I picked up a used Fatty SL just to play around with taking a Headshok apart to see what was involved. It was cheap enough that if it was junk, I at least would learn something and not feel bad about the cost. The Headshok had no oil in it and didn't hold air. Also, the top plastic cap (I guess you'd call it the damping dial) is pretty far gone so would need to be replaced.

I pulled it apart today and this is what it looks like:

First, the bearing races have obviously seen some water. In fact, I was under the impression that the fork and bearings should just slide out of the headtube? Is that correct? These only slide so far and then I need to tap the fork with a deadblow hammer to get them to keep moving. I didn't keep banging on the fork because I wasn't sure if maybe I missed something in the disassembly. This is the first Headshok I have taken apart.

Next, the orange plastic coating on the spring is coming off. I am guessing that these pieces of plastic floating around in the oil will cause problems for the seals. Will they. or do the springs all seem to start flaking off the colored plastic after a while?

The white plastic endcap next to the spring is a little nicked up from someone attempting to take it off with an improper tool it looks like, plus it has some rust on it (from where I don't know). I guess it is just cosmetic, but obviously someone was working on it.

Having never been inside of a Headshok before, is the large bluish grey cylinder the air cylinder? I didn't take it apart yet to see what the seals look like, but since it doesn't hold air or oil, I am guessing they need to be replaced.

Lastly, the red arrow points to a metal ring that came off of something, but I have no idea what. Is it a part of a seal, or did it break off of something inside the shock body?

So, my real point in posting this is because I was going to rebuild this Headshok and use it on a 1997 F700. The shock looks like it needs some work, and maybe even some parts replaced that are no longer available. I could also do the trade-in deal where I take this Headshok to the LBS and have them send it back to C'dale and purchase a new DLR Headshok. The F700 is in excellent condition, so I wouldn't mind spending $400 on a new Headshok for it. You guys who have worked on the Headshoks, what would you suggest?

andy b.