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Wheel Tire Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Vehicle

Since brakes and suspension can mean life or death I always take the forks off from a new to me used bike, completely disassemble, clean, replace bushings and seals. While the lowers are off I dunk them in carb soak to remove the yellowed clear coat. Just words of advice.
 

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My dear friend, that much fluid can cause the nastiest of accidents. Contemplate doing a complete fron end rebuild. Replace what you need to replace. There may be other model front ends you can use that are more readily available. I don't know Kawasaki's that well, but I do know if the leak is bad enough to be hitting the tire, the bike is not safe to ride. Uneven fork oil levels can cause tank slappers, and other handling problems. The pitted tubes are scrap. If it is a money thin (it always is with me!) I just wait till I have saved up the money to do it right. Then I can ride and enjoy the experience and not worry about things you should have in order to enjoy the motorcycling experience. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #104 ·
I think I'm about to buy those forks that were graciously searched up for me lol. I asked them if anyone has pushed down on them some to see if a noticable leak occurs 😆 price doesn't seem too bad and I don't see pits like on my right one.

Love the bike you have there c-130 jumper. I don't know how to do all that yet I haven't tried so far. Maybe I will just do the swap for now and see if they have problems. If so the seller says work out any problems hah.

So far no accidents yet thankfully and I won't be riding it. It can't hold the fluid in and the tire has been soaking some in so yeah it's done until I get that fixed. I will order the valve lifter tool as well to change shims because it's probably going to need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
I bought them, hopefully the one isn't missing something because they don't look the same on the top. I'm sure I can swap over from the old forks if the set I bought is missing a part on the top of the fork when installed.

I'll have to come up with a good hack to hoist the front of the bike up. My father has an engine lift I could bring over as well as a craftsman transmission jack that might work and would be easier to transport. I hope these work out but they weren't too expensive and are worth resealing if need be so either way I needed them. Thanks for continued help guys.
 

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I'm lucky to have a garage with an exposed strong cross beam to help support with a ratchet strap while jacking a 2x6 high enough for short jack stands on either side. It's tricky, be careful on whatever method you use. The strap saved the bike when swapping rear wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #107 ·
I still need a manual and I want to buy it but I'm worried I'll spend 35-50 dollars on manual that gives vague instructions or information not specific to the zn. Hopefully the forks will be identical to kz1100 shaft. Maybe that's only with the clymer manuals?

But then the ones that appear to be Kawasaki factory service manuals don't seem too convincing when they print manuals like this. (Unless the cheaper manual on the right is for chain drives) I'm worried the wire diagrams won't list wire colors specific to the zn as well because it seems the wire colors are different between zn and kz. This matters a lot to me as I had the wiring touble that I put back how it was instead of actually putting the wires how I BELIEVE they go based on what I was kindly given here.

Maybe I can replace seals on the replacement forks without a manual. Just need to get nice snap ring pliers and some PVC pipe to sand a little to drive the seal in place. I've rebuilt a rear master before on a bandit 1200 I got from a guy that said he did it and graduated from motorcycle university. He said all that's needed now is to bleed...hm why not do the easiest part if you got that far? He put the parts back in upside down and the brake light switch wasn't even plugged back in. Cool little story right? 😆
 

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Seals are easy to put in, just make sure everything is lined up and that whatever you use to drive the seal in hits only the top outside ring. I find the easier to put in without the fork tube in.
It has to be out to remove yhe old one, that's the best time, after cleaning out the lower leg, to put the seal in. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Perherr look what I got 😂 there was a little bit of oil in the plastic wrap that was wound around the dust caps. They seem okay for used parts. Worth rebuilding if need be at least. Which I know is what I should do. But with the vague/general directions I collected from studying this I'll be lucky if I just get these swapped out correctly as is, so I know it would take me awhile to reseal them just by trial and error.

