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Offline Wsl346

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Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« on: May 29, 2016, 06:29:44 PM »
Good afternoon all. Hope everyone is having a great weekend, and too all my fellow Americans, happy memorial weekend. If anyone has friends or family who fought for our country but never made it back home, my heart goes out to you.

Anyways, lets dig into the topic at hand. I was in my garage this weekend when I noticed there was a dark spot on the concrete below my left fork. It turned out I had a leaking fork seal. I cleaned the stanchion up and went out for a ride to see how bad it was. Lo and behold, when I returned home, the leak appeared to be significant.





I called up the only BMW shop in town and they quoted me $450 USD for both forks. They stated that they would have to replace both seals as a set, and refused to only do one. Im of the mind that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, so I decided to go my own way and do the repair myself. Fortunately, I have experience replacing my dirt bike's fork seals and have all the speciality tools needed so this repair should be a breeze.

The only hurdle I can foresee is the fact that the left fork has all the electronics in it, but only time will tell...
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 06:31:51 PM by Wsl346 »

Offline Wsl346

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 06:52:46 PM »
Step 1: You will need to raise your wheel up off the ground using a stand that doesn't use the forks. I happen to have a triple tree stand, but if you don't you could use ratchet straps to hang the bike off the ground. Also, if you have fork sliders, they will need to be removed.



Step 2: Remove the front fender (wheel cover). It is attached to the forks with 4 torx screws, 2 on each side.



Step 3: Remove both front brake calipers to be able to remove the front wheel. Each are secured by 2 13mm bolts. Ensure you hang the calipers so that there is not tension on the brake lines. I used bungee cords.



Step 4: Loosen up the right fork pinch bolts (Torx T45). They do not need to be fully removed, just enough so that they can be spun by hand. Do not loosen up the left fork pinch bolts yet as they hold the axel threads in place. If you loosen them up prematurely, your axel will spin in place and not spin out of the threads.



Step 5: Remove the from axel. I have a universal axel removed that I purchased from a local motorcycle shop (cycle gear if you're in the states). Once removed, set the axel on a clean surface and preferably cover it up to ensure dust does not settle on the grease.




Step 6: Now you can loosen up the left fork pinch bolts and remove the spacer from the fork. As with the axel, place the spacer on a clear surface and cover to protect form dust.




Step 7: Unscrew the ABS sensor from the mounting points on the fork (torx) and hang it with your caliper. If you notice, my ABS sensor is a bit scuffed. That is another story, but to summarize, always makes sure the spacer is properly seated before you re-install your wheel.  :232:



At this point, all items needed to be removed from the bottom portion of your forks have been removed.

Offline SimonUK

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Offline Wsl346

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 06:58:52 PM »
*Originally Posted by SimonUK [+]


Thanks for the links simon. Looks like i'm not the only one with this issue, though it seems i'm the first to report a blown seal on the left fork. By the way, i should mention my bike only has 5,500 miles on it. I was a bit surprised to have a blown seal this early as I'm anal about keeping my bike clean.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 07:03:16 PM by Wsl346 »

Offline Wsl346

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 07:57:26 PM »
Now we'll move on to the top half of the disassembly process. Before we begin, I noticed that my left fork dust seal was slightly protruding from the fork. Kinda weird that this happened, but it could explain why my seal started leaking if this allowed particulate to get to the oil seal.



Step 8: You will need to remove both the left and right fairings from the headlight housing (Torx). As you can see in the picture, the fairing is in the way of the bottom bracket on the triple tree.



Step 9: The reason you need to remove both fairings on the headlight housing is due to the fact that the headlight housing cover will need to be removed. It is possible you may be able to skip this step, but my 1/2 inch torx sockets were too thick to pass by the cover to reach the lower triple tree bracket bolts.. There are three torx screws holding the cover, as well as the three torx screws holding the wind screen on. Once removed, the cover will slip right off.



Step 10: The left side main fairing will need to be removed to access the wire connected to the left fork (torx).



Step 11: The middle connector is what leads to your fork. Simply press the tab on the bottom and remove the clip. Once the clip is removed, you can slide the connector up to free it from the bracket.





Step 12: Remove the two rubber straps and cut the two zip ties holding together the cable loom that the fork cable is apart of. BMW has conveniently installed two zip tie brackets for easy install. I thought that was a nice touch.





Step 13: You can now pull the fork cable away from the bike.



Step 14: Remove the fork cable cap by loosening up the torx screw. This is necessary as the cable protrudes past the upper triple tree bracket.



All items needed to be uninstalled to remove the fork have now been removed.

Offline Wsl346

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2016, 08:06:43 PM »
On to the home stretch...

Step 15: Loosen up the two torx bolts on the bottom bracket of the triple tree. They don't need to be fully removed. Just enough so that they spin freely. Loosen up the torx bolt on the upper triple tree bracket in the same fashion as the lower bracket.




Step 16: Slowly slide the fork out of the brackets. It should not take much force. If you are feeling resistance, ensure the bracket bolts are fully loose.



Step 17: Throughly clean the fork so that no contaminants make it into the internals during separation.

Step 18: Slide the dust cover back and throughly inspect the stanchion for signs of wear. You'll want to do another inspection once you separate the stanchion from the fork tube. As you can see, I accidentally scuffed the bottom of the fork tube when removing the dust seal. I'd recommend using a plastic tool, and not a screw driver.  :110:




Offline Wsl346

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2016, 08:09:15 PM »
And that's all for now boy and girls. Now i've got to order new seals. Once they come in, I'll continue this thread.

I brought her inside for safe keeping. Hopefully my girlfriend isn't too mad when she gets home to find a motorcycle fork sitting on the kitchen counter.


Offline Swampwhore

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2016, 08:12:45 PM »
Thanks for taking the time to document this for us!
Twist the right grip until you see G*d....then back off...just a little bit.

Offline Wsl346

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2016, 08:18:09 PM »
*Originally Posted by Swampwhore [+]
Thanks for taking the time to document this for us!

No problem. When I first started dabbling in shade tree motorcycle repair, having visual how-to guides was invaluable. I feel it is my duty to return the favor.

Offline SimonUK

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Re: Blown Fork Seal Repair - [How To]
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2016, 08:49:26 PM »
Great write up Wsl!!

I wonder if Admin could give us an area to put 'How to' files (pdf, ect). I have a write up to install HID Lo and Hi beam, maybe you could create one for this?!?  :037: :037:

 


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