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Old May 4th, 2013, 07:11 AM   #1
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Anybody ever heard of Seal Mate?

I need to replace my fork seals and rather than pay the $400 the dealer wants I was tempted to try this. Anyone ever use it or heard anything about it? Fix Leaking Fork Seals With | SealMate.net
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Old May 4th, 2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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Fork seals should cost almost nothing to replace, it literally takes 15 min once the forks are off the bike. So $400 bux is absolutely beyond a rip-off, its insulting! The seals themselves are $40 bux for oil seals and $30 bux for dust seals. RETAIL pricing.

Anyway, the seal mate is a cleaning tool. For sure worth checking, but generally speaking, seals do go bad over time and if its leaking a lot, then most likely its time for seals.
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Old May 4th, 2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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$400 is steep, for sure. But I do this job from time to time, and it always takes me longer than 15 mins!
Careful, clean work, and accurate setting of fluid heights/air gaps takes time.
And setting the bike up to remove the forks takes time, as does their removal and refitting. Remembering that most bikes usually arrive with all bodywork in situ.
I just changed the fork oil on an 848 yesterday (as part of a major service) and even that takes time. Removing the forks entails removing and refitting the calipers, the mudguard, the wheel, and the handlebars, once you have the bike propped up. Just putting it up and down from the bench takes time.
Plus there's the cost of the oil. I used Rock Oil, which cost about $20 for a litre, but Ohlins oil costs about $35 here. Then you have a report to write, and contact the owner, who invariably wants to talk about his/her bike..
Not taking the shop's side here, but this sort of job does take time to do properly, and involves special tools (that cost $$) - particularly for the Ohlins.
I would think an hour and a half to two hours is fair for this job on a fully assembled bike, plus oil and seals.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 01:39 AM   #4
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Try folding a dollar in half lengthwise and sliding that up under the seal. It works just like the Seal Mate and is cheaper...as in free.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 06:57 AM   #5
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It is true that some leaking seals are caused by deposits on the inner legs - usually squashed insects, which the seals have run over.
And dirt bikes often suffer with getting things stuck under their fork seals.
But some of the chrome-plated legs start to get some rust pitting, which can harm the seal on full compression. It's worth removing the mudguard and making sure that your inner legs are clean from time to time.
No, not those inner legs Nigel.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #6
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tye, servicing both forks off the bike is a 3-hour job according to the Ducati service estimates that all Ducati dealers go by. Good techs can do it faster but definitely not 15 minutes, others maybe not, but nevertheless they follow the standard 3-hour job and therefore labor is a big part of the cost. Seals and fluid were almost $150 (retail) so that whole job can be $400-$450 easily at a dealer. I agree it's a steep price, but it is what it is. I didn't quite know all of that when I did mine, so from now on I'll try and do it myself
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Old May 5th, 2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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Just to let everyone know, I do fork seals about once a month on FAR more complex gas charged forks and it takes me about 7 min per tube.

- Pop the cap off, drain the oil
- Unscrew cartridge and remove
- Pop the dust seal off
- Take the c clip off the oil seal.
- Bang the tube, seal pops out, tube pops out.
- Lube new seals, slide them onto tube.
- Install seal driver
- Slam tube into seal driver to seat seal
- Push dust ring back up
- Install cartridge
- Pour oil back in the tube
- Close cap

It literally takes 15 min for both tubes. Even if your slow, it doesn't take more then 30 min.

It also doesn't take very long to get the tubes off the bike. I've been removing forks off sportbikes for years and do it ALL THE TIME.

- Put the bike on the rear stand
- Raise the front of the bike with a fork holding stand
- Pop the front wheel and fender off
- Pop the calipers off
- Unscrew the fork tubes from the triple clamps
- Forks literally fall out

Do backwards to re-install.

I think the problem is, the general public doesn't have the tools to accomplish this job. You need a vice, the proper wrenches, the proper bike stands and specialized fork seal tools. However, once you have the tools, its a piece of cake. Its pretty much impossible to do fork seals without the proper tools. It would take hours and you may find yourself in trouble. However, dealers have the proper tools and it doesn't take them 3 hours by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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since it doesn't take that long, you should make a how-to video and post it on youtube. i for one, would appreciate that for when i'll attempt it in the future. but it better be modern sportbike forks...not some bunk ass non-adjustable old-school forks
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Old May 5th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat1098 View Post
Careful, clean work, and accurate setting of fluid heights/air gaps takes time.
All those numbers are written down. You just need a flask with accurate numbers on the side. There isn't any trial and error. You pour the old fluid out, you measure the new fluid and pour it in.

Street bike forks can take a wide array of oil's, there isn't a special oil for Íhlins vs Showa. In the states, most shops carry Maxima or Motul products. Both have a very good fork oil, just look for weight. Most open chamber forks like the ones found on Ducati's can use a 5w or 7w oil and honestly, thats the only number you need.

Ohh and interms of the "complications" of removal... there really aren't any. If you're familiar in any way with a motorcycle, its very easy stuff. Yes, some Japanese bikes are very difficult to access the lower triple pinch bolts, but working on Ducati's is very easy in comparison.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by rubbish View Post
since it doesn't take that long, you should make a how-to video and post it on youtube. i for one, would appreciate that for when i'll attempt it in the future. but it better be modern sportbike forks...not some bunk ass non-adjustable old-school forks
I'm workin' on it! LOL

I just don't have a camera operator... so I gotta wait for one to show up and get some good footage.
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Old May 5th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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I'm workin' on it! LOL

I just don't have a camera operator... so I gotta wait for one to show up and get some good footage.
Ummm...it's called a tripod
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Old May 7th, 2013, 04:43 PM   #12
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Yeah Mate - we've heard of Seals..... plenty of 'em down under.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #13
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lol ^^^ thanks for all of the replies. I've considered doing the job myself but without many of the tools and my lack of mechanical know how it just seems more logical for me to pay to get them done by a pro. Maybe I'll get lucky and Sealmate will solve the problem. Had the bike at the dealer getting the 7500 mile maintenance done so Ill try it out on Friday
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Old May 7th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rubbish View Post
Ummm...it's called a tripod
Naa, I tried that, too much moving around. The shot would have to be too wide. You don't work on forks in a stationary position.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #15
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Naa, I tried that, too much moving around. The shot would have to be too wide. You don't work on forks in a stationary position.
oh is it like at the circus, where you're riding a unicycle on a rope while working on the forks?
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