Am I gettine screwed over?

I recently noticed my fork seals need replaced on my '04 CRF450. I went to the local dealership and asked how much they normally charge to put new seals and oil back in. They quoted me at 1 hour per side at $65 and hour is their labor rate plus parts. Does it normally take 2 hour to put new seals in the forks. I have never taken forks apart or else I would do it myself, now might be the time to start and learn a new project.

If you are going to do it yourself you'll need to buy a seal driver, a cartridge rod holder, a ratio rite, a vice w/ soft jaws, a 32mm socket, a 0-100ft/lb torque wrench, a 0-20ft/lb torque wrench, a tub to catch oil and some means of cleaning the oily/dirty parts. The job is outlined in your owner's manual. Also watch the youtube videos. Until you become proficient with it, it'll take you more than two hours to change seals and both inner & outer chamber oils.

That is about the norm for shops to charge an hour per fork.

The one and only time I ever had a shop do mine cost me $90, and that was about 20 years ago, so that sounds about right. After that I quickly found out it's cheaper to do myself. And yes, 2 hrs is about how long it takes to do it right, but allow yourself about 3 or 4 hours to do it the first couple times. And get the tools to do it right, they will pay for themselves after about 4 or 5 times.

If you take just the fork legs in, instead of the entire bike, that might save you some money.

the fact is that they have a book that tells them how long it should take. If it says 2 hours and they can finish in 45 minutes they still get paid for the 2 hours. auto shops do the same thing. Plus never take your bike to a dealership, either learn to do it yourself or bring it to a local engine/suspension/repair place.

If you are going to do it yourself you'll need to buy a seal driver, a cartridge rod holder, a ratio rite, a vice w/ soft jaws, a 32mm socket, a 0-100ft/lb torque wrench, a 0-20ft/lb torque wrench, a tub to catch oil and some means of cleaning the oily/dirty parts. The job is outlined in your owner's manual. Also watch the youtube videos. Until you become proficient with it, it'll take you more than two hours to change seals and both inner & outer chamber oils.

he doesnt NEED all those tools, it can easily be done without them. I think with your post, CamP, youre going to scare the kid and have him take them to a shop and get royally screwed over and charged $200+ on a job that is very very simple and can easily be done by himself. he DOES need a vice with soft jaws, 32mm socket, and a tub to catch oil. everything else can easily be improvised. all the info is in the thread posted/quoted below.

yes exactly, see my post at he end of that thread, theres more than enough info there between what I typed and those RMATVMC videos to do fork seals.

he doesnt NEED all those tools, it can easily be done without them. I think with your post, CamP, youre going to scare the kid and have him take them to a shop and get royally screwed over and charged $200+ on a job that is very very simple and can easily be done by himself. he DOES need a vice with soft jaws, 32mm socket, and a tub to catch oil. everything else can easily be improvised. all the info is in the thread posted/quoted below.

You can't improvise a torque wrench. A good seal driver is only $30 and you can make a correct rod holder for free.

There is also no replacement for experience. If things aren't assembled and torqued to factory specs, things can come apart and kill you. I hate to be blunt, but I wouldn't ride a bike ten feet that you've worked on.

You can't improvise a torque wrench. A good seal driver is only $30 and you can make a correct rod holder for free.

There is also no replacement for experience. If things aren't assembled and torqued to factory specs, things can come apart and kill you.

hm, im sure I will get flamed and screamed at and called immature names for saying this; but ive done 6 fork sets, all with 0 problems after 1 year, and havnt used a torque wrench on any of them. its pretty simple IMO to tighten bolts... not too lose so where they rattle off, and not too tight to the point where you strip threads. good enough. maybe a little anti sieze or locktite where required and its worked for me for years. the only time you dont want to guess torque levels is when doing engine rebuilds.

I dont mean to argue, or call you wrong in any way, because youre probably right by saying to use a torque wrench. but if you have a torque wrench (which I do) then use it, why not? but if you dont have one, IMO, I wouldnt go out of your way just to buy one for forks... although they do come in handy when doing engine rebuilds. theyre not critical for forks IMO, just as long as its not too loose, or too tight where you strip threads.... pretty simple stuff but to each their own.

You have done six forks, I've done 600. You are young and inexperienced. Hopefully you'll survive to learn from your mistakes. God looks after the ignorant.

I wouldn't ride a bike ten feet that you've worked on.

:thumbsup: Classic

I have to agree with Cam P. You need to use the right tools for the job. The last thing you want is suspension trouble when you are hitting the 100+' tripple, 25+' in the air. Just look at it this way, what you will pay to have it done at the dealership, you can spend in tools. You will use a torque wrench to do most anything on your bike. If you are not comfortable you might be able to find someone in your area who is willing to show you the ropes. Good luck

E.

if you decide to take them somewhere, i don't think i'd be taking them to a dealership. call around and see if you can find a local suspension shop with a good reputation. i'm lucky, and have one here that will change seals and oil for $100.

you could also buy some good tools with that, and learn on your own through video or a friend. either way, you can't lose. just make sure to do it correctly, and take your time.

good luck

It should be around $90 for the job, which should include fluid but no other parts. Beware that some companies will replace every replacable part including springs and shims if they think you can afford it. Post/search your regional forum for a good local company. Or buy the correct tools and do it yourself.

Or buy the correct tools and do it yourself.
This is what I tend to do. More often than not, buying the tools is cheaper than paying for the job one time.

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