Fork Seal Savers

Fork Seal Savers http://www.sealsavers.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=1

Whos got them? I do and I was wondering how do I know if I have blown a seal? I started :thinking:thinking about this and thought perhaps the oil absorbs in the neoprene? And with all the dirt, water crossings, bike washes and all of that, maybe it may be hard to tell for sure? I went and lifted the neoprene just now and sort of squeezed it and smelled my fingers and sure enough I smelled fork oil! On one side a little more then the other and I even think I felt the oilyness in the neoprene. But honestly Im not postive. Because how do I know that is not just a little oil from the forks compressing up and down and those seals being on there for months. Or, would that even be noticable? Plus the neoprene is black. One side does seem a little more oily then the other so maybe that is how I would know? Or will it be really obvious I have blown a seal with these things on? Because:rant: Im thinking I already have blown one. Also, how bad is it to ride around with a blown seal? And is it really obvious when you have blown one without seeing the oil?
Does anybody have any thoughts or experience with these things? Mine are not velcro'd on and they are the short ones. I have them zip tied in place. And I dont replace fork seals myself, so this is just one more thing I now need to fix on the dirt bike darn it :banghead: And currently both bikes have many needs now. This does not make for a happy Sun:thumbsdown:
 
I've been using seal savers for the last few years now. I like the long ones because they protect more of the fork tube from getting dinged up from rocks and stuff. Even with the seal savers though, I can't go two full seasons without needing to replace fork seals.
When the seals do start to leak, it's just a light weepage and doesn't stand out too much. The first sign that there is a leak will be the dust on the seal savers. There will be a heavier build-up of dust on the neoprene directly over the fork seal than there will be on the rest of the seal saver. At this stage of the leak, you won't do any harm by riding the bike.
As the leak gets worse, there will be no hiding it. Eventually there will be a small puddle of oil under the leaking fork after the bike is parked for a while. If the right fork is leaking, the oil will eventually soak into your brake pads. While the brake will still stop just fine, it makes a God-aweful springy noise that drives you nuts. I have ridden to this point before I've gotten the seals replaced and have done no extra damage to the forks. I also could not tell any difference in the ride while the forks were leaking.
Nowadays, part of my standard summer maintenence program is to take the forks and shock to my suspension guy for a complete service(new oil, seals,bushings, whatever).
 
In the last several years i have only had to replace a couple of seals from damage, the rest have just been dirty. You SURE you need to change the seal? Most of the time its just dirty and can be cleaned externally. Unless the fork tube has a nick in it that tore the seal.
 
I'm with Rolls. The cover will be all oily and have caked on dirt on it..I had some on a couple of bikes(shorties), but cut one pair off and forgot to put the other ones back on the other bike after a seal jobber. We seem to be good for one set of seals a season on 2 out of 3 bikes at least latley. I'm lucky to be able to ever clean a seal when it starts.:thinking: oh well.:thumb:
 
I end up having a seal replaced about once a year it seems. Maybe a little less often since I use my bleeders when strapping it down...but that is a whole different topic of question..."bleeders."

Well based on what I read and see Im going with I have a blown seal. The one side seems pretty dirty and almost moist. I like the ease of glancing down and seeing the oil run out, makes it blond proof!

My bike now needs a kickstand, kill switch, bark buster, re-thread, fork seal, fresh brake oil and new tires.
:( the Sun has set for a while. Im not a mechanic and this stuff adds up:cry: It may as well be jewerly or a Coach purse Im asking for when I tell my Husband my bike needs. He rolls his eyes and says something like "you gotta be kidding! You just spent X amount on it the other day!" Sometimes I have to say "no, that was the other bike" then he really becomes frustrated! IF ONLY he were "into it" he would understand my needs so much better! That is really the only "high maintance" thing about me. I dont buy expensive clothes, jewerly, manicures, hair cuts....heck I rarely even buy latte from fivebucks anymore! Rant over.

Thanks for your response....I appreciate your input.
 
I have used Seal Savers for a while, I like them. Some debate in the fact that some riders think they trap dirt inside. I peel mine back occasionally to inspect, have never found dirt inside.
It's a drag having to pull the forks to replace them - I get about 2 years out of a set before having to replace. This company - http://www.shocksox.com/ makes Seal Saver style boots that have velcro and are easy to remove and install. Never used them, but might give them a try next time.
 
That's it I'm going to need to try these seal saver things.

I end up having a seal replaced about once a year it seems. Maybe a little less often since I use my bleeders when strapping it down...but that is a whole different topic of question..."bleeders."

Well based on what I read and see Im going with I have a blown seal. The one side seems pretty dirty and almost moist. I like the ease of glancing down and seeing the oil run out, makes it blond proof!

