81 GL1100 Fork Seals Leaking a little oil. Are Seals Shot? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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81 GL1100 Fork Seals Leaking a little oil. Are Seals Shot?

My 1981 GL1100 is showing some signs of leakage of oil on the front forks. BUT. I can jack up the air pressure to 25 psig and it holds. How do I determine if the seals are shot if it is holding this much air pressure?

Thanks

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 07:28 PM
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I do not profess to be an "expert" mechanic by any stretch of our imaginations.
That said, I did have a fork seal leaking oil, one side, and oil was on the upper tube and running down on the front fender, etc.
Pushing down on the forks with the front brake held recreated the oil situation.
In researching my problem I found a motorcross mechanic who keeps the rubber bushings, the ones on the top of the lower forks, clean by doing a bit of preventive maintenance. Motor Cross, Gold Wing, debris can still build up and affect the fork seal.
So, he slides a 1.5 inch wide piece of plastic milk carton, with a small "J" shaped hook in the end, between the rubber seal and the fork. You slide it in about 3 inches or so, you get a feel for depth, sweep the perimeter of the tube, and the "hook" at the end brings up any debris. I did about 3 or 4 OCD passes. And there was junk under there, bad looking, gritty, nefarious junk.
This may not fix your current situation. It did work for me and I have not had any more leaks around that particular fork or the other one.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepSeaDiver View Post
I do not profess to be an "expert" mechanic by any stretch of our imaginations.
That said, I did have a fork seal leaking oil, one side, and oil was on the upper tube and running down on the front fender, etc.
Pushing down on the forks with the front brake held recreated the oil situation.
In researching my problem I found a motorcross mechanic who keeps the rubber bushings, the ones on the top of the lower forks, clean by doing a bit of preventive maintenance. Motor Cross, Gold Wing, debris can still build up and affect the fork seal.
So, he slides a 1.5 inch wide piece of plastic milk carton, with a small "J" shaped hook in the end, between the rubber seal and the fork. You slide it in about 3 inches or so, you get a feel for depth, sweep the perimeter of the tube, and the "hook" at the end brings up any debris. I did about 3 or 4 OCD passes. And there was junk under there, bad looking, gritty, nefarious junk.
This may not fix your current situation. It did work for me and I have not had any more leaks around that particular fork or the other one.
You can find a tool made for that on ebay, forget what they call it, but a piece of thin plastic made as you describe works just as well.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 07:48 PM
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The item is called a Seal Mate. Here is a link to their page.


http://sealmate.net/

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 07:47 AM
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Cycle Gear carries that tool too if they're local to you.
I have an extra one if you want I can mail it today. $5 call it even.


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 11:01 AM
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Stop exceeding the allowed pressure in the forks! that will help~
Feel on top of fork leg for oil- where it gets pushed during fork compression
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank5839 View Post
BUT. I can jack up the air pressure to 25 psig and it holds. How do I determine if the seals are shot if it is holding this much air pressure?
It happens a lot that they will hold air pressure but the oil leaks out. I imagine it is because the air holds the oil against the seal and the volume of oil leaking out is really very little compared to the volume of pressurized air in the forks. 25 PSI won't hurt it, imagine what the pressure is when the forks compress.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 07:21 AM
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Ps you can make a sealmate out of any piece of thin plastic milk/water bottle, or even a soda can old negative film..etc.

1981 GL1100I Sold her..so sad!
1976 GL1000 Sulfur Yellow sold
1976 GL1000 RED rebuilt SOLD
1979 GL1000 parting out PM if you\'re looking for something
1975 sold
1978 sold
1981 sold
1982 sold
1982 sold
1983 A sold
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1999 1500 SE SOLD
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