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  1. #1
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    The Fox DHX 3/4/5 Coil Rebuild Thread

    Hi all

    Here is the 3rd Version of my Fox DHX 3/4/5 Rebuild Guide
    Also Included is a file containing higher resolution pictures of the pics used in the guide, this is to be used in conjunction with the tutorial should you need to see higher resolution pictures

    This Guide shows you how to take apart and change the oil and o-rings in a Fox DHX 5 coil shock. Rebound and Propedal assemblies are not taken apart, as special tools are required. If you have dead propedal or rebound assembly, this guide wont help sorry

    Make sure you download and read through the tutorial carefully before commencing work on your shock

    ================================================== ===============

    Shock Models Supported;
    2005 - 2009 Fox DHX 3/4/5 Coils

    ================================================== ===============

    NOTE: CERTAIN DHX 5 THAT CAME STOCK ON SPECIALIZED SX TRAILS HAVE UNADJUSTABLE BOOST VALVES, MEANING THERE IS NO AIR VALVE FOR YOU TO ADJUST, INSTEAD THEY ARE FACTORY CHARGED WITH NITROGEN

    DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SERVICE THESE SHOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ================================================== ===============
    Download Links:
    ( I know the hosting sites arnt liked by many people, but sorry it will have to do for now )

    Guide:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zykdj1ttmae

    Hi Resolution Picture File:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zzzrnvzmytz

    ================================================== ===============

    Enjoy boys and girls

    Also if you use this guide please report your success, also CONSTRUCTIVE critisim is welcomed, oh, and do not ***** about how i used a shifting wrench, its all i had, use a spanner if you wish

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Very well done Nick_M2R
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  3. #3
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    Nice work. I laughed pretty hard when I saw my own guides in your references.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Nice work. I laughed pretty hard when I saw my own guides in your references.
    Haha Yea hope you dont mind

    All that info you had was awesome
    I learned alot from it and thought you deserved some recognition for it so i included references to it, so hopefully others can learn from it to, hope you dont mind me putting it there

    Still great work on all that info

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    Haha Yea hope you dont mind

    All that info you had was awesome
    I learned alot from it and thought you deserved some recognition for it so i included references to it, so hopefully others can learn from it to, hope you dont mind me putting it there

    Still great work on all that info
    Not at all. I've just fixed the links in my signature so that info is back up for everyone to see.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
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  6. #6
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    Either of you have experience rebuilding the Travis 203 Intrinsic Air fork???
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    Either of you have experience rebuilding the Travis 203 Intrinsic Air fork???
    I have a travis dual crown sitting downstairs unused. I've owned it for almost 3 years now.
    Sadly I haven't ridden or wrenched it yet. Just one of the problems of owning half as many bikes as forks and shocks.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
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  8. #8
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    Haha not me sorry Dogon, only every worked on Fox DHX Airs and coils, and assorted rockshox and Marzocchi forks

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    Ya Im finding their are only a small handful of people that have the experience with the Intrinsic.
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    i have a 06 sx trail that i opened up before i saw that warning .
    i have acquired a valve with a schreader valve in it, is it ok to fill the shock with nitrogen?

    Also when i rebuild the shock i think it is topping out? when the shock finishes its rebound i get a little clunk, then when i open it all up the shim stack has some how unsqrewed itself from the piston.....

    very confusing....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chullum
    i have a 06 sx trail that i opened up before i saw that warning .
    i have acquired a valve with a schreader valve in it, is it ok to fill the shock with nitrogen?

    Also when i rebuild the shock i think it is topping out? when the shock finishes its rebound i get a little clunk, then when i open it all up the shim stack has some how unsqrewed itself from the piston.....

    very confusing....
    Does your frame have the room to use that schrader valve?
    The rebound needle seat is the bolt that holds the piston and shims on. So if that bolt starts to loosen then the rebound clunk is one of the first signs.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
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    yes the frame has clearance for the schrader valve, i just have to take the shock off if i want to change the air pressure.

    and yes i do get a rebound clunk so i assume that it is unscrewing itself before i take it apart.

    but i dont understand why or how it is doing this? i am only tightening the screw hand tight as i dont want to limit the flex of the shims.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chullum
    yes the frame has clearance for the schrader valve, i just have to take the shock off if i want to change the air pressure.

    and yes i do get a rebound clunk so i assume that it is unscrewing itself before i take it apart.

    but i dont understand why or how it is doing this? i am only tightening the screw hand tight as i dont want to limit the flex of the shims.
    It takes more than hand-tight to keep the piston in place. It's basically a 1/4" bolt so something like 6-9Nm would be needed.

