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  #1  
Old 17 Oct 2007
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How bad is a leaking front fork???

My CCM 404, with WP suspension (like KTMs) has started to leak. It is only enough to make the front a bit 'moist', it isn't pouring out - yet. How bad is this? It is obviously just one - the front right fork - is it a big deal?

I am thinking the left will support it for riding, while I get a spare part sorted? I assume it is probably just a new rubber seal I need to get put on, which leads me to my next question...

am I likely to find a fork seal in southern Morocco/ Western Sahara/Mauritania, or are these 'non standard' between different bikes and therefore difficult to get (ie need one posting from UK).

Appreciate this might be all quite vague but any info would be useful cheers,

Chris
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  #2  
Old 18 Oct 2007
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1) you can still ride on .. very little oil is required to make a big mess. Wrap a cloth around the seal to catch the oil and clean it at the end of the day - it will save geting other things dirty .. like the brake. Or the exhaust pipe, boots legs, luggage ...

2) They are bike specific .. except your WP was probably used on both KTMs and Huskys .. and maybe a few other things. Get two .. one as a spare. Where ever you do this try to get some foil oil .. failing that automatic transmission fulid will work.

3) The seal may just have a bit of dirt underneath it .. running a thin bit of strong paper (business card) around under the seal and then removing it may dislodge the dirt and stop the leak. If it does stop - still get a spare - just in case.

4) it is the springs that support the bike ... they don't need much oil for that .. enought to provide some splash lubrication for the rubbing surfaces. Most of the oil is for damping .. stopping the 'bounce' !
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  #3  
Old 18 Oct 2007
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Cheers, two spare fork seals in fanny pack.

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:06.
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  #4  
Old 18 Oct 2007
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Try inserting a thin feeler gauge down the side of the fork leg inside of the fork seal.
It may just be a small piece of grit lodged there that causes the leak and the feeler gauge will move it and solve the problem.
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Old 18 Oct 2007
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This MAY not work, but worth a try.

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:07.
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  #6  
Old 19 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris of Motocross Africa View Post
My CCM 404, with WP suspension (like KTMs) has started to leak. It is only enough to make the front a bit 'moist', it isn't pouring out - yet. How bad is this? It is obviously just one - the front right fork - is it a big deal?

I am thinking the left will support it for riding, while I get a spare part sorted? I assume it is probably just a new rubber seal I need to get put on, which leads me to my next question...

am I likely to find a fork seal in southern Morocco/ Western Sahara/Mauritania, or are these 'non standard' between different bikes and therefore difficult to get (ie need one posting from UK).

Appreciate this might be all quite vague but any info would be useful cheers,

Chris

1. As FW and MD mentioned, a wee bit of oil leaking isn't a big deal UNTIL it gets on your disc brake...that's a safety issue...your stopping power is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced...it happened to me on my K. If that happens...make sure you use brake cleaner/petrol to get if off your rotor AND pads...scuff your pads and rotor afterwards.

2. Again as FW and MD mentioned, try to dislodge dirt with 35mm film or hard paper if that's what's causing the seal leakage, ...BUT not something that will "etch" a channel onto the tube. The material you use to dislodge MUST be softer than the rubber seal and the fork tube.

3. If its NOT a speckle of dirt, but on closer inspection ends up being a groove or channel; decide if you can ride it out without it getting onto your brake rotor. The last resort is to replace the seal en route, if you can find.

In Casablanca, down the street from the Mauritanian embassy is a KTM dealer, and depending on the size of your tube, they may have a seal that will work. Not sure about Mauri or Senegal...definitely nothing in Western Sahara, unless you get lucky in Layounne. In Dakar there is a shop that makes seals for vehicles, but not sure for motos; BUT the Dakar police do ride motos(BMWs, Hondas, and Kawis...).

HTH
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Old 19 Oct 2007
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You have an encyclopedic recall of these places and vital sources...

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:08.
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Old 19 Oct 2007
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Thanks for good, detailed and free info people! Will go find a business card now and see how it goes...

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  #9  
Old 19 Oct 2007
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Two other things.

1) If you have the seal off and you can't find a replacement, try removing the spring that is in the groove in the seal. Cut it and make it just a bit shorter then re-install it. Often a weakened spring is the reason for the leak.

