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Discussion Starter #1
Long story short. The 9 year dust seals on the forks were cracking (not leaking), so I replaced the fork/dust seals with aftermarket All Balls seals. A week later, after a 700 mile trip, it started leaking at the right fork leg. The left fork leg wasn't leaking but it was showing rings of oil. Alright. Maybe I got a bad batch. I tried a set of Outlaw Racing seals. Two weeks later, after roughly 500 miles, it started leaking at the right fork leg again! The left fork leg was leaking too, though not as bad as the other one. Best way to describe it is the oil leaks and catches dust in rings around the tube.

I wrapped a towel around the tube to catch the oil and I'm planning on redoing them this weekend.

I followed the service manual and even replaced the bushings. Covered all the sharp edges and installed the seals the right direction. I know for a fact that it doesn't leak initially at all because the fork tubes are clean for the first few days. Fork tubes have no dents.

These aftermarket seals are advertised to be better than OEM seals. I do have cartridges installed and the compression adjuster blocked off but there's no way that could cause leaking. What am I missing here? I ride in 30-40 degree weather. Maybe it's the dust/ice that gets caught on the tube and pushed into the seals? Never had an issue with the old OEM seals. No dust sticking to the fork tubes with those.

Anyone else have similar issues with aftermarket seals?
 

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Don’t understand why you don’t use oem, no one has issues with oem and they are guaranteed to be precise.


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Discussion Starter #3
One day shipping from Amazon... And I previously used them on my 600rr without issues. Stupid mistake in hindsight.
 

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Can't Spell
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Stop using crap seals and you'll be fine. OEM or SKF are the only choices.
 

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use the OEM fork seals and you may want to replace your fork seal bushings the bushings could be wore and causing too much movement for the seal
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did replace the bushings with the seals. Except I used All Balls bushings instead of OEM. This time to make sure it's all done right I ordered a full set of bushings, seals, back up ring, and I'm not messing with the aftermarket stuff at all. Can't believe I'm taking these forks apart for the fifth time this winter.
 

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I'm not dead yet.
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Better check those tubes again. You might have a nick or a burr. That's about the only thing, besides debris, that will make oil leak. (That I know of)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Better check those tubes again. You might have a nick or a burr. That's about the only thing, besides debris, that will make oil leak. (That I know of)
The only marks on the forks are some very fine marks from the Motion Pro fork seal driver that I can't feel at all with my nails. I think what's happening is that the aftermarket seals aren't as tight as the OEM seals, so they leave a thin layer of oil on the tubes that attract dirt, which get pushed into the seal over and over causing it to leak.

Cause the seals worked perfectly fine for two weeks with no leaking at all and today even the left leg is dripping I'll have to replace the pads too.
 

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Stand your ground
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If there are any visible marks on the lower legs (even if you can't feel them with your finger nail) then you need to polish them out. That will help in your quest for non-leaky fork seals.
 

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I did replace the bushings with the seals. Except I used All Balls bushings instead of OEM. This time to make sure it's all done right I ordered a full set of bushings, seals, back up ring, and I'm not messing with the aftermarket stuff at all. Can't believe I'm taking these forks apart for the fifth time this winter.

Once you stop using the shit seals the problem will likely go away. As far as working on forks goes, I've done 5 sets of forks in the last 3 days and will likely have at least 2 more before the week is over:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm stupid putting Ohlins cartridges with Chinese seals and bushings. Thought I'd save a few bucks on expendables and this is what happens.
 

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No use beating yourself up for it... You learned from it, use it, move forward and share what you know with others as I assure you that you are not the only one that has or will experience this scenario.
 

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Make sure something goes over the tube when installing those bushings too [like plastic wrap], don't want the sharp[ish] edge catching anything.
 

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While OEM is always a good suggestion, I don't get why people are crapping on the All Balls. I've done quite a few fork seal replacements for people using All Balls and haven't had a single problem. I'm going 15K miles or so on mine with no leaks. To me, the fact that you are getting leaks so quickly point to something else being the problem. I would guess it's your fork legs or your technique/process. One thing I do is polish the legs before putting the new seals on and I use the plastic wrapper over the end of the legs with some oil to prevent damaging the seals when putting them on. Try OEMs next, and if you still get leaks then you know it's not the seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
While OEM is always a good suggestion, I don't get why people are crapping on the All Balls. I've done quite a few fork seal replacements for people using All Balls and haven't had a single problem. I'm going 15K miles or so on mine with no leaks. To me, the fact that you are getting leaks so quickly point to something else being the problem. I would guess it's your fork legs or your technique/process. One thing I do is polish the legs before putting the new seals on and I use the plastic wrapper over the end of the legs with some oil to prevent damaging the seals when putting them on. Try OEMs next, and if you still get leaks then you know it's not the seals.
Yeah I have a feeling it might be the fine scratches from the Motion Pro seal driver. It's just carbon steel and I will coat it with some polyurethane this time. Any idea how to polish the fork tubes? Aren't they coated with chrome to resist corrosion?
 

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While OEM is always a good suggestion, I don't get why people are crapping on the All Balls.
Because the vast majority of experiences with them have been total crap? They've worked for you, that doesn't really mean anything. People tell me they had a Mitsubishi that was reliable. Or one guy came into our lot with a 120,000 mile range rover and said it was the most reliable vehicle he's ever had and needed another one. Took us a minute to stop laughing at that one. Sure, that single rover was great for him, but overall they are garbage.
 

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Because the vast majority of experiences with them have been total crap? They've worked for you, that doesn't really mean anything. People tell me they had a Mitsubishi that was reliable. Or one guy came into our lot with a 120,000 mile range rover and said it was the most reliable vehicle he's ever had and needed another one. Took us a minute to stop laughing at that one. Sure, that single rover was great for him, but overall they are garbage.



I'm so glad you posted that... I couldn't bring myself to say anything without sounding overtly supercilious like I was the largest Ohlins dealer in the world or something
 

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I work at a very high end used car dealership. Our customers are the upper crust as far as money goes. I gave up trying to not sound like an arrogant rich douc*e because its not really possible when I just got done driving a rolls royce or something for work even though I personally drive a 98 chevy truck haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Alright. Replaced the seals with OEM. One obvious thing I noticed is that the oil sealing lip facing the top of the forks is much longer/tighter than the aftermarket seals. I could tell when sliding it over the fork tubes. Also there were no rubber burrs on the seals leftover from the manufacturing proces on the OEM seals. 200 miles later. No problems at all. No rings of dirt/oil. No leaks.

Lesson learned. Considering that the OEM only cost $5 more than the aftermarket seals. Never risking it again.
 
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This was a good read for me. Haven’t needed to do fork work yet, but I know it’s coming eventually. Thanks for everyone’s inputs and glad you got it squared away.
 
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