EBR Hydraulic Frok Fiasco: Leaky Seals

Hello,

Preamble:

I have some EBR Hydraulic forks that have leaked from the seals on the left fork since they were first installed brand new on the moped. I contacted the retailer, the retailer contacted EBR, and I was sent new fork seals. I am thankful for that, however, I was not comfortable replacing the seals myself without any detailed instructions. I really didn't want to damage the forks. It might be hard for some to understand, but I actually spent years saving up for them. Also, I couldn't find a disassembly guide or anything like that. I didn't even know what tools or oil to buy. so I set them aside.

10 years later.... I purchased new thicker fork oil, watched some videos about fixing other brands of forks, found something that would take out the plastic plugs. I said to hell with it, if my armature repair fails, I will save up to buy a new fork tube.

I started to take the fork apart. I took out the plastic plugs, pulled out the springs, and drained the oil.

The problem:

The Allen bolt at the bottom of the fork would not come loose. It must have some serious lock-tight or something. I eventually clamped down the lower fork and hammered the allen wrench with a dead blow hammer. The allen bolt eventually broke loose and started spinning slowly with the allen wrench, but for some reason wouldn't actually loosen past that. The bolt would spin with effort, but not loosen. Also I couldn't tighten the bolt back up. It's not stripped, but something strange is going on. I look down into the inside of the fork tube and something spins when I twist the bolt, but there is just a round hole and nothing to grab onto in the inside of the fork. So, basically, it's not coming apart.

I decided to try cleaning the seals instead of replacing. I cut a piece of plastic and used it to clean the seals. Basically, I tried to make one of these:

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I threw some fork oil in the forks, put the springs back in, and screwed the plastic caps back on. I replaced the oil in both forks so they'd match.

And.... I may have bought some time with the new oil, but there is still a tiny bit of oil that comes out of the left fork tube with just a few bounces on the forks.

I don't know what to do. Does anyone know what the problem is with the forks not coming apart?

The forks are the peugeot 103 & honda hobbit EBR black hydraulic forks. They are mounted on a Motobecane 50V. I had to switch out the brake plate(to a peugeot brake plate), headset hardware, washers, and maybe the axle to make them fit. It was difficult to figure out, but they do fit. I really don't want to switch out the front end again.

Possible solutions:

1. Find out how to take apart the forks and replace the seals. Hopefully seals would solve the problem.

2. Buy a replacement EBR fork tube. (maybe the easiest solution.)

3. Find high quality 28mm fork tubes from a motorcycle for cheap. Preferably one that would work with the original wheel or could be made to work without too much trouble. I like this idea, but really don't want to spend hundreds more on forks(or need to buy another wheel). The EBR tubes are cheap chromed steel. Motorcycle fork tubes are usually high quality stainless steel. I would hope to keep the original speedometer. Motorcycle forks tubes might not be worth it if I would need to buy the fork tubes, a new speedometer, a new speedometer cable, maybe new seals, a new wheel, spacers, cables, and other hardware.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Re: EBR Hydraulic Frok Fiasco: Leaky Seals

Just in case if anyone finds this useful... To remove the plastic caps at the top of the forks, I used a piece of aluminum measuring approximately 9/16" and a 9/16" socket. It's a very snug fit.

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Re: EBR Hydraulic Frok Fiasco: Leaky Seals

id take option 2, isn't a leg 45 bucks?

Re: EBR Hydraulic Frok Fiasco: Leaky Seals

In order to loosen that bolt on the fork lower, you need to prevent the damper rod that it is screwed into from spinning inside the fork lower. Some people use an impact drill to loosen the bolt while the forks are still assembled and on the bike, because the tension of the fork springs usually holds the damper rod in place. Another "shade tree" trick is to use a broom handle when the forks are apart to jam into the end and hold the damper rod in place so you can loosen the bolt.

When reassembling, new fork seals installed on the fork tubes need to be driven into the fork lowers until fully seated. There are specific (expensive) tools that help you do this that come in specific diameters for specific fork tube sizes, but again the shade tree trick here is to get some PVC that will fit around the upper fork tube and can be used to drive the seal into place.

Hope that helps.

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