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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it seems my shifter seals only last a year to a year and a half before they start leaking like crazy. As far as I can tell the shaft isn't bent or anything.
My bike does sit outside all winter high up in Colorado. It is possible the cold is causing this failure? I can't think of anything else. Driving me nuts.

Tire Automotive tire Rim Font Auto part
 

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It's not the cold, Errtu. My bike has spent several Colorado winters outside covered up. I think Purple could be on to something - I would make a very close inspection of that shaft while the old seal it out.
 

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Next time you replace one, try cleaning the shaft with 000 or 0000 steel wool. Then use some plastic wrap, like Saran Wrap or a piece of zip lock bag, over the shaft and slide on the seal over that. This prevents the rough end of the shifter from damaging the seal. An old trick I learned when replacing fork seals. Also use some assembly lube or other really slippery stuff to prevent any friction with the install on the shaft.
 

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Great tip, Ski!
 
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Also, make sure there isn’t (or much) radial play in the shifter shaft. Rotating shafts often get a groove worn in them from the “lip” of the seal. I would not expect that in the shifter shaft since it gets a low amount of rotation. As Ski so accurately pointed out corrosion or debris in the seal to shaft interface can cause problems. I haven’t done that job on a TW but have on other bikes and I would also caution you to keep an eye open for sharp edges the deal may pass over on installation. Use a tool to help press the seal in square so the steel core isn’t distorted and always lubricate the seal lips before installation.
 

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Socket is fine as long as it impinges on the seal on the outside diameter and the seal pushes in straight which sometimes (maybe all the time) is a little fiddle prone getting them started. For me they want to tilt and I often use a punch to straighten them out before they are even a quarter of the way in. Once they are square it seems you can drive them home. The outer metal core is what you want to push on, not on the unsupported rubber as it is easy to cause damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Going to lean the bike over and replace the seal tomorrow. I will inspect the shaft while the old seal is out and if it continues to leak I will take the case off and give the shaft a good shine up. I have a extra seal and a extra case gasket on the way.
 

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Going to lean the bike over and replace the seal tomorrow. I will inspect the shaft while the old seal is out and if it continues to leak I will take the case off and give the shaft a good shine up. I have a extra seal and a extra case gasket on the way.
When you replace the case gasket. smear the side that touches the crankcase with silicone grease, aluminum anti-seize or Form-a-Gasket #2. (The grease is better, anti-seize 2nd.) That way it won't stick to both the cover and the crank case and you can reuse it over and over. The aluminum anti-seize works great, just sorta messy to apply. The grease is less messy.
 

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Going to lean the bike over and replace the seal tomorrow. I will inspect the shaft while the old seal is out and if it continues to leak I will take the case off and give the shaft a good shine up. I have a extra seal and a extra case gasket on the way.
You don’t want ANY abrasive grit or dirt in the bearing or the seal. I know I’m stating the obvious but didn’t feel good about not saying it.
 
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