    The shims are meant to have their inner diameter clamped between the shaft and the backing washer. Don't worry about them.
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    ah i understand, do you think i should locktight the bolt in aswell or is this unadvised?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chullum
    ah i understand, do you think i should locktight the bolt in aswell or is this unadvised?
    I'd be concerned about locktite getting into places it shouldn't be (like the rebound needle). Just tighten it up snug and it should be fine.
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    The gel LockTight used carefully is awesome,
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    Try to avoid locktight, as it may seep into the rebound shaft a seize it, which would not be fun. Try what dougal said, tighten it a tad more, BUT DO NOT GET OVER EXCITED WITH THE TORQUE

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    Thanks M2R for the grunt work on this post, well done. Will try this out this week using your step by step guide. I have been wanting to do this for sometime now. No sense paying PUSH for there service (except for the mods). Thanks.
    SHITBIRD

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    Quote Originally Posted by helimech
    Thanks M2R for the grunt work on this post, well done. Will try this out this week using your step by step guide. I have been wanting to do this for sometime now. No sense paying PUSH for there service (except for the mods). Thanks.
    No prob mate, just make sure your read it carefully before doing work on your shock

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    I blew a seal on my DHX 4 coil and just followed your guide and rebuilt it, had no problems rebuilding it, but after I put it on my bike the shock definitely isn't the same as before, it has compression and the rebound works, but when I'm just bouncing on the bike the shock feels stiffer at the beginning and end of bounce and is making a noise, its not as plush. I'm guessing I still have air in my shock but wanted to check first? Do I just need to do a bleed or maybe I tightened the piston shim too much?

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    I think you may have done the piston bolt up to much, it seems as if it may be crushing the shims, try loosening it off alittle. With regards to the noises, if its a squelching noise, there is air in the shock, try giving it another bleed

    Post up how it goes, it should work out for you

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    Thanks for the guide nick, yeah it was the piston bolt being too tight. This time I turned it hand tight, then another 1/8 of a turn or less. When taking my shock apart the 2nd time when I was loosening the shaft cap it was turning the whole shaft, which caused the piston bolt inside to unwind in the shock, thus when i pulled the piston out all of the shim bits were at the bottom of the shaft, I heard them drop and said "oh ****", I got it back together though and it is super plush and working awesome now. So to your guide you could add to hold the piston while unscrewing the shaft cap, and you should probably hold it while screwing it back down.

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    Cheers mate, glad to hear it worked out for ya!

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    I have a 08 Specialized SX trail with a DHX 4.0. Do you know if that shock is fillied with nitrogen?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buoyen
    I have a 08 Specialized SX trail with a DHX 4.0. Do you know if that shock is fillied with nitrogen?
    If they're is an air valve of the resi, you can service the shock. If they're is no air valve, sorry but you won't be able to service it without special tools

  26. #26
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    Basically if their is a schrader valve it takes air, if its a sealed reservoir odds are its nitrogen.
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  27. #27
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    Yes, that's what I thought.

    Pics:





    Doesn't look so promissing, eh?

  28. #28
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    There is one thing you can do to rebuild the shock, try searching round for a old (even broken) dhx that is broken, but has an intact air vavle in the end cap. Then you can swap the sealed end cap for the one containing the air valve, im sure the air valves will fit the frame, but you,ll have to dismount the shock to adjust the boost pressure

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buoyen
    Yes, that's what I thought.



