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Discussion Starter #1
Talked to the local Honda service guy today. I asked him what the cost was on replacing wing fork seals. $400.00 bucks for both. Said the reason they fail is because bugs get stuck to the fork legs and this causes the seals to leak. What's your take on this?
 

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Don't no why they fail. I'm just glad I am not afraid to work on my own stuff. Cost for seals is about $30 and a hour or 2 of my free time. It is actually about as easy as changing the oil just a few more bolts to take off!
 

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Grumpy Fart
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I'll bet a quarter that bugs have taken out a few fork seals.

Sowhere someone had a post about running a pick down along side the leaking seal and setting the lip in the right direction.
 

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I was under the impression that bugs that go splat on your fork tubes can work their way under the seals and ruin them, on most bikes. That's what I've always understood to be the case.

That's why a lot of folks keep those puppies so clean, and why there are guards for that area of the forks to help keep the bugs from hitting directly.
 

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GL1800 Doctor
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If you let bug bodies dry out and turn hard, they will indeed cause the seal to tear and leak. That said, if you look at the forks on your wing, the chrome "shields" on the top of the fender that stick up in front of the seal area of the slider is supposed to help keep critters off of the most common travel area of the tube. There are a bunch of folks that believe the left seal will fail if your antidive valve malfunctions, I'm one of them. $400 seems pretty high for that job. Many on the board have had their's replaced under warranty. It really depends on your dealer.
 

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I don't think so. My goldwing miles are few, but I've seen my share of bugs on the old Kawasakis. In 300,000 miles plus on all my old Kawasakis in the garage my high miler is 168,000 and I've done the seals once on it, the next is 80,000 with original seals. One of the low mile ones, a 1980 with only 4000 miles I did the seals on. Maybe the 4000 mile one had some real nasty bugs and the 80,000 mile one didn't? I doubt.
 

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It's been my understanding that bugs COULD damage the seals but it has never been the case on any of the bikes I have owned/ridden. It wouldn't be the first thing I would suspect plus the shields in front of the seals on the wing should sharply reduce that possibility.
 

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Yea bugs, grit, dirt can all cause fork seals to leak. If you notice a leak try using some 35mm film and sliding it between the fork and seal to clean the junk out. MotionPro even made a little tool for the job.

http://www.sealmate.net/
 

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WAYYY too much $$$$$! I read somewhere, that you can take camera film and clear any obstructions in the seal! Dang, I still have memory @ 50+. It's really supposed to work, i haven't need to try yet! Good Luck
 

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It took me 6 minutes to type, so i'm second!
 
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Discussion Starter #12
If you let bug bodies dry out and turn hard, they will indeed cause the seal to tear and leak. That said, if you look at the forks on your wing, the chrome "shields" on the top of the fender that stick up in front of the seal area of the slider is supposed to help keep critters off of the most common travel area of the tube. There are a bunch of folks that believe the left seal will fail if your antidive valve malfunctions, I'm one of them. $400 seems pretty high for that job. Many on the board have had their's replaced under warranty. It really depends on your dealer.

There are a bunch of folks that believe the left seal will fail if your antidive valve malfunctions
That's something I've wondered about. Also wondered about the left side brakes wearing out quicker because of sticking anti dive valve as well.

Many on the board have had their's replaced under warranty.
This same Honda dealer has refused to replace the seals on this triked wing under warranty. There checking with another outfit now and if they won't do it I probably will be replacing it.
 

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Notorious Rocket Scientist
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Greetings!

For a variety of reasons, sliding seals never seem to last as long as rotary seals. But keeping the surfaces clean does really help a lot with seal life.
 

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Canuck
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$400.00 bucks for both.
Way too much. Get 'em done here in Canada for $300 ($250 US) by an independent. And we're usually more expensive up here.
 
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If I remember right I believe the service guy gets a cut (commission) from the mechanics plus his regular check. If he jacks up the price he gets a bigger commission. Gotta be careful who you deal with.

I worked for Yamaha for a while. They had one decent mech, all the others were half wits who would screw you any way they could.
 

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Just dab plenty of vaseline on the tubes and see how that works instead of spending money on the seals. If all else fails, try a new crush washer.
 

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Yes, I believe bugs can cause fork seal failure, particularly if beetle-type bugs (with those hard shells) are allowed to dry on the fork tube.

I've noticed many more bug impacts on my fork tubes since I replaced the soft OEM fork springs with Traxxion springs. There is quite a bit less sag with these stiffer fork springs, thus the fork tubes are more exposed to road debris.

About every time I stop, I grab a paper towel and spit on it. I then use the rag to clean the fork tubes. I used this routine with my '81 GL1800 and that bike had 125,000 miles on the original fork seals when I sold it.

My current Gold Wing (see signature) still has the original fork seals, also, at 60,000 miles.
 

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If your willing to do a little manual labor.... pull the forks yourself and then drop them off at the dealer. They love it... it doesn't tie up a lift.... and you save at least $150 or $200. I've had my local dealer do a set for me same day many times...
 
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