Question about 1985 Yamaha XJ 700 X Maxim

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How to fork seals

How to fix fork seals fix and replace

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  • Yamaha Master
  • 767 Answers

First of all you'll need to get the bike up and secured. I dont have a bike jack, but after putting it up on the center stand and jacking it up under the pipes, I was able to put my two carstands under the crash bar to secure it.

1) Remove the front wheel, calipers, speedo cable, and fender.

If you want, drain the oil using the drain plug, but I just let mine pour out the top, and you wont have to worry about stripping the thread or damaging the seal.


2) You'll need to remove the caps from the top of the tube to expose the cap bolts. Loosen the cap bolts before you remove the tubes from the bike (I used a 10mm bolt and two jam nuts on the other end so that the head of the bolt fits into the hex, then you can use a ratchet on the jam nuts to loosen).

3) Loosen the pinch bolts (upper and lower). Make sure you hold onto the fork when loosening the final bolt so it doesnt hit the floor. Put your homemade hex tool back into the cap bolt and with the tube upside down and your foot on a ratchet to hold it, start turning the tube to remove the cap bolt. BE CAREFUL! The spring is behind the cap bolt, so you have to put downward pressure on the tube as you turn so that it doesnt go flying up when it's free. I put my fork in a small tub then the ratchet that I stood on, so when it came free, the nasty oil stays captured in the pan. It's probably easier to do this still on the bike, but I was a bit afraid of the spring pressure, which really turned out to not be that bad.

4) Remove the dust seal by tapping with a screwdriver very lightly. Use a screwdriver to remove the circlip from the tube.

5) Place the spring, spacer, and cap bolt to the side for cleaning. Now you'll have to get the dampener out. You can use a 13/16 spark plug socket that has the hex on one end. I took an old spark plug and put in it, then I had one of those "no foul" spark plug extenders to screw onto the plug so that I had a hex on that end too. Put a layer of elect tape on it to hold it all together and prevent scratching the tube. With a couple of long extensions you can get it down the tube and hold the dampener. Then you can unscrew the retainer bolt (8mm hex) at the bottom of the tube).

Backup method (if you cant get it to hold, take a cheap broomstick handle about 7/8" diameter and saw it off about 30" long and hammer the rounded end into the dampener and that will allow you to hold the stick with a vice and unscrew the bolt (I started off with this method and it did work! But once you get it out and can see it, you can improvise your own tool)

6) You can now remove the dampener, inner tube, seals, and spring from the outer tube. Wash all the parts in a cleaning solution. Use a scotchbrite pad to thoroughly polish the seal surfaces. Check all parts before re-assembly. Be sure to get ALL the dirt and grime from deep down in the bottom of the lower tube.

7) Re-assembly. Make sure you put the little aluminum taper spindle into the end of the inner tube before inserting back into the outer tube. Best to do upside down and slide the outer tube downward so it doesnt fall out (the big end of the spindle faces down!)

how to fork seals - icon_cool.gif Once the tubes have completely came together, the spindle is trapped, and you can now turn rightside up. Put the washer on, then grease the inner tube and slide the new oil seal down. The smooth side goes up! Slide on another washer, then you can seat this with about a 30" piece of 1 1/2" PVC pipe that is cut squarely on one end. Tap gently with a rubber mallet till the washer is below the circlip groove. Install new circlip.

9) Install new dust seal. Use a 2" piece of PVC pipe this time to drive the dust seal down.

10) Place dampener and spring inside tube. Use your improvised tool to place the dampener back all the way down to the bottom of the tube. You'll need to clean and loc-tite the retaining bolt to screw in from the bottom. If the screw doesn't reach the threads, you put something together wrong. Stand on the allen wrench on the floor and torque the dampener to the manual's specification.

11) Put the tube back in the bike. Torque pinch bolts. Pour 13 ounces of new fork oil into the tube. Work the lower (outer tube) up and down slowly a few times to work the air out). Slide spring down into tube (tightly wound end of spring goes up!) Dont forget the little spring seat that sits on top of the spring. Place spacer into hole next.

12) Use your homemade hex tool and some downward force to get the cap bolt back screwed into the tube. Torque per the book, of course.

13) Replace caps onto cap bolts, Front wheel, calipers, speedo cable, fender, etc.

