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How To: Make fork gaiters using parts found at the auto parts store

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by cros36, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. cros36

    cros36 thread killer

    so mikes has been killing it lately, but a common complaint is some of their rubber products. i needed a way to protect my new fork seals, and the nasty amount of time that went into changing them, i knew i didnt want to do that again. so i set out to find a local supply for some fork gaiters. went to 3 different auto supply houses and i finally found something that i thought would work. universal rack and pinion boots. heres a little how-to to make this a little easier.

    advance auto

    the boots, you will need two. $15.99 a piece
    [​IMG]

    item number for easy ordering or finding, not always the brightest group working behind the counters.
    [​IMG]

    you will need someway to clamp these suckers down these are what i bought and they worked perfectly. they come with zip ties, but i thought these would be a little better.
    $2.49 a piece
    [​IMG]

    again item numbers for your convenience.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    here they are out of the box. notice the two ends are different.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    on the bigger end cut this amount off, i started with scissors, ended up using a x-acto knife.
    [​IMG]

    little end cut this amount off.
    [​IMG]

    now, when they are clamped down its a tight seal, so you will need someway for these to breathe or you will have a shriveled up boot that may actually affect the rebound/damping of your forks. cant make any promises of this but it makes since to me. drilling rubber sucks, i tried, it doesnt work that great. i read somewhere that someone used a hole punch. all i could find was my daughters star shaped hole punch. this is most likely not the smartest move, because there is now 5 different points that will pry cause it to split. i used what i had on hand. im happy with it. i punched them on the bottom end one pleat up on the side that is going on the back end to hide it.
    [​IMG]

    slide them on. the top hole is a tight fit. dont go crazy and tear anything.
    [​IMG]

    slide the lower over, its tight, but nothing too bad
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    [​IMG]

    now, go ahead and put your forks back on the bike, put your wheel back on, use a torque wrench and tighten everything back down. i hit my lowers on the buffing wheel for a second just to clean up a little.

    i shot my clamps with some rustolem glossy black, turned out nice. anyways, the top lines up perfectly, almost looks like it was supposed to be there. there is a crease on the bottom, but its fine if you ask me.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    now straighten your new gaiters up, slide the top end up to your bottom tree. make sure your vents are on the back. looking back at it, i would pry put the vertical seams on the sides instead of front and back, just for looks. tighten your clamps and your done.
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    final thoughts.
    i have 34mm forks. i VERY highly doubt that guys with 35mm would have any problems installing. they are tight, but it is rubber and it stretches pretty good.
    total cost was $39.18. didnt take too long. i didnt really want gaiters for the look of my bike, but after about 2.2 seconds i ended up really liking them. and the best part was finding them locally and supporting my surrounding economy.
     
    Wulfbyte likes this.
  2. Fatman

    Fatman XS650 Addict

    Wonder if big zip ties would work (black)??
     
  3. tonyc

    tonyc XS650 Guru

    I use black zip ties.
     
  4. Very nice write-up. Thank you.
     
  5. Thanks, Cros36...nice write up, indeed! Appreciate all the detail (part numbers, etc.). Good job!
     
  6. kvanderploeg

    kvanderploeg The Dutch Terror

    Good write up! Just ordered a pair for the new front end I'm building. Thanks!

    Kent
     
  7. kvanderploeg

    kvanderploeg The Dutch Terror

    BTW, do you have any good pics of that new P-nut tank all plumbed up? Thinking of getting one and would like to see what you used for the petcocks and how the plumbing ran. If you have it in another thread, can you just point me in that direction? Thanks!

    Kent
     
  8. littlebill31

    littlebill31 Smells of Raw Fuel

    Yes, very nice write-up and good thinking :thumbsup:

    Also, thanks for the parts numbers. They help immensely.
     
  9. cros36

    cros36 thread killer

    kvander
    i do not have plumbing pics, ill could try to get to that today. they are the straight petcocks from lowbrow tho, holding up good.

    to all
    i had to include the part numbers. you would not believe the crazy ass looks you get from the people that work at these stores when your trying to explain what i needed and what i was putting it on. one of the places didnt even look for anything, he was like, "this here is a auto store, we dont sell anything like them there what your talking on about. go to the motorcycle store"
     
  10. kvanderploeg

    kvanderploeg The Dutch Terror

    Just how far South of the Mason-Dixon line were you when you were looking for those gaiters? :laugh: Thanks for the info on the tank. Would like to see some general pics of your build as well. :thumbsup:

    Kent
     
  11. bbillington

    bbillington blorp a dorp dorp

    Ann Arbor: Childhood home of Robert E. Lee
     
  12. cros36

    cros36 thread killer

    hah. this dude was old as dirt, probably knew everything there is to know about cars, but couldnt wrap his head around this for some reason.
     
  13. wacko

    wacko XS650 Addict

    Great post. Thanks for taking the time.
     
  14. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I think the gaitors that are used on the shocks of those pick ups jacked sky high are a cheaper place to start. They are like $5or $6 each. Come in many colors too.
    Leo
     
  15. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    20,205
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    Yes, truck shock gaiters, available on-line for as little as $3 each. Been using them for years .....

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  16. wacko

    wacko XS650 Addict

    As far as the truck gators go, is there a certain size that works best? or are they all pretty much the same size?
     
  17. angus67

    angus67 Welder's penetrate deeper!!

    nice.... i like the 'many' pleats over the 'fewer' pleats that the truck shocks privide. gaitors hide pitted slides.
    Your run in with big bubba reminds me of everytime I try to buy somthing for my 67 fairlane, they say they dont have it, the car was not poplar enuf. then I ask for the same part for a 66-67 mustang, or 66-67 ranger, and low and behold, they have it.
     
  18. Lester

    Lester XS650 Junkie

  19. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

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    5Twins, what have you done at the bottom of the boots in this picture? Truck shocks are made with a split in the bottom collar these days which keeps the collar from just slipping on the lower. Some people are cutting the collar off and clamping it. The pic looks like something different still.


    [​IMG]
     
  20. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    20,205
    12,300
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    I didn't do anything to the bottom. The ones I used were not split at the bottom. They fit perfectly on the 650 lowers. I put the included hose clamp on mostly for looks, it really isn't even needed because they fit so snug. I've explained this whole set-up many times over the past few years. It's the best option out there as far as I'm concerned. I've been running these "truck shock" gaiters for going on 20 years. Yes, the same 2 sets. They haven't split, cracked, failed. You're (I hate to say it) stupid if you buy the bike ones. Especially the ones from our favorite parts supplier. They have been reported to fall apart in a year or two.

    Now, there's more to putting these on than just putting them on. They need to be shortened a bit to look right. But I worked that all out too (and documented it in past posts). Do a search for "gaiter" and I'm sure you'll get my posts on the subject.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019

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