Wetsuit Fork Wipers???

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#1
Has anyone heard of an aftermarket product like this? I think they would cover the dust seal area. The fork seals on my '99 YZ 125 go out way too often. Seems like whenever I get into wet sand I'm guarenteed a leaking seal. I'm looking for an alternative.
 
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#2
A little off topic but...

Do you clean your seals when they leak? The vast majority of times when they're leaking, you only need to clean, not replace them.
 
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#3
I have some

I have about 20 minutes on a pair that I just purchased. I haven't used them enough to give a good review, but I can't tell they are on while riding (thats a good thing). I have yet to use them in any wet or muddy conditions, which is what I bought them for. They cost approx. $12.00 plus shipping. There is more than one brand and make out there. Let me know if you need further information. I didn't want to post where I bought them on here, but I'll let you know if you send me a private message via email or through DRN.

Neal
 
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#4
Neal,

Yes I would like to know where you found them. Do you have to seperate the fork tubes to install them? I'll send you a private message. If they do work, it seems like the price is right...Thanks.

Pat,

No I haven't tried the cleaning technique with the film or feeler guage yet. I'm a little reluctant to go poking around in the seal area. I came close do doing some real damage to my inner fork tube with a mishandled screwdriver one day. I saw dollar signs flash before my eyes. Maybe I need to give it another try.

Thanks,
Bill
 
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Jewell

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#5
Hey I would really like to here more about this technique of cleaning the seals. Do you do it without taking the seal out. Gotta remove the wiper? My seals are slightly leaking (after being replaced fall of 2000) and was wondering if this is common or not. I ride about everyother weekend and it's mostly trails and the occasional mud hole.

If I do need to replace the seals, is there a way of doing it without taking the entire fork apart? I've read the manual and it offers no way other than COMPLETELY disassembling the fork. It's on my 1997 Kx 125 by the way. Another thing, what is the best brand/kind of replacement fork seals you all have found. (It would be nice to hear from Mr Wilkey on these, after all the forks are bringing me down from 30 ft in the air from time to time.)
 
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#6
seal cleaning

Wash your bike thoroughly, but do not power wash the fork tubes. Remove the lower dust seal from the seal. Use a contact cleaner to clean the seal and dust seal thoroughly. Wipe it with a clean rag as well. Push down on the forks a couple of times to make sure you have cleaned the area around the seals thoroughly. The next step is to take a .003 feeler guage or film negative and slide it up inside the oil seal between the seal and fork tube. Gentily rotate the film around the fork tube until you have went all of the way around the tube. You may have to insert it more than once. You will lose a little bit of fluid while doing this, but not much. Clean off the fluid you just lost. Now check for leaks again by pushing down on the forks. Wipe off the fluid on the forks. Push down on the forks again, just in case the fluid on the tube is left over from sticking the film in the seal. It may take several tries before you stop the leak. The last time I used this technique, I used the feeler guage twice and the film negative twice before it stopped leaking (I'm not sure which is a better too, the feeler guage or the film negative) . Two rides later and it still isn't leaking. I put a litle bit of grease in the dust seal before putting the seal back into place. Don't over pack the dust seal with grease. I have used this technique on three different bikes and have had good results and no ill effects.

If your forks have been leaking for a long time or very excessively, you may want to inspect them more thoroughly to make sure you haven't lost too much fluid. Low fluid can effect the handling of the bike and components inside the forks if it is really low. I had a WR400 that I used this cleaning technique on several times after leaks. I checked the fluid level in the winter before replacing the fluid. Amazingly the fluid in the forks were still even and really hadn't dropped much at all.

Warning be careful not to scratch your fork tubes during this process. It is probably most likely to happen when removing the dust seal with a screw driver. If you are careful you shouldn't scratch any thing.

I just put on some of the sleeves mentioned in this post to see if that will keep the dirt out of my seals. I don't have enough time on them yet to give a good evaluation of the product.

Neal
 
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#7
This works for me

I use a feeler gauge (.008/.203mm). Not sure how the Kawi forks are set up, but if you have a dust wiper, lower it to the bottom of the tube. Have a can of brake/contact cleaner (with the sprayer tube attached). Carefully insert the feeler gauge between the fork leg and seal, very slightly pry the seal back a tiny bit, and spray the cleaner up into the (tiny) gap between the fork leg seal. Then spray the fork leg with the contact cleaner and wipe with a clean paper towel. Move the feeler gauge and repeat around the circumference of the fork leg. When you've gone around the entire fork leg, spray the fork leg with the contact cleaner and wipe with a clean paper towel. Pump the fork leg; if you see no leakage, you're done! If not, repeat.

I've seen people cringe when I do this or describe the procedure, but it works for me. I replace my seals very infrequently (maybe once every 18 months or so). Just make sure the feeler gauge is in good condition (rounded end and no nicks) and you shouldn't have a problem.
 
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#8
I have used the fork seak skins for some time. They looked pretty cheesy at first but I put them on anyway. They feel like wet suit material and they velcro around the fork at the seal junction. (no fork removal needed) I didnt think they would last but they have and I havent had a fork seal prob in over a year. They have seen some serious riding too, harescrambles, enduros and mx. Probably 100 hours or so on them and still going strong. I got them from mx south, white bros sell them too I think. Make sure you get the fork seal skins not the fork skins as those just cover the upper fork from scratches. They were all of $12.
 

RM_guy

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Damn Yankees
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#9
On cleaning the seals...

All I want to add is that I use heavy paper instead of a feeler gauge or film negetive. I don't want to risk cutting the seal and the paper tends to trap the dirt better when you slide it under the seal.
 

Jewell

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#10
Wow, thanks guys, I really appreciate it. My forks aren't really leaking that bad, their just leaving oily residue on the slider, so I'll try your suggestions. I'll probably get a set of those wetsuit things too. Who cares if I look like a spode with leg warmers on my forks.
 
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#11
It has been my experience that when the seals leak thats it, you may get them to stop for a moto or 2 but they will need to be replaced very quickly. The dirt cuts the seals and they dont seal well anymore. Plus the oil they weep out only attracts more dirt increasing the problem. If you delay replacing the seals too long you can scratch up your tubes enough that the new seals will wear very quickly and leak. My advise is to replace the seals and then put on the fork dust skins. This has been my experience, and solution to not having to do seals every other month.
 

DanS

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#12
The neoprene fork wraps are well worth the $12. They can extend the life of fork seals by 2 or 3 times the normal life. I have them on all my bikes and they work well.
 
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#13
If you E-mail me your address or fax # I'll send you the pattern and you can make the for just the cost of materials. Velcro, neoprean thread and needle.