My bike now needs a kickstand, kill switch, bark buster, re-thread, fork seal, fresh brake oil and new tires.
:( the Sun has set for a while. Im not a mechanic and this stuff adds up:cry: It may as well be jewerly or a Coach purse Im asking for when I tell my Husband my bike needs. He rolls his eyes and says something like "you gotta be kidding! You just spent X amount on it the other day!" Sometimes I have to say "no, that was the other bike" then he really becomes frustrated! IF ONLY he were "into it" he would understand my needs so much better! That is really the only "high maintance" thing about me. I dont buy expensive clothes, jewerly, manicures, hair cuts....heck I rarely even buy latte from fivebucks anymore! Rant over.

Thanks for your response....I appreciate your input.
I learned how to fix bikes because of the same situation you are in. It was "fix it or don't ride" so I picked up the tools and had at it. Heck I had nothgin but a shop manual. You have the advantage of these forums full of accumulated knowledege. Remember it's not a do it all or do nothing kind of thing. You can start with a few simple tasks and work your way up if you so desire.

In some of my underemployed days I would ride as long as the tires held air. You might be surprised just what you can ride up with knobs only 1/8 of an inch tall.

Now I wouldn't start with fork seals, but the kick stand, kill switch and bark busters are things you might be able to do. In a way it's kind of like riding. None of us were born with that knowledge. We had to learn.

I have it easy since my wife drives an older Jaguar. I'm always fixing something really expensive on that car. Yes I have become an expert Jaguar mechanic as well due to necessity.
 
both bikes have many needs now. This does not make for a happy Sun:thumbsdown:
Easy solution: New Bike!
Practical solution: Spend more time wrenching than riding. I find that is wrench 2x as much as ride.....well, per bike that is and 4 bikes in the garage makes for lots of beer time out there.
 
Don't use them because they have a tendency of keeping dirt on the shaft and grinding said dirt into the seal making the forks leak.

On another note:
A penguin bring his car to the shop, the mechanic says it will take about an hour to fix. Being a hot day the penguin goes over to the ice cream bar across the street and orders his favorite flavor, vanilla. He heads back over to the mechanic shop and asked what's wrong with his car. The mechanic looks up, and the penguin has ice cream all over his face, the mechanic said, "It looks like you have blown a seal", the penguin said, "no, thats just vanilla ice cream." :smirk:
 

James

Staff member
I learned how to fix bikes because of the same situation you are in. It was "fix it or don't ride" so I picked up the tools and had at it. Heck I had nothgin but a shop manual. You have the advantage of these forums full of accumulated knowledege. Remember it's not a do it all or do nothing kind of thing. You can start with a few simple tasks and work your way up if you so desire.
:thumb: I taught myself how to do pretty much everything on my bike, makes it a LOT cheaper, plus it's very rewarding for me.
On another note:
A penguin bring his car to the shop, the mechanic says it will take about an hour to fix. Being a hot day the penguin goes over to the ice cream bar across the street and orders his favorite flavor, vanilla. He heads back over to the mechanic shop and asked what's wrong with his car. The mechanic looks up, and the penguin has ice cream all over his face, the mechanic said, "It looks like you have blown a seal", the penguin said, "no, thats just vanilla ice cream." :smirk:
:lol: That needs to go to the Jokes thread, :thinking: isn't there also a dirtier version of the seal joke.
 
I'm not sure what your talking about when you say you use your bleeders when you strap down the bike? I have been told by more then one mechanic you don't strap your bike down without putting a block or something between your tire and your forks so they can't compress when you strap it down. From what they explained to me is if you strap your bike down so that the forks compress its really hard on the seals and you will go through seals more often. I was told this after we had to replace my wifes fork seals and he seen me straping the bike down with the forks compressed. Since then I have been putting a block in and strapping the bikes down and they even ride nicer in the truck or trailer.
 
Easy solution: New Bike!
Practical solution: Spend more time wrenching than riding. I find that is wrench 2x as much as ride.....well, per bike that is and 4 bikes in the garage makes for lots of beer time out there.
Don't use them because they have a tendency of keeping dirt on the shaft and grinding said dirt into the seal making the forks leak.

On another note:
A penguin bring his car to the shop, the mechanic says it will take about an hour to fix. Being a hot day the penguin goes over to the ice cream bar across the street and orders his favorite flavor, vanilla. He heads back over to the mechanic shop and asked what's wrong with his car. The mechanic looks up, and the penguin has ice cream all over his face, the mechanic said, "It looks like you have blown a seal", the penguin said, "no, thats just vanilla ice cream." :smirk:
:thumb: I taught myself how to do pretty much everything on my bike, makes it a LOT cheaper, plus it's very rewarding for me.

