Fork seal problems

Hello All,

I have an '02 WR426 that I bought new from a dealer this spring. Since then, after riding all summer and today, I just blew out another fork seal, left one this time. Both of them were replaced about 4 months ago after I blew out the stock seals transporting the bike to a ride.

Does anyone have any luck protecting the seal area with something? Seems like mud and gunk should not make them leak this fast.

Any ideas would be appreciated.



Invest in seal savers. At seal or rocky mountain has them they are cheap

Seal Savers is the way to go!

I have never blown a seal when using SealSavers.

Your signature doesn't say where you're from but even with seal savers you need to pull the dust (not mud) guards down and clean out your seals. If you ride in any sort of clay based dirt it will ride up under your seals and start the leaking. Most of my trail riding group has fitted Pro-Grip fork boots to their bikes and then there are never any leaks. My .02 -- WR Dave. :cry:

Just one other thing you dont say if your bleeding the air from your forks after every ride out.

Just one other thing you dont say if your bleeding the air from your forks after every ride out.

And to add to the above, I try and make it a habit to bleed the forks of air AFTER I've cinched the bikes down in the truck for the journey to/from the riding area. I know it's a pain in the ass, but it does seem to have helped. Little things go a long way....

Lots of good info. I am not in the habit of bleeding the screws. I will have to add this to the routine.

Thanks for the suggestions.


maybe if you are transporting the bike often with front end constantly sunk?

it makes significant pressure to the seals and blowing them in time

That's how I blew them the first time. Now I use a 2x4 spacer to keep the forks extended.

Anybody have a picture of an upside down fork with the seal savers installed?



Pro-Grip fork boots

Where can we get these in Canada? Are they for upside down forks ?


my savers

dont bother with aftermarket products, if near the shop specialized in making or repairing diver suits and other neoprene products

watertight sowing together is no problem for them, be sure to provide accurate data on length and width of the tube, it is quite stretchy material

Where does all that material go when you bottom out the front end?

I usually use my seal savers cut to 4" length and positioned only 3" past the dust seal. I have never had fork seal issues with this set up but you do have to change them and clean under them often. :cry:

you can see on the picture that mine are too long even with forks completely stretched, but I dont bother shortening them (wobbly stocking lasts longer than tight stretched)

rode quite some dry dusty MX with those, not showing any signs of stretchy and squeezy stuff

when removed after few months for fork rebuild, all was clean under, washed them with warm water&mild soap, dried, reinstalled, like new

generally i clean them with pressure cleaner, they withstand it too

I presume they have few years lifespan, if you dont tear em up

When you get seals that are manufactured to last, you wont have to jimmy rig your ride. You will be doing yourself and your bike a huge favor :cry:

Seal savers, bleeding the air, and old 35 mm film cleaning the grit out the seals also helps in preventing your seals from leaking

Most likely you have a few grains of sand between the fork and seal that needs to be cleaned out.

Drop the wiper with a small flat tip screw driver (CAREFULLY) and spray some brake cleaner to clean out the wiper and the base of the fork seal. Next Take a 4mm feeler gauge (Brass is best - won't scratch) blade and slide it between the fork and the seal. Gently rotate the gauge left or right until it sweeps out from the seal. continue this all the way around the seal until you do not feel or hear anymore sand between the seal.

You can do the same thing with a piece of 35mm film or a business card. I have had much better luck with the feeler guage method.

Once the seal has been cleaned again clean everything up with brake cleaner, push the fork thru it's travel until the spitting has stopped, clean again, replace the wiper, and your done.

I am a true believer in Seal Savers and have been using them since before they went public. You MUST roll the seal savers up and clean the dirt out from underneath them or the dirt will eventually work it's way past the wiper and get sand back between the seal and the fork anyway.

My 2 cents..

Bonzai :cry:

Sylvain-Check your PM's -- WR Dave. :cry:

I have a 00 wr and rode hollister hills after turkey day, it was muddy there. I loaded my bike up and brought it to the condo to wash it the next weekend (I should have washed it before I left hollister) I chipped the now dried cement like adobe mud off before applying water. I loaded my bike in my friends truck and we headded out to go break in his new crf250 then I noticed when we got there my fork seals were leaving a large oil puddle. Did I do the typical bone head move by letting the mud harden? there was no oil in my truck so it leaked after washing and loading in the other truck. Are these seals now toast or can they be cleaned out carefully , I heard sliding the dust seals down and using 35mm film neg to slide up between the seal and tube to remove any dirt trapped. I could only try or else pay a $100 for a fork reseal job. I was curious as to what started the leaks- washing and perhaps missing a spot which when the forks were compressed trapped some dirt or was it just a coincidence. Any thoughts would be helpful, thanks Ted

All great advice. Not to beat a dead horse, but Sealsavers work pretty well, I haven't had a single problem with leaky seals, I've used some camera film to clean the area of debris sometimes. I've been thinking about investing in a seal driver just so I could do it myself, for some reason with all of my WRs I've always blown fork seals.

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