Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

replacing front fork seals

1425 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  flstffxe
I'm in the process of replacing the seals on the front forks. The manual says I need some specialty tools, a seal driver and a combo Handle & Hex Wrench to keep the damper rod from spinning while removing the bottom hex bolt. I think I can do the seal driving using some PVC pipe and the old seal, but I'm scratching my head as to what to use to keep the damper rod form turning. I thought about shaping the end of a hardwood dowel to fit down inside the damper rod and hold it steady while removing the bottom hex bolt. Would that work? Any other suggestions?
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
I can't remember right now what I used, but I didn't use any specialty tools, just jury rigged stuff out of my toolbox to work. The triple clamps worked well as an extra hand when seating the seals...
Seal driver is handy, cheap enough on ebay/amazon if you think you may own the bike long enough to do it again or another with the same size tubes.

No special tools needed to do the damper rods. Most of the time you can get by with out them using a butterfly wrench and a Allen socket for both dis-assembly and reassembly. In the event that you do need to hold the damper tube a broom stick or as you mentioned a large dowel sanded/filed to a taper usually does the job.

Also highly recommend some better fork springs if you are going to have it apart. Raceteck and progressive both offer a universal kit. But a common off the shelf kit would be the 41mm progressive kit for any Harley pre2000 with 41mm forks, you just need to provide your own spacer material(pvc/steel/aluminum pipe). I used a Progressive 11-1131 kit I had on hand. Overall much better, more firm, turn in response is improved and much less dive under braking. However I would cut the amount of preload I did, down by 1/2 to get some more initial sag. I set the spacer length to about a inch above the tubes.

Don't forget to have the O-rings for the stantion caps handy, they sometimes get cut when removing the caps.
See less See more
Thanks for the replies. I just got back from my shop/storage area and I was able to get the 1 1/4" oak dowel to hold the damper rod so I could unscrew the bottom hex bolt. I beveled/slanted the end of the dowel with six sides so it would catch the inside of the rod. Took several tries to get the right angle on the bevels. There's a picture of the specialty tool in the Haynes manual, and I kind of eyeballed that while shaping the end of the dowel.

flstffxe, interesting comment. I'll do some ebay exploring. BTW, what kind/weight fork oil do you use?
IIRC a 20wt, but it was late October early November and I have a selection of various weight and brands on hand.
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.