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Front Fork Leakage


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#1 smellthat?

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 03:41 PM

Ran a quick look at the bike today before I was going to head out and found some weird fluid on the right-hand side brake rotor. I initially thought I was leaking some brake fluid from the top banjo fitting, but upon closer inspection it appears that I am leaking fork oil from the seal. Not too fatal since I needed to change the fork oil anyway (just got the bike in August last year, but didn't do the forks.)

The good news is since I got into the GB for the Ohlins shock, I now can justify (sort of) the front end as well. Since I will have the forks all apart anyway it would be a shame to just reuse old stocks parts right? In the end, it appears I actually have somewhat of a NEED for an add on rather than the usual WANT.

A quick question - will fork oil do anything to my front tire? There was some on the rubber and I have no idea if this is bad or not - I did clean the tire off the best I could. I have not ridden it today and may not until I get the front end done.
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#2 Zorlac

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:03 PM

This worked for me.
It makes sense when you don't think about it.

#3 smellthat?

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:57 PM

This worked for me.


Damn - it seems to have worked for me as well. Now how am I going to justify the front fork work?
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#4 petey

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 06:18 PM


This worked for me.


Damn - it seems to have worked for me as well. Now how am I going to justify the front fork work?


By the big smile on your face after the upgrade is complete. :o :)
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#5 smellthat?

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 07:24 PM

I'm married so my happiness is not a high priority! :P I could try that - "honey, it will make me happy", but after 20 years I doubt it will work.
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#6 Big Sky

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 06:59 AM

Redneck repair: Once out on a multi-day trip I lost a fork seal. To prevent oil from running down anywhere near brake parts, I simply tied a bandanna around the fork leg below the seal. Yeah, I got some funny looks.
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#7 smellthat?

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:53 AM

Redneck repair: Once out on a multi-day trip I lost a fork seal. To prevent oil from running down anywhere near brake parts, I simply tied a bandanna around the fork leg below the seal. Yeah, I got some funny looks.


Kinda like putting a bandanna on a dog :P
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#8 Blue Crab

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 04:44 PM

Argh! Got my brand new (to me) FJR home tonight after driving it 2+ hours home from the dealer. Great bike! Parked it in the garage and several hours later I noticed oil on the floor. A closer inspection reveals that BOTH front forks are leaking a little oil (I didn't notice it at the dealership). I guess I'm going to try the $6 gizmo. :angry:
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#9 Burnspot

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 05:30 AM

Argh! Got my brand new (to me) FJR home tonight after driving it 2+ hours home from the dealer. Great bike! Parked it in the garage and several hours later I noticed oil on the floor. A closer inspection reveals that BOTH front forks are leaking a little oil (I didn't notice it at the dealership). I guess I'm going to try the $6 gizmo. :angry:


Was browsing our local Cycle Gear this past weekend and noticed they had the "Seal Mate" hanging in the tools section (http://www.sealmate.net/); picked one up for a couple of bucks and stuffed in the tank bag. I could've probably made one, but WTH. ;)

#10 ian

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:00 AM

I saw a thread about making your own device. I used the top of a plastic container that cherry tomatoes come in. Worked (so far) on both forks on my 01 FZ. Still a little worried, two seals starting to leak at the same time is a bit of a coincidence. Ian, Iowa

#11 Blue Crab

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:06 AM

I saw a thread about making your own device. I used the top of a plastic container that cherry tomatoes come in. Worked (so far) on both forks on my 01 FZ. Still a little worried, two seals starting to leak at the same time is a bit of a coincidence. Ian, Iowa


I went ahead and bought the $6 gizmo... did you have to remove the fork? that dust seal looks like it'd be a bear to remove with the fairing in the way. I inspected my dust seal with a strong flashlight last night and there's some dirt around the seal, so I'm thinking of pulling each fork off and cleaning it on the bench.
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#12 BkrK12

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:47 AM

The dust seal is easy to pry off with a flat blade screw driver. It slides easily up the leg. You need to play with it a bit to re-seat it if you don't take the fork off the bike. A word of caution - be careful, If you scratch the fork leg, you'll wind up with a much bigger problem.

