1. Guest,
    We need good tech writers that are willing to help out here at ZL-OA. If you like taking photos of jobs as you perform the steps on your repairs, have historical ads/documents from old magazines, or any else you think belongs in the Technical Library than you might be able to help. Send a private message to Furchin, Mudrunner88, Chris, Jarney, Wuputt, or Markus56 and we can lead you in the right direction to get started.
    Dismiss Notice

Fork oil capacity

macaw Aug 25, 2010

  1. macaw

    macaw Active Member

    6
    0
    36
    Hi all
    Wonder if any of you ZL'ers can help ?

    I've got ZL600 B 1996
    had to renew the fork seals and replace fork oil.

    Problem I have is finding out how much oil is needed as the forks were changed for the B models.

    I found that A models used 308ml dry, contact a stealership and they said 308ml dry as well for the B model, so that's what I put in.

    Now what's happening is the new fork seals are weeping a very little amount of oil and it's not getting any better as time goes on (seals bedding in) I'm thinking it might be to much oil.
    Forks work and feel fine.
    So please does anyone know exactly how much oil should be in them.

    Regards macaw in the UK.
     
  2. golddrakul

    golddrakul Senior Member

    May not be the amount of oil, could be bad seals. There is a member on the site that had a similar issue using Pyramid seals from eBay; replaced them with stock Kawasaki seals and the leak went away. What brand of seal did you install??
     
  3. furchin

    furchin ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

    2,115
    61
    143
    +1 on the seals. I used after market seals on my 600 and on one of my voyagers and they leak. Buy OEM
     
  4. Koz

    Koz Supporting Member

    152
    0
    51
    +1 on using OEM seals, I've never had a problem with fit or quality. I'm not real familiar with the capacity on your forks but most fill levels are checked by fill distance from the top of the tube and should fall within 2mm. i.e. the distance level on a 900 fork is 362mm +/-2mm without the spring. I usually fill it slightly above the mark and use a syringe type device on a measured tube to remove excess oil.
     
  5. golddrakul

    golddrakul Senior Member

    Do you remember the brand??
     
  6. macaw

    macaw Active Member

    6
    0
    36
    Hi again
    Thanks for the replies.
    the seals are Kyoto marketed as Japaese Quality whatever that means :rotf:
    Will have to get a OE pair from Kwak dealer

    I still would like to find out how much oil should be used

    Regards macaw
     
  7. golddrakul

    golddrakul Senior Member

    It means the seals were made in China!!:rotf::rotf:
     
  8. furchin

    furchin ZL-OA Co-owner Staff Member Administrator Super Moderator Supporting Member

    2,115
    61
    143
    I bought the voyager seals from Peak Moto, not sure of the brand. The 600 seals I think where K & L.
     
  9. macaw

    macaw Active Member

    6
    0
    36
    Hi thanks for all the replies.

    I've priced up OE fork seals at the Kwack stealer, 3x's the price I paid for mine and that is each, can't believe they sell them as singles. But will get them if below doesn't work.

    Found out about how much fork oil is in the B model 300ml dry per leg, the A model is 308ml so I've put a little to much in, will get round to taking some out and see if that cures the slight weeping I have.

    Cheers macaw in the UK.
     
  10. lowlife

    lowlife ZL Mad Scientist Technical Author Supporting Member

    3,409
    1
    73
    Don't have a calculator handy and not knowing the ID of the fork leg I'm betting that 8ml didn't raise the oil level enough to make the seals leak unless you bottomed it out. And then only maybe. Most bikes are measured by distance as noted above. Some street bikes have as much as 15-20 cm adjust-ability. After you add the proper amount. measure the distance of each leg as noted above and make sure they are the same. Unless you are using a burette its easy to be off a couple of mm's. There is some suspension tuning to be had by changing the level within limits. Do you run air in the 600's forks? I am not a proponent of using air to adjust suspension unless it is an "emergency" Air can cause weeping issues. Was the fork leg clean and are there any imperfections or could you have nicked the seal when you first slid it over the leg?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  11. Niek

    Niek Active Member

    64
    0
    41
    What I don't understand is how everyone on here is on about fork oil volume. Does anyone know how much oil is left inside the fork after draining it? No. Of course you don't.

