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changing fork seals

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I'm no mechanic but i try to do most of my own maintenance, i've never changed fork seals before and im just wondering how big of a job it is, i'd like to avoid taking my bike to the local dealer because he over charges for everything but i will if necessary. Thanks in advance.

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I'm no mechanic but i try to do most of my own maintenance, i've never changed fork seals before and im just wondering how big of a job it is, i'd like to avoid taking my bike to the local dealer because he over charges for everything but i will if necessary. Thanks in advance.

 

Not a big job but def need the right tools or you will do damage.

 

Which bike?

Edited by UncleLuke
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Not hard at all, say 3 out of ten. Once you do it you`ll wonder way any one takes it to the shop in the first place. Youtube is your friend. Fork cap wrench and seal driver are all you need but there are ways around not using them, but if you do rockymountainatv has their tusk stuff cheap and it works.

Edited by David C

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Not a big job but def need the right tools or you will do damage.

 

Which bike?

05 kx250f

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Not hard at all, say 3 out of ten. Once you do it you`ll wonder way any one takes it to the shop in the first place. Youtube is your friend. Fork cap wrench and seal driver are all you need but there are ways around not using them, but if you do rockymountainatv has their tusk stuff cheap and it works.

Yeah i watched a tutorial on youtube, i don't have a fork cap wrench or seal driver, how can i change the seals without these and not cause any damage? 

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I used PVC pipe to drive my seals into place and have heard a lot of other people use it too and it ends up working just fine

Alright thanks, any suggestions for the fork cap wrench?

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I just called the kawi dealer, he said $60 an hour and it will take 2-3 hours so $120-$180...

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Alright thanks, any suggestions for the fork cap wrench?

I haven't tried it but I've heard keep turning the preload adjuster counter clockwise till you can undo the fork cap works, and don't forget to loosen the top triple first though

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I just called the kawi dealer, he said $60 an hour and it will take 2-3 hours so $120-$180...

holy crap man! $60/hour is reasonable, but 2 to 3 hours to swap fork seals is nuts...especially for a pro. 2 hours if you've never done it before is reasonable.

as others have said, it's a pretty easy job. i also use PVC to drive in the fork seals. a real fork seal driver would make it easier, but the PVC works fine.

and, yes, you can usually get away with just backing the pre-load adjusters all the way out and then using them to loosen the fork caps. as mentioned, though, make absolutely sure you loosen the top triple clamp bolts first or you will likely jam your adjusters.

btw, if you are only replacing the seals because they're leaking a little, try just cleaning them first if you have not done so. i use a seal doctor (which i just find makes the job so much easier and quicker that it's worth the $20), but you can also use the cheaper motion pro tool or 35mm film or a feeler gauge or...

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holy crap man! $60/hour is reasonable, but 2 to 3 hours to swap fork seals is nuts...especially for a pro. 2 hours if you've never done it before is reasonable.

as others have said, it's a pretty easy job. i also use PVC to drive in the fork seals. a real fork seal driver would make it easier, but the PVC works fine.

and, yes, you can usually get away with just backing the pre-load adjusters all the way out and then using them to loosen the fork caps. as mentioned, though, make absolutely sure you loosen the top triple clamp bolts first or you will likely jam your adjusters.

btw, if you are only replacing the seals because they're leaking a little, try just cleaning them first if you have not done so. i use a seal doctor (which i just find makes the job so much easier and quicker that it's worth the $20), but you can also use the cheaper motion pro tool or 35mm film or a feeler gauge or...

I already bought the seals and i'd rather replace them now so that i know they're new, the guy told me it needed new seals when i bought it and seals are only $30 so its worth it to know what i have on my bike. Thanks

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the top can shouldnt be very tight. just snug. loosen the top triple clamp bolts, take a pair of channel locks and a rag to protect the fork cap and spin off the cap. Should take very little effort to remove. Ideally you want the proper wrench to remove but not necessary. The tools will pay for themselves the first time you use them.

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I just called the kawi dealer, he said $60 an hour and it will take 2-3 hours so $120-$180...

Never, ever, never let a dealer touch your bike. Ever. Never.

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Lot of variables when it comes to $$ and time, and then parts and fluids used too.

 

Some will just split the forks, bung in the cheapest after market seals and fill them with oil. This shouldn't take long or cost much. Others will pull the base valve, clean everything, check the shims for warping, go over the bushings and o-rings and replace anything that is out of spec/showing wear, and then put in high quality seals such as SKF. This will obviously cost more over all and take a little bit longer. Also, are you just dropping off the forks or taking the whole bike in?

 

I've always been of the opinion that I'd rather spend on tooling and invest in time and knowledge to do things to a standard which I am happy with as opposed to paying time and time again and learning nothing, but in saying that some people shouldn't be allowed near tools, and unfortunately some dealers/mechanics also fall into this group. Especially if you consider it may be the apprentice 'learning' on your parts.

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Lot of variables when it comes to $$ and time, and then parts and fluids used too.

 

Some will just split the forks, bung in the cheapest after market seals and fill them with oil. This shouldn't take long or cost much. Others will pull the base valve, clean everything, check the shims for warping, go over the bushings and o-rings and replace anything that is out of spec/showing wear, and then put in high quality seals such as SKF. This will obviously cost more over all and take a little bit longer. Also, are you just dropping off the forks or taking the whole bike in?

 

I've always been of the opinion that I'd rather spend on tooling and invest in time and knowledge to do things to a standard which I am happy with as opposed to paying time and time again and learning nothing, but in saying that some people shouldn't be allowed near tools, and unfortunately some dealers/mechanics also fall into this group. Especially if you consider it may be the apprentice 'learning' on your parts.

 

Agreed, in the long run the tools pay for themselves and you have the satisfaction of doing it yourself. On a side note I just replaced my worn out seals with SKFs interested to see what kind of life I get out of them.

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KYB makes a kit for those forks. Should be around $75.00.

It'll contain seals, inner and outer bushings and dust wipers. The job is easy. Toughest thing is not to drink to many Coronas during disassembly. This will cause future problems on which way all that stuff goes back together...not that I'm speaking from experience or anything like that....burr umm...yeah the Rocky Mountain video on youtube is excellent. Shows you everything. Helped me out a bunch.

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Free seal driver is too cut your old seal. Now use this seal over your new one and drive the old seal evenly with a punch until you seat the new seal. You can now easily pry out the old seal since it has a cut through it and your new seal suffers no damage since the punch was driving on the old seal.

I use this method with odd size forks I do were I have no driver.

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Lot of variables when it comes to $$ and time, and then parts and fluids used too.

 

Some will just split the forks, bung in the cheapest after market seals and fill them with oil. This shouldn't take long or cost much. Others will pull the base valve, clean everything, check the shims for warping, go over the bushings and o-rings and replace anything that is out of spec/showing wear, and then put in high quality seals such as SKF. This will obviously cost more over all and take a little bit longer. Also, are you just dropping off the forks or taking the whole bike in?

 

I've always been of the opinion that I'd rather spend on tooling and invest in time and knowledge to do things to a standard which I am happy with as opposed to paying time and time again and learning nothing, but in saying that some people shouldn't be allowed near tools, and unfortunately some dealers/mechanics also fall into this group. Especially if you consider it may be the apprentice 'learning' on your parts.

I was just going to take the whole bike in but I'm doing it myself for the experience, it was going smooth but my bushings are shot so I have to order some

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