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  1. #1
    Triathlons are fun!
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    '96 Rock Shox Judy XC question

    After realizing that my 8 year old shock was compressing completely just from my weight, I decided to take the shock apart for the first time in several years. What I found was the the microcellular elastomers were crumbling and disintigrating, and that the shock was rebounding on the strength of the oil damping alone. What are my options for fixing this? I've read a little about retrofitting this into an air shock, but what does that cost? Are elastomers available anymore, outside of ebay or a dusty back shelf at my LBS?
    My last resort is to buy a new frame and fork and drop all of my components onto it, but I'd rather find a solution for less than $100 if possible. Any help?

  2. #2
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    I have no idea if they are available for that fork but I had the same thing happen on a Manitou fork and my LBS at the time was able to find springs from White Brothers which fit in the shock.

    It has been fine for like 3 years now, the coils seem to be better than the elastomer ever was, but then the fork is still not great.

  3. #3
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    Any damping left?

    I can't imagine there is any damping left. Those forks had non-rebuildable damping cartridges. Did the 1996 fork have clamps to hold the upper tubes to the crown? If so, you can loosen them and turn the tubes 1/4 turn to increase the life of the fork.

  4. #4
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    I guess there really wasn't much damping left. I'm guessing the availability of the replacement cartridges is about the same as the elastomers, right? I think the thing was working about as well as if I had stuffed newspapers into the legs. Anyway, what about retrofitting with air or springs? I imagine I'd still want the oil damping with the springs, but what about air? I'm also thinking about using a stack of 3 elastomers (That I have left as replacements) and making it a short travel fork if I can't find a better solution. Also, i think I could rotate the upper legs, but I think at this point the life of the leg is the least of my worries.

  5. #5
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    No one makes springs for that fork anymore. You may find springs on ebay or on here, but the chances are remote.

    The best option for that fork is the EKO Total Air Cartridge. They run about $100 and work well. I have a buddy that's used their air cartridge in his Judy for 6 years. EKO offers 63mm and 80mm travel air cartridges so you can get almost another inch of travel going the 80mm route.

  6. #6
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    I think I'm sold on the Total Air solution. One last question, so I can take care of it myself: According to the manual, I should be able to unscrew the two 6mm bolts from the bottom of the fork, and pull the lower legs free of the upper legs. When I try this though, the legs stop at the bottom, no differnt than they would with the 6mm bolts in. Am I missing something? Is there something else I need to remove in order to get these off and get rid of the old oil cartridge, which I'm assuming is now worthless, and don't want/need with the new air fix anyway?

  7. #7
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I purchased a set of Multi-Pro springs from Cambria Bicycle Outfitters about 2 years ago for a !996 Judy SL. The set comes with 9 springs, a soft, medium, and hard. You remove your existing MCU's and replace with the springs. You can custom tune your suspension with different combos of the springs. Eibach Springs manfactures them, they supply F-1 racing teams. Best part: originally retailed for $75.00, I paid $20.00, brand new.I don't know if CBO still carries them, but you may want to check out this option. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Chumpstomper
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    I got your $110 solution

    SWB

    Hey, I have a 96 Judy XC off my old M2 Stumpjumper (since retired) that already have the EKO air cartridges installed. EKO did the install and switched the fork to 100mm travel. I probably rode the fork for 2 years, but they have been off the bike for the last 2 years, since I singled the M2.

    I'd get rid of them for $110 including the Total Air shock pump. Else I am going to make a lamp out of the forks.

    Let me know if interested. And before I get flamed for not paying my classifed fee, these forks are not seriously for sale, so I'll make an additional contribution to IMBA or MTB Access.

    Cheers
    Mark

    Quote Originally Posted by swimbikerun75
    I think I'm sold on the Total Air solution. One last question, so I can take care of it myself: According to the manual, I should be able to unscrew the two 6mm bolts from the bottom of the fork, and pull the lower legs free of the upper legs. When I try this though, the legs stop at the bottom, no differnt than they would with the 6mm bolts in. Am I missing something? Is there something else I need to remove in order to get these off and get rid of the old oil cartridge, which I'm assuming is now worthless, and don't want/need with the new air fix anyway?

  9. #9
    On MTBR hiatus :(
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    Quote Originally Posted by swimbikerun75
    I think I'm sold on the Total Air solution. I should be able to unscrew the two 6mm bolts from the bottom of the fork, and pull the lower legs free of the upper legs. When I try this though, the legs stop at the bottom, no differnt than they would with the 6mm bolts in.
    Unscrew the bolts only a few turns, then give each bolt a whack with a hammer or mallet. That will free the innards from the lowers, and the fork will pull apart nicely.

