Fork seal replacement - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-11-2011, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Fork seal replacement

I just discovered my left fork is leaking; blown seal.

Can someone point me to a thread that discusses fork disassembly/assembly. I've done this sort of thing before, but not to USD forks, so I'm looking for advice, tricks, and especially ways around special tools such as the fork spring compressor and fork piston rod puller.

I am buying a seal driver as it's a good tool to have.

Thanks,

Michael
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 10:05 AM
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 05:25 PM
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One thing you can try: You've probably gotten a piece of dirt or bugsmash under the seal lip. Using a piece of old photo film, carefully work a corner up between the fork leg and seal, and go around a few times. This may dislodge whatever is under the lip and cure the leak. It's worth a try....

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
One thing you can try: You've probably gotten a piece of dirt or bugsmash under the seal lip. Using a piece of old photo film, carefully work a corner up between the fork leg and seal, and go around a few times. This may dislodge whatever is under the lip and cure the leak. It's worth a try....


I always try this on dirt bikes with some success. I use a piece of an old tear-off (goggles) and run it around the seal while flushing it out with contact cleaner. As mentioned, you could use film or maybe even some type of thin, yet semi-firm, plastic packaging from something as well. I do this every time a seal starts to leak on my dirt bikes; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
If your bike is relatively new or doesn't have many miles on it, obviously you have got a better shot. I read reports on this forum where members have put 50,000 miles on their bikes with no trouble from the fork seals.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 07:54 PM
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One thing you can try: You've probably gotten a piece of dirt or bugsmash under the seal lip. Using a piece of old photo film, carefully work a corner up between the fork leg and seal, and go around a few times. This may dislodge whatever is under the lip and cure the leak. It's worth a try....
What's photo film?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-12-2011, 08:03 PM
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What's photo film?
I still have over 40 years worth of negatives, and there are useless tag ends in each envelope.......

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-22-2011, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Fork tools made and fork seal changed

Thanks to ScottyNeal for pointing me to the fork revalve thread, and to tomla for the idea of using PVC to make a spring compressor.

I bought a set of Motion Pro 41mm fork seal drivers ($42).

I made a spring compressor out of a PVC coupler, some threaded rod and some nuts. I made a fork spring stopper out of a sheet of aluminum.

For the fork piston rod puller, I discovered that standard table lamp parts have the same 10x1.0 mm thread pitch as the damper rod. I made a puller out of a tube that had male threads on each end; threaded on a cap on one end and a female threaded coupler on the other end. This stuff should be easy to find at a hardware store.

This is all stuff I had laying around (other than the PVC coupler which cost $2).

I found a video that some guy put together to show the step by step disassembly and reassembly of Showa forks, which are virtually the same as Versys forks:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...3012013218909#

That is part one of disassembly. If you're interested, you can follow the links next to it to part two and the 2 parts of the reassembly. I found it very helpful for visualization (along with the service manual from this site) before I embarked on the process.

Things I learned that aren't obvious in the manual:

You don't need to remove the bottom bolt that holds the cartridge to the inner tube if you are just changing the seal. The cartridge can remain where it is.

The right damper rod is hollow and when you pump it up and down to either remove all the oil or charge it with new oil, oil will come out the top. If your fork piston rod puller is a hollow tube like mine, oil will come out the top or any threaded junction. I ended up gluing the parts of my puller together to seal them and minimize the resultant mess.

Included pictures show tools, as well as them in position on the fork.

I hope this helps anyone else who wants to do this.

Michael
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File Type: jpg DSCN2722.JPG (575.4 KB, 615 views)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
One thing you can try: You've probably gotten a piece of dirt or bugsmash under the seal lip. Using a piece of old photo film, carefully work a corner up between the fork leg and seal, and go around a few times. This may dislodge whatever is under the lip and cure the leak. It's worth a try....
I have only 20 000 miles/32 000 km on my clock. Yesterday the frigging left forkleg started to leak.
After having read this thread, I found a piece of plastic looking and feeling like photo film and pried it carefully around the seal - and - the leak ceased to exist! Thanks for an extremely useful advice

Anders B.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 03:21 PM
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I have only 20 000 miles/32 000 km on my clock. Yesterday the frigging left forkleg started to leak.
After having read this thread, I found a piece of plastic looking and feeling like photo film and pried it carefully around the seal - and - the leak ceased to exist! Thanks for an extremely useful advice
Now order a pair of Shock Sox and take 5 minutes to install them. They cover the seal area and keep the junk out.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 03:43 PM
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Now order a pair of Shock Sox and take 5 minutes to install them. They cover the seal area and keep the junk out.
That might be a good idea. I have a Shock Sock for the rear damper. Soo far I have ordered a pair of Sealmates
Thanks!

Anders B.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2016, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
One thing you can try: You've probably gotten a piece of dirt or bugsmash under the seal lip. Using a piece of old photo film, carefully work a corner up between the fork leg and seal, and go around a few times. This may dislodge whatever is under the lip and cure the leak. It's worth a try....
I did that (worked!), for the first few times, then, at about 60,000 miles my '08's right fork started leaking "big time", so I had to replace the seals. MY experience...? Use the Kawasaki seals, NOT aftermarket - I ended-up changing several seals till I used Kawi ones....

ALSO - IF you're around the 60K mark, EXPECT the other side to be about ready to 'die' too - mine did...!

Ed
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 05:26 PM
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Update. After a Seal Mate treat and approx 500 miles / 800 km later the left fork leg is completely dry, no leak whatsoever.

Hopefully I have 40 000 miles / 64 000 km's to go now, fasteddiecopeman

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 04:59 PM
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Is it possible to add oil to the LEFT fork without having to take the fork off / compress it?

I fixed my LEFT fork leak with a Seal Mate, but had let it leak for weeks in the garage. Maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons came out in total. Is that worth worrying about? Is it truly a dummy shock?

Last edited by IronMan; 05-05-2017 at 01:20 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 07:37 PM
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Is it possible to add oil to the LEFT fork without having to take the fork off / compress it?

I fixed my LEFT fork leak with a Seal Mate, but had let it leak for weeks in the garage. Maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons came out in total. Is that worth worrying about? Is it truly a dummy shock?
My left seal started to leak and think I've fixed by using a sealmate - I'm thinking a probably lost most of the oil, have watched several youtube videos and it would seem to me that the process to replace the oil is almost as extensive as replacing the seals - am I missing something?

Hoping for a shortcut to replace the oil - bike is an 08 650 with only 13k miles on it, doesn't get much use.

Also, I am in a tropical environment, usually in the 80's and above, I'm 200lbs, which oil should I use.

Many thanks in advance,

Glen

Glen 08 Red

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2018, 12:59 PM
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...Also, I am in a tropical environment, usually in the 80's and above, I'm 200lbs, which oil should I use....
Glen - I won't tell you which oil to use, but when I raced enduros (way-y- back when) we used ATF in our forks, so, since that time that is ALL I've ever used in ALL my forks, INCLUDING BOTH my '08 and '15 V 650s.
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