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How long do your fork seals last?

Discussion in '2-Stroke Discussion' started by TrackMaster, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. TrackMaster

    TrackMaster Rookie DRN Member

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    I am just trying to get a basic idea of how long everyone else's fork seals last before they start leaking. My yz125 went through 3 pairs last racing season. I've had one race (today) this season on the RM, and my seals are blown on one side already. :whiner:

    I think it's from practice, my local track is hardpack and coming up short on some of the bigger tables (and doubles for that matter) gives a rather hard landing. Does bottoming hurt the seals at all? And are there any tricks to stop leaks?


  2. Wraith

    Wraith Do the impossible its fun

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    I bought my 2002 CR new and just replaced my fork seals for the first time right after DirtWeek. They had started leaking the day we left. I ride nothing but the track, but I tend to be a fair weather rider :cool: But when I do ride in the mud, I"ll wipe the gunk out from the seals after I'm done riding. And I'll always leave my bike on a stand, it's never left on the ground supporting it's own weight. And I use a fork support to transport the bike.
    Oh yeah, and I always try to downside the jump. But that doesn't always work :laugh:
  3. Moto Squid

    Moto Squid Subscriber

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    My 02 cr's lasted the entire season last year. I think it had something to do with crashing a little less and not binding up the forks constantly :laugh:
  4. epatt

    epatt Rookie DRN Member

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    Dirt causes fork seals to leak... period. If you compress your forks on a trailer more oil will leak out than if not but that is because there is dirt between the seal and the fork tube allowing fluid to pass. Dirt can and will eventually damage the seals sealing surface though. Inverted forks are terrible about leaky seals because the fluid rests at the seal all the time, trying to get out because of gravity. I ride woods and the only way to keep seals from leaking every month is sealsavers. www.sealsavers.com

    Before I started buying these I was cleaning seals once a month.
  5. Rooster

    Rooster Today's Tom Sawyer Damn Yankees

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    Seals. Yeah, they leak. Happens all the time. As epatt said, it's all about dirt getting up in the seals. Try this trick, instead of replacing them all the time. Pop the dust seal off, slide it down the tube, and clean it thoroughly. Then, take some 35mm film, slide it up between the fork tube and the seal and work it around. You will be amazed at the amount of dirt that gets up in there. Slide the film around, pulling it out several times and cleaning it off. I have stopped leaks doing this dozens of times, and only have $4 invested in the film.

    Contact me some time, I would be more than happy to show you how it's done. We ride Bluff Creek all the time. Look for a '03 WR250F or '00 YZ250(two smoke) with DirtRider.Net fender stickers.
  6. marcusgunby

    marcusgunby Lifetime Sponsor

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    Some forks will leak alot-the 04rms (and crs i think) have a single spring that goes inside the seals-most fork seals have 2 springs but this causes more friction-its a trade off, expect to see lots of leaks this season.Another trick is to shorten the spring by 5mm-it has a end even though it doesnt look like it, you untwist the ends and cut 5mm off the one with the hole in it.
  7. James

    James Lifetime Sponsor

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    The fork seals in my 2000 CR are over two years old, but I have had them out a time or two (or three) to clean the mud off so they'l stop leaking.
  8. TrackMaster

    TrackMaster Rookie DRN Member

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    Isn't pulling those dust seals down to clean the seals bad for them? I would think after so many times of pulling the dust seals down and cleaning under them they would not work as well?

    What about the oil levels? If I stop a leak by cleaning the seals wont it make a noticable difference since there will be less oil in one side than the other?

    Hey Rooster, thats the place I was talking about, it is pretty dang hard out there! I sent you an email.
  9. ktmdad

    ktmdad Rookie DRN Member

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    If you bleed the air out of your forks after every session on the track, the seals will last a lot longer. Since we have started doing this, we have not blown a fork seal in two seasons of mx & offroad racing.
  10. marc_w

    marc_w Rookie DRN Member

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    My RM rarely leaves the ground, but I ride some of the nastiest mud I can find. I just had my suspension rebuilt/revalved/reserviced after 2.5 seasons of duty, and the seals were fine. They were replaced "just because".

    How many of you pack your seals with grease?

    I've heard a number of times that this is a good idea to do... only to find in my manual that they 'highly' don't recommend it.
  11. Flyboy500

    Flyboy500 Rookie DRN Member

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    I have found that pulling down the dust seal and using some photo paper works well. I also use Electrical Contact Cleaner to wash away and dirt. Make sure you make the paper go up inside the oil seal and go all the way around the seal. Most of the time your seal is not blown it just has dirt inside the sealing surface. Clean....Clean....Clean... is what it's all about. Always bleed air off as required and maintain fork oil as suggested by mfg...
  12. Wraith

    Wraith Do the impossible its fun

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    I never tried tried the photo paper/camera film. But I have always used a old tear off that I find laying around in the pits. Of course I make sure it's clean :)
  13. James

    James Lifetime Sponsor

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    This is why I take mine apart to clean them. There is no way of knowing how much oil I lost in the Showas or how much dirt got inside the fork. I can dissasemble and clean a set in an hour or so and knowing that the oil level is correct and that things are clean inside is worth it to me.

    I also suspect that sticking things up in the seal to pry dirt out doesn't do the best of jobs and that it might lead to seal damage. Like I said, just a theory.

    I have mixed feelings on the grease. Seems like grease just holds dirt in places so I don't put it anywhere but the shock/linkage/swingarm bearings and the steering stem.
  14. dante

    dante Rookie DRN Member

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    One time I had a bike that I just could'nt get the forks to stay sealed for very long... Then someone showed me how badley pitted my fork tubes were from getting blasted for years from road dirt... This was a old street bike however were the tubes were not protected... Now all new street bikes have a small tab for right-side up forked models... The tab is placed directly over the dust seal attached to the lower tube protecting the tube from being pitted... Pitted fork tubes are most likley not your problem but check the tubes for signs... Even a few small pits in the tube from getting sand blasted as you ride can cause loss of seal...
  15. jho410

    jho410 Subscriber

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    I've tried everything (Seal Savers, film, wet sand the tubes with 1200 grit, etc.) and nothing only to have them blow without rhyme or reason. Sometimes I'll go months, sometimes weeks and sometimes days. The guys I ride with ride the same stuff at similar speeds yet they blow less seals.

    The one thing I do know is this - learn how to replace them quickly and efficiently.

    One other note, my brand new 02 CR250 was the worst by far but they were the easiest to change.
  16. OnAnySunday

    OnAnySunday Big Pig

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    Guess they just dont build 'em like they used to.
    My '82 XL500R just turned over 29,000 miles.
    Atleast 75% of them are offroad.
    Original seals, and dont leak a drop.
    K n o c k w o o d !!!! :worship:

    Yea, yea, i know....it's an XL, and i dont race.
    (race an XL? good grief!!) :laugh:
    Just thought i'd share! hee hee!

    Just a thought though.....SealSavers, or better yet fork boots.
    doesnt even get dusty in there with them.
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