leaking fork seal - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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leaking fork seal

time has come to replace the fork seals on my bike. one of em is leaking right now, and I dont know how long until the other does the same. on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest, how hard is it to replace fork seals?

bike is a 98 EX500
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 12:47 PM
 
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good question... i wanna know too?
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:26 PM
 
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I'd say about a 6 on difficulty. You will need a special fork seal driver.

How bad is it leaking? Sometimes cleaning out between the fork leg and the seal will stop small leaks. You can use photo film, or a business card. I have stopped smaller leaks using this technique. Also, changing the fork oil will help out.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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its leaking bad enough that I cant stop without having oil come out of the tube. I think I'm gonna change the fork oil while I'm in there just because I can.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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They are not very hard, but can be if you are not technical of don't have tools. 6 is a good number. If you do seals it is also a good idea to do bushings also. GM probably has pics and such to do a quality wright up.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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its leaking bad enough that I cant stop without having oil come out of the tube. I think I'm gonna change the fork oil while I'm in there just because I can.
Ain't no cleaning trick gonna fix that leak!

The fork oil should be changed regularly. Good clean oil will do wonders for handling.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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and what kind/weight of fork oil is recommended to help improve handling? stock or a heavier oil?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 04:34 PM
 
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and what kind/weight of fork oil is recommended to help improve handling? stock or a heavier oil?
I always go with the recommended weight. I think some folks go heavier to stiffen the suspension up a bit, but not me.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 06:39 AM
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Go with the stock eight oil but spend the extra $$ and get some nice Ohlins synthetic oil.

The job isn't too hard.

But there a few pointers to remember...

First... loosen the top nut on the top of the fork. That is where everything comes out. Its easier to do this while everything is on the bike and the tripples and front wheel stop the forks from turning.

Then its as simple as pulling off the front wheel. Hang up the front calipers using a old wire hanger. Then loosen the tripples and slide out the forks.

I suggest you get a service manual for the "just in case".

Then pull the top cap, turn over the forks to drain them. Then get out your service manual to di-essemble them. KEEP THE PARTS IN ORDER! This will aid you in re-essembly.

Yes... change the fork seals, bushings and oil.

How many miles you have on the beast?




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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 10:38 AM
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You might as well spend a couple hundy and get some Racetech springs too... The 500s have horribly soft front ends... Racetech even has a calculator on their website to get the right springs based off your weight and riding style...
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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well, I dont have the money to invest in the racetech parts. just doing basic repairs for now.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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,...good idea,..
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 09:10 AM
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I paid to have mine redone. The cost wasn't too bad I had the book and took just the forks to the shop. They scared me at the shop saying I needed this special tool to do it with or could risk breaking the seal then I'd have to buy another and the fact that there is supposed to be an exact amount of oil in the fork...
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 09:47 AM
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I was going to do mine when they started leaking but decided I couldn't be bothered. Too many variables for me to screw up.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 11:04 AM
 
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Piece of plastic Schedule 80 plastic plumbing pipe of same diameter as inside diameter of fork lower= fork seal driver. Or, you can use an appropriate sized large socket and a rubber/plastic mallet. I use a dentists hooked probe ($.99 at Ace hardware) to pull the old seals out. Flush the fork tubes out w kerosene and leave them to drain out overnight to insure you are not leaving old debris in the bottom of the fork tubes. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS replace bushings at the same time.

For a cheap alternative to Racetech springs, cut pairs of 1", 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/2" schedule 80 (the thick stuff) water pipe of the same diameter as the springs. Starting with the shortest, add the 1" spacer on top of the spring to add preload (you can try the various lengths to get the best performance). Once you've determined the best amount of preload, cut and deburr the same diameter and length in steel pipe and replace the plastic spacers with the permanent steel ones.

Or...drill and tap your fork caps for Shrader (tire) valves, and add, (via hand pump) 5-10 psi in each fork leg (never use a compressor; the volume of air required is so low you'll blow those new seals)

Once you've got the spring rate sorted, you can experiment with various weight of oils, 5 wt, 10 wt, or a 50/50 blend
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Bob View Post
time has come to replace the fork seals on my bike. one of em is leaking right now, and I dont know how long until the other does the same. on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the hardest, how hard is it to replace fork seals?

bike is a 98 EX500
I alway paid to have them replaced. If you remove the forks, it will cost you about a $120 or so to have both done. Well worth it if you ask me.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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That's the way I went I got them done for 120.00.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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i recommend getting a shop manual for any DIY jobs on the bike.
getting the proper tools will ease the/any job.

for financial decisions, add the cost of tools/materials vs the cost for someone else to do the job.

-a|ex
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 01:22 PM
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-22-2007, 04:46 PM
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Yes, sometimes it is worth having a shop do it..

But save yourself some chedda and remove the forks from the bike first.




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