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Fork Boot Question (suspension re-build)

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Apr 12, 2007
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#1
Will it hurt to run with no fork boots? Will this scratch up my forks and ruin my seals?

Also, how hard is it to rebuild (refill) the front forks and install new seals? One of mine is leaking quite profusely.

Dan
 
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#3
DannyMoto07 said:
Will it hurt to run with no fork boots? Will this scratch up my forks and ruin my seals?
Just replace them and you won't have to worry about it. I picked up a pair for my bike on Fleabay for $20. For $20, there's no reason not to.
DannyMoto07 said:
Also, how hard is it to rebuild (refill) the front forks and install new seals? One of mine is leaking quite profusely.
If you are mechanically inclined, have half a brain, and are adept at turning wrenches, it shouldn't be too difficult. A few special tools will make things easier, but others have come up with ways around them. People have asked this same question many times here which is why nobody has replied. :bang: Just do a search and you'll have all the info you need to decide if it's something you have the skills to do. You should also have a service manual for you bike so you know what the oil capacity is, any special assembly procedures, service limits, etc. If you don't have the manual before you start, then you're probably short in the brain department and shouldn't attempt it.

Marc -
 
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#4
Thanks Marc,

I did do a search, but the only type of shock-rebuild posts I found were the over-under (inverted) fork style... Mine is the older-style fork (lighter duty)

I tried taking my shocks apart this afternoon to no avail.

There is a large hex bolt in the bottom of the shock (I gather it holds the plunger in) and an even larger hex bolt in the top of the shock (I gather it holds the springs in the plunger). I couldn't get either of them off.... I did take the drain-bolt out and as soon as I did a huge puff of oil and air came flying out.

These are not air-adjustable (or adjustable at all I don't think) but something tells me they're not supposed to build up any sort of pressure inside of them... probably why my seal is blowing oil onto my brakes.

Is there a tip short of putting my whole fork leg in a bench vice and hammering on it that will help remove the bolts in order to disassemble the shock?

I do need to take it apart to install my new seals, and put new oil in them. When I took out the drain bolt the oil was BLACK and didn't smell too pretty.

Dan
 
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Oct 19, 2006
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#5
You can buy universal fork boots. You need to know the diameter of the inner fork tube. A convnetional forked MX bike is 43mm. Your RT is probably smaller.

I really suggest you get a manul for rebuilding your forks. The bolt on the bottom holds the damper rod in. I don't believe this needs to be removed in order to rebuild the fork. What you do need to do is remove the dust seal. Under that is a circlip. You remove the circlip, grab the fork by the inner tube and outer tube, and extend the fork rapidly to knock the oil seal and guide bushing out. Try not to bottom the fork out against the damper rod. Now, your fork is disassembled. It is suggested you replace the guide bushings after removing them.
 
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#6
Well, here's what I did.

I took out the forks and set them on my work bench, popped the drain bolts and let all the air escape, then re-installed the drain bolts (not letting any fluid get out) stood them up and did the 35mm film trick and scraped out all the dirt from around the bushings.

I pumped up the shocks a few times and each time less and less fluid came out till almost none snuck by the seals.

On my right fork, though, I had a problem. I try to compress the fork and after a full 5" compression the spring pushes the plunger back out, however I hear the oil sloshing after the fork is fully extended, then a small pop... as if the oil isn't keeping up with the springs.

Another thing I did to both shocks was hold both the base and the plunger and give the damper rod a spin... it didn't do anything at all, it just spun the springs on the inside of the plunger.

I don't know if this will cause any problems down the road... my forks have stopped leaking, and I did order new universal boots for them, I decided to pass on the new seals and I may possibly run Fork Skins over them THEN the boots to prevent any further leakage or dust getting in there.

I guess I'll have to wait to get it all back together to really test it out and see if I royally messed anything up.

Dan

PS. The forks are also bent, I know they're not supposed to be, but could this be causing that binding-pop in the right shock?

Thanks again.
 
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#7
Run skins or boots, not both. Neither will stop even slow leakage. Yes, a bend could be causing a binding/pop. Check your steering stem bearing for looseness as this will also make a pop in certain cituations.
 
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#8
You should be able to get the top nut off if the forks are still in your triple trees on your bike. You'll need an air impact wrench, with suitably sized allen socket to get the bottom one out. But, honestly, with a bend in them, I'd be lookin on F-Bay for straight forks.
Once you do get the leak stopped, I prefer Fork Skins or Seal Savers over gaithers (boots). They look retarded, but work so damn well.
 
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#9
Thanks for all the help so far guys.

I did get the leak stopped. Before, it would leak over-night just sitting on the stand, now I can horse on the front end and it wont spill a drop.

Gaithers are where I'm going. It came with those stock, and I think I'd like to stay in that same niche.

The old ones were Pink, and the whole bike scheme was pink/purple/white... but I've recently re-painted the bike and got new decals for it, so now it's red/white/black. I found a set of Black boots that are the same dimensions as the stock ones on DennisKirk, they ran about 17.00 bucks... way better than going through Yamaha to get the stock ones for over 50.00.

Believe me, I have been looking on f-bay for shocks... those that I've found sell really quick. Hopefully there'll be some more on soon.

Dan