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Fork Seals, 85 XJ700N, picture heavy

Discussion in 'XJ DIY How-To Instructions' started by tabaka45, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    The following are pictures of the process ofr changing fork seals on an 85 XJ700 N. This is a parts frame so no new parts were used. The intention was to simply show the process I used with lots of pictures since I'm a visual learner. I'm sure some of the pictures are unnecessary but more never hurts.

    The pictures you see are of my XJ700n parts bike and since this is just a demonstration the old parts, etc. were used so that’s why they look old and dirty. The numbers refer to the pictures.

    Put the bike on the center stand and place a support under the engine so the front wheel can be removed. Disconnect the speedometer cable. Remove the brake calipers and use some wire to hang them from the bike so that they are not hanging by the brake lines.


    1. Loosen the pinch nut and remove the front axle and remove the wheel.

    [​IMG]

    MODERATOR EDIT: Checking to see if we can insert new links for old photos. The above image is a placeholder.

    2. Be careful not to lose the spacer in the hub.
    [​IMG]

    3. Store the spacer and axle in wheel
    [​IMG]

    4. Pry off the cover for the top cap. Yours will probably have a metal covering over the rubber.
    [​IMG]

    5. The hex cap bolt
    [​IMG]

    6. Use the proper hex wrench or hex socket to loosen, but not remove, the cap bolt before removing the forks
    [​IMG]
    7. Remove the cross brace
    [​IMG]
    8. Remove the plastic caps on the lower pinch bolts
    [​IMG]
    9. Lower pinch bolts exposed
    [​IMG]
    10. Use proper hex wrench or hex socket to loosen, but not remove, the pinch bolts.
    [​IMG]
    11. Loosen, but not remove, the upper pinch bolt and slide the fork tube out. If the tubes have any surface rust now is a good time to clean that up to help prevent any damage to the oil and dust seals.
    [​IMG]
    12. Using the proper hex wrench or socket remove the cap bolt. Although not shown here, I keep downward pressure on the cap bolt and turn the tube to avoid damaging the fine threading in the tube.
    [​IMG]
    13. Remove the spacer
    [​IMG]
    14. Remove the spring washer
    [​IMG]
    15. Note the washer flange that goes into the spring
    [​IMG]
    16. Remove the spring.
    [​IMG]

    Now is a good time to pour out the old oil.


    17. Use a small screwdriver that gently go around the dust seal to pry it loose.
    [​IMG]
    18. Remove the dust seal. If the metal cap comes off the dust seal it can be cleaned and re-glued if you intend to reuse the dust seal.
    [​IMG]
    19. Locate one of the ends of the snap ring
    [​IMG]
    20. Starting at one end with a small screwdriver lift the snap ring out
    [​IMG]
    21. If your snap ring is rusty like this one you probably should replace it.
    [​IMG]
    22. You will need a 22m hex socket or an inverted spark plug socket and several extensions to secure the cylinder comp in order to remove the cylinder securing bolt.
    [​IMG]
    23. I bought this hex socket because my spark plug socket has a rubber insert for the spark plug and I didn’t want to remove it.
    [​IMG]
    24. The cylinder securing bolt you are trying to remove
    [​IMG]
    25. Insert the 22mm hex into the tube with your extensions and a ratchet, and use the proper hex wrench and ratchet on the cylinder securing bolt and remove it. It probably isn’t very tight.
    [​IMG]
    26. The cylinder securing bolt removed.
    [​IMG]
    27. be careful not to lose the washer on the cylinder securing bolt.
    [​IMG]
    28. Tilt the tube and the cylinder comp will slide out. I’m not sure what this is actually called but everywhere I looked it was referred to as the cylinder comp.
    [​IMG]
    29. Pick up the fork and slide the inner tube in and out and it will gently pull out the oil seal and bushings.
    [​IMG]
    30. Tilt the lower fork housing and the taper spindle should drop out.
    [​IMG]
    31. This shows the relationship of the cylinder comp and the taper spindle when installed. However, note that the taper spindle is inserted into the bottom of the inner tube rather than directly onto the cylinder comp.
    [​IMG]

    Now, clean everything and inspect and replace any damaged parts and reassemble. I found spray brake cleaner to do a great job. Buy two cans. Coat everything except the dust seal with a light coat of fork oil.


