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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
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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
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecrackerasscracker
    Mobil 1 for the bath oil
    Not a good idea.
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  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
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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?
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  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
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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
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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

  26. #26
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    BTW, I ran across a post by the Enduro seals guy that says that ATF attacks seals.

  27. #27
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    BTW, I ran across a post by the Enduro seals guy that says that ATF attacks seals.
    Yes some ATF will swell seals badly.

    FWIW, many suspension fluids contain the infamous "seal swellers", pretty much the same attack.

    I have run Factory Connection GSF fluid in a Fox ALPs air shock, it swelled the seal enough I had to beat it apart with a block of wood and plastic mallet. When the shaft released, the seal "popped" out, it had swollen in all dimension to approximately 25% oversize, but softened.

    Run what you prefer, the key is to find the lowest possible sliding drag, lowest break away force, and provide no attack on the seals, while still offering excellent hydraulic performance with little or no foaming if needed. Liquid silicone isn't bad but it is expensive and does not release bubbles well.

    Everything is a compromise.

    Not I nor TNC recommended an inexpensive low quality product. When readers "adapt" the idea of Mobil1 ATF to be regular ATF that's fine, but we did not say that.

    Same with suspension fluid, Fox says use their stuff, nobody wants to pay the price, I have never seen a Fox published document that says exactly what their fluid is. Truth be told, Fox fluid, it's not expensive compared to Race Tech, Ohlins WP, or KYB01 or it's sisters. Everybody wants a bargain. As I said, everything is a compromise.

    PK

  28. #28
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    Use Redline for damping and Mobil1 for OB

    I just posted on this in another thread. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...82132#poststop

    As others posted suspension oil is made for damping, which means low foaming. I used Redline in the closed FIT damper. The suspension fluids don't cling or stick as well so they don't work as well to lubricate. This is why Fox has two oils, the red and the green.

    I couldn't be happier with my choices, bike is running better than ever.

    BZ

  29. #29
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    There is a really good sticky oil in my local car motofactor shop, it's a oil stablizer downside its expensive so not splashed out on it yet, should be great for inside the air piston on my RS Reba's and for Oil bath in the lowers to.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    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.
    I've really wanted to switch to motor oil for some time. This^^ is the reason I have held out on the motor oil as well. I wonder how much dirt/contamination sinks to the bottom of the legs and actually stays there w/ suspension fluid.
    ...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    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
    Wow! God complex, at Easter no less. There is some irony for you.

    That is the most patronising, know-it-all thread I have read in a long time.

    I don't need to lighten up - I find your zealous attitude to M1 a bit of a laugh, and it's so very easy to get you wound up about it.

    You know nothing about what type of engineer I am, or what my history is with respect to motorcycles and mountain bikes. I choose not to regularly post my resume like yourself in order to justify fiction, suffice to say that I have owned, rebuilt, tuned and tinkered with all things two wheels for over 25 years.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerhillJDOG
    I've really wanted to switch to motor oil for some time. This^^ is the reason I have held out on the motor oil as well. I wonder how much dirt/contamination sinks to the bottom of the legs and actually stays there w/ suspension fluid.
    In a Float service video the service technician (not engineer...) states that you wipe the accumulated sludge out of the bottom of the lowers. Does a fork-specific oil better allow the particles (aluminium, worn bushings etc) to drop out of the fluid and accumulate in the bottom of the fork? Whereas the additives in engine oil keep the particles in suspension for removal by the oil filter - which of course does not exist in a fork.

    The thought of all those particles of metal continously circulating around my fork isn't all that exciting.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK

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

    PK
    How come you didn't use the M1 ATF?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    How come you didn't use the M1 ATF?
    No hydraulic circuits.

    PK

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    In a Float service video the service technician (not engineer...) states that you wipe the accumulated sludge out of the bottom of the lowers. Does a fork-specific oil better allow the particles (aluminium, worn bushings etc) to drop out of the fluid and accumulate in the bottom of the fork? Whereas the additives in engine oil keep the particles in suspension for removal by the oil filter - which of course does not exist in a fork.

    The thought of all those particles of metal continously circulating around my fork isn't all that exciting.

    FWIW, if there is true metal to metal contact there is big problems. The tubes are hard anodized and the Du's Teflon lined, the spring is coated then has a polymer sleeve over it.

    Not much chance for true metal to metal wear, or even for metal particles. If the bushings started peeling it would still be Teflon floating around.

    PK

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    No hydraulic circuits.

    PK
    ur claim earlier was that M1 ATF was a better stanchion lube than M1 motor oil.

  37. #37
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    ur claim earlier was that M1 ATF was a better stanchion lube than M1 motor oil.
    Please link or quote the post.

    Thanks
    PK

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Also, while M1 Engine Oil is a decent outer chamber fluid...

    However, M1 ATF is actually very good at both.

    PK
    "very good" > "decent"

  39. #39
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    Kiwi, bottom line is this is not a cat fight. These readers want to know about suspension fluid.

    Have you tested tested other fluids in your bicycle suspension?

    What fluids?

    What were the results?

    If you have not tested other fluids, how do you know you aren't coming up short on performance?

    PK

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    "very good" > "decent"

    Interpret post #10 how you see fit.

    The entire post reads

    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


    Sorry for the wording confusion.

    Possibly it should read

    However, M1 ATF is actually very good at both when compared to many true suspension fluids.

