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Old 11-10-2007, 02:55 PM   #1
tennessee thumper OP
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cleaning fork seals

I just bought 2006 TE 450 with 20+ hours. Fork seals leaking a bit. Any tips on cleaning/repairing them to stop the leak. I planned on the initial ride Sunday but am worried about the leak and may not ride. Any comments with prior experience would be helpful...
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:33 PM   #2
ThumperDRZ
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I think I read once here where someone used 35 mm film from a standard camera and ran it around the seals to clean them out and stop the leaking with good results.
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennessee thumper
I just bought 2006 TE 450 with 20+ hours. Fork seals leaking a bit. Any tips on cleaning/repairing them to stop the leak. I planned on the initial ride Sunday but am worried about the leak and may not ride. Any comments with prior experience would be helpful...
Lots of opinions on how to go about that and what to use.

My method consists of dropping the dust seals, cleaning them and packing them with a medium body water-proof grease. The grease acts as a "crap catcher" before the actual seal.

While the dust seals are down, I'll take a new, clean white business card, insert the corner into the oil seal lip and give it a pass or two around the inner circumference of the seal, between seal and tube.

Why a clean white business card... you ask with giddy anticipation?

1. you can't damage the seal with paper. (OK... there's probably somebody out there that can damage a seal with a down feather)
2. every card has four useful, fresh, pointy corners that slide nicely between seal and tube.
3. you can see the crap you scrap out.
4. you can see when you've scrapped out all the crap... and how lazy you are because you're oil is so damn dirty.
5. business cards are cheap and the fit in your wallet real nice.


C
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:08 PM   #4
tennessee thumper OP
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Thanks for your comments.... I had heard about this but wanted to get some feedback. As I mentioned, the bike is a 2006 has only 20 hours on it. I can't imagine the seals are bad, but one never knows. The good news, I called the guy I bought the bike from and he apologized for the trouble and is sending off a set of seals for my trouble. Good Karma...Maybe a good clean job and some riding will help get everything back in proper order. Field test report to follow.....
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Old 11-10-2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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has it sat awhile? it is possible that they are weeping a bit from the bike not being ridden. I have had several bikes, with different brand forks, that had no leaks until the bike sat awhile...then the fork seals started weeping. It's sorta tough to convince prospective buyers of this theory though
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:02 PM   #6
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I used a 3/1000 feeler gauge slide up into the seals on my wifes DR650 and it stopped the leaking for about two years now. The feeler gauge works better because it has its own structure whereas paper wouldn't hold up I wouldn't think.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:26 AM   #7
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I am on board with the sitting idle theory. Supposedly the bike (a 2006 with only 20 hours/300miles) sat for a few months...the reason, a common one I guess..."it was too much bike for my son" the seller told me. So, I am hopeful the down time and sedintary history of the bike is the cause of the leak. Again a report to follow and thanks for your input.

TT
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:34 AM   #8
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TT, plain white business cards worked for me. I was preparing to replace my seals and a thread about leaking seals on KTMtalk.com caught my eye. Creeper and several others reported good results when leaking seals were cleaned.

Mine have been nice and dry ever since. I do clean the wipers more often and keep the sliders wiped down with silicone spray after washing the bike.
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Old 11-11-2007, 06:02 PM   #9
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just riding it may take care of it. Just keep an eye out, if it pukes to much out on the brake side it will foul the pads.
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Old 11-11-2007, 08:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram1000
I used a 3/1000 feeler gauge slide up into the seals on my wifes DR650 and it stopped the leaking for about two years now. The feeler gauge works better because it has its own structure whereas paper wouldn't hold up I wouldn't think.
+1
Feeler gauge with a notch cut out of it about 1/2 inch from the end. Slide the gauge in carefully and use the small notch to pull the dirt and grime out of the seal instead of pushing it in to the oil. Work it very slowly and you won't rip the seal.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:02 AM   #11
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These work great.....

http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/tools/seal_mate/
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:51 AM   #12
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I have my little Honda for 14 years , no problems at all with fork oil seals .
Until few weeks , that i had to do an emergency braking , and the left one , started to leak badly .

I ordered new , oil seals and dust seals .

I have a second front system as spare , and i opened it up the boots , so to learn how it opens , so to not cause damage at my main front system .

The oil seal internally , is a sensitive part at the center , sticking parts in it , its a very hard task , especially if you have dust seals on top .
I do not know how it is actually possible , this method of cleaning , to work on my motorcycle .

Its the Showa boots , not compatible with this method ? , i do not know .

All that i know is , that my oil seals and dust seals , had become aged , and loosed their ability to operate.
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiriakos
The oil seal internally , is a sensitive part at the center , sticking parts in it , its a very hard task , especially if you have dust seals on top .
I do not know how it is actually possible , this method of cleaning , to work on my motorcycle .

Its the Showa boots , not compatible with this method ? , i do not know .

All that i know is , that my oil seals and dust seals , had become aged , and loosed their ability to operate.
You have to carefully remove the dust seal and slide them up and out of the way. Your feeler gauge will then slide right in. Sometimes a little oil on the feeler gauge will help.
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:15 PM   #14
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I have also heard the 35mm film trick, although you may get asked 'what's 35mm film?''
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:00 PM   #15
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All are good suggestions and I've used the business card out in the middle of no-mans land with success.

Yet, if you are running larger forks, 43 or 48 mm
I would suggest replacing the stock seals with
synergyseals.com

I've used them on both my KTMs (450 EXC and 640 Adv) with great success.
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