Time For New Fork Seals; - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 17 Old 01-14-2011, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Time For New Fork Seals;

My seals are shot, I have read threads about simply cleaning the tubes and seals. No stranger to the wrench I would like to hear your experiences with seal replacement before I buy them and do the deed.

Thanks,

Ard

Spinning / flashing LED tail light;Dished seat;Nerf Bars;Panniers and rack;Aluminum skid pan;Master cylinder guard;tall shield;Heated gel grips;Acerbis Rally Pro guards with spoilers;Superbike low front fender;Doo upgrade;16T counter sprocket; K&N filter and box mod;GPS mount;Dash with voltage meter & clock;1" raising links;T bypass mod;anti vibe bars;anti vibe mirror mounts;Euro light switch; Aluminum choke leaver;new dry cell Super battery;Mefo Expolere's;New bearings and races
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-14-2011, 05:56 PM
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Ard,
Are the forks dinged up at all?? How many miles on the bike??

Just wondering, to see how much longer I can go without servicing them.. I keep my boots in good shape, but sooner or later I know they'll wear out..

I'll be watching this one intently.. Time for some learning!!

(we need a popcorn smiley)
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-14-2011, 05:59 PM
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I didn't think it was too big of a deal. I used air pressure to push them out and used the old seals to drive in the new ones seems how I didn't have a seal driver. I flushed them with cheap ATF before refilling with fork oil. About a 3 hour job.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-14-2011, 06:42 PM
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Here's some info from an earlier thread or two...

http://www.klrforum.com/showthread.p...ght=FORK+SEALS

http://www.klrforum.com/showpost.php...32&postcount=7

Remember....its all in how you hold your tongue.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
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post #5 of 17 Old 01-14-2011, 07:12 PM
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I agree with slo-klr.

With some basic mechanical ability it's not really too big a job, there are video write ups on u-tube for fork seal replacements.

while they may not be KLR specific (standard forks are all basically the same IMHO) watch a few to get an idea of what your getting into.
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post #6 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Paper,

Only 13K on the bike and no damage to the fork tubes at all, I was thinking they leaked because the bike has sat a lot this past summer. Right now it is cold outside (Alaska cold) so I am not in a hurry. I will be doing a good job of examining the seals and cleaning things up really well before I replace the OEM parts. It's sort of weird that this should happen because of all the bikes I've ever owned I have beat this one the least. If you recall a couple years back I had to replace the entire bearing and race sets in the steering tube on this bike. I have never had these go on any of my bikes, swing arm bushings yes but head bearings.......werid.

Trader,

Thanks for hunting up the links and a big thanks to "josberk" for the video post, these will be good for reference in the future. One of these days I'll go out in the garage and start tinkering until I find out why I am leaking oil at the forks.

Ard

Spinning / flashing LED tail light;Dished seat;Nerf Bars;Panniers and rack;Aluminum skid pan;Master cylinder guard;tall shield;Heated gel grips;Acerbis Rally Pro guards with spoilers;Superbike low front fender;Doo upgrade;16T counter sprocket; K&N filter and box mod;GPS mount;Dash with voltage meter & clock;1" raising links;T bypass mod;anti vibe bars;anti vibe mirror mounts;Euro light switch; Aluminum choke leaver;new dry cell Super battery;Mefo Expolere's;New bearings and races

Last edited by Hardyreels; 01-23-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Paper,

Only 13K on the bike and no damage to the fork tubes at all, I was thinking they leaked because the bike has sat a lot this past summer. Right now it is cold outside (Alaska cold) so I am not in a hurry. I will be doing a good job of examining the seals and cleaning things up really well before I replace the OEM parts. It's sort of weird that this should happen because of all the bikes I've ever owned I have beat this one the least. If you recall a couple years back I had to replace the entire bearing and race sets in the steering tube on this bike. I have never had these go on any of my bikes, swing arm bushings yes but head bearings.......werid.

