I have notice there isn't a true write up for changing your fork seals. So here it is. I have pieced this write up through extensive research throughout the web and through this site. By no means I call this my own original work. I hope this helps a few of us that doesn't have the money to buy all the true accessories, so I use typical hardware available in any hardware store. Also I am sorry for the low resolution of the pic because I do not own a digital camera. These pics are from my iphone. Again sorry.
- 14mm open wrench
- 22mm socket w/ handle
- large hex wrench in the tool case (provided with bike)
- 8 inch adjustable wrench
- dull flat head screw driver
- hack saw or dremel with cut off wheel and sander
- a friend that is strong
- X2 3" bolts full threaded or longer w/ nuts
- X2 3/4" stainless steel screws w/ x4 washers and x4 nuts
- X2 90 degree bars with holes (whichever length is good enough)
Tools to make:
- 1.25" pvc seal driver
- spring compressor
- leaky fork
- brand new fork seals (oem or other source)
- nitrile gloves, atleast 2 pairs
- microfiber towel
- disposable towels
This is some of the tools you would need!
1. Tools to make
Buy 2 1.25" pvc couplings and some epoxy glue from Home Depot. Go home and glue the two pieces together and wait until dry. When fully dry, cut in half and sand down the rough edges. You can also use a left over pvc if you have some lying around but most places require you to buy the whole 8' pole. Once you are done this is your driver.
Next take your two 90 degree bars and the 3/4" screws with washers and nuts. If you assemble it, the washers should go on both sides of the middle of the bar. Here is a pic of how it should look like.
Now set these aside until later.
2. Removal of the fork
Next step would be to remove the fork off of the bike. FIRST turn all the dials to SOFT! Take the flat head and turn the top counter-wise until you can't turn no more. This is the same as the bottom near the axle. Finally use your 22mm socket and turn the black dial counter-clock wise as well. Now to remove the for there are several ways to do this. One way is to have the bike resting on some car jacks. If you have a triple tree stand that is even better. Before you take it off the top clamp loosen the top nut using the large hex wrench provide with the bike.
3. Removing fork
Now that you removed the fork off the triple tree, unscrew the top cap and slide down the gold barrel to reveal the cartridge. You will notice that there are two holes on either end of the white pvc. That is where we will assemble the spring compressor. It is assembled by using the 3" bolts with the nuts. This is better if your friend is holding up the fork while you assemble it. This is a pic of how it is assembled:
4. Compressing the spring
This one of the tricky parts. You want to have your friend push down on the bar while you loosen the cap. It is not as easy as it seems. The spring is very stiff and requires alot of balance and downward force to reveal the nut. Here is a pic without the spring. You want to use your adjustable wrench and 14mm open wrench for this. Also be sure to have a rag on the bottom of the fork so you don't scratch up the bottom.
Once it is off you can loosen the cap revealing the dampening rod. Now drain the fork oil in to a container. Inverting the fork over the container pump the dampener holding the nut until all the oil is out. Use a towel to wipe the used oil off.
Now with all the oil out, use your dull flat head and pry off the dust seal. DO NOT scratch the chrome. This will result in re-chroming the entire piece that will cost you over $200 in most places, so be careful. Once the you pryed off the dust seal look underneath to reveal a metal clip. Again carefully use your dull flat head to remove the clip. Now you can take off the gold barrel. Initially it seems like you can't but with a few pulls the barrel will come right off. This is how it is going to look like when your remove the gold barrel.
From the top remove this clamp like this
After the clamp is off, slide off the bearing, washer, seal, clip and finally the dust seal. This is the order here.
REMEMBER THIS ORDER. Discard of the old seals.
Using a towel wipe the excess oil off the chrome barrel and finish it with the microfiber. When handling the lower part of the fork be sure to hold it with the microfiber towel to avoid excess oil and prevention of scratches of the chrome part. Open your new seals that you bought out of it's wrapping. You will notice that there are two different sides. One with writing and one without. The side with writing will face towards the wheel/ground. This is the pic here.
When sliding the new seals, you don't want to cut it whatsoever. Using electrical tape, tape it like this.
Use some of the used oil to lube the tape and the seal and the dust seals. Now in reverse order, slowly slide the dust seal, clip, seal, washer, bearing and clamp. Remove the tape.
Slide the gold barrel back on and slide the dust seal, clip and the seal down the fork. Place the pvc driver you just made between the seal and the metal washer. I find that if you use a damp towel with used oil between the driver and the chrome part, it prevents any scratches done by the pvc pipe. Place the fork vertically on the ground, hold the pvc drive with one hand and the gold barrel on the other. Now slam the barrel toward the driver allowing the bearing to fit in place. Next do this with the seal but don't apply much force for it may tear the seal. Once the seal is on, the clip will clip in place. You will hear a hear a click indicating that it is in. Finally slide the dust seal to the gold barrel. Wipe any excess oil.
8. Fill oil
Next will be to fill it with oil. You will need two bottles of this stuff if your buying the oem oil. They come in 16 oz. you need 18 oz. (need verification). Crack open the first bottle and pour in the fork. Pump the dampener to let air out. Fill about 3/4 of the bottle into the fork and wait about 5 mins to settle. At this point drink some beer.
9. Final assembly
Once the oil has settled, slide in the spring. Now this is the most trickest part of all! Take your string and loop it under the nut. Here is a pic.
The reason for this is that the rod will slide down not allowing time to thread in the cap. By looping a string allows you the rod up while threading the cap in. Once you looped the string under the nut, take the end of the string and put it the pvc. The cap of the pvc will slide through the dampening rod. Slide the rod into the hole and have your friend push hard while you hold up the nut. Quickly screw in the cap and pull out the string. Finally fill the fork with the remaining amounts of oil and thread in the cap to the gold barrel. When you are done your fork will look like this with a new fork seal.
The write up is great. i used it a couple months ago. Instead of having a friend push down the spring i added 2 more bolts to the home made spring compression tool. Then hooked up 2 ratchet straps to it and take them down evenly. Then release slowly. I donít have a very good picture but I hope it helps.
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