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forks still leaking after seals changed

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My 45mm Marzocchi's are still leaking after I replaced the seals. Any thoughts as to what's going on?

 

My fork has had a slow leak for a while and I finally got around to changing the seals. I called Dave at Get Dirty and ordered up a new dust seal, inner seal and both bushings for my forks. RMATV has a pretty good video on how to change that stuff as I'm no expert. I watched the video several times and slowly and methodically changed all the seals and bushings just like the video. I also ran my hand/fingernail up and down the lower fork tube to see if there were any burrs but I didn't notice anything. I also didn't have a "bullet" but I did use electrical tape and grease so I didn't damage the seals when I put them over the fork tube. I set the oil height and then buttoned it up. I then pumped it up and down against the ground and noticed an small oil ring on the lower fork tube. I cleaned it off and then pumped it a few more times and had the same results... a small ring of oil. I repeated that about 6 more times and each time it would leave a small ring. Not enough to drip, but there is definitely a ring. I re-examined the lower fork tube but still didn't see any burrs or obvious nicks. The only thing that 'may' have looked odd was a small section of the lower fork tube, just under the dust seal, was slightly discolored. When I say slight, I mean really slight. Like, the light has to hit it just right to see it.  It's about 1/2" wide by 1.5" tall and is a little darker than the rest of the "chrome" part. Do you these things have a "coating" on them that can wear off enough to the point where they will leak? 

 

Any other advice welcomed.

Thanks!

 

**UPDATE...I replaced the seals and bushings on the second fork, which wasn't leaking to begin with, and it came out fine. No leaks. I then pulled apart the leaky one and redid it (again). Even though I had just put new oil in it it still came out looking pretty dirty. I pulled it all apart, checked the fork tube closely and looked for any tears in the new seals but didn't see anything. Put it all back together with fresh oil and gave it a few pumps against the ground. It initially left a small ring of oil but after cleaning and pumping a few more times it seems to have stopped. I am cautiously optimistic. Perhaps I didn't have something seated quite right the first time?

Edited by jeff03064

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That's pretty normal after a seal change. As long as it's not oozing out I'm thinking you should be fine. Next time you slide the seals over the tube just use a baggie. If it were me I would take for a day ride and then see what it looks like.

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What seals did you use? You get what you pay for with fork seals. SKF or OEM Zoke, the cheap stuff is junk from my experience.

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My 45mm Marzocchi's are still leaking after I replaced the seals. Any thoughts as to what's going on?

 

My fork has had a slow leak for a while and I finally got around to changing the seals. I called Dave at Get Dirty and ordered up a new dust seal, inner seal and both bushings for my forks. RMATV has a pretty good video on how to change that stuff as I'm no expert. I watched the video several times and slowly and methodically changed all the seals and bushings just like the video. I also ran my hand/fingernail up and down the lower fork tube to see if there were any burrs but I didn't notice anything. I also didn't have a "bullet" but I did use electrical tape and grease so I didn't damage the seals when I put them over the fork tube. I set the oil height and then buttoned it up. I then pumped it up and down against the ground and noticed an small oil ring on the lower fork tube. I cleaned it off and then pumped it a few more times and had the same results... a small ring of oil. I repeated that about 6 more times and each time it would leave a small ring. Not enough to drip, but there is definitely a ring. I re-examined the lower fork tube but still didn't see any burrs or obvious nicks. The only thing that 'may' have looked odd was a small section of the lower fork tube, just under the dust seal, was slightly discolored. When I say slight, I mean really slight. Like, the light has to hit it just right to see it.  It's about 1/2" wide by 1.5" tall and is a little darker than the rest of the "chrome" part. Do you these things have a "coating" on them that can wear off enough to the point where they will leak? 

 

Any other advice welcomed.

Thanks!

 

**UPDATE...I replaced the seals and bushings on the second fork, which wasn't leaking to begin with, and it came out fine. No leaks. I then pulled apart the leaky one and redid it (again). Even though I had just put new oil in it it still came out looking pretty dirty. I pulled it all apart, checked the fork tube closely and looked for any tears in the new seals but didn't see anything. Put it all back together with fresh oil and gave it a few pumps against the ground. It initially left a small ring of oil but after cleaning and pumping a few more times it seems to have stopped. I am cautiously optimistic. Perhaps I didn't have something seated quite right the first time?

 

That's cool. Good on you for doing your own seals. I sent mine out for a revalve and bushing replacement. The 45mm Marzocchi's are some really good forks. After reading your post I watched a video and forgot how easy it is to do the seals and bushings. I still have a seal driver from doing my Honda over 15 years ago. Wrong size though....

 

When you change the oil it's always a good idea to flush the forks out with some cheap oil.

Edited by ballisticexchris

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What seals did you use? You get what you pay for with fork seals. SKF or OEM Zoke, the cheap stuff is junk from my experience.

 

I'm sure he got the SKF ones that Dave sells. Get Dirty Dirt Bikes does not keep cheap stuff on the shelf. The SKF stuff is really good! My fork bushigns were shot and I had about 100 hrs since last service. The oil came out like sludge and the seals were still holding up!!

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;When you change the oil it's always a good idea to flush the forks out with some cheap oil.;

 

 

 

Thats why we remove base valves when doing a service rather than dumping the oil out top.No amount of flushing is going to remove the heavy crap that accumulates at the bottom of the tube secondly we want to look at the condition of the base valve, no bent shims, etc and give everything a good cleaning with brake clean.

Edited by widebear

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Thanks for the input guys. No, I didn't get the cheap seals I got the SKF ones from Dave. I'm not sure if my bushings were shot or not. I'm not sure how to tell. They were fairly cheap so I figured I'd just replace them while I was in there. I wish I'd thought to at least flush them out with cheap oil before putting in the fork oil. That's a good idea. It probably would've been an even better idea to disassemble the bottom part and really clean them good. I plead ignorance. Next time though.

Edited by jeff03064

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Thanks for the input guys. No, I didn't get the cheap seals I got the SKF ones from Dave. I'm not sure if my bushings were shot or not. I'm not sure how to tell. They were fairly cheap so I figured I'd just replace them while I was in there. I wish I'd thought to at least flush them out with cheap oil before putting in the fork oil. That's a good idea. It probably would've been an even better idea to disassemble the bottom part and really clean them good. I plead ignorance. Next time though.

 

The way to check if your bushings are worn is by grabbing the lower fork tubes while on the stand. if they move then it's time for new bushings. FWIW I'm the same as you. My bushings were shot but my shock seal head was still ok. I had Dave change everything while in there including the seal head. 

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