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I want to change the fork oil in my 2004 Vegas and by the service manual it looks like the only way to do it is remove the forks and dump it out. I see no drain screws. What the hell kind of design is that?? Am I wrong here? Is there drain screws above the axle at the bottom of the forks? I'm doing an engine oil change this weekend and thought I would do the forks also.
 

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They are designed to be gone through every 15k miles but a lot of people go much longer at the expense of their front suspension. Yes. It's a pain in the butt and takes a few special tools like a spring compressor and a seal setter. I think I paid around $150 for what I needed plus new seal kit and Amsoil 5wt. You could go 10wt to stiffen up the front forks but it might not be the ride you're looking for.

I'll probably go 20k between rebuilds because it is a bit of a job. I wouldn't just change the oil because once it's apart the seals won't settle back in to where they were and will likely start leaking or seeping fairly soon.

The cool thing is once you have the tools you don't have to buy them again obviously and you might be able to help a friend some time who is willing to donate to the tool fund. The tools do pay for themselves the very first time you use them as compared to taking it to a shop to be done or even just taking the forks off and take them down to be done which is definitely an option if you don't want to fuss with with but want to save a few pesos.

JMHO, YMMV, FWIW, Peace Out. :D
 

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That's a really good suggestion. I wonder how much they'd knock off the job if I brought them in that way?
My local dealership quoted me 1.5 hours labor plus parts/oil.

Depending on what you are buying the parts for; you need to be careful because the book said I needed 2 sets of the seals at $100 each for a KP but in reality the kit comes with 2 sets so you only need 1 set. You can also buy aftermarket seal kits that don't have the hardware/bushings that hardly ever wear out; just the actual seals.

On the X bikes the book words it differently and the price is significantly lower. Why, I don't know, because they are the same forks on the KP and X bikes. Could be because I was buying for an 04 KP and the newer ones have upgraded kits or something.

Basically it would have cost me $300 to let the shop do it if I brought the forks in. Subtract $50 for an X bike.

I elected to learn how to do it myself, buy the tools, found the seal kits from Victory for a discounted price of $75, and using Amsoil 5 wt (takes a little over a quart so you have to buy 2 quarts) at $50 for 2 quarts delivered. Cost: about $275.

I am a few bucks ahead on the first fork oil change but the next one will only cost me about $100 if I use the Vic parts plus 1 quart of oil since I still have plenty left and about $50 if I use aftermarket seals.

It's easy to see the long term savings once the tools are paid for and they pay for themselves on the first use. It's not rocket surgery. The book lays it out well. The first time is always a little time consuming but after that it goes quickly. I know because I put a seal in upside down on my first try and had to go back in to fix it. Went way quicker the 2nd time after I got done being mad at myself for putting it in upside down. ;)
 

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My local dealership quoted me 1.5 hours labor plus parts/oil.
Thanks for all the info B. thumb up

I was wondering how many times it would take to recoup the cost of the tooling, but if it's the very first time, that certainly makes doing it oneself more appealing.
 

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With the forks on or off the bike?
I rode in, went for a little lunch came back, shot the crap with the guys who work in the parts department for about 30 mins. And next thing you know guy comes and says it's done.

By the way I highly recommend 10w fork oil. After PMing Kevin X for a possible fork spring change he said "Go with a little heavier oil first. Victory vegas has a pretty good spring rate from the factory" And boy...was he right.

Now I have no problem keeping up with fishslpr on his XR. dance 1 :D
 

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I suck my forks dry with a vacuum pump (my brake bleeding kit works great) and a long piece of tubing... then I refill with the same amount of fork oil.

Don't mess with the seals unless they leak... "If'n it ain't broke, don't fix it!" has always been my motto.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I suck my forks dry with a vacuum pump (my brake bleeding kit works great) and a long piece of tubing... then I refill with the same amount of fork oil.

Don't mess with the seals unless they leak... "If'n it ain't broke, don't fix it!" has always been my motto.
I wondered it one of these wouldn't work.
 

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fork oil plus.

When changing the fork oil on my Triumph(right side up forks) use to have to take the forks off the bike. Now I did think of using a vacuum pump and using it to vacuum out the oil dirty oil, but I figured I might get more of the dirty oil out by dumping them out and then rinsing them out again. I know this is more work and it is a coin toss if you really get anymore dirt out,but I figured it could not hurt. I would also then do the steering stem bearings. I would repack the bearing with synthetic grease and reassemble. Now the Triumph I had ran the small ball bearings almost like on a bicycle so after the second time I did it I went ahead and put some roller tapered bearings and races from "All Balls" (if I remembered the name correctly) into the steering stem. It was hard to believe but they were worn and grooving the races pretty bad. Now that bike I could not pull the front wheel off the ground but I did rack the miles up on it commuting to work. The roller tapered bearings did seem to make the steering feel a tad tighter on the steering effort, but you adapt to it easily.---Sorry long winded again. Point is it can be a good time to do the steering stem bearings when doing the forks.:crzy:
 

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I suck my forks dry with a vacuum pump (my brake bleeding kit works great) and a long piece of tubing... then I refill with the same amount of fork oil.

Don't mess with the seals unless they leak... "If'n it ain't broke, don't fix it!" has always been my motto.
If you do it this way you will only change about 2/3rds of the oil. You need to pump the cartridge to get out the rest. Can't do that without pulling the forks apart. You also do not get the opportunity to inspect and clean the internal parts.

If you did this every 10k miles or so; it would probably be ok. I would not do it this way more than once though. I can understand someone wanting to get it done but not having the money needed to do the entire job.

Some people never change their fork oil until they develop a leak. The oil gets to the consistency of water after a while. When they finally do change the oil; the ride difference is night and day.
 

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Some people never change their fork oil until they develop a leak. The oil gets to the consistency of water after a while. When they finally do change the oil; the ride difference is night and day.
+1thumb up
Previous owner said mine done a 15k. I did it at 30k, shop asked if ever done before it was so bad. Can't believe how much better ride is. Will upgrade cartridges recommended in another thread next round. Used Vic fork oil what ever weight that is. Also had seals replaced on both, one fork was leaking.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Changed the fork oil today and put on new seals. I went with the 7w oil and it rides very nice!! Easy job and now that I've done it next time it will be a snap.
The best part of doing it yourself is now I know my bike even better.
 

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cartridges?

i would think the standard forks use damper rods, asked at a dealer test ride, i do not think the salesman had a clue!! the inverted-USD forks usually use cartridges hence better performance. conventional forks can be cartridges as well but not usually. hxxxxx used cartridges in early model sportster sport forks as well as the FXDX dyna, bikes sold poorly because they were not shiny enough, old car saying if it don't go CHROME IT!!! i would also agree unless seals are leaking why replace them
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Seals were leaking.
 

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how to video. Now if your seals are not leaking you could pull screw out of bottom of fork and cap off up on top and let drain over night/
Put screw in bottom and fill tubes with out even taking them off bike.

 

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what screw

like many cost saving eliminations in production few forks have the drain screws earlier models had, "hint" prolly do not like loosing big profits from overcharging for simple services!!! cars are similar with no drain or dipsticks where they used to be!! gotta love fuel pumps that require dropping the tank, my 01 jetta you just lifter rear seat + rug 3 screws in cover, one for the germans
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes the fork oil change is nothing if that's all you're doing seals add a little more work but not much.
 
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