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Can you blow a fork seal without blowing a fork seal?


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While riding a rough hard pack trail this weekend, I noticed on one landing that some fluid "squirt" out of my fork. Back at the truck, noticed fork oil running down fork.

Back at home, removed dust seals, used 35 mm film to clean fork seals, wiped everything clean and then greased dust seals and put bakc in place. Fork seals visually looked OK.

Since then, riding around yard and sitting on stand there has been no leakage from the seals.

So, did I blow a fork seal? Will I need to replace? Or did it just squirt some fluid out on a hard hit and is otherwise OK?

Thanks

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I did the 35mm film trick and it hasnt leaked since.

Wait a minute! describe to me the 35mm film trick - I must have missed it before on TT. Is this the same trick with duct tape I've occasionally used? Wrap the duct tape around the fork tube and "carefully" work the fork up and down dislodging the dirt from the seal?

Thanks.

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Don't know about the duct tape trick.

You can take a small peice of 35 mm film and slip it between the seal and the lower fork tube and run it all the way around. This will dislodge any small peices of debris that may be bewtween the seal and the tube.

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Occasionally dirt will work up under the fork seal and cause a "bad seal". It sounds like you did the right thing and took care of it soon enough that it didn't damage your seal to the point of leaking continuously. I use an old video store card and clean my seals with contact cleaner evry 5 hours or so. 🙂

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  • 1 year later...

Be Careful When Using The Film Negative. It Does Work, But Be Easy, I Didmy Bike The Other Day And A Piece Of The Film Tore Off Up Inside The Fork. I Was Lucky That It Hung Out Enough That I Could Pull It Out. I Was Just Before A Panic.i Learned A Good Lesson. Wrdon

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Make sure the wiper is cleaned throughly. Use carb cleaner/brake cleaner. Before I had the same problem. It was leaking, and I cleaned it with a negative. Packed it back with grease and slid it back up. Next ride it'd still leak.

Turns out the grease was holding the dirt and on the stroke it would cycle through the fork tube and slip in the fork seal.

What I di is take a paper towel, and I get the corner started. I do this by pulling the wiper to one side to create a gap. Slip the paper in the gap and hold the corner of the paper. Then just twist the wiper up the towel till no more dirt shows (do this after you clean out the seal with a q-tip)

Then use the negative on the wiper and clean the grease out of there. Then follow up with cleaner and repack 😢

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If you physically saw fluid squirt from your fork, your problem is more severe than a simple small particle of dirt stuck in the seal.

In which case, I'd suggest a complete tear down and seal + wiper replacement. If it's been a while since you've changed fork fluid & seals, you are not tossing perfectly good fluid & seals.

Money saving tip- buy your seal + wipers from Honda. A 01 CR125 is the same size as the 01-03 YZF.

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Sounds like the seal got hold of a chunk, and you most likely cured it with the film trick. If there was damage to the seal or fork tube, it would leak. If it doesn't, well...

Note: The point about breaking off chunks of film is valid, but you can avoid it by trimming the holes off the strip. If the edges feel sharp, drag a blade along the edge to chamfer it.

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While riding a rough hard pack trail this weekend, I noticed on one landing that some fluid "squirt" out of my fork. Back at the truck, noticed fork oil running down fork.

Back at home, removed dust seals, used 35 mm film to clean fork seals, wiped everything clean and then greased dust seals and put bakc in place. Fork seals visually looked OK.

Since then, riding around yard and sitting on stand there has been no leakage from the seals.

So, did I blow a fork seal? Will I need to replace? Or did it just squirt some fluid out on a hard hit and is otherwise OK?

Thanks

Many diagnosed "Blown seals" are just a bit of dirt or debris under the lip of the seal. If it doesn't leak after the film trick, your ok. Be careful as the film can cut into the the rubber on the seal. Sort of like a paper cut on your finger.

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