fork seals???

ok yet again my fork seal are leaking and as i dont want to pay shop prices again ,, i was wondering,, how hard is it to replace fork seals, do i need any special tools and whats the drill?

any advice would be very welcome,

I have one piece of information you might find very useful, and that info. is: Buy a fork seal driver, Race Tech has made the best one iv'e ever seen, thier website is: Good luck, wot wot!

Yup, you need the driver. I have done them with 2 skinny punches but its a pain.

I have heard that you can put OEM Honda seals in and that they are better quality.

Make sure your tubes don't have any nicks in them, center your forks before tightening the axle pinch bolts and run some waterproof grease inside the dust seals.

To replace them:

remove the cap and spring

dump the oil

pry down the dust seal

remove the spring clip

seperate the tubes with a slide hammer action

remove the bushings, washer and seals, buy new dust seals too

its a good idea to clean up the bushing edges where you just hammered them together to get the tubes apart

before you install the new seals wrap some SaranWrap or thin plastic bag around the end of the tube to cover the sharp edges and coat the wrap and seal with oil and ease it past these sharp edges

when you set your oil height stroke the cartridge till it is full, fill the tubes to the brim, let them set a few minutes and then siphon down to your desired level.

It is also nice to have a long rod that will screw to the top of the piston shaft. It helps in many ways. I made mine.

On new fork seals I will trim the small springs 4mm. This helps make a tighter fitting seal. It will take a little longer for them to wear in, but they don't leak near as much. I use fork grease on the seal after every ride to help with the stiction.



01 YZ426F #85 Vet C


Is the seal just weeping oil, have you tried to clean the seal before you go changing it. Side the dust cover down then clean the seal area.Take some black tape(elect.) and wrap it tight around the fork tube backwards (sticky side out)so you have a 1 1/2" or so, then "thread" the tape up under the seal (dont just push straight up. Do this a couple of times then pack the seal with grease and side the dust cover back in place. My left seal was leaking BAD, I cleaned it and I raced the whole weekend with no problem. Yes you can change the seals yourself, just follow the book. The seal driver is a good idea but can be done without one. For setting your oil height, take the pump and tube out of a windex bottle or any spray bottle like it. Over fill the tubes (follow instructions in book), measure up the spray bottle tube and mark, then pump the oil down to the height you want, its not "factory" but it works.


To add to the Oldtimers post........

Take the business card from the dealership that just tried to charge you $80/hr and wrap it around the fork and slide a corner up into the seal. work it around the entire fork seal. You may just have a piece of sand or whatever lodged in there lettin oil seep by. I do this almost every race and practice. Might save you a few$$$$$



You don't need a seal driver to do it if you take a piece of pvc and cut it in half it works just a s good but doesn't cost you $45.00 and cleaning will help alot you should also make sure you let the air out after each ride also.

thanks you guys,

ill go give this a try now and let you know how i get on.


"when the dust storm comes they say the devil rides in"

To add to the business card trick, I use a piece of film (like the stuff that goes in a 35mm camera). It works great. Thinner than a card.

sandracer, welcome to the world of leaky kayaba forks. while you can probably clean the seal, it would be worth your while to change the seals and do a few tricks to keep you leak free in the future. as was mentioned, tightening the garter spring by trimming 4-5 mm off the end is the single best thing you can do. however, don't stop with just the inner seal spring. do both of 'em, and do the one on the wiper as well.

bleeding the forks when you tie the bike down is also important. if you really want to get serious, white brothers offers a spring loaded air bleed button for about $15 that makes letting the air out...a breeze. :)

also, a bit of heat on the outside of the stanchions will make the forks come apart much easier when removing the seals. if you do fray the bushing edges, just clean them up with a razor blade.

a good seal grease is a good idea. also, when you wash the scoot, take the extra time to polish the lower tubes. even the water spots are abrasive, and obviously, muddy water spots are worse.

using these tips, i ran a pair of fork seals in a yz400 for a whole year before they leaked.

i also recommend buying a driver. it's a one time investment that guarantees you don't damage the seal lip during installation.

good luck!


will pattison

racer, engineer

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