Author Topic: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)  (Read 6265 times)

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Offline coffee_brake

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What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« on: June 08, 2016, 11:23:02 am »
I thought I was getting a jump on the game by doing my fork seals a couple months ago in preparation for the National. I replaced the bushings too. The originals lasted for 90k miles and several drops and one crash.
I have the straight-rate springs (can't remember whose) and a PVC spacer cut to the length directed by the springs manufacturer.

I was able to install the fork caps without much difficulty so I think the spacers were about right.

I set the fork cap adjusters to two "rings" showing, meaning screwed most of the way in but not all the way.

I ran the new seals for over a thousand miles with no trouble. Then I went riding in the mountains this weekend and on the second days both seals had failed in a BIG way. Fork oil dripping off the calipers.

I'm ready to do a rush-job on new seals before the National but I need to know what I did wrong.

I use a clean plastic grocery bag over the tube with fork oil on it to run the new seals down. Was that wrong?

I seated the seals using the old seal and tapping side to side with a rubber mallet. Did that tear up the new seals?

The fork tubes do have 97k miles on them, but I see no signs of wear or nicks or anything in the travel area. There is some pitting and scratching up where the triples go but that's why I installed the seals down the tube over a plastic grocery bag.

Both seals failed the same day. I don't remember any HUGE bumps but there were a few potholes.

I used the seals from Parts Unlimited. They've been OK before in other bikes; are they sub-standard seals?

Can anyone guess what I did wrong so I do it right next time? Brand new brake pads and rotors all oily now. I can clean the rotors but are the pads ruined?

It was riding so dang good the first day too... :(

Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline SteveJ.

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 02:11:12 pm »
Jenn, I've heard that using MawKaw fork seals is the only way to go. Dunno the why's and the where to for's, but that's what I heard. My originals went about 115k miles, re-bushed and used MaKaw seals and wipers. All good at almost 228k.

The originals never leaked, and so far so good on the MaKaw replacements.

HTH.

PS. I would double check to make sure that the fluid level is correct.
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Offline RWulf

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 02:55:10 pm »
Jenn, I agree with SteveJ about fiuld levels. I can't see why two should fail
at the same time.

Offline millerized

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 03:09:35 pm »
Remembered to seat the clips back on top of the seals? Those clips sometimes just don't bite into the groove completely, and a solid bump will pop them out.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 03:58:40 pm »
One seal going bad, I say just luck
Both seals blowing at the same time....
I'm saying overfilled...
Old style air forks get filled no springs and extended......   355 mm from top. About 14" even is fine
Gen2 forks get filled no springs, forks fully compressed...... 171 mm from top.  About 6-3/4"

If you check now, and see they in fact were overfilled, clean it all up, adjust the level using a turkey baster with a pice of hose on it, set to the right depth... and run them...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2016, 04:06:38 pm by MAN OF BLUES »

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Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 01:41:05 am »
I've got the Motion Pro fork seal fluid thing and did set it to the right level. Put in a little extra fluid and used the tool to lower it to the right level. Maybe I did it wrong, don't remember the exact number, but I did it by the Clymers...

Got the clips seated for sure, had to get new clips because the stockers had rusted into their groove and were damaged pulling them out.

I bet I got mixed up and over-filled the tubes. Y'all are right, both at once screams fluid level.

Do you really think I can clean it all up, re-fill and keep on using these seals? They're not ruined?

Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2016, 05:55:09 pm »
I've got the Motion Pro fork seal fluid thing and did set it to the right level. Put in a little extra fluid and used the tool to lower it to the right level. Maybe I did it wrong, don't remember the exact number, but I did it by the Clymers...

Got the clips seated for sure, had to get new clips because the stockers had rusted into their groove and were damaged pulling them out.

I bet I got mixed up and over-filled the tubes. Y'all are right, both at once screams fluid level.

Do you really think I can clean it all up, re-fill and keep on using these seals? They're not ruined?

I would try that before going thru the pita of changing them out again, especially if they were new, and you did in actuality over fill....
What have ya got to loose, ???? Seals like that are pretty robust, they don't tend to split easily, especially new ones...

Compare the fill dimensions I gave you with the ones in the Clymer, and also do a check, I bet ya just overfilled....
Good luck kiddo, if they leak on a test ride, you will see it right away, and in time to fixem fast...

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Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2016, 03:36:06 am »
Yep. Too much oil.

One fork didn't want to compress as far as the other. I think that's how I screwed up the oil level, thinking it was compressed when it wasn't.
I figured I must have screwed up the bushings, but I tapped it down gently and removed the excess oil from both forks. When it was time to extend them again, I thought I'd fight that fork but it slid on out pretty easily and compressed the same as the other once the fork caps were on. Maybe the new bushings were super-snug on that first pass?

It's been so long I've forgotten--how far does the fork stick up through the top triple? I thought it was supposed to be nearly flush but I'm not sure.
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline RWulf

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2016, 02:33:56 pm »
I think you are right, flush. And good on ya!

Offline Herb

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2016, 03:37:26 pm »
I think you are right, flush. And good on ya!

I don't think that this is correct.... The handlebar fits over the tube which must extend past the top of the triple tree. My manual shows the top of the tube flush with the top of the handlebar fitting.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 03:54:41 pm »
I think you are right, flush. And good on ya!

I don't think that this is correct.... The handlebar fits over the tube which must extend past the top of the triple tree. My manual shows the top of the tube flush with the top of the handlebar fitting.

My old fsm shows flush with top of handlbar base, but that's gen 1 with air, the addendum for gen 2 doesn't say...
I agree the bars should have the fork tube protruding into them, but you need to base it on clearance for the preload adjuster stcking up, prior to putting on the trim caps.

