RC51 for seal issue - Help

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by straycat, Jun 6, 2020.

  1. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Hi guys, posting here because there are good helpful people and the RC51 forum is dead.

    So the new seals on my recently re-done RC51 are leaking.

    Anyone had a hard time driving fork seals into a set of USD forks ?

    The RC51 SP1 (2000-2001) has a VERY deep recess for the bushing and the seal (issue 1) - very different to the SP2 fork -- I had to use 2 halves of a fork washer to get enough length on the driver to seat the bushing.

    Biggest issue by far was getting the seal past the retaining clip slot

    I have never in my life have I had to drive a seal so hard to get it in. my hand was bruised after.

    Both forks were the same, there are no burr's or obvious issues with the fork tube and stantion. I lubed the seal with rubber grease etc. Eventually I got it in but unsurprisingly they both leak now, so I have to re do it.

    I expect to have the same issue next time unless I can find some magic solution. I used pyramid seals, so ill try another brand just in case.

    Anyone got any ideas ?
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  2. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    I have no RC51 experience.... you greased the seal, good, shouldn't be a bear... I use PCV or ABS pipe as seal driver usually, can use in combo with OEM washer or a hand seal driver. OD of seal too big?? Can you get OEM seals? I prefer them if they are available.
     
  3. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    I may have to go OEM, I guess if the set I just ordered dont do it.

    I can get them in fine with my thumbs to the point of hitting that slot and then...OMG

    I even MIC'd the ID of the fork tube before and after the clip slot....same
     
  4. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Interesting for sure.... kinda sounds like size is OK... let's hope it works this time. Sure you have the up side up and the down side down? Sometimes a touch of taper on the OD... only saying that because I installed a set in an FJR and did not follow the constructions! Doh! And they did leak.
     
  5. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    IMG_1159.JPG IMG_3947.JPG crossed my mind, but im 99% sure. The side that faces into the fork (where the oil is) is more open (top pic) and doesnt really have the same surface to Drive on when seating it. Side that faces out (down in the case of USD) (bottom pic) is flatter and closed with a broader drive surface. But ill look again, cant be too sure I guess, good the check. Im usually pretty careful when laying it all out and re-installing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
  6. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Yep, most manuals say writing out (if seals have writing).... I think you got it under control, just wanted to make sure.. on some seals it's not obvious. You're good!!
    Also recommend Saran Wrap or baggie over the inner fork tube when installing to prevent any inadvertent damage to the sealing lips. All kool, carry on.
     
  7. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Yes I actually have a set of bullet cap covers but on these I also had to use Saran Wrap as there are multiple ridges beyond the areas the bullet cap covers.
     
  8. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Saran wrap... what a good idea that I had completely forgotten about. I've never had problems on my bikes, but what a great insurance policy. Thanks for the reminder.

    I think you need to go Honda OEM on the next set. Eliminate the variables you can.
     
  9. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Yes. Overwhelming opinion is that Pyramid seals are shyte. I corresponded with Dan Kyle from Kyle Racing (RC51 specialists in the USA) and he said that only OEM and SKF Aftermarket will fit properly. The issues im having are most assuredly due to the poor sizing of the aftermarket seals. Ordering OEM on Monday.

    thanks guys, I guess my luck ran out on the use of aftermarket seals. Ive done 11 or 12 sets and this is the first time ive had an issue.

    chalk up another lesson in the school of hard knocks. I hate doing the same job twice, but at least fork seals are easier than pulling an Engine. LOL
     
  10. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Good call on getting OEM seals. SKF nice silicone green, best thing ever if you can afford them.. good for dirt bikers for sure. Have only one Pyramid story, they sent the wrong bushing kit for a CB650 Nighthawk... had never ordered from them before. Tried to explain the measurements, what I needed vs. what they sent. They had no clue, would not check into if they had the right size kit (many old Hondas used that size, but clueless). That said, the seal industry goes by sizes and they list a bunch of sizes you can pick from for seals. I have no idea whether they are good or not, basically at this point, who cares.
    Right decision on your part.
     
  11. Paul Myers

    Paul Myers New Member

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    Having to redo work really sucks, always demoralizing to take a step backwards.

    Never done RC51 seals and only a few fork seals...but...

    The side with the circular spring should definitely be facing the oil.

    When driving in oil seals, with a driver and hammer, I have had the circular compression spring pop off. I only saw this because I was putting the seal in a component to be mounted so could see the back side. Makes me very cautious about driving in oil seals now. I'd be worried about this with your description of how hard it was to drive them in.

    They will have a steel shell under all the rubber so it might be worth throwing them in the freezer and warming the aluminum housing with a heat gun before mounting to help reduce the interference slightly? Guess it depends if it makes the fit to the fork leg too tight?
     
  12. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    On most if not all fork seals I have installed there is also a spring that faces "out" away from the oil (in addition to the spring on the oil side). The side with the wider surface areas, lettering and embossed notches typically faces out away from the oil. you can see in the above picture that there is a spring facing out.

    Happy to hear from others on this issue as well, lets all be sure

    Never tried cooling the seal and heating the fork, but have done that - always do that, when installing head race bearings
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
  13. Paul Myers

    Paul Myers New Member

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    Hmm forgot that, shows how long its been since I've done fork seals. I have a set in the workshop slated for the 86. I took a look at them.

    I agree with the writing up for the reasons you mentioned. On the VFR fork seal the lower part (with writing Out) is a double lip with a single lip at the top. The package shows the double lip towards the oil which puts the writing outwards.
     
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  14. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

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    Agree, most service manuals will say writing out or dimples out....
     
  15. Terry Smith

    Terry Smith Member

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    The shape of the seal lip also gives a clue to the orientation, the lip will normally be near right angles on one face and a longer slope on the other. You don't want the long slope riding up over the oil film, so the steep face needs to be directed at the oil. I agree that the lower photo with the writing on the face is the outer side of the seal.

    The picture below is from AllBalls
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2020
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  16. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Tried to order seals today. Honda Canada Systems down so dealer and I were SOL. Try again tomorrow
     
  17. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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  18. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Yea, I read they got hacked or got a virus, global in nature. It was bound to happen to some big company with all the people working remote with COVID19 going on. Someone uses a home computer with inadequate virus protection to log into work and bam, ABC company has a problem.
     
  19. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    OEM seals and Bushings are now in the forks. Both the bushings and the seals from Pyramid parts were larger than OEM. It went back together much easier with OEM parts.

    hopefully that cures it. should have the forks back in later today and ill re assemble the rest tomorrow.

    lesson learned -- buy OEM seals if they're available
     
  20. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Good news.
     
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