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  1. #1
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    FOX FLOAT: How to get full travel (maybe?)

    The following might be of interest to FOX Float/Talas users that are far from getting full travel. If you want to skip the story go to the bold character section.

    I had problems with the Fox Float RLC from day one. It worked very nicely and was very comparable to my previous Vanilla/PUSH but the problem was travel. Set up with the correct sag/pressure (between 60-65 psi for my weight) there was no way to get more then 4” of travel. So I did what the MTBR forum wisdom suggests: decrease oil a bit in the right leg (150 instead of 160), and take out some of the FLOAT fluid from the left leg. Ok, now I was maybe at 4.2” (strangely enough travel decreased after a few rides) not good enough. I decided to try to install a spring in the right leg, with the idea that I could use less air pressure and gain some end of travel millimeters. It made for a nicely plush fork but it did not help with the travel.
    But … while I was disassembling the fork I realized that the right leg was actually under pressure toward the end of its travel! There was a distinct psssssss of compressed air coming from the right leg if I unscrewed the right top cup after I compressed the fork completely. Could that be it? The Fox instructions tell to add oil in the RL after you inflate the LL, as a result you have a large volume of air in your RL: a whole leg worth of air (not only the leg: the cartidge is also full of air since you cannot cycle it when you add the oil, and the oil seats on top of the cartridge before you close the top cup). Who knows how many extra psi is that but I tried to get rid of all that air.


    The fox instructions tell you to: inflate the LL, add the oil in the RL, close the top cup
    Instead: compress the fork completely, add the oil while cycling the cartridge (to avoid trapping air), close the top cup, and then inflate the LL

    Result: a sizable increase in travel, you can tell the difference just by compressing the fork. I got 5" doing my usual speed jumps, and a much more linear feeling from the mid travel onward.

    The recepie above might be obvious to some but I think it is worth mentioning because there are quite a few frustrated FOX users out there ... it seems to have solved the no-full-travel fox float travel problems and let me put back some fox fluid in the LL that I was nervous to take out to begin with
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    Last edited by Davide; 05-08-2007 at 01:02 AM.

  2. #2
    It's the axle
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    Thanks for the tip. Even though I'm not ready to pull my fork apart yet, I've been paying attention to the posts on this subject.

    I completely removed the air from my fork, and then found that I could get total travel. But that last bit still had resistance as though it had air in it.

    I think you're on to something. I usually read instructions only as a guideline, and then proceed by using what I think is the best way. It'll be interesting to give this a try.

    One thing I have to wonder about without knowing what spring you used- hopefully the spring was fairly "stock" and was captive so that it didn't score the inside of the fork leg surface. I'm sure you thought of that.

    Another thought is that perhaps even when you do remove the air, it'll return on it's own once vigorous riding ensues.

    And thanks again, because I'm the kind of mechanic who feels a lot more comfortable with a little bit of preview of what I'm getting into. I'll never forget the time I was rebuilding a transmission and pressed a pin into a hole that was blind. And it was the wrong hole. I had to EDM the darn thing out. But forks are pretty simple. Bla bla bla. I'm off for a ride!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    Thanks for the tip. Even though I'm not ready to pull my fork apart yet, I've been paying attention to the posts on this subject.
    Hope it helps ... it seems to work. Anyway, it might be less effective but note that to try the trick you do not really need to change oil (that requires to opne the fork at the bottom too).Instead:
    • decompress the fork (left leg)
    • open the top of the right leg (i.e. disassamble the RLC top and unscrew the top)
    • push all the way down
    • close the top of the RL (grease the cup threads first) while the fork is fully compressed: do not extend the fork, in this way you should mimimize the amount of air in the leg.
    • re-inflate (left leg)

    ...only problem: some air might come back in, through ... the seals?
    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    One thing I have to wonder about without knowing what spring you used- hopefully the spring was fairly "stock" and was captive so that it didn't score the inside of the fork leg surface. I'm sure you thought of that.
    I put the spring in the right leg (not the left where there is the air chamber) and it was a FOX soft (very widely wound) with the usual heat-shrink for protection. With the spring installed, I could use a pressure of 50 psi to achieve the same sag (I usually use 60-65), the fork felt very nice on stutter but the travel was still around 4" (which makes sense if you believe the theory of the extra air in the RL, if anything the spring made the volume of the RL even smaller). I took the spring off now, and I am back with air only

    ... now I am off for a ride
    Last edited by Davide; 04-26-2007 at 04:05 PM.

  4. #4
    It's the axle
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    I"m wondering if you mean to just crack the top of the right leg assy. and let the air bleed out. I am guessing you don't mean to disassemble the thing, which includes pulling the knob off the bottom of the fork leg.

    It doesn't matter anyways since all of my tools are on my trucks in Humboldt county in storage. And I live in Mendocino. I just realized I can't do diddly squat.

  5. #5
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    Iam Having The Same Problem With My Float 4 Inches Of Travel. I Want 5.5 Inches.has Anybody Asked Fox About The Problem.i Heard They Had A Problem With The 36s.not All The Travel.too Much Oil.
    milesW

  6. #6
    It's the axle
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    Could you bleed the air out of the lower leg by inverting the fork and just loosening the propedal nut?

    I'm only able to guess until I see the fork disassembled, or see an exploded view of the forks.

  7. #7
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    Well .. it does not seem to last

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K
    Could you bleed the air out of the lower leg by inverting the fork and just loosening the propedal nut?
    Not really, follow the recepie above. However ... as I suspected it does not seem to last, the RL is probably not completely air tight and the fork seem to get progressively ... more progressive ... bizzarre. At least the procedure works consistently (I did it again today and regained my travel)

    MAN!!!! I am missing my Vanilla, don't want to call the Float/Talas a piece of crap but but I am ready to go coil (front and back!!!!!!)

    Maybe I'll drill a hole in the right cup to avoid air pressure build up ... and put a wissle in it too so that I don't need a bell ... wow weight savings on the horizon!!!

    Or go PUSH (but ...) or just wait for the new Marz XC 700 (but I really do not want to buy ANOTHER fork)
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  8. #8
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    Davide, It sounds like you are creating a vacuum on the damper side with your technique.