    PK

  41. #41
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    All I wanna know is whether M1 ATF or Motor oil works better as a stanchion lube.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    All I wanna know is whether M1 ATF or Motor oil works better as a stanchion lube.
    Mobil 1 engine oil is a better stanchion lube vs M1 ATF.

    PK

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    All I wanna know is whether M1 ATF or Motor oil works better as a stanchion lube.
    It quite possibly does.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Kiwi, bottom line is this is not a cat fight. These readers want to know about suspension fluid.

    Have you tested tested other fluids in your bicycle suspension?

    What fluids?

    What were the results?

    If you have not tested other fluids, how do you know you aren't coming up short on performance?PK
    I think I see the problem - your definition of performance does not include reliability.

    Kinda like running nitrous in the family car....
    A green bird with a red body. We could look it up in a book. Or we could look up

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    I think I see the problem - your definition of performance does not include reliability.

    Kinda like running nitrous in the family car....
    Aside from you pithy remarks, I'm still waiting for you to answer PMK's questions. Here, let me refresh your memory:
    Have you tested tested other fluids in your bicycle suspension?
    What fluids?
    What were the results?
    If you have not tested other fluids, how do you know you aren't coming up short on performance?


    Last time I checked, experience trumps theory.

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    just wondering here how everyone feels about spectro oils? They are recommended by the local moto shop.

    Can you add a Teflon grease to the seals (as well as the the recommended oil) to help them slide and seal, during the rebuild?

  47. #47
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    Today I went on a ride using Mobil Vacuoline 1409 in the stanchions of my Reba, and I can say that it works noticeably better than Lubro-Moly 5-40 Synthetic motor oil, which somebody else gave me saying that it worked better than Mobil 1. So due to transitive property... I have some Mobil 1, but haven't tested it. Here are some properties of the Vacuoline:

    Product Description
    Mobil Vacuoline 1400 Series oils are extra high performance lubricants specifically designed to satisfy the requirements of machine tools that use one oil for both hydraulic systems and way lubrication. They are formulated using high quality mineral base oils and a unique additive technology that provides excellent lubricity properties to eliminate stick-slip and chatter of heavily loaded and vertical box ways. They exhibit a high degree of oxidation and thermal stability that increases the service life and helps keep lubricated surfaces clean and free from corrosion or deposits that could detract from finished parts quality and accuracy. Mobil Vacuoline 1400 Series provide the optimum balance between these divergent requirements.

    Features Advantages and Potential Benefits
    Low Frictional Characteristics Eliminates stick-slip and chatter of ways
    Improves precision of parts
    Provides consistent good work piece finish
    Oxidation and Thermal Stability Allows extension of service intervals
    Reduces deposit and sludge formation
    Keeps equipment lubricated surfaces clean
    Rust and Corrosion Protection Maintains excellent finish on ways
    Reduces maintenance for rust and corrosion removal
    Water and Water-Based Separability Reduces the negative effects of these materials on working surfaces
    Enhances aqueous coolant batch life and performance
    Facilitates removal of water and water-based coolants from hydraulic systems and enhances service life
    Adhesive Properties Resists wash-off from ways
    Protects surfaces from rust and corrosion
    Assures consistent parts finish and accuracy
    Load-Carrying Properties Reduce wear
    Extend equipment life
    Multi-metal Compatibility Provides protection of ferrous and non-ferrous components
    Dual Purpose Design Eliminates concerns of cross contamination and product mis-application
    In other words, this oil is designed to minimize friction on sliding surfaces and has good adhesion. Don't know yet about it's long term properties in a fork, though.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    Today I went on a ride using Mobil Vacuoline 1409 in the stanchions of my Reba, and I can say that it works noticeably better than Lubro-Moly 5-40 Synthetic motor oil, which somebody else gave me saying that it worked better than Mobil 1. So due to transitive property... I have some Mobil 1, but haven't tested it. Here are some properties of the Vacuoline:



    In other words, this oil is designed to minimize friction on sliding surfaces and has good adhesion. Don't know yet about it's long term properties in a fork, though.
    I am assuming this is way lubricant for CNC machining centers. Never tested this nor the Lubro-Moly.

    What is the availability of this stuff and in what quantity?
    Do they have a technical data sheet?

    PK

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    Considering it's adhesive properties, do you think you might have any problems getting all the old oil out of the fork? I'd think it probably is, but do you know if it's seal safe?

    These are the specs I found:
    http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lub...line_1400.aspx
    and
    http://www.liqui-moly.de/liquimoly/m...205W-40_EN.pdf

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    In a Float service video the service technician (not engineer...) states that you wipe the accumulated sludge out of the bottom of the lowers. Does a fork-specific oil better allow the particles (aluminium, worn bushings etc) to drop out of the fluid and accumulate in the bottom of the fork? Whereas the additives in engine oil keep the particles in suspension for removal by the oil filter - which of course does not exist in a fork.

    The thought of all those particles of metal continously circulating around my fork isn't all that exciting.

    Maybe we need a screen to keep some of the junk away from circulation, I like my fork to last as long as possible.. anyway when I get a new fork I'm too busy with figuring the damper fluid. Figure I'll stick with what is recommended and just ride until the metal shavings start to disappear.

    I'll eventually try some 0-30 synthetic, but I don't know which one doesn't include engine cleanser/detergent..
    ...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    I am assuming this is way lubricant for CNC machining centers. Never tested this nor the Lubro-Moly.

