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HELM MKII Damper Complete 100 Hour Service Instructions

Mar 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

BAG0713 – HELM MKII Damper Rebuilt Kit

Required Cane Creek Tools

BAG0405 – Compression Retaining Nut Socket – Thin Walled 11mm socket
AAD0555 – 8mm & 9.5mm Shaft Clamp
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 – 10, 13 & chamfer-less 30mm
Crowfoot wrenches – 10, 18, 20 & 22mm
Open Ended Box wrenches – 10, 18, 20 & 22mm
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 Adjuster 5 Nm 243 (Blue)
Damper Top Cap to Gold Coupling 9 Nm None
Oil Seal Head to Damper Tube 13 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.

No specific HELM MKII damper TSBs at this time.

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 Low Speed Compression take up adaptor. Take care to not remove Low Speed Compression needle at this time. Thread needle back into damper with 4mm Allen. 

Step 2 – Damper Removal

Remove High Speed Compression adjustor. 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 Knipex or vise, secure damper on gold damper coupling. Use 22mm open end wrench 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

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. Ensure the actual poppet comes out with the piston assembly.

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. Remove and discard bladder from outer sleeve.

Step 4 – Rebound Circuit 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. Remove and discard o-ring from rebound adjuster, oil seal head, and piston band from rebound piston.

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.

Damper Reassembly

Step 1 – Oil Seal Head Install

Grease bushing on new oil seal head (AAG0636). Using Oil Seal Head bullet (AAG0367), install oil seal head onto damper shaft .Note orientation with threaded side towards piston end of shaft.

Step 2 – Rebound Adjuster Install

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

Step 3 – Piston Band Install

Install new piston band (AAG0212) on rebound piston.

Step 4 – 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, lining up claw pegs with channels on the outer compression sleeve. Holding claw in place, rotate helix onto claw.

Step 5 – 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 6 – Check Spring & Piston Assembly Install

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

Step 7 – 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 8 – 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 mechanical 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 blue 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.

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