Trader,

Thanks for hunting up the links and a big thanks to "josberk" for the video post, these will be good for reference in the future. One of these days I'll go out in the garage and start tinkering until I find out why I am leaking oil at the forks.

Ard
Actually, you got more miles out of yours than mine... My left fork seal started leaking at 4000 km's (2500 miles). I blamed it on the previous owner over compressing the forks when he hauled it, but after reading lots of articles on it I bought a SealMate and am going to try it in the spring. If that doesn't work I have new seals to put in. Really hoping that the SealMate thing does the trick though as my 08 doesn't have Shcraeder valves on it, so I can't blow the seals out... Would have to disassemble the whole fork. Fork tubes are mint and the boots are perfect so I'm hoping there's just some grunge in the seal causing it to weep. Same as you, I've had tons of other bikes and never had one leak... With a heck of a lot more miles on them too!

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post #8 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 650Stew View Post
Actually, you got more miles out of yours than mine... My left fork seal started leaking at 4000 km's (2500 miles). I blamed it on the previous owner over compressing the forks when he hauled it, but after reading lots of articles on it I bought a SealMate and am going to try it in the spring. If that doesn't work I have new seals to put in. Really hoping that the SealMate thing does the trick though as my 08 doesn't have Shcraeder valves on it, so I can't blow the seals out... Would have to disassemble the whole fork. Fork tubes are mint and the boots are perfect so I'm hoping there's just some grunge in the seal causing it to weep. Same as you, I've had tons of other bikes and never had one leak... With a heck of a lot more miles on them too!
If I may ask, is there a recommended amount of travel to compress the forks when hauling? I've only hauled mine once so far but over-compressing was in the back of my mind and it would be nice to know how far is too far.

Thanks for any advice.
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-23-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikerbob View Post
If I may ask, is there a recommended amount of travel to compress the forks when hauling? I've only hauled mine once so far but over-compressing was in the back of my mind and it would be nice to know how far is too far.

Thanks for any advice.
I crank 'till the bike is stable.....what ever that takes, with the neighborhood of three inches usually more than enough. I use good tie downs or rope....rope being more versatile. Good lines = less drama, and are more critical to me than the amount of tension on the forks. Compressed springs during hauled travel does not cause fork seals to leak. Compression of the springs does not increase the pressure on the oil seal. On the Gen I bikes, or any bike with air schrader valves on the forks, I will bleed them down, as that will provide a constant increased pressure. I've never encountered a blown seal from tying a bike down and hauling it. Truthfully, I rarely ever see a blown seal on a street licensed bike. Granted, we have those who cold tear up an anvil, but for the most part, seal issues are due to grit, dirt, and foreign materials under the seal surface causing fork seals to leak. The other reason is physical damage to the tube surface itself that creates a poor sealing surface, or a sliced, nicked seal.

That fine gritty stuff on the road and trail kicks up when dry and will carry just as well with water. And deposit that stuff down in that fork well and rest on top of the wiper / seal. Once in a while a chunk gets hung up. I speculate that the front brake generates plenty of abrasive stuff to create some of our fork leaks. Sometimes we can gouge a fork seal and that seal will need to be replaced.

Food for thought: If you leave that nasty cruddy ol' fork fluid in your forks, you now have crud working on your seals from both directions.....internally and externally. And your bushings......fork fluid is cheap.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
[IMG]http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww187/vatrader01/KLR%20mechanical/04e28c5e.jpg[/IMG]

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-24-2011, 01:44 AM
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I don't currently recall any threads about seals going south so early.
Hope these are isolated incidents.

Granted, all moving parts will fail at one time or another. I'll be
learning this job too. LOL Maybe this summer, maybe the next, etc........

And yes, I have over the top mega-engineered tie down straps.
Don't mess around on that one. I think they are rated at 1500 lbs each.
(HD units actually.)

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeap

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God
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