Originally Posted by G600
I did the seals on the XT550 I had many years ago. I don't recall any problems taking the forks apart, they are simple. If I remember correctly I had to make a "holder tool" (I hope I am not mixing up bikes). This holder tool was a bolt and a steel rod welded together. You need it when you loosen the bolt at the bottom of the fork.
Are you sure the seals are shot? If they are leaking you can often clean them, sometimes seals leak because of dirt, not wear. Unlike the modern forks, there are small screws at the bottom of the XT550's forks you can use to get the oil out... so oil replacement is dead easy.
Well, the seals are actually pretty good, but I want to replace the fork oil with heavier weight and I figured I could just do the fork seals for piece of mind while having them off. One fork lost 13 pounds of pressure over a year, which isn't terrible but the other one only lost 2. (air assist)