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#142984 - 09/17/18 08:43 PM fork seals
Bush Pig Offline
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Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 46
Loc: South Africa Western Cape
A question:
Can I presume if my yellow fork boots on my 1987 XT225 Serow have oil on them that I need to replace the seals?
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Bush Pig

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#142985 - 09/17/18 10:13 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Muniac Offline


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Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5530
Loc: Montrose, CO
Yes that is correct. You should do a complete rebuild to include the sleeves. They get sloppy which causes seal damage over time. Then the leaks start. Sometimes you can get a nick in the fork tube that damages the seal (rare). Had this happen once. I've done forks on both bikes probably three times now. If you run off road in the rocks, it's hard on the front forks. There is a dust seal and an oil seal in there. A 2003 front fork diagram is HERE.

The manual calls for a few special tools but the job can be done without them using a bit of innovation. Good luck.
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#142987 - 09/18/18 09:41 AM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Bush Pig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 46
Loc: South Africa Western Cape
You're a star. When I bought her four years ago I also bought A Hayne's. Very very useful
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Bush Pig

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#142990 - 09/18/18 02:02 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Muniac Offline


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Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5530
Loc: Montrose, CO
Glad to assist. Caution on the reassembly as it's easy to put the top sleeve in first which blocks the fork tube from being inserted. The top seal goes in afterward. I used the spacer washer (on top) and a 3/16" rod to gently tap in that sleeve. You need to clear the fork tube so you can get a mallet in there for a vertical tap. A PVC section of pipe works too but you'll need a lathe to turn down one end. Not everyone has one of these. An easy out taped to the end of a ratchet extension will hold the damper rod secure if its retaining screw (very bottom) is tight. Good luck.
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Evolve & Simplify
Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video

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#143504 - 11/09/18 12:48 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Bush Pig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 46
Loc: South Africa Western Cape
Hi I have at last got around to changing the seals but am stuck. I can't seem to detach the Air valve from its base which is marked as The Spring Seat on the illustration but is called the fork cap in the description in Haynes. If I push the spring seat down I can see the retaining ring but am unable to dislodge under pressure.
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Bush Pig

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#143512 - 11/09/18 11:49 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Beaker Offline
Member L2
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Registered: 06/26/15
Posts: 214
Loc: Colorado Front Range, US
So, are you still trying to remove the fork cap retaining ring? If so, try placing a socket or similar object in center and use a longish flat screwdriver or tire iron leveraged between the handlebar and the socket to depress the fork cap; perhaps with the air valve version you won't need a socket and can lever off the top of the valve.

ex. levering breaker bar w/ hex socket off handlebars to depress fork cap:




Note that I've got bar raisers installed in the image above which adds extra space for breaker bar and socket.

The retaining ring itself can usually it can be removed with a pair of circle clip pliers or gently pried out with a small flat screw driver. Once the retaining ring is removed the fork cap should pop out. If it resists try pressing it in then quickly release it so the fork springs shove it out. Small burrs or crud along the rim of the inner ID might make the job harder so try to clean things up first.

Obviously a second pair of hands makes this much easier..


Edited by Beaker (11/10/18 12:05 AM)
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2007 Yamaha XT-225

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#143515 - 11/10/18 01:53 AM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
#brer15 Offline
Member L3
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Registered: 10/03/16
Posts: 374
Loc: Atlanta,GA
A jaw gear puller would also work well. ebay
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2004 XT225 purchased new in October 2004 0 miles. Current miles over 27,000.

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#143518 - 11/10/18 03:50 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Muniac Offline


Platinum Member
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Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5530
Loc: Montrose, CO
I use a furniture clamp to do this. You'll need one with 36" of max clamping distance. Put the clamp on the bottom of the fork and adjust the slide down onto the cap. Crank the clamping foot down to depress the cap below the snap ring. A small blade screwdriver can get behind the snap ring and start it off the groove. BE CAREFUL the ring doesn't shoot off into space. When the snap ring is removed, back off the clamp and remove it. The cap may or may not pop out. You'll know if it follows the clamping foot all the way out. Sometimes it gets slightly stuck. Expect a jack in the box spring situation when it comes loose. I keep an old towel around it as fork oil gets all over the place.

That's what I do which works. I like the clamp because it frees up both hands to deal with the snap ring. Per above, other strategies will work too. Pick what you're comfortable with. Good luck.
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Be There or Be Nowhere! A Few Adventures & Video

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#143656 - 11/29/18 12:14 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
Bush Pig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/04/13
Posts: 46
Loc: South Africa Western Cape
OK I asked a big strong friend of mine to help and we got the air valve and spring seat assembly out as a whole. We've bled all the oil out discovered that the one side had 100cc's less than the other also the oil was very different in the 2 barrels, one was thin and pale brown and contained 350cc of the fluid the other was black and dirty and contained less. the dust seals came out relatively easy, one was very worn and I suspect from the barrel that contained the dirty oil. The other was still in good shape but very hard. Haynes says that to get the oil seal out, after removing the retaining clip is slide hammer it out. I've been bashing away but not getting very far. Am I doinf something wrong?
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Bush Pig

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#143658 - 11/29/18 12:43 PM Re: fork seals [Re: Bush Pig]
peejman Offline
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Registered: 06/03/13
Posts: 2981
Loc: East TN USA
Try grabbing the inner lip with pliers and twisting in toward the center of the tube, they should collapse and come right out.
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This shall pass, be still and know.
2006 XT225, UNI filter, ProTaper bars, MSR handguards, SS front brake line, Shinko 241's.

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