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  1. #1
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    Better clinging oil than Fox's red and green oil ?

    Hi,
    I bent over and purchased the Fox branded Red and Green oil$ for my 36 Float RC2 servicing.
    This goes against my thrifty nature, but I wanted to make sure I was using the right oil for my fork.

    But I remember reading somewhere that there is a better clinging oil which could be used.

    Should I just continue using the Fox branded oil or is the alternative so much better?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    Cracker
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    Mobil 1 for the bath oil
    It might get a little steep from here

  3. #3
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    I use Rock Oil 10wt in mine.

  4. #4
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    Is your fork equipped with a FIT damper? If I recall, the red oil is intended for the closed bath damper and the green is for the open types. Either way, the cling of the oil (the viscosity) should be as close to factory as possible to retain the full range of damping possibilities. Fox FLOAT fluid is different, it should be clingy so that it coats the walls of the air chamber - here is where you're probably more safe using non-factory spec oils.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleywambold
    Is your fork equipped with a FIT damper? If I recall, the red oil is intended for the closed bath damper and the green is for the open types. Either way, the cling of the oil (the viscosity) should be as close to factory as possible to retain the full range of damping possibilities. Fox FLOAT fluid is different, it should be clingy so that it coats the walls of the air chamber - here is where you're probably more safe using non-factory spec oils.
    Cling does not equal viscosity.

    Since your RC2 has a sealed damper, use Mobil1 synthetic engine oil in the lowers as it has better lubricating properties than suspension oil.

    The Fox oils are just rebrands from other manufacturers. Do a search and you'll find out what the various weights and colors equate to. There's no need to pay extra for the Fox stuff.

    Substitute synthetic 80w gear for the Float fluid.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Substitute synthetic 80w gear for the Float fluid.
    I bought some Bel-Ray gear oil last week in replacement of Fox Fluid. Here is a link to it. http://www.belray.com/bel-ray-gear-s...ypoid-gear-oil

    I have used it to service my RP3 and so far so good. The bottle and their website don't say if the oil is synthetic or not. Does anyone know if that make a difference in these applications(rear shock or fork's air piston).
    Last edited by nightnerd; 04-18-2011 at 08:04 PM.

  7. #7
    gnuH
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecrackerasscracker
    Mobil 1 for the bath oil
    Not a good idea.
    A green bird with a red body. We could look it up in a book. Or we could look up

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Not a good idea.
    This again?

    Actually, it's a very good idea. It lubricates better than suspension oil, and the OP's fork has a sealed damper so it won't affect the damping.
    Last edited by bad mechanic; 04-20-2011 at 11:56 AM.

  9. #9
    TNC
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Not a good idea.
    Dude...this is old news. For stanchion lube alone, quality motor oil is at least as good as any suspension oil and probably better. Suspension fluid designed to work in a damper has modifications that keep down foaming and such. That's good for a damper but in most cases it tends to have some negative effect on the overall lubrication performance.

    Now look...we're not talking about great leaps and bounds of difference, but stanchion lube that does not operate in the damper is better when it's the slipperiest oil you can safely run in that environment. No, I don't have a white coat lab report to present to you on this, but it's not rocket science on the lubrication quality of good motor oil over that of damper oil. That's not to suggest that damper oil has lousy lubrication qualities. It's just that a quality synthetic motor oil like M-1 will keep the stanchion and bushing interface better lubed and yield a bit more smoothness over a longer period. M-1 will not be appropriate for any damper fluid, but it works excellently in the role of only lubing the stanchions and bushings like many forks have. And don't buy into some of the horror stories of seal/o-ring damage caused by motor oil, because that's an urban myth.

  10. #10
    PMK
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    Also, while M1 Engine Oil is a decent outer chamber fluid, as mentioned it is not a good damping fluid.

    However, M1 ATF is actually very good at both.

    FWIW, most of the testing I have done seems to indicate the better the fluids VI number the worse it slides.

    Has anyone here ever tried Dave J's fluid in a bicycle?

    PK

  11. #11
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    What is Dave J's? I'm intrigued.

  12. #12
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    Still not convinced, and can't understand why you guys have such a boner for M1. Maybe because a decade or so ago it used to be "the oil" to run in your auto...

    I agree that M1 is a great engine oil, but until someone shows me data/evidence that engine oil is better than fork oil in a fork, I'll keep running the proper product. I run "drag-free" Maxima racing fork oil, and for me it's slightly cheaper than M1.

    TNC- what makes you think M1 is more slippery than fork oil? CWT?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neily03
    I use Rock Oil 10wt in mine.

    Me too... i use ROCKOIL!!! Its simply the BEST!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    TNC- what makes you think M1 is more slippery than fork oil? CWT?
    I don't think it is so much how slippery it is, rather how well it coats the stantions and bushings, and stays there. Also, M1 should have better sheering properties and maintain its viscosity better.

