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Campaman

Fork Seals

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Asking here as I can't find a Honda forum that has any activity.

Noticed a small patch of fluid by the front wheel of my ST1300 on Tuesday, initially thought it was a leaking brake pipe but I have now traced it back to being the fork seal.

I am reasonably mechanically minded but know little about forks.

The left fork leg is weeping fluid, if the bike is on the side stand I get a small patch after about an hour, if I put it on the centre stand I get no weeping or patch.

Is the fluid level in a fork supposed to be higher than the seals so that it leaks when on the side stand?

Waiting for the Haynes manual to arrive so that I can have a look at the weekend.

Any advise on how to proceed would be appreciated.

Thanks

Andy

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Andy, Try this first it's something called "seal mate" long bit of plastic that goes down inside the fork seal and cleans the crap out without having to replace the seals. it's usually dirt in the seal face that causes this and means you can stop small leaks easy. You need the bike on the centre stand and the front wheel off the ground, if you leave any weight on the front wheel the oil will spurt out, try it mate it really is a godsend when it comes to saving hours of time and loads of money..!  Remember to take the seal cover off first tho.

Andy I have one in my tool kit if you have any probs buying one your more than welcome to borrow it, just let me know.

Image result for seal mate

 

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Hi

I had seen the Seal Mate in my searching but wasn't sure if it actually worked.

Off to amazon to get one ordered, they also have the Castrol Seal Buddy.

Out of interest how thick is the plastic its made from as I suppose I could always make my self one if I had the right thickness plastic.

 

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Well to be honest have no idea on thickness but I did make one out of a plastic milk carton, sort of worked but the real thing is quite impressive. What's the worst that could happen? Your out £6 for a bit of plastic and it works your fine it don't work your no worse off..!

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One is currently on its way from Amazon so I should have it tomorrow to give it a go.

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Good luck Andy, just have loads of rag handy, also watch out for over stressing the plastic, it will tear, fold it round the fork tube as you go round to help prevent this, I warmed mine in a cup of warm water (not hot) just before I used it.

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Cheers will se how it goes once I have the seal mate.

Assume I am better off with the bike on the centre stand and the front wheel off the ground so its not under any compression? although that would make pumping the forks difficult as described in the seal mate instructions.

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To clean the crap out, wheel off the ground, then back on the ground to pump it and seal it.

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Good intel here guys.

My RHS stanchion has had the black ring of death around it for abt a year so may try this first as well.

If this does work and postpone the dreaded front end dismantling how do you know the fork oil needs topping up ?

Thanking thee

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Dutch, now that's a good question mate, how do you check the level when it's on the bike? Easy when it's off but never thought about when it's on the bike..!

Just wandered through pages of stuff on Google and it seems that you just guess..! or take the fork leg off and do it properly. :shrug:

Thinking about it tho, you could measure the level in the one fork that don't leak then top up the one with the leak till it's the same I suppose?

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Indeed Slice.

Once you've done the business with the 'seal mate' put the bike on centre stand, or if not available, make sure it is upright so equal pressure on each leg then remove the top fork nuts and measure the levels inside

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Just asked someone I trust about this, they say, take the fork nuts off the top, remove the springs then measure the gap in both. But he also said that there's almost a pint of oil in there so a slight leak even over a few weeks will mean practically very little oil will have come out. Have to agree, if you really think about it there's going to be plenty left in the leg so don't bother unless the steering or suspension is a bit wayward.

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I would suggest that removing the springs is unnecessary. Both are equal length and weight so will have the same displacement on either leg and depending how quick each spring gets pulled out will affect how much oil is pulled out with it. Minimal I know, but easier imo to leave them in

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I think it's just that on most bike forks they stick out above the oil, I might not be right about that but your right in saying that some oil will come out with the spring but it's a tiny amount.

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Update.

Did the cleaning with the seal mate at the weekend and after a few cleans and pumping of the forks the seal now seems to be sealing.

Need to get out for a proper ride but it seems to have done the trick.

Thing is the seal seamed to start leaking in the space of one day as on the Monday the garage floor was clean but on the Tuesday it had a small spot of fluid so probably makes sense that it was some crap in the seal rather than the seal being worn as I would expect that to be a more gradual increasing weep.

 

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Well done mate, nice one.

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Rode into work today and all seems OK, left fork leg had just a slight film of fluid on it, nothing like what it was, may give it another clean out with the SealMate at the weekend as its not easy getting at the forks under the front of the fairing.

Still class this as a result as the fluid was originally running down the outside of the bottom fork leg, now its just a slight smear.

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