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Who has had this problem and what was entailed to recitfy it? (Cost, who repaired, what parts were needed, etc)... I have inquired at the local dealers here in SoCal, and it will cost US$250 to repair the set (if forks are brought in, without the bike) and about $350 if you take the bike in. :banghead:

The cost of the fork seals here are US$20 each, I'm thinking about doing these myself with the help of the manual. Has anyone ever done this? Any input is most appreciated, thanks!
 

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How badly are they leaking? Sometimes you can get away with sliding something thin (old piece of camera film works quite well) between the stanchion and seals and wiping round to clear the dirt/debris that may have built up causing the leak.

If you're doing the job youself, it's a fairly straight forward procedure if you have the right tools and a complete ballache if you don't. On top of the average DIYers toolkit, you'll need some means to hold the fork spring compressed to aid removal and refitting of the fork top cap, some means to reseat the outer bush and fit the new oil seal and some means to check/adjust fork oil level. You can fabricate these tools yourself for fairly low cost and with a bit of imagination but to be honest I find this approach a false economy as generally I find the tools more cumbersome and time consuming to use and there is no real benefit unless you truly are on a shoestring budget.

You'll also require some means to lift the front of the bike and support it while the fork legs are removed and refitted. If you don't already have these tools/facilities it's unlikey that you're going to save much if any by doing the job yourself due to the inital outlay on the tools. However, and obviously, the cost of the tools can be offset against the potential savings if you have to do the job again in the future.

In terms of parts you'll need a minimum of a set (dust and oil) seals and some fresh fork oil. It's unlikely that you'll need to replace the fork bushes but worth noting it's a possibility. Many shops relpace these bushes as part of the service and that may have been factored into the quote you were given.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
THanks Hartley... boy you make it sound like the $250 shop charge is a bargain :D, but you are most probably right. Both my fork seals have leaked badly, enough so that the other night, I saw a puddle about the circumference of a basketball at the bottom of the front tire from the fork oil. I had hoped it was a just a matter of a folded seal, but probably not.

In any case, I have found a local suspension guru who will do the labor for me for $US160. I bought the parts at my nearest dealer (ProItalia), and it cost me $50 shipped, in so doing, I keep the expense at just over US$200, very worth it, I think, as it's a professional job, and I can watch and learn as well.
 

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I don't know what 'going rate' is for labour in your area so I have no idea if it's a good price or not. In terms of labour times, a decent shop should be able to replace oil and dust seals on a set of USD forks for around 1 hours (30 mins per fork) labour costs or less, personally I like to hold on to them for a bit longer as I prefer to leave the fork bottoms/stanchions sitting upside down for a while to drain as much of the old oil out a possible and I also prefer to leave them standing for a while after refilling to remove as many air bubbles as possible to but it'd need to be a real cheeky shop to be charging 'standing' time. It should take around 15-20 minutes to remove the forks from the bike and a further 15-20 minutes to refit. So I wouldn't expect any more than a 2 hour labour charge on the work.

You don't mention fork oil, is that included in your $50 for parts or the $160 quote from your guy? Just checking you've got everything you need.

Once you see your guy doing the work you'll see how relatively straight foward a job it is and I'm sure it'll give you the confidence to consider investing in a few tools and tacking it yourself should there be a next time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The going rate for labor charges here are $80 to $95/hour. To work on the forks, the dealers wanted to charge 1 hour per fork, and if they were to remove it from the bike, it would be another 1 hour.... and then about $50 for parts, plus the fork oil.

My suspension guy said he would charge me $160, and all I needed to bring was the forks and the seals - he would take care of the rest. He also coached me on how to get the bike upright in order to remove the forks, since I do not have a front stand that will fit the Brutale. I think that going with him is the best deal I could possibly get around here, outside of the dealer - he came highly recommended by a few riders I know as well.
 

