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Go Back   FZ1OA Message Board > FZ1 & Fazer Owners Association > Tires, Brakes, Suspension & Steering > Gen 1 Tires, Brakes, Suspension & Steering

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Old 04-03-2006, 06:37 PM   #1
ULEWZ
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Fork seal replacement, lessons learned

After replacing my fork seals, there were many lessons learned that I hope will assist future fork seal adventurers:
1. Make sure the right seals are ordered. This sounds simple, but Parts Unlimited has the wrong size listed for the 2001 to 2005 models. Insist on 55x43x10.5. The wrong seals are called out as 54s. The 10.5 is the thickness, and thinner seals like 9 or 10 will work, but the stock ones were 10.5. Another cross reference is fork seals for a DR650 (1996 and up) as they also take 55x43x10.5.
2. Buy the washers that go between the upper bushing and oil seal. They will look cone shaped if bent and need to be replaced, or if money is tight, flatten them down. If this washer is not flat (one each side), the seals will leak. Trust me on this one.
3. To get the fork seals out, grasp one end of the fork in one hand, and the other end in the other hand. Yank in opposite directions (like a weighted dent puller), and within 3 tries, the seal, washer, and upper bushing will come out.
4. Buy some Racetech seal lubricant, this stuff is good and slippery and comes highly regarded.
5. Use a quality fork oil, like Ohlins or Silkonline.
6. Polish the fork tubes starting with 320 grit. Some recommend 220, but 320 works just fine and is easier to polish smooth with a higher grit. Cut a two inch wide piece of wet and dry the circumference of the fork tube plus 1/4 inch. Tape the ends together with a slight overlap so the wet and dry will slide up and down the fork tube, but not fit tight. Spray some WD-40 on the fork tube, put the wet and dry on the fork tube, grab a clean, soft rag approximately 2 feet long, and wrap it around the wet and dry twice (once around will not apply equal pressure). Pull the ends of the rag back and forth quickly, which will cause the wet and dry to spin around the fork tube with equal pressure (works like trying to create a fire with a bow, stick, and a stone). Slowly go up and down the fork tube until all surfaces have been sanded. Step up to 600 grit, and if required, finish off with crocus cloth (very fine grit). Replace the wet and dry if the grit becomes filled with filings or dirt. I replaced mine 3 times per fork leg.

The rest has been discussed before and is relatively easy comparitavely. Have fun and budget a full day to do this.

I'm sure there are many other lessons learned, but these are mine. Feel free to share your experiences, or tricks, like home made seal drivers or tube holders.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:37 PM   #2
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Excellent post. Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:09 PM   #3
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I'm going to need to do this pretty soon. Thanks for the info.

Jeremy
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Old 04-03-2006, 09:17 PM   #4
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Yeah, thanks. Appreciate it.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:28 PM   #5
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Good info to file away for future reference

Thanks for taking time to post.



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Old 07-28-2006, 11:49 AM   #6
ndgibbs15
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Lewis... ordered all the bushings, seals, washers, etc yesterday... should arrive by Tues. My seals aren't leaking, but the bushings appear to be worn. I really like the techique you described for polishing the tubes... I'm gonna use it! Also, the seal lube... I'm sure I can get it at cycle gear.

wish me luck
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndgibbs15
Lewis... ordered all the bushings, seals, washers, etc yesterday... should arrive by Tues. My seals aren't leaking, but the bushings appear to be worn. I really like the techique you described for polishing the tubes... I'm gonna use it! Also, the seal lube... I'm sure I can get it at cycle gear.

wish me luck
Do you mind posting pics and a writeup with comparison of the new and old parts? I was looking for this and have yet to find some good complete info. I think it'd be really helpful to those who want to pull the forks apart for overhauling but are nervous or scared to screw them up (me being one). TIA
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalRider
Do you mind posting pics and a writeup with comparison of the new and old parts? I was looking for this and have yet to find some good complete info. I think it'd be really helpful to those who want to pull the forks apart for overhauling but are nervous or scared to screw them up (me being one). TIA

Hi Chad... I'll give it a shot. My digital camera is about 5 yrs old, so it doesn't do so good on close-ups. Maybe one of my kids has one that's better.

btw... with your new baby, I'm sure everyone's been telling you they grow up fast. You nod your head, and say, "yeah, I know." Trust me friend... you haven't got a clue. It happens waaaaay faster than you'll ever imagine. take care
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Old 08-16-2006, 09:45 PM   #9
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started work to replace bushings tonight

Ulewz said to budget a day... make that a couple for us first timers. Got one fork completely apart, and called it quits for tonight. I'm taking pics as I go and will post some of em. I really had to pound on my impact driver to get the damper rod bolt to loosen. Kinda surprised about that.

My biggest concern... the metal bushing that's mounted in the recess of the inner tube.. way down at the bottom of the tube (see pic below #12 points to tube and bushing). I didn't order it cause it looks like it's part of the inner tube... maybe it's not a replaceable item? Anybody know?