    What is the availability of this stuff and in what quantity?
    Do they have a technical data sheet?
    yes
    5 gal buckets or 55gal drums
    see below
    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Considering it's adhesive properties, do you think you might have any problems getting all the old oil out of the fork?
    Don't think that will be a problem

    I'd think it probably is, but do you know if it's seal safe?
    probably yes
    Last edited by beanbag; 04-25-2011 at 12:33 PM.

  52. #52
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    I did an informal test where I used a nitrile glove and smeared a bit of oil on the stanchions and then moved my finger back and forth to get an idea of the initial starting friction vs dynamic friction. Ranked from best to worst:

    Slick Honey grease
    Mobil Vacuoline 1409, Mobil Vactra #2 (comparable)
    Lubro Moly 5-40
    Mobil 1 5-30
    Torco RFF 20W

    Seems to be correlated with viscosity also.

    Mobil Vactra #2 is also a way lubricant, albeit with less addititives than Vacuoline. What happened several years back was that due to EPA reasons, Mobil took some tackifiers out of Vactra without telling anybody. There followed a string of machine failures, I believe printing presses. Mobil put the additives back, but in a new product called Vacuoline.

    So Vactra is a less tackified version, although more commonly available in 1 gal jugs.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    I did an informal test where I used a nitrile glove and smeared a bit of oil on the stanchions and then moved my finger back and forth to get an idea of the initial starting friction vs dynamic friction. Ranked from best to worst:

    Slick Honey grease
    Mobil Vacuoline 1409, Mobil Vactra #2 (comparable)
    Lubro Moly 5-40
    Mobil 1 5-30
    Torco RFF 20W

    Seems to be correlated with viscosity also.

    Mobil Vactra #2 is also a way lubricant, albeit with less addititives than Vacuoline. What happened several years back was that due to EPA reasons, Mobil took some tackifiers out of Vactra without telling anybody. There followed a string of machine failures, I believe printing presses. Mobil put the additives back, but in a new product called Vacuoline.

    So Vactra is a less tackified version, although more commonly available in 1 gal jugs.
    I should also add that Lubro Moly slides better than Maxima fork oil (two lazy to run downstairs to check the viscosity, but I think it's 5 wt.

    I was told by a SRAM tech to use grease in the positive air chambers (and I think the fork lowers). I was actually thinking of using Redline assembly lube and thin it down with some motor oil. This was for a slow leaking air chamber problem I have.

    http://www.redlineoil.com/product.aspx?pid=77&pcid=17

    Beanbag, I will trade you a pressure cooker for some Vacuoline.

  54. #54
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    My current hypothesis is that maybe you should run the thickest oil possible that can still splash around and migrate up the stanchions. For example, the next thicker grade of way oil, 15W motor oil, assembly lube dissolved in oil, etc.

    One of the properties of tackifiers is that for a given viscosity, they leave a thicker film and have more cling. If it turns out that oil film thickness is the only important feature, and not anti-friction additives, then maybe bar and chain oil really is the best. Aside from questionable base stock, they tend to have excessive amounts of tackifier, to the point that sometimes the oil get stringy.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    My current hypothesis is that maybe you should run the thickest oil possible that can still splash around and migrate up the stanchions. For example, the next thicker grade of way oil, 15W motor oil, assembly lube dissolved in oil, etc.

    One of the properties of tackifiers is that for a given viscosity, they leave a thicker film and have more cling. If it turns out that oil film thickness is the only important feature, and not anti-friction additives, then maybe bar and chain oil really is the best. Aside from questionable base stock, they tend to have excessive amounts of tackifier, to the point that sometimes the oil get stringy.

    FWIW, when testing various products, initially all forks were not twin chambers or closed cartridge. This forced the tuner to optimize fluid for both suspension damping and fork frictions.

    With Showa twin cartridge forks, the fork was designed to be "wet", with the same fluid in the cartridge assembly and tubes.

    Free moving forks are a good goal. With the Showas, using different fluids made a difference. This is where I heard of Mobil 1 engine oil being used. We tested on a CRF450r and found the Mobil 1 engine oil would not wipe away by the seals. This is how the performance was increased. Probably not so much the drag from the DU's, but rather the squeegy effect of the seal. Remember moto forks run two seals like Marzocchi Z1's and other wet forks. Unfortunately, by design, engine or bath fluid will be forced into the cartridge, this obviously diminishes damping performance. So for good forks, as is often true, they require constant maintenance.

    Freeing up forks that run only a dust seal, like our Fox 40 is not that difficult, do as they say and invert the forks for a while. This will wet the seals backside (and foam rings).

    Forks that run dust seals and oil seals are more difficult, often because the damping fluid is the same as lubrication fluid. These seem to prefer the use of the wet foam ring if possible. The amount of fluid able to be retained over time is a key to how long the forks feel good. Yes the Honda CRF twin chambers did run dust and oil seals, but for whatever reason, the Mobil 1 engine oil was not easily wiped away by either seal. It was as if the oil had permeated the microscopic pores of the chrome.

    As for the results showing Slick Honey on top, I would believe that with your glove test. I have tried Slick Honey as a moto type seal grease. I'd say it's good for about an hour before it wipes dry.

    The Way lube and Lubro-Moly I have not tested.

    Also, it doesn't hurt to keep the tubes as clean as possible, water spots will make a difference that can be felt. Some riders constantly wipe down the tubes with Lemon Pledge on a rag, Silicone also. I prefer foam rings and continuous service programs.