2) If the leak gets bad before you can work on it and then stops leaking because you are out of oil, and you can't find fork oil, automatic transmition fluid will work in a pinch.
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  #10  
Old 20 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Ed, I'm hoping you are getting to work on a book! This type of info, IMO, is
absolutely essential...and after many years on the HUBB, I've rarely seen it all in one place or as relevant. You have an encyclopedic recall of these places and vital sources...and most likely dozens of others....why not put it all together in a book? NOT Online....but a BOOK that YOU get paid for!

Patrick

Thanks for the props BUT no book on the horizon...there's no way to keep such information current as the post below will illustrate...
HUBB Post

My MO in posting on here is to repay the HUBB debt I owe as many folks responded to my queries for info and help, while on my recent trip.

PLUS, the forum is the best way to help future travellers get on the road and give them up to date information when they need it...online critique/support at their disposal
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  #11  
Old 22 Oct 2007
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Hey guys,
Most of the cures have been covered.
For the record, KTM recommends cleaning under the debris seal(top seal) every 10K.

They are a bitch to get loose, heat the slider with a hair drier or something and then pry them out.
I filled the void between the fork seal and the junk seal with grease and reinstalled it.

I ran the bike over 15K miles that way in Russia and Mongolia and no leaks but I also use short neoprene booties.

One more thing to try is to realign the forks.
I cured a weep that way.
Pull the axle and clean it, then polish it. especially the non threaded end.
Clean the axle tunnels in the sliders also(very clean).
Now insert the axle and tighten the axle nut and bounce the suspension.
Tighten the axle locking bolts on the nut side and bounce.
Lastly tighten the non axle nut side lock nuts.

This is important because the last slider to be tightened is designed float on the axle preventing stiction.
The misalignment caused by a sticky axle can cause a weep and make your front fork ride like a truck.

Special for Edde...
Slumming on the KTM tech forum (because you know you want one) will be allowed all winter.
BTW I left my bike in Germany and am headed back to Europe in the spring for a ride to Tibet, then SE Asia...are you in?
Ur friend bill.
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  #12  
Old 22 Oct 2007
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leaking forks

BINGO -- Bill has the best solution for stopping future leak problems. Fork booties , the best first defense to keep dirt and rocks away from precision ground fork sliders. Whenever you get a bike with exposed fork tubes install a set of fork boots before you get the tubes nicked or worn. Seals will last a lot longer.This may be a problem though with the new upside down forks. I have found that HONDA fork boots for XL600 and XL650 series are very durable , have installed them on a BMW 20 years ago and still holding up and more recently on my KLR. KLR stock replacements only lasted a year, other rubber aftermarket boots also gave out rapidly.
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  #13  
Old 22 Oct 2007
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It will eventually begin leaking again.

Last edited by mollydog; 24 Mar 2009 at 20:08.
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  #14  
Old 23 Oct 2007
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Hi Patrick,
I am aware of the step you mentioned but left it out, not wanting to get too complex.

In the past I have loosened the triple clamp and tapped on the clamps and banged both ends of the bars to find any neutral position but with the big new modern forks they seem to find center in the clamps on their own. Then I torqued the bolts and did the axle routine.
I come and go on messing with the triple clamp.
I re-grease the steering head bearings every 10K miles so they get a going over then or if I crash hard.

As you suggested, KTM advises 10-15 lbs of torque on the triple clamp bolts which isn't much. The top clamps are different than the bottoms but I don't remember which is which.

Once the forks slide up and down nice the bike really does ride better.
b.
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  #15  
Old 23 Oct 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Shockley View Post
Hey guys,
Special for Edde...
Slumming on the KTM tech forum (because you know you want one) will be allowed all winter.
BTW I left my bike in Germany and am headed back to Europe in the spring for a ride to Tibet, then SE Asia...are you in?
Ur friend bill.
Doh...we should sooo be riding that together! I see you've gotten over the goulash!
AND as soon as I saw the K...in KTM, I figured my $.02 couldn't be that far off...plus I have some experience with leaky shocks...no?!?!?

Speaking of which...since the original poster mentioned the current status of the shock was "moist"...if I were currently riding it while on a trip, I would do nothing for fear of making it worse, until I got a hold of the seal and had a few days to putz around with it!

If it were the seal, I'd have the replacement in hand...and you guys advice would be great!


If it weren't the seal, I might create a bigger problem...than my current one...
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