Fork seals leak. No matter how well you care for your bike, try to keep it clean or use the best products, your forks seals are going to leak. Round seals are best suited to seal against rotary motion, like where your transmission output shafts connect to your drive gear. Your fork seals are a similar style seal but they are supposed to seal against the sliding motion of your fork. Besides not being well suited for sealing over a long period of time these seals are right at the front of your bike getting blasted by dust and dirt.
You can take your bike to the dealership and spend a lot of money to replace the seals or you can tackle the job yourself. Replacing your fork seals is an easy enough job if you know a few tricks. The first step to any DIY job is to do a little research and get all the parts you’ll need for the job. You’ll at least need the new seals and fork oil but should also consider wipers, bushings and any seals or o-rings for the caps. If you’re looking to change the performance of your shocks, you may also look into changing the springs or valves as well.
Once you’ve got your parts and maybe watched a few how-to videos it’s time to get started. The first step is to loosen the cap on the fork so you can get things apart. Anytime you’re trying to wrench on a shock you’ve got to hold the shock tube. Holding the shock while you’re working on it is difficult because you need to be very careful not to scuff or mark the surface or you’ll ruin your new seals. A helper can be a great asset here or you may consider a vice with wood blocks on the jaws or some thick towels.
Once you’ve got things apart and you’ve replaced the parts that needed to be renewed, you need to know how much and what type of oil to use. The correct weight oil will keep your shocks damping at the correct weight as will the right amount of oil. If you’re smart, you collected all the oil you removed from your shocks as a starting point. Remember your shock seals were leaking so you need to put in a little more oil than you got out. An owner’s manual or dealership can help you find out how much oil you need. Next, you will need some type of measuring device. A glass measuring cup is often an easy choice and if it has milliliter markings can be a great option. If your bike uses 2.5 WT oil, then PJ1 Fork Tuner Oil is your best option!
With new bushings and seals in place, pour your fork oil in and get things back together! Soon you’ll be back on the road or trail riding leak-free with great responding front suspension.