Page 1 of 1

Curious...fork oil seals in upside down??

Posted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:34 pm
by harkgold
I'm rebuilding the front forks on my '84 Interstate GL1200 mostly because I have no idea when the fork oil was replaced and I am going to install some new progressive springs. For the most part the forks seem fine as they are. There are no signs of oil leaks or excessive wear anywhere.

I noticed when I took the forks apart that it appeared that the oil seals were in upside down. The reason I say this is because after I removed the dust boot and circlip I could see the inner spring that surrounds the inner edge of the oil seal which I believe is the part that faces down into the tube rather than face up.

If a prior owner installed these I can see why they went in this way by reading the installation description in some of the manuals. It reads..."Lubricate the tapered leading edge of the seal and insert the seal leading edge down into the seal housing". If done as described this would place the inner tension spring of the oil seal in the upward position where it would be visible under the circlip. When looking at an oil seal there is an outer edge that obviously has a more pronounced tapered edge and in fact one of my manuals even shows a photo of the seal with an arrow pointing to this tapered leading edge.

If these seals were in fact installed upside down I'm really surprised they didn't leak.

Has anyone else ever experienced this themselves? Or, known of seals that were installed upside down.......and did they experience leaking oil as a result?

Harkgold :?:

Re: Curious...fork oil seals in upside down??

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:16 am
by cbx4evr
Sounds like they are installed wrong to me. The seal lip and spring should be on the inside of the fork or facing down however you want to look at it.

Re: Curious...fork oil seals in upside down??

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:21 am
by virgilmobile
Here's a pix right from the book and my 2 cents worth of advice.



Re: Curious...fork oil seals in upside down??

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:56 am
by harkgold
Thanks for your help and thank goodness for the accumulated knowledge of this Gold Wing site.
I thought possibly I had ran into yet another instructional goof in the manual. It appears that in this case it was the goof of a previous owner installing the seals upside down, which isn't the first goof I found on this bike project.

Harkgold :)

Re: Curious...fork oil seals in upside down??

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:15 pm
by virgilmobile
Anything is possible,even manufacturing differences from one vendor to another for the same part.A "NEW" seal may be of a different material and design,so I usually refer to their specs or install guide for proper usage.

Re: Curious...fork oil seals in upside down??

Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:28 pm
by harkgold
virgilmobile wrote:Anything is possible,even manufacturing differences from one vendor to another for the same part.A "NEW" seal may be of a different material and design,so I usually refer to their specs or install guide for proper usage.

Thanks Virgilmobile! I will contact the source for the seals I bought for clarification regarding proper installation.
Harkgold :D