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Fork Seal Replacement (Read 1495 times)
jbrough7
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Fork Seal Replacement
10/24/05 at 11:27:29
 
My fork seals are toast and everything is getting quite messy.  friend of mine said no way I can do that myself.  My mechanical ability is about 5.5 out of 10.  Do I need a special tool?  Should I just go to the stealership??
Thanks for your help Guys and Gals!


Edit: I thought the info below might be useful (should anyone in the future actually bother to look for it), so I moved it to the Technical Corner.
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torque
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Re: fork seal replacement needed!!
Reply #1 - 10/24/05 at 13:13:02
 
its not hard too do,just tricky.ive done mine twice now(damm wheelies)and the only "special tool" you will need, is somthing to slide down the inner fork tube to keep the bolt from spinning when your undoing the bottom fork allen screw,i used a cheap old sword i had laying around,just cut the tip off, ground it down a little till it fit perfect,works like a charm.

hope this helps. Wink
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Re: fork seal replacement needed!!
Reply #2 - 10/24/05 at 13:42:45
 
Broom handle (or = sized dowel) sharpened to a tapered square shape holds the inner shock tube when you spin the bolt out of the bottom with an air wrench. With some help you may get it out w/o the air wrench but it is loctited when assembled so needs much power to break it loose and turn it. Special tool listed in the factory manual will NOT fit down the newer tubes and second tech schools recommended tool is only a 3/8" drive version of the broom handle which the parts guy told me about after I had purchased the 2 nd version of the special tool. Use care to drive the seal into the lower tube. I only removed one fork at a time and be careful to route the turn signal where they belong. I didn't on one side and ended up piching them between the fork stop and the lower triple tree. Also you will need a big socket or wrench to loosen the top nut on the tubes as they retain the tube in the upper triple tree. Max
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Re: fork seal replacement needed!!
Reply #3 - 10/24/05 at 23:11:37
 
If You play Your cards right it is a piece of cake.

You will need a piece of PVC pipe with an inner diameter 38mm to drive the new fork seal. You can get it in the plumbing section of almost every ACE or Home Depot
Put a jack under the bike and remove the fr. wheel and fr. fender. Unscrey the top fork caps. Remove one of the forks.Put the cap back and tighten it lightly. Turn the fork upside down and put it into a vise.DO NOT SQUEEZE THE TUBE. Squeeze where the axle goes. Take a long alen socket. Install it in the alen bolt that will be facing up and wack it nice about 10 times/this will loosen the tight threads. If You have an impact driver , use it to take the darn bolt out. Pull the fork from the vise and let it drain in a pan. Pull the dust seal up, using a small screwdriver. Using the same tool pop out the retaining clip that is under the dust seal and holds the fork seal. Grab the Alum. part with one hand and the chrome tube in the other and slide them in oposite direction as many times as it takes to take the assy apart. Slide the old seal out. Install the assy back. Using the PVC pipe install the big washer that is under the seal. After the metal washer is installed all the way in, install the new seal the same way /MAKE SURE THE LETTERS AND NUMBERS ARE FACING UP/. Install the retaining clip and the dust seal. Turn the fork upside - down and fill 441 ml /14.9 oz/ thru the bolt hole on the bottom. put the alen bolt back in the hole and tighten it good. Repeat the procedure with the other fork. Have fun !
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #4 - 04/30/07 at 02:49:41
 
If you have a battery  or air impact wrench  you can likely loosen the bottom fork bolts by compressing the shocks while you loosen ,this provides resistance.

The oil seal stopper that fits in the groove above the seal is really a piece of wire open at one end and so can be pried out carefull like without denting the inner top of the slider (lower fork tube).

don't under any circumstances try to separate upper & lower tubes without removing this first.

a piece of 1.5 " diameter white schedule 40 pvc works perfectly to push the oil seal into it's seat.
$1.79 for a 2 ft length at H.D.

you may also need this pvc to drive home the bushing that sits below the washer that sits below the oil seal.
simply place the washer between the bushing and pvc pipe and rap the pipe.

when putting the fork tubes back on make sure you route the clutch, throttle cable etc. between the forks .

