Forks eating seals - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Forks eating seals

I had new fork seals put on about 1,000 miles ago and one of them is already leaking again. The forks look fine but I noticed that if you rub your hand on the fork tube you can feel some dings (I assume created by rocks hitting them). I figure that these dings are chewing up the seals.

Can the fork tubes be lightly sanded, just to round off the sharp edges of the dings, or am I looking at replacing the tubes?

Thanks
-Matt

Last edited by mcowie; 06-16-2009 at 03:24 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcowie View Post
I had new fork seals put on about 1,000 miles ago and one of them is already leaking again. The forks look fine but I noticed that if you rub your hand on the fork tube you can feel some dings (I assume created by rocks hitting them). I figure that these dings are chewing up the seals.

Can the fork tubes be lightly sanded, just to round off the shark edges of the dings, or am I looking at replacing the tubes?

Thanks
-Matt
If it were up to me, I would certainly try removing the rough spots before replacing the fork tubes.

I would try as fine an emery cloth you have and work your way rougher until you see a change. I would go with the slow steady approach to keep the sand/rub lines to a minimum on the good areas. Try to hit only the high spots as much as possible.

Jon

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 08:28 PM
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What Jon said; try to smooth them out before you head right to replacing them. It can't hurt to try, especially since they're already leaking.

Seems to me there was/is another thread about this a few months ago, you might try a quick search for some tips.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help, I'll give it a try and let you know how I make out.

-Matt
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 01:45 PM
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HEre's a qrite up form another board I'm on:

First of all, make a habit of cleaning your forks regularly to remove any road grime/bugs. Extend the forks fully by getting the front wheel off the ground. For the dings, take some 200 grit sandpaper and cut it into strips. Create a cross-hatch (go up & down & round & round) on the entire length of the fork that the oil seal slides over. This will knock down the edges on the rock dings, clean off imperfections, and allow the seals to last longer.

The important part of all this is that there should be no sharp burs from rust that will cut your seals... light scratches will be less damaging to the seals than seriously raised edges.

This may sound like harsh treatment, and you WILL see visible scratching. But these scratches don't do anything (negative) to the seals. It is a tried and true method used by all the major suspension service shops. It also did well for Brian on his '87 VFR. ~30 sandings in 117,000 miles kept the fork seals in repair and didn't damage anything. This little bit of maintenance can take forks from a state that won't allow them to be used (due to destroying fork seals) and make them usable again.

Rust or dings high on the forks legs, beyond the area of suspension travel, are cosmetic. You can do what you like with them.



If you end up needing to replace the forks, I still have the ones from my 96 I'll let go for cheap. AJ

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