filling a gouge in stanchion?
So I just discovered a pretty nice gouge on my wifes F100. Looks like a rock got in the seal and did it's thing for a while. vertical deep gouge just above the seal about 1" long.
She needs a rebuild anyway, so I thought I'd try to fill the gouge.
Anyone had luck with epoxy like JB weld, or nailpolish?
Yes, you can "fix" the gouge.
However, it can take a lot of work and time to do it properly and not do additional damage to the stanchion while attempting to sand the repair flat and smooth it out.
Stanchion needs to be completely clean and dry and it can take many light and thin coats to fill the scratch. Both nail polish and JB weld can work and they work better on big gouges that can actually hold the filler.
I'll sometimes attempt to smooth and fill big jagged gouges and rough dings caused by stanchion contact with rocks.
For anything vertical that I can just catch with a fingernail, I just sand the edges, keep an eye on seals, and shorten the time between oil changes.
Usually the best thing to do is just smooth down the scratch/gouge-just take the edges off.
All that is really at risk is excessive wear on the seal and more dirt in the lower leg bath oil if you go this route.
I've ridden for years on scratched and gouged Fox forks. More frequent service intervals and new seals can usually keep things working fine.
So, how deep is the scratch?
Are you sure it was a rock and not due to a bushing problem? Bushings can leave perfectly vertical scratches on stanchions that you can catch with a fingernail. Low bath oil and too long between services are the usual cause of vertical scratches caused by bushing wear.
If it's just vertical, it will only be increasing wear and letting dirt in at a small portion of the seals total contact area with the stanchion.
If it's diagonal/horizontal-those are the scratches and gouges that can really increase wear and tear on seals.
It was def a rock, I pulled it out of the seal.
Haven't broken the fork down yet, but I think i'll try some nail polish. Can't tell how deep it is, but your fingernail will catch in it for sure. I guess the worst thing that can happen is it will leak. It needs a rebuild anyway.
Here's a pic.
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just a thought, if you put something like epoxy or jb weld in there VERY CAREFULLY then use a fresh razor blade before it sets totally to shave it down pretty flat going just up and down along the damage, avoiding the rest of the leg, I'd fix it like that and then let it stand as smooth as you can get, or slightly "proud" and let the the seal wear it smoother, you may get a touch of leak but beats a new crown & legs. I'd avoid even fine sandpaper or other abrasives, the legs are finished pretty fine and the less you do the better.
Not sure JB Weld is sand-able
I've fixed at least 3 stanchions myself with flawless results. Super Glue and Emery cloth or 2000 grit wet-sandpaper was my choice.
1) knock down any lifted metal using a fine fine jewelers file if needed
2) fill scratch, let dry.
3) buff with cloth by wrapping a section around the stanchion and pulling back and forth with two hands. If you use finger pressure on the area the glue is removed from the scratch, at least ime.
4) repeat 2 and 3 as needed.
5) mission accomplished, go drink a beer.
The first fork I fixed, the scratch was bad enough it caused an oil seal leak. Once I fixed it and replaced the air/oil seals I never had a problem.
If done correctly you can't even feel the scratch with you fingernail. And before everyone goes all ape shiite about using sandpaper I will tell you I've only fixed RS forks and did not removed one bit of ano. I can't say what will happen on a Fox fork...I hear they have a crappy finish..or at least a thin ano finish.
Fix the cause of the scratch.
Then...get some polishing compound and gently rub out the scratch...
you just smooth it out and feather the edges...if it doesn't leak oil then you are good to go.
If it leaks now you have to fill it....So far I have fixed two forks with scratches still haven't had to fill anything.