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You have to put new seals in. If the seals are leaking from the outside mounting surface, maybe, and I mean maybe, a brake hone can clean up the scratch. You cannot clean contaminated brake pads, it's a waste of time. The fluid gets in there, and are absorbed by the brake pad material. Many decades of experience with this, you can't clean contaminated pads. I learned this from cars first, when slave cylinders would blow on old Volvo's brake shoes I used to work on. Same thing. That's why leaky forks are really bad for your brakes. Pouring magic fluid into your brake fluid isn't a good idea either as their are passages which control the dampening which could get clogged. Remove the fluid, clean out the fork lowers. Replace the fork seals with new ones, You can put some Hi-Temp break grease on the spring side of the seal to keep the seal lubed. Get a large socket and tap the seal back into place, then slide in the forks. If you have a lathe, to put the fork legs in, then make a sleeve to slide over the fork legs, that will fit inside the fork lowers, and tap down, align fork seal, then tap in which piece you machined for it. Fill fork legs. Most people just use a very large socket, or something around that hits the outside of the seal, but not the fork lower. IMHO :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
You have to put new seals in. If the seals are leaking from the outside mounting surface, maybe, and I mean maybe, a brake hone can clean up the scratch. You cannot clean contaminated brake pads, it's a waste of time. The fluid gets in there, and are absorbed by the brake pad material. Many decades of experience with this, you can't clean contaminated pads. I learned this from cars first, when slave cylinders would blow on old Volvo's brake shoes I used to work on. Same thing. That's why leaky forks are really bad for your brakes. Pouring magic fluid into your brake fluid isn't a good idea either as their are passages which control the dampening which could get clogged. Remove the fluid, clean out the fork lowers. Replace the fork seals with new ones, You can put some Hi-Temp break grease on the spring side of the seal to keep the seal lubed. Get a large socket and tap the seal back into place, then slide in the forks. If you have a lathe, to put the fork legs in, then make a sleeve to slide over the fork legs, that will fit inside the fork lowers, and tap down, align fork seal, then tap in which piece you machined for it. Fill fork legs. Most people just use a very large socket, or something around that hits the outside of the seal, but not the fork lower. IMHO :)
Thank you for the information and don't worry I would never use pads that got any brake fluid or other oils on them. I learned early not to contaminate them when replacing so I wouldn't run pads that got fork oil all over them. Would never add anything to a brake system besides the recommended fluid as well.

What type of fluid is used in the forks? It's not like brake fluid is it? If it is that would explain the smell I briefly noticed during my ride. Must have been some fluid that gushed out onto the headers after a bump. I noticed a slight burning smell very similar to burning brake fluid. When I got home that day I didn't notice anything with the forks and was focused on repairing that wire that fell off the cdi wireset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
I don't want to be that overly optimistic goof that thinks they did the same thing as replace seals by using a seal mate or this other fork seal cleaning tool (which is the better one I think) buut it's not bubbling fluid out of the right seal anymore and I was pushing them down like cpr for the seal 😆 I really think it stopped it so I did the other one just to do it and it scraped a ton of sludge-y grain gunk out of that one too. It didn't leak though.

Now I'll see how to drain and fill them to see if it leaks again. Or maybe just open it and top it off although that's probably not the best idea.
 

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Keep us posted. If cleaning the seals worked, then that's a whole heck of a lot cheaper and faster than replacing the seals.

So it makes some sense that if enough crap gets under the seal, then the seal cannot do its job. Also having all that crap in there is like sandpaper on your fork tubes. So it might be a good preventative maintenance thing.
 

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Geeze, if any crap makes it under your seal, you're never changing your fork oil. The only thing that could get under there is the particulates from the fork sliders on the bottom. Think about it, if you go through all the troule to remove the forks, just change the seals, unless you're living in some post apocolyptic society, (and there are a few places like that on Earth), just put in new seals. Some grease around the inside of the seal, over the spring, will keep them moist, and they slide easier, no stiction. I've never seen a fork seal cleaning tool like that. Seems really , well, to each their own. Glad you got your forks sealed up. Makes a big difference. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Keep us posted. If cleaning the seals worked, then that's a whole heck of a lot cheaper and faster than replacing the seals.

