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 Fork Leaking

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DickO
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PostSubject: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:47 pm

Hi All,
Just found my front left fork has been leaking oil.  Was away on a trip and saw it yesterday.  Thought it was brake fluid at first since the three brake lines and the holding clamp were where the leaking fluid really showed itself.  Anyway, I've been reading all the available info on pulling the forks out and found it shouldn't be too difficult of a job.  

I do have a couple questions though... When I go to the dealer to obtain the needed replacement items, will the Honda dealer have the fork seals, bushings, etc, as a kit or do all the bits and pieces have to be ordered separately??  Also, is "fork oil" listed as such or can a general type of oil be used.  Can the 20 weight oil (as mentioned in other fork posts) be installed with the stock spring for improved performance?  Never dealt with fork leak before.  Any info will be appreciated.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:41 pm

Dick

Dont replace your seals yet. See the link for a DIY fork seal cleaning tool. I cut one out of soda bottle plastic. The curvature of the soda bottle plastic worked well with the curvature of the fork tube. This tool works. Simple but very effective.

http://v4musclebike.com/articles/magnandy/Andys-Fork-Seal-Cleaning-on-1985-Honda-V45-VF750C.pdf

Tim
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hotwings
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 6:47 pm

DickO look at my post "tacklin the forks" in the search box. Everything you need to know is there. It really is a relatively easy job. Take your time. Sorry I don't know how to post the link directly for you. Some day i will figure that out.
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DickO
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:32 pm

Thanks, "hotwings",

I'll give it a shot.
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CathyN
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:44 pm

Hi Dick,

April of 2014 my right seal started leaking. Bob replaced it. The left was fine.

This June 21st, he replaced my left seal it was leaking. He was going to replace my brake fluid but after reading some of the posts on changing brake fluid I decided to have my honda dealer do it. We were leaving on a trip on the 27th.

When Bob was replacing my fork seal. He noticed my steering head bearings were not as smooth as they should be . We had the dealer check that also. I needed new bearings. While having the dealer check over my bike for my upcoming trip they noticed my right fork seal was leaking. Apparently Bob had it in upside down. The left one he did 3 days before was fine.

So just be careful and make sure the seals are right side up.

I was able to pick up my Swing the night before our trip. Which I am on now. The Swing is running great. We have gone almost 1300 miles so far and have three days left. We are in Wytheville, VA riding the Claw Of the Dragon. Some great roads here. Highly recommend checking them out.

Good luck with your fork seals

Cathy
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DickO
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:43 pm

Thanks for the heads up item CathyN.  I'll keep that in mind.  And good to hear you're enjoying the trip !!

Hey "hotwings"...  a bit of clarification if you don't mind... In step 3 of your procedures, did you completely remove both bolts (pinch bolts?) ?  In step 9, will the chrome fork tube handle being in a vise without crushing?  And in step 22, what did you use for "new extended shims" ??  Also, to repeat one of my above questions; do the seals/busings, etc, come in kit form?  Trying to get everything established before I jump in.  If I come up with any more questions, I'll PM you so others won't be bothered.  Thanks again.
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NWSSC
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PostSubject: Fork leaking   Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:19 pm

A good investment and easy to install any time is a set of fork guards. I have had them on my 06 since new. Howard

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neoprene-Motorcycle-Fork-Guards-Made-in-Minneapolis-by-NOJ-Gear-USA-/181225256196
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http://www.northwestsuburbanscooterclub.com/
hotwings
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:53 am

DickO in step 3 i did completely remove all four bolts holding both shocks/forks in. 
In step 9 i clamped the tube into the vise with a microfibre cloth protecting it- please use caution here. In step 22 i just found a piece of pipe that was relatively close in diameter of the oem. 
 I ordered my dust and fork seals as one kit from ebay: 
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=331585471593

No problem with the questions, keep em coming, happy to answer Smile.
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Meldrew
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:40 am

Before you go ordering up stuff and taking things apart, have you considered that the rubber fork seals may have just dried out and hardened in the same way rubber fridge, washing machine, and car door seals sometimes do.

