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Msr fork seals blew on first ride

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I had my fork seals blow on Saturday. Went to Durhamtown in Georgia and was probably put about 6 hours on my bike. During the end of the day I decided to check my forks and I saw oil dripping down the fork leg. Luckily I was able to finish the day. When I got home I Pried the dust seal off to see what was the matter. I saw dirt and dust that had worked past the dust seal

And gotten up into the seal. This seems

Like something that is completely the fault of msr. I thought these were good seals?? Is this normal?

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could be that they where leaking due to dirt. usually they seal pretty good though.

pretty often they where installed upside down, which can be done very easily because they look pretty much the same from both sides.

happens on a regular basis that i get leaking MSR (= AllBalls) seals in installed upside down.

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1) be sure there are no dings (especially dings with burred edges) or significant scratches in your fork tubes.  If you can feel it with a fingernail, you should sand it smooth wit 320/400 grit paper.  If the blemishes are deep enough, replating may be necessary.

 

2) Dirt, and especially mud, and even more especially dried mud (or even water spots) cause most seal leakage.  to that end;

 

  • Keep the fork legs clean between motos, etc., during the day, and don't leave mud or water to dry on them
  • Run a small bead of grease around the fork tube between the oil and dust seals.  It helps to intercept dirt that gets past the dust seal
  • Pull down the dust seal and clean under it periodically.  How often this needs doing depends on what sort of environment you ride in

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1) be sure there are no dings (especially dings with burred edges) or significant scratches in your fork tubes.  If you can feel it with a fingernail, you should sand it smooth wit 320/400 grit paper.  If the blemishes are deep enough, replating may be necessary.

 

2) Dirt, and especially mud, and even more especially dried mud (or even water spots) cause most seal leakage.  to that end;

 

  • Keep the fork legs clean between motos, etc., during the day, and don't leave mud or water to dry on them
  • Run a small bead of grease around the fork tube between the oil and dust seals.  It helps to intercept dirt that gets past the dust seal
  • Pull down the dust seal and clean under it periodically.  How often this needs doing depends on what sort of environment you ride in

 

 I have managed to get a seal to stop leaking by applying a thin film of grease around the fork tube and then compressing the fork several times. this was done after attempting to clean the seal with a business card was only about 95% successful. I cleaned the grease off thoroughly before repositioning the dust seal though. I was afraid the grease would attract dust and actually be abrasive to the fork.

 

Have you ran grease between the dust seal and oil seal for any length of time? Have you seen any wear due to the use of it? It is something I have considered before but was hesitant to actually try.

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On some oil seals, you can shorten the spring giving a tighter seal. A fool proof way to stop leaks, new seals then fork savers.

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I have ridden there and came away with leaky seals as well.  They have very fine clay and lots of puddles on the trails.  On those sections the clay sticks to the bottom portion of your forks and dries on like concrete.  Next you hit one of the moto tracks where you use much more fork travel and you drive all that clay into your fork seals.  Tough environment for fork seals too.

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Have you ran grease between the dust seal and oil seal for any length of time? Have you seen any wear due to the use of it? It is something I have considered before but was hesitant to actually try.

 

I run grease between the two seals all the time.  No problems have resulted from it that I'm aware of.  I pull down the dust seals, clean and regrease a couple of times a month, generally. 

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I run grease between the two seals all the time.

 

i never grease(d) it - actually i'm against greasing - and never ever ran into a problem not doing it. ;)

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The controversy, grease or no grease. Dummdadummmm!

If it is one of my racers and I am doing the maintenance then I am in the wipers every one or two mx races.

In this case I mix a sythetic grease with some DaveJ juice and keep in a small tub. Pretty loose mixture.

Clean and slap in some, loose DaveJ juice, and good to go.

Just want the tube lubricated while keeping dirt out by cleaning often.

Two bikes no leaks in a 12 race series.

Not sure if it is correct? Any opinions or suggestions are welcome.

I wonder if "loose DaveJ juice" has any other applications?

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Junk seals..

 

I only use only OEM or SKF on all seals I replace for people or myself.  If someone brings me a set of any of the aftermarket seals I tell them straight up that I wont make any promise that they wont leak on the first ride out.

 

All seals will leak but those aftermarket ones seem to get crudded up much easier. 

 

 

Honestly, 90% of the time when forks are leaking its just dirt. I take the forks apart remove the seals and wipe them down good with a clean rag. Inspect for damage and re-install them as long as their is no visual evidence of damage.  As long as I dont ride alot of silt, sand or mud I can usually get an entire season out of a set of fork seals without ever leaking. Mud can kill seals in no time at all.

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Honestly, 90% of the time when forks are leaking its just dirt. [...]  ...Mud can kill seals in no time at all.

 

Absolutely right, IMO

 

 

 

As long as I dont ride alot of silt, sand or mud I can usually get an entire season out of a set of fork seals without ever leaking.

 

 

 

Sand and silt is at least 40% of all that I ride, what with racing in the desert.  I generally get a good year's worth or better out of mine, using the latest issue KYB seals in an '06 YZ450.  Mud?  That's the big killer, but it's a rare "treat" around here unless you run through it on purpose at an MX track.

 

Some problems with leaky fork seals are inherent to the fork design, or so it can seem.  The 46mm open cartridge KYB's were kind of a PITA that way.  Didn't take much to make them drool.

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1) be sure there are no dings (especially dings with burred edges) or significant scratches in your fork tubes.  If you can feel it with a fingernail, you should sand it smooth wit 320/400 grit paper.  If the blemishes are deep enough, replating may be necessary.

 

2) Dirt, and especially mud, and even more especially dried mud (or even water spots) cause most seal leakage.  to that end;

 

  • Keep the fork legs clean between motos, etc., during the day, and don't leave mud or water to dry on them
  • Run a small bead of grease around the fork tube between the oil and dust seals.  It helps to intercept dirt that gets past the dust seal
  • Pull down the dust seal and clean under it periodically.  How often this needs doing depends on what sort of environment you ride in

 

Sanding the fork tubes wont hurt them?

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Sanding the fork tubes wont hurt them?

 

Using 240 or finer grit in moderation?  No.  They won't be all shiny like new chrome anymore where they were sanded, though.

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Shame on me for never comparing.....but why are the skf seals so good? I have run them a couple season now in the new England mud rocks and sand without a leak......knock on wood.

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