So it makes some sense that if enough crap gets under the seal, then the seal cannot do its job. Also having all that crap in there is like sandpaper on your fork tubes. So it might be a good preventative maintenance thing.
Yes and my right tube has a few pit spots near the top but the left one is clean. I should've taken a pic but it was hair and little debris like sandpaper and sludge. The seal was literally bubbling until after a couple swipes with the seal mate. I went back in after pumping them and used the other generic scraper that actually worked better in my opinion. I will definitely take a little ride around the neighborhood and see what happens. My street is like a washboard lol. Definitely a good preventative maintenance thing. Once I actually searched the seal mate I was like oh yeah that thing I looked at like 6 years ago! I literally thought seal mate would be a sealant restore product.😂 I Was even cheaper then and too skeptical to try though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 · (Edited)
Geeze, if any crap makes it under your seal, you're never changing your fork oil. The only thing that could get under there is the particulates from the fork sliders on the bottom. Think about it, if you go through all the troule to remove the forks, just change the seals, unless you're living in some post apocolyptic society, (and there are a few places like that on Earth), just put in new seals. Some grease around the inside of the seal, over the spring, will keep them moist, and they slide easier, no stiction. I've never seen a fork seal cleaning tool like that. Seems really , well, to each their own. Glad you got your forks sealed up. Makes a big difference. :)
I've never actually even removed a dust cover on a fork tube before I did this and it's looking less and less hard the more I study the parts diagrams and similar procedures that would apply to these ones. The method is to scrape and then pump them several times and redo it until you stop getting any fluid/debris. I'm wondering if I'm just that low on fluid now or if it really stopped it 🤣 but I swear it was bubble gurshing out with the dust cap off and then stopped after 3 cycles. It was pretty cool to see how much gunk they scooped out. The decreasing fluid that was coming out got more clean looking too like a lot of contaminants were removed from the seal area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
This is what I got after just going out to the garage and cycling the forks a bunch of times pretty forcefully. Looks like it just collected a slight ring of paper towel fibers from when I wiped it last. It dust from the garage. I did have some dirt in a wheelbarrow with the garage door open. But we'll see if it starts gushing when I add some and ride.

Can I just open the top and pour a little fluid in? No way for me to know how much was lost or how much to add but I would just add a tiny bit to see if it leaks bad again then I'd know I just ran low on fluid while cleaning.
 

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Are those dots on your fork leg rust spots? The fork leg looks "pitted", if that's the case, it will never seal. You can either get non pitted fork tubes off of EBAY or be content with wiping the fork oil off the tubes. Pitting lets fork oil out, there is nofix. It's just a matter of what you are willing to live with. Since my Suzuki has air suspension, when a pit developed, I had to get new fork legs. Fortunately I got a new looking one off of EBAY for around 30 bucks. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Are those dots on your fork leg rust spots? The fork leg looks "pitted", if that's the case, it will never seal. You can either get non pitted fork tubes off of EBAY or be content with wiping the fork oil off the tubes. Pitting lets fork oil out, there is nofix. It's just a matter of what you are willing to live with. Since my Suzuki has air suspension, when a pit developed, I had to get new fork legs. Fortunately I got a new looking one off of EBAY for around 30 bucks. ;)
Keen eye yes they are and they were a bit worse. I used some synthetic polish on it after cleaning it dry and it cleaned it some but I knew it was going to become worse and worse because of that. I mentioned it earlier on in the post but I do tend to thoroughly explain things so the text adds up 😆
 

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I tend to miss things, to be honest. There is a complete pair of forks on EBAY now. They are for the LTD model. You could always slide them up to triple trees if necessary (and possible). The guy is asking $82.49 for both of them. These forks look like they are in really good shape. He states the there's no problems with the most important area (no pitting). $24.00 shipping. :)

Link = 1985 Kawasaki ZN1100 LTD K405-1) left and right front forks suspensions set #2 | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #96 ·
I tend to miss things, to be honest. There is a complete pair of forks on EBAY now. They are for the LTD model. You could always slide them up to triple trees if necessary (and possible). The guy is asking $82.49 for both of them. These forks look like they are in really good shape. He states the there's no problems with the most important area (no pitting). $24.00 shipping. :)

Link = 1985 Kawasaki ZN1100 LTD K405-1) left and right front forks suspensions set #2 | eBay
Wow thanks for doing that legwork for me and sure as sh!t as you said THEM THAR FORKS AINT NEVA GONNA SEAL AGAIN (my version). Looks like I'll be needing those because it didn't like being ridden for 5 minutes and then sitting overnight hah.

Those little cleaners are still good when they leak due to particles though. They work nicely.
 

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Did you end up adding fork fluid? I meant to say don't do it without a complete drain and then adding the EXACT amount called for. Otherwise you risk a hydraulic lock that could blow out your seals and certainly can cause them to leak excessively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
Did you end up adding fork fluid? I meant to say don't do it without a complete drain and then adding the EXACT amount called for. Otherwise you risk a hydraulic lock that could blow out your seals and certainly can cause them to leak excessively.
No I didn't because I was afraid it would just leak back out so I went around the block and parked it and found it with another pool of oil on the rim and tire in the morning 😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #100 ·
That's not brake fluid by any chance is it?
No sir..at least I don't think so. Buut since you said that I checked the m/c and it does look like slightly less than I had in there after cleaning and getting the brakes to get them to stop dragging. 😅 Also refilled and bled the fluid. I might've messed something up but I've been doing auto and motorcycle brakes for awhile now and haven't had a screw up yet. The double flare union splice I put it the car recent hasn't blown apart yet 🤣

But yeah it's definitely fork oil but some brake fluid must be leaking somewhere too because I'm sure I had a bit more in it. What's on the wheel doesn't smell like brake fluid but halfway through the long ride I took I thought I smelled a faint brake fluid smell for a second then nothing the rest of the way.
 

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