Monday, October 2, 2017


Insert bolt in a vise
Push then pull hard on the shock until...

the Oil seal comes out.
This is for a 1981 Yamaha sr185 Exciter motorcycle shock. Yamaha made a slide hammer for this procedure but the vise method works good too. Of course, remove the circlip first and drain the old fork oil out because when the oil seal finally comes out it will pour everything onto the floor.. and use a piece of wood or the old oil seal to seat the new seal instead of something like a wrench which can mar the shock and cause one of the low tolerance sleeves to catch on any burrs. Add 6.3 oz 10w fork oil. etc. etc.  reinstall.
I love how everything is easy to work on with the exciter. They made an owner friendly vehicle. If I can find the part then I can do the work. It's the only bike a person would need for a city or town.

Update 9/18: The left side oil seal lasted only 1 year. It started leaking badly so I had no choice but replace it. I did take the fork off once and measured the oil and thought maybe it was overfull because there was around 7+oz but putting in exactly 6.2oz did not change the leaking. The original oil seals (which I saved because I'm a hoarder) were not actually leaking when I replaced them but the removal process had damaged them so I had to buy another oil seal. I found an OEM fork seal. I'm also a year older and the damage has been done to more than just the oil seal so the push and pull method was jarring my arthritic spine and causes too much pain so I pondered how else I could do this and decided to try a chain+come along/chain binder that we have in the shop. It's hard to describe and I didn't get a picture of it. I don't recommend this method but the slide hammer fork tool Yamaha describes is not something most people have, so you clamp the retaining bolt head in a vise, then put the front axle bolt in the fork, then wrap a chain around the axle bolt and use a chain binder affixed to some unmovable source (in my case it was the steel frame of the building) then bind the chain and torque it together. The worst case scenario would have the steel frame fall apart...the second worst scenario would bend the axle bolt...and the third worst scenario would have so much tension build up on the fork part that either the bolt threads strip out or the bolt slips away from the vise projecting it into your knee or else the two parts spring apart and hit you with violence and pain and spraying fork oil everywhere. In my case, the best case scenario happened, the two parts gradually separated and did not spring apart but simply slipped so that I could catch them. Then I took great care in pressing in the new seal with an old seal as a drift and a rubber mallet and curved wrench as another drift. This works to avoid marring any surface and I hammer in a circle until the new seal was below the channel for the Cir-clip. I hope this will solve the leaking and it's not some awful problem with the fork surface itself that prevents the seal from working. The surface does not look worn but one never knows.)
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.