    I'm not familiar with the RLC fork internals. If you can run lower oil levels safely, it would gain more bottom travel with the same sag and be more linear.

    (Go coil and live happily ever after!)

  9. #9
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    High volume fork sleeve

    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Davide, It sounds like you are creating a vacuum on the damper side with your technique.

    I'm not familiar with the RLC fork internals. If you can run lower oil levels safely, it would gain more bottom travel with the same sag and be more linear.

    (Go coil and live happily ever after!)
    Yes, if (if!) all the observations I describe are real the net result should be some level of vacuum in the RL when the fork is fully extended ... and I am already using 150mm of oil in the RL, and I decreased the FOX fluid level in the LL (that gained a good half inch of travel).

    But I think what is needed is the equivalent of the high volume sleeve for the RP3/RP23 http://www.pushindustries.com/produc...tle=Components

    It should really not be that hard to have an adjustable air chamber in the LL ... or have somebody manifacture a cup that gives more volume to the LL ...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davide
    Yes, if (if!) all the observations I describe are real the net result should be some level of vacuum in the RL when the fork is fully extended ... and I am already using 150mm of oil in the RL, and I decreased the FOX fluid level in the LL (that gained a good half inch of travel).

    But I think what is needed is the equivalent of the high volume sleeve for the RP3/RP23 http://www.pushindustries.com/produc...tle=Components

    It should really not be that hard to have an adjustable air chamber in the LL ... or have somebody manifacture a cup that gives more volume to the LL ...
    Slightly off topic, I looked on the Fox site and they don't seem to publish a tech manual showing how to tear down fork, change oil etc. Anyone have a link?

    Nevermind...i found it, just had to keep clicking:
    for reference: http://service.foxracingshox.com/consumers/index.htm
    Last edited by slcpunk; 05-29-2007 at 02:22 PM.

  11. #11
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    Fox response

    I have the same thing giong on, and emailed Fox - here is a copy of our exchange (after thinking about it a bit, it strikes me as rather lame, very light on explanation or helpful direction. He sent an attachment with a generic list of tuning tips):

    I recently bought an Ibis Mojo with an 07 Float 32 and an RP23 on it.
    Here are the issues I have (after looking at you manuals and making a number
    of adjustments, and triple checking sag/pressure). First, and most
    significant, is the fact that no matter how hard I jump on top of my
    fork, I get less that 4" of travel out of this supposed 5.5" travel fork (and
    there are many others experiencing the same thing out there). What is the
    deal and how do I get it fixed?

    Matt

    An easy way to check if there is actually something wrong with the fork
    regarding not being able to achieve full travel would be to release all
    the air pressure from your fork and compress it fully.
    If the fork is working, you should come up to approximately 1/4" shy of
    the lip of your wiper hitting the bottom of your crown.
    The same principle applies to the rear shock, on full compression you
    should come up at approximately 1/4", or slightly less on full
    compression.

    Suspension is not designed to be bottomed out constantly, that would
    defeat its purpose.
    Our forks and rear shocks become fairly progressive towards the end of
    their strokes to be able to accommodate aggressive riding, larger hits,
    etc... but will bottom out if you run your air pressure below what is
    recommended for you weight and proper fork performance.
    Also when coupled with bottom out bumpers which help to soften harsh
    bottoming, it will be difficult to get these to compress until they
    bottom out unless a severe hit is taken

    Joey Avila
    Bicycle CSR/Aftermarket Sales
    Fox Racing Shox

    Thanks Joey, that is helpful (and I'm not looking to bottom out, just to
    get the advertised performance out of this equipment that I have paid for).

    ...and so the fix, if, after letting all the air out and there is still
    really limited travel? Why would the fork only provide less the 4" of travel if there isn't
    something "actually wrong"?

    Thanks again...Matt


    You won't get a precise measurement if you are measuring the stanchion
    itself. Measuring from axle to crown, your fork should read
    approximately 510mm when fully extended, and 370mm when fully compressed
    if this is a Float 140mm fork. This may not be "exact" due to the
    manufacturing process and slight variances & tolerances in all the parts
    that make up the fork.

    At that point there are those rubber bottom out bumpers I mentioned
    previously which normally will limit "FULL" compression and protect your
    fork from bottoming to approximately 1/4" between the top of the wiper
    and underside of the crown on full compression.

    If your fork is only getting 4" even after you've released the air
    pressure and measuring from axle to crown, then there maybe something
    internal wrong with the fork and it will need to be sent in for repair.
    If this is the case, I would recommend contacting us here at the number
    below to setup service for your fork.

    Joey Avila
    Bicycle CSR/Aftermarket Sales
    Fox Racing Shox

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sangmatt
    I have the same thing giong on, and emailed Fox - here is a copy of our exchange (after thinking about it a bit, it strikes me as rather lame, very light on explanation or helpful direction. He sent an attachment with a generic list of tuning tips):
    You are right it is a very lame reply ... The problem is that they need to have an independent adjustment for compression or bottom out (ot both) ... but they would not admit to it. Marzocchi does it and so I think Rock Shock and the only solution to this real problem is to send the fork to PUSH ...

    As I suspected my ""solution" (basically creating a vacuum in the RL) does not seem to last. Air probably seeps in the leg after sometime and one is back to square one ... I'll PUSH the fork whe I am back in September

  13. #13
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    A couple of points from FOX

    Howdy All,
    We got in touch with Fox about this problem, had an email round robin and they've added a couple more tips that I'll repeat here.

    From Fox:
    The Spec. [for travel] is +-5mm…. Keep in mind with the negative spring system the travel can vary a little depending on starting air pressure.

    If the fork is coming up 5-10mm short, I would suggest unthreading the air side top cap and removing some of the Float Fluid "air piston lubrication".

    The Factory fill is about 5cc stock. By removing some of the Float Fluid you can increase the air volume…. This will make the air spring more linear and easier to get to the full travel mark. Leave just enough Float Fluid in the upper tube so that the fluid just covers the air piston (about 2cc).

    A simple way to get the oil out is to wrap the end of a screw driver with a paper towel….. Dip it into the upper tube and soak the oil up.