A quick squirt of rubber and nylon lubricant on each fork leg and bouncing the forks up and down a dozen times or going for a brief ride to work it in might be all that's needed to cure it.
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"Hi Yo"
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:59 am

Meldrew and Tim,


  Nice tips and ways to maintain forks. Thanks guys. It's ideas like these that are the backbone of a forum like this.


   Yes Meldrew, you did something nice. Get over it.    Laughing
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Cosmic_Jumper
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:13 am

Dick

I forgot to mention that the main reason the fork seals start leaking is that grit can caught between the dust seal and fork seal and cause the seal to leak as the fork pumps up & down. That "Seal Mate" tool cleans out the grit and pops the folded-over the seal lip back into position.

If you find that the fork tube has actually been dinged by gravel, etc you can, assuming that the ding is not too bad, use emery cloth to polish off the snag, but you must use the emery cloth across the the fork tube. Do not work the emery cloth up and down the fork tube as it will only cause micro grooves in the tube and the seal, even a new seal, will no longer work.

Re your fork spring spacer question: most folks have used Schedule 40 PVC pipe for the purpose. You only need 10MM long extensions for the existing spring spacers.

Tim
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DickO
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:15 pm

I sincerely want to thank you all for all the help. Such a great bunch of folks to be a part of. I know that the fork didn't leak all that much so I tend to lean toward trying the plausible quick fixes first (thanks, Cosmic_Jumper and Meldrew). On the other hand, what better time (?) to learn a new task. Decisions - Decisions. I'll keep ya' posted.
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hotwings
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:17 am

My left fork wasn't leaking much either but i wanted to put the heavier oil in and the extended spacers as the bike seemed way too soft and bottomed out easily when hitting a dip in the road, or braking quickly. The ride is much nicer now, no more dippity doo waa! DickO stop in, I'll do it for you.
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DickO
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Fri Jul 03, 2015 3:33 pm

Thanks for the offer, 'hotwings', but I'm the daring sort who loves to tear things apart... it's that putting them back together where I start to get in my danger zone. Showed this to the wife and she said, "well where's he at?" When I told her I got one of those "haarrrumphs"... so I'll leave well-enough alone :-).
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AldusFran
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:58 am

DickO ; I clean around and under seal with a piece of plastic water bottle and then put a few drops of Marvel Mystery Oil over the seal replace cap doing this once a month> I've stopped a few oil seal leaks this way. I make my fork guards out of Folgers coffee container and a tie wrap.
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Loosebearing
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:05 pm

Thought I'd throw a curve ball in here. It's a mystery but interesting.

I changed my fork seals about 3000 miles ago with some cheapies from amazon, £5 each set I think. They started leaking recently so I thought I'd put the Honda seals in.

I removed the forks then removed the dust seals so I could prise the seals out by whacking a thin screwdriver through them and hoiking them out. Done this loads of times successfully being careful not to damage the chrome. It means that you don't have to separate the fork halves. Anyhow, as soon as I started to 'puncture' the old seal in the left hand fork I noticed fork oil seeping out on top of the seal. I continued to remove the seal while oil was settling into the space where the seal sits, almost as if under mild pressure. So I fitted the new seal and dust cover and started on the right hand fork. This time there was no oil seeping through, in fact it was quite dry. I continued to replace the seal and dust cover. I pumped both forks up and down a few times and all seems normal. I will refit the forks etc tomorrow.

Why would one fork seep oil and the other one not seep oil? My first thought was that all of the oil had been lost from the one that didn't seep any oil but that is pretty unlikely. I think I would have noticed the loss of that much oil.

So, there it is. I don't have the means to remove the fork caps while they are off the bike so I didn't actually check the levels but they can't be far off the correct amount because I refilled with fresh oil last time I changed the seals. (I removed the caps while the forks were still on the bike that time and replaced the oil).

I'm curious. Why would one fork seep oil into the seal space?
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Fork Leaking   Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:01 pm

Every new bike/scooter I get----first days install some sort of gaiters or guard, to keep bugs/grit away. Maybe every couple of weeks lift guard,, WD-40 and wipe to make sure clean----no fork leaks in at least the last 500,000 miles. Japanese and BMW's----long, long ago in my days of Brit bikes....they all had fork leaks.

WD-40 leaves slite coating....maybe Marvel Mystery Oil better?
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