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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, the saga continues.
Does anyone remember the book 'Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance'?
I thought the title was brilliant and sold the book which I did not think was that great. I do like to take a philosophical approach however.
Anyway I digress.
So changed the seals for after market ones, oil is now pissing out over night.
I did think they were a bit of a loose fit.
I notice there was a change in the model after 2006, mine is 2004 bike.
I have either been supplied with the wrong parts or they are not fit for purpose. I will buy genuine Suzuki which seem to cost a lot.
Anyone else had similar experiences?
 

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When I did mine, I used OEM parts. I spent the extra money so I didn't have to change the seals twice. Saving a couple pesos is not always worth it.
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An end shaft seal is an end shaft seal. Brand is pretty irrelevant as long as the size and installation are correct.

The seal dimensions are stamped into the rubber. I'd pull them to see if the wrong seals were installed. Then I'd look at the seal to see if it is/was damaged during installation. Lots of shade tree mechanics like to use sockets for seal and bearing drivers. While they do work it's not ideal and chances of damage go up. Seal/bearing drivers are not expensive and something to considered investing in if you are going to do these type projects.

Before you blame the seal make sure it's the seal that was the problem and not any number of other things that could have resulted in a leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
An end shaft seal is an end shaft seal. Brand is pretty irrelevant as long as the size and installation are correct.

The seal dimensions are stamped into the rubber. I'd pull them to see if the wrong seals were installed. Then I'd look at the seal to see if it is/was damaged during installation. Lots of shade tree mechanics like to use sockets for seal and bearing drivers. While they do work it's not ideal and chances of damage go up. Seal/bearing drivers are not expensive and something to considered investing in if you are going to do these type projects.

Before you blame the seal make sure it's the seal that was the problem and not any number of other things that could have resulted in a leak.
Yes will do, however I was suspicious as it only seemed to be an easy push fit. It could be I need to drive them home further and will invest in the tool you mentioned. While I have your attention do you know the dimensions of the tool I need?
 

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1) Perazzi, why you are talking about shaft seals? Those seal driver tools have nothing to do with fork work.

2) Yes, been there, done that. Many times. Aftermarket fork seals NEVER EVER* last as long as OEM. I hate doing this job more often than necessary, so I will happily spend the few extra bucks on OEM. Motorcycles cost money; nobody rides for free. There are ways to save money (like re-using the dust boots is usually OK), but this is not one of them.

3) That asterisk is because of course Suzuki, Yamaha, or whoever does not actually make their own fork seals. Once in a great while it's possible to obtain the exact same seals via the aftermarket (NOK, for example, is a common OEM maker) and so of course they're fine. However, 99.99% of the time it's weasel words like "OEM Quality" or "OEM Equivalent" or even "Better than OEM", and these always designate short-lived junk. Same for crap like "Made in Japan" or "Made by a large OEM in Italy". It's nonsense, a short-lived imitation. Some are even fairly good, but none will last as long.

4) I have found that if you have to use a damaged fork tube, like if it's bent or pitted, then the sloppy fit provided by flexible "Leak Proof" brand seals will seal, at least for a little while, somewhat better than OEM. They do wear out VERY quickly, though. Could be useful of you're cobbling vintage ratbikes together or something. They're flexible, with no rigid metal frame, so they're relatively easy to remove without disassembling the fork, and can be replaced with your fingers when they wear out. I did this for a while after crashing a relatively rare bike and bending one fork tube slightly. I've also used these in old bikes with pitting; just clean up the pits as best you can and stone the sharp edges off first, of course.
 
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If you want pre-packaged, motorcycle specific seals known to work with a 2006 or earlier DL650, look for Honda part number 51490-MCF-000 - you'll need two, each package includes the dust seal and oil seal. Much cheaper than the Suzuki part in the USA, your experience may vary.

On my bike they've been oil tight for 7 years and 86k miles, although the dust seals have cracked from sun exposure.
 

