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What fork seal tools?


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Ok guys, seems like I'm going to have to replace my fork seals. Just wondering what the experts thought were the essential tools for this. So far, I think I need the cap wrench, rod holder, bullet, and the seal driver. What else do I absolutely need to do this. Also, looks like so far Rocky Mountain is the cheapest place to buy them, any other ideas on that will be appreciated. Thanks

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That's all you need. I use soft jaws in my vise to loosen/tighten the cap, instead of a cap tool. Also, a 32mm socket fits the compression bolt in the cap. They run about $3 at Northern tool. It also works on the rear axle nut so it does double duty. Bullets aren't really necessary. You can cut the corner off a plastic grocery bag and use it instead.

The best price on seal drivers is on ebay. A machinist out of Michigan custom makes them for $30 delivered.

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I bought one of the Michigan guys' seal drivers. It is excellent. I wrap teflon tape around the tube when sliding the seals on. I suppose you don't need any of the tools, but it sure goes fast with the right tools for any job.

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I'm looking for the guy from Mich on ebay, but if not, Rocky Mt has the Motion Pro for 40 bucks. I"ve been without a job for 6 months, so I'm on a very tight budget, but doing a job like this w/o the right tools is asking for trouble with me. I always get into a bind trying to jerry rig tools.

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Definitely have the rod holder, or make one. Adjustable wrenches suck. I'm not sure how a "coat hanger" would work..? There's some serious spring force that the holder needs to hold..

No bullet needed. Just get some good thick electrical tape over the sharp lips and oil it up. No problems.

Get a ratio-rite or the equiv measuring cup with good granularity on the markings.

An air compressor is nice to blow the excess oil out of the inner cartridge after it's screwed back together. A lot faster than waiting for it to drain...

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Good info here guys, I really appreciate it. Here is what I'm planning on ordering:

Fork cap tool-I could probly use the vise, but I really don't want to scar the top of the forks up.

Seal driver

I'll use the homemade holder and the homemade bullet. Less than 80 bucks total with seals and fork oil, I can live with that. Thanks again guys.

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Good info here guys, I really appreciate it. Here is what I'm planning on ordering:

Fork cap tool-I could probly use the vise, but I really don't want to scar the top of the forks up.

Seal driver

I'll use the homemade holder and the homemade bullet. Less than 80 bucks total with seals and fork oil, I can live with that. Thanks again guys.

here. if youre willing to read what I said, and be smart about it you can easily do this yourself with very little money in tools, and perfect results. if I can do it half drunk to 6+ sets of forks with no problems.. im sure you can too.

1. the fork cap is not required. loosen your triple clamps and let 1 fork leg fall down a little bit, just until the cap of the fork is in the upper triple clamp.. basically you want to grip into the fork cap WITH the bottom 1/4 inch of the triple clamp. tighten the 2 bolts. spin outer fork tube and you can loosen the caps that way. use a friend. 0 marks, perfect results, cost: 0$, savings: 20$

2. like mentioned, skip the fork bullet, the corner of a ziploc bag + some grease works just as well. all you want to do is avoid that very sharp lip that the upper bushing sits on. cost: 10 cents. savings: 10$

3. compression bolt can be taken off via 32mm socket like camP said. cost: 3$, savings: 15$

4. rod holder... this one is the most ridiculous of all, I cant believe people pay for this stuff!🤣 just use a 13 mm wrench. (your size might vary but im sure youll figure it out). cost: you probably already have one, so 0$, savings: 15$

5. seal driver isnt necessary either. some people will argue about this one, so do what you want. I went to the local rona and asked for 1 foot of 1.5 inch PVC (I think its 1.5.. might want to double check by measuring your outside diameter of lower fork tubes with inside diameter of PVC pipe). they gave it to me for free it was such a small piece.

take it home and cut in half length wise and about 6 inches long. you pretty much just made a fork seal driver. duct tape the lower fork tube to protect it from when you lightly hammer one half of the PVC pipe down evenly around that fork seal. gets the job done the exact same concept as a fork seal drive. the metal 30$ driver is for people with no mechanical skills IMO.

if you really want, you can use both halves and tie 2 hose clamps around them very tightly... basically makes the EXACT same thing as a fork seal driver except its plastic and not metal. cost: 1$, savings: 30-50$

so there ya go, use all 5 points, use 0 points, its up to you.

other tips:

1. buy new upper and lower bushings, theres 2 per fork that sit right above the fork seal + washer. otherwise dont count on those new seals lasting too long 👍

2. also, make sure you put the axle in perfectly. ive seen friends put their front tire/axles back together wrong when im done doing their forks, it pinches the fork tubes to the inside so theyre not straight up and down, theyre like a "V" shape... they ended up getting leaky fork seals very soon after. (it was proven that it was their axle and not my 0$ tools being used!!)🙂

3. make sure you get all of the air out of the inner chamber, and put the proper amount/weight back in compared to what youve removed (unless you got leaking fork seals... it will be a little less). if I remember correctly. my 05 crf450r and lots of other forks take 380mls in the outer chamber and 180 (I think) in the inner. might want to double check that.

watch these videos if you need more help!

