Do fork seals really blow? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-17-2016, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Do fork seals really blow?

I posted this question elsewhere, but it was kind of off topic and buried in a thread. I'm starting to see some fork oil leaking from one of my seals. Is it really common to blow them? Seems most folks are just replacing at the first sign of leakage. What are the signs of damage? Stretching? Tear? I'm going to order a seal mate and try to clean them first. Just wondering what I'm looking for before I tear it apart. Thanks.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-17-2016, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cunnibra View Post
I posted this question elsewhere, but it was kind of off topic and buried in a thread. I'm starting to see some fork oil leaking from one of my seals. Is it really common to blow them? Seems most folks are just replacing at the first sign of leakage. What are the signs of damage? Stretching? Tear? I'm going to order a seal mate and try to clean them first. Just wondering what I'm looking for before I tear it apart. Thanks.

No forks seals don't blow out.

Typically some sort of grit gets in between the seal and the tube causing them to weep some fluid. Seals can get old and dry out. When that happens there will be a puddle of fluid usually.

Most any material thin enough to get underneath the seal works to clean them out. Used to be people would recommend 35 mm film negative, kind of hard to come by now. I've used a feeler gauge carefully. Either way spray something like brake cleaner as your working around the seal to flush debris.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-17-2016, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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OK, great info. Thanks.
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-23-2016, 07:37 AM
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So far, 100% of my leaking fork issues were solved by removing the dust seal and using a thin piece of plastic and jamming it into the fork seal, running it around the seal a few times , removing the piece of plastic, cleaning the dirt off the plastic and repeating the entire process until no more dirt comes out. Slap the dust seal back on, cycle the forks a few times and your golden.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-23-2016, 07:45 AM
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mine were leaking so bad I finally rebuilt the forks. Seals and springs.
I also bought some fork covers / wraps. keeps dirt off and cleans at same time.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-23-2016, 08:56 AM
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Google "Sealmate". They have made tool (which is very similar to the 35mm film idea) and also show a video as to actually go about doing it.

I suspect the vast majority of leaking seals can be fixed by simply cleaning out debris.

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-24-2016, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I do in fact have a Seal Mate in the mail to me already. Hoping that clears things up, otherwise I'll get some new seals on the way.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-24-2016, 03:25 PM
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Sealmate is nice. Seal Doctor is also a good tool and is so easy to use.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0068G164E/

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post #9 of 11 Old 08-24-2016, 06:07 PM
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I'm with Andreas. Once the seal blows and is no longer effective it's time to replace it and the dust seal too.
When the Seal Mate trick no longer works its' dirty hands time. Not difficult but a bother.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-25-2016, 03:01 AM
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Time to replace the seals dust cap and alas, the fork bushes.

Most forget the metal bushes but those are very important and do wear, so beyond about 40,000k's, do them as well. (And it's a PITA job getting the new upper bush in).
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