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#131533 - 04/19/16 12:55 AM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure ***** [Re: Slojoe]
Selden Offline
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Registered: 03/25/16
Posts: 291
Loc: GA
I may not have searched the forum thoroughly, but an old dirt bike trick for preventing or stopping small seal leaks is to mix some transmission seal with the fork oil.



I've been doing this for about 20 years, most recently on a BMW R1100 RT, which developed a fairly bad leak on the left seal a few weeks after purchase. I used a mixture of 25% Gunk Transeal, 75% fork oil. The leak stopped in a few days. That was 8 years and 55,000 miles ago, and that seal now has 120,500 miles on it. Prior to that, I did the same thing to a Honda Pacific coast that had developed a slight leak in one seal. After riding 11,000 miles to Alaska and back, it still wasn't leaking. Even paved Alaska roads can be pretty tough on suspension components.

The only gotcha is that this approach may increase seal stiction slightly, so if you have only a slight leak, try using a lower percentage of Transeal; if the leak doesn't stop, remove a little bit of oil, and replace it with an equal volume of straight Transeal. For seals that aren't leaking, I would use a 5% or 10% mix as a proactive approach when changing the fork oil.
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#131662 - 04/24/16 09:36 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Slojoe]
Selden Offline
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Registered: 03/25/16
Posts: 291
Loc: GA
Originally Posted By: Slojoe
Hi Reggie, I'm glad the forks don't feel different because I was only wanting to end up with clean oil. The forks were in perfect working order before this project. I think the ATF is very close to 10W oil so I decided to try the ATF in my XT225. I was careful to adjust the oil level to the factory specification.

Thanks for the great illustrated write-up. I'm not concerned about the seals or other moving parts, just want to change the oil, so I'm thinking of doing only these steps:

1. Remove front wheel
2. Remove fork tubes from triple clamps
3. Remove end caps
4. Remove springs
5. Turn upside down and drain oil, then wash out with kerosene. Pump to get everything out for both steps.
6. Compress fully and re-fill to spec (147 mm/5.8" from top)
7. Put everything back together



Looking through the service manual, I noticed that early models had air caps. I weigh about 155 pounds (without any clothing). Would it be beneficial to use a little more fork oil (fill to 5.5" from top) to increase air compression?

I am not, and do not ever expect to be an aggressive dirt rider; the XT225 is intended to be my training bike to keep skills up and to ride when the BMW is too hot and heavy.


Edited by Selden (04/25/16 12:43 AM)
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#133880 - 08/25/16 05:45 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Slojoe]
GuitarDave Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Solution for tightening the bottom bolt without the damper rod spinning.....

I just rebuilt the forks on my 1999 Yamaha Virago.
(my first time rebuilding forks)
When the forks are fully re assembled (dry),
the spring pressure will keep the damper rod from spinning
while you tighten the bottom bolt.
(I used a little blue Loctite)
Then I removed the top cap again and filled them up with oil.
It was a little extra work, but there was no special tools or voodoo required.

Another trick to dissassemble the forks and get the seals out was to first break the bottom bolt loose while everything was still on the bike.
Then I removed the top cap.
(On the Virago it was threaded and there was no top spring clip)
Then I gently pried up the dust seals and removed the lower spring clips that hold the seals in.
Then I grabbed the the top tube in my right hand and the bottom tube in my left hand and "slide hammered" the tubes apart with a few sharp tugs.
Everything just popped right out.
No need for a slide hammer tool.

I plan on using the same tricks on the XT.
The advantage to these tricks is that you don't have to stick any tools or foreign objects in to your fork tubes that
might scratch up the insides.

Also as previously mentioned here, a 2 foot piece of 1 & 1/2" schedule 40 PVC worked great to seat the seals on the Virago.
These forks appear just a tad smaller, so we'll have to see....
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#133930 - 08/29/16 09:35 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Selden]
Beaker Offline
Member L1
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Registered: 06/26/15
Posts: 158
Loc: Colorado Front Range, US
Originally Posted By: Selden
[quote=Slojoe]... I'm not concerned about the seals or other moving parts, just want to change the oil, so I'm thinking of doing only these steps:

1. Remove front wheel
2. Remove fork tubes from triple clamps
3. Remove end caps
4. Remove springs
5. Turn upside down and drain oil, then wash out with kerosene. Pump to get everything out for both steps.
6. Compress fully and re-fill to spec (147 mm/5.8" from top)
7. Put everything back together
..