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Santan9, thanks for the info, it actually makes alot of sense. As much as I like to have the right tools for any job, the more I think about it, who knows how long I'll get to keep my bike, so why buy a bunch of special tools? I think I'll try it your way, and worst case I have to order them after I get started and wait a few extra days to ride again. I can't believe I didn't think of the wrench idea, I made my rod holder tonight, so that part is done. Just waiting for the seals and bushings to get here Wednesday. I've watched the videos 3 or 4 times, so I feel pretty comfortable doing this, but we'll see. Thanks again, I'll post up when I'm done with the results.

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Here's a link to the guy that custom machines seal drivers for $30. He'll machine anything you need 43mm, 47mm, 48mm whatever. You won't find a better tool for less money anywhere.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Fork-Seal-Driver-Inverted-Forks-WR-YZ-CR-KX-RM-DR-CRF_W0QQitemZ150429197415QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotorcycles_Parts_Accessories?hash=item2306476467

BTW, using a 13mm wrench instead of a proper rod holder is a pita. It's easy to make a rod holder out of plate, as outlined in the owner's manual, and works much better. Any high school machinist could knock it out in no time.

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I didn't see anyone say anything about looking for small nicks in the tubes...Of all the USD forks i've done this year(about 10 sets) around 9 of them had a small nick in one of the forks,that resulted in a leak. Smooth it off with 800 wet\dry.This sometimes works...

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BTW, using a 13mm wrench instead of a proper rod holder is a pita. It's easy to make a rod holder out of plate, as outlined in the owner's manual, and works much better. Any high school machinist could knock it out in no time.

yes thats even better, I dont have access to a machinist, or its tools so sometimes you gotta improvise. making your own is the best, 13mm wrench if youre in a jiffy.

I didn't see anyone say anything about looking for small nicks in the tubes...Of all the USD forks i've done this year(about 10 sets) around 9 of them had a small nick in one of the forks,that resulted in a leak. Smooth it off with 800 wet\dry.This sometimes works...

thats a good point too, ive done 6 sets of forks and only had 1 that had a significant ding in it, but its definitely something else to check for.

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yes thats even better, I dont have access to a machinist, or its tools so sometimes you gotta improvise. making your own is the best, 13mm wrench if youre in a jiffy.

All it takes is some plate steel, a drill and a hacksaw. You don't need a machinist to make a rod holder.

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All it takes is some plate steel, a drill and a hacksaw. You don't need a machinist to make a rod holder.

hmm, interesting. either way, the wrench worked just fine for me. its only for 1 minute until you unscrew the bottom piece anyways isnt it?

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hmm, interesting. either way, the wrench worked just fine for me. its only for 1 minute until you unscrew the bottom piece anyways isnt it?

Believe me, the correct rod holder makes the job easier because it spans all the way across the bottom of the fork, whereas a 13mm is too short so it always wants to cock sideways while while you are attempting to break loose the lock nut from the center bolt. It also makes torquing them back together more difficult. Speaking of torquing, you shouldn't touch the suspension without a 0-20 and a 0-100 torque wrench. The center bolt and center bolt lock nut require 16ft/lbs and the center bolt into the axle lug requires 50ft/lbs. With the exception of the fork cap assembly and the fork guards, every bolt on the forks should be torqued with the proper sized torque wrench. Failure to obtain proper suspension torque values can be expensive at the least, and kill you at the worst.

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Ok, this has turned out to be a very costly disaster. The first fork went easy as pie, no worries. The second fork however has cost me alot, and I may not be done. After I loosened the fork cap and drained the oil, I turned it over to loosen the center bolt and that's where the problem started. After I cleaned the crud out from around it, I found the head of the center bolt has been all but broken off. Apparently one of the previous owners decided to do a little fork work w/o any knowledge. It has been a real pita. I already ordered a new replacement center bolt ant the tune of nearly $100, and now I've got to go to a machine shop and see if they can get this thing out. Otherwise, I'll be looking for a set of forks. I'll let you know how the rest of it goes.

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Took it to a machine shop today, and after I showed them everything not to break, they proceeded to drill the centerbolt out and broke the damper rod. So I've ordered another set of forks and I'll finish when they get here. Thanks for all the help, at least the first fork went smoothly.

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