Author Topic: Repairing dings and scratches in your Forks ( ST1100 )  (Read 6657 times)

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Repairing dings and scratches in your Forks ( ST1100 )
« on: April 05, 2009, 02:49:10 PM »
Original article can be viewed here:

Submitted by Mike Martin.


Repairing Dings and scratches in your Forks

What if you're replacing your fork seals and find dings, gouges or scratches in the fork legs? Here's a few things you can try for repairing the surface, so the seals will last a bit longer:

In the case of a ding from some road debris, there's the possibility of some of the metal actually protruding slightly above the surrounding surface. This protrusion could damage the seal lip. I use a file held parallel to the fork leg and shave off any such protrusion. Because so many of the file teeth contact the fork leg, there's not enough pressure to cut any metal except where it is protruding.

As you are probably aware, it is important to keep the fork leg surface clean of dried bugs, because they can nick the seals, too.


After I published these thoughts, others had some more suggestions:

Glenn Johnson said:
"In the forklift world the hydraulic cylinders get dinged all the time... all I used was a small sharpening stone for a knife, like an Arkansas Hard..."


Then Hall Smith added:
"I have a similar experience. When I disassembled my fork I found severe gouges in one leg. Looked like a rock got under the seal, did a number on the fork leg and had worn through the hard chrome plating in an area about 1" square.

I rubbed out the area with a honing stone using cross hatching strokes. I was able to clean up all but the deepest gouges. Upon reassembly, I positioned the thin spot to the side so the bushing would ride on a good surface assuming it's loaded more in a fore-aft direction than side to side.

That was over ten thousand miles ago and the fork is still fine."


Then Hal Rumenapp offered:
"I have had success filling things like scratches with JB weld! If I find a significant scratch/ding on something like the fork tube, I just use some JB Weld and then sand/polish it so that it fills up the void. I did this when I had to rebuild my old Porsche steering rack and have had no problems with it. I believe it would work fine on the fork tubes also .. YMMV."


Finally, Keith Rosendahl followed,
"You are right about the JB Weld. I have been meaning to mention it too. The Honda TL125 trials bike I picked up (really cheap) a couple of years back had a fork seal that was leaking real bad. Taking a closer look it you could see it had been dropped in the rocks, deep gouges on one one fork leg. Mixed up a little JB Weld and filled in the damage. After it had set up I filed off the excess blending it out till it was nice and smooth, instant fix."

I was also having a problem with the right seal on my ST. The previous owner work down at the San Onofre nuclear power plant, Parked in the ocean air every day. My problem was one small rust pit in the chrome that given time was causing wear on the seal. I watched as one of the mechanics where my brother worked took a honing stone and removed the pit. I have not had a problem since. I was starting to look at a new fork tube to fix the problem."

2002 M. E. Martin, All rights reserved