I'm replacing 7 dust seal, 13 fork seal, 14 backup washer, 15 upper metal bushing, and 10 copper washer.
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File Type: jpg fork assy exploded.jpg (28.6 KB, 457 views)
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:28 PM   #10
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did you have to use any special tools to do the job? If so where did you get it and what does it look like and do?
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt-Kirk
did you have to use any special tools to do the job? If so where did you get it and what does it look like and do?
When I'm done, I'll post pics and tips. To give a quick answer, though... got the forks off the bike no problem. Removed springs, again no problem. Used a scratch awl to remove the circlip that holds the fork seals in place. Careful if you use a flat blade driver for this... you might accidentally end up levering against the inner tube and ding it up. You must use an impact driver to loosen the damper rod screw. This also means you must use a 3/8" drive hex key... the diameter of the hex key body was slightly larger than the access hole it must fit through. I used an angle grinder to reduce the hex key body diameter. To loosen the screw with the impact driver, I first tried simply upending the fork, placing the end of the inner tube on a 2x4 resting on my garage floor. No dice... the wood absorbed the impact of my 3 lb hammer. Next I placed the end of the tube directly on the concrete floor and whacked the driver... still didn't budge. Then I REALLy whacked it, and the screw came loose.

Didn't have the alum tube others have recommended, so tried the other idea listed to finish removing the damper screw. I reinstalled the fork spring, but that didn't work for me. So... here's where the special tool comes in...
I used duct tape to assemble a 26mm socket to the end of some conduit I had laying around... guess it was 1.5inch OD. Lowered the socket over the damper assy, held the conduit with a pipe wrench, and spun the screw right out. Worked like a charm.

Haven't done any re-assembly yet. I'm sure I'll need to get some PVC to drive the upper metal bushing into the outer tube (AFTER first lowering the inner tube inside the outer). And prolly use the same PVC to install the fork seal.

more to follow
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:10 PM   #12
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one thing I'm a bit worried about... my service manual says to be careful to awoid allowing the end of the inner tube contacting the bottom of the outer tube when you're doing the slide hammer motion necessary to remove the bushing and fork seal. You use the inner tube like a slide hammer for the final disassy of the tubes. Anyway, the caution note tells you that you'll damage the oil stopper if the inner contacts the bottom of the outer. The oil stopper is an aluminum "can" that slips over the bottom end of the damper cartridge. Okay.. so I was careful during the slide hammer operation. However... I believe this oil stopper was taking the full force of my impact driver when I was whacking on it with the 3 lb. I've examined it closely and I don't see any damage on the one fork I've disassembled... hope I'm right.
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:13 AM   #13
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ndgibbs15 - The bushing (upper) you are wanting to replace is almost never replaced. Unless a fork tube is bent and strokes up and down inside of that bushing, it just doesn't wear. The lower bushing is the item that wears quickly and is usually replaced.

Inspect them both after disassembly. If you see places on them where the Teflon coating is worn through even the slightest amount, then replace. Most of the time, the lower bushings shows wear with as little as 3k miles with a heavy rider, bumpy roads and aggressive braking.
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Old 08-17-2006, 05:25 AM   #14
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thanks for the reply Lee... I see via an online fiche that indeed the lower bushing is replaceable. I'd been thrown off by my service manual diagram, and if memory serves me, the fiche at the dealer looked the same as my manual. I really should have known better. Lesson learned.

Do you think it's okay to use the impact driver as I described? I'm wondering if I am damaging the oil stopper can by allowing the inner tube to take the force of the driver.

TIA
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:44 AM   #15
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Just took apart the 2nd fork... much easier after learning with the first. I see now why there's the caution about not damaging the oil stopper when using the inner tube as a slide hammer. Once you've removed the damper screw and the damper rod/cartrdige, the oil stopper is free to rattle around inside the outer tube. If you're not careful, you could crush/distort it if the inner tube were to bang on it. I was careful, so no damage done.

Doesn't appear that the stopper can be damaged during the impact driver sequence... it's securely sandwiched between the bottom of the inner tube and the floor of the outer.
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:47 AM   #16
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I wonder what my chances are of scoring some lower bushings today? prolly zero... prolly have to order.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:57 AM   #17
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Thanks for the heads up on the 26mm driver. How long was your conduit?

I see you used a manual impact driver for the hex bolt. I assume an air impact driver would work too.

Thanks for the info, I am planning to do my own forks in 4000 miles.
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Old 08-17-2006, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt-Kirk
Thanks for the heads up on the 26mm driver. How long was your conduit?

I see you used a manual impact driver for the hex bolt. I assume an air impact driver would work too.

Thanks for the info, I am planning to do my own forks in 4000 miles.
A pneumatic impact driver will work, but it will spin the bushing, which can easily damage it. If you are replacing the bushings, it is probably ok. The lower bushing just falls out after the slide hammer action and is easy to replace. The upper one needs to be hammered into place. PVC/ABS pipe with a slot cut in it and a few hose clamps to make the PVC/ABS the right diameter works.
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt-Kirk
Thanks for the heads up on the 26mm driver. How long was your conduit?

I see you used a manual impact driver for the hex bolt. I assume an air impact driver would work too.

Thanks for the info, I am planning to do my own forks in 4000 miles.
the conduit was way longer than necessary... prolly 5 ft long. Only needs to be about 1 foot long actually. The hex you're engaging is (just a guess here) about 8 inches below the top end of the outer tube.
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Old 08-17-2006, 07:35 PM   #20
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So a really long extension would work too?
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