27mm fork cap bolts, 8mm long allen for bottom
fork bolts

it's easier than it sounds.

if you're stuck P.M. me.

it's 4/30/07 as i write this,having finished putting her together this morning.
I used ATF type F and she rode great today !
Certainly a stiffer feel with the 30 weight type F; but interestingly enough I was riding through some good 30mph gusts  and it was decidedly easier to deal with the wind.
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #5 - 05/08/08 at 11:45:34
 
Don't mess around making a tool to get that bottom allen bolt out.  There's a great tip in the Clymer manual.

Pretty much, if you leave the spring & spacer in there with the fork cap on, there is enough force to keep the damper rod from spinning.  This applies when removing and installing the bottom allen bolt.
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #6 - 10/04/08 at 23:44:39
 
Put new seals in my forks today.
Only trouble was getting the bottom allen bolt loose.
Had to put a different taper on the broomstick before it would hold the damper and tap it in real good.  then it was a piece of cake.
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #7 - 11/16/08 at 17:39:37
 
verslagen1 wrote on 10/04/08 at 23:44:39:
Put new seals in my forks today.
Only trouble was getting the bottom allen bolt loose.
Had to put a different taper on the broomstick before it would hold the damper and tap it in real good.  then it was a piece of cake.

Vers,I want to put fork gaiters on ,the seals are ok so no need to change them,is that going to make the job easier?
Take the wheel off,the fender,handlebars, then what ?
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #8 - 11/16/08 at 19:31:23
 
mick wrote on 11/16/08 at 17:39:37:
Vers,I want to put fork gaiters on ,the seals are ok so no need to change them,is that going to make the job easier?
Take the wheel off,the fender,handlebars, then what ?

no need to take bars off.
drop the front wheel, fender, caliper,remove the cap, loosen the tree and signal and slide one tube down, put on the gaiter and replace the tube.  Don't tip it!  just slip the tube down, put the gaiter on and replace it.  don't get fancy unless you want to replace the oil.

Now with that said, to replace the oil is only 1 step more.  Turn the tube upside down into a pan and let it drain.  replace with your favorite brand of snake oil.
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #9 - 11/16/08 at 19:54:05
 
verslagen1 wrote on 11/16/08 at 19:31:23:
mick wrote on 11/16/08 at 17:39:37:
Vers,I want to put fork gaiters on ,the seals are ok so no need to change them,is that going to make the job easier?
Take the wheel off,the fender,handlebars, then what ?

no need to take bars off.
drop the front wheel, fender, caliper,remove the cap, loosen the tree and signal and slide one tube down, put on the gaiter and replace the tube.  Don't tip it!  just slip the tube down, put the gaiter on and replace it.  don't get fancy unless you want to replace the oil.

Now with that said, to replace the oil is only 1 step more.  Turn the tube upside down into a pan and let it drain.  replace with your favorite brand of snake oil.

When you take the top nut off does a giant spring come flying out?
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #10 - 11/16/08 at 20:10:02
 
Nothing like a snake can to wake you up in the morning.   Grin

There's a little preload, only pushes the cap off about a half inch.
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #11 - 12/11/10 at 21:58:00
 
youzguyz wrote on 04/05/10 at 11:45:35:
Hopefully this will save someone else some grief..

I HAD a leak in the left fork.  

Then read something on the internet...
Take a piece of stiff plastic.. like camera film.  Wrap it around the fork tube and run it down between the dust seal and the tube.   Very careful to not scratch the seal.  Twirl it all the way around.  What you are trying to do is knock anything out of that dust seal that could be causing a leak to the outside air.  I had nothing better to do while I waited for the parts.  So.. did that.
I wanted to ride last weekend, so put new oil in the forks, put them on and.. no leak!
Rode all weekend.. no leak.. and rides just as good as ever.  Boots look pretty nice too.
Cheesy


youzguyz wrote on 04/05/10 at 13:30:59:
I cut a piece from the plastic that is used to encase just about everything you buy these days.   I also read that sturdy business cards would work, drivers license, etc.
3.5 inches x 2.5 inches (not critical).  Round the corners off to avoid sharp points.  Wrap around tube (about half way or so I think it was).
Wiggle it down between the dust cap and tube.  Hold the plastic and lower fork still while rotating the tube.  Then hold the plastic and tube still while rotating the lower fork.
You can do this with the forks on the bike as well.. but all you can move is the plastic around the tube in a circle.  Not nearly as much fun.

