How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6) - Yamaha R6 Forum: YZF-R6 Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

NOTE! I am posting this INCOMPLETE writeup for a member that is waiting and needs help. It has not been finished or proof read, but I am hella tired and am going to bed. I'll try to finish it tomorrow. So far I have covered the fork dissasembly. [/disclaimer]


I write this guide to be used in addition to the factory manual. I am going to do my best to walk you through replacing the fork seals on the 03-04 R6 with non-inverted shocks (I believe the 1st gens have the same type). The techniques used will apply to many other bike models as well.

Parts and tools needed: new seals, 1L of fork oil (I used Maxima 5w race fork oil), and new copper washers (factory recommended). Tools include a metric socket set, metric allan wrenches, adjustable crescent wrench, impact wrench with long 10mm hex drive**(a word on that later), ruler or tape measure, measuring cup with mL markings. Thats all I can remember for now.

The first step is to get your forks off the bike. My recommendation is to remove the fairings and front clip for easy access to the forks (the front clip is heald on by two bolts after you've disconnected the intake tubes and electrical connections). You will need to lift the front wheel off the ground to get to the forks off. There are several ways of doing this: triple tree/head lift (preferred!), floor jack under headers, or hoist from ceiling rafters. Which ever way you use, I HIGHLY recommend, nay insist that a rear stand be used to steady the bike for safe maintenance.

Once the bike is lifted, remove the front tire (you may want to loosen the nut before you lift) and brake calipers and lines. Use some string and tie the brakes out of the way. Then start loosening the clip-ons and Triple tree clams. The fork should slide out, but you may have to wiggle and twist it a bit. Mark the forks so you know what goes where. Consult the factory manual for any additional help.
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Now that the forks are out, make yourself a good CLEAN work area. I used two plastic bins to keep the individual forks parts separate - there is no good reason to mix parts between forks. Youll need a bucket to catch the old fork oil, and youll want some rags to clean up the mess because it just keeps coming. You may want to keep some degreaser handy as well. Remember to keep the parts clean - grit and grime are the enemy!

I suggest working on one shock at a time so if you have to back track, you can look at the other one and see how it is supposed to be.

Now its time to get dirty! You will need a buddy (or carefully use a vice) to do this next step. You will need to loosen the adjustment assembly at the top of the fork. To do this, take an adjustable crescent wrench and spin off the assembly (not the blue part, the whole assembly). You will probably need an extra set of hands to hold the inner fork tube as you loosen. When it unthreads, it should push out as the spring releases pressure. Now go ahead and drain the fork oil. You will see that the adjustment assembly is connected to the damper rod assembly which moves up and down - pump it back and forth to drain the oil.
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Once the oil is drained, you can loosen the lock nut that holds the adjustment assembly. Set it aside. There will be a spring, washers, and a thin rod that should be able to slide off/out - remove them and set them aside. I am not going to try to remember the order that everything goes back on - thats what the manual is for. Remember to keep everything together in a clean plastic bin or the like.

Now you will need to remove the dust boot - carefully pry it out with a flat blade screw driver. Next is a retaining spring/clip. Again carefully pry it out with a screw driver. Dont scratch the inner tube!

Now comes the fun part. We need to remove the damper rod assembly in order to pull the old fork seals out. To do this we need to remove a 10mm hex bolt at the base of the fork. The manual calls for a special tool to hold the damper rod assembly so it does not spin freely while the bolt is loosened. We can get around that using an impact wrench. To start off, you will need a 4-5" long 10mm hex drive socket to loosen the bolt. I didnt have one so I used a chop saw to cut the shaft off a 10mm allan wrench, then used a normal 10mm socket to adapt it to the impact wrench.
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Now you will need to set the outer fork tube in a vice (wrap it in a blanket to prevent scratches). Have someone pull outward on the damper shaft as you use the impact wrench to loosen the 10mm bolt. I was surprised how easily this works. Once loose the damper rod assembly will slide right out.

Now you can separate the inner an outer tubes. Just take and push the tubes together, then pull outward. Do this until it rams its way out. Thats it, the fork is disassembled and ready to be rebuilt.
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Pull the old seals off and replace them with the new ones.
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ADD: I did this write up a year ago and did not finish showing how to re assemble the tubes. It is fairly straight forward as shown by the manual and done in reverse of how you took it apart. The only tricky part is installing the upper seal. I used a 1-1/2" thin wall piece of PVC about 2ft long(shown in the last pic) as a ram to press the seal in. I used a mallet to beat on the PVC pipe to drive the seal in. Works like a charm. Just make sure the PVC is cut perfectly level.

Alabama to Alaska pics here:
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Last edited by Luckyedboy66; 03-27-2012 at 07:38 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2012, 04:18 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

ok so i realize this an old thread, but does the damper rod bolt just need to be loose, cause ive been turning that damn thing all day wanting it to come out like a normal bolt. Its been awhile since ive changed seals in anything.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

Sorry for the late response. To remove the damper rod you need an impact gun because there is no way to keep the damper from spinning inside the fork tube. Kind of like trying to loosen a nut and bolt but not being able to hold the nut. The speed and impact of the impact gun pops it loose really fast. If you have managed to get it loosened, you can try to push or pull (as I suggested in the write up) on the damper rod to give some friction.

Alternatively, you can try to make a holder tool out of a piece of pipe and dremmel to hold it. if you look into the tube, you can see there are notches on the top of the damper. If you can make something to fit the notches, you may be able get it off without the impact. Hope this helps.

Alabama to Alaska pics here:
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 07:37 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

completely forgot to update. i dont have an inpact gun, i have a hand one to use with a hammer. but no hex bit socket long enough. so i broke the bolt loose with a allen key, wrench and a hammer, and made a holder out of pvc pipe with a hacksaw. tried to upload a pic but im getting a script error. but whoever changed them before used loctite on those bolts, i could see the residue. Pain in the ass.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 02:00 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

no yamaha used loctite. mine were that way too and I bought mine brand new.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 02:05 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue03r6 View Post
no yamaha used loctite. mine were that way too and I bought mine brand new.
oooh...interesting.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joekool4 View Post
completely forgot to update. i dont have an inpact gun, i have a hand one to use with a hammer. but no hex bit socket long enough. so i broke the bolt loose with a allen key, wrench and a hammer, and made a holder out of pvc pipe with a hacksaw. tried to upload a pic but im getting a script error. but whoever changed them before used loctite on those bolts, i could see the residue. Pain in the ass.
Nice! I thought about doing that, but at the time I didn't know what was necessary to do it

Alabama to Alaska pics here:
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-19-2013, 02:06 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

This is a brilliant post, got my forks to bits in a trice with this 'how to'....thanks. Only small point is that given the fork stanchions are 43mm in diameter a 1i/2 inch pipe is not going to slide over them. I am still working on how to reinstall the oil seals, I have bought a 11/2 pipe straight connector and hoping to use this and tap it all the way round till the seals get down in position. The impact gun trick worked well, thing is its easier to loosen off the bottom socket before undoing the bits at the top of the stanchion.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 03:43 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

Same issue as lucky boy, solved by stuffing a dozen or so thick zip ties into the fork tube to prevent it from spinning.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 01:08 PM
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Re: How to replace fork seals (03-04 R6)

Sub. Doing soon.
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