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post #1 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bellingen, Australia
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Fork Seals

I've blown my 3rd set of fork seals in a couple of years. Can anyone recommend the best brand to buy? OEM? I've been using cheapy Ebay seals so thinking that could be the problem. This time I intend to replace seals and dust caps, should I replace bushes too even though they don't seem worn? I'll also stick some of those neoprene seal savers on.
The chrome tubes are in good condition but I'm using 2.5 weight oil with intiminators, and I do ride some rough gravel roads.
Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 01:25 AM
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Are you sure your oil height is not too high causing the seals to blow?
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 02:14 AM
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I'm also running intiminators, no blown seals on two DL650's in an aggregate 170,000k's. The new owner of my old DL blew the seals on my old bike pretty quickly (I'd moved the neoprene seal savers to the new bike).

Could be dirt or oil height, with the forks fully extended, springs in, my oil is 170mm down from the top of the tubes.

The neoprene seal savers are magic, but take them off and wash them when they get filthy and a squirt of a silicone spray on the inside helps.

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 02:35 AM
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Have you had the tubes checked for nicks or even scratches? The tiniest nick can damage the seal. When I had one go on me they checked things out and smoothed out some tiny imperfection. Another of my bikes got a stone chip which was the culprit. The mechanic said the best way to feel for something is running your fingernail up and down the tubes.

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post #5 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 04:28 AM
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My left fork seal started leaking after 18000kms on my 2012 650, I put a set of Italian fork seals in. I noticed the top lip of the seal had more spring pressure than the stock seal. Theoretically they should work much better
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 07:31 AM
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Have you tried cleaning the seal ?

Often the seal is fine it just has crud under the lip.

You use can plastic or feeler gages (caution they are sharp) to clear any mud out from the lip of the seal, some seals can rollover and cleaning them will fix that too.

Ballards sell a plastic tool made for the job and it works fine.

On my dirt bikes I put a small strip of foam rubber wet down with fork oil between the dust seal and the oil seal, the foam collects the crud and keeps the tube lubricated so the seals don't stick and grab, a over tight seal can cause problems too, KTM had that problem years back.

Some cleaners will leave the tubes very dry, try a silicone spray after washing your ride.

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 08:02 AM
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From what I have read and from personal experience, most " blown " fork seals are not blown at all tho they are a good earner for some repairers.
As mentioned above, the smallest nick can cause a seal to leak or mostly they only weep. If the chrome stanchions are in good shape your weeping seals almost certainly have dirt that looks like a tiny piece of paste or thick slurry, trapped under the rubber.
I keep mine in check with a plastic tooth pik, the white ones with a curve and attached floss one end and a gently curved pik on the other end. These are sold in those Cheap Charlie type discount shops that spring up everywhere. A box of a couple of hundred for around 4 bux.

Google " BALLARDS Offroad " for his catalogue.( one of my favourite catalogues. ) Under tools you'll find a ' Seal Doctor " $29.95
Almost all MX riders and many off road riders carry one in the main toolbox.
The tooth pik works just fine for me tho almost never needed these days.

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Last edited by saturn 5; 05-09-2014 at 06:43 AM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-08-2014, 09:20 AM
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Off the topic, me2, how r u finding your intiminator.

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post #9 of 19 Old 05-11-2014, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Bellingen, Australia
Posts: 28
Yes I have tried cleaning out the seals with no improvement. I blew the seal 4 hours from home so tried filling the forks with thick engine oil which pissed out pretty quickly adding to the mess already accumulated over my brakes, bike and boots.
Any preferences for replacement seals? OEM?

Off the topic, me2, how r u finding your intiminator.

I really like them. I found them a bit harsh over small bumps until I drilled the 1mm hole down through the top. My only concern has been keeping the very light oil inside.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-11-2014, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Brisbane Australia
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I will go with OEM - and neoprene seal savers - You can cut a stubbie cooler and and put some Velcro inside- ask Gotawee or Ang - she was telling everyone that at a recent gathering.

Many OEM stuff are of higher quality than after-market rubbish.

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