    PK

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    It seems to me like way lube's properties would be well suited to the sliding interface in a fork. I'm now looking to get my hands on some to test out.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    My current hypothesis is that maybe you should run the thickest oil possible that can still splash around and migrate up the stanchions. For example, the next thicker grade of way oil, 15W motor oil, assembly lube dissolved in oil, etc.

    One of the properties of tackifiers is that for a given viscosity, they leave a thicker film and have more cling. If it turns out that oil film thickness is the only important feature, and not anti-friction additives, then maybe bar and chain oil really is the best. Aside from questionable base stock, they tend to have excessive amounts of tackifier, to the point that sometimes the oil get stringy.
    Well, my experiments over the past week have proven to me that bar oil does work better. I tried some Mobil 1 ATF per PMK and it worked about as well as the Mobil 1 5W-30 I previously used. On the next ride, I changed out the ATF for M1 5W-30 and it felt about the same as I remembered . Next ride, I put the bar oil back in and the fork felt noticably better.

    There is no doubt that the bar oil is tackier and sticks to the stantions better than motor oil. Also, it is a bit thicker than the 5W-30 but still should splash around well. When I tore down the fork after the first bar oil trial, everything was very well coated, all the way up to the seals.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, if I clean down my stantions with alcohol, you can feel the microscopic pitting (or whatever you would call it) of the anodizing. Compress the fork just once, and the portion of the stantion that dropped below the dust seal is super smooth and you can feel the lube, almost like putting Finish Line stantion lube on.

    For now I am sold on bar oil. I change my oil monthly, and my first trial was only about 3 weeks. Durability is yet to be determined, but I don't see why it would not hold up. When I dropped the oil after the first trial, all looked very good, actually better than when I would change the M1. Maybe there is something to the dirt particles being held in suspension with motor oil????
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er

    There is no doubt that the bar oil is tackier and sticks to the stantions better than motor oil. Also, it is a bit thicker than the 5W-30 but still should splash around well.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, if I clean down my stantions with alcohol, you can feel the microscopic pitting (or whatever you would call it) of the anodizing. Compress the fork just once, and the portion of the stantion that dropped below the dust seal is super smooth and you can feel the lube, almost like putting Finish Line stantion lube on.
    Your oil is probably about 120+ cst at 40C. Mobil 1 5-30 is only about 63 cst. My way oil is only 68. I wouldn't be surprised if your oil seal didn't completely wipe away the film. On my Reba, aside from the initial seeping from oil stuck between the dust wiper and oil seal, my stanchions are dry but smooth. Maybe I should put a few dribbles of light weight oil between the seals as a lube, but I haven't noticed a performance difference between oily seals vs "dry" seals covered with mud as I experienced in a ride yesterday.

    The stiction in my fork increases when I side load it, so I assume that most of the friction comes from the bushings and not the seals anyway.

  59. #59
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    Anyone seen the Kiwi...must be out testing, or reading.

    PK

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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    Your oil is probably about 120+ cst at 40C. Mobil 1 5-30 is only about 63 cst. My way oil is only 68. I wouldn't be surprised if your oil seal didn't completely wipe away the film. On my Reba, aside from the initial seeping from oil stuck between the dust wiper and oil seal, my stanchions are dry but smooth. Maybe I should put a few dribbles of light weight oil between the seals as a lube, but I haven't noticed a performance difference between oily seals vs "dry" seals covered with mud as I experienced in a ride yesterday.

    The stiction in my fork increases when I side load it, so I assume that most of the friction comes from the bushings and not the seals anyway.
    OK, so the CST of Rock Shox heavy oil used for the bath is 43 @ 40. I have been using Mobil 1 5w-30 which is about 63 @40. M1 5W-20 is 50@ 40. M1 Synthetic ATF is 34 @ 40

    Would it make more sense to run M1 5W-20 since the CST values are closer?

    I should note that the viscosity index of the M1 5W-20 is 160, 5W-30 is 172, M1 ATF is 199, and the RS bath is 250
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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Anyone seen the Kiwi...must be out testing, or reading.PK
    Still around, but generally bored with this thread. Each to his own I guess - but nice to know you care and that I'm in your thoughts.

    I did go for a great ride over the long weekend and tested my limits on a couple of new structures. As for reading, I'm enjoying a good sci-fi book at the moment.

    How did your fork servicing go?
    A green bird with a red body. We could look it up in a book. Or we could look up

  62. #62
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    So does anyone know how to check if Mobil 1, or any synthetic motor oil has detergents or engine cleansers??
    ...

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeerhillJDOG
    So does anyone know how to check if Mobil 1, or any synthetic motor oil has detergents or engine cleansers??
    They have them unless stated on the label (all oils designed for modern motors). I've found some SAE 30 detergentless oil at AutoZone for my air compressor.

    FWIW the BEST resource for this kind of info has come from the Enduro Seal guys (who know a thing or two about stiction). They are also right about ATF attacking seals - they don't last as long (been there, done that). I use Castrol Syntec 5W-40 for splash oil and love it - WAY plusher than the recommended 15 weight that you won't go back to once you've tried what really works (any good synthetic motor oil) for splash oil. Bad Mechanic had it right from the start. PUSH gets their oil in bulk from Maxima and have no reason to use expensive synthetics for splash oil - IN FACT they told me to use syn motor oil when I change it out myself!

    Have FUN!

