Replacing Fork Seals - looking for advice

Wheels, tires, suspension, forks, and brakes.
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Triangles
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Re: Replacing Fork Seals - looking for advice

Postby Triangles » Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:06 am

Jablonsky wrote:
Or THESE. You can always paint them black.


WHY would I ever want to paint them black? That faux carbon fiber look is so cool!!! :lol:
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Jablonsky
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Re: Replacing Fork Seals - looking for advice

Postby Jablonsky » Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:37 am

Triangles wrote:... That faux carbon fiber look is so cool!!! :lol:


True. Pity it is not pink faux carbon :cry:
No hay banda. No hay Jablonsky. Todo está grabado. Nada es lo que parece, todo es una ilusión.

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Triangles
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Re: Replacing Fork Seals - looking for advice

Postby Triangles » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:01 am

click here for the How-To. Disregard the info below it has errors but has been left as is for reference.

Getting this thread back to the topic...

I will soon have the write up done for the fork seal change. I wanted to put some miles on the bike after doing this to make sure I did it right. As it turns out it was a complete waste of my time. My seals started leaking again very shortly after changing them. After consulting with a professional mechanic he pointed out that the scratches and pitting in the chrome on the fork tubes that I initially had written off as insignificant since it still felt smooth to the touch were the cause of the seal failures. Since fork tubes are NOT cheap, the correct fix (replacing inner fork tubes) will have to wait until I get my money back from uncle Sam in April. For now here's a bunch of pictures for you to ponder their meaning..... :)

The pictures and steps are for an EN500A The EN500C's forks are nearly identical so almost everything should cross over. The one difference with the EN500C's fork is that where I used a broom handle, The part on the 500C has a Hex recess that The head of a bolt will fit into. Unfortunately I don't know what the bolt size is. I'll update this as I have the information. You can buy a special tool from kawasaki or use some tape, a socket extension or two, a socket and a bolt with two nuts works just as well.

Where it all started the before picture:
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You can see pretty clearly the black stripe on the right fork. Oil had leaked down the fork, and was on the wheel, tire and inside the fender. It was in desperate need of repair.

I'll assume you can figure out how to get the front wheel off the ground and remove the forks. The plastic caps on the top of the forks just pull right off.

-undo top plug
[url=http://postimage.org/image/26c1wez44/][img]http://s1.postimage.org/26c1wez44/100_7397.jpg
The top plug is held in by a retaining clip. You need to push down on the plug in order to be able to pry out the retaining clip. Securing the fork in a vise makes this much easier. There is some spring tension on the plug. With the retaining clip removed slowly let the plug up. It will pop all the way out with the spring tension in the fork.

Top plug and it's retaining clip
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Use your finger or some other creative way to keep the tube under the plug from falling out as you invert the fork over an oil catch can. Pump the fork a couple times to get as much oil out of the bottom part of the fork.

-Internal parts in order after draining oil.
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I rolled out some paper towel on the work bench to catch the oil on the internal parts. I laid them out in the order they came out so that I could put them back in correctly.

-Carefully pry off dust seal with a small flat head screwdriver. BE CAREFUL not to slip and scratch the fork tube!!! There is a metal washer encased in the rubber. This threw me off at first and I destroyed a dust seal trying to figuring out how to remove the dust seal.

-With the dust seal removed, next we remove the fork seal retaining clip.
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I had a focus issue with the picture of the retaining clip installed so you'll just have to imagine it there in the groove above the fork seal.

-Separate inner and outer fork tubes.
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At this point there is a small shaft that that is holding the two fork tubes together by the socked head bolt in the bottom of the fork. On the EN500C there is a special tool or one can be fashioned as I described above. I'll elaborate more here when I dig up that info again. On the EN500A you can simply press against the end of a broom handle and use an Allen wrench. The right hand picture above shows what the broom handle presses up against that you can't see up inside the fork tube. As demonstrated by my lovely assistant, I used an impact gun which was really overkill but it made the job easier. When it came to reinstalling things I used an Allen wrench so that I did not over tighten things. After removing the bolt holding things together, the shaft and a few little bits will fall out when you remove the broom handle. Don't worry the pictures below will show you how this all fits back together. Set the shaft and other bits that came out aside. Probably a good idea to put them next to other internal bits you pulled out after draining the oil so that you don't lose them.

All that is left holding the two fork tubes together is the seal. Gently pump the inner fork tube as you would a slide hammer to pop out the fork seal and separate the two tubes.

-If you happen to unnecessarily removed the drain bolt as I did, Now that the lower tube is separated now would be a good time to clean all oil off of the bolt and the hole it goes in. Aerosol brake or carb cleaner are good at removing oil. Get a new copper crush washer and some blue loctite and re assemble the fork oil drain plug.
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-Now it's time too remove the old fork seal and put the new one on. Pay attention to the orientation of the fork seal before you remove it. You really don't want to put the new seal on upside down. It is critical that the inner fork tube is clean and has no sharp burrs that could possible damage the new seal when you slide it on. I lubed the entire tube with a little fork oil to make it easier to slide the new seal on.

This picture shows the new fork seal slid onto the inner fork tube. as well as the inner shaft inserted into the inner fork tube for reassembly.
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-How the other little bits go back together on the inner shaft that will fall out when you take the inner and outer fork tubes apart.
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-Reassemble the inner / outer fork tubes. (use a fresh copper crush washer, The old ones are a bitch to get out. I carefully removed the old one using a drill bit in a vice and pressing while slowly turning until the drill bit bit into the old washer then simply pulled the tube back. you could probably skip this but why risk a leak?
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-Next we need to make our own fork seal driver to seat the seal into the outer fork tube. I'll have to check but I think it was 2" sch 40 PVC pipe.
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-Slide this over the inner fork tube as shown and tap the end of the PVC pipe with a rubber mallet to seat the fork seal.
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-reinstall the fork seal retention clip and dust seal.
-put the spring and inner bits back in the same order they were when you took them out.
-add the proper amount of oil per manual. This is the oil I used, part #'s etc to come later.
-reinstall the top plug. This is much easier if you put the fork in a vice as it take significant force to push the plug down far enuff to install the retaining clip.
-reassemble bike
-enjoy leak free forks unless your inner fork tubes are garbage like mine were.

Obviously I left a lot of detail out, I should have been asleep hours ago, maybe some of this will make sense when I am awake tomorrow and I will fill in the gaps when I have time.
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Triangles
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Re: Replacing Fork Seals - looking for advice

Postby Triangles » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:02 am

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UH OH! WHAT GOES WHERE AND HOW DO I GET THIS BACK TOGETHER!!!!

Just kidding. I polished and clearcoated the lower aluminum tubes. I bought replacement tubes and the multitude of parts you see before you. My previous fix of just replacing the leaky seals failed in short order. I'm replacing the inner (upper) fork tubes as the old ones were pitted and scratched. Also there are two bushings that the tubes slide on that I'm replacing. I found the one on the end of the inner tube comes with the tube so I wasted a few dollars or you could say I have spares now :). So in short to rebuild the forks I'm replacing the oil seal, inner tube, and two slide bushings on each fork. DO NOT follow my directions above there is an error in the hand sketch as to order parts go back together. I'll update when I have time.
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