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Discussion Starter #1
Both times I have parked the wing after an afternoon ride, there is about a thimble full of oil on the floor beside the front axial. I can feel wet oil up near the triple tree behind the faring. Do I have a bad seal on the front fork. It is a 2001 with 70,000 miles on it.

If a seal, what is the cost to repair? Thanks for your response.
 

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DSI Keeper
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Sure sounds like it. Usually, the tube of the leaking fork turns all black from the dirty oil. Watch out that this oil isn't getting on your front brake pads. If so, they will need replaced also. Not sure of the cost to repair as I have always done my own. It is about $100 for new bushings and seals plus what ever the labour would be.
 

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Vendor
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Yes, you have a leaking fork seal. The left seal is the most common one to leak, due to the anti-dive valve on that side. At 70K miles, you're probably overdue for new fork bushings anyway, so I'd take both forks apart and replace the seals and bushing in them. This would also be a great time to install some stiffer fork springs and then disable the anti-dive valve. Traxxion has a fork spring kit for $129 that would be a good choice.
 

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If it's up near the triple tree, I would check the fork cap o-ring. I was told I had a blown fork seal and upon inspection I found it was leaking from the fork cap not the fork seal in the slider.
 

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CD, Like Fred said, you are due for a front fork overhaul. New fork springs are a must at 70,000 miles. Stock springs are about $25.44 from Direct Line Parts and Interstate Honda lists them at $39.65 on their web site and Fay Myers in Denver at $33.04. As stated the Traxxion are $129. I went with the Traxxion on my '04 and was very pleased. Prices others gave you are good. Seems to me it takes me 2-3 hours to do the deed.

Consider also replacing the steering head bearings while you have it apart. Should be about another 1 hour labor and $47.25 for the All-Balls bearings.

You should definitely take care of it before the riding season gets here.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Fay Meyers

Thanks everyone for your responses.


Larry,
Would you have Fay Meyers do the change over? Think I'll do the Traxon Springs and the new head bearings. Do they order the parts? Guess I could call to find out, right?
 

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Just a note that if it IS the fork seal, and not the o-ring at the cap, you MAY be able to at least temporarily fix it by taking a strip of 35mm negative, and run it between the seal and the tube. Cut off the sprocket bits, making all four sides smooth, make the strip about 4-6" long, and round off one corner. (test the strip to make sure it is not so old it is brittle).

After removing the dust seal, take the strip and with the rounded corner first, slip it between the seal and the tube with maybe an inch of it sticking under the seal, then slowly slide it around the tube two or three times, try not to work it up and down, just slide it around. Wipe down the area, bounce the front end a few times and if not dry, do it again, maybe twice, if three times doesn't keep it dry, then new seals are needed quickly. IF you do get it dry, then it may be OK for quite a while. My previous wing, and 04 had a leaking seal, and this trick made it dry, for a couple thousand miles till I could get in for a repair. I have heard of people doing this and it lasts for years. Sometimes the leak is caused by just a build-up of dirt.

Someone sells a plastic tool for this, but a film negative strip works just fine. I know with digital cameras taking over, a film strip may be hard to find, so if you aren't an old fart, just ask your parents or grandparents, or some other old person, we all have pictures around with negatives we can do without.
 

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... Someone sells a plastic tool for this, ...
Think "Seal Mate" http://sealmate.net/ can also be done with the clear plastic of a 20-oz soft-drink bottle (just a little more cutting)

Fork rework is bread and butter type of stuff - Sun had had some of my b'ness in the past ( on Washington - just East of I-25 there just North of 88th -- 303-287-7566) and Fay Meyers is well respected as well (they're pretty good at answering emails [email protected] & phone is always viable 303-744-6632).

I'm gonna agree with the big-guns above that at 70k, it's time to change the moving bits up to and including the head bearings while the forks are off anyway.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Just a note that if it IS the fork seal, and not the o-ring at the cap, you MAY be able to at least temporarily fix it by taking a strip of 35mm negative, and run it between the seal and the tube. Cut off the sprocket bits, making all four sides smooth, make the strip about 4-6" long, and round off one corner. (test the strip to make sure it is not so old it is brittle).

After removing the dust seal, take the strip and with the rounded corner first, slip it between the seal and the tube with maybe an inch of it sticking under the seal, then slowly slide it around the tube two or three times, try not to work it up and down, just slide it around. Wipe down the area, bounce the front end a few times and if not dry, do it again, maybe twice, if three times doesn't keep it dry, then new seals are needed quickly. IF you do get it dry, then it may be OK for quite a while. My previous wing, and 04 had a leaking seal, and this trick made it dry, for a couple thousand miles till I could get in for a repair. I have heard of people doing this and it lasts for years. Sometimes the leak is caused by just a build-up of dirt.

Someone sells a plastic tool for this, but a film negative strip works just fine. I know with digital cameras taking over, a film strip may be hard to find, so if you aren't an old fart, just ask your parents or grandparents, or some other old person, we all have pictures around with negatives we can do without.
I watched a video natas (thanks natas!) posted on this subject then, following instructions, cut a piece of plastic out of the side of a 20 oz plastic pop bottle in the shape suggested. I heated up the fork and seal with a heat lamp (temp was below freezing in my garage) then popped the dust seal, cleaned around the inner seal as suggested then inserted the plastic that was cut from the pop bottle and ran it around the seal. Dirt came out on the end of the piece of plastic as anticipated. I put everything back together and I took the bike for 50 mile ride including a high speed run on I-25 of up to 90 mph, then parked the bike being sure there was no previous left over oil on the floor where I parked it. To date, there has been no leakage and fork tubes are clear of any oil residue.

Hopefully this does the trick. Still holding my breath.
 

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If the service has been missed this long, the slider tubes may be shot too. Deputy has a good idea about the simple "O" ring, but you are way over due for new fluid and wear parts. IF OE springs, they are gonna be way short by now too. Its not hard work, but its stinky and the cartridge damper side bottom bolt can be a royal PIA to remove if it begins to free spin.

prs
 

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Remember, the suggested service interval is, I believe 20,000 miles. At 70,000 miles, at best you have only made a temporary fix. It will be back, you can rest assured on that one.. If it were me, I would bite the bullet now and do a proper repair before riding season starts as the bushings are surely worn anyway. Good luck...
 

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You are better off fixing it now while it is NOT leaking. Once the seal does fail, it shoots oil all over the motor and tupperwear and makes an incredible mess (and smell).

Marvman
(the voice of experience)
 

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Yes, you have a leaking fork seal. The left seal is the most common one to leak, due to the anti-dive valve on that side. At 70K miles, you're probably overdue for new fork bushings anyway, so I'd take both forks apart and replace the seals and bushing in them. This would also be a great time to install some stiffer fork springs and then disable the anti-dive valve. Traxxion has a fork spring kit for $129 that would be a good choice.
Agreed
 
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