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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    OK, so the CST of Rock Shox heavy oil used for the bath is 43 @ 40. I have been using Mobil 1 5w-30 which is about 63 @40. M1 5W-20 is 50@ 40. M1 Synthetic ATF is 34 @ 40

    Would it make more sense to run M1 5W-20 since the CST values are closer?

    I should note that the viscosity index of the M1 5W-20 is 160, 5W-30 is 172, M1 ATF is 199, and the RS bath is 250
    My guess is that the M1 5-20 would work worse than the 5-30 due to lower viscosity.

    So far, my observations from other people's experiences is that a thicker oil usually beats a thinner oil. (Except that the Vacuoline 68 cst beat the 5-40 Motor oil 86 cst, but it does have better "cling".) So if you want to use a suspension fork fluid, get a thick one, like Bel-ray Fork oil 30W (105 cst).

    I don't think the VI of the oil matters that much unless you ride in cold condition and it somehow gets too thick.

    If you want to use bar and chain lube, maybe try a brand with higher quality base stock and a better tackifier, like Stihl oil or Amsoil.

    You are the real pioneer here, running the thickest and tackiest oil, so I am interested in how things turn out for you.
    Last edited by beanbag; 04-28-2011 at 01:15 AM.

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    Ride impressions after 6 hrs of use

    The fork has kind of a rubbery under-damped sensation when hitting bumps slowly. But if I turn up the rebound damping the front wheel seems to lose tracking over faster hits. So IOW it seems like I need more low speed damping now, which is consistent with the reduction of zero speed damping, or stiction.

    I can feel a little bit of stiction when stationary and pushing down on the fork, although less than with the previous oils. I can't feel any stiction when the bike is in motion and the fork is slightly moving.

    I went down this one section of trail about 10% grade that had 1.5" and smaller bumps. I dragged the front brake so I only went about 5mph, and couldn't feel much from the handlebars. It was kind of a weird sensation because I could feel the back of the bike moving around.

    The previous oil, and the stock oil also, weren't bad, so overall this was a noticeable, but not major, improvement.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    The fork has kind of a rubbery under-damped sensation when hitting bumps slowly. But if I turn up the rebound damping the front wheel seems to lose tracking over faster hits. So IOW it seems like I need more low speed damping now, which is consistent with the reduction of zero speed damping, or stiction.

    I can feel a little bit of stiction when stationary and pushing down on the fork, although less than with the previous oils. I can't feel any stiction when the bike is in motion and the fork is slightly moving.

    I went down this one section of trail about 10% grade that had 1.5" and smaller bumps. I dragged the front brake so I only went about 5mph, and couldn't feel much from the handlebars. It was kind of a weird sensation because I could feel the back of the bike moving around.

    The previous oil, and the stock oil also, weren't bad, so overall this was a noticeable, but not major, improvement.
    That's the thing, once you run something decent, any improvement is so subtle it is almost not measurable. In a perfect world, stiction is only a problem setting a precise rider sag, which is almost useless on forks. Underway, in theory the fork never stops moving so dynamic drag is the concern.

    The foam rings play a big part in keeping seals lubricated.

    PK

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    OK, so the CST of Rock Shox heavy oil used for the bath is 43 @ 40. I have been using Mobil 1 5w-30 which is about 63 @40. M1 5W-20 is 50@ 40. M1 Synthetic ATF is 34 @ 40

    Would it make more sense to run M1 5W-20 since the CST values are closer?

    I should note that the viscosity index of the M1 5W-20 is 160, 5W-30 is 172, M1 ATF is 199, and the RS bath is 250
    FWIW, those CST are all mid range. I seriously doubt you will even be able to tell a difference based on CST.

    Additionally, for your test results, whether based onlooking for better reduction in dynamic drag, stiction or damping effect, must have consistent prep.

    For each test, the fork MUST be disassembled and washed with solvent that can remove all traces of previous lubricant. Alcohol won't do this. Best inexpensive method is some form of a parts washer, followed by a fast evaporating solvent such as brake cleaner or even lacquer thinner.

    Then service the fork exactly the same each time.

    If the fork runs foam rings, they should be removed for testing fluids.

    Also, it is imperative that each time the front wheel is installed you follow exactly the same sequence of installing the wheel and torquing the fasteners. The number of forks with huge stiction and drag on account of the person not installing the wheel correctly is probably 50% or more.

    PK

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwirider
    Still around, but generally bored with this thread. Each to his own I guess - but nice to know you care and that I'm in your thoughts.

    I did go for a great ride over the long weekend and tested my limits on a couple of new structures. As for reading, I'm enjoying a good sci-fi book at the moment.

    How did your fork servicing go?
    Glad to hear you still check in. As I mentioned, I have no problem with you viewpoint about fluid, provided you can back it up without a he said she said basis. There are some very good suspension fluids out there, also some very bad ones. Maxima is good stuff.

    As for the fork servicing, it went good and bad. Bad on account that this being the second outer tube fluid change, the fluid levels had dropped considerably during use. Based on the Fox published service interval, normal use for us is going to see the Fox timeline factored by about 1/2. Once disassemble and cleaned, serviced with fluid, the performance jumped back to where it should be. There is much truth also from inverting the forks to lube the seals and upper DU.