    Also from Fox:

    The key here would be correct oil volumes and if they know how to drain the oil out of the cartridge before filling the fork back up with 160cc. If the oil is not drained out of the cartridge you will not get full travel out of the fork.

    Damper side of fork: 160 CC
    Air Chamber: ( above air piston) 5cc
    Air Spring Side lower leg bath : 30cc

    See our FOXhelp service web site for full fork service details: http://service.foxracingshox.com/

    The other clue may be is that one of the people in the threads has excessive air is building up in the lower leg. This is not normal!

    Maybe the ID of the upper tube has a scratch or the piston seal is cut. This type of issue will allow air to pass into the lower leg. Usually the dust wiper seal will pop out…… but not always.

    The customer can always send the fork back to us and we can check see the issue first hand with out further speculation on what the issue may be or not be.


    Finally, if you guys are not having any success with these tips and the website, you can get in touch with the Customer Service Manager Dustin Spencer. He can be reached at (800) 369-7469 Ext. 6520 or by email at dspencer@foxracingshox.com

    Sorry to hear about the problems, we've had really good luck at Ibis with all the Fox products we sell. We know that the problems are isolated, because as you might image we hear when anything goes wrong.

    Cheers,
    Scot

  14. #14
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    Full Travel Floats

    Here is a sure fire way to make Fox cringe, void any chance of warranty AND get full travel from your Float forks...
    As Scott Nicol suggested, less oil in the air chamber will increase its volume and create a more linear spring rate — that makes it more willing to dive deeper into its travel.
    In my opinion the spring rate ramps up way too much as the air chamber is too small. I got sick of not being able to ever get full travel and fixed it by making the main air chamber bigger.
    The piston at the base of the air chamber sits on top of the compression rod and is held in place by a pin. The pin is simply pushed through the base of the piston and a hole in the compression rod.
    I removed the piston and cut the compression rod shorter. I then drilled a new hole in the compression rod for the pin and re-assembled.
    This lowered the base of the air chamber and provided a larger air volume. The result is a more linear spring curve and full travel on the trail.
    I have run my 130mm Floats like this for over 12 months with no dramas.
    I am a lighter rider (64kg/140lbs) and I trimmed about 10mm off the compression rod.
    The amount that you trim will depend on how restrictive the travel is for you. I started by making it 5mm shorter but that wasn’t enough.
    I'm not sure how this mod will work with the 140mm Float forks. It should be the same as long as the inner surface of the stanchion is smooth and consistent for a good 10mm or so below the standard position for the air piston.
    Good luck if anyone wants to have a crack at it. It worked very well for me and I can't see why Fox has such a hard time working it out.

  15. #15
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    Too involved for me...but...

    ...what else did you try prior to taking this leap JHwick? Did you check your oil levels (air chamber and dampener?) How much float fluid did you take out and how much more travel did you get?

    I'd like to hear more specifics from folks who have been working on this issue, in terms of what they are finding in their shocks, what they did, and to what effect...I hear "check oil levels" but haven't heard much in the way of specific accounts of people adjusting those levels and how it works for them...

    I'm especially interested to hear from more Fox Floaters that are under 150lbs like me...

    Thanks

  16. #16
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    My suggestion is more scary than involved - if you can pull the fork apart and change the oil then you could do the mod that I did.

    I tried more or less everything - as I said this was well over a year ago so the specifics are not clear in my mind. Wasn’t happy with the results in any case or I wouldn’t have taken to the compression rod with a hack saw
    I vaguely remember that less oil in the damper leg helped but less oil in my XTT version of the Float seemed to leave the valving exposed to air pockets too often. i.e. lay the bike down on its side for a while, pick it up and the valving doesnt work until the oil works its way back down.
    Less Float Fluid in the air chamber definitely helped as this is what clued me in on the modification that I did.
    If you want to try my idea but are understandably worried about wrecking the fork, source a replacement compression rod for the air side first, then shorten the old rod- all you need is a hacksaw, file & drill plus other basic tools (betcha Fox hate the word 'hacksaw' being mentioned in a forum thread on fork tuning )

  17. #17
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    JHwick ?

    Not the editor of MBAustralia are you? If so, you should publish your mod in the tech section See if that gets a rise out of Fox

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    preliminary testing

    OK - here are the basics: 07 Float RLC on a mojo, I weigh 145lbs tops. Even with sag on the excessive sag, I could only get 3 7/8" of travel.

    I took some of the FOX advice, brokered by Scot Nicol, and let all the air out and checked the travel distance (easy to bottom out...seems logical). I then took off the cap on the left side (damn that is soft metal), and dipped in a screw driver with a paper towel tightly banded around it and soaked up maybe a cc or two of float fluid. After pumping it back up and setting pressure, I could get 4 1/4" of travel

    I'm am considering another round of dipping...

    Question: is there an analogous trick for the RP23???

  19. #19
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by ozelise
    JHwick ?

    Not the editor of MBAustralia are you? If so, you should publish your mod in the tech section See if that gets a rise out of Fox
    I'd say you've found him out..based in Oz, knows about Fox forks, and rides a yeti 575.

  20. #20
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    < I'd say you've found him out..based in Oz, knows about Fox forks, and rides a yeti 575. >

    Weedy guy with glasses? - Nah that wouldn't be me...


    < Question: is there an analogous trick for the RP23??? >

    No need to fiddle with the RP23 in my opinion. Works sweet on most bikes that I have tried and gets full travel when required.

  21. #21
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    New question here.

    So is there an easy solution for those not so keen on pulling brand new forks apart? Or at least a simply step-by-step fix that wont challenage folks who've never disassembled forks before?

  22. #22
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    < So is there an easy solution for those not so keen on pulling brand new forks apart? Or at least a simply step-by-step fix that wont challenage folks who've never disassembled forks before? >

    Less Float Fluid in the air chamber is probably the easiest band-aid fix.
    Aside from that it is time to get out the hacksaw

    I think that is a pity that Fox hasn’t tweaked the air volume as most riders I know of don't utilise all the available travel in their Float forks.
    Still, the guys at Fox are pretty clued in so I am sure that there is some reason for it, just wish they would explain rather than offering lame suggestions as though they don't know their product.
    Perhaps Fox want to have their travel 90% useable so they don't have people complaining about forks bottoming out - in my opinion they should bottom out or the travel is going to waste.

