Changing Fork Seals

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Feb 25, 2001
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#1
I am needing a little more help. Can anyone tell me whats involved with changing fork seals. Today, I noticed fork oil coming from the left side fork seal. According to the previous owner, the seals were changed about 6 months ago. I have had the bike about three months. What would make them wear so quickly?
 
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#2
Just read that by using a film negative, you can remove any dirt particles that may be lodge under the seal. Since the seals are fairly new I will give this a shot.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
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#3
These forks are not too bad. If you do them yourself you may want to invest in a seal driver. I do my own without a driver but sometimes it's a real pain. Try cleaning with the film, I use business cards. You need to keep the area between the dust seal and fork seal clean. If you get in sand or mud clean after riding, contact cleaner to get out the dirt, the film trick to get around the seal, blow air to get particles out and dry. I have found keeping them clean and bleeding the air out before loading up makes them last longer.
 

Strick

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#4
Before you go replacing the seals, try this. Yank the forks off and change the fork oil. Before starting the process, take some camera film, or negatives, and run it on the inside of the seal (once you have taken the wipers off. Just work the film around the fork slowly getting the whole seal wiped. Now change the fork oil. I do this every 6 months.

When you are all done changing the oil, buy some fork booties from www.holeshotktm.com. They will save you a lot of seal wear. Also, takes Scotts advice and bleed your forks after every ride. Bleed with no weight on the front wheel.

There is one more trick I want to share. You can trim the spring that goes around the wiper about 1/8 to 1/4" to snug up the wiper a little. To do this you remove the spring, by unscrewing the two end. Trim a small amount from the male (small) end of the spring and screw back together. All of these little tricks combined really saves on changing seals.

I too have a '99, and have never had to change seals (2700 miles including racing).
 
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#5
I am going to change the fliud tonight and I will go ahead and clean the seals with the film. I aleady have a set of fork booties but have not put them on yet. I guess I'll do so tonight.

Thanks for the advise.
 
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#6
I have a 99 KTM I changed the seals once and I also cut about an 1/8 inch off the spring on the seal and the dust wiperand it seems to be working good so far. When I cut the spring I cut the female end so it was easier the screw it back together. Also I bleed the forks every thime I ride.
 
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#7
I finally got around to cleaning the seals with the film negative today. Some oil is still visible on the inner tube after the fork has been compressed, but not near as much as before. Is this common? What else should I try? The right fork leg seems to be almost dry after compression.

Although I am new to this, I want to learn all I can about mainetance of the bike, including the inner workings of the fork. If I had a seal driver, I would not hesitate to break the fork apart and check for defects. Am I crazy or just a typical guy who needs to take everything apart every now and then.

Thanks for the input.