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Leaky California 1400 Fork Seal?

Discussion in 'New Gen Cali 1400 8V' started by roadventure, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Site Contributor!

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    I noticed some oil residue on the lower right fork leg on my California 1400 this past summer. I wiped the film off the fork leg and finished out the season. After two months of winter storage so far I went to change plugs and adjust valves I noticed oil on the right side of the front tire (bike parked vertical in a front wheel chock, not on side stand). There was also oil on the right brake caliper. I am pretty sure it was fork oil and not brake fluid.

    Here's my question. How much of a chore is it to drop the fork legs out of the triple-tree? Do the black upper fork covers need to be removed? I was thinking of taking the right fork leg out and, at least, try cleaning the seal if is a simple job of removing the leg. Or, replacing the seal if it is more of a major issue to drop the form legs.

    What do you think?
     
  2. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    Fork drop is pretty simple, the fork covers stay in place (or try your best to keep them there, as they use a fidgety o-ring) and just loosen the pinch bolts and lower. You can clean the seal... I'd try one of these first; http://sealmate.net/

    Be happy you don't have the newer Kaifa damper rod forks used on the Audace & Eldo... pure garbage.
     
  3. abbienormal

    abbienormal High Miler GT Famiglia

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    I can't remember if you can remove the fork seals without taking the damper rods loose. But, if I am correct your bike has a few miles on it and if you have not changed the fork oil I would. I forget the mileage when I changed mine but it was under 10K and the fluid was ugly. If you are in there you may want to get some new springs as they helped mine.
     
  4. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Site Contributor!

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    Thanks Todd. So, MG "improved" the front suspension on the Audace and Eldorado? I had planned on trying to remove any crud before replacing the seals.
     
  5. roadventure

    roadventure High Miler GT Site Contributor!

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    I may go ahead and drop both fork legs and change the fork oil. Was there anything tricky about getting the caps off the top? Do you recommend staying with what MG says to use for fork oil? Did you stick with the OEM viscosity?
     
  6. Touringman

    Touringman Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Founder!

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    Dave, motion seconded on the fluid change. At 10000 mine was well overdue. The Matris spring kit was supplied with 5W oil. Feels about right overall. Really aggressive riders or larger individuals could probably get away with 7.5W. Two litres will do the job as each fork holds 600ml / with a 110mm air gap.
     
  7. abbienormal

    abbienormal High Miler GT Famiglia

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    I stayed with the 5wt synthetic but new springs. I remember to remove the springs there was a special tool needed. I think I still have the one I had made and you can borrow it if needed. I forget the entire procedure. I would have to look in the manual to see if anything else is needed.
     
  8. John L

    John L Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    Bugga, I have an Eldorado Todd. Is there much difference between the forks and does that mean the Matris set up won't fit.
     
  9. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    The Sachs forks are cartridge, and the Kaifa forks are damper rod, but the major difference is the fork tube cap has different threads. Almost every pair of Kaifa forks that I've come across has had near bushing failure with very little miles, which makes them feel like/actually are... binding. If you have a harsh ride, it is worth investigating.
     
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  10. John L

    John L Tuned and Synch'ed GT Contributor

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    And will the Matris set up work on these forks?
     
  11. kiwi dave

    kiwi dave GT Reference

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    Probably not since the caps have different threads (the Matris kit includes a replacement fork cap).
     
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