Seems like I could just remove and loosen a few bolts then slide these into place and put the wheel and brakes back on. I worry about ruining things that you're supposed to be aware of before attempting though. Really it just seems like getting the brakes and wheel off, the little plate across the forks and the pinching bolts then they could just drop out. There's some extra clamps on my original ones that seem like they'd support a windscreen setup.

I'll be glad to get the leaker off and drained so I can stop having a reappearing slick in the garage. I know I didn't get the manual and I really shouldn't have even bought the forks because I have a dental procedure coming up soon that I'm being charged over twice the normal rate for. It's because they only applied a fraction of my savings plan rate to their dental procedure code pricing. If I go somewhere else it might be cheaper but I'd essentially waste the $200 (after savings!) I spent on exam and x-ray at the first place. I don't like to use money as an excuse for not fixing what needs done but my teeth need it more right now. In the meantime until 2nd week of June I'd appreciate any help, advice or "what not to do" information about swapping and rebuilding the forks because I've only found general Kawasaki info and step by step videos that don't include every part of the procedure 😆
 

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When you remove the front wheel, you will see Allen Head bolts at the bottom of the fork, where the axle mounted too. Usually you need an electric drill, or air tool, to attach a socket to to remove them. On some forks, if you loosen them, they just spent with the corresponding locknut inside. The speed of the tool allows you to remove that bolt. That's what prevents the fork from coming out of the lower slider. Once you do that, removal of the seals with a flat head screw driver is quite easy. Wrap the screw driver in electrical tape around the shaft so you don't gouge the fork lower, and make sure you do not touch the inside of the for seal race on the lower leg. In other words, you only touch the seal, wedging it out by going around a little by little amount. Assembly is the reverse. I put a little high temperature great on the inside of the new fork seals, over the compression spring, to kep the inside of the seal lubed. Prevents squeaking of the forks. Forks are pretty much the same on all bikes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
When you remove the front wheel, you will see Allen Head bolts at the bottom of the fork, where the axle mounted too. Usually you need an electric drill, or air tool, to attach a socket to to remove them. On some forks, if you loosen them, they just spent with the corresponding locknut inside. The speed of the tool allows you to remove that bolt. That's what prevents the fork from coming out of the lower slider. Once you do that, removal of the seals with a flat head screw driver is quite easy. Wrap the screw driver in electrical tape around the shaft so you don't gouge the fork lower, and make sure you do not touch the inside of the for seal race on the lower leg. In other words, you only touch the seal, wedging it out by going around a little by little amount. Assembly is the reverse. I put a little high temperature great on the inside of the new fork seals, over the compression spring, to kep the inside of the seal lubed. Prevents squeaking of the forks. Forks are pretty much the same on all bikes. :)
Thank you and I sort of cheaped out. I cleaned the seal and polished the one that wasn't leaking. Then I swapped out the one that was leaking. But first I cleaned the seal and polished the travel area of the replacement as well. Cleaner up the tires with brake clean. Checked the pads they were still all set and dusty. Topped brake fluid off and went for a spin. The bike cranks fast again now for some reason and it restarted fine when hot too. Maybe it had trouble because that wire that fell off was only making a thread of connection. But it wouldn't crank fast the first time I tried after soldering the wire back on. Idk. But yeah it almost sounds like there's a little timing chain drag on small neutral rev decels. As well as during acceleration.

I need to get those feeler gauges and check the valves. I also want to remove and clean the tensioner but I'm afraid to break it or drop something into the engine. Or that I'll reinstall it wrong and damage the engine next time I restart it after messing with it. I will probably clean and swap the other fork leg out soon as well. Another question about that if anyone knows though. How are you supposed to line up that air hole on the fork tube exactly with the little pipe bridge? Best I could do is line it up with a ruler then just slide upwards to it without twisting. Wouldn't that either spray oil out or be plugged off if the hole isn't lined up with the pipe? I think I got it because I didn't see a mess leaking down when I got the bike home but I don't really know because I just did the best I could by lining it up then sliding the fork tube in place.
 

