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Symptoms of Leaking Bleeder Valve?

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Would a leaking bleeder valve cause head shake? My '04 CRF450 bleeder valves had been drilled for sub- tanks and the guy put bolts in without orings. I tried putting o-rings on but with no grooves on the bolt they just flatten and split. I tried teflon tape but I was worried about it falling into the fork and mucking things up. I finally settled on making a gasket with gasket material and pipe dope, but the last time I rode the bike it felt very unsure, and head shakey!! There was a little dust on the top of one cap which could have collected from leaking fork oil! If the oil was leaking I assume air was also leaking, would this cause major front end problems? Any advice would be helpfull. Is the air necessary to prevent bottoming or for damping effect of the fork? :)

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Yes to all of your questions. You have a problem. A certain volume of air is necessary to make the fork work correctly. It handles bad because the fork is trying to pressurize the air and the oil and it is not able to. It probably wallows around pretty bad and feels really mushy.

You need an o-ring. Tape, pipe dope, etc. will not work over time especially when around heat, oil, etc.

Why didn't he use o-rings?

James

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Usually a bolt that has an o-ring is grooved out so the o-ring fits inside the hole to seal it. He just used a regular old bolt and when the hex head tightens down it squishes then rips the o-ring. I ordered the stock bleeder screw, but the caps are drilled out about twice as big!

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