KDX Fork Seals

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#1
I need to replace the fork seals on my 88 KDX. I have qoutes from a couple of shops for around $200.00. I was thinking of buying the tools and doing it myself. Has anyone done them before? Am I better off having a shop do them?
 
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#2
Originally posted by dsndblm
I need to replace the fork seals on my 88 KDX. I have qoutes from a couple of shops for around $200.00. I was thinking of buying the tools and doing it myself. Has anyone done them before? Am I better off having a shop do them?
The first time you do them, you probably won't save any money depending on what tools you buy. I tore my forks down when I did the gold valves and I replaced the all the bushings and the seals. The cost of the seals and bushings was about $70. My bike's an '03 so the tools and parts are probably a little different and checking in a shop manual will tell you what you need.

Special tools I absolutely needed were a cartridge holder which can be either fabbed or bought and I used a double-nutted 9/16" Grade8 bolt to undo the cartridge. The expensive tools for me that made my life easier were a seal driver ~$60 which I justified because I have a couple bikes that have 43mm forks and a fork oil measurement tool ~$50. The seal driver probably could be substituted with some kind of PVC pipe. The fork oil tool can be fabbed if you look at www.dirtrider.net/justkdx tools. I'd also suggest soft jaws in your vise so that the sliders don't get messed up. All together, I would have around $200 in specialty tools and parts if I was just looking at seals.

Do a search on forks and you'll find a lot of information.

Best,
Greg
 
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#3
I just rebuilt my forks last weekend and they did not cost me any more than the parts. i built a cartridge tool out of 1/2" copper tubing and used a soldered on nut for something or another that fit the cartridge. for the fork oil I just filled them up to about 100MM pumped them up and down and few times and readjusted the oil level using a snap-on steel ruler that has a pocket clip that doubles as a mini square. i just set the square portion to hit the slider and only go in 100MM and used a mag light to see the level. if you are careful you can easily use a pair of channel locks or an adjustable wrench for the cap nut. I already had the massive allen socket needed to fit the vavle ends.

I took them off the bike and did the work on my bench in the basement, where it was nice and warm.

Now, if those sealsavers would just show up tomorrow i could put this thing back together.

I have built a bike lift, brake snake, aluminum skid plate and re-bushed the swing arm while waiting for these sealsavers to come in. maybe they will be back ordered and i can rebuilt the top end while i'm on a role.
 
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#5
Brake snake is a steel cable connected from the brake lever to the frame. It keeps the brake lever from wrapping all the way under the foot peg when slammed into a rock, root, etc.

Here's one:
http://www.thumperfaq.com/brake_snake.htm
 
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#6
it also helps keep stuff from jamming between the case and lever. In two and half years of woods riding i was finally stricken with a wreck due to not having one! i was blazing a new trail up a hill climb. i had plenty of speed and was going great and all the sudden the bike bogged and died out on me. I couldnt get it in neutral and was thinking the KIPS let go and trashed the tranny. we drug the thing back down the hill and across a creek (the whole time the back wheel was locked up) and were making plans for me to ride out and bring my 4 wheeler back in to get the thing home.

I was waiting for my buddy to get back to his bike and get across the creek and happend to be standing on the right side of the bike and looked down. there it was. A 1" sapling had jammed in the brake lever with it fully depressed and locked the brake. that's why the bike died and that's why i made one for it the other night.


it wont happen again!
 
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#7
OH ya. my sealsaver came today. I got the long ones this time. the last set (short) had quite a bit of dirt in behind them. Oh' well looks like my streak is over.

now i have to get this lift blasted and painted. Flo-Green of course!
 
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#8
gwhII said:
The first time you do them, you probably won't save any money depending on what tools you buy. I tore my forks down when I did the gold valves and I replaced the all the bushings and the seals. The cost of the seals and bushings was about $70. My bike's an '03 so the tools and parts are probably a little different and checking in a shop manual will tell you what you need.

Special tools I absolutely needed were a cartridge holder which can be either fabbed or bought and I used a double-nutted 9/16" Grade8 bolt to undo the cartridge. The expensive tools for me that made my life easier were a seal driver ~$60 which I justified because I have a couple bikes that have 43mm forks and a fork oil measurement tool ~$50. The seal driver probably could be substituted with some kind of PVC pipe. The fork oil tool can be fabbed if you look at www.dirtrider.net/justkdx tools. I'd also suggest soft jaws in your vise so that the sliders don't get messed up. All together, I would have around $200 in specialty tools and parts if I was just looking at seals.

Do a search on forks and you'll find a lot of information.

Best,
Greg
Greg

Could you explain how you undo the cartridge? I have an idea but am not sure how the 9/16 bolt works with the metric threads on the cartridge. I am a trained mechanic and have access to a machine shop. I can fabricate the tools, just need some help getting a clear picture of what I need to do.

Thanks in advance!

David
 
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#9
dsndblm said:
Greg

Could you explain how you undo the cartridge? I have an idea but am not sure how the 9/16 bolt works with the metric threads on the cartridge. I am a trained mechanic and have access to a machine shop. I can fabricate the tools, just need some help getting a clear picture of what I need to do.

Thanks in advance!

David
Howdy David,

First, I'm assuming that your forks have hexagonal openings/reliefs at both ends of the cartridge like the later models. If this isn't the case, this isn't going to help.

I used the double-nutted bolt in lieu of a 9/16" or 14mm allen wrench or socket. I couldn't find either one of those in the normal tool outlets and if you know where to buy one, please let me know. I double-nutted the bolt so that a wrench could loosen or a socket could tighten the valve assembly. I inserted the head of the bolt into the hex opening in valve assembly at the bottom of the fork and used the cartridge holder to hold the rest of the cartridge in the fork. I then used a long 9/16" boxend wrench to spin the interior nut of the double nutted bolt and out came the cartridge valve. I used a torque wrench and a 9/16" socket on the exterior nut to tighten.

If your interior cartridge has a 29mm hexagonal opening/relief, this also may help. I made a cartridge holder out of a 14" piece of 3/4" steel tubing and welded on a 29mm nut that was originally a lock nut for either a 11/16" or 3/4" bolt. I wandered around the Sears hardware isle with a 29mm socket and tried until something fit. I just ground off the lip holding in the nylon lock washer and then drifted out the nylon washer. The remainder of the lip made a nice shoulder to weld onto. On the other end, I welded a 7/8" nut on so I could then use a large wrench for leverage. Hope this helps.

Best,
Greg
 
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#10
Hi Greg

Thanks for the info! You explained it very well, it makes sense now. I am heading to the dealer to order the parts Monday. I measured my springs today, they are 1 inch under the service limit. :ugg: Better replace them also.

Regards

David