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Discussion Starter #1
rode 40 miles yesterday in pa's coal country, and look what happened...

left:


right:


i thought they were leaking, but had to give her a bath and ride around the yard for a minute to verify it... :( :mad: :violin:

that is all. carry on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
didn't feel like rotating the pics...sorry.

are fork seals easy to do? i don't know jack about suspensions...i was just going to pull the forks and take them to the local shop. perhaps have some valve work done...
 

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Fork seals are easy to do. A good shop shouldnt charge more than 1.5 hours per leg, plus oil and seals. you may be able to find shops to do it for a hour or so per leg. If you have mechanical ability, you should be able to do them yourself fairly easily. What bike are they on? The only problem you may run into is needing a fork seal driver (special tool, but it can be purchased) to get the new ones in, but there are ways around it, if you have a little patience.

Im a factory certified Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and BMW motorcycle mechanic. Was doing it for ten years before I moved to Germany a year ago. Ive done hundreds of fork seals. If I can help, let me know...

~James [email protected]
 

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im guessing its a bit older yz? my 04 yz 450 would blow seals all the time, my 05 yz450 was about half as much and my '07 yz hasnt blow any yet
 

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Discussion Starter #8
01 wr250f...first time this has happened (suprisingly)...i'd do the work myself if i had someone experienced there to show me the little tricks and such. the local shop quoted me around $200 for parts and labor. i think their hourly is 70 or 75, so i guess that's not bad...and the guy that does their suspension work is known for miles as the best around...i guess you have to pay to play sometimes :rolleyes:

p.s. the $200 is for just the legs...i need to pull them off the bike to get that price...how hard is that?
 

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Thats not a bad price if you cant do it yourself. its easy to pull the forks off.

Put the bike up on a good stand that supports the bike under the frame. the front wheel needs to be of the ground obviously.

Take the 8mm bolts out that hold on the plastic lower fork sliders/gaurds to remove them.

Take out the two bolts that hold the caliper on, probably 12mm heads. remove caliper and let it hang by the brake line off the handle bar.

The axle.... I cant remember what the exact set-up is on the older WR's but usually its just a hollow axle, threaded on one end with a nut, it should be obvious once you get the plastic guards out of the way. the axle usually utilizes a set of pinch bolts as a security measure to make sure the axle doesnt fall out even if the threaded fastner portion loosens. once you get it all loose, slide the axle out and take note of how the spacers and the odometer drive are located on it. remove the wheel and axle and components.

Next, you will want to go up to the triple clamps, I usually start at the top, where the handle bars are mounted, loosen all of the pinch bolts (usually 12mm-14mm heads) on both sides of the fork clamps.

The next step should be the last, loosen the pinch bolts on the bottom triple clamps and the forks should slide out. be careful, they may drop out quickly or you may even have to twist/rotate the upper fork tube to free it from the aluminum clamp. repeat for the other side and you are done.

You will make the motorcycle technicians very happy if you bring them forks that have been well cleaned. You can clean them with some SimpleGreen and a garden hose with a soft brush. make sure you clean the top "Cap" and on the very bottom of the fork is an adjuster, make sure that area is clean is well.

You can have them easily adjust the oil level, depending on your needs and weight. Add more for more dampening/weight or less for the opposite effect. Make sure they use a good oil, BelRay, Honda OEM or Yamaha OEM. You WANT OEM seals and dust boots, NOT aftermarket. Trust me.

Hope that helps. ~ James
 

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amishclark said:
i thought they were leaking, but had to give her a bath and ride around the yard for a minute to verify it... :( :mad: :violin:
There may just be some dirt/debres in the seals. I forgot what kind of tape to use but what you do is wrap it around the fork right under the seal then compress the shock about halfway down on the tape ( dont go all the way or you will loose it in the fork) then back up. It will pull out all the little rocks or whatever is in there that may be causing the leak. It may be too late for your seals but its good to know for next time.

Edit: Masking tape, wider the better.
 

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1noobie said:
There may just be some dirt/debres in the seals. I forgot what kind of tape to use but what you do is wrap it around the fork right under the seal then compress the shock about halfway down on the tape ( dont go all the way or you will loose it in the fork) then back up. It will pull out all the little rocks or whatever is in there that may be causing the leak. It may be too late for your seals but its good to know for next time.

Edit: Masking tape, wider the better.

Friends of mine ride Yamaha dirt bikes and a guy told them to use a tear off for goggles to wrap around the fork and stick up in the seal to get out small dirt particles. It made my friends seals quit leaking but this might not work in every situation.
 

