) Loctite to jam nut and install. Check that bottom shim is not pinched on piston seat and is centered. Using two 10mm sockets, torque to 3 Nm. 

TSB015 – Rebound Piston Flip

TBS029 – Check Spring Change

Step 2 – Rebound Piston Install (if necessary)

Install new piston band (AAG0212) on rebound piston. Apply blue Loctite (243) to rebound piston assembly threads and install into damper shaft. Reinstall low speed needle spring if removed. Clamp damper shaft with 10mm shaft clamp with piston end up. Torque piston assembly to 5.0 Nm with 10mm crowsfoot.

Step 3 – Oil Seal Head Install

Grease bushing on new oil seal head (AAG0208). Using Oil Seal Head bullet (AAG0367), install oil seal head onto damper shaft. Note orientation with threaded side towards piston end of shaft.

Step 4 – Rebound Adjuster Install

Insert rebound shuttle rod into damper shaft. Apply blue Loctite (243) to rebound adjuster threads. Install rebound adjuster into damper shaft. Clamp damper shaft with 10mm shaft clamp. Torque adjuster to 5.0 Nm with 10mm crowsfoot. Grease and install rebound adjuster o-ring (AAD1060).

Step 5 – Piston Band Install (if Step 2 skipped)

Install new piston band (AAG0212) on rebound piston.

Step 6 – Bladder, Claw & Helix Install

Install new bladder (AAG0216HNBR) on compression outer sleeve. Ensure bladder and outer compression sleeve threads are exposed. Insert claw into compression outer sleeve. Holding claw in place, place helix onto claw.

Step 7 – Detent Install

Apply suspension grease through the helix into the detent channel on the claw. Set the detent balls into the channel. Line up detent balls with channels on the outer sleeve and slide the helix & claw assembly into outer sleeve. Ensure claw moves up and down when rotating helix.

Step 8 – Damper Top Cap Install

Apply damper oil to inside of damper top cap. Holding claw in place, fully thread damper top cap onto compression outer sleeve. Using 10mm socket, check for free rotation of helix and claw. Leave fully open (counterclockwise).

Step 9 – Check Spring & Piston Assembly Install

Install compression check spring onto claw. Install compression piston assembly with poppet contacting spring.

Step 10 – Compression Circuit Reassembly

Apply damper oil to damper coupling. Thread damper coupling onto compression outer sleeve. Clamp damper coupling and torque damper top cap to 9 Nm using 30mm socket. Recheck that the helix still turns freely.

Step 11 – Rebound Circuit Install

Coat rebound piston in damper oil. Insert rebound assembly into damper tube. Thread oil seal head into damper tube. Secure damper coupling using vise or Knipex and torque oil seal head to 13 Nm using 22mm crowsfoot.

Damper Fill

Step 1 – Prepping Damper for Fill

Attach Cartridge fill tool (AAG0086) to helix through top cap. Ensure rebound is open (counterclockwise). Fully compress damper. Attach fill tool to fill machine.

Step 2 – Vacuum and Oil Fill Process

Fill vacuum to (3) mbar. Equalize pressure. Pressurize damper to (2) bars while extending damper shaft.

***Do not overfill. Can cause bladder to rupture.***

Fill vacuum to (3) mbar allowing damper shaft to return to compressed. Equalize pressure. Pressurize damper to (2) bars while extending damper shaft.

Step 3 – Damper Closure

Disconnect damper from fill machine with fill tool attached. Hold finger over fill adapter to keep oil from leaking. Slowly compress shaft 5cm allowing oil overflow. Insert low speed needle. Thread needle into until flush with helix using 4mm Allen.

Step 4 – Damper Test

Clear top cap of any excess oil. Close (clockwise) high speed with 10mm socket. Close (clockwise)low speed with 4mm Allen. Close (clockwise) rebound. Cycle damper to check for proper function.

If mechanic dyno equipment is available, run damper on dyno at this point.

Damper Install

Step 1 – Damper Install

Lightly grease o-ring on damper top cap. Apply blue Loctite (243) to damper top cap threads. Insert damper. Torque to 36 Nm using 30mm socket.

Step 2 – High Speed Compression Knob Install

Apply PolyLube to detents on the damper top cap. Fully open (counterclockwise) the High Speed compression (helix). Install High Speed knob. Note orientation with tab towards the front.

Step 3 – Compression Retaining Nut Install

Install red take up adapter. Apply blue Loctite (243) to inner threads on compression retaining nut. Install retaining nut. Tighten with 11mm compression nut socket until hand tight. Note knob will rotate to closed position.

Step 4 – Low Speed Compression Knob Install

Install Low Speed knob. Apply blue Loctite (243) to threads on Low Speed compression screw. Install screw and torque to 1.6 Nm with T10.

Lower Assembly Install

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

Sign Up To Get 15% Off Your First Order!


* indicates required