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HELM Original & MKII Complete 50 Hour/Lower 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 50 hour lower service which is the first step in both the complete 100 hour damper and spring service.

The process is identical for original HELM and HELM MKII. A HELM MKII is pictured here. The basic process is the same for AIR and COIL forks. Any minor differences are noted as needed.

Service Kit

BAG0409 – HELM 50 Hour Service Kit

Required Cane Creek Tools


Additional Tools & Supplies

Sockets – 13mm
Crowfoot wrenches – 18mm
Open Ended Box wrenches – 13 & 18mm
Torque wrenches
35mm fork seal tool

Motorex 15 wt Racing Fork Oil

Torque, Loctite & Oil Specs

Torque & Loctite Chart

PartTorque SpecLoctite Spec
Comp Rod Footnut5 Nm243 (Blue)
Rebound Adjuster7 Nm243 (Blue)

Oil Chart

Oil Location Oil Type Oil Amount
Damper Side Motorex 15 wt Racing Fork Oil 7.5 mL
Spring Side Motorex 15 wt Racing Fork Oil 5 mL

Related Technical Service Bulletins

Review all related TSBs before performing any service.

No specific HELM 50 Hour/Lower service TSBs at this time.

General Prep

Clean fork. Record tune if desired. Inspect fork for any damage. Particularly scratches on stanchion.

(For AIR fork only.)
Remove air cap and negative charge port cover. Press and hold charge air equalizing button and depress main air valve to depressurize air spring. Gently pull fork out to full travel. Pull charge port back out, but do not thread it back down.

Lowers Removal

Step 1 – Spring Side Footnut Removal

Using 13mm socket, unthread spring side footnut.

Step 2 – Damper Side Footnut Removal

Using 18mm open ended wrench, unthread damper side footnut. Press down on damper and compression rod shaft with fingers to separate from lowers. Do not use a hammer. Use of old Rebound knob or similar maybe helpful

Step 3 –  CSU Removal

Drain all fluid into approved oil waste container. Do not reuse. Remove CSU assembly. Remove and discard sag o-ring.

Lowers Disassembly

Step 1 – Foam Ring Removal

Remove and discard foam rings. Thoroughly clean wipers for removal.

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.

Step 2 – Wiper Seal Removal

Using a large open end wrench or seal puller to pry out wiper seals and discard. Careful to pad the fulcrum. Clean wiper seal bores with solvent and verify they are fully cleaned and dry.

Original HELM used black Racing Brothers wipers. The green SKF wipers are used in MKII production and for all services.

Step 3 – Bushing & Bumper Inspection

Inspect bushings and bottom out bumper for any damage.

Step 4 – Bottom Out Bumper Removal (if needed)

Using a non-marring rod, remove bottom out bumpers. Take care working them past bushings.

Step 5 – Final Clean

Clean inside fork lowers with diluted alcohol or equivalent solvent. Use a very clean rag to wipe inside lowers and bushings to prevent contamination. Use compressed air to thoroughly clean and dry bare lowers.

100 Hour Service

If doing a full 100 hour service, proceed to those damper and spring services from here. Return to this point for completion of full 100 hour service.

Lower Reassembly

Step 1 – Bottom Out Bumper Install (if needed)

If removed, install new bottom out bumpers (AAG0123). Use care when pressing past bushings. Once bumpers are clear of bushings, use a rod to aid installation.

Step 2 – Wiper Seal Install

Presoak new foam rings (AAG0174) in 15 wt suspension oil. Using 35mm wiper install tool, press dry wiper seals (AAG0598) into lowers. Press until fully seated.

Step 3 – Foam Ring Install

Install presoaked foam rings below wiper.

Lowers Install

Step 1 – O-rings Install (if needed)

If not done as part of a larger 100 hour service, install the Sag O-ring (AAG0408) on spring side stanchion. Grease and install rebound adjuster o-ring (AAD1060) & foot nut o-ring (.AD0111).

Step 2 – Lowers Install

Lightly grease inside of wipers. Align foot nut tabs between 10:00 & 11:00 position. Fully extend compression and damper rods. Eye ball location of foot nut tabs and purchase in lower casting. Install lowers onto the CSU assembly. Ease stanchions past wiper.

Step 3 – Add Bath Oil

Add 15 wt bath oil to lowers. 7.5 ml on damper side, 5 ml on spring side.

Step 4 – Comp & Damper Rod Seating

Guide compression and damper rods through lowers. Using a tool to guide rods can aid installation. If rods do not seat properly in lowers, rotate rods either with a tool or by removing lowers and repositioning them. 

Step 5 – Footnut Install

Apply blue Loctite (243) to compression rod and rebound knob threads. Carefully start threading rebound knob on to damper rod. Take care to not push rod back into lowers. Hand thread compression rod footnut. 

Step 6 – Footnut Torque

Torque compression rod footnut to 5 Nm using 13mm socket. Torque rebound adjustor to 7 Nm using 18mm crowsfoot and torque wrench.

Step 7 – Final Prep (Air only)

Add air pressure to fork. Equalize negative charge port. Close negative charge button. Cycle fork and check for any air loss. Install negative charge button and air valve caps.

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