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Discussion Starter #1
How bad do the blemishes in chrome fork tubes have to be to make a significant impact on the life of fork seals? I mean, whats the threshold between a year or two so of life vs tearing them up completely in a few miles?

I just got a used fork tube off ebay (replacing a bent one from a minor mishap). The guy said it was good but turns out it has some very small pits in a position where they might occasionally pass through the seal. I think the suspension would have to compress a fair bit to get to the worst of it though but I'm not sure.

If I have to put in new seals every 5000-10000km, I can handle that till I get a new bike, but if it's any less I may as well start my search for this part again.

I attached a pic if anyone can help... for full detail you'll have to view it full size though thanks!
 

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Well, it doesn't take much of a blemish to cause fork seals to weep. That said, the picture of the tube does not look bad. However, I'm not there and pictures sometimes lie. Personally, I'd install it and see what happens.
 

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How bad do the blemishes in chrome fork tubes have to be to make a significant impact on the life of fork seals? I mean, whats the threshold between a year or two so of life vs tearing them up completely in a few miles?

I just got a used fork tube off ebay (replacing a bent one from a minor mishap). The guy said it was good but turns out it has some very small pits in a position where they might occasionally pass through the seal. I think the suspension would have to compress a fair bit to get to the worst of it though but I'm not sure.

If I have to put in new seals every 5000-10000km, I can handle that till I get a new bike, but if it's any less I may as well start my search for this part again.

I attached a pic if anyone can help... for full detail you'll have to view it full size though thanks!
That tube looks fine. Rust pits that you can feel with your fingernail, and old hard seals are what will cause leakage. Fresh, pliable fork seals will make a difference in sealing vs. 27 year old fossilized seals. Also on a side note, I always coat my tube with some grease to resist rusting in the winter storage months. (please keep your sick comments refrained) :mrgreen:
 

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This space for rent
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(please keep your sick comments refrained)

Ok, I'll resist :D





But if you're worried about it rusting, you really need to get out more:lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, it doesn't take much of a blemish to cause fork seals to weep. That said, the picture of the tube does not look bad. However, I'm not there and pictures sometimes lie. Personally, I'd install it and see what happens.
Ya you can see in the pic there are small pit marks, and on the 6" or so below the lower triple, those marks are scattered all over.

Anyone know if they can be filled in and polished with something or should I just leave it?

Thanks to all for the replies.
 

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Ya you can see in the pic there are small pit marks, and on the 6" or so below the lower triple, those marks are scattered all over.

Anyone know if they can be filled in and polished with something or should I just leave it?

Thanks to all for the replies.
I'm no expert but the pictures don't look that bad at all. I would polish with like 600 grit paper, filling doesn't make any sense to me. Running some fine sandpaper will take off any sharp edges that would wreak havok on the seals. Just my 2 cents. Maybe 1000 grit after 600? And then 1500 and then rubbing compound.
 

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AZ's Official Mechanic
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heres how i personally would take care of it (same for my customers).... i have a pack of small jewelers files. i hit each pit/knick and knock the edge off it (if it has one) then i take wd40 and 1000grit sand paper and polish out the tube to knock any spots off that i cant feel/see... have NEVER had a fork come back yet... those forks look nice just look for any raised knicks....
 

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KZ Kool!
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One fork tube on my SR was more pitted than shown in the pic. I replaced the seal in '04 and by '08 it was showing signs of weeping. Last year I replaced the forks with a good pair off eBay. I had sanded it a bit to smooth it out when I'd replaced the seal and it held up for about four years. The other seal on the smooth fork still shows no signs of weeping.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I decided when I took the ebay fork apart, that I wasn't gonna do the seals myself (for a few different reasons). So I took the forks off the bike along with the replacement (slightly pitted tube) to a shop and had them do it for me.

They polished the tube really nicely so there's no sign of any pitting except for the worst ones which were all the way up near the upper triple. I didn't ask them to do this so apparently my job on them wasn't good enough and it needed to be done (or maybe I'm just being naive here?)

Anyways, I should have worked harder on them because it cost me about an hour of labor I'm sure! Lesson learned. I couldn't have done this good a job on them anyways. Now I'd be a happy camper if it would stop snowing/raining by the weekend so I can go for a ride.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.
 

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KZ Kool!
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Even an hour of labor is cheap if you don't have to replace the seal for several years or even a decade.
 
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