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Discussion Starter #1
I'm planning to change the fork oil and springs with progressive on my '01 800 Classic with 13,000 miles. The fork seals are not leaking but I was thinking of replacing the seals and/or dust caps while I have it all apart.

So, I'm asking from your guys' experience - is it likely the old seals will last until the next planned oil change (probably another 10,000 miles and maybe 5 years)? I usually tend to "over-maintain" my vehicles but if the seals are expected to last 20 years then replacing them would be silly.

Thanks!
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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I'm planning to change the fork oil and springs with progressive on my '01 800 Classic with 13,000 miles. The fork seals are not leaking but I was thinking of replacing the seals and/or dust caps while I have it all apart.

So, I'm asking from your guys' experience - is it likely the old seals will last until the next planned oil change (probably another 10,000 miles and maybe 5 years)? I usually tend to "over-maintain" my vehicles but if the seals are expected to last 20 years then replacing them would be silly.

Thanks!
neither Age or Miles are specific determining factors for the life of fork seals. Use and Abuse are. Many bikes that are well used but not abused can easily go 10yrs/100k miles b4 a Seal goes bad.

That doesnt mean you shouldnt Change your fork oil every couple of years. You should 2yrs/20k is plenty reasonable use. Change is easy.

I've done mine twice now at 50k. The first change of factory stock oil was PUTRID. I had a left seal that started to weep and thought the same, Seal time.
I Drained the fluid, there is a drain plug bottom under the axle. the springs come rite out the top, Wiped them clean, Flushed the tubes several times with SeaFoam, lots of crap comes out.. Then replaced the fork oil with HD 20w FORK OIL. is clear as water new. Seal quit weeping and the handling is improved into the realm of "impressive.. astounding"!

If later you want to do a full tear down, well then you can. but to do it just cuz yor bored.. maybe you need a hobby? poncho
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks poncho I guess Ill wait on the seals since they ain't broke and probably have some/much life left.
 

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If it helps your concerns any, my 05 800 classic still has the original seals at 109,000 miles. I have changed the oil and springs, due for both again, at least oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well guys I finished changing the fork oil and installing progressive springs. Based on yalls comments I did not order seals. The seals were all fine so that worked out. Thanks!

I added about 1/2" of preload to the front and cranked the rear monoshock to setting 5. Holy crap does the old 800 handle great! It was cold and wet so i didnt push it through the corners very fast, but it seemed to want to steer itself and was glued to the ground. And the straight line ride is soooo much better at soaking up the bumps which I dont understand since the suspension is now firmer. I had about 4 gallons of 10wt oil so the only cost was the springs. Very high return per dollar on this mod!
 

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neither Age or Miles are specific determining factors for the life of fork seals. Use and Abuse are. Many bikes that are well used but not abused can easily go 10yrs/100k miles b4 a Seal goes bad.

That doesnt mean you shouldnt Change your fork oil every couple of years. You should 2yrs/20k is plenty reasonable use. Change is easy.

I've done mine twice now at 50k. The first change of factory stock oil was PUTRID. I had a left seal that started to weep and thought the same, Seal time.
I Drained the fluid, there is a drain plug bottom under the axle. the springs come rite out the top, Wiped them clean, Flushed the tubes several times with SeaFoam, lots of crap comes out.. Then replaced the fork oil with HD 20w FORK OIL. is clear as water new. Seal quit weeping and the handling is improved into the realm of "impressive.. astounding"!

If later you want to do a full tear down, well then you can. but to do it just cuz yor bored.. maybe you need a hobby? poncho
So we can drain/replace the oil and change the springs without a complete tear down? Excellent.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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So we can drain/replace the oil and change the springs without a complete tear down? Excellent.
cj, springs don't necesarrily need be changed. do a good drain, flush and refill with 20w fork oil. the diff in handing mite be enuff. you can always change springs another time. poncho
 

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Great. Thanks. My 08 900 has about 8k, I figure it couldn't help to spruce up the ride some. It'll be a Spring/Summer project.
 

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And the straight line ride is soooo much better at soaking up the bumps which I dont understand since the suspension is now firmer.
I've been thinking of changing to progressive springs on my Vulcan 900.
Since they are fairly new on your bike, you should have some real perspective
on the difference in the ride due to the springs. Normal highway travel is one thing, do you notice a difference on washboarded roads as well?

Thanks
Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have not been out on any roads like that since the swap. Likely not going out in the next few weeks since winter decided to arrive here in Ohio.
I'm sure I will because my buddy lives on a road all washboarded up.
Good news is that if it is too firm you can quickly open the fork top and cut some off the pvc spacer.
 

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Thanks. If you do get to ride a washboarded road,
I would appreciate your opinion of the merits of progressive springs.

We've had awful weather in Los Angeles too, last week it actually rained.

Larry
 

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neither Age or Miles are specific determining factors for the life of fork seals. Use and Abuse are. Many bikes that are well used but not abused can easily go 10yrs/100k miles b4 a Seal goes bad.

That doesnt mean you shouldnt Change your fork oil every couple of years. You should 2yrs/20k is plenty reasonable use. Change is easy.

I've done mine twice now at 50k. The first change of factory stock oil was PUTRID. I had a left seal that started to weep and thought the same, Seal time.
I Drained the fluid, there is a drain plug bottom under the axle. the springs come rite out the top, Wiped them clean, Flushed the tubes several times with SeaFoam, lots of crap comes out.. Then replaced the fork oil with HD 20w FORK OIL. is clear as water new. Seal quit weeping and the handling is improved into the realm of "impressive.. astounding"!

If later you want to do a full tear down, well then you can. but to do it just cuz yor bored.. maybe you need a hobby? poncho

Is there anything to watch out for re: the springs, since they are under tension? How difficult is it to screw the cap back on? Finger/hand pressure enough to depress the spring and start the threads on the cap, or is there a tool or trick? Thanks!
 

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The cap on top is just for cosmetics. Once you loose the bolt on the top tree, this should come out, not under pressure, but may be stuck and need tender prying. Then about 3/4" below that is the top plug. This does have spring pressure on it. You can use a long extention, screw driver, or broom handle, or other such device to push down on this plug, a helper would be great hear. There is a spring clip here that holds this in, about the size of a paper clip. I use 2 small screwdrivers to get this by pushing down, then putting the other in the groove behind it then using the 1st to pry it up over the 2nd. Be careful not to let it fly.Once this clip is out, gently release the pressure on the plug and the fork spring should push it out of the fork tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks. If you do get to ride a washboarded road,
I would appreciate your opinion of the merits of progressive springs.

We've had awful weather in Los Angeles too, last week it actually rained.

Larry
I have put a few hundred miles on the new springs and been on a few washboarded roads. I would say that they are a bit firmer feeling, but less jarring overall. Also the front end doesn't bounce around nearly as much so you have more control if it is, say a curve that is bumpy or washboarded.

So far I have experienced zero downside to this mod. If you do it, maybe try 15W or 20W oil since you are in hot climate.
 

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I would have put in new seals since you had the forks apart. But, I would not change them simply as preemptive maintenance in and of themselves.
 

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Thanks. If you do get to ride a washboarded road,
I would appreciate your opinion of the merits of progressive springs.

We've had awful weather in Los Angeles too, last week it actually rained.

Larry
Before tearing it all apart and replacing the springs, I'd suggest experimenting with different weight fork oil. Thinner or thicker will affect damping. Lots of info on the web about it.
 
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