    PK

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    As for the fork servicing, it went good and bad. Bad on account that this being the second outer tube fluid change, the fluid levels had dropped considerably during use. Based on the Fox published service interval, normal use for us is going to see the Fox timeline factored by about 1/2.
    Have you considered using these?
    http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id199.html

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Have you considered using these?
    http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id199.html

    Nope, not for open type forks. I prefer to seal the wet ring to indicate the seals are being lubed. The thing about this recent service is the fork started knocking, common in 40's. Could not believe the fluid level had diminished enough to lessen the lube on the upper DU.

    Still had a faint wet ring, so I wrongly assumed the forks internals had failed. Pulled it apart, all is good, new fluid, BTW FOX seems to have increased the amount of fluid, so all is good now.

    When Fox releases the SKF seals I will opt in for them.

    PK

  71. #71
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    On a Lyrik Solo air, is it good to use the Mobil 1 on top of the air piston as well?

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    That's the thing, once you run something decent, any improvement is so subtle it is almost not measurable.
    PK
    I think this is very true. Now that I have some time on the Bar oil, the fork feels about the same as it did with M1. I think the first few weeks the fork still had the nicely lubed seals and wipers. I have put a lot of miles on the bar oil in the past few weeks and it seems to feel normal again. Not bad, but not necessarily better than M1. Chances are I will go back to M1 as the quality of the oil is better. I have used it for years and my bushings have always lasted, telling me that it is doing its job. A coupl more hard weeks on the bar oil and I will see how it looks.
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyxaos
    On a Lyrik Solo air, is it good to use the Mobil 1 on top of the air piston as well?

    I do with no ill effects. It is there primarily to lube the seals and provide some additional progression to the air spring.
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  74. #74
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    I prefer to use something heavier in the air chamber, which is why I use 80w gear oil.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086
    PUSH gets their oil in volume from Maxima and have no reason to use expensive synthetics for splash oil - IN FACT they told me to use syn motor oil when I change it out myself

    Push told me not to use motor oil, that was 4-5 years ago though.. maybe that was to prevent people from using it in open bath forks.
    ...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    That's the thing, once you run something decent, any improvement is so subtle it is almost not measurable. In a perfect world, stiction is only a problem setting a precise rider sag, which is almost useless on forks. Underway, in theory the fork never stops moving so dynamic drag is the concern.

    The foam rings play a big part in keeping seals lubricated.

    PK
    On my fork, a major difference would have to come from a mechanical change like reshimming or changing the spring characteristics.

    In terms of lubrication, I think that stiction is critical and dynamic drag is actually not that important. The fork is moving 99.9% of the time, but there is a tiny fraction of a second when it transitions from rebound to compression where the velocity is zero. If there is pure damping only the force is zero but if there is stiction or friction the force is finite. This creates a little extra jolt, and makes the difference between moving 99.9% of the time and moving 99.95% of the time. Hey, that's 2x less jolting.

    The dynamic friction only contributes to the damping forces and offsets the dyno curves a little bit. So it is a small effect on top of a larger one. It would be similar to adding a tiny bit more preload to your high speed shim stack, or however motorcycle valving works.

    This here is a dyno plot of a Bilstein car shock that I revalved, zoomed in to very low velocities. The extra 4 lbs of seal drag don't matter much at high speeds when the shock is making 200 lbs, but matter a lot when the shock is supposed to be making 0 lbs. (The force is offset due to gas pressure.)



    Engine oils are designed to have very low friction at high speeds. Way oils are designed to have very low friction at low speeds.

    As for the foam rings, I'm not sure about how things work on the Fox forks, but on my Reba, it is wedged between the oil seal and dust wiper. That means that it basically makes oil seep out the dust wiper for about an hour or two before it dries out. What is the point of that? Am I supposed to lube my stanchions like I lube my chain?

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiSS'er
    I think this is very true. Now that I have some time on the Bar oil, the fork feels about the same as it did with M1. I think the first few weeks the fork still had the nicely lubed seals and wipers. I have put a lot of miles on the bar oil in the past few weeks and it seems to feel normal again. Not bad, but not necessarily better than M1. Chances are I will go back to M1 as the quality of the oil is better. I have used it for years and my bushings have always lasted, telling me that it is doing its job. A coupl more hard weeks on the bar oil and I will see how it looks.
    Did the B&C oil break down or something?

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag
    As for the foam rings, I'm not sure about how things work on the Fox forks, but on my Reba, it is wedged between the oil seal and dust wiper. That means that it basically makes oil seep out the dust wiper for about an hour or two before it dries out. What is the point of that? Am I supposed to lube my stanchions like I lube my chain?
    Take the foam ring out and throw it away. In the Rock Shox implementation it does nothing but catch dirt and hold it against your stanchion.

    Where could I buy some way oil to try?

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic
    Take the foam ring out and throw it away. In the Rock Shox implementation it does nothing but catch dirt and hold it against your stanchion.

    Where could I buy some way oil to try?
    Try to find a friend that works at a machine shop or some other kind of shop with large moving machinery and bum some off of him. Machine shop tool suppliers or industrial suppliers also sell it, although I have not seen sizes smaller than 1 gal. BTW, the viscosity of the one I run is called ISO 68, or sometimes #2. The most common one is Mobil Vactra, but I have read that the one I have, called Vacuoline, is supposed to be better.

  80. #80
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    FWIW, I actually take great extents to put foam rings in my KTM forks. Yes these I lube prior to each serious ride. Use a syringe with a plastic needle.

    In regards to the dyno run on the Bilstein, yes the seal / piston drag is shown but don't discount the hysteresis upon the fluid / valving. Any chance of running the same Bilstein with no fluid, entirely seal drag? Those are very small IPS along with moderate force.