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Sig.Scuro said:
Who has had this problem and what was entailed to recitfy it? (Cost, who repaired, what parts were needed, etc)... I have inquired at the local dealers here in SoCal, and it will cost US$250 to repair the set (if forks are brought in, without the bike) and about $350 if you take the bike in. :banghead:

The cost of the fork seals here are US$20 each, I'm thinking about doing these myself with the help of the manual. Has anyone ever done this? Any input is most appreciated, thanks!
And if you end up with another Air Leak? Screw the dealers, they don't know squat about forks.

If you're in SoCal, go straight to Marzocchi in Valencia near Magic Mtn., talk to Jonner (sales) or Tracy (the tech). They actually have a special oil tank (system) for submerging and testing forks for leaks.

They setup my OEM Husky SM510 50mm forks into the same as the Factory Shiver supermoto race forks (for $600) by installing the Shiver Race Bladder cartridge system. Retail, the entire Shiver system is $2200. No brainer there....saved 1600 skins for the same setup as the AMA and FIM Supermoto race forks. I know this is more than you're doing...however, they're replacing Marzocchi seals all day everday for all bikes.

I'd highly recommend going straight to Marzocchi. They KNOW and back the product.

Good Luck
 

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A couple of suggestions...

First of all, if you (or a shop) are going to all the effort to get inside the forks...

DON'T JUST REPLACE THE SEALS.

SETUP YOUR FORK PROPERLY.


That is, for YOUR weight and riding style. That may require replacing springs, preload spacers, valving changes, etc. Many Brutales are horribly wrong out of the box, especially for riders over 150lbs. If your bike rides harshly, bangs over small bumps, rattles your teeth or dives excessively (or both, as many of them do) and/or you are at the extreme ends of adjustment for rebound or compression, some work is needed and you won't believe the difference a proper setup will make. It will ride like a completely different bike, with excellent compliance and no loss in handling.

That said, I don't know of a single tuner who knows much about Marzocchis and I've talked to all of them in the last year. Lindemann, Stig Petterson, Race Tech, Thermosman, Cogent Dynamics and probably a couple more I can't remember. None of those guys had any hands-on experience with the street Zokes. Maybe that's changed in the meantime but AFAIK, you're on your own as to coming up with a recipe for setup. Hopefully, your guy will have some suggestions. I'd recommend you don't change too much all at once. You may not get it perfect the first time, so be prepared to go back or learn to do it yourself. It's not all that tough and again, you won't believe the difference. It will feel like a completely different bike.

Marzocchi USA knows a lot about dirt bikes but I've talked to them as well. I've gotten a bit of help but in many cases they had no answers to specific questions and some of the info I got from them was downright incorrect. Other information was in direct conflict with what I got from MV Agusta USA and some was in direct conflict with what is printed in their own materials (available online). Proceed at your own risk.
 

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Hmmm, I thought the question was essentially "what's involved in replacing the fork seals" not "how can I take a $200 job and turn it into a $1000+ job".

I guess if someone asks how easy it is to change brake pads you guys would suggest to them to fit Brembo monoblocks, carbon braided hoses and a spangly big radial master cylinder while they are at it?
 

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Hartley Hare said:
Hmmm, I thought the question was essentially "what's involved in replacing the fork seals" not "how can I take a $200 job and turn it into a $1000+ job".

I guess if someone asks how easy it is to change brake pads you guys would suggest to them to fit Brembo monoblocks, carbon braided hoses and a spangly big radial master cylinder while they are at it?


Wow. Are you an MV dealer? I just did that *$1,000 job* you quoted for less than $150 in parts - including new springs, spacers, shims and fork oil. And if you're changing seals, you must replenish oil anyway, so knock that off the price. Again, if you're already going through all the downtime and bother of hoisting the bike, removing the forks and ripping them apart, why replace just the seals when a lot more can be accomplished for a few pennies more?
 

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I was replying collectively and that price (which is admittedly a wild guess) also included replacement cartridges as was also suggested. I don't know, just seemed to be jumping the gun a bit to be suggesting overhauling the forks with all new components when all that's being reported is leaking seals.
 
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