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How To: Save $$$, Replace Your Own Fork Seals

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I helped this guy on private messages and wrote out a detailed account of how to replace your fork seals so I thought I'd just post it in the public forum as well:

First let me tell you, making the tool mentioned later takes some time, but if you take the time to do it, all ull need to buy is ur fork oil and seals everytime you change it. Instead of paying $60 each time to replace seals, here ur only paying like $15 for parts and oil. Alrighty, well start by taking the fork caps off, u'll need to do that with the forks clamped down. Once u got that off, take the fork out of the clamps. You'll see the spring then, and if u pull down the spring, ull see another nut, take another wrench and get a hold on that nut, and unscrew the fork cap off that. Once you get that, you'll have the fork cap off and pull the spring out. As for that nut underneath the fork cap, unscrew that. To do this, ull need to hold the dampening rod with a pliers and a towel so u dont scuff the dampening rod. Once you got that all off, here is where you need to make that tool. If you look inside the fork, you'll see the castle nut, its 4 prongs on the top. Now, I don't know what diameter of metal piping I bought is, but they're are different diameters anyways depending if you have the older F's or the newer ones because of the switch from 46 to 48 mm forks. But just take the fork into a hardware store and see which one fits in the most snugly. Then, u need a grinder or a hacksaw and cut out 4 slots into the end of the pipe so it will fit over the head of that 4 prong castle nut, and then jsut unscrew that and take the damper out. Now u'll just have the outer fork body and the slider tube in your hand. Next, take the dust seal off the slider fork tube by prying it off with a flat head. Then look inside and ull see a funky looking clip above the fork seal, take that off. Next, go in and out with the fork tube and u need to bang it a bit pretty hard so it will take the seal and bushing out. Once it comes out, replace all the seals/bushings in that order, theres a washer in the middle, and drive it back into the fork body. U either need a seal driver to get it back or the way i do it is i place the bushing and the washer in the fork body, and hit it with a flathead and a hammer evenly on all sides so it sets in deep. This way, u can just press in the seal easily without damaging it. Put the clip back on and the dust seal and put the fork back together in the reverse order. Questions: MXStyle87@aol.com. Good luck :naughty:

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Why do you need to take the dampener rod out? I always leave mine in when doing a seal change and have no issues

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Interesting, the places I read when I first learned how to do it says u need to take that rod out. Maybe its different on an 03.

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Not sure - I just figure if it doesnt need to come out, then why bother. Just takes a while to pump all the oil out using the damper rod (about 20-30ml at a time), but still figure it's quicker than pulling everything apart as per your instructions (which are basically the same as that on www.thumperfaq.com)

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If you can spare the extra money, get the real seal driver. The real seal drivers are quite heavy. They will seat the seals in the legs without thinking about it. You can buy a driver for about 50.00...thats half the local shop price for seal replacement!

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