  23. #23
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    brake dive?

    OK - JHwick, how does the extra air volume affect brake dive on these forks? Other performance issues of getting that extra travel? thanks much...

  24. #24
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    < OK - JHwick, how does the extra air volume affect brake dive on these forks? Other performance issues of getting that extra travel? thanks much... >

    The larger volume allows the fork to use its travel without resorting to very low air pressures. Instead of running 70psi in an effort to gain full travel, I now run 80psi. As a result the fork is probably a touch firmer in the initial stroke with less sag.
    Now this will have drawbacks with suppleness over small bumps and oter negatives as well. As with many tuning issues it comes down to personal preference. It works for me but may not work for others.
    If you ran the same air pressure with the increased volume, it would have more brake dive as it would be too soft, but I dont think it should be a major issue once you up the air pressure. That said, my forks are the XTT 'inertia valve' forks and the damping would cover up any tendency to dive excessivly under brakes.
    In 08 Fox has increased their low speed compression damping and state that this allows you to run much lower air pressures. This will also help you get full travel with less chance of brake dive but will probably bring about other negatives such as lower air pressure = more travel lost to sag. They will argue that the firmer damping makes the fork sit up higher in the travel, but when you sit on the bike, the damping is not going to stop it saging deeper into its travel under your static body weight.
    The long and the short of it is that there are pros and cons to every set-up and no wrong and right. I simply posted my idea as it solves the issue that people had raised and it worked for me.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick
    < I'd say you've found him out..based in Oz, knows about Fox forks, and rides a yeti 575. >

    Weedy guy with glasses? - Nah that wouldn't be me...
    How about a Mojo/575 comparo? All other components being equal.

  26. #26
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    I dropped my float fluid volume to 1-2mL have have gained more travel.
    Still, there's about 3/4" that I'm not using.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozelise
    How about a Mojo/575 comparo? All other components being equal.
    He's too scared to...

    I offered him my green Mojo to test... he was scared that it might make every other bike he's ever ridden look bad.

    BTW: got any additions to the family yet Mr H?

    Elvis.

  28. #28
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    What would it take to convert Float to Vanilla? Is it as simple as adding the coil to the left leg? Lose the weight advantage, gain full travel? Interesting, there is a "sister thread" to this one about getting full travel with Vanillas. Problem with '08 Fox Vanilla fork

  29. #29
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    Hacksaw away!

    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick
    .
    The piston at the base of the air chamber sits on top of the compression rod and is held in place by a pin. The pin is simply pushed through the base of the piston and a hole in the compression rod.
    I removed the piston and cut the compression rod shorter. I then drilled a new hole in the compression rod for the pin and re-assembled.
    Well ... I am almost there. I am so sick of the FLOAT that I disassembled the LL and, yes, the piston of the FLOAT is also kept in place by a pin. Before I proceed with the hacksaw (how fun!) how do you get out the pin? Just hammer away at it until it comes out?

    Other then that the mod seems pretty simple ... just shorten 5mm to begin with, install my soft coil in the RL to retain small bump compliance ... and maybe this fork will work!
    Last edited by Davide; 08-16-2007 at 07:12 PM.

  30. #30
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    Yep, just punch it out with something of a suitable size.
    I re-checked my compression rod recently to see how much I chopped compared with the standard length. Turns out I shortened the compression rod by 20mm! This allows me to get full travel on any regular trail ride without having mega amounts of initial sag in the fork. I recently tried this set-up with a 08 RLC and it still works well for me.
    I would chop a little bit at a time (maybe 7mm) and see how you go. You may have to run a little extra air after the mod and you will have less sag than before... not as supple initially but a more linear stroke overall. If you don't like the change in feel, just top up the float fluid in the air chamber to reduce the effect.
    Replacement compression rods are surprisingly cheap so it is pretty easy to return the fork to a stock set-up if you don’t like the new feel.

  31. #31
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    I just looked at the Fox assy. drawings. Is that pin you mention the 1/8th inch diameter? That diameter is big enough that you can use any method you want. I would be careful about protecting things as you do this. Use some kind of scrap to wrap around the parts that get subjected to force.

    My preferred method would use a vise, in lieu of a press. It's a bit tough to describe. But using a pin of smaller than the pin diameter, the vise is used as a press to push the pin out. The key is to have a cylinder of some kind on the opposing side of the pin so that it can be pushed out. A small socket. Or even a piece of tubing. Then it's just a matter of keeping things aligned, and turning the vise handle.

    I use this method for removing and installing u-joint bearings.

    The alternative is to do essentially the same thing, but with a punch and a hammer. It's just less controlled. But if I were doing it that way, I would again use a vise. But with the vise just open enough for the pin diameter, I'd lay the shaft down on the vise opening, and then just drift punch the pin out.

    Sheesh, forty years of mechanicaliziationing, and I take this stuff for granted.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick
    Yep, just punch it out with something of a suitable size.
    I re-checked my compression rod recently to see how much I chopped compared with the standard length. Turns out I shortened the compression rod by 20mm! This allows me to get full travel on any regular trail ride without having mega amounts of initial sag in the fork. I recently tried this set-up with a 08 RLC and it still works well for me.
    I would chop a little bit at a time (maybe 7mm) and see how you go. You may have to run a little extra air after the mod and you will have less sag than before... not as supple initially but a more linear stroke overall. If you don't like the change in feel, just top up the float fluid in the air chamber to reduce the effect.
    Replacement compression rods are surprisingly cheap so it is pretty easy to return the fork to a stock set-up if you don’t like the new feel.
    Thank you, I'll start with 7mm. I could eventually install a coil spring in the right leg (I did it some time ago, very easy mods since everything is in place on the right cartridge to house a spring, all you need to provide are some homemade nylon spacers) and that should take care of the small bump compliance IF it turns out to be a problem.
    Last edited by Davide; 08-17-2007 at 01:01 AM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregg K

    My preferred method would use a vise, in lieu of a press. It's a bit tough to describe. But using a pin of smaller than the pin diameter, the vise is used as a press to push the pin out. The key is to have a cylinder of some kind on the opposing side of the pin so that it can be pushed out. A small socket. Or even a piece of tubing. Then it's just a matter of keeping things aligned, and turning the vise handle.
    .
    Thank you Gregg, I just did that to extract the RP23 bushings I forgot about it! ... I just need a tiny wise and cylinder (that does not push on the seal) ...

    here we go .. hang on ... I am going to cut away

  34. #34
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    It Works!