    PK

  81. #81
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    I guess I will use my fork for a week or so without lubing the seals on purpose, and then suddenly lube them to see if it makes any difference. Now that I think about it, maybe what I have is not a foam ring, but a felt ring. In any case, I recall from my old Marzocchi fork that the oil seals caused more drag than the dust wipers. Is it really that helpful to lube the upper side of the oil seals as well?

    Bilsteins have very low hysteresis because the fluid is pressurized. I didn't bother to measure without fluid because fluid does not create drag at very low velocities because the bilstein design has a orifice in parallel with shims. I assume this is the same with my Reba's Motion Control, and whatever Fox uses. Yes, those are low IPS on that plot. I did that on purpose to measure seal drag, not fluid damping.

  82. #82
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    update

    I have also tried the Fox Float fluid (similar to gear oil, I assume) and Torco RFF 7 as seal lubes, i.e. the lube you put on the foam ring above the oil seal and below the dust wiper.
    This was to test what effects the viscosity of the oil had.
    In all cases, the lubes lasted around 8 hours, which is probably due to the foam rings giving a slow release. The Float Fluid lubricated ok, but it seemed to dry out a bit and made the dirt into a thick sticky mud that was actually somewhat hard to scrape off the stanchions. The RFF7 actually did not lubricate all that well, and also turned the dirt into a thinner pasty sludge that hung around the wipers.

    In the end, I went back to the way oil, Vacuoline 1409. It also has this nice property that it does not try to dissolve or suspend dirt. What you get is a ring of oil, and you can see the individual dirt particles in it. I assume that this means the dirt particles are bigger and thus have a harder time making it past the wipers. I think as a way oil, it is designed to run into little bits of dirt or chunks of stuff and not try to dissolve (detergent) them into smaller specks, but rather keep them as larger chunks so they fall out of solution and get pushed out of the way.

  83. #83
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    anyone used royal purple fully synthetic oil for the lowers? was thinking that if mobil 1's ok, then so is royal purple. but im afraid that it may have seal swellers that may affect my revelation's seals and/or bushings.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by crudscraper View Post
    anyone used royal purple fully synthetic oil for the lowers? was thinking that if mobil 1's ok, then so is royal purple. but im afraid that it may have seal swellers that may affect my revelation's seals and/or bushings.
    This is what testing is about. Give it a go and report back, initially everything is great, then report after some time on the fork.

    In a worse case, you trash a set of seals and they are a wear item needing occasional replacement.

    PK

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    I've been using it in fox40,totem,lyrik,for about a year and a half.No problems.I use their synthetic gear lube in my totems air chamber also.

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    Since this was the best thread I've found on fork oil, I figured I'd add my findings for reference.

    I was approaching the problem from the standpoint of stiction. My Fox 32 F120 has never been really stiction free since new (2009 Giant Trance X3). It wasn't bad, but it was never as smooth as my friend's rockshox reba race, which to me is the ultimate in stiction free suppleness. Or even as good as my roommate's Lyric coil. I'm glad to say I achieved almost Reba levels of suppleness on my fox, better than the lyric, and it feels way, way smoother out on the trail, doesn't rattle my teeth out on the rocky, gravely fire roads, for example.

    I'll just jump to the conclusion. For assembly, I used the new low friction fox seals, new air spring seal (it seemed there were several slightly different sizes in the full rebuild package, and I used the smallest one), finish line fluoro stanchion lube rubbed on the stanchions, fox 10wt green for the damper side, Oregon bar and chain oil in the spring side, and fox float oil on top of the air spring. I soaked the foam rings in bar and chain oil before assembly.

    For my measurements I used a contraption made of household electrical wire and a digital scale to measure the amount of force necessary to break stiction of the seal on the stanchion. You can see the contraption in the pics below. The finger dyno was not very useful. This way I got some hard numbers out of it. The numbers were not very consistent, but by re-measuring the same controls over and over (like dry, and fox green), I saw that my method was repeatable within the same ballpark. I tried every lubricating (and non-lubricating) substance I had on hand, but I only recorded the promising ones, or ones what were representative of a group.

    Here's the pictures of my "dyno", and the array of crap I tried:

    Fork Oil Stiction Photos by steel_3d | Photobucket

    And here are the numbers (in grams). Multiple numbers represent high/low numbers I was seeing on the scale by repeatedly pulling slowly till stiction was broken, noting the highest reading on the scale, stopping, pulling again, etc., till the seal got to the end of the stanchion. I re-measured several times up and down the stanchion to make sure I was getting repeatable numbers. It was tricky to keep the seal square, so I repeated many times. I wiped down the stanchion and the seal thoroughly with a rag between each lubricant, but I didn't use any solvents. Cross-contamination didn't seem to be much of an issue.

