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  1. #1
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    Changing semi-bath oil in Fox Van R fork

    I plan to do that this weekend but I have a question before. I found the how to do on the fox service website and it doesn't seem difficult at all. But while talking to someone from the fox service center in Canada (OGC), the guy told me that to change the semi-bath oil, I have to empty the damper shaft. Since I was not understand that from the fox instruction, I called fox usa where they told me that was sealed so unless you want to change the damper cartridge oil, I should not do it. I guess I am looking now for a third opinion. All the shops here don't service fox fork so they can't help me.

  2. #2
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    I would only take the advice of the Canadian service center if the semi-bath was filled with maple syrup or seal blubber. That not being the case, I would trust the advice from Fox USA, they know their product.

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  3. #3
    Calm Like a Bomb
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    if u have a vanilla r, then yes u do have to drain the oil from the damper....if u have a van 36r then it is indeed sealed and u do not have to drain it unless u are servicing the damper

    looks like the canadian guy was confused by the vanilla or van 36...common mistake but he should have verified which fork before giving advice
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  4. #4
    Former Bike Wrench
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    My 2005 Vanilla R 130 required draining the Damper when replacing the semi bath oil.

    Here is the guide I used from EnduroSeals

  5. #5
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    Mine is the Van R 36 so no damping oil purge. Many thanks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightnerd
    Mine is the Van R 36 so no damping oil purge. Many thanks.
    When you're at it, they also have a procedure to clean the wipers and foam rings (secret tech tip or whatever), which isn't too hard, doesn't require removing the lowers.

  7. #7
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    I just changed my fork seals and the little bit of fluid thats in the sliders (lowers). You don't need to touch the rebound cartridge oil (witch is sealed) to do this job. I wouldn't change fluid until you need seals. It's not much fluid, it won't make much of a difference, if you have alot of time on them I would do the rebound cartridge and the lowers.

  8. #8
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    I have about three months of riding on the bike so I don't think that's considered a lot of time on the bike. I am quite new at bike mechanic but I still feel that changing the oil in the lowers would be pretty easy. For the oil in the rebound carthridge, I would let that one to Fox or someone else when needed (how do you know when that's needed?) All my mechanic is done in the kitchen of my two room appartment or on my balcony. I don't feel I have all the equipment to do it.

    So anyone else think that changing oil could be done later?

  9. #9
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    I have to disagree with azmxr - since there isn't much bath oil it won't make much difference?
    That bath oil is all there is to lubricate the fork bushings and seals/wipers.

    - since the bath oil volume is so low (15mls per leg?) it doesn't take much to contaminate it - when I drained mine, the oil came out very black.

    And, so many of these forks come from the factory with one or both legs being low on oil or dry (mine had very little in one leg), it is very much worth doing a bath oil drain/refill as soon as you can (you've been riding for 3 months so this is the perfect time). That is probably the most important service, to be sure you have the right oil levels in the lowers, which might prevent your seals from failing and leaking in the first place.

  10. #10
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    Good point, but its 25ml per leg, I think.

  11. #11
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    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  12. #12
    2 wheel drifter
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    So has anyone changed the oil in a 36 van without removing the lowers? Is it a simple matter of removing the fixing bolts,draining the oil, refilling and tightening everything back up?

    It seems that a simple oil change method is necessary as the fox service interval for the full treatment is 200 hours, while oil replacement is 50 hours

  13. #13
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    blackbart - yes I drained mine without removing the lowers. You just have to pull them down a bit so the damper and spring shafts clear the holes, then flip it upside down to fill.

    Too bad the Totem is the only fork with oil-change ports to make it quick and easy.

    azmxr - you are right, 25ml for the Van36. I confused it with another fork I have, but I always RTFM for oil volumes before adding. 8-)

  14. #14
    2 wheel drifter
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    Excellent - I give the quick oil change a go. All my other forks are marzocchi and the small oil quantity in the 36 has been making me paranoid!

  15. #15
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    By the way,
    Do you have to take the fork off the bike to service it or you can just leave it on? It might sound stupid but I'm wandering anyway...

  16. #16
    squish is good
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightnerd
    By the way,
    Do you have to take the fork off the bike to service it or you can just leave it on? It might sound stupid but I'm wandering anyway...
    You don't have to but it makes it easier. Not like it takes a long time to remove a fork.
    Bike good, work bad.

  17. #17
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    h guys,
    I just serviced my Fox Van R 36 by myself and it was fairly easy. I just followed the instruction found here : http://service.foxracingshox.com/consumers/index.htm and it went all right. I'm glad I did it because the oil on the spring side turned out to be all grayish. Having changed my blue spring to the lighter purple one recently, my guess is that the new spring (coating/dirt?) contaminated the semi-bath oil.

    Not being equiped enough, I did not changed the damping oil. The bike having only 3 months of riding, I will suppose it will still be good for the coming season...

  18. #18
    wuss
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    I just got a 36 van rc2 and swapped the spring. I can't see any oil in the leg, should I? Does the oil have to be drained from the hole in the lowers? Not possible to remove the preload cap & spring, puor & refill from the top?

  19. #19
    wuss
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    I just got a 36 van rc2 and swapped the spring. I can't see any oil in the leg, should I? Does the oil have to be drained from the hole in the lowers? Not possible to remove the preload cap & spring, puor & refill from the top?
    Anyone?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    Anyone?
    There's only 25ml of oil in there, so not sure what you're able to see or not. Can't think of any reason not to add/drain oil via the top cap.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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  21. #21
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    Try this, it's efficient and simple way of maintenance. Highly recommended.

    http://www.mojo.co.uk/dustwiper.htm

    (note, you don't necessary have to remove brake caliper, can be faster to remove brake lever)

  22. #22
    wuss
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    Thanks!

    In that they did not drain the oil from the lowers. I would imagine the Fox 36's have quite a bit more oil then the 5ml they mention in the video, so it would still be a good idea to drain it?

  23. #23
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    Yeah, I inverted the bike so a bit of oil came out and put back fresh fluid into the lowers. This is basically very useful maintenance of the fork - after the oil change and soaking the foam rings mine works super smooth.

  24. #24
    wuss
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    Thanks.

    I put some grease on the spring and it took away the slight shaky friction feeling I was getting. I'll do the oil change when enduro seals come back in stock (and change them at the same time).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropadrop
    Thanks!

    In that they did not drain the oil from the lowers. I would imagine the Fox 36's have quite a bit more oil then the 5ml they mention in the video, so it would still be a good idea to drain it?
    25ml bath oil in each leg per the oil volume chart on Fox's site...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
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