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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in March or April of this year, my right fork seal started leaking for no apparent reason. My bike had about 25k miles on it at that time. I had changed fork oil a couple of times, but the seals were original. So, I bought new Moose Racing oil and dust seals and did a thorough clean-up, oil change (Maxima 7.5W) and new seals. I'd done seals on Showas a couple of times before (Monster S2R and Suzuki GSXR), so I have the special tools, and I've had good results.

But, about 2000 miles and a couple of months later, the right fork is starting to leak again (the left is fine). I'll check more closely, but I didn't find any nicks or scrapes in the slider when I did the rebuild, and there was no binding the entire length of travel. Is there anything else I should be looking for when I tear this thing apart? Is there a better brand of seals I should use? Thanks in advance.
 

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I had to replace mine, due to a leak in the left fork. The job was done by a professional shop which happened to be authorised for Ohlins suspensions. They told me that they use Athena (if the spelling is right) and they strongly recommend this brand. After 12.000 Km they are perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had to replace mine, due to a leak in the left fork. The job was done by a professional shop which happened to be authorised for Ohlins suspensions. They told me that they use Athena (if the spelling is right) and they strongly recommend this brand. After 12.000 Km they are perfect.
I've heard of Athena, and I've used their engine gaskets in the past. I'll see if I can get a set for my bike. Thanks for the quick response.
 

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Several years ago I replaced the STs seals with a softer feeling rubber advertised as low sticktion. Triple lip All Balls brand parts. They were a reddish, maybe silicon, rubber and were very low sticktion. Slid on easy. Apparently they were low sealing as well. One side leaked pretty quick. Bought regular seals from Race Tech. No problems. Not sure what you used for seals, but that's my story.
 

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I've had the same issue with all-balls low stiction seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I went ahead and ordered a pair of Athena seals and a seal driver. I've been using a home made driver fabricated from PVC pipe with good results, but I don't want to do this again. I'll also spend some time inspecting for nicks or gouges in the tube. I may need some additional advice if I find any damage.

My bike is currently in pieces for a repaint (discussed in a separate thread), so it'll be a few weeks before I get to this. I'll circle back and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the input!
 

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I’ve had leaks with AllBalls seals too. I thought I might have done something wrong but now I’m going to blame it on the seals.
 
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had a my right fork leak as well. Took it to the best suspension shop in the area, and they rebuilt it. Was fine until a year later when the fork started leaking again. That best area shop refused to warranty the work. Much more to the story, but I will never go to that shop again and recommend to anyone who asks, to avoid them. But I digress. Had my regular shop fix this new leak and so far so good and it's been about a year and half /12k miles. Good luck.
 

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Well,
to be honest, I would probably lso not change a year old seal on warranty either .... that said, try SKF seals. I´ve been using them on what must be at least 50 forks by now, for more han 6 years, and have never had one come back due to leaking seals. Should be pretty low fricton as well, but i only have their word for that .....
 

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Well,
to be honest, I would probably lso not change a year old seal on warranty either ....
really depends whether the customer is someone you like or a whiny arsehole you'd be happy to be rid if. if it lasted a year it's realistically not your fault.

i put a set of ariete seals (same part as i had used before) in a monster once and it was dripping oil after about half a mile on the road. just pissing out. pulled them out, could see no issue at all, put a genuine set in (marzocchi, so probably nok). no problems. wacky what happens some times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I took my fork apart, and while inspecting for damage I found a small mark on the front of the slider. It's on the part of the tube that would normally be exposed and is about 3/16" long. Looks like a piece of lint and I can't feel it. I can't imagine that it could damage a seal, but I don't see anything else that might cause failure. Should I install the new seal and cross my fingers, or is there something I should do to the tube before reassembly? Thanks.
 