:lol: That needs to go to the Jokes thread, :thinking: isn't there also a dirtier version of the seal joke.
I'm not sure what your talking about when you say you use your bleeders when you strap down the bike? I have been told by more then one mechanic you don't strap your bike down without putting a block or something between your tire and your forks so they can't compress when you strap it down. From what they explained to me is if you strap your bike down so that the forks compress its really hard on the seals and you will go through seals more often. I was told this after we had to replace my wifes fork seals and he seen me straping the bike down with the forks compressed. Since then I have been putting a block in and strapping the bikes down and they even ride nicer in the truck or trailer.

Baja - Im trying to do some things I think I can do, and there have been some things I thought I could do. It always starts out pretty good then something happens to make things difficult and I start to get emotional and frustrated. Last thing I did with frustration was to replace my radiator guard. I walked away from it because I decided to wait till my hubby got home to help me with it, I munched it good and it was jammed/bent so much I couldnt even get it off. Well...Im down the hall in my house braiding my hair and I start hearing liquid pouring, I thought:thinking:I didnt turn the pool water on??? I started walking down the hall smelling fuel and as it turned out my fuel line ruptured! It had a small tear in it from the radiator hitting it that I didnt see, and Im guessing the heat of the day expanded it??? Well my extra capacity tank was full and gas was pouring all over my patio! I grabbed an ice chest and slid it under and then dealt with a big mess for the next hour. Then I had to make/find a part that would work because I bent my bracket that is part of the frame that holds the radiator. I went to the hardware store and tried to find a gromet close to the stock thingy on the other side to rig it. I rigged it and it is that way to this day and will be forever! I had to use bailing wire to hold it there too. Just like my skid plate right now...wired on :smirk: Talk about Jenny rigged! Anyhow....I've done and do some work but I just suck at it, I hate it, and it ALWAYS turns into a BIG ordeal! It cant ever be simple! I WILL DO the kickstand, kill switch, new fuel line (because I made the mistake of getting fuel line from auto parts store) and fluid changes. I dont think I will do the bark busters. Last time I tried that they didnt fit/line up properly and what a surprise:banghead:it became frustrating and I cut the new grip crappy.

Palmer - Yea...I heard the same thing. Im just not sure. Like I said...I think I like the ease of being able to see things. Funny joke! Yuck!

James - Rewarding when i get it done right and without emotion. For some reason I get so emotional wrenching on my bikes. I think it is my deep attachment to my bikes and riding that causes it. I just want things to be so "right" because I love my bikes SO MUCH! I refer to them as my "other lovers" Im not ordinarily that emotional, really Im not! Of course that way too long, obnoxious lecture shows otherwise but seriously.....Im overall a happy, easy going girl! BTW...A dirtier version of the joke? Really? Never mind, I dont want to know.

Bryce - I heard with bleeders if you bleed after you strap down the bike you have eleminated the pressure off the seals. I also heard when you unload the bike you need to elevate it, (wheels off the ground) and hit the bleeders again before you ride it. Feed back on bleeders? Or new thread? Im still curious about that. I have a hard foam block and even a plastic thing that you are suppose to use for strapping down. I never use them, not sure why. I really should for obvious reasons unless:thinking: the bleeders truly do work when the bike is strapped down, which IS WHY I bought them.
 

James

Staff member
James - Rewarding when i get it done right and without emotion. For some reason I get so emotional wrenching on my bikes. I think it is my deep attachment to my bikes and riding that causes it. I just want things to be so "right" because I love my bikes SO MUCH! I refer to them as my "other lovers" Im not ordinarily that emotional, really Im not! Of course that way too long, obnoxious lecture shows otherwise but seriously.....Im overall a happy, easy going girl! BTW...A dirtier version of the joke? Really? Never mind, I dont want to know.
:thumb: Which is why I generally do what I can my self, I don't like putting my life in limbo because some mechanic forgot to tighten a bolt, etc.

:lol: Ok maybe not dirtier but a different version. :smirk:
Bryce - I heard with bleeders if you bleed after you strap down the bike you have eleminated the pressure off the seals. I also heard when you unload the bike you need to elevate it, (wheels off the ground) and hit the bleeders again before you ride it. Feed back on bleeders? Or new thread? Im still curious about that. I have a hard foam block and even a plastic thing that you are suppose to use for strapping down. I never use them, not sure why. I really should for obvious reasons unless:thinking: the bleeders truly do work when the bike is strapped down, which IS WHY I bought them.
:thumb: I'd say a new thread as I'm also curious over this.
 
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