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Beginner's Guide to Fork seal replacement

25084 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  B-dub
Intro - My older brother Mike and I both had to rebuild the forks on our TW's recently. We thought it would be a good idea to share the procedure so others could avoid some of the mistakes that I made. A couple of my mistakes are recorded on film, but I believe the write-up is pretty accurate. If you see the need for improvement in this guide, please share so we can make it as good as possible.

Here's another guide Admiral completed a little over a year ago. His guide has additional insight, better pictures, and of course, Admiral's great sense of humor. I encourage you to take a look at his guide also.

Additionally, Lizrdbrth has provided some great info on fork oil, fork service, and fork tuning or setup. I encourage you to take a look at his fork info as well. You can find it here.

Tony recommends marking the fork tubes so they can be replaced in the same orientation as when they were removed. If the tubes are bent slightly and they are not re-installed the same as when they were removed it can adversely affect handling.

Apparently All Balls seals are slightly bigger and tougher to install. Canadainshiver published his ingenious approach to getting them seated here starting at post #9.

When you have the forks out is an excellent time to service the head bearings. Rainman has provided an excellent guide on the procedure for head bearings here.

Fork Removal

Begin by getting your bike in the air, so the front wheel is suspended. Make sure the bike is secure and will not tip over.

Using a 10mm wrench or socket loosen the fork clamp bolts on the top triple crown.

Next, stand astraddle the front wheel looking back, and use a 19mm socket to loosen the caps at the top of the forks.

Use a 10mm socket or wrench to remove the clamp holding the front brake cable to the fork.

Pull the speedometer cable mount from the front fender.

Remove the cotter key, and with a 22mm socket or wrench loosen the axle nut. Run the nut out so it's even with the end of the axle, and tap it with a mallet or hammer to start it through. Remove the nut.

From the other side pull the axle through and allow the wheel to rest on the ground, or on your knee. Move the wheel slightly forward to clear the forks and pull the brake backing plate from the wheel. You may have to loosen the brake adjustment to get the backing plate out. Of course, this step is unnecessary if your TW has a disc brake.

Allow the backing plate to hang from the cables and remove the wheel.

Use a 10mm socket or wrench to remove the fender and reflectors from the forks. Alternatively the fender may require a 5 mm allen wrench.

With a Phillips head screwdriver loosen the clamp at the top of the fork boot.

While holding the fork use a 12mm socket or wrench to loosen the bolts on the bottom clamp. The fork should then slide from the clamps. If not, utilize a tip by Lizrdbrth. Apply a few drops of oil in the chamfer where the tubes pass through the upper and lower triple clamps. Tap the caps of the fork tubes a few times to help distribute the oil. You may have to give it a few minutes for the oil to penetrate the clamps. The fork tubes should then slide out. As a last resort, you may need to spread the ears on the clamps very slightly by wedging a screwdriver or chisel into the opening between them. Be careful to not scratch the tube.
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This is a great tutorial and will really help the TW populace.

I was really impressed by your use of my favorite tool(s).

Apparently, you like to use the proper tools for fork removal! Unlike my Modus Operandi!

Great job, I'm sure this will be pinned!
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