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Hey all,

After extensively searching the internet, i have come up empty handed on a walk-through on replacing the fork seals on a 2013 Night Rod Special (VRSCDX). Harley wanted $750 to do this. However, these fork seals are actually very easy to do...if you know what you are doing.
Note: This does not cover fork spring removal

What you will need:
• something to lift the front end of the bike
• lug wrench for removing the axle nut
• 19 mm hex wrench or bit
• T-50 Torx bit or a 9mm Hex
• 10 mm 12-point wrench or socket
• standard/metric tool set
• Fork Seal Driver
• Fork Seals and Dust Covers
• 3 pints of H-D Type E fork Fluid

Steps:
1. Remove the two bolts that attach the top fairing/headlight assembly while holding the headlight.
a. Note: if you do not hold the headlight it will fall
2. Remove the light bulbs from the headlight
3. Remove bulbs from the wire harness via the two clips
4. Remove the front fender via two bolts on each side of the wheel.
5. Remove the brake calipers via two bolts for each caliper
6. Loosen the axle nut
7. Lift the bike so that the front wheel is about 2" off the ground.
8. Remove the front wheel.
9. Loosen the bolts for the fork.
a. Note: Make sure that you hold the forks on the last bolt as they will try to slide out on you
10. Lower the fork to the bottom triple tree holder and re-tighten the bottom triple tree.
11. Using the 19 mm, loosen the upper fork cap
a. Do not remove it at this point it time
12. Repeat steps 9 – 11 for the other fork
13. Loosen the bolts for the fork and remove the fork
14. Remove the upper fork cap that was loosened with the 19mm
15. Remove the rubber spacer from the upper fork
16. Dump fluid out of the fork into a container
17. Give the fork about 12 – 15 slow pumps to get all of the fork fluid out
18. Remove the lower cover by using a fiberglass or rubber piece/chisel and a rubber mallet
a. Place rubber or fiberglass chisel in the groove on the lower fork cover
b. Slowly tap around the cover until it comes off
19. Remove the fork seal dust cover.
20. Remove the retainer ring
21. Remove the fork seal
22. Remove the lower fork tube from the upper fork tube
23. Remove all rings, spacers, and seals from lower fork tube
24. Clean all with a dry clean cloth and inspect
25. Reassemble in the following order from the top of the lower fork to the base:
a. slide the lower fork cover on the lower fork
b. slide on the dust cover
c. slide on the fork seal
d. slide on the spacer
e. slide on the ring
f. slide the lower fork into the upper fork
26. using a fork seal driver, drive the fork seal into place
27. put in the fork dust cover
28. Replace the lower fork cover on the bottom of the upper fork
29. Repeat steps 13 – 29 for the other fork
30. Fill the forks to the following specs with HD Type-E Fork fluid
a. Right fork: Measurement – 3.7 inches / volume – 23.1 oz.
b. Left Fork: Measurement – 3.4 inches / volume – 19.7 oz.
31. After the fork fluid is added, replace the rubber spacer to the top of the upper fork and replace the upper fork cap.
32. Replace the forks into the triple tree for the exact sides that you pulled them from as the springs are different for right and left sides.
33. Lightly snug the triple tree bolts as you may need to make adjustments
34. Replace the wheel and axle
a. For a bike with ABS like mine and looking from the front tire:
b. Left side has a collar
c. Right side of the wheel is the abs sensor
d. Outside right of the fork is a spacer
e. Outside right of the spacer is the axle nut
35. Replace the brake calipers
36. After adjustments have been made and forks are leveled, tighten triple tree fork holder nuts
37. Replace the headlight/front fairing assembly
38. Lower the bike
39. Take for a test ride and make any further adjustments.
 

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4,086 Posts
Hey all,

After extensively searching the internet, i have come up empty handed on a walk-through on replacing the fork seals on a 2013 Night Rod Special (VRSCDX). Harley wanted $750 to do this. However, these fork seals are actually very easy to do...if you know what you are doing.
Note: This does not cover fork spring removal

What you will need:
• something to lift the front end of the bike
• lug wrench for removing the axle nut
• 19 mm hex wrench or bit
• T-50 Torx bit or a 9mm Hex
• 10 mm 12-point wrench or socket
• standard/metric tool set
• Fork Seal Driver
• Fork Seals and Dust Covers
• 3 pints of H-D Type E fork Fluid

