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Replacing fork seals

Discussion in 'Businesses and Service Providers' started by Fitty, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. I've been quoted $250 to replace the fork seals on my VTR250. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this involves removing the front wheel, dropping the forks off and disassembling them then putting it all back together.

    $250 seems a bit pricey for something I could do myself for $20 + the cost of new fork oil. Is there anything I'm missing here?
  2. Why is $250 pricey? Seems like a fair price to me :-s
  3. http://www.bluepoof.com/motorcycles/howto/svs_fork_oil/

    This will give you an idea as to why it costs a fair bit in labour.
    While every step isn't needed to just change the seals, I would expect a mechanic to do these if I was to have seals replaced.
    It's one of those things where you can just do one thing when have it apart or you can do a little more since it's already apart.

  4. I could pull my own tooth out with pliers... but odds are the guy who went to dentistry school for 6 years would do a better job, with no damage, if he stuffs it up he has insurance etc... kind of like a mechanic really

    $250 isn't too bad, for seals new fork oil and labour
  5. Maybe I should rephrase my question; is there $230 worth of labour in the job? If so, fair enough.
  6. Most reputable bike shops are charging $90 ish dollars an hour labour, so 2 and a bit hours labour is probably undercharging if anything
  7. Do you know how to do it? Have you ever seen inside a fork? Do you have the speciality tools to do it with? Do you know how to prime the forks with the new oil? Do you know what happens if you leave air bubbles in there?

    I was quoted exactly the same amount last week but decided to do it with a mate of mine who has a bit of a clue. Still took us two and a half hours. My fork seals cost me $60 i believe, dunno how much the fork oil cost because i used his. I gave him a bottle of bourbon (of which i drank some) for his time and effort. I'll leave you to do the rest of the math.
  8. Yep, that's about right.

    Do it yourself, the only specialised tool you need is a rattle gun, $50 from supercheap, fork seals ~$20, set aside a weekend, come out $180 ahead, & gain the knowledge on how to replace fork seals. A workshop manual for your bike will show you how, they are floating around the net to download.

    I would check the headstem bearings while you were there, it's not much more work. You might need to take it to an engineer to remove the old bearing & press on the new one, but it's worth doing if your bike is a few years old.

    (There are ways of getting the old bearing off without taking the stem to an engineer, but unless you buy a bearing puller, it's a bit of dicking around & you'll need them to press on the new one anyway.)
  9. Why? Never used one. Is there some trick I am missing?
  10. I take the forks off my bike [Triumph Daytona] & take them to the bike shop.
    Bike shop charges $95.00 to replace the seals & add the correct amount & grade of fork oil.

    Asked about a ride in ride out repair & it was close to $300.00.

  11. That sounds like a good idea. I wouldn't mind having a crack myself, but things are a bit hectic at the moment and I haven't got the time other posters have suggested I'll need.
  12. You use it to undo the allen key bolt holding in the damper rod. Much better than a broomstick down the tube or a specialised rod holding tool.

    The other great thing about rattle gun's is you can pretend you're part of a Formula One pit crew!

    How do you it?
  13. Never done USDs. The conventionals I've done have never required it. Either don't have it or undo from the bottom.

    so the rattle gun comes with an extention or similar?
  14. I'm talking about conventionals. Mine required the removal of the internal damper rod to remove the seal, maybe yours are different?

    The rattle gun just undoes the damper rod without having to keep the rod from spinning. If you use a screwdriver/allen key, the rod & bolt both move together.
  15. I'm a service advisor at a motorcycle dealership and that is definately a reasonable price for the fork seals, fork oil and any labour involved probably 1.5 hours.
  16. What a handy link!
    Note the fact that the photos started in daylight and continued through 'til after daylight!
  17. My method is to crack that screw first, before removing the top cap, so that the fork spring pre-load is holding the damper rod. Heating it first is important to break the loctite. But every fork seems to be a little different.

    Anyway, to confirm what others have said: it seems a fair price. The job is not difficult, certainly do it yourself if you want to, but it is moderately involved and there are a few traps for new players.
  18. Yeah i saw that too.
    I checked my service manual to see how to do this on my bike and even with instructions I still though 'this is one thing I def wont attempt alone'