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Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders Discuss Sportster Motorcycle Suspension, Frame, Forks, Handlebars, Fuel Tank, Oil Tank, Fenders problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 20th July 2005
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Default Much work to replace leaking fork seal?

One of my forks has a leaking seal. I just took the bike to the dealer and they say that they will fix it under warranty.

I haven't told them yet, but I installed a set of Progressive fork springs with a PVC spacer in the tubes and Bel-Ray 15w fork oil. Certainly they will see this when they take the fork apart to replace the seal.

I wonder if they will then refuse the warranty and charge me for the job?

Wonder how much that will set me back? (only one fork is leaking)

I haven't looked in the Service manual yet, but ... is replacing a fork seal in just one of the forks a big job? Can it be done with common tools at home?

Thanks,
Ron
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  #2  
Old 20th July 2005
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Ron, you have had your engine apart more times than I can count and you're worried that a fork seal is a big job?????
I didn't look in the manual either but I'd say it's prolly a piss in a bucket compared to what you've done to your ride already.
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  #3  
Old 20th July 2005
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The oil and springs have no effect on the seals.

3 things can cause one of the seals to blow:

1. Defective seal.

2. Impact, either hitting the front end real hard like I did, or a wheelie with a hard landing.

3. Desiccated bug guts on the sliders--they work on the seals like sandpaper.

Actually, I just thought of a fourth--if it were WAY overfilled with oil, the oil pressure against the seal could overwhelm it. If the amount of oil in the fork is anywhere close to stock, that won't happen.
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Old 20th July 2005
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Oh yeah, I've got a gee-whiz $60 seal driver if you need it.
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Old 20th July 2005
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xena ... I kinda understand the engine. Pulling it apart don't bother me at all. The thing with the fork seals is I was thinking that without some special tools, I would have a hell of a problem. Just one of those things that you worry about if you have never had one apart before.

Derek ... I might need to borrow that seal driver. I haven't hit any bumps real hard, and the forks are serviced with the correct amount of fluid. I did the job myself about 1,500 miles ago. Just started leaking slightly ... not real bad yet.

I wonder if I should just tell the dealership that the forks have aftermarket springs in them and see what they say. I would rather do the job myself [if] they try to charge me for the job (I have no idea how much they would charge either).

If they say ... 'no problem, we will still fix it under warranty' ... then I would rather have them do it and save the trouble of doing it myself.
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I get ya Ron. I'd bring it in and be up front with them about installing the fork springs. Imo, the seals should be replaced under warranty because you only replaced springs and never had to touch the seals.
That said, even if they charge you it won't take them that long. The dealer swapped my entire fork innards over to chrome forks and installed on the bike all in about an hour.
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Thanks Ms. xena!
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Old 20th July 2005
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Replacing the seals is a really easy job . It is the same process as when you replace the springs for the lowering kit. The seals are inexpensive and I'd recommend replacing the oil seals and the dust seals. Did you install the fork spring kit? Oh and you don't need no stinking HD seal driver tool. Just get a piece of PVC pipe that fits over the fork legs and use it like a slide hammer. I think it is 2" white PVC that fits correctly.

One tip is that when you take out the emulator tubes, keep a close eye on the order of the tube, springs, spacer, etc so that you put it back together right. The FSM is very unclear on this order.

Oh, when I installed my progressive lowering kit, I went with the SE Heavy Duty fluid and my seals leaked too. I replaced the seals and went back to regualr fork oil and all is well. Except I liked the ride of the SE fluid a little better.
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Thanks Shu ..

I was the one that replaced the springs. I didn't use a lowering spring kit, so I never took out the emulator tubes. Just springs and fork oil.

I think I will call them right now and see what the service writer says.

Ron,
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Well, my problem is solved ... I just talked to the service writer ... He said no problem with the aftermarket fork springs ... They will take care of the seal under warranty!

Sorry about waisting bandwidth on this thread ... Anyway, thanks for all your replies.
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