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  1. #1
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    motor oil as substitue for fork/shock oil?

    I'm having a difficult time finding fork/shock oil in my area. They usually have 100% synthetic motor oils. Can these be used as alternatives to use in forks/shocks?

  2. #2
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    "you know you're a redneck when........" Jeff foxworthy.....sorry just saying...! but thats some varying damping!

  3. #3
    ...for I am a raindog too
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    I don't know the answer that you seek, but I will say that any motorcycle/ atv shop will have fork oil. Don't know if that crossed your mind or not, but I would go that route before using motor oil in your fork.
    If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company

  4. #4
    the giant.
    Reputation: gbosbiker's Avatar
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    i did that in a manitou stance fork. it was on my old dj bike that i sold 2 months ago. it helped alot (was DRY, no oil) it helped make the fork smoother and it didnt bottom out as easy. i wouldnt do it in my new bike, but if you dont have anything else, why not?

  5. #5
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    Motor oil is likely too high viscosity. ATF may be closer.

  6. #6
    Equal opportunity meanie
    Reputation: DHidiot's Avatar
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    ATF is close to most 7-10w oils. If you must, use that as your damper oil. For straight lubricating oil (like in the lowers of a Fox 40), motor oil is just fine.
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  7. #7
    SILENCE! I KILL YOU!
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    Don't do it.
    Hunter, Simmons, Berrecloth, Watson,Vanderham, Semenuk, Schley, Gulevich, Bourdon, Smith, Moreland, Shandro, Boyko... Bieber.

  8. #8
    Roll on Spring Time!
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    Axed this a month or so back and dropped some in the lowers of my Totem. So far so sweet. Not for the uppers though.

  9. #9
    eat your porridge jordie
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    Used 10wt in my Sherman previously. Did not seem to effect the performance, but I would do it only in a pinch. Possibly cavitated more than fork oil...
    "If you want to do something ordinary people can't, you have to be willing to do what ordinary people won't"

  10. #10
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    This is from the Enduro sSeals instructions for the Fox 36 talas rc2. Not sure what fork you have but you should check out the tech section here...

    Enduro Tech

    "32) Inject 15cc of multi-viscosity fully
    synthetic motor oil into the bottom of
    the TALAS side fork leg...

    ...The multi-viscosity, fully synthetic
    motor oil we chose to use is made by
    Amzoil®. Any other reputable brand is
    acceptable. Note that Fox recommends
    damper oil. Damper oil is OK, but does
    not stick to the parts as well as the
    mulit-viscosity synthetic motor oil."

    So enduro seems to think it is fine, even preferable.

    I haven't done this yet, but I'm planning on giving it a try when I re-build my wife's 36.

    DRS

    Edit to add: You may have better luck posting this in Shocks and Suspension.

  11. #11
    Meh.
    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    Motor oil is fine for the semi-bath in the lower legs. This oil is for lubrication purposes only. Motor oil will not work in the damper. I would keep ATF out of there as well. If you don't have a moto shop or somewhere nearby, order a bottle from the internetz.

  12. #12
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    It'll be fine like other said if its only used for lubrication purposes...A friend of mine swears by automatic transmission fluid, I didnt personally liked it but it sure works! ( and it stinks ;-) )

  13. #13
    No Fear
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    Forget about it if its an open bath or even for the casing lubrication .Also Characteristics arnt any good for damping
    As they ruin the Teflon bushings with the stanchions slide in .
    Get my advise for free I paid a 66 RC2X for this experience !!

  14. #14
    Its got what plants crave
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    Quote Originally Posted by SABER_MTB
    Forget about it if its an open bath or even for the casing lubrication .Also Characteristics arnt any good for damping
    As they ruin the Teflon bushings with the stanchions slide in .
    Get my advise for free I paid a 66 RC2X for this experience !!

    Motor oil is safe for all the seals in your car's engine, don't see why it would affect the bushings. I rocked motor oil in my Domain 318 for a while, and I'm running it in my Vanilla on the spring side. I tried it in the side with the damper but it was way too thick and damping sucked.. bad compression, really harsh. It's fine for lubing the bushings in the lowers, bad for dampers.
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  15. #15
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    use 30w in my steering damper on my motorcycle and it will/would work fine in the forks as long as you find the right weight... its all about fluid dynamics/motion.... if its to thick then ya its gonna be a harsh ride in both directions.. to thin and gonna be a bouncy ride.... get it right and it will work as well as fork fluid (again ya have to find the right weight oil) trans fluid will work also but its gonna be a 7wt or so... have to play with it and see what/how it works and what works best for you...

  16. #16
    Meh.
    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    Oils have viscosities, not weights.

    I see no reason for motor oil to harm Teflon as many motor oils have teflon additives. And my car has a teflon crank scraper as well. I have been using synthetic motor oil in the semi-bath lowers for years.

  17. #17
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    tech dept at manitou recommends synthetic motor oil for semi-bath fork lowers.

    i know plenty of people like me who've run synthetic motor oil as a fork lube for years and years with no issues.

    but not as a damping chamber oil.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
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  18. #18
    Glad to Be Alive
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    can't get fork oil in your area

    hmmmm did you try the [SIZE="6"]INTERNET[/SIZE]

    buy some online
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  19. #19
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by XSL_WiLL
    Oils have viscosities, not weights..
    cant have one without the other.........

  20. #20
    Meh.
    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    cant have one without the other.........
    Explain... Viscosity has nothing to do with weight. Viscosity is a fluid's internal resistance to flow. Viscosity is measured in centistrokes.

    The w in 5w30 is not for weight, it's for winter.

    And labeled viscosities (such as Torco RFF 7 vs Rockshox 5 being the same viscosity) are hardly an accurate measure of viscosity.

    I imagine that using motor oil in a damper may cause foaming as well. And most motor oils are multi-viscosity. A fork or shock can build up quite a bit of heat.
    Last edited by XSL_WiLL; 11-08-2009 at 11:10 PM.

  21. #21
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    ya i already know that... just got done reading for the last 15 mins about all this... its just another designation for how a oil flows/characteristics/designation.... its all mashes together in the bottle. lol guess maybe they just call it that to make it simpler for people... ??? weight is thrown around in all the reading i did ALOT but nothing that really said why WEIGHT was used......but yes they did explain viscosity...which i already knew....
    but one way or another it can still be used in forks as long as ya find the right "viscosity"-"weight" ....... atf is used in motorcycle forks all the time.. no different than engine oils.... will all protect the internals and flow as needed if the right "weight/viscosity"

  22. #22
    Meh.
    Reputation: XSL_WiLL's Avatar
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    In my opinion, weight is the wrong terminology as it holds a different meaning.

    ATF may contain seal swellers that could damage the seals. And again... it could foam up.

  23. #23
    No Fear
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    I dont khow but it ruined the bushings in my RC2X and made me to trow it away .
    i wont make that mistake again. I used STP synthetic motor oil. But now i use Fox ' Sram suspension fluids wich are now available over here in Iran. Or some times Citroen LHM plus mineral.

  24. #24
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    so motor oil is ok for forks with open bath system? How about motor oils used in rear shox? any comments?

  25. #25
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    as said above if you can get FORK OIL its gonna be the best way but if not then MOBILE 1 ATF seems to be a good substitute that im reading about.....
    where are you located that you cant get fork oil ? like someone else said just order it off the net since you have access....

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