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-   -   Rear Shock Seals- OEM or Race Tech or Synergy? (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=855675)

AdvRonski 01-14-2013 07:09 PM

Rear Shock Seals- OEM or Race Tech or Synergy?
 
I seem to be getting rather disappointing lifespans on WP shock seals. On both the 950 and the 525, by the end of just one( hard!) riding season, they are usually leaking enough to leave little puddles after sitting a couple of days in the garage.
I've tried Synergy seals, which don't use the nylon scrapers, but didn't find any improvement.
Now that the SKF fork seals make annual fork seal replacement unnecessary, I'd love to find a shock seal that lasted a couple of years, too.
Has anyone tried the Race Tech seal and bushing set?

Konflict Motorsports 01-15-2013 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AdvRonski (Post 20485963)
I seem to be getting rather disappointing lifespans on WP shocks. On both the 950 and the 525, by the end of just one( hard!) riding season, they are usually leaking enough to leave little puddles after sitting a couple of days in the garage.
I've tried Synergy seals, which don't use the nylon scrapers, but didn't find any improvement.
Now that the SKF fork seals make annual fork seal replacement unnecessary, I'd love to find a shock seal that lasted a couple of years, too.
Has anyone tried the Race Tech seal and bushing set?

Are you using a bullet to install the seal, or just eyeballing it? Seems odd, are you just replacing the oil seal and not the dust seal at the same time? Whats the condition of the bushing?

AdvRonski 01-15-2013 02:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konflict Motorsports (Post 20489262)
Are you using a bullet to install the seal, or just eyeballing it? Seems odd, are you just replacing the oil seal and not the dust seal at the same time? Whats the condition of the bushing?

Thanks for the reply!

Installed with bullet- Yes
Dust seal replaced- Yes and No, doesn't seem to make a difference
Bushing Condition- Good, OEM, very little shaft play

This time I plan on chucking up the shock shafts, and putting a nice polished finish on them with metal polish.

Zuber 01-15-2013 10:38 PM

Metal polish is too fine. Seals need some texture to work properly. Suggest finishing off with 320-400 grit wet-n-dry.

I believe the Race Tech seals are the same as stock. The fork seals are the same NOK brand. Ass-U-Me the shock seals are NOK also. Suggest replacing the seal head (bushing, seal, scraper, o-ring) assembly.

Get RaceTech's seal grease also, very good stuff.

Don't run without the fender extender (hangy-downy bit) to keep the rock chips off.

Konflict Motorsports 01-16-2013 07:12 AM

I agree with Zuber, its time to put a new seal head in and polsih the shaft.
Race-Tech seals are the same as stock in most cases.

NC Rick 01-16-2013 07:20 AM

Yep, doubtful that shaft play is an issue. I also would suspect an issue with the finish on the shaft (either nicked or potentially even glazed) or some other seal head problem that could even be manufacturing related. Either the OEM or Racetech seals should be good (we don't use the other brand so cant comment). We do 100s of shocks every year and can't afford seal problems. Odd things can happen...

AdvRonski 01-16-2013 07:38 AM

Wow, that's some great info from the heavy hitters here in the OC. Thanks for the replies!
I should also mention that both the 950 and the 525 are used off-road most of the time, so sand, mud, and dust are always accumulating. I should definitely consider washing these bikes more often, and pay closer attention to the shock area.
Well, I'm not a real clean freak, but I can try.

Konflict Motorsports 01-16-2013 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AdvRonski (Post 20498655)
Wow, that's some great info from the heavy hitters here in the OC. Thanks for the replies!
I should also mention that both the 950 and the 525 are used off-road most of the time, so sand, mud, and dust are always accumulating. I should definitely consider washing these bikes more often, and pay closer attention to the shock area.
Well, I'm not a real clean freak, but I can try.

Do not pressure wash near the heim (smaller bike) or shock body, keep the body cup clean when servicing. Use compressed air to blow it out after every other ride will extend the life.

How are you bleeding the shock? On a pump or by hand?

AdvRonski 01-16-2013 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Konflict Motorsports (Post 20499609)
Do not pressure wash near the heim (smaller bike) or shock body, keep the body cup clean when servicing. Use compressed air to blow it out after every other ride will extend the life.

How are you bleeding the shock? On a pump or by hand?


