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  1. #1
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    Fox float 29 32 fork leaking oil after 8 months? Normal?

    Got a fox 32 29 ctd kashima fork in March of this year. It started leaking at around 325 miles of XC riding. It's leaking on one side where the stanchion enters the tube. Is it normal for the seal to wear out at this interval?

  2. #2
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    Have you pulled it apart to check for stanchion wear? I had the same issue on a 6 mo. old Fox CTD, turns out some dirt got past the wiper on one side and wore the coating down so oil was getting past the wipers. $205 for a non Kashima crown/steer/stanchion assembly. The Kashima version was $250 and had a 2 month lead time.

  3. #3
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    Its never normal for oil to leak past the seals. I would talk to who you bought it from and see if this is covered under warranty.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  4. #4
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    It's completely normal for seals to leak when they need replacing.
    Fox specifies 30hr service intervals for bath oil + inspection of seals.
    You can "wear out" seals for a variety of reasons.
    Riding conditions, maintenance(or lack of it), and cleaning of suspension components vary from rider to rider.
    It's not unusual to see seals needing replaced within 8 months.
    Some riders will see seals last for much longer than the specified service intervals, and others will see seals needing replaced within the service interval time frames.
    Seal replacement with leg bath oil replacement is usually what constitutes basic suspension service.
    Leaking seals are usually no big deal, just a sign that they need replaced.

    Service intervals are here:
    Bike Suspension Service | FOX

  5. #5
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    I am pretty ignorant on this but have heard from LBS folks what Norman has said above, and friends who actually know what they are doing have told me the same.

    It's an easy DYI project to replace the oil, seals and foam rings and you'll gain a better understanding of the fork's condition.

    based on advice from an LBS mechanic and a friend who used to own a shop and does all his own work, after every ride take a paper towl and floss the uppers and get all of the dirt off, and floss the hard to reach area between the uppers and the arch where dirt can build up, this simple act can help extend the life of the seals and oil.

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  7. #7
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    Thanks guys. Man that stinks that you only get ~15 two hour rides before the service interval is reached. I have washed the bike after almost every ride. I don't ride in really muddy or dusty/sandy conditions. Most of the trails I ride are hard packed dirt and rock.

  8. #8
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    It just seems odd to have it leak after that amount of time hence why I said it could be some other issue. The Fox service at 30 hours is just dust wipers and foam rings. I do mine once a year and that is well more than 30 hours and have never seen oil on my stanchions. You can certainly do the service..parts will cost you around $50.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

    2012 Specialized Stumpy EVO 29 HT

  9. #9
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    Some other things can cause seals to wear and fail prematurely:
    -Some cleaners and degreasers will shorten seal life. They can be very harsh.
    -Prolonged exposure to UV can cause degradation if the bike is stored outside in the sun all day everyday.
    -Applying some lubes to stanchions and seals can shorten seal life. There are all sorts of harsh chemicals in some lubricants.
    -Running the fork with low bath oil. If there's not enough bath oil to lubricate and keep friction at a minimum, seals and stanchions and bushings wear quicker.

    As to the 30hr service interval, there is some flexibility there:
    If your seals are good and not leaking, then a bath oil change can be all that is needed. This can be done with the fork on the bike and cutting a few corners in 15 minutes if you know what you are doing. However, to do the job completely and correctly and change seals if needed and inspect the air spring takes about 30-45 minutes.
    Bath oil changes don't take much time and are cheap. $15-$30 of suspension fluid(depending on brand) can last many riders for years of basic service.

    Once you know how everything is supposed to feel when working optimally and you can feel and identify changes in performance-shock gets sticky and doesn't feel plush for example-you'll know when you should be servicing your suspension.

    When seals leak you'll see fluid collect on top of the seals and drip, but this shouldn't have been the first sign that the seals were on the way out.
    Before that happens you'll likely see increasing amounts of dirt collect in a ring on top of the seal on every ride.
    Before the seals start collecting lots of dirt, you'll likely see some streaking on the stanchions and a thin film of fluid start to appear near the limit of travel.

    Like I said, some seals will last longer than the specified service interval and some will need replacing at or before the service interval.
    Bath oil changes and correct bath oil levels are the most important things.
    The 30hr mark should provide most riders a good margin of safety before excessive wear occurs.
    There are very few riders who adhere strictly to the factory service intervals in my experience.

    Consider fork seals a wear item like brake pads, tires, du bushings etc.

  10. #10
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    The fork seals on my Fox fork started leaking after a couple of years of riding. I replaced the seals with Enduro seals, changed the oil, and then ignored the fork for 5 more years. I never wipe the stanchions and I neglect to do any maintenance whatsoever other than adding a little air a couple of times a year. No leaks so far and the fork works fine.

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