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Leaking Fork Seals

Old 11-21-2010, 10:25 PM
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Leaking Fork Seals

Have done a search but didn't find much.
What am I stuffing up or missing?
Weeping oil on LHS fork. Changed seals and bushes on both sides, using genuine Honda parts. LHS blew after 500km. Replaced seal on that side with aftermarket part. 2000km and it's blown badly again.
There are a few stone chips up high (3/4 travel) and visible vertical wear lines, but nothing dramatic. I have taken the stanchions in for rechroming, and the comment was that they were not badly marked. They measure up at 40.94mm with .01 variation and are straight.
I am lubing the seals as I assemble, and carefully drifting them home. Is there any particular trick to working them over the grove at the top of the tube?
Thanks in anticipation...
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:59 PM
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I just circle the top of the tube with a single layer of cheap electrical tape. It covers the groove and the seal will slide over it easily and remain undamaged. Racetech puts a plastic bag over the fork tube to protect the seal as it's slid on.
The OEM seal should last a lot longer than 500 km. I think I've got about 40,000 km. on mine.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:44 PM
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Plastic sandwich baggie lubed with fork oil is the way to go. Especially with USD forks.

What are you driving them with? A good seal driver, or something homemade?
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quality seals, seal bullet or plastic wrap, seal grease, new bushings, clean, nick free tube and the proper driver is what has worked for me.. I do 1 or 2 fork sets a week and a few shocks as well every month when I'm not deployed.

I get a fair amount of leaking forks that were "just rebuilt" hours to days before.

I find three common issues.
1: Damaged tube, nicks, scratches, etc.
2: Worn bushings
3: Damaged seals due to install methods.

Other possible issues are crap aftermarket seals and just bad luck or riding environment.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:51 PM
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Thanks guys, I think it is my method, given that I have re-bushed. I will be more gentle in future!
Now I just have to wait for the re-chroming...2weeks and A$300.
As a side issue, given the re-chroming price, I costed out doing a fork swap. The best I could get it down to was A$2000! Oh, to have access to prices you guys get. Postage from US to Australia is huge, otherwise I would do that option.
I will perservere with the gold valves and brace - still searching for that magic compromise between comfort and confidence on our goat tracks that the local government calls roads.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:43 AM
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I had a seal that started leaking and did something similar to this and so far it has not leaked and that was last year.


http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/sho...69#post1639169
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:05 PM
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Never heard of tear offs before.

But thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by trident00 View Post
Never heard of tear offs before.

But thanks for the tip.
tear offs are the peel off/throw away thin shields used in racing. But I didn't use tear offs cause i don't have any. I used a thin piece of plastic i sanded to a knife edge so that I could slip it under the seal easily and slide around a couple times. Something like the shape of a plastic picnic knife with smooth blade will work. Soak the seal area with heavy duty spray silicone to facilitate cleaning and freshen up the rubber seal.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:13 PM
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Ah cool. I appreciate the response. I guess I am familiar with the tear offs, just wasnt thinking that direction. It all makes sense and sounds like a good way to refurbish an otherwise good seal.
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