Steps:
1. Remove the two bolts that attach the top fairing/headlight assembly while holding the headlight.
a. Note: if you do not hold the headlight it will fall
2. Remove the light bulbs from the headlight
3. Remove bulbs from the wire harness via the two clips
4. Remove the front fender via two bolts on each side of the wheel.
5. Remove the brake calipers via two bolts for each caliper
6. Loosen the axle nut
7. Lift the bike so that the front wheel is about 2" off the ground.
8. Remove the front wheel.
9. Loosen the bolts for the fork.
a. Note: Make sure that you hold the forks on the last bolt as they will try to slide out on you
10. Lower the fork to the bottom triple tree holder and re-tighten the bottom triple tree.
11. Using the 19 mm, loosen the upper fork cap
a. Do not remove it at this point it time
12. Repeat steps 9 – 11 for the other fork
13. Loosen the bolts for the fork and remove the fork
14. Remove the upper fork cap that was loosened with the 19mm
15. Remove the rubber spacer from the upper fork
16. Dump fluid out of the fork into a container
17. Give the fork about 12 – 15 slow pumps to get all of the fork fluid out
18. Remove the lower cover by using a fiberglass or rubber piece/chisel and a rubber mallet
a. Place rubber or fiberglass chisel in the groove on the lower fork cover
b. Slowly tap around the cover until it comes off
19. Remove the fork seal dust cover.
20. Remove the retainer ring
21. Remove the fork seal
22. Remove the lower fork tube from the upper fork tube
23. Remove all rings, spacers, and seals from lower fork tube
24. Clean all with a dry clean cloth and inspect
25. Reassemble in the following order from the top of the lower fork to the base:
a. slide the lower fork cover on the lower fork
b. slide on the dust cover
c. slide on the fork seal
d. slide on the spacer
e. slide on the ring
f. slide the lower fork into the upper fork
26. using a fork seal driver, drive the fork seal into place
27. put in the fork dust cover
28. Replace the lower fork cover on the bottom of the upper fork
29. Repeat steps 13 – 29 for the other fork
30. Fill the forks to the following specs with HD Type-E Fork fluid
a. Right fork: Measurement – 3.7 inches / volume – 23.1 oz.
b. Left Fork: Measurement – 3.4 inches / volume – 19.7 oz.
31. After the fork fluid is added, replace the rubber spacer to the top of the upper fork and replace the upper fork cap.
32. Replace the forks into the triple tree for the exact sides that you pulled them from as the springs are different for right and left sides.
33. Lightly snug the triple tree bolts as you may need to make adjustments
34. Replace the wheel and axle
a. For a bike with ABS like mine and looking from the front tire:
b. Left side has a collar
c. Right side of the wheel is the abs sensor
d. Outside right of the fork is a spacer
e. Outside right of the spacer is the axle nut
35. Replace the brake calipers
36. After adjustments have been made and forks are leveled, tighten triple tree fork holder nuts
37. Replace the headlight/front fairing assembly
38. Lower the bike
39. Take for a test ride and make any further adjustments.
While this will work and you can skirt the spring removal by not taking the internal nut out of the right and using a compressor on the left side, SM oil level is set with no springs in the tubes. You have to make the fluid level change from the book if you fill with springs installed. The level you quoted, I believe is without springs. It will be too soft in suspension without that compressed air cushion at the right amount. If you went stiffer springs it might not be noticable but stock springs yes. Basically you don't quite have enough oil in them and as a result too much air space that won't compress enough and act as a secondary spring. More oil can be added if needed.
Ron
 

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41 Posts
Hey all,

After extensively searching the internet, i have come up empty handed on a walk-through on replacing the fork seals on a 2013 Night Rod Special (VRSCDX). Harley wanted $750 to do this. However, these fork seals are actually very easy to do...if you know what you are doing.
Note: This does not cover fork spring removal

What you will need:
• something to lift the front end of the bike
• lug wrench for removing the axle nut
• 19 mm hex wrench or bit
• T-50 Torx bit or a 9mm Hex
• 10 mm 12-point wrench or socket
• standard/metric tool set
• Fork Seal Driver
• Fork Seals and Dust Covers
• 3 pints of H-D Type E fork Fluid

