Wolfie's old-school seal replacement - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Wolfie's old-school seal replacement

Here's the way we did it 25+ years ago....hope this helps some...

Okay...here ya go guys...took 15 mins per side including flushing/filling. Not too bad for an old coot, eh ? And OldHoss asked, but IMO in his case, I might do a full rebuild. Big thing after an accident, is to see how true the upper tubes are...you need to completely remove for that.
But for a quick seal change, IMO this is the way to go....and I managed to BBQ some deer backstrap whilst doing this, lol....

Last edited by Wolfie; 09-12-2011 at 02:39 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Part 2

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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part 2

Will add text in a few minutes...

Last edited by Wolfie; 09-12-2011 at 02:34 PM.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-12-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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1) First few pics is stripping the forks, and removing the dust seal.
2) Next is draining the oil, and removing spacer (1985 VN700 has a spacer on top of seal)....spacer just falls out when inverted and tapped...
3) then comes the seal removal, and Ive included a detailed pic of the automotive dent puller. Cost me about $4 in the early 80's.
I used a decking screw (not a sheetrock screw) and gently screwed it into the old seal. After yanking a bit, went 180 degrees and same...gently and slowly, seal came out.
4) I cleaned the seat channel for the snapring well, and after lubing the seal with a lil oil, slipped it right in just using fingers. Then I took the spacer (after filing it clean) replaced it on top of the seal, then took a PVC pipe and GENTLY tapped the seal home. PVC cut end HAS to be square !
5) I set in the snapring, making sure it was seated, then added dustboot. Added the oil normally.

I was gonna paint the lower tubes before reinstall, but will wait till winter, or whenever. I wanna get riding !!!!

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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S.o.s. !!!

My first tube went great...when I did the second, once I removed the dustboot and clip, the steel spacer washer was for all purposes "welded" to the tube (so my method wont work)...tried to scrape/lube/scrape/lube to get it free...even tapping with a punch....no avail...musta been them 5 yrs sitting in that barn...
I finally broke down and removed the lower hex to free the upper tube, so I could "top it out"..worked fine, and got washer and seal out....
So, I did my stuff, cleaned all, ready for reassembly....oops....I installed the lower leg bushing, prior to inserting the upper tube.....now I cant get it it back out.... anyone know a way to get that bushing out w/o getting the $112 dollar tool ?
I tried making my own removal tools all day...no joy...I cant afford for a shop or machine shop to do it...any clues ?...
Ive read that some newer Harleys used same forks (AMF days Im guessing) so wonder if the local custom guy could do it. Anyone know the brand of forks ? Mebbe he'd do it for some venison and bear...but its my only hope...else Im dead in the water indefinitely....
All because of one step outta place..Im cursed, I know it...mebbe will just sell it...gettin tired...

Last edited by Wolfie; 09-13-2011 at 06:11 PM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 06:33 PM
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Which fork is it that is messed up the left or the right. I have an extra fork assembly that I might be willing to part with once I do my fork seals. I am located in albany so im not sure how far of a ride that is for you.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for posting this. I'll be doing it this way when I replace mine (love the PVC tool). Sorry to hear about that bushing problem tho.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 08:55 PM
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Hey, don't despair I'm sure someone here has run into this problem before.

Have you tried heating the tube with a torch? the only other thing I can recall is I heard of someone using a toggle bolt they modified to fit the tube and a puller to try to force it out.

BTW, I think your puller is older than I am.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, cool...

Thanks for the heads up Fisher...its the left one and Im about 2 hrs from Albany...but aint gonna give up just yet...will let ya know in a week or two if all else fails...
Angell...heating an alloy tube with steel or other metals tight against it isnt a good idea...ask anyone who's run an aluminum head on a cast iron block, lol...they expand/contract at different rates, and this usually causes cracks. And yeah, I got that dent puller either late 70s or early 80s...paid for itself 100x over, and rarely to pull dents !
But I DO like that idea about the toggle thing. There's just enough of a lip on the bushing to mebbe catch if I grind the edge of the toggle to shape...NEAT !!!...Ive always enjoyed making my own custom tools rather than paying crazy prices for "special tool # 678934523rty", lol...very satisfying actually....but thanks for the idea !! Awesome. When I get a few bucks will hit the hardware store...
Interesting also, is that the bushing is mostly copper and has a split down one side..."in theory", if I could get a nice awl near the split on one edge, might be able to bend it inwards enough to get it loose (would mean a new bushing replacement, but I cant see em being that much...

Last edited by Wolfie; 09-14-2011 at 12:49 PM.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-14-2011, 01:28 PM
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The thermal expansion coefficient for aluminum is greater than copper, so heating it won't cause more stress in this case. The reason it's an issue on engines is because the materials stress against each other and cycling that loading causes fatigue.

Basically the aluminum will expand more than the copper bushing. The only problem is that bushing is somewhat spring loaded inside that tube. So the slight increase in diameter probably won't free up the bushing enough.

I'd go for the toggle idea first. Then if that doesn't do it, toggle + heat.

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