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I think my fork seals are leaking

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  • I think my fork seals are leaking

    Every time i ride, i get home and my fork tubes are wet, not dripping or anything, but a light filmy coating about and inch up from the sliders. It's thick and smells like oil, so im sure it is. Thing is, how long before I've lost too much? Theeres really no way to check the oil. And you gotta take the whole fork out of the tree just to put oil in.

    You think I'm good till winter?

    Im planning on getting a new front wheel over the winter so ill have to take it apart anyway, may as well have the seals changed. It's a brand new front end, and DNA said they will send me replacement seals for free, But i have no clue as to how to replace them.

    They damn thing bottoms out on the lower tree if I brake hard too, maybe thicker oil and different spring? Or just get some 41mm Harley forks?

  • #2
    if it is bottoming out, you either don't have enough oil in it, or it's just a weak springed front end. and why do you have to tear the front end apart to change the wheel?
    Ride in Peace Wndchsr


    www.my.doterra.com/jbush

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    • #3
      It sounds like your seals are gone, If you lose too much oil your handling can get wild. and if yer bottoming out when braking you may be low now. forks only have about 9 ounces.
      Expectations managed for free

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      • #4
        The seals shouldn't be gone, the front end is brand new, I've put 100 miles on it tops so far. The amount of oil that has come out total is maybe enough to wet a paper towel.

        I think it bottoms out because it's only about 3.5 inches of room between the dust caps and the tree.

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        • #5
          ok, sounds like you need to replace the springs in it or get longer tubes.

          also, DNA's aren't known for being the best quality. yeah, they are inexpensive, and pretty, but massively mass produced by 11 year old Indonesian girls making $4.20 per month
          Ride in Peace Wndchsr


          www.my.doterra.com/jbush

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ironhead View Post
            ok, sounds like you need to replace the springs in it or get longer tubes.

            also, DNA's aren't known for being the best quality. yeah, they are inexpensive, and pretty, but massively mass produced by 11 year old Indonesian girls making $4.20 per month
            How do I know what springs to put in it? Are all fork tubes the same? Or do I need DNA springs? I don't want longer tubes, it will look retarded if I raise the front end up.

            I reals good things about the DNA front ends as long as it's good out of the box. And I do like the way it looks, But it does ride a little soft.

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            • #7
              I would think progressive springs would work., Dave or Croc would probably be better to ask that question as they have more experience than I do with front ends
              Ride in Peace Wndchsr


              www.my.doterra.com/jbush

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              • #8
                If its that new then it should have a waranty of some kind, maybe the 12 yo indonesian girl had an off day.
                Expectations managed for free

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                • #9
                  it does have a pretty good warrenty actually, thats why they said they would send me the fork selas for free. i just dont know how to install them. and this perticular front end was made in japan. same place my stock SHOWA front end was made.

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                  • #10
                    Here is some stuff that will stop them seals from leaking.I used it on Mine 76 FLH and it dried those seals right up and I had just replaced them,I think the biggest problem with fork seals is that they are soo many of them made and so few used that they dry up before they get a chance for any use.My 76 had about twenty thousand miles on the new fork seals and seal conditioner when I sold it and they never did leak again while I had it.That stuff never seemed to affect the damping of the forks.
                    There is also different weights of fork oil.
                    Drain the forks,remove plug at bottom of forks and hold front brake and push down on front end several times,remove top caps,I would put about two tablespoons of stop leak in each fork and subtract that amount from the recommended capacity.
                    I used to have to use one of them veterinary very large hypodermic needles and the extra large injection unit for the vet.services that can be aquired from most any farm/ranch stores,I had to bend the needle to get it to fit into the little slot of the tubes without disasembling the front tubes from the tree.
                    I do not know a thing about springs and what fits what so Croc or Dave can lead Yuh into that jungle.
                    Not necessarily the Lucas brand but that is good stuff and being P.S. seal conditioner it has the same properties as what fork oil has.

                    http://lucasoil.hodgsoncorp.com/luca..._stop_leak.htm
                    Ear Tag no. 00030

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                    • #11
                      Tubes wet and your bottoming out....

                      Yes, you need to replace the seals! You can get a tech sheet from DNA and it will show you the break down and how much oil to put in.

                      Don't have time in mornings to help much but will get back with ya tonight!
                      OLD SKOOL BIKERS RULE, WE DO WHAT IT TAKES AND LIKE IT!!!
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                      FIRST "HERD BIKE OF THE MONTH CLUB MEMBER"
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                      • #12
                        Let me rephrase the bottoming out issue, it only bottoms out very mildly if I slam on the brakes and pretty much hit a bump at the same time. Not like it bottoming out over every little crack in the pavement.

                        There is no way this front end has lost even a tablespoon of oil and it's only the left fork that is wet.

                        So, i guess ill replace the seals, I can't find any DNA tech sheets, the Mexican dude at DNA says they use the same seals as Harley so I should be able to go get HD seals at the dealer, and they will fit. What kind of oil should i use? I'd rather not replace the springs, so I'd like to use the stiffest possible.

                        So now all i gotta do is figure out how to brake down the tubes. Getting the front end apart is easy. But i don't know how to take the forks themselves apart.

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                        • #13
                          Maybe adding a shim on top of the springs for more pre-load would help from bottoming out? I think Monk and Osco have done this.
                          HERD Member #114
                          2007 FLHTCU Ultra Classic
                          When all else fails, GET A BIGGER HAMMER!
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Eric The Welder View Post
                            Let me rephrase the bottoming out issue, it only bottoms out very mildly if I slam on the brakes and pretty much hit a bump at the same time. Not like it bottoming out over every little crack in the pavement.

                            There is no way this front end has lost even a tablespoon of oil and it's only the left fork that is wet.

                            So, i guess ill replace the seals, I can't find any DNA tech sheets, the Mexican dude at DNA says they use the same seals as Harley so I should be able to go get HD seals at the dealer, and they will fit. What kind of oil should i use? I'd rather not replace the springs, so I'd like to use the stiffest possible.

                            So now all i gotta do is figure out how to brake down the tubes. Getting the front end apart is easy. But i don't know how to take the forks themselves apart.
                            First off I would try some seal conditioner and adding a tad bit heavier fluid to the tubes.
                            After You get the front wheel off"MOST" bikes have a bolt in the bottom of the slider that needs to be unscrewed then the slider should come off.If Your sliders are not set up this way then the releasing bolt will be under the topcap but will require a long extension/ratchet/socket to get the bolt out.
                            If your sliders have the bolt in the axle recess then You can remove the sliders without removing the tubes from the tree but will require jacking the bike so the front wheel is far enough off the ground so the slider will clear the floor.
                            I am reciting this from memory so it may not be all accurate.
                            Ear Tag no. 00030

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                            • #15
                              Eric,

                              I am not sure if this of value since I am a minor wrencher but I was just looking at this earlier today and you might want to look for yourself. If you sign up at Build a Hog You can get monthly video tips. The June 09 tip is how to break down a set of front tubes (on a soft tail). Might not be the same but could help. If not - no harm done. Here is the web page https://www.buildahog.com/monthly_tips/index.php?id=35
                              HERD Member #108 1

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