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I've got a 1968 A65 ("Y" model, so 1967 serial "A65SA") that I'm restoring and would like to have a look at the seals in the fork tubes. I purchased a tool (61-3005) that doesn't seem to fit because it's too big to reach the bottom of the seal holder and the tangs won't engage (most tools are advertised as "up to 1967" and one site notes: "We have found that (new) chrome fork seal holders on the market seem to have a smaller I.D. - if you use this tool you will have to remove some material on the bottom in order for it to fit.". No, not doing that!!). After looking at older posts here I'm fabricating my own tool out of 1 1/4" pipe. I bought the bike in 1968 (yes, original owner but haven' t ridden it in 30 years) and the seals have never been opened so: any tips on freeing them if they're tightly stuck? Thanks in advance.

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I was having a little trouble figuring if you got the early seal holders or the newer. Your's do not have the exterior ring and the two holes? If you find the right pipe and grind those tangs well, you'll get them off. Helps to have a nice big vise and a big pipe wrench. Sometimes they're not even that tight, you could try the innertube rubber and hose clamp trick, (from our friend in Michigan who quit posting here.) Wrap rubber a couple times around the seal holder. Then get a hose clamp on real tight and apply the pipe wrench to the clamp. This works sometimes.

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Sometimes a strap wrench works too. Just note, as with the rubber and hose clamp, work at the very bottom of the seal holder, so you don't crush the hollow part.

I have seen them stuck so hard (as when the DPO used red Loctite on them) that I had to drill holes through the side and turn them with a long rod.

The good news is, new seal holders are available and not terribly expensive.


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^^^What Mark said. I've had them that were a real b*tch, too!

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Originally Posted by leon bee
^^^What Mark said. I've had them that were a real b*tch, too!

Likewise. And the use of anything but the proper tool most of the time resulted in ruined or damaged seal holders.


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I find it works a lot better upside down ( drain the tube first )
put the tool on the floor
Put the fork leg on the tool
Put a long bar through the axle hole
Press down while turnig the fork leg


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Originally Posted by KevinB
I've got a 1968 A65 ("Y" model, so 1967 serial "A65SA") that I'm restoring and would like to have a look at the seals in the fork tubes. I purchased a tool (61-3005) that doesn't seem to fit because it's too big to reach the bottom of the seal holder and the tangs won't engage (most tools are advertised as "up to 1967" and one site notes: "We have found that (new) chrome fork seal holders on the market seem to have a smaller I.D. - if you use this tool you will have to remove some material on the bottom in order for it to fit.". No, not doing that!!). After looking at older posts here I'm fabricating my own tool out of 1 1/4" pipe. I bought the bike in 1968 (yes, original owner but haven' t ridden it in 30 years) and the seals have never been opened so: any tips on freeing them if they're tightly stuck? Thanks in advance.

All these tools seem to be too big on the outer band before the tangs, the only suitable solution is to pop it in a lathe and turn the outside down a mm or two, or use a grinder/belt sander etc etc.

The next problem you'll find with the original seal holders is the tangs often dont fit the holder and need making smaller also,


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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I had the same problem. I used a belt sander to slim down the tool a bit - it didn't take much. Using a propane torch to heat the base of the seal holder helps a lot, and might prevent you from damaging the tangs or the slots by having to apply so much force that the tool slips. Good luck!


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Thanks for all the suggestions. I've decided I'm not going to mess with modifying the tool I bought: I'll just return it for a refund. The fabricated 1 1/4 inch pipe tool seems to fit the seal so I'll keep working on that method (with a big pipe wrench!). I'd post a picture of the seal but it seems it needs to be a link to a photo sharing site rather than posting an actual picture here. The seal holder has the exterior ring on it and seems to narrow in the lower part so the purchased tool won't fit all the way down. Thanks again for the help from everyone.

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Originally Posted by Tim Inks
I had the same problem. I used a belt sander to slim down the tool a bit - it didn't take much. Using a propane torch to heat the base of the seal holder helps a lot, and might prevent you from damaging the tangs or the slots by having to apply so much force that the tool slips. Good luck!


Tim Inks: I remember you from years and years ago!

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In my case, as I recall, the tool worked fine removing the original seal holders. It was when I was installing the repro replacements that the ID of the new ones was too tight for the tool to fit.

Hi Leon! I'm still here but don't post much, as most folks are far more knowledgeable than I am. I think you and I were a couple of the original Hornet advocates.


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Thanks for all the info on seal removal. I fabricated a seal removal tool this afternoon and it fit well into the seal holder but I couldn't get the seal holder to budge on either fork leg, even with LOTS of force. I tried penetrating oil, heating the part with a propane torch, and even tried the rubber wrap/hose clamp suggestion but the thing wouldn't move at all. Everything in the fork legs seems functional: they extend and compress smoothly. I just wanted a look at the insides after 50 plus years to make sure all is well. I'm going back to assembling the rest of the bike and I'll revisit the fork seal holder sometime in the future if necessary. Or leave it to the next owner to deal with in another 50 some years. Thanks again for the help!

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You have to see if any water has gotten into the forks.

Cracked or torn rubber fork gaiters are usually the cause of this.

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