I never use a power washer on my bikes. That always seemed like a great way to get water into all kinds of places it shouldn't be.
I use what is basically a hand vacuum pump operated brake bleeder for final bleeding. I've had good results with this setup, performance-wise. I've never found any evidence of overheated shims, either.
Blowing the crud out of the seal cup is a great idea. One of those Well, Duh! moments for me.
I clean out the fork dust seals often enough, why didn't I think of that?
Duh

geometrician 01-16-2013 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AdvRonski (Post 20499925)
I never use a power washer on my bikes. That always seemed like a great way to get water into all kinds of places it shouldn't be

while the water is one part of the problem it's the dirt forced in with the water that does in seals, bushes, bearings.

Had a customer bring a 2011 bike in that he couldn't even push out of the back of his truck- when I pulled his rear wheel bearings & seals they were full of silt the color of the soil in our area- even though they are -2RS (rubber sealed) bearings. When asked later if he used a pressure washer he replied "How else can I keep it this clean?"

Consider a shock sock or PDS boot, or to save some money use an inner tube around the entire shock, or wrapped around the bottom mount to keep stuff out of the Heim/PDS bushing

NC Rick 01-18-2013 07:27 AM

For me, the shock boots can do more harm than good. If you ride the bike hard, cooling of the shock is a big and important issue. Running the shock at elevated temperatures will at best, increase the need for service. Shielding the shock from rocks and debris is a good thing but the shocks are designed to be able to operate in really severe conditions, that is why the shocks are designed with the shaft scrapers and other design features. Keep in mind that our primary goal in designing a seal head is to keep the fluid in the shock with keeping the outside world from getting in being the important secondary consideration. If your running a shock under dirty, hard conditions, more frequent services are called for.

advronski, back to your seal life issue, there is no way for us to really say what is going on and environmental issues can not be ignored. You will want to pay very close attention to the installation procedures of the seals into the seal head and pack the seal assembly with special grease. We use an arbor press and special driver tools for installing the lip seal and shaft scraper. The shock shaft should be straight, free from dings or pits, not be scored or overly glazed and preferably have a fine cross hatch surface finish. We check the shaft on a surface plate and inspect it using magnification. If those criteria are met and seal life is still poor, there can be problems with the seal head part. Most of the newer WP shocks use a lip type seal as opposed to an o-ring or quad-ring type design and for that reason, less sensitive to internal surface finishes. We had a shock here (a RaceTech brand shock) that had been bottomed so hard (apparently) that the seal head machined part distorted and new seal would not hold up. Inspect the Garlock bushing for scoring or other damage that may point to other problems. Shredded Tefflon from the bushing can be stringy and cause a seal leak.

AdvRonski 01-18-2013 08:50 PM

Thanks for the input, Rick. Both bikes are 2004's, so they use the quad seal with scraper rings. Looking at the dimensions of the newer seals, it doesn't appear that they would retrofit. I will be looking closely at the condition of the shafts, and put a nice cross-hatch on them.
I also have a DR650, and had you hard anodize the shock body. It's gotten a couple of oil changes, and still no leakage from the original seal. I rode that bike across the Colorado and Utah portions of the TAT and back, so it's seen it's share of abuse.

NC Rick 01-20-2013 04:12 PM

Ronski, thank you for your business and the nice call out. Our shock also uses a quad ring. Replace the backer ring when you change the seal and make sure everything is clean. Lube the quad ring well. Look closely at the old leaking quad ring. Look for nicks. Sometimes the rings can stick to the shaft and roll over, you can usually spot this as it will still be twisted in the groove ore the wear patten shows what happened. Take care with the source of the quad rings cause some non metric sizes are close but a little smaller than the actual metric size. Nicks, gouges or other tool marks in the groove WILL cause trouble.

AdvRonski 01-21-2013 08:24 PM

I rounded up the old quad rings from the 950 and the 525, broke out the Macro lens, and took a close look.
This is a pretty good-looking edge that presumably was an upper/inside edge-

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/c...psd42f5e1a.jpg

Here's the outwards-facing edge from the 950-

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/c...psbec910c8.jpg

Pretty chewed up. It would seem I need to wash out the seal cup area more often.
Then there's the 525 seal-

http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/c...ps270de37e.jpg

Now THAT'S chewed!
Of course, this bike sees a lot more mud than the 950 does, as it's the one I use for Enduro course layout work, but it sure does explain the leakage.
Thanks again for all the input, guys.

Vicks 01-23-2013 03:56 AM

both the bike rubbers :D look brittle and hardened !!


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