    32. Insert the taper spindle in the bottom of the inner tube.
    [​IMG]
    33. Taper spindle fully installed.
    [​IMG]
    34. Insert the cylinder comp. Use your hex and extension to push it through the bottom of the inner tube and the taper spindle.
    [​IMG]
    35. If the taper spindle comes out put it back on the cylinder comp.
    [​IMG]
    36. Correctly installed taper spindle
    [​IMG]
    37. Insert the inner tube with the cylinder comp and taper spindle installed into the lower fork housing. I used the hex socket and extensions to hold the cylinder comp in place and slowly pushed it all in to avoid have the taper spindle coming loose. Ignore the seal in the picture, it will be installed later.
    [​IMG]
    38. Insert the cylinder securing bolt and get it started by hand while using the hex socket and extensions to keep the cylinder comp in place.
    [​IMG]
    39. Once the cylinder securing bolt is started several turns by hand, use the appropriate hex wrench or hex socket to tighten it.
    [​IMG]
    40. Install the metal slide and washer. I coated the slide with some fork oil to help it seat. Be sure the washer is on before trying to seat the slide.
    [​IMG]
    41. My home made seal driver, a 1 ¼ pvc coupler and a section of 1 ½ schedule 40 pvc pipe
    [​IMG]
    42. Place the coupler on first and gently tap it with the pipe until it fully seats.
    [​IMG]
    43. A lousy picture of the fully seated slide and washer.
    [​IMG]
    44. Put fork oil on the new oil seal and use something like a thin plastic bag to protect it from any rust or imperfections on the tube and slide it on the tube. Once the seal is far enough down the tube remove the plastic, being sure to get it all out, and lower the seal.
    [​IMG]
    45. The oil seal in place before seating. Put fork oil around the edges.
    [​IMG]
    46. Use your handy-dandy seal driver to gently seat the seal.
    [​IMG]
    47. Fully seated seal. Note that you should be able to clearly see the groove for the snap ring.
    [​IMG]
    48. Install the snap ring making sure it seats in the groove.
    [​IMG]
    49. Slide the dust seal and cover onto the inner tube.
    [​IMG]
    50. Seat the dust seal and cover. Position the seal so that the drain slot in the metal cover is to the rear.
    [​IMG]
    51. Fully seated dust seal and cover.
    [​IMG]
    52. Insert the spring. The tighter section of the spring goes up.
    [​IMG]
    53. Insert the spring washer, flange down. Push the inner tube down to make it easier to install the washer
    [​IMG]
    54. Pull the inner tube up so that the spring and washer recede
    [​IMG]
    55. Install the spacer
    [​IMG]

    Now would be a good time to put in the proper amount of fork oil. Be sure to keep the inner tube pulled up or it will overflow.

    56. Using the proper hex wrench or hex socket install the cap bolt. I use slight downward pressure on the wrench and turn the tube so as not to damage the threads inside the tube.
    [​IMG]

    Re-install the forks and once the pinch bolts are tightened finish tightening the cap bolts.


    When re-installing the front wheel be sure to be sure that the retaining notch and tab match up as in pictures 57 and 58.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2017
    RumRunner, larbear, RPS and 1 other person like this.
  2. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    Nice writeup. One small note: loosening the upper clamp bolt first relieves pressure from the fork cap, allowing it to be loosened more easily.
     
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  3. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Good point. These weren't tight to begin with so they came out easily.
     
  4. chacal

    chacal Moderator Moderator Supporting Vendor Premium Member

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    Excellent work!
     