Posted on Aug 03, 2009

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6 Suggested Answers

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  • 2 Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 3567 Answers

SOURCE: 99 CBR 900 Front fork seals

If the seal has been cracked by the cold weather it should be replaced. For someone mechanicly inclined and with the proper tools this is not a hard job. For the novice it can be one of those times you could have sent it to the shop and spent less time and money, and gotten better results....
As to a seal conditioner, the seals today are generally made of synthetic material. No "conditioner" will work. If the seal is made of rubber you have a 90% chance that a product called 'MARVEL MYSTERY OIL' will solve the problem. This prouduct was created in 1917 and marketed in 1923. Google the product name for more hystory and uses today. Basicly, the oil causes rubber to swell. This tightens seals and thus fixes the problem. Most any good auto parts store has this stuff on the shelf. By the way, if the bike was purchased new, wouldn't this be a warranty repair?

Posted on Mar 11, 2009

  • 132 Answers

SOURCE: how to replace fork dust and oil seals on a kx125

i would do the same as the other post has said, but i would use the old seal to drive the new seal in with a rubber mallet that way you cant damage the fork.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Fork seal replacement

Did you try taking down the fork seal and cleaning out with wd/40 and a piece of 30mm film? You should always try this first. The seals rarely go bad. There's probably just a vary small rock holdeing it open and the film will dislodge it the wd is just to help things along.

Posted on May 08, 2009

  • 53 Answers

SOURCE: front fork leaking oil from bottom of the seal.

change the oil seals and oil in the fork,and avoid wheelies on the bike and off road biking 

Posted on May 17, 2009

  • 16 Answers

SOURCE: oil seal front fork leak( a link whit pictures will help)

you need to rebuild your forks new oil seals and dust covers

Posted on May 21, 2009

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1 Answer

Trying to remove my fork seals from 2005 ktm exc 200. I have the cartrige out but i cannot get the tubes apart or the axle end off. Is there a way the tubes come apart.


Hi, i presume from your thread you have removed the bolt securing the damper to the leg at the axle end, and you are having a problem removing the stancion from the leg, normaly you will have to remove the fork dust seal from the top of the fork leg, you will then expose the main fork seal which will be secured inside the fork leg by a clip,you will need to remove this, as the bushing inside the fork. Is secured to the stancion underneath the fork seal the only way to separate this, once the seal clip is removed, fasten the lower leg in a vice, warning fasten in the axle area and not the tube area to save damage, once secure push the fork tube all the way to the bottom, then pull up sharpley, repaeting this action will give a hammer effect from the inside of the fork, when reasembling before fixing the damper unit replace the fork stanchion, bushing, washer and seal, holding the tube. Upermost will reduce the risk of damage while replacing the seal in the moving area

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Hi,,,,,,fork seals are to stop oil coming out of your forks,,,,if your forks have oil on them ,then the seals need replacing.(you cant fix them)


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Each fork has an outer dust seal, and an inner seal inside of that. Dirt gets between the seal lip and the fork slider and causes the oil to escape. The fix is to have them (Both sides) replaced. You need a fork seal driver tool (Size specific for the size of the fork) and something to measure out the oil amount. It's not an easy job, if you have never done it. Also... if the oil has never been changed, it's due.

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To replace the fork seal you must open the top of the fork and remove the spring. Then drop the fork tube out of the clamp. Once the fork tube is removed replacing the seal is simply pulling the old one off and putting the new one on. You will need to remove your front wheel.

Jun 29, 2009 | 2003 Yamaha YZF 600 R thunder cat

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2004 honda shadow 600 VLX leaking fork seal bike has 600 miles on it should I replace left and right if only right is leaking.


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Steering shakes very bad,from 55mph down to 20mph. slowing down


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If you get the sevice manual or contact a dealer to get the correct oil amount for your bike, they need to know the model and year, you have to have the forks off the bike. take the fork caps off, take the springs out compress the upper fork tube all the way and add the specified oil. if they also give you the measured amount from the top that's the best way to get both fork oil levels exact. there is a special tool that you set the oil level in millimeters and it sucks out the oil to the right level, but before you do that step after adding the oil always pull and push on the cartage rod several times to remove air from the cartage tube. you will hear the air coming out and you will feel the changes in the cartage rod as the cartage tube fills up with oil and the air is removed.
something i'm confussed on though is if you replaced a seal you would have had to brake down the fork to replace it. you would have poored the oil into a container, cleaned all the internal parts,and used a fork seal driver to install the new seal. part of your question asks where do i put the oil in? thats in the open end of the fork after you have taken off the fork cap. It sounds to me like you only replaced the dust seal on one fork. that is not going to fix your leaking fork. you need to replace the oil seal thats pressed inside of the top fork tube.

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