Fork Seal Replacement - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 4:40 pm Thread Starter
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Fork Seal Replacement

While I got my bike in it's "exploded view" look, I figured I should attend to all the little issues that I've been living with.

33K on the odometer.
New shocks. All fluids. All filters.

AND...look at that leaky right fork seal. I did hit a pothole hard about 6 months ago...maybe that's why it's leaking. I looked back on the old site and found very little yak on the fork seals. I was wondering how doable it is to rebuild the forks at home. If it's too much, could I remove the front fork assembly and take just it in for rebuilding? And should I rebuild/have rebuilt the left one that ain't leaking?

Anybody got any 'sperience with this?


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post #2 of 9 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 4:55 pm
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Fork Seal

I have a 2005 LT with 15,000 miles. I had the seal replaced in the right fork last week, which was under warranty. Looks like the big job is removing the fork. It took the dealer around 4 hours to do the work. All there is is a seal to replace in the fork but the plastic has to be removed, front wheel removed and also the handle bars removed to take the fork out. It is time consuming but I think anyone with mechanical experience could do it. I do not think it takes any special tools.

Jerry
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post #3 of 9 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 5:18 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbird
I was wondering how doable it is to rebuild the forks at home. If it's too much, could I remove the front fork assembly and take just it in for rebuilding? And should I rebuild/have rebuilt the left one that ain't leaking?

Anybody got any 'sperience with this?
The Repair Manual at page 31.13 shows what's involved with the seal replacement.

While I have not changed an LT fork seal, in the course of replacing my broken forks and bent telelever, I believe I've covered everything but the actual seal removal. I can take some pics of the seal bits from one of my broken legs if the manual's views are insufficient.

Maybe someone that's done the job will pipe in with other comments, but overall there doesn't appear to be anything "hard" about the seal replacement itself -- and in some ways it appears to be easier, since the fork has no internals (no spring, no dampener -- only a 1/2 liter of fluid -- ATF, IIRC). The manual shows a special tool to seat the new seal, but adequate care with an appropriately-sized socket should be just as effective at setting the seat squarely in its seat.

The real question is how do you want to approach the job? Unlike a convention fork, the fork lower legs can literally slide off the end of the fork tubes -- there's nothing holding them on except the fork bridge/telelever!

So, two options:

1. Remove only the leaking fork leg. Advantages: minimizes dissasembly; easy to handle. Disadvantage: Alignment on re-installation is critical -- the forks must be at 165mm (small tolerance given in the manual *and* the axle must slip-fit with light drag after you tighten the fork bridge/fork leg bolts (took me a couple tries before I was satified it was "right") -- a minor pita.

2. Remove the entire fork assembly as one piece: Advantages: Can't muck up the alignment. Disavantages: Requires releasing the lower ball joint from the telelever; much more bulky/awkward assembly to work with.

Other bits:

To release the fork tubes from the upper steering head, you need a thin 22mm open end wrench, like the one that used to be standard in the airhead tool kits, in order to hold the tube still while removing the retaining nut on the top of the tube.

Don't try to remove the 22mm cap on the top of the tube -- you can't without destroying the tube, and there's a fill hole right next to it anyway.

Be prepared to catch a *lot* of fluid -- 1/2 a liter is a surprisingly large amount. Even after my forks were snapped off and the bike left a Valdez-quantity of oil on Constitution Ave., I was amazed at how much was *still* in the forks when I did the repair disassembly.

Oh, and no on the left seal, unless you have some reason to do it, like excessive grit on the tube having scratched the tube and chewed up the seal.

Mark Neblett
Fairfax, VA
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post #4 of 9 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 10:32 pm
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Hi TBird , I haven't put a seal in a LT but a did put one in my R1100GS . I just took the leaky side off , and put in the seal . Then put it back together loosely , put the wheel back on ,pumped up and down a couple off times then tightened it up . that was 5 years ago , haven't had any trouble with it sense then . Works for me ...Patric ...

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post #5 of 9 Old Dec 1st, 2014, 1:08 pm
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement

I haven't done this yet either, but it appears to be a very easy job. I have one that the dealer noted was leaking a little before I bought the bike. I haven't looked at it yet to see if it's all that bad yet.

I am working on a tire to tire (bumper to bumper?) service. I have been strongly encouraged by a friend with a BMW to go ahead and change the fork fluid too. Given how easy Kirk makes it look, it seems that I should just go ahead and change the seals while I am at it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFX2V6-svVE
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post #6 of 9 Old Dec 1st, 2014, 2:08 pm
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbird View Post
While I got my bike in it's "exploded view" look, I figured I should attend to all the little issues that I've been living with.

33K on the odometer.
New shocks. All fluids. All filters.

AND...look at that leaky right fork seal. I did hit a pothole hard about 6 months ago...maybe that's why it's leaking. I looked back on the old site and found very little yak on the fork seals. I was wondering how doable it is to rebuild the forks at home. If it's too much, could I remove the front fork assembly and take just it in for rebuilding? And should I rebuild/have rebuilt the left one that ain't leaking?

Anybody got any 'sperience with this?
Check out the following thread... http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/k1200lt/...al-change.html

Gino
Modesto, CA
'02 Silver
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw. --Rush
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post #7 of 9 Old Dec 1st, 2014, 4:06 pm
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement

1: Put it on a lift. (optional)
2: Unbolt brake lines and ABS wiring from down tubes.
3: Remove ABS sensor.
3: Remove fender, calipers, and axle.
4: Remove wheel.
5: Unbolt fork bridge cross brace.
6: Sliders will now slip down off the upper tubes.

While you are in there consider replacing the teflon coated guides just under the seals.


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post #8 of 9 Old Dec 1st, 2014, 4:43 pm
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement

The Teflon guide bushings are not very expensive, they keep the slider positioned so force on seal is exactly the same all the way around the seal. The first time I did my K1100 seals did not last long, had to replace seals again plus Teflon bush so when I did the LT forks I replaced them even tho they appeared new.

Just put the correct amount of automatic fluid in the slider, put back on no need to worry about air in the slider, just slide on put everything back together

Best do both while apart.

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
2012 K1600GTL
2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
1985 K100RT
1965 R60/2
1960 AJS 500 single
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post #9 of 9 Old Dec 7th, 2014, 10:25 pm
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Re: Fork Seal Replacement

Did mine back in July. Left one was leaking, I did both. The oil in the right one was much cleaner, so I suspect it was done previously. They slip off the bottom, the tubes stay on the bike. Not too hard if you have DIY experience.


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