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I took my fork apart, and while inspecting for damage I found a small mark on the front of the slider. It's on the part of the tube that would normally be exposed and is about 3/16" long. Looks like a piece of lint and I can't feel it. I can't imagine that it could damage a seal, but I don't see anything else that might cause failure. Should I install the new seal and cross my fingers, or is there something I should do to the tube before reassembly? Thanks.
Maybe it was just the lint, or whatever debris it was, that caused the leak. I've never used one of these tools, but some say they are great. I guess it's possible to have grunge get in there and cause a leak but not damage the seal.

https://www.amazon.com/Squatch-Racing-Seal-Mate-Cleaning/dp/B07R3WDDQ8/ref=asc_df_B07R3WDDQ8/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=343211963494&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4245373023739145816&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003256&hvtargid=pla-743371815774&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=69167827175&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=343211963494&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4245373023739145816&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003256&hvtargid=pla-743371815774

It you're comfortable trying get some high grit, 2000 or more, wet dry paper and use it with oil to buff the area of the slider you think may have an imperfection. I buffed the shaft of my 916 shock when I rebuilt it. Came out fine. Didn't go crazy with it, just a polish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe it was just the lint, or whatever debris it was, that caused the leak. I've never used one of these tools, but some say they are great. I guess it's possible to have grunge get in there and cause a leak but not damage the seal.

https://www.amazon.com/Squatch-Racing-Seal-Mate-Cleaning/dp/B07R3WDDQ8/ref=asc_df_B07R3WDDQ8/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=343211963494&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4245373023739145816&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003256&hvtargid=pla-743371815774&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=69167827175&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=343211963494&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4245373023739145816&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9003256&hvtargid=pla-743371815774

It you're comfortable trying get some high grit, 2000 or more, wet dry paper and use it with oil to buff the area of the slider you think may have an imperfection. I buffed the shaft of my 916 shock when I rebuilt it. Came out fine. Didn't go crazy with it, just a polish.
I've got one of those tools for my dirt bike, but have never had any luck saving a seal with it. Anyway, the seal on my ST was clean, so that's not likely the problem. I was thinking about polishing the nick like you mentioned, but I'm concerned about damaging the TiN coating. Should I be concerned?

Thanks for the quick response.
 

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If you can’t feel it with a fingernail I wouldn’t worry about it. Even 2000 grit will dull the TIN coating, so 1) keep the polished are very small and precise , or 2) polish the whole visible portion so the finish is the same. I think I’d opt for #1, but don’t do anything at all if you can’t feel it with a fingernail. TIN is very hard and very thin.
 

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I’ve never had any luck with the SealMate either. It seems like I can never get it all the way around without hanging up on something. I used AllBalls seals in two bikes last winter before this discussion started, so far so good.
 

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I'm concerned about damaging the TiN coating. Should I be concerned?
That I do not know. THe shock I've polished was standard chrome. I will say that the TiN coating of my ST4s is pretty much gone in the area that receives the most contact with the bushing and seal. Chrome underneath. Not sure it's really that big of a deal.
 

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i have only done 2 so far on dual sport bikes, kl250 super sherpa & drz 400e. both successful with much usage. i went with oem dirt n oil seals because a few others were having quality issues with after market brands. the parts were negligible compared to the effort of a potential redo. i recall using saran wrap to make sure seals were not knicked during install.

evolution suspension in San Jose did my tiger 1050. i supplied oem seals. they pointed out some pits on one fork to keep an eye on, but 10k miles later, no leaks.

some thoughts, have an experienced person review or watch your process. my gut tells me it's the quality of seals you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I am SO confused! I think the correct dimensions for my fork seals are 42x54x11. That's what the listing for the Athena seals I'm installing indicated, but they sent me 43x55x11 seals. They don't fit.

So I went back and looked at the invoice for the Moose Racing seal I just removed, and it says 43x54x11. I double checked the MotoWheels website, and 43x54x11 is what they call for. If it's actually supposed to be a 42 ID, that would explain the leak.

I've asked for a refund or exchange from the Athena vendor, but I'd like to make sure I get the right size this time. Can anyone verify if 42x54x11 is correct?
 
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