    Doesn't look so promissing, eh?
    Check out NM2R's pic's they take awhile to down load but will be useful. Remove the nut where the Pro-Pedal is on the 5.0 and see if their is a rubber diaphragm/cap under their. If their is the nitrogen is injected in by a syringe type needle.


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  30. #30
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    Hi Nick_M2R, do you have some info on a DHX air rebuild like you do for the coil? Thanks mate, cheers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by helimech
    Hi Nick_M2R, do you have some info on a DHX air rebuild like you do for the coil? Thanks mate, cheers.
    Hi mate

    Sure do!
    Thats what my next tutorial is going to be about, ive already taken pics and documented the teardown process, and am ready to start the reassembly. Unfortunatly, it wont be done for about another 1.5-2 weeks, as im in the middle of my yr12 final exams, and am busy with them (fuken exams....). My last one is next wednesday, then Ill be working on my new guides full swing, so hang in there mate, the guide is coming

    Cheers!

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    Architect!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    Architect!!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    12 years of school?? what ya studying for??
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    12 years of school?? what ya studying for??
    Here in the States it's called a high school degree. Nick is just 17, if I remember correctly.

    Very impressive tutorials here Nick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogonfr
    12 years of school?? what ya studying for??
    Oh haha
    Nah not for anything yet, in australia, regular school (not uni) goes for 12 years, this is my final year, in which we sit our HSC (Higher School Certificate) exams, which allow us to get into university, in which i hope to become a mechanical engineer one day

    Here in the States it's called a high school degree. Nick is just 17, if I remember correctly.

    Very impressive tutorials here Nick.
    Yep 17 years young haha

    Cheers mate, if people find them helpful, then thats the best thing

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    Oh haha
    Nah not for anything yet, in australia, regular school (not uni) goes for 12 years, this is my final year, in which we sit our HSC (Higher School Certificate) exams, which allow us to get into university, in which i hope to become a mechanical engineer one day



    Yep 17 years young haha

    Cheers mate, if people find them helpful, then thats the best thing
    Dank it's like 10 years of college here in the states to be a Engineer or Architect.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_M2R
    Hi mate

    Sure do!
    Thats what my next tutorial is going to be about, ive already taken pics and documented the teardown process, and am ready to start the reassembly. Unfortunatly, it wont be done for about another 1.5-2 weeks, as im in the middle of my yr12 final exams, and am busy with them (fuken exams....). My last one is next wednesday, then Ill be working on my new guides full swing, so hang in there mate, the guide is coming

    Cheers!
    Thanks Nick will hang in there! Get your exams done thats more important. Dam your really 17? you act more mature and have a sorta sense of whats going on .
    Thanks, cheers.
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    Thanx, very good guide!
    There are 5 pos.: Deflate the boost valve.
    I have OEM fox dhx 5 (from specialized sx) without this valve. How to deflate air from expansion tank in this case?

  40. #40
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    Hi Nick, used your service guide 2 months ago and the shock has been great untill I went to Moab. Must of done 1 to many drops, now the shock is making sucking noises over any terrain? Have any idea what this could be. The noise wasn't there until the big drops came into play. Adjusting the rebound has no effect, even a bleed on the oil and resetting the IFP has no effect. Just wondering if you might know.
    Thanks.
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    Thanks for great guide. Where can I buy seal kit? I did not find anything on the net- float air shock kits only. Thanks Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by robicycle
    Thanks for great guide. Where can I buy seal kit? I did not find anything on the net- float air shock kits only. Thanks Rob
    I've talked to Fox & Push and they said customers can't get a seal kit unless they have the shock. So i guess you need to go to the hardware store and get oil compatable o-rings matched up to the old ones, just like nick said in his guide .
    SHITBIRD

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    Quote Originally Posted by helimech
    I've talked to Fox & Push and they said customers can't get a seal kit unless they have the shock. So i guess you need to go to the hardware store and get oil compatable o-rings matched up to the old ones, just like nick said in his guide .
    Try these guys maybe they can help or explain why the parts are not available to the public.

    http://www.dirtlabs.com/
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    Is it the same process for a remote resevoir dhx5?

