Hey Hoss, Just did my seals this past weekend. my bike is also ablut 20 years old and had one leaky seal. the oil that came out of mine was totally black and stinky. On the side that was leaking, almost no oil was in there, on the "good" side, there wasn't much there either. dont know if it evaporates with age or what? The new oil of course is completely clear. I threw in some progressive springs also and I can tell a difference.I`m curious about the condition of the fork oil too. Was it stinky or foamy or milky like it had any water contamination? Or did it come out looking pretty clean?
Ive done seals for years (albeit my bikes were much older), and even did em w/o taking off wheel (one leg at a time/flip axle for other)...I may just try that, because Im really not into a whole teardown. Any hints, let us know, eh ?...gonna start mine tomorrow. And gonna try the old way.it still amazes me that people still think it's necessary to do a complete tear down of the forks to change the oil seal and dust cap
Actually the way I did it involved very little disassembly.Ive done seals for years (albeit my bikes were much older), and even did em w/o taking off wheel (one leg at a time/flip axle for other)...I may just try that, because Im really not into a whole teardown. Any hints, let us know, eh ?...gonna start mine tomorrow. And gonna try the old way.
Releasing air, draining fluid, removing lower hex should be enough, no ?
After reading your fork seal replacement method using 3 screws to remove the old seal, it sounds vaguely familiar. I must have read it here or on another forum somewhere in the past 3 years. I agree that it is easier and less involved than lance328`s complete dis assembly, cleaning, reassembly and oil refill.Actually the way I did it involved very little disassembly.
1: Removed fork from tree
2: Removed drain plug and drained the oil from the forks, using a pumping action to get as much oil from them as possible.
3: Removed the cap at the top of the fork, after bleeding the air out (I put my fork in the vise, I used a lot of rags to protect the chrome as I clamped them down).
4: Removed the dust seal
5: I got some small sheet metal screws and screwed them into the old seal, after I removed the retaining ring. I used 3 of them and put them at 1/3 of a turn from each other (2,6,and 10 o'clock) I just put the screws about 2 threads into the seal, not any more than that. The trick is to get screws that are small enough to clear the main fork as you pull them up, but have a big enough head to grab on to.
6 GENTLY work the old seal up off of the fork, I just would pull a little bit on each screw, take you time. It may take a couple of minutes.
7. After you get the old seal off, I just used a bit of new fork oil on the inside of the seal and on the fork to install the new seal. It should slide right down with very little resistance.. To seat the seal, I used a punch and tapped it into the recess where it goes. TAP GENTLY!!!!
The rest of the process is just a reverse of this. I used hydraulic jack oil for my fork oil. Seems to be working well, I'll know more this winter when I service the forks and see how it held up.
This was done on a 454 LTD, but the process will be the same as the Vulcan...
I will probably do the complete disassembly on the fork tubes myself, and polish the lowers up good while they are off. I`m like you roach. I like to take things apart to really see how they are put together and how they work. Then the next time the fork tubes need to be serviced I will satisfied to just change the oil and/or the seals without a complete teardown.Hey Gordan,
Sorry I missed your first post.
I think the oil was in OK shape when I drained mine. I've had it turn white on other bikes due to water getting it there. But the VN was pretty good looking inside.
I actually agree with In'till'zah, a complete diss-assembly is not necessary. But I have no idea what this bike has been through before I acquired it, and I like to be thorough.
I've actually used the screw method on a set of older dirtbike forks. It works well.
I think this bike of mine had been sitting for the past 20 years, so the diss-assembly method allowed me to clean all the parts very well. It's also kind of neat to see how everything works.