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brendog84cj8 said:
Friends of mine ride Yamaha dirt bikes and a guy told them to use a tear off for goggles to wrap around the fork and stick up in the seal to get out small dirt particles. It made my friends seals quit leaking but this might not work in every situation.
Hmmm, I suppose that would work. Yeah its more of a last resort before replacing the seals.
 

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Most of the time all you are doing in pushing dirt into the fork oil. You cant even see the actual seal. Its underneath the dust boot, with a nice little cavity in there to trap grime/sand. When you shove plastic or tape up into the fork, youre just pushing it into the vital components or the fork leg and operation. It also stretches the spring on the seal that applies pressure to the fork tube, therefore making your problem worse later on. Its a band-aid AT BEST, if you were at a race, and needed to finish before you lost too much oil, sure it would work, but thats not the situation.

Do it right the first time, get them replaced. Remember, if oil can get out, dirt can get in. Fork seal and oil replacement is a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing the lower fork tubes when they become scratched.

Not preaching here... just speaking from LOTS of experience. ~ Good luck

~James
 

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Discussion Starter #14
yeah...my buddy has a little plastic "tool" to swipe dirt out of there, but i don't trust that. he used it when we first noticed it, i washed the bike and rode it around for 5 minutes, and took those pics...i'd rather be safe than sorry. that coal dust is a mother! thanks stumpy, for the info...i'm going to take a close look at the manual and get wrenching.
 

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stumptaco said:
Most of the time all you are doing in pushing dirt into the fork oil. You cant even see the actual seal. Its underneath the dust boot, with a nice little cavity in there to trap grime/sand. When you shove plastic or tape up into the fork, youre just pushing it into the vital components or the fork leg and operation. It also stretches the spring on the seal that applies pressure to the fork tube, therefore making your problem worse later on. Its a band-aid AT BEST, if you were at a race, and needed to finish before you lost too much oil, sure it would work, but thats not the situation.

Do it right the first time, get them replaced. Remember, if oil can get out, dirt can get in. Fork seal and oil replacement is a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing the lower fork tubes when they become scratched.

Not preaching here... just speaking from LOTS of experience. ~ Good luck

~James
Dude, I didn't say shove it all the way into the seal. It just pulls the shit out that is stuck in the bottom. It wont go into the oil cause your not shoving it that far in. As far as scratching the shaft what do you think the dirt is going to do if you leave it in there? As I stated before this is a last resort before replacing the seals.
 

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Not arguing with you man... I agreed that it can be done in a pinch, but hes not in a pinch. Ive seen this and Ive done this. I know how forks are designed and I know what happens when fork seals that need to be replaced arent replaced. Just trying to help this guy with the RIGHT info.

Thanks, James
 

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stumptaco said:
Not arguing with you man... I agreed that it can be done in a pinch, but hes not in a pinch. Ive seen this and Ive done this. I know how forks are designed and I know what happens when fork seals that need to be replaced arent replaced. Just trying to help this guy with the RIGHT info.

Thanks, James
Awww come on, you dont want to argue? What else is the internet for :rolleyes: Its cool man, I hear ya.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
so i finally had some time to get to this...i got all the stuff (brake assembly, odometer cable, plastic, etc.) off the forks. how do i get the axle out to remove the tire? one side has the threaded end (from which i removed what looks like a locking nut), and the other has what i would call an "opposite nut"...it's like the inverse of a nut...it looks like a hexagonal tool (large allen wrench maybe?) would fit in there. i loosened(sp?) the pinch bolts, but nothing will budge...

thanks.

p.s. this is the first time i've pulled the front tire in 6 years...anything i should pull apart and replace/regrease (bearings and such)?
 

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amishclark said:
so i finally had some time to get to this...i got all the stuff (brake assembly, odometer cable, plastic, etc.) off the forks. how do i get the axle out to remove the tire? one side has the threaded end (from which i removed what looks like a locking nut), and the other has what i would call an "opposite nut"...it's like the inverse of a nut...it looks like a hexagonal tool (large allen wrench maybe?) would fit in there. i loosened(sp?) the pinch bolts, but nothing will budge...

thanks.

p.s. this is the first time i've pulled the front tire in 6 years...anything i should pull apart and replace/regrease (bearings and such)?
You need to pull those 4 bolts completly off. Then just pull the tire with axle straight out. When you put them back in be sure to check the torque spk in your manual (if you still have it) they strip really easy. If It has been six years I would replace the wheel bearings, it couldn't hurt. Then all you need to do is grease the axle and your gravy. I'm sure stumptaco will chime in and let me know if I forgot anything. I haven't worked on a bike in over a year now :D
 

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Discussion Starter #20
^^^negative, ghostwriter. the axle "dropping out" is physically impossible. by pulling the axle out, do you mean through the wheel a la the rear wheel?
 
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