    -------

    Dry 700 650 600
    Fox 580 550 510
    Float 600 530
    Float plus fluoro 600 580
    Dry 650 550
    Mobil 1250 1000
    Dry 650 600
    Amsoil 5w40 1250 1000
    Dry 580 600
    Maxima 1100 1000
    Fox 725 650 550
    Smoothie 900
    Dry 725 620
    Fox 630 560
    Fox plus fluoro 650 530
    Fox plus grease 680 560 600
    Bar and chain 600 580

    Stiction of the spring only with chain oil plus grease: 1400 1000 800

    Stiction of fully assembled lowers, 1cm off negative spring (don't want the negative spring helping) with 0psi in air spring: 2200 2000

    -------

    The most surprising thing to me was that the motor oils were very bad for stiction. I tried a lot of them, didn't record them all, cause they were all in the same ballpark, over a kilo of stiction seen. The Maxima wasn't great either, though I've heard great things about it. It was a lower weight at 5... The motor oils and maxima actually had worse stiction than a strawberry smoothie! Much worse than a dry stanchion and seal. The automotive gear oils I tried were not great either. Not as good as float fluid or bar and chain oil. Greases were decent on stiction but caused significant dynamic drag according to my finger dyno. Note that I could not measure dynamic friction. You'd need a proper data logging instrument for that, and you might get some interesting results. I'll say that the motor oils felt pretty slick once stiction was overcome.

    Note that I didn't measure lubricating properties (I would call the plastic bushings self-lubricating anyway), I only concentrated on seal stiction for the most supple suspension action. It worked out for me. Would it have been just as good with straight fox green oil as the factory recommends? I'll never know, because I'm not redoing this again. But I tried to maximize my results based on my measurements, and findings from this thread, so the setup I described above is what I went with. I'll go one step further to say that I really wanted to ditch the fox oil due to my experience with this fork from new, and most people's comments that fox can never be plush. I was even considering converting to a coil spring! But I had to go with the numbers, and the end result definitely did not disappoint! I am now fully satisfied with my fork, and I recommend a refresh like this to everyone I talk to.

    Good luck! And let us know if you get different results from a similar experiment.

  87. #87
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    Some great info in this thread. I figured I'd add my own anecdotal results. Pretty much all in 32mm Manitou forks (sherman, nixon, minute etc) but also a smattering of others. Seals I have run many for comparison including Enduro, SKF and Manitou.

    I've used:
    Fork oils, motorex, silkolene, PJ1, Fox, maxima, castrol.
    ATF from Valvoline.
    15w40 diesel engine oil. Several brands.
    5w30 semi synthetic engine oil. Valvoline.
    fully synthetic engine oil.
    Motorex Supergliss.

    The ATF I ran for a year to see if it would eat the seals. It didn't. Lubrication was on par with the slippery fork oils and better than the 15w40 and 5w30 above. There are many fork oils on the market which will give your fork a stiction problem even if it's open bath.

    The best bushing lube I have tried, bar none, is the Motorex Supergliss. This is an industrial slide-way lube. Essentially a competing product to the Mobil that Beanbag mentioned.
    The fully synthetic engine oil works just as well as the supergliss if there is enough of it. But when volumes reduce the stickability of Supergliss is noticable.

    These have reduced bushing stiction to the point that I started to notice the rod seals in the damper cartridge grabbing. Since I've sorted that too I've had to retune compression and rebound damping.
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    How did you sort out the damper seals? The amount of stiction in the cartridge was annoying me, and no oil, even fluoro, seemed to make a bit of a difference. Unfortunately, I didn't measure the stiction of the damper, but I was assuming it would change once it's in the bath anyway.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by steel_3d View Post
    How did you sort out the damper seals? The amount of stiction in the cartridge was annoying me, and no oil, even fluoro, seemed to make a bit of a difference. Unfortunately, I didn't measure the stiction of the damper, but I was assuming it would change once it's in the bath anyway.
    PM sent.
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  90. #90
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    Btw, Fox 20wt Gold oil is available now.. and it feels better than Fox Green

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    PM sent.
    Would you mind posting it?

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Would you mind posting it?
    Sure. Removing the energizing rings from shaft seals can reduce the preload and stiction.
    I didn't post it because it isn't applicable to most forks and needs careful consideration of which oil you are trying to contain in which chamber.
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    I wouldn't mind using way oil in my fork, but the stuff really is pretty expensive. Even at the best prices I've found it's more expensive then good fork oil.

  94. #94
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    Have anyone tried silicone for the bath oil in their fork? Something like this:
    TowerHobbies.com | Associated Silicone Shock Fluid 10 Weight 2 oz

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    Fox are warning not to use the new 20wt Gold with anything other than their new, approved-for-use seals.

    Not sure how true this is in the real world, but thought I'd just warn people.....

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    I wouldn't mind using way oil in my fork, but the stuff really is pretty expensive. Even at the best prices I've found it's more expensive then good fork oil.
    It's very expensive to buy. But you only need a few cc per fork, so the cost per job isn't a problem.
    If you need more than a few cc of lube oil, then you don't need slide-way oil.
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  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by cws196 View Post
    Fox are warning not to use the new 20wt Gold with anything other than their new, approved-for-use seals.

    Not sure how true this is in the real world, but thought I'd just warn people.....
    "FOX 20wt. Gold is compatible with all 34mm, 36mm, and 40mm FOX Low-Friction wipers (manufactured by SKF). "
    "FOX 20wt. Gold is only compatible with the latest version of the 32mm FOX Low-Friction wipers (803-00-878). The label indicates specifically that these wipers are compatible with 20wt. Gold."

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    It's very expensive to buy. But you only need a few cc per fork, so the cost per job isn't a problem.
    If you need more than a few cc of lube oil, then you don't need slide-way oil.
    At what volume do you think the cut off is?

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    At what volume do you think the cut off is?
    For me it's about 20cc per leg.
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  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    For me it's about 20cc per leg.
    Great information, thank you. I guess I'll be picking up some Valvoline ATF to try out.

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