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Old 02-19-2016, 01:52 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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My fork barfed!

A week or so ago, I came out to the parking lot at my office, and noticed a small puddle under the front forks. I looked around, and just figured it was left over from a previous vehicle. Then, the next morning, I noticed that a HUGE puddle of oil had formed in the same location! A little investigating, and I determined that the left fork had spewed oil from around the dust cover.

I assume I need to replace the oil seal. I've never done more than change the fork oil, so I want to be sure I know what I'm getting into, and buy all necessary parts before I tear into it. I found the oil seal (3H3-23145-00-00) at boats.net for $12.43/ea. Do I need to replace anything else while I'm in there?

I seem to remember that one of the versions (std vs. special) requires a custom-made tool to get the fork tubes apart. Can anyone tell me whether my MNS falls into that category?

Anything else I need to be aware of before I dig into it?
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1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

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Old 02-19-2016, 02:09 PM
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bikerphil bikerphil is online now
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You won't need a special tool to hold the damper rod from spinning when separating Special forks, but a claw type automotive seal puller will greatly help to pry the old seal out. You may need to fabricate a spacer only depending if that fork has the waffle type spacer under the seal which is a one shot deal and will get ruined during removal. Take out the seal first and see what is under it.
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Last edited by bikerphil; 02-19-2016 at 02:14 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2016, 02:39 PM
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Radioguylogs Radioguylogs is offline
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Two tips

I have done the forks on three Specials, although two of them were XS750s.

I have two important tips:

(1) Instead of taking them apart from the top, take the allen-head screw out of the bottom (after you relieve any air- if you have the air shock feature- and after you drain the oil). Its really easy with an impact driver. I suspect it would go OK by hand.

(2) Heat up the outer tubes with a heat gun or in the oven before you pull the seals- for me this is the difference between an easy job and an afternoon of cussing and screwing up the soft aluminum outer tube.

It's easier to finish putting it back together from the bottom, again with an air impact driver. Measure the oil and put it in the bottom bolt hole before you button it up.

That's what works for me!
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'84 Honda V65 Magna 48k miles (parts bike)
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2016, 03:01 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Here ya go Bug.... http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37399
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  #5  
Old 02-19-2016, 05:49 PM
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jetmechmarty jetmechmarty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
Do I need to replace anything else while I'm in there?

Yes. The oil!
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:18 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetmechmarty View Post
Yes. The oil!
Ha Ha! Thanks Marty...

And thanks for that walkthrough tutorial Steve! That definitely helps me to know what I'm getting myself into. I'll be sure to find a piece of PVC pipe for the installation.
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1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:30 PM
MaximPhil MaximPhil is offline
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Hi Marshall,
You probably already plan to. Do both sides. Take the time to clean the mud crud yucky deposit from the bottom of the tube
Good time to clean and buff the outside of the lowers. make them shine like new While you have them off may as well check and refresh the grease in the steering head bearings or just replace them if worn. Check the wheel bearings too. This short list will not take very long After lunch you can put it all back together......on the second day finish up everything not already completed at least that is my plan for mine.
Good luck with yours
Phil
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:40 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Yeah, I bought two seals, with the intention of doing both. No sense in going through the long process of disassembling the forks, only to be forced to do it again when the second one fails.

Unfortunately, there is nothing for me to shine or polish on mine. They are pitted black OEM paint. I'd have to pay for a professional to strip them and re-paint. As much as I'd like to do that, it's not in the budget, I'm afraid.

Second day??!! No way this is taking my bike down for more than one day! I can't go that long without riding!
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1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2016, 10:25 PM
MaximPhil MaximPhil is offline
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Marshall,
One of the pitfalls is damaging the new seal when reassembling. do read the link from Steve. I have not done this myself but recall numerous people reporting damaging the seal in their hast to reassemble forcing them to do the job all over again.
Phil
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2016, 11:22 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatatonicBug View Post
A week or so ago, I came out to the parking lot at my office, and noticed a small puddle under the front forks. I looked around, and just figured it was left over from a previous vehicle. Then, the next morning, I noticed that a HUGE puddle of oil had formed in the same location! A little investigating, and I determined that the left fork had spewed oil from around the dust cover.