Steps:
1. Remove the two bolts that attach the top fairing/headlight assembly while holding the headlight.
a. Note: if you do not hold the headlight it will fall
2. Remove the light bulbs from the headlight
3. Remove bulbs from the wire harness via the two clips
4. Remove the front fender via two bolts on each side of the wheel.
5. Remove the brake calipers via two bolts for each caliper
6. Loosen the axle nut
7. Lift the bike so that the front wheel is about 2" off the ground.
8. Remove the front wheel.
9. Loosen the bolts for the fork.
a. Note: Make sure that you hold the forks on the last bolt as they will try to slide out on you
10. Lower the fork to the bottom triple tree holder and re-tighten the bottom triple tree.
11. Using the 19 mm, loosen the upper fork cap
a. Do not remove it at this point it time
12. Repeat steps 9 – 11 for the other fork
13. Loosen the bolts for the fork and remove the fork
14. Remove the upper fork cap that was loosened with the 19mm
15. Remove the rubber spacer from the upper fork
16. Dump fluid out of the fork into a container
17. Give the fork about 12 – 15 slow pumps to get all of the fork fluid out
18. Remove the lower cover by using a fiberglass or rubber piece/chisel and a rubber mallet
a. Place rubber or fiberglass chisel in the groove on the lower fork cover
b. Slowly tap around the cover until it comes off
19. Remove the fork seal dust cover.
20. Remove the retainer ring
21. Remove the fork seal
22. Remove the lower fork tube from the upper fork tube
23. Remove all rings, spacers, and seals from lower fork tube
24. Clean all with a dry clean cloth and inspect
25. Reassemble in the following order from the top of the lower fork to the base:
a. slide the lower fork cover on the lower fork
b. slide on the dust cover
c. slide on the fork seal
d. slide on the spacer
e. slide on the ring
f. slide the lower fork into the upper fork
26. using a fork seal driver, drive the fork seal into place
27. put in the fork dust cover
28. Replace the lower fork cover on the bottom of the upper fork
29. Repeat steps 13 – 29 for the other fork
30. Fill the forks to the following specs with HD Type-E Fork fluid
a. Right fork: Measurement – 3.7 inches / volume – 23.1 oz.
b. Left Fork: Measurement – 3.4 inches / volume – 19.7 oz.
31. After the fork fluid is added, replace the rubber spacer to the top of the upper fork and replace the upper fork cap.
32. Replace the forks into the triple tree for the exact sides that you pulled them from as the springs are different for right and left sides.
33. Lightly snug the triple tree bolts as you may need to make adjustments
34. Replace the wheel and axle
a. For a bike with ABS like mine and looking from the front tire:
b. Left side has a collar
c. Right side of the wheel is the abs sensor
d. Outside right of the fork is a spacer
e. Outside right of the spacer is the axle nut
35. Replace the brake calipers
36. After adjustments have been made and forks are leveled, tighten triple tree fork holder nuts
37. Replace the headlight/front fairing assembly
38. Lower the bike
39. Take for a test ride and make any further adjustments.
Great write up, thanks for that. What size fork seal driver did you use?
 

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I am also curious as to what size fork seal driver you used? And do you happen to have the part numbers of what you replaced? Fork seal itself, etc?
 

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I am also curious as to what size fork seal driver you used? And do you happen to have the part numbers of what you replaced? Fork seal itself, etc?
Harley fork seal kit comes with seal , wiper, washer and clip. You need one kit per fork if you do both. ( 2 ) 475ml bottles of TypE per one for and 4 if doing both. You will have a bit left if doing both. Any generic 43mm seal driver will work or abs pipe cut in tow pieces down the middle. Part numbers of seal kit is 49380-09 . If you like to gamble, the seal can be had aftermarket as in All Balls or Drag might have them but due to the pain in the ass job, I'd stay with OEM as it's been reported they have the best seals. I do question that as most likely they all come from the same place in the end.
Ron
 

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Harley fork seal kit comes with seal , wiper, washer and clip. You need one kit per fork if you do both. ( 2 ) 475ml bottles of TypE per one for and 4 if doing both. You will have a bit left if doing both. Any generic 43mm seal driver will work or abs pipe cut in tow pieces down the middle. Part numbers of seal kit is 49380-09 . If you like to gamble, the seal can be had aftermarket as in All Balls or Drag might have them but due to the pain in the ass job, I'd stay with OEM as it's been reported they have the best seals. I do question that as most likely they all come from the same place in the end.
Ron
Ron, you are the man. Just wanted to say that. I went up to Harley today and ordered two seal kits (using that part number so you better be right LOL) and 4 pints of the Type E Fluid. I cannot remotely justify the price that HD is wanting to charge after reading through this. Worst case scenario if I get stuck and screw something up I'll just take the bare forks up to HD.
 

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Ron, you are the man. Just wanted to say that. I went up to Harley today and ordered two seal kits (using that part number so you better be right LOL) and 4 pints of the Type E Fluid. I cannot remotely justify the price that HD is wanting to charge after reading through this. Worst case scenario if I get stuck and screw something up I'll just take the bare forks up to HD.
Ron, you are the man. Just wanted to say that. I went up to Harley today and ordered two seal kits (using that part number so you better be right LOL) and 4 pints of the Type E Fluid. I cannot remotely justify the price that HD is wanting to charge after reading through this. Worst case scenario if I get stuck and screw something up I'll just take the bare forks up to HD.
You'll be fine. Just be aware the fool that did the metric conversions in the SM didn't do them correctly. Don't use the inch or ounce measurements. These are Jap forks so go with mm and cc's , which are likely the most accurate . Your caliper, set to the right distance can act as a dipstick from the top of the tube if you don't have the fluid device shown in the book. The other two areas of errors are the parts have the spacer tubes mixed up. Short one goes in the right side. The manual calls for the rubber bumber on the right fork only. Some forks come with one in the left and one in the right. This is technically the correct assembly, as in one in each fork.
Ron
 
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