I love to teach my son how to ride and repair stuffs the old fashion way. Here I will share some of our cheap DIY projects and repairs. I will also share some of my experience as a biker and as a pro mechanic. I am not a mechanic anymore but I still do repairs but mostly for my own machineries and this is why I try to keep everything easy and cheap. I also don't race anymore but I still love riding up the mountains where there is little or no help and all I can rely on is my small tool pouch and my monkey repair skills to bring me home whenever my bike or my friends bike breaks down.

If you are a tech-wiz or some kind of high-tech repair guru who likes spending too much $$$s buying stuffs and spends most of your time at a coffee shop posing your best biker battle gear clown costume and talking how great a biker you are then THIS IS NOT FOR YOU... Here we seriously ride our bikes and we try to keep everything simple, easy and cheap. Most of what I will share here are intended for riders who usually break their bikes to peices and may not be needed by other bikers.

I will also be sharing some cheap ways how I repaired my cars and computers. And for laughs, I will also add some weird / funny / odd stuffs that I or we did that worked and didn't work. Sorry about this blog's style, set-up or whatever you may call it, I'm an old school biker and its easier for me wrenching cars and bikes than typing on my keyboard...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

how to change fork oil seals the cheap way

To do a proper fork oil seal change you must have special gadgets like clamps, oil seal strikers, etc. 

Since I have been changing lots of fork oil seals for my "for sale bikes" and especially with my trials and off-road bikes, maybe this will be of help to you. 

Remember that there are many different kinds of forks but we will only talk about the fork with fork fluid and not the forks with only springs and rubber dampers. Inverted or not, forks are basically all the same. The basic parts are the outer tube, inner tube, oil seal holder (detachable or in one peice with the outer tube. dust seal, oil seal, oil seal retainer spring, fork bolt (located on the end of the inner tube where you put in fork fluid) and lots more but we wont talk about those things here. Most forks have the spring and the damper unit in one unit but my bike has one fork for spring and another for damping but they are basically the same. 

So you don't have the tools... it will really help if you have a vise but use rag, aluminium plates, or soft wood if you are planning to clamp the outer fork. Try to avoid clamping the inner tube but if you have to, use soft wood and cut it to form a "V" shape and if you can put soft rubber bike tire tube or flexi styro will be ok. Always remember not to scratch the inner tube. 

Check the inner tube for damages. It must be smooth but if the inner tube has scratches, get the scrathces off with fine sand paper and always do strokes accross and not along the inner tube. Keep the fork upright and pry the dust seal. Take off the oil seal retainer spring. You must have a long thin but very strong and very sharp ice pick like tool, aim at the outer side of the oil seal and punch it in by using a hammer BUT BE VERY CAREFUL not to scratch the inner tube with your sharp tool or your hammer or the inner tube is fcked. GENTLY and slowly screw a tapered metal screw to the small hole that you have made. Now GENTLY pull the oil seal off using a needle nose plier. Get your new oil seal and apply silicone grease on the oil seal lips (the more the better because you can always wipe the excess oil after. Apply a thin layer of fork oil or silicone grease on the outer side of the oil seal also. Slide the new oil seal in and try to push it in the oil seal seat with your fingers but make it seat straight until it wont go in anymore. Get the old oil seal and hammer the old oil seal over the new oil seal GENTLY to force the new oil seal to seat inside the the holder. Use the metal screw to pull out the old oil seal and put the oil seal retainer spring back to lock the oil seal to it's position. Clean the dust seal and if you want you can apply a thin coating of fork fluid or silicone grease to the inner lips of the dust cover. 

If you have a detachable oil seal holder, you can use a hose clamp to clamp the holder in place because it will fall if you hammer in the oil seal. Check fork fluid level, install the fork, remove bike from bike lift or bike jack and let it stand on it's suspension, loosen and retighten the end nut to get the excess air off the fork and you are ready to roll. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing such useful information. The information provided is very very niche and this information is not available so easily. Therefore I thank the writer for the useful input.Oil seals