Flat landed hard on my 450 - fork seal?

Hello All,

I have an '07 YZ450, and I hit a jump a little too hard yesterday and landed flat...needless to say I didn't notice until leaving but there is now some oil coating exposed tube on the right side. Did I blow a seal? What will need to be done to replace it?

I usually flat land on the tops of tables 'cause I don't have the balls to clear them yet. I weigh 200lbs. I haven't had a fork seal problem since I got my bike a year ago. Until yesterday. The track was very hard and along with landing flat, I slammed into a bunch of craters. I too noticed damp spots around the seals.

I'm going to see if the film trick works and clean them out (maybe I got some dirt in there), ride next weekend, and change them the following week if I have to. Too bad I don't have the money to get the suspension set up for me right now, cause I'd like to have it all done at once.

Changing seals isn't too hard. It's right there in the manual. A seal driver is a handy little tool, but you can split a section of PVC pipe of the same diameter. Figure the price of seals, oil, and a seal driver vs taking the tubes to a shop. Some cases a shop might be less expensive.

I just did fork seals on my wifes bike last week. Now mine a week later? I'm 2 for 2:banghead:

Start by removing the fork guards, pulling down the dust seals, and cleaning the gap between the dust and oil seals.

Then, use a strip of a tear-off, a piece of film negative, or my favorite, a business card cut in half long ways, insert the card between the seal and the fork tube and go all the way around the tube once or twice to remove any dirt that might be there.

If that fails to stop the leak, replace the seals.

The best way to make sure you do not blow fork seals is to wash you bike after riding. The film trick is only a quick fix. You have to get the fork seals replaced.

The best way to make sure you do not blow fork seals is to wash you bike after riding. The film trick is only a quick fix. You have to get the fork seals replaced.

Grey is right, it's not really a quick fix either. I ride a lot and I use to replace seals several times a year. Once I started cleaning about 6 years ago I have only had to replace 1 set of seals. Many lasted several years after cleaning them.

Washing the bike can force dirt up into the seal so being careful while washing is important, very important if using a power washer. Most of the time when I have gotten dirt up in the seals is while riding, after starting with a clean bike so the cleaning of the seals as described by Grey works very well. I'm a fan of business cards too.

If you damaged the seals by landing so hard, that had to be a heck of landing, then replacement may be needed but try the cleaning trick first you may have just pushed dirt up into the seal causing it to weep.

Sorry to sound rather stupid here but I have a seal leaking and need help.

For starters I don't ride that hard, I'm old. Just ride the MX track with my kids, and I just had the suspension redone for my excess weight and now one of the seals is leaking.

It sounds like your saying that it could just be leaking because of dirt up in there and I may be able to clean that out with a business card. If so how do I know how much fluid to put back in. And if this doesn't fix it, how hard is it to replace the seals. I would rather do it myself than wait on a shop.

Thanks

Michael

It sounds like your saying that it could just be leaking because of dirt up in there and I may be able to clean that out with a business card. If so how do I know how much fluid to put back in. And if this doesn't fix it, how hard is it to replace the seals. I would rather do it myself than wait on a shop.

Thanks

Michael

The only way to know how much fluid to put back in would be to open up the forks and measure it. On the newer TC forks it is pretty tough to measure the level because the base valve is in the way so it is measured by volume rather than the level from the top of the fork, so technically you should dump the oil out of outer chamber and measure/refill. On the older style forks you can simply open them up and measure the distance from the top of the fork to the oil.

All that being said, and your mention that you ride pretty easy, you probably did not lose enough oil through seal seepage to bother with it. Just clean the seals and go with it. That will have to be a judgement call for you based on how much leakage you have seen. If it just a little bit of oil on the slider no problem...it it is dripping off the bottom of the fork then you will want to check the oil level/amount.

If you need to change the seals it is not too difficult and the manual pretty much walks you through it. I would suggest using the MSR seals.

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