Author Topic: Tool for leaky fork seal  (Read 6958 times)

Offline zsiska

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Tool for leaky fork seal
« on: June 19, 2012, 09:53:23 am »
Not sure if anybody has thrown this out there or not.  I have seen mention of the Sealmate tool.  Just a piece of plastic for cleaning seals.  Well I had what I thought was a complete seal blow out.  I just changed them a couple years ago and was dreading doing them again.  I kept reading about the Sealmate and maybe cleaning my seals would work.  Going with an idea from another forum, I cut out my own Sealmate type tool from a 2 liter bottle.  It worked perfectly for getting between the seal and the fork.  Ran it around a few times and pulled a bunch of gunk from both of them.   Even though I have covers on them they were pretty cruddy.  Cleaned everything up pretty well, replaced dust seals and haven't leaked another drop since. 

If you are curious, just look up the Sealmate and then just cut a piece just like it from a 2 liter bottle.  Don't think teh dimensions really matter to much.  At least it didn't in my case.

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012, 08:25:56 pm »
Got pix of this neato (tm) home brew tool?

Home many miles since you did the operation?
Rick Hall     1994 ZG 1000 "Sam"      xCOG #1914 (CO)
  GfNi H.P.   DOD #2040   1kQSPT 14.16   IBA #3274
    The Kawasaki Concours page at: www.zggtr.org

Offline sig

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2012, 10:51:14 pm »
From Switzerland Europe

Hello

view on the internet  ;)


http://xjrider.com/viewtopic.php?t=1438&p=12767



Offline zsiska

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2012, 03:20:14 am »
Got pix of this neato (tm) home brew tool?

Home many miles since you did the operation?

Sig posted the link for the pics.  Mine is similar to that just out of a 2 liter soda bottle and I made my hook a bit bigger and more curved so that it will slide under the seal once inside.

About 150 miles now.  I know, not a lot but the way it was leaking and the bumpy a^^ back roads I ride to the house surely would have proven the plastic miracle wrong by now.  Not saying it will last forever, but it has done a good job so far.  A hell of a lot better than changing the seals at the moment.

Offline snarf

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 05:53:14 am »
This is why I love this group and older bikes. 
2002 Conc
1986 Conc "The spirit of COG"

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Offline yoman

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 06:00:00 am »
I have heard of people "cleaning" fork seals using 35mm film. Same concept.
2002 Semi-naked Connie

Offline Cholla

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 07:05:17 am »
Paper or electrical tape works, too.
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Offline rcannon409

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 07:40:09 am »
In the old days, Bel Ray sold fork oil that said, "seal-swell" on the label. It turned out thsi was just alcohol, a small amount, in the oil. When added to an old, leaky fork it would tend to soften the seals and often it would stop leaks.

The same idea works with this tool. Either a purchased one or home made.  If you dip this tool in the alcohol between wipes, it does an amazing job. 


Offline zsiska

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 10:49:06 am »
In the old days, Bel Ray sold fork oil that said, "seal-swell" on the label. It turned out thsi was just alcohol, a small amount, in the oil. When added to an old, leaky fork it would tend to soften the seals and often it would stop leaks.

The same idea works with this tool. Either a purchased one or home made.  If you dip this tool in the alcohol between wipes, it does an amazing job.

Just rubbing alcohol that you would use to clean a cut or something or sterilize things with?

Offline zsiska

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2012, 10:50:04 am »
Paper or electrical tape works, too.

I have tried the tape around the fork and compress them thing.  Did not work at all for me. Not saying it doesn't at all, just not for me.

Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2012, 11:41:23 am »
In the old days, Bel Ray sold fork oil that said, "seal-swell" on the label. It turned out thsi was just alcohol, a small amount, in the oil. When added to an old, leaky fork it would tend to soften the seals and often it would stop leaks.

The same idea works with this tool. Either a purchased one or home made.  If you dip this tool in the alcohol between wipes, it does an amazing job.

SealSwell additive was not alcohol, it was simple Glycerin. It does swell rubber quite astonishingly, but todays seals, as opposed to the ones back in the 70's, are made from different polymers that are not as affected by it. We used to add a tablespoon to each leaking fork, and do the seal scraper trick using a piece of old film cut like a "J" shape, and got duprisingly double life from those pesky leakers...

Paper or electrical tape works, too.

problem is, nither sticks to the oily fork leg worth a dam, and both have a tendency to come off on the backside of the seal, and end up causing a teardown to remove them from the fork....bummer

30 YEARS OF KAW.....

Offline Cholla

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2012, 12:07:49 pm »
We always cleaned our fork tubes first....LOL
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Offline rcannon409

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2012, 09:20:58 pm »
SealSwell additive was not alcohol, it was simple Glycerin. It does swell rubber quite astonishingly, but todays seals, as opposed to the ones back in the 70's, are made from different polymers that are not as affected by it. We used to add a tablespoon to each leaking fork, and do the seal scraper trick using a piece of old film cut like a "J" shape, and got duprisingly double life from those pesky leakers...

problem is, nither sticks to the oily fork leg worth a dam, and both have a tendency to come off on the backside of the seal, and end up causing a teardown to remove them from the fork....bummer

Andrea La Rosa told me it was alcohol, but she could be nuts.....anyway, the alcohol does a decent job now on the "new" seals.   

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Tool for leaky fork seal
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2012, 09:29:43 pm »
Harry and Coty's ZG (in my basement) has a slow weeper on one fork. I may try cleaning the seal with the plastic hook gizmo. But they arrive then take off for 10k+ miles, and it's my 'job' to ensure their USA vacation is problem free. Bike wise anyway... that's why I (they) bought a C-10 ;)

Or, in my experience, most seal leaks are due to a small nick in the fork tube. An errant rock from the road, dust/dirt, dried bug guts, UV radiation/degradation, lack of tin foil hat...

Rick
Rick Hall     1994 ZG 1000 "Sam"      xCOG #1914 (CO)
  GfNi H.P.   DOD #2040   1kQSPT 14.16   IBA #3274
    The Kawasaki Concours page at: www.zggtr.org