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C64DK

2015 YZ 450 Fork Seal Leak

9 posts in this topic

I found the dreaded puddle under my right fork leg at about 19 hours.

I don't know how much leaked out, so I assume I need to change the oil with the seal.

My questions are:

1. Should I use stock seals or an aftermarket like SKF? What are the pros and cons?

2. I don't have experience to do the service myself. Is this something that requires a suspension shop, or is it something my local dealer should be able to do without trouble?

I love the stock suspension, so don't want it changed, just back to the way it was.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

DK

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SKF make good quality stuff. No reason you shouldn't use them...

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Not that's it's complicated but if you have a local suspension shop,

in my opinion that would be prefered over a bike dealership that doesn't often deal with doing this.

(unless some of your local dealerships are heavily into dirtbikes, unlike here where ATVs far out number MX'ers)

 

The suspension shop would likely be more attentive to little details and also notice if anything else needs attention while in there.

Edited by mlatour

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Try a Seal Mate before you do anything. There is a good video on YouTube showing how to use it. They are cheap and might get you through a few months. If you don't know what you're doing then by all means take it into suspension shop. It's not hard if you have experience but you can mess things up quickly if you don't. I have used SKF seals with limited success. I have had better luck with OEM.

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Except for the fact that SKF seals have lower drag, the current OEM KYB seals are as good as you can get. But before replacing them, try cleaning them out. Tear a business card in half lengthwise and pull the dust seals down. Work the card in under the seals and slide it around the tube torn edge first to scoop the dirt out.

One of the most common cause of leaking seals is mud left to dry on the fork tube. Even water spots can cause trouble, so try to keep the forks dried of between rides/motos.

Changing fork seals does require some special tools, but it's not really difficult. It's a worthwhile thing to learn.

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Except for the fact that SKF seals have lower drag, the current OEM KYB seals are as good as you can get. But before replacing them, try cleaning them out. Tear a business card in half lengthwise and pull the dust seals down. Work the card in under the seals and slide it around the tube torn edge first to scoop the dirt out.

One of the most common cause of leaking seals is mud left to dry on the fork tube. Even water spots can cause trouble, so try to keep the forks dried of between rides/motos.

Changing fork seals does require some special tools, but it's not really difficult. It's a worthwhile thing to learn.

Thanks for the replies. I tried this (with the seal mate), and it seems to have stopped the leak. But how do I replace the oil or know how much I lost?? It had to be a good bit because of the puddle on the ground.

Also, I think you're right about the dried dirt. I always clean the bike at the end of the day, but didn't this time because it was cold and getting dark. I planned on washing it during the week but didn't get a chance and rode it anyway. Probably had dried dirt that got lodged in the seal.

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Thanks for the replies. I tried this (with the seal mate), and it seems to have stopped the leak. But how do I replace the oil or know how much I lost?? It had to be a good bit because of the puddle on the ground.

Also, I think you're right about the dried dirt. I always clean the bike at the end of the day, but didn't this time because it was cold and getting dark. I planned on washing it during the week but didn't get a chance and rode it anyway. Probably had dried dirt that got lodged in the seal.

 

Without draining and refilling, you have no way of knowing what your oil loss was.  But oil makes a lot bigger puddles than you think for the amount that actually hits the floor.

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As stated above, learn how to replace your seals yourself. Is not difficult at all. YouTube can show you how. Just need some basic tools and a couple special tools (fork cap wrench, seal driver and ratio rite ). TBT suspension has a good video on replacing the seals.

By doing it yourself you gain a couple things. Knowledge on how your forks work and saving money.

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SKF make good quality stuff. No reason you shouldn't use them...

SKF makes some good stuff, but at the price it's almost not worth it.  I've had them on a previous bike and never had any issues with them leaking, but I also have the OEM seals on my current bike and have never had an issue with them leaking.  If you keep your fork legs cleaned out, and makes sure not to leave a lot of grit and crap under the dust seal you shouldn't have any issues with the OEM.  They're about half the price of SKF seals.  

 

If you lost a good amount of oil I would look at getting new seals put in with new oil at the proper level.  You'd be surprised the difference you will feel when you have fresh oil at the proper height and what it will do for the front end.  I never thought it would make that much difference, but it does matter.  My local suspension guy will change the seal, and change the oil in both legs for $150 bucks.    

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