DAMN FORK SEALS!!!!!! Some one please help

Ok, here's the deal.

Bought my bike last year. Complete suspension was done by Wyatt Seals way before I bought the bike. Spoke with him and adjusted exactly as he instructed last fall.

So I had to change the blown fork seals right when I bought the bike. :D Rode 2 times, then blew those out. :D Went up 5mm of fork oil and today 4/9, blew them out again. :D Now I've changed them both times myself. I dont have a real fork driver. I think it's either I'm not getting them in correctly or I just weight to much for the STOCK .46 springs. :D I am 215 lbs at 6'0" tall. And I would consider myself a fast C or a slow B rider. I only ride MX. I am planning on going to .48 spring and going back to my baseline of what Wyatt told me for rebound/compression and fork height.

Has anyone had these types of problem? What would you guys suggest? Anyone know of good shops in Michigan or specific people to call in MI to talk to. I'm trying to get this problem solved. I just think that my forks cant hold up to the abuse(mistakes) I make currently. They're great other than blowing out fork seals and the occcasional bottoming out.

Please HELP anyone. :)

I use to replace fork seals a couple times of year until I heard about this trick and I havn't done a set since.

Take off the fork guard, wipe off the outter dust seal, pull that down. With contact cleaner clean off the area between the dust seal and fork seal. Then take some card board about business card thickness. Work this up beween the fork seal and the fork tube then run it around the tube. I repeat that last step a couple of times with clean pieces of card board. Some guys will use feeler guages for that but I'm not comfortable putting metal on my rubber seals. Reassemble and ride.

If you actually have a tear in your fork seal this wont work but like I said I have done this for 3 or 4 years now and have not had one that needed replacing

I don't have an answer for your problem, but I would recommend a fork seal driver! They are expensive, but you can install your bushings, fork seals, and wipers with a good driver and you can hear when they seat. I would suspect this is not the problem though if you can insert the seal clip. I like the weight, feel, and ease of a good seal driver though! :)

Second on the fork seal driver!

Also be sure you are installing them properly so they are not tearing! Use plastic bags or seal bullets! This link has a lot of good info:

MotoProfessor KYB fork rebuild

Not sure if this is your problem, but check your forks for some minor nicks. That can mess up the seals. 1500 grit sandpaper will smooth them.

Are you using seran wrap, or other thin plastic over the fork tube ends to slide the seals over?

I do what endurodog does. after replacing try this out you will be amazed at how you will not be spending so much time fixing seals. I use soap in a spray bottle to prevent drying out the seals and making them crack.

Do you grease under the dust wipers? When you have the seals in good shape, every few rides pull down the dust wipers and clean out under there. Get some light lithium based grease and pack it up under where the dust wiper goes. The grease comes in tubs at the parts store, it's about the consistancy of goop hand cleaner, maybe a tiny bit thicker. Then when you slide the wiper back up some will squirt out, removing whatever dirt is under the wiper at the same time. Pump the forks a few times and wipe the tubes to get the excess off. Now when you ride your seals will stay lubed, you'll get less stiction and the grease will help to catch a lot of dirt before it gets to the seals. I've been doing this since I had the bike, it's an 01' and I'm still on the stock seals. :)

I don't have a seal driver in my tool box and have been replacing fork seals for several years(30) with out one. I use the old fork seal, I install the new fork seal then I install old fork seal and take a hammer to tap it in while rotating fork tube so it will set evenly, then I remove old fork seal. Sometimes you have to get a pick to dig it out but works pretty good.

Another trick that I've been doing for several years is remove the inner and outer springs on the fork seals and twist them so they will come apart and cut the big end about an 1/8". Twist them back together and reinstall them back on the seal. I changed my fork seals 3 years ago and have not touched them since, Only thing I've done is change the fork oil. Some people say they take a feeler guage and clean them. I don't even do that.

That is what I do and it works for me. :)

You can pull down the dust seals (clean them) and wrap a couple of rounds of 35mm film around the tube.This can be slid inside the oil seal lip, rotated and it will clear out any dirt and debris that might be preventing a good seal. I always bleed my forks as well.

Follow Sirthumpalots advice and grease the dust seals before re-installing them.

Try Sealsavers once you get them to stop leaking. I have had mine on for over 1 1/2 years and haven't had a seal go out since.


You also have to ensure your forks are completely aligned/parallel.

If they are bowed (in or out) @ the axle, this will affect your seal life as your forks compress.

I'am using a plastic bag as so I dont rip them, so I dont think thats it.

Take off the fork guard, wipe off the outter dust seal, pull that down. With contact cleaner clean off the area between the dust seal and fork seal. Then take some card board about business card thickness. Work this up beween the fork seal and the fork tube then run it around the tube.

Some guys use 35mm film for this. Make sure you bleed the forks of air every ride too. Copy your post to the suspension forum for TT's John Curea.

Wow, I haven't been on TT since before xmas and I get to help somebody right away when I come back! I had the same exact problem with my seals as well as a couple of other buddies I have. We all installed "Leak Proof" brand seals and none of us have replaced a set yet. The company says that if they leak send them back for a new pair! :)

They run a little expensive at first... 22.95 a set but after replacing the factory ones 4 or 5 times they were worth it. Just make sure you send the warranty card in so they have you registered on file. I get them at a small local bike shop in my area, so they should be available anywhere.

Good Luck,


I cannot help but wonder what else is going on with your bike?

I own a seal driver and would not be without one. Unless a person is very careful, it is easy to damage the small springs on the seal when installing. You can get a driver and damping rod holder for about 100.00. If you have those two tools, a leaky seal is not even worth worrying about. It takes about 20 minutes to change.

Are you using OEM fork seals? Did you replace the dust wipers? How about the bushings? Do you powerwash the bike? Do you wipe the water deposits off after washing?

I have used the film negative trick before. It works. I did find a bunch of black grunge inside my bushing from doing this, however.

I wonder if your seals are being installed correctly? It is possible to not have the seal in all the way and still force the clip into position.

Not using OEM seals. I do powerwash, but dont wipe the forks dry after washing. But I replaced these, went riding and then blew out so I didn't have a chance to wash them. I did change the dust wiper, but not the bushings. Cleaning them is not the issue because once I change them they only last one day. So the film and cleaning the seal are not even an issue right now.

New Seal Savers and heavy bearing grease under the dust cover once a month works great for me. I ride every weekend and have the original seals in my bike for over a year now. Cleaning under Seal savers is not easy. Just buy the long ones and cut them down into 3 pairs about 4" long. Great value. :)

Somehow they have to be getting damaged during the install or soon after. A burr on the fork? Homemade seal driver twisting the spring as your pounding the seal in?

I am not a fork fix pro, but I have heard that worn out bushings can cause the seals to fail very quickly. Did you check your bushings to see if they are in spec last time you had it apart?

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