    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick
    Yep, just punch it out with something of a suitable size.
    I re-checked my compression rod recently to see how much I chopped compared with the standard length. Turns out I shortened the compression rod by 20mm! This allows me to get full travel on any regular trail ride without having mega amounts of initial sag in the fork. I recently tried this set-up with a 08 RLC and it still works well for me.
    I would chop a little bit at a time (maybe 7mm) and see how you go. You may have to run a little extra air after the mod and you will have less sag than before... not as supple initially but a more linear stroke overall. If you don't like the change in feel, just top up the float fluid in the air chamber to reduce the effect.
    Replacement compression rods are surprisingly cheap so it is pretty easy to return the fork to a stock set-up if you don’t like the new feel.
    Well, just finished putting the bike back together. I cut about 7-8mm and I am now getting almost 5" of travel with 3cc of fox blood (or whatever it is called) when I put all my weight on the fork. This should get me very close to full travel when I do my usual little jumps (it is 1am now! cannot really try out)

    Thank you for the suggestion, the hardest thing was to drill the hole straight without a real jig, otherwise it i a very simple modification.

  35. #35
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    Here's a solution you folks may be interested in

    External cannister:

    Frankenfork Update......08 Fox Float 140R
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    "The best you've ridden is the best you know" - Paul Thede, Race Tech

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAPRO
    That is a bit of old news at this point. It is a good idea but the realization is a bit primitive at this stage of development (the manifacturer is at http://www.rollonthrottle.com/ ) That huge canister should be a quarter of that size to make for a viable alternative. Fork or handlebar mounts should also be made possible.

    Shortening the rod in the right leg seems a very effective and way cheaper alternative. The mod sounds much more scary to execute then it actually is, with a jig it is a 10 minutes work.

    The best thing is that you can still fine tune it using fox shock fluid. So you actually hava nice end of travel tuning "dial" (a-la-old-Marzocchis). That and the possibility of mounting a coil spring on the right leg should fix the Fox blues

  37. #37
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    Hey Davide, It sounds like the modification worked but I would be interested to see what you think after a couple of rides.
    Let us know if you get a chance.

  38. #38
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    [QUOTE=From Fox:
    Maybe the ID of the upper tube has a scratch or the piston seal is cut. This type of issue will allow air to pass into the lower leg. Usually the dust wiper seal will pop out…… but not always.

    [/QUOTE]

    I have two scratchers on my upper legs, one of which can be felt when running a finger nail over the leg. Anything I can do with out having to replace the crown leg assembly???

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by other aardvark
    I have two scratchers on my upper legs, one of which can be felt when running a finger nail over the leg. Anything I can do with out having to replace the crown leg assembly???
    In the "Shocks" forum there have been posts where riders have repaired even deep scratches on the upper slider tubes of forks.

    They use light sand paper to smooth the edge of the scratch, and then fill the depressions with epoxy or super-glue, and after dry then sand smooth and flush when very fine sand paper.

    (BTW, the answer you quoted from Fox Support that said something like "air could be added to the lowers by a scratch on the leg to prevent full travel" is hilarious! If anything such air leaks would let air out of the lowers and help gain deeper travel. I imagine it's the "official answer" to confuse owners with disinformation and avoid a mass recall for the Fox design defect rebuild replacing internal parts to fix the missing 20% of advertised travel.)

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    In the "Shocks" forum there have been posts where riders have repaired even deep scratches on the upper slider tubes of forks.

    . I imagine it's the "official answer" to confuse owners with disinformation and avoid a mass recall for the Fox design defect rebuild replacing internal parts to fix the missing 20% of advertised travel.)
    My float achieves 120mm of travel but to top things off, recently it has become a bit harsh on small bumps. I tried re-oiling the foam rings under the wipers but it made no difference. I wonder if oil has migrated to above the piston or could it be the negative spring has sacked out? the fork is about 8 months old and only sees about two hours per a week use. Im going to open up both the top caps today and try the suggestions in this forum (bar taking a hacksaw to anything]

  41. #41
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    Fox Recall #1

    Thank you JHwick for the neat idea. A posteriori it is an obvious solution but congratulations for thinking about it.

    What gives me a correct amount of travel (I am at 5.2" max after a week of riding or so) is the simple modification you suggests: cut about 9mm from the top of the compression rod (you did 20mm but I must confess that I concerned about stanchion overlap).

    There is no extra dive to speak of: I am using the same 2/3 compression clicks. I use 5mm of fox fluid in the RL (as suggested by FOX) and the fork feels much better (gee .. wander why: now it moves!)

    It amazes me how FOX could not fix a very serious (2007 and 2008) problem that can have such a simple solution. Talk about corporate hubris! It would cost them nothing (unless it is a recall!) or even better, they can develop an external adjuster for the compression rod length (or air chamber) that would make this fork work as advertised.
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  42. #42
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    FOX RECALL #2 Frankenfork

    ... not really a call for a recall but this one I thought to post the ingredients for putting a coil in the right leg. The fox cartridge (at least in 2007) in the right leg is still set up to house a coil. So I put a very light one (10 pounds black) resulting in better first (less stiction) and small bump compliance.

    There you go: Frankenfork with AIR/COIL and shortened compression rod
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  43. #43
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    Coil?

    Davide

    I like the sound of that coil trick. Could you post a parts list, and a bit of step by step. Did you have to cut the spring down? Is it a 140, 130, or 125 version? Did you make spacers in the pic?

    I have the expansion chamber on my Float (pictured above on the Turner), and would like to try the combo.

