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Fork seals -- Anyone DYI?
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Fork seals -- Anyone DYI? - April 27, 2009, 11:49 AM

Blew a fork seal, probably from a hard wheelie landing on Saturday. Bounced it down pretty good, unfortunately. I also had zip ties on the fork lowers, and I suspect the left side got shoved up into the dust seal and possibly jacked the oil seal. Residual oil after compression is pretty heavy so I gotta do these right away. Anyone who has DYI experience with fork seals willing to help for some monetary or other compensation like a return favor or whatever? I worry that the shops are busy now and won't get to the job in time for a 3-day ride I want to do with Stan in a couple of weeks. I also don't want to spend a fortune and am not replacing the springs as of right now.

I have a garage, tools, stands, all that, but no special fork tools. Will order parts today so if there are tools I should order too, please advise. Thanks!


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April 27, 2009, 12:01 PM

Hey John.. I just had mine done at RnR this weekend.. They charged me $113 bux off the bike. I had all the parts minus the fork oil.. which was just a 5w synthetic. As far as a DIY for the actual fork seal.. I googled and found a few sites that had them but I wasn't ready to do that this weekend. It's a fairly simple process on paper.. If you do do it I would like to watch/be a helping hand to learn how to do it.


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April 27, 2009, 12:05 PM

You have the manual? I've done the forks on my 500 and the SV, but haven't messed with inverted forks. Shouldn't be too much different...

Then again, mine have damper rods, too - no cartridges. Still, if you have a manual it's doable. Let me know, I'll give you a hand.
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April 27, 2009, 12:25 PM

For $113 I would take them to RNR if it were me and I have done them myself.
On my Harley I used a piece of PVC big enough to go over the forks and then used the old seal to drive the new seal in.
To remove the lower forks there is a retaining clip under the rubber boot.
The seal itself isn't real difficult but if you don't have something to measure the fluid it is one more part you could be unsure of and if you don't have the right amount it will make the forks function poorly.
I have a tool to measure the fluid.
They do make a tool to drive seals also.

To have seal put in and the proper amount of fluid for $113 is a huge deal to me!


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April 27, 2009, 12:27 PM

I've heard that inverted fork tubes are a whole different animal. I have the service manual pdf and looked through it over lunch. I may hold off on a DYI attempt because I'm missing some things that would make the job easier, like a vice and a few other job-specific tools. The last thing I want to be doing is buying another set of fork tubes off of ebay because I jacked up the job.


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April 27, 2009, 12:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
I've heard that inverted fork tubes are a whole different animal. I have the service manual pdf and looked through it over lunch. I may hold off on a DYI attempt because I'm missing some things that would make the job easier, like a vice and a few other job-specific tools. The last thing I want to be doing is buying another set of fork tubes off of ebay because I jacked up the job.
that's exactly what stopped me from doing them myself..getting the fork off is a piece of cake..


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April 27, 2009, 02:42 PM

fair enough
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April 27, 2009, 03:08 PM

Are you going to take the forks off or leave the entire bike at RnR? Let me know if you need a ride.
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April 27, 2009, 03:18 PM

I'll definitely take the fork tubes off to save some money. Thanks though!


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April 27, 2009, 03:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
I'll definitely take the fork tubes off to save some money. Thanks though!
Let me know if you need a second set of hands. Oh wait...you can just ask Dennis to help you (sorry...couldn't resist).
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April 27, 2009, 06:27 PM

Tom, you know where the old oil coming out of the forks is going, right?

Mike, I checked out these vids, and it really doesn't look that bad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y43k1qFVGW4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ICr-DOmdk&NR=1

Been trying to reach Race Tech. If they can get me the schtuff by this weekend, this may be a go because I have an offer to use a fork tool kit. If you are interested and available, come on up. PM coming your way today or tomorrow.

Can't do it Saturday, at least not until later in the day because I am helping Interceptor out with some object relocation tasks.


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April 27, 2009, 06:28 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeShirtDude View Post
Tom, you know where the old oil coming out of the forks is going, right?

Mike, I checked out these vids, and it really doesn't look that bad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y43k1qFVGW4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9ICr-DOmdk&NR=1

Been trying to reach Race Tech. If they can get me the schtuff by this weekend, this may be a go because I have an offer to use a fork tool kit. If you are interested and available, come on up. PM coming your way today or tomorrow.

Can't do it Saturday, at least not until later in the day because I am helping Interceptor out with some object relocation tasks.
Traxxion and Pit posse have what ya need.


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April 27, 2009, 06:42 PM

Thanks Nate. I was just looking up my recommended spring rate at Race Tech, and the 10r is actually over sprung for my weight. I like the performance I'm getting now so I may forgo the spring replacement afterall. My small bump absorption up front is superb because my preload is not terribly tight.

I have an offer to get help from someone with a Traxxion fork toolkit. The only things we don't have are a seal driver and a bullet. Those drivers are expensive so I'm tempted to try the PVC substitution.


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April 27, 2009, 06:51 PM

Ok, just got off the phone with Louie at race tech. He said my bushings on these fork tubes should be fine, even at 27-28K miles that are on the bike. He also told me that Kawasaki does not make replacement bushings available individually. They only sell the whole tubes. Dang, that's going to be something to save up for someday when the time comes.

Even if I don't buy a set of springs, I will probably buy the seals and dust caps (and oil) from them because they have them in stock and ship same day. If I order from ronayers, it'll be a week before they even ship them out, and that's just not going to work since I'm going riding on the 8th-10th. So... things are looking so far/so good.


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April 27, 2009, 06:53 PM

Honestly, the PVC substitution works great. If you're not a mechanic or you don't rebuild bikes for a hobby, a dedicated fork seal driver is overkill imo.

I've never done cartridge forks, but damper rod forks are much more complicated on paper than they are in real life.
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