    That is why you ought to measure the air chamber instead.

    Here's how to do it (as taught by Michiel Witmond who worked with Jeremy Burgess for HRC in the days of Freddie Spencer - if that gives you any kind of a clue) properly.

    < rant mode on >

    Remove fork leg
    Remove top cap and spring
    Remove lower drain screw
    Drain fork
    Undo allen head bolt in bottom of lower (outer) fork leg
    Remove seal circlip from top of lower leg
    Pull the lot apart
    Clean the lower part of the inner fork tube using brake cleaner - do not use any other solvent as that doesn't evaporate and mixes with oil giving some rather unwanted results
    While you're at it, give the inner fork leg a good polish in the lathe using (minimum) 600 grit sanding paper. This should remove any burrs and imperfeections from the chrome.
    Check the bushings, chances are the bottom ones are well past their sell-by date. Replace if neccessary. Worn ones have lost most of the grey teflon coating, so it's easy to see if they're gone.
    Rebuild in the reverse order, using Molykote 111 compound on the seals and fresh fork oil on the bushings. Word of warning: 111 compound is NOT cheap!
    Fill fork to approx 150mm (6 inches for you imperial lot) below the inner fork leg top, fork fully compressed.
    Pull out inner fork leg a couple of times, then let it sit for half an hour to expel trapped air bubbles. Repeat process a couple of times.
    Measure air chamber height again. This should be as per instructions in the workshop manual (150-ish mm). Considering ZL forks are soggy pogo sticks, it doesn't hurt to take 20mm off the air chamber height. This makes for a more progressive fork which is always nice.
    Fit top to fork and refit fork to bike, tightening all bolts to the correct torque. Use a bloody torque wrench ffs!

    < / rant mode >

    Hope this helps. It might look like a lot of work, but it can be done in about 2 hours. The wait near the end gives you a nice opportunity to have a delicious mug of tea mmmm. :)

    Cheers,
    Niek

    P.S. as for the use of OEM or non-OEM seals: it is my experience that most seals work ok if the aforementioned steps are taken. Any seal - even OEM - _WILL_ leak if the inner fork leg is buggered.
     
  12. lee(zl900)

    lee(zl900) Well-Known Member

    282
    0
    51
    try reading everyones replies before coming in with your sarcastic comments because you will find that everyone has said about the fork seals not fork oil voume :nono:.

    i have to agree with golddrakul,furchin and koz about the fork seals. i brought cheap Pyramid seals and they did weep a little so i changed to oem seals and no problem.

    lowlife is bang on the bucks that with a little to much oil it will not cause them to leak unless you bottomed it out. if your forks are pitted and you put air in them you will not stop that oil from weeping.i myself does not put air in my forks. buy oem seals.
     
  13. paulfun

    paulfun "King Of The 1/4mi (Internally Stock)"

    4,055
    50
    143
     
  14. puttputt

    puttputt "Strip Warrior"

    67
    0
    91
    LOL, nice answer Paulfun thats exactly what a was gonna say!
     
  15. paulfun

    paulfun "King Of The 1/4mi (Internally Stock)"

    4,055
    50
    143
    I know he is only tryin to help, But I was just in one of those moods! :laughing7:
     
  16. puttputt

    puttputt "Strip Warrior"

    67
    0
    91
    haha, yeah we all get um!
     
  17. Niek

    Niek Active Member

    64
    0
    41
    LOL

    Always nice to get everyone stirred up a little. ;)

    BTW not my intention to offend anyone and yes, I had read about the fork seals. Just seems strange that non-OEM ones are _that_ bad.

    Cheers,
    Niek
     
  18. puttputt

    puttputt "Strip Warrior"

    67
    0
    91
    I've got the leak proof seals in my forks and yes they do seep a little
     
  19. kawboy

    kawboy Supporting Member Technical Author

    I've had "Leak Proof" in mine a few years with no problems.
     

Share This Page