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The air tube just has to be at that position. There is a ring around the inside of the triple tree that seals the air, there is no perfect alignment, just measure the center of the air hole ring on the triple tree, and make a pencil make on the fork legs, and make a mark, or use some light duty masking tape to make you stop point, so that you slide the fork up to that point.

As far as your cam chain, many replace those with manual tensioner. They are taking up the slack on the loose side of the chain so it won't jump, which would be catastrophic. There's an old post on this thread about it. You can find many makers of the manual cam chain adjusters, and they are pretty inexpensive. ;)

Link = 1984 LTD 1100, cam chain tensioner oil seal replacement,,??
 

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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
The air tube just has to be at that position. There is a ring around the inside of the triple tree that seals the air, there is no perfect alignment, just measure the center of the air hole ring on the triple tree, and make a pencil make on the fork legs, and make a mark, or use some light duty masking tape to make you stop point, so that you slide the fork up to that point.

As far as your cam chain, many replace those with manual tensioner. They are taking up the slack on the loose side of the chain so it won't jump, which would be catastrophic. There's an old post on this thread about it. You can find many makers of the manual cam chain adjusters, and they are pretty inexpensive. ;)

Link = 1984 LTD 1100, cam chain tensioner oil seal replacement,,??
So it's just a regular unbolt and bolt back on part and can't really mess it up? I would love to keep going and get it to a more solid condition. I'm glad I got those fork legs. Could drain and fill them now too.
 

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So it's just a regular unbolt and bolt back on part and can't really mess it up? I would love to keep going and get it to a more solid condition. I'm glad I got those fork legs. Could drain and fill them now too.

Yup, seems very straightforward, just make sure you don't over tighten the bolt. You only want to take up slack, too much, you stretch the chain. I would do that adjustment with my fingertips. Just tap the starter button to put tension of the cam, and then screw the bolt it and stop when it touches. The automatic adjusters have a very soft spring to do that, so as not to over tighten and wear out the slider and chain. ;)
 

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It sounds like you really need a manual. See my post #35 in this thread, for the correct manual. If you get the reprinted one in my link, the wiring diagram won't be in colour, so I would look on Ebay for an original if you can find it. An original will be in colour.

You are correct that the ZN wiring diagram is different from the KZ. In my view, a factory service manual is essential for any owner who wants to do their own work.

Also, KZ fork tubes are different from ZN tubes. Among other things, they use different oil levels and I think different springs.

If your bike has the OEM automatic cam chain tensioner then you need to understand that it is a non-return system. Once the tensioner move in to take up the slack in the chain, it will never move out. This means if you start to loosen off the mounting bolts of the tensioner, you MUST completely remove the mechanism and reset it. Otherwise you will damage your cam chain. The manual explains this in detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #116 ·
I do and I need the other things still too. I'm looking at a couple hundred still in parts and tools for just the zn. The other ones need various things like new float needles and fuel tap valves, Idle jet well plugs etc. So carb kits and other random stuff for all of them. Got too many and not enough time/money 🙃
 

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That is the problem with bringing an old bike back to life. It is not cheap, but when done you will have a pretty unique ride and the feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing the work yourself.

I find it is best to approach these restorations with no rush and no fixed schedule. I am currently into year 4 of an old sports car restoration that does not involve any bodywork. I pick away at it as time and money allows.
 

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That's what I'm doing with my '73 MG Midget I've modified and blueprinted the engine, better cam, too much stuff to list. The car will do 115 mph now though, the rear end can't really take that though. I have put new floors in, and have body work to do. I have all the patch pieces. I put over 50K miles on that car, before souping up the engine. I got it for free, there was a 6" inch diameter tree growing through the floor that had pushed through the vinyl top. I managed to get the car out without damaging it any further. The tree ended up as firewood. The guy was surprised as hell, when I attached a battery pack, and a small universal fuel tank I made, and got the car to start, and idle. It sat for almost two decades. He already had signed the title over to me, but grumbled I should give him something. I told him I did, the firewood. ;)
 
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