Honda Shadow Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My front fork seals are starting to leak. Is the a fairly easy job to do? I was thinking of upgrading to Progressive front springs, or would switching to a heavier oil (say 15 wt) help stiffen the front?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
You might try seal mate to stop the leak and save you a ton of work. Progressive springs is the way to go instead of heavier weight oil. Click here for the latest post on fork seals. Basically if you're able to remove the pesky bolt, replacing oil seals is a reasonably easy project.

284547
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
+1 for RONW's post and link to the last good post fo the Whole job...
And congrats to him for his great graphic illustration of the "Pesky Bolt"!

Actually, there's a quick 15 minuite test to determine if one can do the job themselves.
I one can lift the front of the bike up, remove the front wheel, break the pesky bolt(s) loose, and then re-torque em to spec(14ftlbs I think) - in 15minutes! - then one can most likely do the whole job themselves!
If not, dont even think about dooin the job yourself...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,039 Posts
Personally I concur with @KaBob . I don't know about the 15 minute part, but if you have the ability and the proper tools to raise the front of your bike off the ground and remove the front tire and fork assembly safely then you can do the job. It's fairly simple and straight forward and there are a number of threads on here detailing how-to, just don't use mine. I was drinkin'...o_O. It's most definitely a plus if you have shop air available or at least a good battery powered impact gun. A torque wrench for assembly is nice too. I'm not a believer in heavier or lighter or different oils. Just use what Honda recommends. I've never used progressive springs on a street bike, Never felt the need. I do recommend replacing the bushings when doing your seals, they're not that expensive and you are already there, so why not. I'm also firm believer of genuine Honda replacement parts, and only because aftermarket parts have never been superior. It only takes about a six-pack of beer... I mean a couple of hours and a clean work space. Do one, then the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
I believe the '15-minute' part is the piss test. The job itself takes a few minutes longer. I don't like screwing around with fork oils either. Experimenting I guess. To simplify things, I use an impact screwgun to remove the fork bolt. It's just that I make it a point to torque the socket bolt back to specs and that's always a snag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Well, I didn't mean 15min for the job or even removing the forks from the triple tree & fender.
Just simply, as a quick test, lift the front end off the ground, remove the front wheel - and then, the first and only thing - with an extended hex bolt attachment on a ratchet or breaker bar - reach up into the fork and break those pesky bolts loose! That's the first thing (and the test) - just break those bottom bolts loose while the forks and all are still (untouched) and firmly attached! They (the PeskyBolts) should and most probably will pop right loose with hand tools!
And havin the fork assembly and all still attached in the tree and to fender helps keep the fork(both top and bottom) firmly secured so the bolt pops loose most easily...
So , if ya cant get those pesky bolts popped loose first thing, right away - don't go any farther! Get help or take to a pro... And just that simple "Test" start of the job really shouldn't take 15 minutes or so...

I included re -torqueing back up to spec in the test, (1) just to insure/confirn that the bolts will indeed torque back up to spec quite easily while clamped in position - and (2) to emphasize that these bolts most definitely NEED to torqued to specification for your own personal Saftey!!!

Anyone considering this job themselves might try this little "TEST" before even ordering parts - should only take ~15minute to learn if the job's for you...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Yep, 15 minutes is just the "Test" to see if ya wanta do it your self.
And with info Ron & Chief has supplied (Use only OEM Parts), along with the refed previous post, it aint a tuff job at all. But it is a messy job! Took me 2 days the first time I did it, 1 day for dissassemply, inspection & cleaning - a second for assembly, installation on bike and final torque on all. Keep a drain pan handy, and disassemble/work on the fork in a 5 gal bucket! Dont wear any good clothes...

Per torque on assembly, i've never had a problem. If all is just snugged up well on preassembly before putting back on the bike - the final toque (which is only 14ftlbs) can be done after all has been secured back on the bike and has always be easy, no problem ...
I did use BelRay 15Wt fork oil on mine, it did take a lotta of the front end dive out the bike when using the front brake, and still ride smoothly - but totally optional - and Wow, your gonna really like and notice the difference with nice, new seals, oil and completely filled forks! Feels like a new scoot again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Good point! Seals do have a top (dry) side and bottom(wet) side - the OEM Honda package that the new seals come in have instructions included it the package - Instructs are clear, follow them...