    I have to tell you: I owned a '96 Judy XC, and also went the T/A cart route. In retrospect (1x hindsight), for not much more money I could have had a completely new fork with better damping, better adjustability and smoother action. The T/A carts ain't bad, but fork technology has come a long way.

    Of course, in retro-retrospect (2x hindsight), after three-plus seasons of use, I serviced the T/A carts and turned them on ebay, loosing maybe only $25-30 in value, so I guess I made out pretty in the end.

    And even today I use T/A carts in my White Bros CX-1 fork (they came stock in this one). Again, not the best compliance, nor the most adjustable, nor the smoothest damping, but they've held up well for the past two years, they're dependable and they're easily serviced.

  10. #10
    Triathlons are fun!
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    Uncertainty abounds!

    Thank you all for the help and suggestions. I've got a kid on the way the end of January, so I'm not looking to spend any unnecessary money at all right about now. I think I'll sit and stew on this one for awhile, and ride my road bike. Not sure I want to spend even $100 to refab an 8 year old fork on a 9 year old frame, when I should probably wait a bit longer and buy a new fork AND frame and build a new bike instead.

  11. #11
    Daniel the Dog
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    A good fork for its day but it sucks now

    Quote Originally Posted by swimbikerun75
    Thank you all for the help and suggestions. I've got a kid on the way the end of January, so I'm not looking to spend any unnecessary money at all right about now. I think I'll sit and stew on this one for awhile, and ride my road bike. Not sure I want to spend even $100 to refab an 8 year old fork on a 9 year old frame, when I should probably wait a bit longer and buy a new fork AND frame and build a new bike instead.
    I have a '96 Judy XC. A great fork in its day but it kinda sucks in today's world. I would look for an older Marzocchi on Ebay. I bet you could pick one up for $150 or so. I would not throw good money at that fork. I don't mean to be negative or anything but I used to blow up the catridges like eating candy bars. It got expensive quickly. That air insert deal does work pretty well; however, I never felt it felt very smooth and the dampening was very crude.

    Jaybo

    PS here is a fork on Ebay that would work well: Marzocchi Z3

  12. #12
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    Bottom line, what am I looking for in a new/used fork? Clearly I haven't been shopping for one recently, so what's new and improved on todays forks or forks form a couple years ago that weren't included in 1996? Clearly the MCU's are junk, but what is ood for the absorbtion and damping?

  13. #13
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    Considering that a new baby is on the way in January, I'd suggest the Total air cartridges are still the best way to go. There is no reason to spend more than $100 on a eight year old bike and I'm sure that compared to your current fork situation, the modified Judy will work light years better. Remember, if for any reason you end up with a defective air cartridge, EKO will warranty it. If you by a used fork off ebay and it turns out to be junk, you will be stuck with the loss.

  14. #14
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    I've got old elastomers if you want them...

    I've got most of a 96 Judy sitting in my garage, if you want the parts send me private message. I'll have to check exactly what I have but I think it includes- all stock elastomers in good shape (used for about 1 year), 1 cartridge (it was working when I removed it, but may have leaked all the oil out), replacement wipers, fork boots, AND a set of black 3-piece lowers. I'll even throw in some Slick Honey lube. Depending on where you are, I bet $15-20 would cover shipping for the whole thing.

    BTW- I changed over to the Englund cartridges and I was really happy with them for several years. The fork is on my singlespeed and still works well. The 80mm cartridges are great. The problem with the air cartridges is that they don't have enough air volume to really feel plush like a coilspring. The SID air forks have more volume and feel better and the TALAS has even more volume and feels even better. In this case newer=improved=better. To be quite honest, the biggest difference came when I started rebuilding my fork regularly and using Slick Honey to coat all the internals and especially the bushings.

    Quote Originally Posted by swimbikerun75
    Bottom line, what am I looking for in a new/used fork? Clearly I haven't been shopping for one recently, so what's new and improved on todays forks or forks form a couple years ago that weren't included in 1996? Clearly the MCU's are junk, but what is ood for the absorbtion and damping?

  15. #15
    nobody
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    Quote Originally Posted by swimbikerun75
    According to the manual, I should be able to unscrew the two 6mm bolts from the bottom of the fork, and pull the lower legs free of the upper legs. When I try this though, the legs stop at the bottom, no differnt than they would with the 6mm bolts in. Am I missing something?
    What the manual dosen't say is that you need to take the 6mm bolts out all the way and then thread them in a couple of threads and lightly tap the bolts with a mallet. The lowers will then come right off.

    When you're putting the lowers back on thread the 6mm bolts and torque them down properly and then take them out again just to make sure the lowers are seated on. Then reinstall the bolts and re-torque. I think the manual says to use blue loctite as well.

    This approach seems wacky but it's what I always had to do when replacing a Judy cartridge.

    Good luck
    I'm what Willis was talkin' about

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