Fork Oil Question

Discussion in 'Dyna Models' started by RickyBobby, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. RickyBobby

    RickyBobby Active Member

    I had a seal start to leak on me. I know I should have addressed changing the fluid out earlier. So, I pulled the forks and took the leaking one apart and dumped the oil in a pan. It was brown and murky looking. I then went to the local dealer for seal, orings and fork fluid. I bought the Harley branded type E fluid for the Showa forks which is what I have on my FXDB. I got the seal in and already to pour the fluid in the collapsed leg and discovered it was red colored.
    I am guessing that Harley buys the forks from Japan with oil installed and just installs the forks on the assembly line. If that is the case, then I don't like the looks of the original oil and I should have changed it out long ago. The other thing that I discovered was the capacity. I made a stick to tell me when I was 110mm from the top, but that was almost two pints worth and I only bought two pints and I could only fill the one leg. I bought some more today to finish the project, but it seems like a lot of oil.
    Did Harley change fork oils in the past few years or is that oil just some japanese junky oil?
  2. hntwrobin

    hntwrobin Active Member

    The fork oil being murky is normal. I would check the amount of oil you put in there though I know that on prior years the capacity is only around 11-12 ounces so if you put in 2 pints you have definitely overfilled :(
  3. bikerdad

    bikerdad Junior Member

    I agree that the oil color is normal. I changed my front sliders to go with chrome with less than 2000 miles on the bike. The old oil was brown and murkey. I replaced it with the new red. With this low mileage I don't think it could have been from wear. The capacity for my Road King was something like 9.7 ounces so it does seem like you over filled it.
  4. RickyBobby

    RickyBobby Active Member

    So, then the Showa forks all come with that murky brown oil. Good to know. Odd that Harley has branded a fork oil just for the Showa forks. I like the look of the new oil I installed. It looks like fork oil.
    My FXDB is a '06 model. I have the big 49mm forks. The manual calls for 29.6 oz or 875 cc. The manual, for my forks it tells me to fill collapsed forks with out the spring in it until the level gets to 4.3 inches (110mm) from the top of the slider.
    That is how I filled them. There was a lot of oil that I dumped out, but I did not measure what was in there to start with.
    I never had any problems with my forks other than the one seal starting to leave oil on the slider and attracting dust and looking like it needed attention. I did have a clunk a couple years ago that would happen on rebound from a stop with front brake on. That problem went away once I adjusted the the stem nut and fall away and used the new torque setting on the nut. My bearings had broken in and need a tweek.
    I am anxious to put it together tomorrow on my day off and give the dampening a try and then I can see if it feels better with the better looking oil in there.