    I have been a M1 fan for a while. I am now trying G-Oil bar and chain lube in my lowers. It is slightly thicker than the M1 5W-30 I was running, however, it seems to coat much better. When I poured the G-Oil out of my measuring cup, I was amazed at how much remained coating the sides of the measuring cup, and for how long. Seemed to be the perfect option, slippery as hell, good viscosity, and excellent coating.

    I only have about 2 weeks on my Lyrik Solo Air, but it feels much better with the G-Oil than the M1. It seems to be more sensative to small bumps and just feels smoother. One great test I have used after cleaning the fork is to compress the fork half way a few times. I run my fingers over the stantions and the lower half is smooth and slippery while the upper half above my o-ring travel indicator is not as smooth. It is very noticable. This simple test tells me that the lube is covering the stantions. I should note that the stantions are not greasy nor do they attract more dust than normal. AZMC made the comment that the stantions felt like they had been lubed with Stantion Lube.

    My big concern with G-Oil is the durability. Not sure how well it will hold up. I change my oil every month, so I will know more in a few weeks.

    G-Oil also has the benefits of being 100% made in the USA, and is very environmentally friendly. These things work well for me. I will report back once I change my oil.

    http://www.getg.com/engineOil/barChain.php
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  15. #15
    TNC
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Still not convinced, and can't understand why you guys have such a boner for M1. Maybe because a decade or so ago it used to be "the oil" to run in your auto...

    I agree that M1 is a great engine oil, but until someone shows me data/evidence that engine oil is better than fork oil in a fork, I'll keep running the proper product. I run "drag-free" Maxima racing fork oil, and for me it's slightly cheaper than M1.

    TNC- what makes you think M1 is more slippery than fork oil? CWT?
    Well, the oil used for stanchion/bushing lube doesn't have to be M1. Just about any quality motor oil in the 5W-30, 10W-30, or even other viscosities is going to provide better stanchion lube than suspension oil. The stanchion/bushing lube requirement is much like the engine plain bearing environment, though obviously not as hostile. If you tried to run suspension oil in a crankcase of an engine, I'm not sure how long it would run, but it probably wouldn't be long. Suspension oils are designed to lubricate AND operate hydralic damping in shimmed and ported orifice dampers. It's more critical in shimmed dampers. This is a rough environment for an oil because of the compressive nature of a shimmed damper. Foaming is a real problem, and suspension oils are designed to fight this. This modification diminishes or at the very least does nothing to improve the lubricative performance of the oil. They provide enough lubrication to provide adequate protection for the stanchion/bushing interface, but the more additives and such that would make the oil "slipperier" would cause problems in the shim/damping performance. Forks that have separate oil environments for stanchion/bushing lube and damper oil, benefit from running oils that are specific to those environments.

    I'm a dirt motor guy too, and I rebuild moto suspension components. Moto forks do fine with suspension oil as the lube for stanchion/bushing interface is adequate to do the job. It's in the realm of stiction that the differences in suspension oil vs. motor oil come into play. Is there stiction in a moto fork?...of course there is. However, the forces, weights, and dynamics at work tend to overcome stiction a whole better than the lighter and smaller components available in the MTB realm. And MTB air forks fight even more of a battle in stiction.

    You're looking for the white-lab-coat-report that I mentioned earlier, and I don't think you or I will find it...just as we won't be seeing anyone run suspension oil in the crankcase of an engine. If you tested suspension oil in one of those devices that tests for lubrication under pressure, you'd see suspension oil fall way behind motor oil. Does that mean suspension oil won't safely lube your stanchion/bushing interface?...of course not. But I think it does indicate that quality motor oil will lubricate the stanchion/bushing interface more effectively. Ever notice why many fork's service manuals specify two different oils for the damper and for the stanchion/bushing lube?...even if the stanchion oil can be a suspension oil? It's because those are two different environments. It's better to optimize the stanchion/bushing lube to get the best and slickest oil that you can get.

  16. #16
    Save Jesus
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    My understanding is that bar and chain oil is just reject oil with tackifier added. That gives it the cling properties. In the particular case of G oil, it is made with reject beef fat products. I don't think the biodegradability is a feature you should be looking for.

    Perhaps you should look into machine way oil, whose purpose is to stick to surfaces and reduce stiction. One example is Mobil Vacuoline. I believe Lucas oil treatment is tackifier in a bottle, in case you want to add that to some other kind of oil.

    Edit:
    As for using motor oil, it is not clear to me whether this is the best choice. From what I read, it is designed to hold contamination in solution in the expectation that the oil filter will take it out. It doesn't contain much (if any) of the tackifiers since there is the expectation that it gets pumped or sprayed onto parts. I don't think its stick-slip properties at slow speeds are the best either.
    Last edited by beanbag; 04-21-2011 at 12:40 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Also, while M1 Engine Oil is a decent outer chamber fluid, as mentioned it is not a good damping fluid.

