wiper seals: Removable & reusable?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Uncle
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    wiper seals: Removable & reusable?

    Squeezed two rides out of my rebuilt Pike before realizing that it had some bigger problems. I rebuilt it with some super smooth SKF wiper seals, and I'm wondering if it's possible to remove them carefully and use them again. Specifically, I'm wondering if the install, or removal, distorts the wiper seal, rendering it useless once its been installed and ridden. It's a good product, and I've already dumped too much money into repairing this fork. Hoping I can salvage some of the bits I just put in.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    What? Why are you removing the seals? You can take the fork apart and put it back together without removing the seals or replacing them. No need. The seals don't do much, the oil bath is minimal and the fork isn't seeing intense pressures like an older style full bath fork.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  3. #3
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    Generally prising seals out buggers the garter springs used to tension the seal lips.

    Just leave them in.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  4. #4
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    Do I understand you correctly that your Pike is broken and cannot repaired and you want to salvage some good parts so that you can reuse them on the new fork?

    I have removed wiper seals and reused them on other fork. I needed new seals for my Manitou Tower and because the local Manitou guy did not had seals at the moment he gave my complete 26" lowers for the price of the seals. I removed the small springs first - they will damaged otherwise. In my fork there was two sets of the springs - one is outside and another one is inside. I was not able to remove inside springs and damaged one of the internal springs during removal. Fortunately I had some broken Reba at hand and got new spring from it.

    I used very wide flat head screwdriver to pop the seal out. Taped the end first with electric tape. I did not rest the screwdriver shaft on the edge of the seal as you can see in removal instructions. Instead I put on very thick leather gloves and grabbed the fork so that I could rest the screwdriver shaft on my hand between thumb and index finger for support during prying - seal was not crushed at all this way.

    Make sure that you position the screwdriver blade correctly and do the removal with one motion - it requires quite a lot of force.

  5. #5
    Uncle
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnea View Post
    Do I understand you correctly that your Pike is broken and cannot repaired and you want to salvage some good parts so that you can reuse them on the new fork?
    Yes, I could have been more clear about this: I bought and rebuilt a used fork, realized after a few rides and a second dissembly that the lowers weren't up to the task - extensive and expensive lesson in buying used/abused parts. The damage on the lowers was only easy to see when having a second set of viable lowers side by side to compare: The prior owner had buggered up the recessed hole that seats the bottom of the damper shaft. I'm certain the at minimum, the prior owner over-torqued the foot bolt.

    So can't/won't use the lowers, so going to try to retrieve the wipers without damaging them. Nothing to lose I guess. Was going to remove the outer spring - I do that during installation too. Thanks for the other suggestions.

  6. #6
    moaaar shimz
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    You can try to remove them using a small flat blade screwdriver and prying them out slowly from the flange (assuming you have the flanged SKF seals). If you lever them out from inside with a tire lever or an open end wrench you'll damage them and render them useless.

  7. #7
    Formerly of Kent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Generally prising seals out buggers the garter springs used to tension the seal lips.

    Just leave them in.
    There are no springs on SKF seals.


    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    There are no springs on SKF seals.


    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Yes there is.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Draper View Post
    Yes there is.
    Ah. Maybe on older ones. The new ones for DT Swiss forks don't have them.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Ah. Maybe on older ones. The new ones for DT Swiss forks don't have them.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    On the bang up to date SKF green seals made by SKF and sold via SKF for RS, Fox Marzocchi etc there are springs.

  11. #11
    Formerly of Kent
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    https://www.dtswiss.com/SKF-seal

    I assumed that all of their products had gone this route for 2016. Apparently I was wrong.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    https://www.dtswiss.com/SKF-seal

    I assumed that all of their products had gone this route for 2016. Apparently I was wrong.
    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    There is still a spring on that seal internally, just not externally.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Draper View Post
    On the bang up to date SKF green seals made by SKF and sold via SKF for RS, Fox Marzocchi etc there are springs.
    Yeah, mine are the green ones with outer springs at least. Inner springs too - must be molded inside the rubber then? I didn't see any other springs other than those visible from the outside.

  14. #14
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    Put in way too much bath oil and bolt the lowers onto the fork in the fully extended position. I dont know about SKF seals, but this will cleanly and safely blow the seals off the lowers for factory seals.

  15. #15
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    I use a 19 or 21 mm combination wrench depending on the lower size. Use the open end side to pry up the seal. I leave the spring on the seal. There's no need to take it off.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    There are no springs on SKF seals.


    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Guess my eyes must be broken. Because the dozens of sets of SKF seals I've got in stock have all got springs.

    Even the DT versions.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnea View Post
    ...I removed the small springs first - they will damaged otherwise. In my fork there was two sets of the springs - one is outside and another one is inside...

    I used very wide flat head screwdriver to pop the seal out. Taped the end first with electric tape. I did not rest the screwdriver shaft on the edge of the seal as you can see in removal instructions. Instead I put on very thick leather gloves and grabbed the fork so that I could rest the screwdriver shaft on my hand between thumb and index finger for support during prying - seal was not crushed at all this way.

    Make sure that you position the screwdriver blade correctly and do the removal with one motion - it requires quite a lot of force.
    Bump - Just did this, but I used a 19mm box wrench to put a wider surface across the bottom of the seal. Since the wrench handle is flat along the same plane as the box end, this also distributed the pressure on my hand over a wider surface. Leather work glove allowed me to keep the prising from damaging the top of the seal.

    Got them out, wiped them off really good, and inspected under a bright light. Best I can tell, the sealing edges are still intact, and the springs snapped back into place easily.

    Only concern is that being installed twice, they might pop out too easily under load. I have a new set of the RS seals here, so if the SKF seals press in too easily, I'll just remove them again and put the RS seals instead. Hope the greenies work though.

    Thanks for the advice.

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