Good job checking the oil level.... I guess old MOB had the telepathy mojo working right...
Just for future info, I've only done a few sets of gen 2 forks, and when I do them, I install the axle in the forks, and dangle a cinch strap down thru the fairing, and nch it up to the tripple tree, to hold the forks in compression during fill, saves me time...and I know both forks are fully compressed....

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Offline JPavlis_CA

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2016, 04:27:35 pm »
Rich is right for the 86-93 models - flush with the top of the handlebar base. This is so the screw on covers fit flush with the handlebar base.
 
94-06 models fork tubes have a slight bevel at the top of the tube. The bottom of this bevel should be even with the top of the handlebar base. If you make the top of the tube flush, then there will be a place for water to be trapped around the top of the fork tube. At least that was the way the forks where set on my 95 as delivered. I know I've seen a diagram of this, but I can not figure out where.
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Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2016, 04:58:32 am »
Forks still leaking copious amounts. I guess I ruined the seals somehow?

I can try to get some new seals installed in time. Could over-filling last week really ruin the new seals?
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline jetmech

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2016, 10:54:33 am »
I would get new seals... and recheck how they are installed. When working with anything hydraulic it is critical to make sure everything is very clean, all oil is new, and the order of and configuration of Internal components are correct. I do a lot of hydraulic overhaul, repair and inspection of hydraulic devices. Most of the time when leaking  occurs is due to incorrect installation, dirt, or seals being abraided by rough surfaces. I have never heard of using a plastic bag to install a seal...and would not recommend it. I haven't checked or know anything about the fork assembly of this bike, but have serviced other bikes and will check it out when I have a chance. Make sure surfaces are well lubed during installation. Again the stacking order of internal parts are critical.
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Offline jetmech

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2016, 11:05:04 am »
Also it should not require impacting seal with mallet to install. Using a plastic spatula/ soft edged tool to push seal in may be practical. Again I will look at install and give a better Idea how to do this in our application.
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2016, 05:45:23 pm »
Also it should not require impacting seal with mallet to install. Using a plastic spatula/ soft edged tool to push seal in may be practical. Again I will look at install and give a better Idea how to do this in our application.

Might want to read about this in the FSM..... those seals take a bit more to get in than you think....
I don't have my home made tools handy for a picture, but they consist of a piece of pvc pipe, slit axially, and a 5" long piece of heavy galvanized pipe I use like a "slide hammer",  I wrap the forktube with shop rags and tape, and use the slide hammer to bang down on the pvc pipe, hammering the new seal into the lower tube. The seal has to be pounded down below the clip ring groove....

Sorry to hear about the leakers Jen, they must have truely split interanlly, make sure when you pull them out you examine the backside, and that the "girdle spring" that is internal on that seal, is in place and hasn't popped out and dropped down...

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Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2016, 08:38:59 pm »
I don't get it. There's nothing wrong with these seals that I can see. Nothing on the fork tube to make them leak. Nothing wrong in the guts that I can see. Yet they're gushing.

The Clymers shows the seals going on the tube over a plastic bag with fork oil as lube.

How do y'all do it?
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline connie_rider

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2016, 10:44:32 pm »
I've never used a plastic bag.
Just lube the surfaces with oil and slide them on.

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Offline kevingore

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2016, 12:02:40 am »
they dont look bad fork tubes look ok as well when I do my forks I heat the outer part of the fork housing that way when you put the bushing in it almost just drops in i give a little tap with a small punch i have then I slide my seal down and push it in i use the old seal and a rubber mallet and tap the new seal down into place .but I use the oem fork seals I think they work better IMO

Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2016, 04:25:10 pm »
Thanks everybody.

I don't want to blame the seals, since I make so many mistakes. I just want to learn what I did wrong. So, with another seals kit on rush-order (just in case), I put together one of the forks again today with the seals from the photo above. This time, instead of measuring the oil level, I went by the book and measured it in ml and just poured in the right amount.

The fork was completely apart and cleaned out, so I used the amount the Clymer's said for a dry fork.

They aren't leaking with me leaning on them to compress them. About to install and ride across some of our horrible bridge expansion joints this evening, see if they hold up.

As usual, I think it's my mistake and not the fault of poor seals.

So that means I'm using the Motion Pro fork oil tool wrong...?
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2016, 03:24:41 am »
Still leaking. I can't make them leak off the bike but they sure are puddling up on the forks now.

Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline mattchewn

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 11:54:01 am »
Jen,
Are you using the newer double lip style seals? I won't use the "old" style anymore.
Matt
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Offline coffee_brake

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2016, 01:33:00 pm »
I used whatever was available local, from Parts Unlimited. No-name brand.
A set from All Balls is on the way on rush delivery.

The no-name seals were very easy to drive in. Took just a couple taps to seat them. Is that right?

I have a parts bike with 60k miles and I'm wondering if I need to pull those forks off today and quit trying to use my stockers.

Is it my forks, or is it the seals?
Jenn in "Chaahlston, y'all...."

Offline connie_rider

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2016, 01:51:31 pm »
You might have just gave the answer.

The no-name seals were very easy to drive in. Took just a couple taps to seat them. Is that right?

The new seals may be incorrect size...
If so, OD may be too small.

Can you compare to the old seals?

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Offline mattchewn

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Re: What did I do wrong? (Fork Seals)
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2016, 07:34:40 pm »
Jen,
I have had the cheaper seals leak right out of the box. Bike Master shows no less than 3 different seals for a C14. Only two are double lip style. I haven't looked for C10 seals but make sure they are the double lip style and you should be golden.

Matt
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