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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone recommend a good brand? Could do oem but they only lasted 15k miles, thinking of trying all balls, they claim to have an extra wiper lip.....

Mine went from a little weepy to this in about 10miles this morning......
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The OEM's are good - leaky seals are usually caused by damage, or some debris stuck in them. The OEM's on my FZ went nearly 40K miles without issue, and were only changed out because I had the forks apart anyway.
Try one of those fork seal cleaning things first. This one's great, but some people don't like paying more than a couple of bucks for plastic:
 

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I put all balls fork seals in an old Honda 750 last year and they worked great, not a drop of leak since.
I have also used the Seal Doctor linked above - you would be amazed the crud that thing will pull out and it can halt a leak if that is the cause. I also have the motion pro seal cleaner but the seal Dr is worth the extra money, it is the best.
Also clean the heck out of the exposed metals so there isn't some hardened piece of debris.
 

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Do you jet wash? It’s possible to blast dirt / tiny amount to grit into the upward facing seal if you go in close with the jet…just a thought if you are thinking 15k is a bit premature.
 

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You can make a fork seal cleaning tool using a plastic soda bottle. Cut it so its a "J" shape and work it up under the seal...any debris will be pulled out. You may have to do it a couple of times but it will pull out anything that may be preventing the seal from doing its job. I have done it in the past and worked just fine! With the low miles on your bike I would be very surprised if the seal needs replacing.

 

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You can make a fork seal cleaning tool using a plastic soda bottle. Cut it so its a "J" shape and work it up under the seal...any debris will be pulled out.
Yep, that is all the Motion Pro tool is, J-shape thin plastic
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can make a fork seal cleaning tool using a plastic soda bottle. Cut it so its a "J" shape and work it up under the seal...any debris will be pulled out. You may have to do it a couple of times but it will pull out anything that may be preventing the seal from doing its job. I have done it in the past and worked just fine! With the low miles on your bike I would be very surprised if the seal needs replacing.

I did this on my dirtbike and it helped for a couple months then was back to leaking. I tried it on the XSR but the problem is getting the 'platic thing' all the way around the seal with the the tight clearance between the fender, fork tube, and brake parts. Guess maybe I'll order the 'real deal' and remove the fender to give it a try.

To be fair I do quite a bit of 'dirty' riding that might contribute to increased wear, also with so much fork fluid having leaked out I kinda feel like I"ve gotta remove the fork leg and 'top it off' - I don't really like the idea of running the forks with different fluid levels right/left.
 

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...To be fair I do quite a bit of 'dirty' riding that might contribute to increased wear, also with so much fork fluid having leaked out I kinda feel like I"ve gotta remove the fork leg and 'top it off' - I don't really like the idea of running the forks with different fluid levels right/left.
My older bike leaked for a long time, and when I replaced the seals I expected a huge loss of oil but it wasn't much different oil volume than the side that didn't leak.
I wouldn't worry about different fluid left-right, many bikes have compression - rebound on opposite forks. It's not like it's going to stress anything.
You popped the dust shield out of the way before attempting the seal clean out?
If you are in dirty conditions you likely have a lot of crud to pull out. The first product listed (seal Dr.) was best for me, after already buying the motion pro one (and making one) I found the Seal Dr pulled out even more crud and I was able to get another couple years out of the 28 year old seals.
Changing seals is such a pain in the ass (getting everything apart to that point) that I never wanted to get dirt in there again and picked these up. They keep the moving parts really protected from grit
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AllBalls bearings are ok. Not great, just ok. I don't mind them on dirt bikes where bearings always die due to water and grit finding their way in vs actually being worn out. They're cheap enough to be disposable.

I've tried AllBalls fork seals and bushings on a couple dirt bikes. They're cheap, so shops keep them in stock. The stiction is horrible with them. Never again. Can't say if the seals would've held up or not. The forks were dragging so bad with the parts installed that I never added fluid. Just pulled the seals out and chucked them.

Yamaha sells a fork service kit that has all the bushings and seals in it for like $50. You'll have a hard time beating that price and you won't beat the quality.

It's good to have bushings on hand when you do seals. When you slide hammer the forks apart you'll likely scar the bushings anyway. It's not a sign of doing something wrong, it's just a hazard of them game. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.
 

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If you still have a roll of 35 mm film around, cut it into the J (hook) shape; a roll will offer a couple dozen tools.

I vote for OEM but SKF is a well respected mfgr but it's difficult to find them not in a green color though I'm told they do have them in black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
AllBalls bearings are ok. Not great, just ok. I don't mind them on dirt bikes where bearings always die due to water and grit finding their way in vs actually being worn out. They're cheap enough to be disposable.

I've tried AllBalls fork seals and bushings on a couple dirt bikes. They're cheap, so shops keep them in stock. The stiction is horrible with them. Never again. Can't say if the seals would've held up or not. The forks were dragging so bad with the parts installed that I never added fluid. Just pulled the seals out and chucked them.

Yamaha sells a fork service kit that has all the bushings and seals in it for like $50. You'll have a hard time beating that price and you won't beat the quality.

It's good to have bushings on hand when you do seals. When you slide hammer the forks apart you'll likely scar the bushings anyway. It's not a sign of doing something wrong, it's just a hazard of them game. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.
IMHO if the forks are coming apart I'm putting bushings in - as you mentioned they often get boogered up, and plus you're 'already there' - it would be like adjusting the valves but not replacing the valve cover gasket - just asking to have to tear the whole damn thing apart again sooner than necissary.

After my soda bottle cleaning attempt it is leaking much less - but still wet. Prior to that it was making a puddle of fluid - I'd estimate 2-3 Table spoons worth, every time I parked it (ride to work, ride home = 2 puddles). I rode it to work today so I'll see if it makes a new puddle.

I found an STL file to 3d print a rip-off of the seal doctor tool - I plan to print that tonight or tomorrow and give it a try - I like that it (the model and the genuine seal doctor) has some 'grip' ridges on it to help push it around behind the fork.
 

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If fork oil levels are significantly different you will get an imbalence towards the end of the fork travel. This is because the differing air gap will act as two different spring rates.
 
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Far north on the Alaskan highway in Canada, my rental started drooling fork oil profusely out of one leg. I bought a roll of 35mm camera film at a drugstore, cut off a piece, threaded it under the fork wiper and worked it in and around and it stopped the majority of the leak. When I raced motocross, I always kept seal savers (thin plastic) with me to get through all of my motos if I sprung a leak.
 
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