    Thanks

    RT

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrtaylo
    Davide

    I like the sound of that coil trick. Could you post a parts list, and a bit of step by step. Did you have to cut the spring down? Is it a 140, 130, or 125 version? Did you make spacers in the pic?

    I have the expansion chamber on my Float (pictured above on the Turner), and would like to try the combo.

    Thanks

    RT
    Oh, it is very simple. I am using a 2004 (or 05 I don't remember) LEFT LEG 10 pounds (black/the lightest) spring (you can still get those from Fox or Speedgoat, part number shoul be something like Fox Part #039-05-000-A). The spring is VERY widely spaced and it does not seem to alter the max travel of the fork. I bought some 1" shrink tube and I put a generous amount of the spring. Then I made nylon spacers, I got 1mm and 2mm nylons so that I can "finetune" the spring "preload".

    To install you need to take out the cartridge, then take out the top cup, slide the nylon (support) spacer, the spring, the spacers and put back the cup. Done.

    I really like the feeling of the fork set up like this but it might be a personal thing ... I am also sure I am voiding all possible voidable voids from Fox!

    I am not sure how this would work with a heavier spring, an alternative would be to buy a right leg spring from 2005/6 (Fox 05-06 Spring: Damper Side, 05, Slim, 130mm Travel, 25 lb/in) but I am not sure how that would work with 140mm travel.

  45. #45
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    Have any of you tried this on the Talas 32 140. I struggle to get full travel aswell, usually 120 mm at the correct psi and sag. I weigh 78kg and to get full travel I need to run 55 psi which is pretty low for my weight.
    The Talas feature looks like it would be complicated to pull apart. Also are there any pics or instruction available to do so?
    Cheers

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by paddy73
    Have any of you tried this on the Talas 32 140. I struggle to get full travel aswell, usually 120 mm at the correct psi and sag. I weigh 78kg and to get full travel I need to run 55 psi which is pretty low for my weight.
    The Talas feature looks like it would be complicated to pull apart. Also are there any pics or instruction available to do so?
    Cheers
    The TALAS couldn’t be more different inside the air spring leg so the same modification can not be applied. And yes, the TALAS is VERY complicated inside when compared to the Float - lots of extra seals and other stiction creating parts.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick
    The TALAS couldn’t be more different inside the air spring leg so the same modification can not be applied. And yes, the TALAS is VERY complicated inside when compared to the Float - lots of extra seals and other stiction creating parts.


    Speaking of 'Talas", I have a 08 Talas RLC fork and a 07 Float RLC fork. I was wondering it its possible to mate the 07 Float air spring and crown/upper-legs to the 08 lower-legs and damping cartridge? Im not liking the action (actually the lack of action) of the 08 Talas system. But I do like the post brake mount and improved stiffness. Also Ive heard that the damping cartridges have been improved in 08 Fox forks .

  48. #48
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    My TALAS seemed to be a touch overfilled in the right leg. I went to do the normal foam wiper inspection, scratched the stanchion in the process, and decided to drain it for a better look. A few months after I got it back together I decided to really try setting the sag and getting it right. At this point, I noticed I was getting about 115mm of the 140mm I should be getting. I removed a little of the oil, and got a sharp gain in travel. I am at 133mm or so when most of the air is out of it.
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  49. #49
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    Rollon!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Davide
    That is a bit of old news at this point. It is a good idea but the realization is a bit primitive at this stage of development (the manifacturer is at http://www.rollonthrottle.com/ ) That huge canister should be a quarter of that size to make for a viable alternative. Fork or handlebar mounts should also be made possible.

    Shortening the rod in the right leg seems a very effective and way cheaper alternative. The mod sounds much more scary to execute then it actually is, with a jig it is a 10 minutes work.

    The best thing is that you can still fine tune it using fox shock fluid. So you actually hava nice end of travel tuning "dial" (a-la-old-Marzocchis). That and the possibility of mounting a coil spring on the right leg should fix the Fox blues
    EDITED: I have to take it back ... the ROLLON MOD works wonderfully! I run 80 psi and it is plush, responsive, uses all the travel without blowing through it. By far the best set up for my style or riding. Check out my experience at http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...45#post3728845
    Last edited by Davide; 11-11-2007 at 07:00 PM.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by other aardvark
    Speaking of 'Talas", I have a 08 Talas RLC fork and a 07 Float RLC fork. I was wondering it its possible to mate the 07 Float air spring and crown/upper-legs to the 08 lower-legs and damping cartridge? Im not liking the action (actually the lack of action) of the 08 Talas system. But I do like the post brake mount and improved stiffness. Also Ive heard that the damping cartridges have been improved in 08 Fox forks .
    As far as I know they are interchangeable. They changed the inner leg diameter from 06 to 07 but I think that 08 remains the same. Alternately, the LH internals are relatively inexpensive — you could always buy the 08 Float internals and keep your 07 Float intact.

  51. #51
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    ... and if we just ... Fox RL140 - compression rod fix results

    I had my LBS do the modification as suggested by JHwick. I've only had 1 ride since but my RL140 feels so much better now
    I had 10mm trimmed off, and have 3mL of fluid. I'm about 71kg (155lbs), and love a nice flush ride so run about 30-35mm of sag (60-65 psi). I didn't get a chance on this 1 ride to really put the fork through it's paces, but it feels so much better mid-travel now because it isn't rapping up so early....and that's pretty much the real difference I've noticed.
    When I first got the fork back & rode around my street I thought I'd perhaps taken too much off as I seemed to be able to use almost all my travel when pushing down quite hard on the front end. But seing that I still had at least 1cm of travel available after my 1st ride, I figure I'd be using that if I had a harsh landing.

  52. #52
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    I have been having a nasty leak on my 120mm (actual 130mm with a spacer) Fox Float RL and was looking for instructions for rebuilding it (I am mechanically inclined but nervous about pulling apart my fork). With my fork pumped to 90psi, I get 100mm of travel. Decompressed, I get 130mm of travel. I washed the bike on Tuesday and rode Wednesday. The fork now has an odd top-out sensation but feels to be working better (yes, I know that a bath shouldn't change the ride characteristics but it did). I am slightly disappointed in the Enduro seals and hoped they would have lasted longer than a year.