    However, M1 ATF is actually very good at both.

    FWIW, most of the testing I have done seems to indicate the better the fluids VI number the worse it slides.

    Has anyone here ever tried Dave J's fluid in a bicycle?

    PK
    I may have to give the the Mobil 1 ATF a try if the G-Oil doesn't work out. Is ATF a tacky oil?
    "Three balls at once...who knew?" - Cotton McKnight

  18. #18
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    Here's the deal:

    Mobil 1 for bath oil
    Quality synthetic gear oil soaking the foam rings

    That's the answer I give when people ask how I get my fork to feel so good.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr
    Mobil 1 for bath oil
    Quality synthetic gear oil soaking the foam rings.
    Why not soak the foam rings in the Mobil1? The foam rings are open to the bath, so why not use the same oil for both?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Why not soak the foam rings in the Mobil1? The foam rings are open to the bath, so why not use the same oil for both?
    I have. Fork stays 'buttery' longer between oil changes w/ the gear oil.

  21. #21
    TNC
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Still not convinced, and can't understand why you guys have such a boner for M1. Maybe because a decade or so ago it used to be "the oil" to run in your auto...

    I agree that M1 is a great engine oil, but until someone shows me data/evidence that engine oil is better than fork oil in a fork, I'll keep running the proper product. I run "drag-free" Maxima racing fork oil, and for me it's slightly cheaper than M1.

    TNC- what makes you think M1 is more slippery than fork oil? CWT?
    kiwirider, I'm not trying to get you to quit using suspension oil for your stanchion/bushing lube. I don't think you'll damage the fork or anything like that. I'm just arguing the point of other lubes being superior for the strict purpose of stanchion/bushing lubing as it pertains to overall smoothness. I forgot to mention one other element that lends credence to the motor oil for stanchion lube. Manitou has long recommended Motul multiviscosity motor oil for their stanchion lube in their forks that have separate or closed dampers for many years. Manitou's design in this respect is identical to Fox's and Rock Shox' and probably some others.

  22. #22
    PMK
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    TNC, Don't even bother...You'll likely find out he is also an engineer.

    The irony of Kiwiriders post is that he openly stated he runs Maxima which is not the "proper" fluid.

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Still not convinced, and can't understand why you guys have such a boner for M1. Maybe because a decade or so ago it used to be "the oil" to run in your auto...

    I agree that M1 is a great engine oil, but until someone shows me data/evidence that engine oil is better than fork oil in a fork, I'll keep running the proper product. I run "drag-free" Maxima racing fork oil, and for me it's slightly cheaper than M1.

    TNC- what makes you think M1 is more slippery than fork oil? CWT?
    The bicycle guys have a long way to go as tuners before they come close to what efforts have been taken to reduce seal drag and gain small percentages of performance from suspension. Some of the stuff I've tested to get rid of brake hack coming into corners in 3rd gear surely could not carryover could it?

    PK

  23. #23
    gnuH
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    .... Manitou has long recommended Motul multiviscosity motor oil for their stanchion lube in their forks that have separate or closed dampers for many years. Manitou's design in this respect is identical to Fox's and Rock Shox' and probably some others.
    Thanks TNC - that's the information that I'm talking about.
    Last edited by kiwirider; 04-24-2011 at 01:11 AM.
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  24. #24
    gnuH
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    TNC, Don't even bother...You'll likely find out he is also an engineer.

    The irony of Kiwiriders post is that he openly stated he runs Maxima which is not the "proper" fluid.
    Let me correct you with an irony-free post.

    From PUSH's website:

    Factory Rebuild
    Oil Viscosity and Volume set using premium Maxima Racing Fork Fluids.

    PUSH Float 32 Rebuild

    I guess you know better than PUSH.

    and yes, I am an Engineer. Glad it shows.
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  25. #25
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Let me correct you with an irony-free post.

    From PUSH's website:

    Factory Rebuild
    Oil Viscosity and Volume set using premium Maxima Racing Fork Fluids.

    PUSH Float 32 Rebuild

    I guess you know better than PUSH.

    and yes, I am an Engineer. Glad it shows.
    PUSH is not the OEM. What gives them the right to run non approved fluid? Like others here, knowledge from testing.

    As for knowing better than PUSH, well let's say that long before PUSH, there was a time when my passion for suspension was greater than it is today. Suffice to say there has been a lot of fluid used over the years.

    Thanks for trying to correct me. Seriously...thanks

    Additionally, this is not a slam on PUSH. Darren and I do not agree on all things, but that's ok, there is a need for his services.

    Engineers Thank god for technicians, otherwise the world would stop turning while it was plotted, graphed, FEA'd, strain tested, and NDT'd.

    Come on man lighten up, you know you could easily fab a home test with sliding weights just as others have to show proof of concept.

    FWIW, I changed the lowers fluid in our Fox 40 Kashima...Mobil1 10-30, 10 minute job for better performance.

    PK

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