Fork Seals


7 replies to this topic
  • Moredesert

Posted April 22, 2004 - 01:42 PM

#1

I have had many Hondas and until this day I have never had a fork leak. During my last Baja ride my right forks started leaking oil. :D I wanted to send the forks and rear shock to Percision Comcepts but I'm broke and the BRP isn't my primary bike. I guess I need to change the fork seals myself for the time being. How hard is it and what if any tools do I need. :)

  • Moredesert

Posted July 25, 2004 - 10:39 AM

#2

OK it's time to do it. I'm ordering fork seals. Need some help before I start. Anyone that has done it before, what should I expect?

  • qadsan

Posted July 25, 2004 - 10:59 AM

#3

They're not too bad change if you're mechanically inclined. The service manual gives good details on how to do this. Depending on how many hours you have on your bike, you may also want to change the bushings as well. Make sure your fork tubes don't have any knicks or damage to them and if they do, you'll have to carefully file and or sand down the knick if that was the source of causing your seal to leak. There's a fair change there's only dirt in the seal causing the leak, so before delving into changing things out, try sliding a piece of 35mm film down the tube into the seal area and work it up and down and around the tube a few times. This trick alone might fix the leak and it only takes a few minutes to do.

  • mikekay

Posted July 25, 2004 - 11:23 AM

#4

its super easy.
BUT you will need a 14mm allen head, and a 30mm wrench or socket. Socket is better. A 12mm wrench. A long screwdriver or whatever to note the oil level when re-assembling.

The idea is to remove the forks, unbolt the top, remove the springs and oil. remove the bottom allen head, and once everything is unbolted, yank the tube out. Just give it a good pull.
Be real carefull when taking the seal off-dont scratch! Take off the dust seal then the oil seal.
THEN go to any Honda dealer and take the unit with ya--they can slam the new seal back on. (its a special tool that ya dont need to buy) Usually they dont charge for the service, it takes 3 minutes or less..Re-assemble. Its easy.

Try adding 2.5 wt fork oil that remains 130mm below the lip when the spring is in and the fork fully collapsed. Better handling.

There must be some how to articles with pics on off-road.com or one of those sites.

Let us know if ya get stuck. First time should take ya 2-3 hours. After that its a 1 hour or less proceedure. Hope that gets ya going...just jump in. You wont hurt anything in there. Its really very easy, if a bit messy.

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  • qadsan

Posted July 25, 2004 - 12:26 PM

#5

See Garrett Berg's web site for info on making a cheap fork seal driver.

http://motoman393.thumpertalk.com/

When you install the new seals (unless Honda does it for you), put some tape over the sharp ends of the tubes and then slide the seals on. This can help to prevent tearing the new seal.

  • Moredesert

Posted July 26, 2004 - 07:45 AM

#6

Thanks guys, :thumbsup: qadsan I did the 35mm film trick on my DRZ and fixed the problem. I just did it to the XR last night too but I'm going to replace the seals anyway. The fork boots are AFU so they need to be replaced.

Mikekay it's funny about the oil thing. I was told to run cartridge oil when I changed the front springs. I looked at the bottle and it's 15w. The bike still handles like crap so I was going to go to 5w. I might just try your 2.5w.

I'll look at the home made seal driver because I like to fix my own stuff. I don't trust anyone working on my bikes.

  • qadsan

Posted July 26, 2004 - 08:03 AM

#7

I'll look at the home made seal driver because I like to fix my own stuff.



One thing with the PVC driver is that you got to smack the seal pretty hard many times to driven it in. The steel version requires a lot less effort.

  • mikekay

Posted July 26, 2004 - 11:09 AM

#8

yeah the pvc thing scares me just becouse you have to pound so much. But then so many have done it with success...Its a good trick and one thats been around for years, but you do risk messing the seals a bit.

Try the 2.5wt at 130mm. Its way out of specs for the Honda manual. But thats what exactly what Precision Concepts runs-although they have their own pistons, shim stacks, springs and bottoming cones. I think ESP does 2.5wt at 120-but they use gold valves. Rob will do 120 of 5wt, with Eibach springs and his right on shim stack. I have ridden bikes with all those set ups and i gotta say the 2.5 wt at 130 works best for me--although at a certain point its just a matter of perception and preference for your ridding style. Barnums, PC, ESP, all work very well compared to the stock set up!!
If you want to get into it there are some shim stack ideas in the archive. Bottoming cones are a very good idea IMHO. 8mm of pre-load on the springs works for 180lb guys...but now we are getting beyond fork seal replacement! :thumbsup:





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