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1) Perazzi, why you are talking about shaft seals? Those seal driver tools have nothing to do with fork work.
Oh but they do. A fork seal is nothing more than an end shaft seal of a given OD x ID x height and having a single or double lip. Having them seated squarely in their bore is critical. So applying even pressure across the face of the entire seal helps ensure this.

Yes there are other type seal drivers, clamshell for instance but in the instance of damper rod forks the seal can be inserted then the for tube slid into it. If you want to shortcut it and not disassemble the fork for a proper cleaning then the clamshell type is usable. But as Ron Swanson said "Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing!" If I'm replacing seals the forks are coming apart to do a complete job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you want pre-packaged, motorcycle specific seals known to work with a 2006 or earlier DL650, look for Honda part number 51490-MCF-000 - you'll need two, each package includes the dust seal and oil seal. Much cheaper than the Suzuki part in the USA, your experience may vary.

On my bike they've been oil tight for 7 years and 86k miles, although the dust seals have cracked from sun exposure.
Thanks Fox, I will if I can't resolve it, I have noticed that Suzuki spares are more than the competition, could be because the bikes are cheaper and they need to make up the shortfall.
 

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Oh but they do. A fork seal is nothing more than an end shaft seal of a given OD x ID x height and having a single or double lip. Having them seated squarely in their bore is critical. So applying even pressure across the face of the entire seal helps ensure this.

Yes there are other type seal drivers, clamshell for instance but in the instance of damper rod forks the seal can be inserted then the for tube slid into it. If you want to shortcut it and not disassemble the fork for a proper cleaning then the clamshell type is usable. But as Ron Swanson said "Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing!" If I'm replacing seals the forks are coming apart to do a complete job.
I could have sworn the retaining rings and bushings need to go below the seal, how would you ever get it back in? I distinctly remember using the protrusion of 7-31 as a slide hammer to pop the old seal out, surely it must be wider?

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Thanks Fox, I will if I can't resolve it, I have noticed that Suzuki spares are more than the competition, could be because the bikes are cheaper and they need to make up the shortfall.
You're very welcome. Be sure any part you order with that part number is actual OEM, lots of listings will include the number but aren't the genuine part.
 

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Thanks Fox, I will if I can't resolve it, I have noticed that Suzuki spares are more than the competition, could be because the bikes are cheaper and they need to make up the shortfall.
I can say that one of the pleasant surprises of owning a Yamaha for the first time was the shockingly reasonable parts pricing. The OEM fork seal and dust seal kit for my FJ-09 was under $25. The valve cover gasket was $12. Going from memory, just the fork seals for a Suzuki are $15 each or more.

I don't think Suzuki is quite as bad as Kawasaki, though...
 
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I had the same problem years back I tried to help out a mate, he had Wee fork seals but a Glee bike.

They were a very loose fit in the lower leg so they leaked, not through the lip like normal but around the outer edge.
 
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I changed out fork seals today on my Wee. I used OEM Honda fork seals... 2 sets of 51490-MFL-003 for less than $40 and a quart of Maxima 10 wt.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can say that one of the pleasant surprises of owning a Yamaha for the first time was the shockingly reasonable parts pricing. The OEM fork seal and dust seal kit for my FJ-09 was under $25. The valve cover gasket was $12. Going from memory, just the fork seals for a Suzuki are $15 each or more.

I don't think Suzuki is quite as bad as Kawasaki, though...
I am a Yamaha man really, from youth (RDs + DTs) but I love the Vstrom for what it is and only the second Vtwin I have owned, the other was a VT250 a good and fast (for it's size) bike back in the 80s. Second hand parts not too bad for the Vstrom though.
 

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I changed out fork seals today on my Wee. I used OEM Honda fork seals... 2 sets of 51490-MFL-003 for less than $40 and a quart of Maxima 10 wt.
I can attest to the fitment and quality of the Honda seals too, I've replaced the originals with that exact set recently and had no issues with leaks in the weeks since, with some full compression knocks and bumpy roads included.
 
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