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Thread: is my fork seal leaking?

  1. #1
    pieman
    Guest

    is my fork seal leaking?

    after my previous post saying i noticed a puddle of 'oil' on the base of my fork leg, i went to southern cross and they took it apart and couldn't find a leak.
    I went back home and the stanchion was still feeling greasy so i took the mudguard off and wiped both sides off with brake cleaner so not greasy. When i got to work this morning i ran my finger round the fork leg and again it's greasy. There is a greasy black ring around the stanchion where the fork has compressed to.
    Southern cross say over the phone that it sounds like it may just be the grease they use to put the seals in (they were replaced 3k ago but they also took the dust seal out when they looked at it the other day. How can i tell if my fork seal is leaking? I thought the tell tale sign was the black greasy ring but sc say it would be a drip and puddle and normally go all over the brake disc. They checked the oil level in the fork and say it's fine too.

    I'm hoping to ride the 200 miles to go see my son next week i just want to be sure it's safe more than anything, i have breakdown anyway but that's not the point is it!

  2. #2
    Gasboy
    Guest
    When mine was leaking, it started to cover the tyre and disc with a film on oil, which was nice,,,,

  3. #3
    A303
    Guest
    In my experience, first sign of seal leaking is a greasy film of oil on the fork leg. Doesn't have to be pissing out all over everything to be leaking. I rode mine 120 miles up to Griff's to get it changed in this condition, with no problem. Of course, if it does start coating the disc and tyre, then that's obviously not good. But if it's just a minor weep then I don't think you need to stop riding it immediatly. Just have a glance at it every time you stop for fuel and ride accordingly.

  4. #4
    Badger
    Guest
    The black line is normally the grease they are talking about, basically when the forks compress any dust or particles on the fork leg get pushed down every time it compresses, the result is the black line you talk about, when ohlins come from the factory they have the grease between the dust seal and the oil seal.

    My opinion is you never had a problem mate and still don't have, if there was a leak you would feel or see clean oil on the fork or run you finger round the underside of the dust cap, you will soon see it as your fingers will be smeared with clean oil

  5. #5
    pieman
    Guest
    hmm the thing is i did have clean brownish oil all over the fork leg but now it's magically stopped. I wonder if the cold weather has helped reduce the leak. Maybe i should just get a new stanchion or go see griff. I'd like to add that i have a 5 week old baby and am having trouble formulating thoughts lol. I'm not normally the type to ponder stuff like this. Not really a wheelie merchant so never had a fork seal problem before! Thought it'd be a bit more cut and dry than this. Just want to give someone some money and sort the problem if it is one

  6. #6
    A303
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by pieman View Post
    hmm the thing is i did have clean brownish oil all over the fork leg but now it's magically stopped. I wonder if the cold weather has helped reduce the leak. Maybe i should just get a new stanchion or go see griff. I'd like to add that i have a 5 week old baby and am having trouble formulating thoughts lol. I'm not normally the type to ponder stuff like this. Not really a wheelie merchant so never had a fork seal problem before! Thought it'd be a bit more cut and dry than this. Just want to give someone some money and sort the problem if it is one
    No oil = no leak (or oil completely leaked out - but you'd know). Case closed I reckon.

  7. #7
    One Liter Duc Eater Spud monkey's Avatar
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    Mate my R1 did this. If it is just leaving alittle ring of oil at the bottom of the compression stroke then it really is nothing to worry about. I used to just wipe it off after every ride. When the oil starts running down the leg and onto the caliper mounts then it is leaking bad and need changing.

    You say you have had it changed recently? Keep an eye on it. My R1 was a repeat offender and it turned out to be a stone chip on the stanchion which had put a tiny dent in it. The oil would collect in the dent then that would obviously go past the seal and collect at the dust seal until there was enough to run out. This meant then that there would be oil one day which I would wipe off and then nothing for a couple of days. Took my forks to ktech and they worked there magic. The only real way to cure it would be a new stanchion but it didn't leak again for 2 years. I regularly got the exact same symptoms as you are having now though.

  8. #8
    pieman
    Guest
    thanks. That's along the lines of what i was thinking. Seen new stanchions on wemoto for 150, or there's the rechrome option which would reduce the possibility of it happening again. I just need to get either a head stand or an abba stand so i can drop the fork. Nice to know it's not a rush job too.

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