    The fork is very progressive. My goals for this rebuild are to remove the 10mm spacer, clean up the fork and replace the seals (again), and try to recover some of the travel that has been missing since I've had the bike.

    Questions:
    Should I use the Fox fluids again or is there anything better?
    Davide, do you still like the cut down rod mod?
    Has anyone else found a method for gaining travel on the Floats?

  53. #53
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    compression rod mod

    I did the compression rod mod a few months ago and was able to use an extra 20-30mm of travel even though I cut 25mm off. Usually I was only getting about 100mm out of my float 140 RL on my mogo.
    Recentley I had a leaky seal on the forks so I replaced the seals. I also used slightly less oil 150 instead of 160ml in the damper side. 25 instead of 30ml in the bottom of the air spring and about 3ml of fox float fluid.
    Now I'm getting full travel and no harse bottoming. It is like a totally different fork.
    The online manuals on the fox racing website provide all the details needed for servicing.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1

    Davide, do you still like the cut down rod mod?
    Yes, it is the only way to gain travel on a float. right now I am still using the rollon extra-large air chamber that makes the fork incredibly plush and responsive. The rod-only mod gained travel but did not improve the fork performance at low/mid-speed (i.e. 80% of my riding!). Eventually I might have the fork Pushed just to gain more adjustability in compression/rebound ... or toss the float and get a different fork!

  55. #55
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    Does anyone know if the 2008 F-series 120RL can be modified like is mentioned above? I am also experiencing a lack of full travel. If I take out 3ml of fox fluid and add more air, should I set sag like it should be, or should it be set different?

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk
    Slightly off topic, I looked on the Fox site and they don't seem to publish a tech manual showing how to tear down fork, change oil etc. Anyone have a link?
    Here's another great link from Enduro's site. However, the oil level they list is for an older version of the fork. Go with Fox's website on recommended oil levels for the year/model of your fork.

    Seems like most people are running a lot more air pressure than is needed for their weight and that's another easily solvable problem to not getting full travel out of your fork.

    I'm not a hucker, weight 190lbs, ride with a HEAVY hydration pack full of more tools/spare parts, bolts, etc...than anyone would ever need and am running an '09 Fox Float 36. In order for me to get full travel out of that fork (and I just replaced the seals with Enduro's and replaced the oil two weeks ago) I have to run 45-47psi max. On my past Fox 32's I was running not more than 50psi.

    We were riding a pretty burly DH tail, complete with jumps, drops, lots of rocks, etc...with a kid about a month ago who was running an '07 36 TALAS and complaining how rough his fork felt. Looking at his uppers you could see exactly how much of the fork he was using-less than half. Keep in mind that I was almost bottoming a Fox 40 RC2 with the medium spring. He probably weighed 150 lbs and wasn't wearing a pack as we were shutteling. We checked his fork and he had 65psi in the chamber. I think we ended up taking it down around 38-40 psi and things were fine. He'd been running his fork like this for 3 years and never got his money's worth. Might as well have purchsed a 100mm Reba.

    Keep in mind-those published psi pressures are recommendations only. Each bike, rider, terrain, etc... is going to change that published number. It gets worse with Marzocchi and the numbers they actually stick on the fork leg. Try running the recommended psi numbers on one of their 66 models and you will have a fully rigid fork. The last one I owned I had to run the lightest setting for the lightest rider to get the fork to move. When I spoke with a Marzocchi tech about it, he was at a loss as to why they put those numbers out to the public. He's theory was that it was an odd attempt at a safety factor. Hmmm...don't really know how a non-functioning fork increases safety. Oh well.

    Bottom line. I think that unless the guy who started this thread weighs 300lbs, he's running way too much psi in that fork. Take it down to 50psi and decrease it from there.

  57. #57
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    I'm not a hucker, weight 190lbs, ride with a HEAVY hydration pack full of more tools/spare parts, bolts, etc...than anyone would ever need and am running an '09 Fox Float 36. In order for me to get full travel out of that fork (and I just replaced the seals with Enduro's and replaced the oil two weeks ago) I have to run 45-47psi max. On my past Fox 32's I was running not more than 50psi.
    Don't forget to take my advice on adding some kind of grease between the oil and the dust seal.

  58. #58
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    Isn't the bottom line "sag"? I run enough pressure to measure a sag of 25mm(1") with my gear. Fox states 3/4" for XC riding and 1 1/4" for plush riding, so I put it in the middle. If I take it down to the pressures your stating I am at 40mm(1 5/8") or so.

    If sag is the most important thing, I'm confused how you can run that low of a pressure and still maintain the proper sag.
    When I checked the fox fluid last night I could only draw up 3cc in my syringe. Where did the other 2cc go? Is it under the air chamber piston? Can I recover the fluid if I invert the fork and let it drain?

    I was really excited to get a Fox fork on this bike. I have to say I am a little disapointed so far. With proper sag I can only get 3.5" of travel no matter what I do. I want that extra 1".

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    Does anyone know if the 2008 F-series 120RL can be modified like is mentioned above? I am also experiencing a lack of full travel. If I take out 3ml of fox fluid and add more air, should I set sag like it should be, or should it be set different?
    Yes, I'm now running a 09 model F120 with the same modification and 08 was the same.
    Sure, you can get full travel with the stock setup by running huge amounts of sag and 30psi but you lose up-travel for bigger hits and end up with a bike that pedals like crap - IMO anyway.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHwick
    Yes, I'm now running a 09 model F120 with the same modification and 08 was the same.
    Sure, you can get full travel with the stock setup by running huge amounts of sag and 30psi but you lose up-travel for bigger hits and end up with a bike that pedals like crap - IMO anyway.
    Yes I agree....I rode around with 15psi less and it rides plush, but at the same time I can tell it will be horrible on the trail. I want to get all the fluid back where it is supposed to be and then take out 3cc. Do you have the F-series also? Is there spacers in yours?

