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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tried to replace the fork seals on the '99 Aspencade today and could not get the fork cap loose. The little 2mm wall for the wrench to grip is getting pretty rounded.

I have seen references to pulling the lower part without removing the upper tube, which would avoid having to take off the cap. Can anyone elaborate on how to do that?

Does anyone have any ideas for getting the cap off? I am thinking hacksawing it off, heat didn't work, but would appreciate any ideas. I have Progressive springs in there, so am a little concerned about the ballistic tendencies of a rocket tube powered by a released spring.

Thanks and have a meaningful Independence Day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Did that and it still wouldn't budge. The head where the wrench should grip is pretty rounded now and nothing will get it to loosen.
 

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Dick - I couldn't get mine to budge either and was concerned that the 4' pipe on the scket handle was going to trash that skinny little nut. I borrowed my neighbor's impact wrench and the ******* loosened right up.
 

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It aint rocket science
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I have seen references to pulling the lower part without removing the upper tube, which would avoid having to take off the cap. Can anyone elaborate on how to do that?.
Yeah but the caps are always removed to remove spring pressure. Air or electric impact wrench sounds like the way to go.
 

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No , you don't have to take the fork caps off to replace the seals. The spring pressure actually helps to keep the insides from turning when u reinstall the bolt on the bottom end of the fork leg. Should be videos on here somewhere or Google and would be easier than me trying to explain it this late at night. lol. I think u should have the air caps to be able to put fork oil back in without taking the caps off.

You don't even have to take the forks out of the bike , but then you need more homemade tools to install the new seals. Lots of info on here if you can find it.
 

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It aint rocket science
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And not all sockets are made the same, some have deeper or lead in chamfering prior to the points.

It is a factor when dealing with skinny nuts.:)

If you had tried with a open end or box wrench, wrong tool.
 

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hi dk

have you heard about 'grab sockets'
these are special sockets for rounded
off nuts, bolts anything.
when i removed the rotting stock
exhaust. some of the manifold nuts
we're rounded off completely.
i invested in a set of 'grab sockets'
and they're designed with extra
bits inside to create resistant to
remove the rounded off hardware!
they work perfectly!

i bought mine off amazon!

great for other jobs too dk!

regards

angel uk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to all and I will try the impact wrench. I am going to get another cap, to have on hand to finish the job and avoid this issue in the future.
 

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To replace seals and bushings there's no need to pull the fork caps at all. If you put the bike on a jack or on the center stand with a small jack on the front of the engine to raise the front wheel off the ground once the wheel, fender, brake calipers and all that stuff are off the forks drain the oil by removing the lower drain bolts. Pry the dust covers off the top of the fork lowers. Remove the lock ring with a lock ring plier, remove the allen bolt in the bottom of the fork lowers, and by pushing up the fork lower then yanking down on it like it was a slide hammer you should be able to pop the seal out and the upper fork bushing out. An allen bit in an impact driver will help if the allen bolt at the bottom of the lower just spins and doesn't want to unscrew.
Inspect your upper and lower bushings for wear and replace them if they show any significant wear. They aren't expensive so it's worth ordering two upper and two lower bushings to be on hand ahead of time. Most dealers don't stock them.
When installing the new seals be sure to lubricate the fork tubes with fork oil as well as the seal itself. Slide the dust seal up the fork tube, followed by the lock ring and big washer and lastly the fork seal. The seal should be placed on the fork tube with the side that has the writing facing upward. Replace the lower allen bolts.
To drive the seal and lock ring back into place I use a piece of 1 1/2" diameter ABS pipe. Cut it about 8-10" long then cut it lengthwise into two pieces. Put both pieces together around the fork tube and secure them with two or three hose clamps. You can then use the piece of pipe as a slide hammer to drive the seal into place as well as the snap ring.

Depending on the type of fork cap your bike has you can replace the oil by removing the valve in the fork cap and pumping in the proper amount of oil through that hole. If you have the solid caps you can fill the lowers before replacing the seal if once you have the lower allen bolt in place. I find it easier to put the oil in if you measure out the right amount and heat it fairly warm which will make it pour more easily and faster.

If you do a search on the forum this process has been documented better than I can describe here. Once you know what you are doing it really doesn't take long. Oregonwinger and I changed a friend's fork seals in under an hour a couple years ago. He did have the fender off which saved us a bit of time but it's not a difficult job. Just remember never to put the seal on the fork tube dry when sliding it on. Those seal lips are very delicate and can tear easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, sir. Coming from you, I know that's good info. I was able to get the seals re-seated using William's tip on making a faux Sealmate. So, if that holds up, I won't worry about a full rebuild until this winter. Still needs doing, since the forks are 14 years old and I don't know if the PO ever did it. And I don't like having a bad cap on it, just to avoid problems later on. Will definitely use an impact wrench when I do replace it. This forum always come through with good advice when I have a problem and I thank everybody.
 

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DickKelso - Don't call me sir, I had to work for a living.:)
 
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