This is what I'm planning to do as well, though will likely substitute clean fork oil for the kerosene for flushing any sludge out.

Regarding holding the damping rod, I seem to recall the Haynes manual suggesting a wood dowel with one end tapered can be used. I no longer have the manual so can't confirm.
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2007 Yamaha XT-225

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#134038 - 09/07/16 06:44 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Slojoe]
Paul49 Offline
Platinum Member
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Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 1463
Loc: High Peak, UK
Why you want hold damping rods if you only doing items 1 -7?
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#134043 - 09/08/16 06:31 AM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Paul49]
Beaker Offline
Member L1
*****

Registered: 06/26/15
Posts: 158
Loc: Colorado Front Range, US
Originally Posted By: Paul49
Why you want hold damping rods if you only doing items 1 -7?


I'm not, just thought I'd mention what the Haynes manual suggests for those wanting to fully disassemble their forks.
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2007 Yamaha XT-225

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#137663 - 07/27/17 09:03 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Slojoe]
Alison556 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/27/17
Posts: 32
Loc: Scotland
Since I'm doing my fork seals just now, this has been a really good thread. Certainly helped me out when I was scratching my head about Haynes Manuals recommendation to use a bolt, two nuts and a long extension on a ratchet to hold the damper rod - and nothing was happening.

I can't see any of the pics unfortunately. Any way of seeing them?

One thing I've noticed is that my forks have a spacer between the seals and the dust seals. It's shown on the Haynes diagram but is never mentioned anywhere.

I also managed to annihilate one of the upper bushings, so now got to wait on new ones coming. For the life of me, I couldn't get the bushing to seat properly

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#137675 - 07/28/17 03:27 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Slojoe]
Muniac Offline


Platinum Member
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Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 5050
Loc: Montrose, CO
Sadly photobucket hit everyone with a policy change. Basically disabling any/all clean URLs. Yes it sucks but that's life sometimes.

I just finished about 1 week ago doing Jeannie's front fork seals. Sometimes the damper rod will come loose without any restraint. It did in my case this time. Not so in past repairs. You can use a socket extension with a large "easy out" attached to the end. My "easy out" has a square drive that matched my 1/2" drive socket extension. It's a ThreadIt #6 from a Vermont American tap/die set I've had for years. This can be guided down and pushed into the damper rod to hold it against removing the socket head cap screw. I've done this and it works well, avoiding the special tool Yamaha indicates. I'd imagine a wood dowel will also work providing not too much resistance is required.

There are two snap rings to deal with. One for the fork tube plug and a second for the inner fork seal. You can use a 36" furniture clamp to depress the fork tube plug and a jewel's screwdriver to remove the first snap ring. The second snap ring will come out with a small screw driver. Make sure you don't shoot either of them off into space. Watch the expanding suspension spring too.

I had forgotten about the sleeve bearing sequence on reassembly and ruined one of them. Not a big deal but frustrating. The upper sleeve bearing (thinner of the two) needed to go in last after the fork tube is inserted into the fork bar itself. There is a heavy washer that goes on top of this bearing (under the inner seal). I used a 3/16" 304 SS rod (to clear the fork tube) to allow lightly tapping the sleeve bearing in place under the washer, of course. That bearing will slowly walk its way in with light taps from a dead blow hammer working around the perimeter. What's important is to not get the bearing side walking. Just walk it in working around the washer with just small increments. You'll feel it seat. From there the rest of the reassembly is straight forward. 10W fork oil which I think the manual calls for 12.5 fluid ozs.

Perhaps someone here can take pictures on their project and reconstruct this thread. Good luck.
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#137676 - 07/28/17 04:21 PM Re: Slojoe's Fork Adventure [Re: Slojoe]
Alison556 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/27/17
Posts: 32
Loc: Scotland
Yeah, I merrily went to put the upper bush in before the fork tube - hence it getting killed cos I had to carefully chisel it back out.

Apart from discovering that I needed extra parts, it actually hasn't been that difficult (apart from the bottom hex bolt but that's only cos I took the forks out before trying to loosen it).

The washer that goes on top of the upper bush - one side is flat and the other side has a slight curve to it - is it the flat side up?

I also notice from Haynes that it says to put the spring back in with the closer coiled springs to the top - that's not the way they came out and everything I've seen says closer coiled springs to the bottom.

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