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Dear Sir

I have a 1996 Gas Gas, i have not had it long, one of the front fork seals is leaking, im looking for a little advice on how i go about changing it the correct way, are there any do's and dont's?. My Front brakes have stopped working as well, can the front fork leak in any way affect my front brakes?

Thanking you in Advance



The front brake pads are probably soaked in brake fluid, which is why the brakes have stopped "stopping". After you replace the fork seal, you'll want to clean the brake disc with contact cleaner and replace the pads. I'm assumimg you have some experience with changing seals. If not, it's a very good idea to have someone who has the knowledge to show you the first time. I can, however, give you a couple of hints that may assist you.

The 96' is fairly easy to work on as far as changing the fork seals is concerned and it's design is straightforward. The seal comes off with the top collar of the leg, so you don't need to totally disassemble the fork unless you want to clean and inspect the insides (but this is always a good idea). You'll want to get some o-ring grease to lube the seal for an easier installation. O-ring grease is very handy as o-rings are plentiful on a bike. Pack some between the two lips on the inside of the seal as well as the sealing surfaces. When disassembling the top collar of the fork leg (you'll need a pin spanner wrench, a strap wrench or wrap a lot of duct tape and use channel locks with taped jaws), a little heat from a propane torch will make it break loose easier (not while using tape, however). Inspect the o-ring inside the collar and be sure to lube it when putting everything back together. In order to slide the collar back on the tube you have to be extra careful not to damage the seal lips. Cut a large corner off a plastic sandwich bag (like a paper hat) and put it on the top of the tube and wiggle the collar slightly when sliding it back down. This will allow the collar to slip on to the tube and not damage the seal lips.

The seal has a spring inside to provide tension. Remove the spring and upon close inspection, you'll notice that the ends thread into each other. Unscrew the ends and cut about 3/8th inch off the female end, then screw the ends together. This will provide better sealing at the cost of some added fork stiction, which most riders won't notice. Each fork leg takes 300cc's of oil.

Hope this helps.


Professional tuner and 'Trials Competition' writer Jon Stoodley has very kindly stepped up to the plate to answer your questions. If you're having problems, or need some advice just send an email to Jon. If it's something that could be useful to others, we'll post it on the site.
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