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    Yes I agree....I rode around with 15psi less and it rides plush, but at the same time I can tell it will be horrible on the trail. I want to get all the fluid back where it is supposed to be and then take out 3cc. Do you have the F-series also? Is there spacers in yours?
    They are 'F-Series' forks - F120 with a QR15.
    No travel altering spacers under the top-out spring if that's what you mean.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    Isn't the bottom line "sag"? I run enough pressure to measure a sag of 25mm(1") with my gear. Fox states 3/4" for XC riding and 1 1/4" for plush riding, so I put it in the middle. If I take it down to the pressures your stating I am at 40mm(1 5/8") or so.

    If sag is the most important thing, I'm confused how you can run that low of a pressure and still maintain the proper sag.
    When I checked the fox fluid last night I could only draw up 3cc in my syringe. Where did the other 2cc go? Is it under the air chamber piston? Can I recover the fluid if I invert the fork and let it drain?

    I was really excited to get a Fox fork on this bike. I have to say I am a little disapointed so far. With proper sag I can only get 3.5" of travel no matter what I do. I want that extra 1".
    Welcome to the world of FOX. To get more travel, reduce the damper side volume about 10ml and run slower rebound. And ride harder. This should get you to close to 85-90% of travel. I don't think you will get more than that.

  63. #63
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    I am beginning to wonder what all the hype is about Fox. Is it a question of the masses saying they are the best? I have had better experience with my Rock Shock forks.

  64. #64
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    Fox created a brand culture, with the associated (but distinct) clothing company. Their stuff functions well, no doubt, but you have people whose loyalty goes way beyond the actual performance and lifespan of these products. And like Mercedes owners, these people are willing to accept the product's shortcomings in order to have the prestige of this ownership.

    I found in mid-late 2007 some problems with the 08 36. You should have seen the resistance I got, and some were suspect, some just plain idiots that couldn't believe Fox made a mistake, such as NOT PUTTING OIL IN THE LOWERS. Others came forward and said the same thing. After a while, the Fox employees/distributors went away, and so did the fanboys, especially when MTBR staff started finding out they had the same issues I was outlining.

    Now people are only halfway in disbelief when they hear that Fox isn't perfect. They make mistakes, and there are lots of them. Just like the rest.

    ...and pretty much any service you go back to them for, they'll tell you you need stanchions.

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    What aftermarket fluids are equivalent to the Fox fluids?

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Fox created a brand culture, with the associated (but distinct) clothing company. Their stuff functions well, no doubt, but you have people whose loyalty goes way beyond the actual performance and lifespan of these products. And like Mercedes owners, these people are willing to accept the product's shortcomings in order to have the prestige of this ownership.

    I found in mid-late 2007 some problems with the 08 36. You should have seen the resistance I got, and some were suspect, some just plain idiots that couldn't believe Fox made a mistake, such as NOT PUTTING OIL IN THE LOWERS. Others came forward and said the same thing. After a while, the Fox employees/distributors went away, and so did the fanboys, especially when MTBR staff started finding out they had the same issues I was outlining.

    Now people are only halfway in disbelief when they hear that Fox isn't perfect. They make mistakes, and there are lots of them. Just like the rest.

    ...and pretty much any service you go back to them for, they'll tell you you need stanchions.
    I was a Fox suspension lover for years....until I got my Mojo SL with the Float 140.Couldn't
    get full travel even after trying air chamber mods, oil heights,etc, was flexy, not very plush.
    Replaced it with a DT Swiss EXC 150 and wow,got full travel,stiff, stayed up in the travel, & very plush, lighter than the Float140. This is what the Float should have been.

  67. #67
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    I'm seriously thinking about changing forks on the new stumpy. I just can't stand the fact that I can't get full travel.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by larlev
    I'm seriously thinking about changing forks on the new stumpy. I just can't stand the fact that I can't get full travel.
    Wouldn't a visit to PUSH be a better solution?

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    Wouldn't a visit to PUSH be a better solution?
    I didn't think about that.....can they fix the problem?
    Hell I called them.....their fix is the rod cutting mod. I guess I'll be cutting tomm. and hope that it solves the problem.
    Last edited by larlev; 06-09-2009 at 10:31 PM.

  70. #70
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    Hi Guys,
    I have the same problems with my brand new '09 36 Float RC2 and my friends '07 36 Float RC2. He complained about using only 140mm of travel on big jump even if he land hard on fork. Tried to decrease the air pressure, but the result was still the same. I've disassembled the fork and found no oil in lower legs and 15ml of float fluid instead of 5ml in the air chamber. When I had the damping cartridge out, I noticed that I was not able to push it all the way in, but I thought that it should be that way. I've put in correct oil volumes and passed the fork to my friend. Fork was a lot smoother, but again was not able to get full travel. Actually 145mm instead of 160mm.

    By the time my new 36 Float was on the way to me. I took the fork to Morzine to have some abuse and I've found that I'm not getting full travel. $hit, someone in Fox has screwed up something. So I disassembled the fork and found very little oil in lower legs and about 9ml of float fluid instead of 5ml. When I had my damping cartridge out I've found out that cartridge is moving smoothly all the travel. Just for sure I replaced also damping oil for lighter 5wt oil and after putting the for together I was able to use full travel. BUT on the next day it was the same as before, just 140mm travel. I had the fork only 1 week, so its absolutely new. After 2 days of riding (without getting full travel) I've opened the air spring and found 15ml of oil inside instead of 5ml which I filled chamber 2 days before. Reduced the oil to 4ml and I can get only 145mm of travel. Without air pressure I can push the fork all the way to 160mm travel.

    So then I disassembled my friends fork again. Opened the damping cartridge and put in new oil. Added oil to the legs, added 5ml of float fluid and everything was great. Next day, he was NOT able to use the full travel again. Only 145mm.

    I'm absolutely ... up.

  71. #71
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    cut down the rod in the left side that holds the piston for the air chamber. try 15mm less.
    why fox can charge a fortune for any of their travel limited products is pure marketing.

  72. #72
    half tread will travel
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCUBAPRO
    Hi SCUBAPRO, How have you been.?? I remember this tread from a couple of years ago but miss placed Roller's contact notes...I was wondering if there is any contact info for Roller.??? I can't make out the last part of THROT in your photo...
    tread lightly...earth is our playground

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