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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Im newer at riding and for the most part I enjoy working on my bike however I need new fork seals and do not want to go through the trouble or making a mistake on changing them. I went to a mechanic and he said I would need new forks completely and I wasn't sold on the idea that I would need brand new forks because of the condition they were in and I wanted another person opinion. Should I get new forks or just get my fork seals replaced?
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If they're not bent, I don't see why you can't rebuild them.
What modal bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If they're not bent, I don't see why you can't rebuild them.
What modal bike?
Its a 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 C
I There seems to be no problem besides the little rust that I can see...
[I Just added a second picture]
 

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As @bpe stated, the first thing I would look at is the structural condition of the forks. Are they obviously bent? Is there a slight bend that would have created an oval (out of round) in one or both forks, also a structural condition, usually caused by some kind of crash. Out of round can be a bit difficult to determine by eye balling. More common is the fork surface condition. Corrosion, rust, scale, pitting and scratches can all cause damage to the seals and prevent new seals from sealing properly. Light corrosion, light scaling, pitting and small scratches can usually be polished and buffed out saving the forks.

I'm not a motorcycle mechanic
 

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Looks like your seals and associated O-rings would run around $100. Bushings would be about another $100 if you need those. I would suggest getting the bushings any way. I think the rust can be cleaned off with maybe a scotch brite pad. It's not to terribly hard to rebuild the forks. To pay a dealer to do it, I'm not sure if that would be cost effective verses just getting new forks. You will need a service manual to do this. You should be able to check out youtube videos to see what you would be getting in to.
 

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Forgot to add. You will need a seal driver. I got one for $50 that fit my forks at Cycle gear.
Cost of the Kawasaki seal driver:
$500
They're are ways to make a makeshift driver, but I never got in to that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its a 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 C
I There seems to be no problem besides the little rust that I can see...
As @bpe stated, the first thing I would look at is the structural condition of the forks. Are they obviously bent? Is there a slight bend that would have created an oval (out of round) in one or both forks, also a structural condition, usually caused by some kind of crash. Out of round can be a bit difficult to determine by eye balling. More common is the fork surface condition. Corrosion, rust, scale, pitting and scratches can all cause damage to the seals and prevent new seals from sealing properly. Light corrosion, light scaling, pitting and small scratches can usually be polished and buffed out saving the forks.

I'm not a motorcycle mechanic
Thank you for that information, I believe the mechanic I spoke with believe the corrosion was the reason to replace it, I will just need to further look at the Forks closely
 

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Im newer at riding and for the most part I enjoy working on my bike however I need new fork seals and do not want to go through the trouble or making a mistake on changing them. I went to a mechanic and he said I would need new forks completely and I wasn't sold on the idea that I would need brand new forks because of the condition they were in and I wanted another person opinion. Should I get new forks or just get my fork seals replaced? View attachment 60986 View attachment 60988
There's a trick using some thin mylar type material where you basically try to clean any grit out from the seals when they start leaking. Are you aware of that and tried it? Check YouTube as there is a good video showing how it's done. I don't have a link or I'd post it. But it's there. Take a look if you haven't tried it already.
 

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Thank you for that information, I believe the mechanic I spoke with believe the corrosion was the reason to replace it, I will just need to further look at the Forks closely
Yea....there is a point that the surface is not worth trying to save. Good Luck with your project.
 

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@Dsjaxn Dave Moss has some good videos on fork service and repair. You may want to do a search for his stuff, I think it is something like Dave Moss Suspension Tuning.
 

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Here's the video I was thinking of. This assumes you forks aren't pitted of course.
 

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Did the mechanic give you a reason why they couldn't be rebuilt?
 

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In the close-up pic I believe I see what looks like rust pits.
If there are ANY rust pits in the seal travel area the new seals will be damaged by those pits and will leak oil.
Rust pitting can not be polished out because chrome is gone where the rust pit is and you just can not polish the edge of said pit smooth enough to protect the seal as it works up and down the slider.
You do not need to replace the total fork, just the chrome sliders. Forks By Frank sells fork tubes for less $$ than the factory tubes would cost you.
You can be pretty sure the factory tube will be an exact replacement for what you have on the bike now. An aftermarket tube should work just fine but you can't always trust that, every time, always.
Having said that, I have used Franks tubes a few times with no problems, but it has been a while. There may be other aftermarkets out there that I'm not aware of.

S F
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Did the mechanic give you a reason why they couldn't be rebuilt?
He just said that I would need new forks when he eyeballed in from a few feet away...I’m not a professional but I still think I don’t need new forks, They just starting having an issue with them
 
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