  5. XJ550H

    XJ550H Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    part list and exploded view with specs XJ 700N/NC
    Loc tite on the Damper rod securing screw
    partlist.PNG
    XJ700NXJ700NC.PNG
     
  6. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the parts list and diagram. It's a great addition to the post and I'm glad to finally know the real name of the damper rod. I saw a couple of diagrams and none of them had the correct part name.
     
  7. quebecois59

    quebecois59 Well-Known Member

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    Nice work, reminded me of recent work last year on my Seca900.
     
  8. Bigshankhank

    Bigshankhank Active Member

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    Excellent post, thank you for writing this up.
     
  9. Lokitruck

    Lokitruck Member

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    Great write up as i am probably going to be doing this soon. Is rebuilding xj650 forks the same as this?
     
  10. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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  11. Nuch

    Nuch Well-Known Member

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    Looking to do this between now and the spring... What would be the short list of new parts needed to get this done for the 85 XJ700N as described above?
     
  12. tabaka45

    tabaka45 Well-Known Member

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    Not much. In addition to the tools shown, you will need:
    1. quart of fork oil (10 weight for the xj700). I think it takes 12.95 oz. per side.
    2. oil seals
    3. dust seals if you want to replace them

    If you get a chance lift the dust seal and see if the retainer springs are in good shape and if not order them. But is would bet they are fine.

    You can get the pvc pipe and coupling at any hardware store. Loctite can be found at any autoparts store and probably the hardware store.

    After adding the oil I used a rod to measure the oil level and make sure that it was the same in both forks.

    I found this to be a very simple job and it made a real difference in my bike's handling since whoever did it last time apparently didn't put in enough oil.
     
  13. Dave Johnson

    Dave Johnson Member

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    Nice job. I recently completed this task, it went well except I forgot to put the dust seal covers on. Does anybody know if these serve an important purpose or are they just cosmetic? I'm eliminating most of the chrome on the bike, so if they aren't important, I'll leave them off. The seals seated fine without them.
     
  14. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    They are purely cosmetic.
     
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  15. Taku

    Taku Active Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to present this tutorial so nicely Tabaka. Well done.

    I just wanted to add a small tip;

    When you have the inner fork tubes off, roll them on a flat surface to see if they are true. Might as well while you are there. If they are slightly curved, they can be gently and carefully straightened out with a press.

    Thanks again for the great DIY and all the pictures for each step. The nice thing is that this is basically the same routine for many different bikes.
     
  16. chacal

    chacal Moderator Moderator Supporting Vendor Premium Member

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    This is a very important tip......fork tubes can be bent ever-so-slightly that is not visible to the naked eye.


    I would add to the above parts list:
    - rubber O-rings for the cap bolts
    - oil drain screw gaskets
    - crush washers for the damper rod retaining bolts, and, if the bolts got chewed up at all during removal, then replace those, too.
    - if it's an air-assisted fork, then replacement O-rings and/or valve stem cores for the air system
    - internal retaining rings for the cap bolts (on models that use them)
    - internal retaining rings for the oil seals
     
  17. RumRunner

    RumRunner New Member

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    great info. would love to know if anyone has a similar step by step for a 82 xj750 maxim
     
  18. k-moe

    k-moe Pie, Bacon, Bourbon. Moderator Premium Member

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    The forks aren't much different. Mainly it's just that yours have air collars on the top.
    This link is for the 750 Seca. Just ignore the parts pertaining to the anti-dive.
     
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  19. RumRunner

    RumRunner New Member

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    thank you, k-moe
     
  20. apignoli

    apignoli New Member

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    I have an 85 xj700 maxim and the forks got bent in an accident when I let my buddy take it to work . I am from philly pa and I want to find a new set of forks and the entire front end includint the front rim , and handle bar. does anyone know where AND FOR WHAT PRICE. also if by chance my frame was bent is it repairable or can I ride it if its slightly bent. I want to get my bike fixed ASAP I need advice
     

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