While maybe a little off topic, the importance always touqueing critical components is critical! We pay thousands for our scoots, the minimal and practically insignificant cost of a torque wrench for maintenance and safety on our scoots is definitely worth it!
One doesn't need to spend a small fortune for a reliable torque wrench...
Here's a simple vid on how to calibrate a torque wrench with $5 luggage scale:

I think the vid is great! I have squired a few TW's of over the yrs, and after learning how to calibrated em my cheap ones are just as reliable as the WayOverPriced ones - and am totally confident using em.
Hey, loosing or twistin off a bolt will totally ruin your day! (perhaps your Life!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
Several bolts on the bike are torque-to-yield fasteners and aren't suppose to be reused, but we all do it despite, and a torque wrench is definitely handy on those. Another minor point is always store the torque wretch reset back to zero.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to everyone, especially RONW and KaBob, for your adivce. I made a seal mate thingie with some left over clear plastic and IT WORKED!!! I no longer have a thick oil film on my fork tube. Still, with 38K miles on my Shadow I should practice some preventive maintenance and do the whole front end. I like the idea of test removing the pesky bolt while the forks are still attached to the triple tree. My Honda service manual doesn't even mention using a special tool. It recommends "if the fork piston turns with the socket bolt, temporarily install the fork spring, spacer and fork cap".

So, when I was violently mashing the front fork to test my DIY seal mate job it looked like the front suspension was really soft. Is this normal? If I wanted to stiffen the front end a bit would using a heavier weight oil work? How about making a homemade spacer that's a little longer? Instead of trying those should I just get Progressive springs?

Thanks again. This forum is the best!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
My Honda service manual doesn't even mention using a special tool. It recommends "if the fork piston turns with the socket bolt, temporarily install the fork spring, spacer and fork cap".

A forum member informed me that some fork pistons don't have the recess for the special tool (green, below).


284601
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
433 Posts
Glad the home made Sealmate worked! I did the same - it worked too - for about a yr. - then came back with a vengance, and had oil runnin down the back a the fork & front brake disk... Ya oughta be good for while...

Per the forks being overly soft now - its probably due to being low on oil from loss per aging seals (mine was gettin really soft & gushy too before redooin the seals.
I went up the 15wt oil(BelRay) - and dont really notice signiifigant diff, definitely not too stiff, maybe a bit less front end dive - Amazon gives it 86% 5Star reviews! & good price + free shipping - works for me...

Per your comment "I like the idea of test "removing" the pesky bolt while the forks are still attached to the triple tree. "
Carefull there, Just "Break" em loose (and final torque em) while in tree - if ya totally remove em oil will flow out all over, and/or, if dont snug em in on assembly they can't be filled per runnin out the bottom...

But glad ya had a success with a Sealmate...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,671 Posts
In the event the pesky bolt does not break loose such as one on my spirit. One these will still remove the seal. You have to be very careful not to damage the top of the tube prying the seal out by putting something between the puller and the top of the tube.


Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
A forum member informed me that some fork pistons don't have the recess for the special tool (green, below).


View attachment 284601
Isn't that green area the recess? I have a tool made of an upside down bolt welded to a T-handle. The nut sits into that recess. The other way is use a bolt which fits in the recess double nutted on the end so that they won't turn. Use a long extension and a socket and put over the double nut and hold it while braking the end screw loose. I like the idea of loosen it while in the forks. If that doesn't work I do what I mentioned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,039 Posts
Good to hear back from the OP. I've used those "sealmate" products as well as homemade fixes and as @KaBob mentioned above, it was a temporary fix at best. One those seals start to weep, it's time to get ready to change them out. When doing so, I also highly recommend getting some 00 steel wool or something similar to buff and polish your forks before putting everything back together. I had to re-do a seal project because of minor nicks on my forks. Smoothing and buffing them out really helps the new seals. That, and booze..... lot's of booze....!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,001 Posts
Isn't that green area the recess?

Affirmative. However the main point was that some Shadow forks don't have the recess. I suspect those forks don't have a problem removing the pesky bolt. Those that do have the issue, have the recess in the fork piston head.

And true, you could use a bolt instead of two nuts for the diy tool. A bolt though needs to be welded to the end of an all thread rod or joined to the all thread rod via a threaded coupler. Just which is easier.

284628
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Affirmative. However the main point was that some Shadow forks don't have the recess. I suspect those forks don't have a problem removing the pesky bolt. Those that do have the issue, have the recess in the fork piston head.

And true, you could use a bolt instead of two nuts for the diy tool. A bolt though needs to be welded to the end of an all thread rod or joined to the all thread rod via a threaded coupler. Just which is easier.

View attachment 284628
That was a great tip about loosening the bolt first before removing the forks from the bike, especially for those without the recess. Thanks for letting us know about the recess not on some.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top