One other thought.  If it still leaks (and you have not removed the forks from the bike), try loosening up the forks (fork cap, turn signal, lower T) and rotating tube just a bit.   Why?  In case the grit that caused the leak put a small grove in the fork tube.  Rotating the tube will move that grove away from the possible nick in the dust cap.
Can't hurt to try.


youzguyz wrote on 04/05/10 at 13:33:42:
You can also buy the .. professional.. kind.   Roll Eyes

http://www.sealmate.net/


Serowbot wrote on 07/26/14 at 23:45:14:
Try cleaning the seals first... most seals aren't actually blown...
They just have grit under the seal...
There is a cheap tool for this, or you can make one from a pop bottle in 1 minute...

I just had a really bad gusher... and fixed it in 1 minute with a sliver of a soda bottle...
... or, if you aren't into cutting soda bottles... buy these guys plastic tool...


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« Last Edit: 07/28/14 at 13:32:08 by verslagen1 »  

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Re: fork seal replacement needed!!
Reply #12 - 12/13/10 at 20:01:45
 
Max_Morley wrote on 10/24/05 at 13:42:45:
With some help you may get it out w/o the air wrench but it is loctited when assembled so needs much power to break it loose and turn it.


Thread lock loosens with heat. You can shoot the bolt for a bit with one of those small butane burners.
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Re: fork seal replacement needed!!
Reply #13 - 03/05/12 at 11:54:54
 
slavy wrote on 10/24/05 at 23:11:37:
Turn the fork upside - down and fill 441 ml /14.9 oz/ thru the bolt hole on the bottom.

While franch says to fill from the bottom... I didn't.  Just poured it in from the top.

Just a note, with the springs installed and the top tube colapsed, the oil come up to about an inch from the top... if I remember correctly.   Huh
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement
Reply #14 - 03/01/14 at 11:40:01
 
verslagen1 wrote on 12/11/10 at 21:58:00:
youzguyz wrote on 04/05/10 at 11:45:35:
Hopefully this will save someone else some grief..

I HAD a leak in the left fork.  

Then read something on the internet...
Take a piece of stiff plastic.. like camera film.  Wrap it around the fork tube and run it down between the dust seal and the tube.   Very careful to not scratch the seal.  Twirl it all the way around.  What you are trying to do is knock anything out of that dust seal that could be causing a leak to the outside air.  I had nothing better to do while I waited for the parts.  So.. did that.
I wanted to ride last weekend, so put new oil in the forks, put them on and.. no leak!
Rode all weekend.. no leak.. and rides just as good as ever.  Boots look pretty nice too.
Cheesy


youzguyz wrote on 04/05/10 at 13:30:59:
I cut a piece from the plastic that is used to encase just about everything you buy these days.   I also read that sturdy business cards would work, drivers license, etc.
3.5 inches x 2.5 inches (not critical).  Round the corners off to avoid sharp points.  Wrap around tube (about half way or so I think it was).
Wiggle it down between the dust cap and tube.  Hold the plastic and lower fork still while rotating the tube.  Then hold the plastic and tube still while rotating the lower fork.
You can do this with the forks on the bike as well.. but all you can move is the plastic around the tube in a circle.  Not nearly as much fun.

One other thought.  If it still leaks (and you have not removed the forks from the bike), try loosening up the forks (fork cap, turn signal, lower T) and rotating tube just a bit.   Why?  In case the grit that caused the leak put a small grove in the fork tube.  Rotating the tube will move that grove away from the possible nick in the dust cap.
Can't hurt to try.


youzguyz wrote on 04/05/10 at 13:33:42:
You can also buy the .. professional.. kind.   Roll Eyes

http://www.sealmate.net/



great tip, did this today, and cured the slight leak I had!! Smiley
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