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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ohlin Fork Cartridges - Seal Failure

Sent my factory forks off for new Ohlin cartridges to be installed. About two week from shipping to getting them back and installed. Notice after my first 15 minute ride my lower slide tube was a little wet with fork oil. Not much, just a very light coating. Took the bike out a second time the next day the same 15 minute route and sure enough the oil was back. Contacted the installer about it and was told that is was probably residue left during the installation process and I should just keep an eye on it to see if it gets worse. Went to work on Friday and came back home to discover both forks leaking out and sprayed over the front of my bike after 31 miles of riding.
 

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Take a business card and slide a corner of the card between the fork seal and the fork tube and work the card all the way around. It is possible some bit of dirt or the lip of the seal is rolled over and the biz card trick MIGHT solve it. If the biz card trick doesn't solve it, your only choice is seal replacement.
 

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Sorry to hear about the issue I had a friend who happens to be a great bike mechanic install my ohlins cart. and have now put 550 miles on the bike
since including about 100 miles of rough unimproved road activity and since reading your post I just examined my forks and glad to say
no issues, I agree send them back and let them correct the problem I read the install instructions and the seals were not even involved just fork
internals
 

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That's a lot of oil to make it back to the overflow reservoir! Hope you get it squared away- I can imagine getting a new front end only to be let down by the install- good luck!
 

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Stuff happens and anyone can make a mistake or get a bad part..that being said, send those pics to your installer, that amount of oil coming out is not normal.

Also, as has already been said, it may just be a bit of dirt under the seal and it would be easier for you to try and work it out....but dont do anything without letting the installer know first
 

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Traxxion Dynamics recommended that I replace the seals when I put mine in if the bike had more than 5000 miles. Having pulled apart no telling how many forks for myself and countless motocross racing buddies, I can attest to grit getting lodged behind the wiper and into the seal after disassembly causing leakage.

Deep on the Alaska Highway, grit caused a substantial leak, so I picked up a roll of 35mm camera film, cut a splice out, and slowly worked it around the inside of the seal and reduced the leakage greatly. The seal was too far gone but I was able to use a time tested trick that anyone with two hands could try.

Having said all of that, I have seen videos of dumbasses that don't even know to cut the corner off a baggie and put it on the end of the tube before they slide the new seal on, thus cutting the seal with the sharp edge of the tube.
 

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If it was a little grit under the wiper, you are only making it unreparable by riding it, and taking the righteous attitude about not touching your forks
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I could understand the issue was a simple mistake if only one fork was bad. Both forks are bad! Same huge oil leak coming from both sides. My gut is telling me too much oil was added during the assembly or some other mistake that was duplicated on both forks.
 

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I had a pretty good size dent put in my right inner fork and rode on it for several weeks while the replacement was on back order and got no where near that much oil leaking out. No way that is just from grime getting under there.
 

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Had a shop with an "Ohlins Technician" on staff put Ohlins cartridges in a set of forks for my ZX12R years ago. Leaking, was told it was the extra fork fluid used as an assembly lube. Got worse and took them back to the shop. Head technician took them apart and discovered the expert Ohlins guy tried to save a few bucks and used generic seals from Parts Unlimited or Tucker Rocky. Not OEM or Race Tech. They thankfully rebuilt them using the right seals and I never had a problem again.
 

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If this so-called technician just put cartridges in, the seals should not leak because the tubes do not come apart to replace the cartridges. Since both are leaking, the tubes were somehow overextended or pulled apart for no reason whatsoever, or the seals were replaced with inferior seals, or cut up during reassembly with new seals. That is the only way. The cartridges have no bearing on the seals.
 

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If this so-called technician just put cartridges in, the seals should not leak because the tubes do not come apart to replace the cartridges. Since both are leaking, the tubes were somehow overextended or pulled apart for no reason whatsoever, or the seals were replaced with inferior seals, or cut up during reassembly with new seals. That is the only way. The cartridges have no bearing on the seals.
My thoughts exactly. The cartridges have no bearing on the fork seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The seals were replaced during the complete rebuild. Was even given my old parts back with the original factory seals. Having larger 30mm cartridges installed could be a case where different internals are required for the installation. One of the selling points is that they require a complete tear down and rebuild with all new parts to ensure they are installed correctly. We'll see if after the second time this holds true. Waiting of the return shipping label/box to send them back again.
 

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The seals were replaced during the complete rebuild. Was even given my old parts back with the original factory seals. Having larger 30mm cartridges installed could be a case where different internals are required for the installation. One of the selling points is that they require a complete tear down and rebuild with all new parts to ensure they are installed correctly. We'll see if after the second time this holds true. Waiting of the return shipping label/box to send them back again.

I do know this. I would be pissed!!! I know you spent some large ones on this and it could have cased a serious accident. I hope they do right by you.
 

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Wonder if they put the tubes in a vice and they are not round anymore?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just talked with the installer today. The seals used during the rebuild were KYB seals. They have been using them for many years with no issues in fitment. They check the diameter of my FZ-09 fork tubes and compared that to the cross-reference part number measurement and found the recommended KYB seal was too big. They installed a new vendor product seal (forget the name mentioned) that came in just undersized as measured for our fork tubes, but the tube travelled without tension. The tubes have been retested for leaks without an issue found. The Ohlin oil used is 19.0 cst / 7.5w which appears to be spot on for the 30mm fork cartridges.

They were put back in the mail today, so I should have them back on NLT Thursday. The bike is going to my local Yamaha dealership on Saturday for the headlight recall, and the Yamaha flash and CCT part check. Not looking good I will be able to ride it much the remainder of this year. Hopefully the Husky will be out of the shop soon.
 
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