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Need fork tube options

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I have an 08 kx450f and my pivot works seals are leaking after an hour of use and the local rebuild shop is saying worn and gulled tubes. I see a small nick on one but nothing on the other. I plan on going the cheap route of using Good SKF seals and race tech synthetic oil and see if it gets me by longer. New tubes from Kawi are expensive but I can get them rechromed from a local chrome shop that chrome plates about anything for $300. Any recommendations or guidance on what route to go if the SKF seals don't hold up long? I was thinking good used forks but it's still a gamble.

 

Thanks

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I would take my forks to a reputable suspension shop (or send them to somewhere like RaceTech) and let them make the call regarding your fork tubes.

Cheap fork seals leaking is nothing new. The dirt you ride in can make sure a huge difference on fork seal life also. Or the shop could be trying to cover up poor quality work on their side.

As for good seals, SKF is worth the money. 

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I would suspect the shop that you had them put in at. My old YZ has unknown 100s of hours on it with no tube plating problems. Buy the tools required and learn how to do them yourself, be free of the local shop screwing it up then telling you that you need to up more $$ for them to screw it up again. Fork seals aren't a big deal. Kinda like setting valves, once you've done it, you wonder why anyone pays someone else to do it..

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I've done seals on my 01 kx 250 at home but I had more free time then. I did look at the service manual and I can do them myself but the guy said he would take care of the labor if in bought the skf seals and oil. I know nicks can cause leaks just wondering if I should just save money and rechpme them?

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This is one of those things that sometimes work and sometimes doesn"t and is not a propper fix by any means but I have had luck doing it and sometimes not. Now any imperfection in the fork tube will cause the seal to leak when it passes by. What you can try is get some clear epoxy and fill in the cracks and wet sand it down to smooth it out just like doing bondo on a car. Use a very fine paper like 1000 grit or higher this will not damage the chrome in any way. I have had this method hold up for many years and some other situations not a day. Its definitely worth a shot before dropping money on a re chrome, or new forks. Also as far as seals Id try oem if your not having luck with other brands but usually if they leek right after being done its improper installation/not being cleaned good enough before installing new seals or damage to the fork tubes.

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This is one of those things that sometimes work and sometimes doesn"t and is not a propper fix by any means but I have had luck doing it and sometimes not. Now any imperfection in the fork tube will cause the seal to leak when it passes by. What you can try is get some clear epoxy and fill in the cracks and wet sand it down to smooth it out just like doing bondo on a car. Use a very fine paper like 1000 grit or higher this will not damage the chrome in any way. I have had this method hold up for many years and some other situations not a day. Its definitely worth a shot before dropping money on a re chrome, or new forks. Also as far as seals Id try oem if your not having luck with other brands but usually if they leek right after being done its improper installation/not being cleaned good enough before installing new seals or damage to the fork tubes.


That's actually a good idea, I didn't think of using silicone to fill it. The dings are small but enough to catch my finger nail when I go over it. I've only had them resealed one time when I got the bike in April. I bet I have maybe 2
Hours total on the bike. The guy says he thoroughly cleans all the parts before reinstalling everything but I have heard a few friends tell me that pivot works seals are junk and to use oem or skf. I guess it's worth a shot to try and reseal them but the side with no dings is also leaking so I find it odd that both leak at the same time.

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If you have nicks in the fork tube, instead of trying to fill them in with something, I just sand off the high spots. You can use 400 grit to start, but go very easy and stay just on top of the nick avoiding the surrounding areas. Then, move on to 600 grit, then 1000 then 1500. I've never tried to fill in nicks or scratches, just knock down the high spots as this is what cuts the seals up.  Sure you might lose a little oil each time a scratch passes the seal, but it's just extra lube to keep the tube alive longer!

I would also suspect just cheap seals, or the seals were put in upside down. Don't laugh-I did this myself not too long ago! Some of the cheap seals do not come with instructions. I put some in upside down and they began weeping/leaking after a couple hours of riding. I pulled the forks down, removed the seals, flipped them over, put them back in, and they are working just fine many hours later. It does happen.

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If you have nicks in the fork tube, instead of trying to fill them in with something, I just sand off the high spots. You can use 400 grit to start, but go very easy and stay just on top of the nick avoiding the surrounding areas. Then, move on to 600 grit, then 1000 then 1500. I've never tried to fill in nicks or scratches, just knock down the high spots as this is what cuts the seals up.  Sure you might lose a little oil each time a scratch passes the seal, but it's just extra lube to keep the tube alive longer!
I would also suspect just cheap seals, or the seals were put in upside down. Don't laugh-I did this myself not too long ago! Some of the cheap seals do not come with instructions. I put some in upside down and they began weeping/leaking after a couple hours of riding. I pulled the forks down, removed the seals, flipped them over, put them back in, and they are working just fine many hours later. It does happen.
I'm just going to knock down the high spot, reseal it and hope for the best. And like you said a little extra oil on the fork would actually be beneficial in the long run lol. And that would be something if they were in upside down lol. I couldn't get that lucky though haha.

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