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NateV8

94 VFR replacing leaking fork seals, what oil for stock springs/light rider?

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Just purchased a 94 VFR. Good condition but high miles (105k km, or 60k miles roughly)

 

Fork seals are leaking so bad the oil is dripping on my brakes and the front dives so easily.

 

I talked with Jamie and I will be doing front springs/valves and rear shock/spring/valves next spring, can't afford $1000 (Canadian exchange) right now after buying the bike. I have to do the forks now as the oil leaking is terrible and the front dives with minimal force like I said.

 

What oil should I use? I weigh around 145lb in gear. Should I use 5wt? Like honda pro hp 5wt or spectro gold 85/150? I've seen it suggested (been lurking for about a month now). I think its the cst of 15-17 that is suggested, I don't know if that changes for rider weight or stock springs.

 

Thank you

 

Nathan

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VFR service manual recommends Pro Honda Suspension fluid SS-7.

 

I used Belway 5wt. Works fine for me with Race Tech 0.90 springs, and forks raised 10mm (?). But I'm too ashamed to tell you how long ago it was changed.

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I weigh the same as you. when I replaced the seals on my '97 I used ATF per recommendations from the forum. That was 2 years ago works great for me. I have stock forks had to turn the adjusters for the springs all the way down to the highest setting [screwed down] to get a good feel. I also need to quit putting it off and let Jamie do my forks. make sure you have a seal driver or substitute or you will never get the seal in.   

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Well I have no idea how old the fork oil is on this bike, it has 60k miles so who knows haha. The SS7 seems to be about the same as the HP5 so looks like I'm on the right track.

 

 

ATF? I'm assuming an atf like syn redline LW then? Do you have a link to the thread where this is suggested?

 

Thanks for the replies

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The 4G's forks take a 5W stock but you can certainly use up to 15W (I used to) without undue harshness, IMO. However, since you're pretty light you may not need to. 

 

The excessive dive you're currently experiencing is to be expected since you have probably lost a substantial amount of oil. This increases the air gap and softens the (already very soft) forks, markedly so in the bottom 1/3 of travel. 

 

ATF was commonly used as fork fluid and its viscosity hovers around 10W or 30-something cSt. With dedicated fork fluid readily available these days, I don't see much point in using it. It's not even much cheaper. 

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I weigh #145 w/ gear and have the stock springs. When I replaced my fork fluid I went with Silkolene 2.5 wt semi-synthetic (their best) with a 130 mm air gap (fork tubes collapsed, no spring). Dive is much less but more controlled now. Little less of a hit on the small sharp bumps too.

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13 hours ago, NateV8 said:

Well I have no idea how old the fork oil is on this bike, it has 60k miles so who knows haha. The SS7 seems to be about the same as the HP5 so looks like I'm on the right track.

 

 

ATF? I'm assuming an atf like syn redline LW then? Do you have a link to the thread where this is suggested?

 

Thanks for the replies

ATF = automatic transmission fluid. I work at an automobile dealership so I had easy access to it. 

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5 hours ago, burnes45 said:

ATF = automatic transmission fluid. I work at an automobile dealership so I had easy access to it. 

 

Yea I know ATF but I was just surprised to see you use ATF haha. I did see the CST rating of some of them (like the reline LW I mentioned) is 23 which isn't so bad but some like mobil 1 syn ATF is 36 which is very thick`

 

6 hours ago, rangemaster said:

I weigh #145 w/ gear and have the stock springs. When I replaced my fork fluid I went with Silkolene 2.5 wt semi-synthetic (their best) with a 130 mm air gap (fork tubes collapsed, no spring). Dive is much less but more controlled now. Little less of a hit on the small sharp bumps too.

 

Well I dropped the bike off today and told him to use Honda HP PRO 5wt (did some research last night and seems to be a bit better quality than the ss7) and use a 100mm air gap. I think 100mm is the stock air gap.  

 

10 hours ago, RC36Rider said:

The 4G's forks take a 5W stock but you can certainly use up to 15W (I used to) without undue harshness, IMO. However, since you're pretty light you may not need to. 

 

The excessive dive you're currently experiencing is to be expected since you have probably lost a substantial amount of oil. This increases the air gap and softens the (already very soft) forks, markedly so in the bottom 1/3 of travel. 

 

ATF was commonly used as fork fluid and its viscosity hovers around 10W or 30-something cSt. With dedicated fork fluid readily available these days, I don't see much point in using it. It's not even much cheaper. 

 

Yea I'm getting Honda HP PRO 5wt as I mentioned above. I figured the dive was from the lack of oil as air compresses easier than oil, I just hope there is some left for the bearings! I don't how long it has been leaking as I just got it a couple months ago. Yea I looked that up last night and ATF seems pretty heavy unless you buy the redline LW which probably isn't cheap because it says redline on it haha.

 

Spectro Gold 85/150 was my second choice but it shouldn't be a problem to get the Honda HP PRO oil.

 

 

 

Now I have to go research proper air gap, I hope 100mm was correct for stock springs! 

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10 minutes ago, NateV8 said:

Now I have to go research proper air gap, I hope 100mm was correct for stock springs! 

177mm is what the service manual says

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12 hours ago, auggius said:

177mm is what the service manual says

 

Yup !

 

Also bear in mind that the 4G's forks have a 130 mm stroke. Rough rule of thumb, use the stroke figure as a starting point for the air gap so 100 mm is definitely on the low side though not low enough to cause trouble (probably).

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Wait so the air gap should be 177mm? If the air gap should be 177mm then how is 100mm low? Wouldn't that be high?

 

The mechanic I dropped is off to hasn't started it yet. I don't have the tools to work on the bike and I technically don't have a place to do it until winter but I can't wait that long.

 

I called and told him the level should be 177mm as per the manual, not 100mm. Thanks for the help!

 

 

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4 hours ago, NateV8 said:

Wait so the air gap should be 177mm? If the air gap should be 177mm then how is 100mm low? Wouldn't that be high?

 

Low air gap, high oil level. Whichever you prefer.

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Does anyone know roughly how much oil the stock 4Gs take with a 177mm air gap? I called my mechanic today and there is a bit of a language barrier (I live in Quebec and I don't speak french very well). When I told him its 177mm and not 100mm he said "that is a lot higher". Now I'm assuming he knows what 177mm (or 100mm) means when filling forks as he has been doing this for 40 years and is highly regarded by the local forum but when he said higher it now has me thinking he didn't understand maybe. If I just give him an oil amount maybe that would make more sense.

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Here you go, but it's better to fill to a level rather than an amount. 

 

IMG_1464.PNG

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I called my mechanic this morning and told him the CC but I guess there wasn't any language barrier as he said the 177mm was fine and told me how you measure the 177mm. I was worried for nothing. Thanks for the chart! I'm going to download the manual now, seems helpful haha.

 

Side note: My head bearing was rusted and had a flat spot so that also explains a problem I was going to make a thread about. Every time I get on the front brake there is a clunking that I can feel through the handlebars. I searched and someone on here had a similar problem and it was suggested to check to see if steering head bearing was loose or worn, looks like that is most likely the issue.

 

Next up is setting sag and preload as I've never done it before and I'm sure it isn't set for my weight. 

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