I assume I need to replace the oil seal. I've never done more than change the fork oil, so I want to be sure I know what I'm getting into, and buy all necessary parts before I tear into it. I found the oil seal (3H3-23145-00-00) at boats.net for $12.43/ea. Do I need to replace anything else while I'm in there?

I seem to remember that one of the versions (std vs. special) requires a custom-made tool to get the fork tubes apart. Can anyone tell me whether my MNS falls into that category?

Anything else I need to be aware of before I dig into it?
Prior to fork removal, use one of the Seal Mate seal clenout plastic thingies, and clean out the accumulated debree caught between the double seal surfaces. SealMate has a website showing an actual video on how to use it. I have one, and have used it on a leaking seal........and it DOES work. Sure saved me from having to remove forks, take apart and clean, and unnecessarily replace a seal. For the $6 for its cost, sure beat replacing a seal! BTW, most all your bike shops and dealers carry them in a plastic container on their front desk.
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Last edited by motoman; 02-19-2016 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:47 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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nzemke, to add, what normally happens is little bug pieces/particals stick to fork. Then, upon fork compression they will loosen. Next fork compression, dust seal will drag the particals/pieces under dust seal and accumulate around seal. Then they eventually get trapped on one of the two fork seal lips and cause a seal leak. Seal Mate will easily fix the issue unless your fork strangely just decided to actually suddenly dump enough oil to run down on the front brake pads, in which case, new fork seals may be needed......Seal Mate still worth a try first. Slide the dust up off up the fork a ways, wrap an old rag around that fork area and spray vigorously with Brak-Kleen and blow dry first. Then use a Seal Mate to clean out seal. Work the forks up and down a few times to re-seat the double lip seal while looking for a leak. If no leak, slide dust seal back in place and go ride! SealMate.com is their video how-to site. Take ya' five minutes to use and see if it worked..........worked fine for me, and that's been some 3-4yrs. ago! Murphys law says ALWAYS carry a Seal Mate on the bike and you'll never need it or have a seal leak.
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81H Venturer1100 "The Bentley" (on steroids) 97 Yamaha YZ250(age reducer) 92 Honda ST1100 "Twisty"(touring rocket) Age is relative to the number of seconds counted 'airing' out an 85ft. table-top.

Last edited by motoman; 02-19-2016 at 11:52 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-20-2016, 06:05 AM
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kboehringer kboehringer is offline
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Smile Steering Head Bearings

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximPhil View Post
SNIP... refresh the grease in the steering head bearings ....SNIP....Phil
I second that! If the forks are already going to be off it's a simple task to get a fresh grease on those steering head bearings. Made a WONDERFUL improvement on all of mine. There is no extra out-of-pocket expense (assuming you have a tube or tub of grease handy) and will likely add no more than 1.5 hours to the total project. Highly recommended!

Respectfully,
KURT
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2016, 03:52 PM
DeanR DeanR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoman View Post
SealMate has a website showing an actual video on how to use it. I have one, and have used it on a leaking seal........and it DOES work.
Yep, great little gadget.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2016, 07:35 PM
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skids skids is offline
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The most imprtant thing is to brace the bike under the front before you screw off the fork caps. If you don't do that, the forks will collapse (springs expand out the tops) and the bike will drop down in the front. If you do things out of order like I did and your bike is on the sidestand with he front wheel still on, it will fall to the right. I made this mistake and a biker friend saved it from falling. I know this was a stupid mistake, but you don't want this to happen to you!
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2016, 12:10 PM
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CatatonicBug CatatonicBug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanR View Post
Yep, great little gadget.
After looking at some other online reviews and videos, I think I'll try this route first. Definitely worth the $5. I just need to see if there is a store nearby that actually carries them.
__________________
1980 XS850SG - Sold
1981 XS1100LH Midnight Special (Sold) - purchased 9/29/08
Fully Vetterized and Dynojet Kit added, Heated Grips, Truck-Lite LED headlight, Accel Coils, Irridium plugs, TKAT Fork Brace, XS850LH Final Drive & Black SS Brake lines from Chacal.
Here's my web page devoted to my bike! XS/XJ User's Manuals there, and the XJ1100 Service Manual and both XS1100 Service manuals (free download!).

Whether you think you can, or you think you cannot - You're right.
-H. Ford
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