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Are fork seals expensive to replace? Hard to DIY?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Viker, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Another exciting first in my biking career, the fork seals are leaking on my Kawa er5.

    How tricky are they to replace myself? Fine, fiddly, or don't be a fool?

    How much could I expect to pay for a professional to do the job?
  2. This is the procedure for the EX250, which is very similar to your ER-5 (or EX500)

    It's not that difficult to do yourself - but if you can at least do the fork removal yourself (and have another means of transport) it'll significantly reduce the cost of getting a professional to do the seals.
  3. imo...
    take the forks off and take it to a proffesional.
    for the labour involved and not having the right tools.. you will be much better off.
    specally as its easy to damage a seal during installation and repeat the process
  4. If you have a shed,the tools and know what to do,Its a piece of piss.
    You should know the answer if you read this.
  5. It can be a fiddly job but is well doable by the basic home mechanic.If you're methodical ie:follow well the instructions posted by jd , you should be right.
    All jobs are easier if they're done by a pro but if you want to save a few bucks,get a bit more insight into how the mechanics of your bike work and get that squeezy feeling of self satisfaction (hopefully) , I'd be having a go.
  6. 2-4hrs labour
    oils n seals

    3-500 bucks
  7. I always double the quoted time if I'm doing it myself for the first time.Save 3 - 500 bucks for 4 to 8 hrs of my time still seems like a reasonable deal.(parts cost is negligible on this one)
  8. It's a job that the average home mechanic can undertake although you have to be a bit careful doing it.

    I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a first bike maintenance task though.
  9. Maintenance is different from getting in there and learning to repair something that is broken.I reckon it's something all should try but ....call me old fashioned
  10. dont forget to try the little platsic fork seal cleaner out first as it may just be a bit of dirt causing them to leak. i made one up out of a ice cream tub lid and saved me doing mine on my gpx250, cost me nothing, sensational
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Correct. You can probably even find a Youtube tutorial to help you.
    Save yourself the $, learn how to do it this time and then you can always do it again should the problem rear it's ugly head in the future.

  12. Thanks for the good advice everyone. Even BLABBs (are you feeling ok?).

    I've really got to move to a place with a shed. Sigh.
  13. Depends on your abilities, tools, access to specifications.

    Recommend using a lift bench, so you can strap the rear end down in order to jack front end off the ground, unless your bike has a center stand, but you still need a jack. Need all the usual hand tools to get the forks out. Need offset vice, preferebly with soft alloy jaws. Need graduated measuring container for accurate fork oil amount, or a fork oil level setting tool, which is basically a syringe with a graduated pipe attached. Recommend a proper seal inserting tool, or you could use a piece of thick walled pipe which closely matches your seal size. You may even need a special tool to hold the damping rod while you undo the bolt in the bottom of the fork, otherwise you may be endlessly turning a bolt which does not undo, because it's turning the rod inside the fork. Also recommend getting a torque wrench & all the torque specs for every bolt you undo, as most people don't know their own strength. Also need to find out recommended fork oil weight, quantity, and oil level.

    Have I scared you yet?
  14. Why overcomplicate things?
  15. Its easier than doing a intro.
    Even the rudest pig on here introduced himself.
  16. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone by not doing an intro. I suffer from ADD, so following subjective social conventions is not my strong point.
  17. Yes Car jack works fine.....most of the time. Some bikes can be difficult to find a jacking point under the bike which isn't fragile & wont tip bike to one side or off its stand.

    Yes a turkey baster may work fine on some forks. But depending on its diameter & whether the fork has a damping rod, it may not fit down into some forks. You could even make a simpler tool if you wanted, such as a dip stick out off a piece of wire.

    My point in writing was to make blabbus aware of what could be involved if he chose to do the job himself, and also to make the amount that bike shops charge to do the job appear more reasonable, should he choose to pay it.
  18. If a turkey baster doesn't fit a length of rubber hose attached to a turkey baster will work just fine. Dip stick idea certainly works, I personally use the depth guage measurer on a digital vernier which is kinda the same thing only more accurate.

    Nothing wrong with pointing out the problems that could occur - but at the same time there's no need to scare people off the idea of tackling it themselves especially if they own something as simple as the OP's ER-5 (which was designed to be worked on by its owner - unlike a lot of modern bikes).
    • Like Like x 1
  19. I dont need you to tell me how to suck eggs.
  20. I was sincere in my apology, and honest in my reason. I've only just registered & posted a few comments, and straight away people are having a go at me. I get the feeling that you are not a very polite or forgiving bunch. Perhapps I should leave & share my experiences with more appreciative folk.
    • Like Like x 1