The fork protector is what gets in your way, trying to use the sealmate or homemade equivalent without removing the fork. Personally, having tried it both ways, I take the time to remove the fork leg. It'll make the 2 minute job much easier. It'll also give you an opportunity to give the area under the dust seal a much better cleaning. With the fork leg removed, you can also use a two foot section of 2" PVC pipe as a driver to re-seat the dust seal.

I know it sounds stupid to take the fork off to do such a small job. But, the results are worth the investment of time.

Good luck with it.

Dan

#13 Blue Crab

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 07:01 AM

The dust seal is easy to pry off with a flat blade screw driver. It slides easily up the leg. You need to play with it a bit to re-seat it if you don't take the fork off the bike. A word of caution - be careful, If you scratch the fork leg, you'll wind up with a much bigger problem.

The fork protector is what gets in your way, trying to use the sealmate or homemade equivalent without removing the fork. Personally, having tried it both ways, I take the time to remove the fork leg. It'll make the 2 minute job much easier. It'll also give you an opportunity to give the area under the dust seal a much better cleaning. With the fork leg removed, you can also use a two foot section of 2" PVC pipe as a driver to re-seat the dust seal.

I know it sounds stupid to take the fork off to do such a small job. But, the results are worth the investment of time.

Good luck with it.

Dan


Thanks, Dan, my feelings exactly. If you're going to do a job then you might as well do it right. So it looks like my first maintenance project will be to remove the front wheel, then remove the fork legs, then clean the seal (hopefully). I like the PVC idea for use as a seal hammer.
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#14 dannymax

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:58 AM

I saw a thread about making your own device. I used the top of a plastic container that cherry tomatoes come in. Worked (so far) on both forks on my 01 FZ. Still a little worried, two seals starting to leak at the same time is a bit of a coincidence. Ian, Iowa


Same thing happened to me, first the left one, seems like only a couple days later and the right one started leaking too. Got the seal mate gizmo thing coming....hope it works.
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#15 ahchiu

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 06:31 AM


The dust seal is easy to pry off with a flat blade screw driver. It slides easily up the leg. You need to play with it a bit to re-seat it if you don't take the fork off the bike. A word of caution - be careful, If you scratch the fork leg, you'll wind up with a much bigger problem.

The fork protector is what gets in your way, trying to use the sealmate or homemade equivalent without removing the fork. Personally, having tried it both ways, I take the time to remove the fork leg. It'll make the 2 minute job much easier. It'll also give you an opportunity to give the area under the dust seal a much better cleaning. With the fork leg removed, you can also use a two foot section of 2" PVC pipe as a driver to re-seat the dust seal.

I know it sounds stupid to take the fork off to do such a small job. But, the results are worth the investment of time.

Good luck with it.

Dan


Thanks, Dan, my feelings exactly. If you're going to do a job then you might as well do it right. So it looks like my first maintenance project will be to remove the front wheel, then remove the fork legs, then clean the seal (hopefully). I like the PVC idea for use as a seal hammer.

If you don't want to take off the forks you can cut the 2" PVC in half and put the 2 half around the forks to seat the dust covers, if you spray the seals with some silicone it pops in easy.
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#16 BkrK12

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:22 AM

Good idea about cutting the PVC in half. That didn't even occur to me. The first time I did it I used a #2 phillips to roll the dust seal back in, behind the fork protector. I still think it's a real hassle to use the sealmate, or your homemade substitute, with the fork on the bike. There's a reason the Sealmate video shows it on upside down forks with no protectors.

#17 dannymax

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:56 PM

The Seal Mate thing came today....it's a little embarassing paying $6 for a little piece of scrap plastic but....what the hey, if it works....!

So got ready to pry the dust seals up and I notice the left side is dry, no more leaking and the right one has lessened a great deal, and perhaps even stopped also.

Is it possible that when I cinched it down on the trailer I brought it down too tight, and the bumps I hit, which were plentiful, created more pressure than the seals could deal with....and they may actually re-seal with no further drama?

Is this even remotely possible?
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#18 dannymax

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 01:37 PM

Well, possible or not, after 200 miles, one side is dry and the fork protector ring is wet in one spot on the back of the other side.

About a 90% improvement over a few days ago.
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#19 Fred W

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 02:00 PM

The superior '05 1st gens heal themselves.
It's all in the ridiculously extravagant paint color.

Yeah that's right...

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#20 Blue Crab

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 06:05 PM

The SealMate solved my problem. :-)
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