Today I changed the fork seals on my f650gs. They say that this is a relatively easy task. They say you can do this without taking the front wheel off. I say, they are full of shit. I have no idea how to do this without taking the fork apart. So thats what I did. Someone can tell me the right way to do it next time.
I think all told this project took me about four or five hours. Some of that time was spent cursing. A lot of that time was spent cleaning up the mess the fork oil made. Everywhere.
I’ve gone through and talked about each picture below which kinda walks you through the process. There is a great description of what to don F650.com so I didnt belabor each point. Just showed enough pictures to get the right idea.
Getting the cap of the fork tube was definitely challenging. And getting the new seals back in took an extra special amount of patience. All in all though it was a pretty good project. And now hopefully the front end of my bike will stay much cleaner.
Lets get this thing started out right. First you gotta bring the bike into the garage. The perfect thing to do on a rainy day.
First put the bike on the center stand and strap the stand forward so it wont slip back on you should you bumb the bike. Then I use a scissor jack placed under the skit plate to pick up the front of the bike and put the back end on the ground. There are several ways of doing this, this is just the easeast for me – keep in mind it may damage your skid plate but its a risk I am willing to take.
As usual I assemble a rediculous amount of tools. Most of which I will never use.
In order to get the front wheel off you want to first take the front brake off. This is done by taking off the two 8mm allens on the left fork. The caliper will just slide right off. Hang out out of the way off of the turn signal for the rest of the project.
Once the caliper is off you can start taking the front wheel off. First losten the axel retaining T45 then back out the axel using the 8mm allen again. Be sure to catch both spacers coming from either side of the wheel.
Sweet! the front wheel is off! That was easy. Now start taking the forks off. Loosten both the lower and upper clamps around the tubes and the forks will slide right out.
I was able to find a replacement bolt for this on a Sunday, which was a stroke of luck, at a Lowes hardware store. But this bolt had been missing when I started this project. Wonder how long that had been gone? I blame the not so nice folks at Portland Motorcycle. Just another reason NOT to go there. EVER.
It might be easier to pull the circlip ring out while the forks are still in the clamps. In any case this is what it looks like when you pull the dust cover out. If you do decide to pull the circlips out while its on the bike, be aware that they are springloaded and the spring will push the cap, spacer, washer, and spring out if you are not careful. AND its messy.
Alright the fork is off the bike. Now we can take the bridge clamp and fender off so we can work with the tubes individually. There are four bolt holding both the fender and bridge clamp together. Keep in mind there is a small nut on the left tube that holds the brake line holder/wire. You will want to remove this nut first before loosening the allens from the top of the bridge clamp.
Once the bridge clamp is undone you can work with the fork tube individually. This is where the fun really begins.
Scary the bike looks naked. Also you can see that I have put some cardboard down under the work area. This is cause its about to get messy.
Welcome to my nightmare. Getting this thing out by yourself is definitely a feat of willpower, strength, and determination. While simultaneously pushing down on the little dot in the center of the cap you must unhook the circlip from the groove in the outer ring of the tube. This thing is springloaded so it doesnt happen that easily, and you have to keep the shock from compressing while your pushing. An extra set of hands here for me would have been really nice. Even the second time it still took me forever. As mentioned before, it is spring loaded so be careful and be ready to catch the spacer and spring top washer.
Once you have done the tricky part of getting the top open. Drain the fork oil out the top of the fork. A funnel can make this much less messy, but to tell you the truth, I think its going to be messie anyway. Open up the fork oil drain plug near the bottom of the tube. After you have drained all you can loosten the retaining bolt at the bottom of the shock.
You can drain more oil out of the bottom. Pull the dust seal up with your fingernail and get rid of that. Then remove the metal circlip that holds the fork seal down. Now start tugging the two pieces apart and watch fork oil fly everywhere!
You’ll get them apart eventually. Make sure to not lose any of the small pieces!
The fork retaining pin is a two piece deal. When reassembling, slide the pin through the inner tube and attache the stopper before sliding it into the outer tube. It take some fiddling with the bolt at the bottom of the fork but it will eventually graph to hold the assembly together.
Showing the order of things on the inner fork tube. From right to left you’ve got bushing, slider, washer, and fork seal. After that you would have your retaining circlip and dust seal.
more pieces. More mess.
reverse out of there and get everything tightened up and then put some fancy boots around the dust seals to keep everything together and happy for another 30,000 miles. Lets hope I dont ever have to do this again!