One of the forks had an oil leak indicating that the seal was gone. This and the fact that David wanted the forks legs to be powder coated black, meant a rebuild was in order. When I took the dust seals off I was shocked to see how beat up the stanchions, oil seal lip were and how rusty/leaky looking the bad leg looked. The previous owner obviously and unfortunately had a hard time working on them - just look at the pry marks and clamp marks :( That is why it helps to watch a few instructional videos before trying to do something like this yourself. There are hundreds of techniques for avoiding damage to these parts - aluminium jaws in the vice for one! The last guy obviously didn't use those! And another one, use a bunched up rag or a block of wood when prying stuff on the edge of an aluminium part! Gah, I cringe.
Anyway, when the forks were dismantled and drained, it became obvious how bad that one side was - just look at the goo that came out. The other side seemed to be pretty fresh.
I ordered some replacement seals for this model year. Turns out there was 2 different XS750 models in the same year (1977) with two different fork dimensions. I was sure this was the ‘D’ model, but it turns out it is the ‘2D’ model. So the seals I received were wrong, however, I think they still would have been wrong for the ‘D’ model because they were so low - only 9mm thick. Lesson learned here for me - it is better to have the exact and complete dimensions of the required seal (outside diameter, inside diameter and height) rather than going after the bike model and year.
The fork legs were properly drained and cleaned (with engine/carb cleaner) then masked and blasted. The powder coat came up real nice but I didn't snap a photo of them - you will see them on the bike. PC is such a nice hard finish, I will be using this a lot more for future builds.