Forking Seals!

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scubarusteve
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Forking Seals!

Postby scubarusteve » Sat May 27, 2017 10:26 pm

Seems the fork seals on my 03 WR450 only function for about 2 months of weekend only rides. Everything is properly cleaned to my knowledge using the proper tools and oil. Am i being to hard on my suspension? i do bottom them every once in a while, Stiffer springs of crank up the compression damping possible solve some issues? thanks!
17 Beta 300RR, 03 WR450

Forking Seals!

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RJHenry
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby RJHenry » Sun May 28, 2017 7:05 am

Most common aggravant is dirt that dries on the chrome after a ride and then strokes into the seal on the next. Clean the forks religiously after every outing.

Second thought is worn bushings will allow excessive pressure on the seals.

Third suggestion is use a Seal Saver http://sealmate.net/ at least a couple times before caving in and changing the seals. Often a little crud isn't the end of the seal's life.

Four thoughts... yikes... fill the cavity between the dust seal and the oil seal with grease to grab and suspend what does get by the dust seal.

Finally, not sure how the oem seal is but most enjoy the SKF green seals. Good luck!
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Patrick
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby Patrick » Sun May 28, 2017 12:53 pm

If you're not already, I always use the socks to put over the forks. Covering the machined surface is paramount in my opinion considering the conditions we ride. Its not like we put dirt over our pistons before we slide them in the cylinder right.

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Hooligan
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby Hooligan » Sun May 28, 2017 8:53 pm

If you are bottoming out the forks then you need to add more fluid to them. Increased fluid results in less air space above the fluid which will shorten the possible stroke length. Hard bottoming is bad for the fork and your knees.

Invest in a seal saver, the expensive one, not the cheapo flimsy plastic one. Just cause the seal is leaking, doesn't mean it is damaged. A quick run around the with seal saver is often all that is required to stop the leak.

Either invest in a set of fork air pressure release knobbins or make sure to vent pressure out of the forks regularily. Excess pressure than push fluid out of the seals.

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Hooligan
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby Hooligan » Sun May 28, 2017 8:55 pm

If you are bottoming out the forks then you need to add more fluid to them. Increased fluid results in less air space above the fluid which will shorten the possible stroke length. Hard bottoming is bad for the fork and your knees.

Invest in a seal saver, the expensive one, not the cheapo flimsy plastic one. Just cause the seal is leaking, doesn't mean it is damaged. A quick run around the with seal saver is often all that is required to stop the leak.

Either invest in a set of fork air pressure release knobbins or make sure to vent pressure out of the forks regularily. Excess pressure than push fluid out of the seals.

I have been warned about the neoprene fork wraps. When they get wet, they hold water against the fork legs which can result in corrosion over time.

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cedric
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby cedric » Tue May 30, 2017 9:18 am

Next time you replace the seals, carefully inspect the chrome sliders for any nicks or burrs that might be cutting the new seals. Gently file down any sharp spots with a fine file or stone.

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malcolmzilla
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby malcolmzilla » Tue May 30, 2017 10:05 am

x2 on the seal saver tool - I have the MotionPro and the Risk racing one, the Risk racing one is a bit easier to use, but be gentle.

I have had good luck with seals lasting longer by installing the SKF mud scrapers, a lot easier to remove and clean than the neoprene ones, also remember to pull the dust seal off and give it a blast of cleaner and air.

That said, our conditions seem to be murder on seals and fork oil - invest in the tooling to DIY, one seal change and the tooling is paid for.
Even if the seals are good, change the oil regularly as it gets contaminated and does leak past the seals in normal use.

Use good OEM (SKF, Kayaba) components - the cheaper seal kits I've tried seem to have not been as durable.

I have air bleeders installed but I always forget to bleed them... I got 210 hours out of my Kayaba seals through SKF mud scrapers, regular cleaning, and 40 hour oil changes. I kept expecting them to leak but they held until then! Bushings looked good but I did 'em anyhow.

Also check and reset fork alignment, especially after the rider, err bike, takes a trail nap - lots of YouTube vids on that.
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Hooligan
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby Hooligan » Tue May 30, 2017 4:20 pm

malcolmzilla wrote:Also check and reset fork alignment, especially after the rider, err bike, takes a trail nap.


So then every time I got riding? :lol:

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AJRJ
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby AJRJ » Wed May 31, 2017 1:56 pm

malcolmzilla wrote:Also check and reset fork alignment, especially after the rider, err bike, takes a trail nap - lots of YouTube vids on that.


X2 While I don't check the alignment that often (only when the wheel comes off), IMHO the axle alignment is one of the biggest reasons seals go bad. I'm good for well over 200 hours on stock KTM SKF seals, no seal savers.

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scubarusteve
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby scubarusteve » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:22 pm

Thanks for all the reply! I picked up moose skins but they were falling apart before I even got them on The bike.
I did a full bushing, seal and fluid replacement last summer and everything still looks great. Replaced the seals tuesday turned up the damping and i found it felt more positive. I may try bleeding the forks as I never remember. Fork alignment I always make sure it's perfect as I have seem how it messing everything up. I will look into the skf mud scrapers.
17 Beta 300RR, 03 WR450

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erniebearskin
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Re: Forking Seals!

Postby erniebearskin » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:08 am

scubarusteve wrote:Thanks for all the reply! I picked up moose skins but they were falling apart before I even got them on The bike.
I did a full bushing, seal and fluid replacement last summer and everything still looks great. Replaced the seals tuesday turned up the damping and i found it felt more positive. I may try bleeding the forks as I never remember. Fork alignment I always make sure it's perfect as I have seem how it messing everything up. I will look into the skf mud scrapers.


Remember, NEVER bleed your forks mid-ride (forks hot), when sitting on the bike (forks compressed), its amazing how often I see experienced riders do this. :blush:
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