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    Good job!

    nice work NICK..... cool thing is im a bike tech and this is just like rebuilding my KYB's on my motorcycle i ride.... so cake walk for me... same goes for the forks... just like motorcycle forks inside....
    any reason you cant use nitrogen for the dhx 5.0 ? air changes as it gets warm as where nitrogen DOES NOT.... im thinking the DH guys are way ahead w/ nitrogen in the shocks...... street riding would prob. be ok with just plain air....
    good luck with school

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    any reason you cant use nitrogen for the dhx 5.0 ? air changes as it gets warm as where nitrogen DOES NOT.... im thinking the DH guys are way ahead w/ nitrogen in the shocks...... street riding would prob. be ok with just plain air....
    good luck with school
    Nitrogen will work just fine.
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    Just rebuilt my DHX 5 with these instructions and it works great.
    Had a leaking ProPedal knob that I allso was able to fix.

    Picture of the parts I was able to remove from the ProPedal assembly (parts are in the order they go in/come out). O-ring is from the piston (between o-ring and lockring):

  48. #48
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    Great guide.
    Nick, I'm like 95% sure that you're one of them Indigo children. You stand out that much.

    enemy1, how did you fix the propedal knob leak? I just got a new-in-box DHX 5 Coil 2008 unit, and it's going to be a while until I get to actually use it - still have to get lots more parts to build the bike. But the propedal knob already had oil on it. Until I read your post I even thought it's normal.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    any reason you cant use nitrogen for the dhx 5.0 ? air changes as it gets warm as where nitrogen DOES NOT.... im thinking the DH guys are way ahead w/ nitrogen in the shocks...... street riding would prob. be ok with just plain air....
    good luck with school
    Nitrogen also changes as it gets warm. Air is about 80% nitrogen.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho
    Great guide.
    Nick, I'm like 95% sure that you're one of them Indigo children. You stand out that much.

    enemy1, how did you fix the propedal knob leak? I just got a new-in-box DHX 5 Coil 2008 unit, and it's going to be a while until I get to actually use it - still have to get lots more parts to build the bike. But the propedal knob already had oil on it. Until I read your post I even thought it's normal.
    If it's brand new like you said dont worry things like assembly lube and cosmoline are normal.
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  51. #51
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    dogonfr, the oil is only on the knob itself - all other parts are dry, and there's no grease. It looks like the usual leak from under RockShox Motion Control blue knob - we're all familiar with that. )

    Okay, I'll just keep building the bike, then ride and see what happens.

    By the way, in another thread it looks like Nick is getting at the propedal assembly down to the last piece.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho
    dogonfr, the oil is only on the knob itself - all other parts are dry, and there's no grease. It looks like the usual leak from under RockShox Motion Control blue knob - we're all familiar with that. )

    Okay, I'll just keep building the bike, then ride and see what happens.

    By the way, in another thread it looks like Nick is getting at the propedal assembly down to the last piece.
    Nothing to worry about at this time bro the shock is new and the seals need a break in period

    If your riding the shock for 3+ months and you get seeping or leaking then you contact Fox for warranty.
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  53. #53
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    Hey guys, just thought id give you a little update
    Ive recently been upgrading my guide to version 4

    It will now be a COMPLETE guide, including servicing the rebound system AND thanks to enemy1, it will also include complete propedal service aswell!

    Because i can nolonger edit my original post, i will have to start a new thread as i cant replace the original link

    Stay tuned guys and girls, will be up in the next day or two!

  54. #54
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    If you are going to redo this, change the damper oil to the correct product (silkolene pro RSF 10, rather than Torco that was used prior to the change to 10wt).

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    If you are going to redo this, change the damper oil to the correct product (silkolene pro RSF 10, rather than Torco that was used prior to the change to 10wt).
    Use what works best for ones self, their are some really good fluids out there.
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    You are telling me that rather than using the stock OEM (which happens to be one of the best suspension fluids out there) you would just try out random oils in your shock? Can you rebuild and bleed a DHX easy enough at home to make oil viscosity experimentation a worthwhile venture? Would you not want to know a reference cSt..you know what every piece and part was designed around?
    It is pretty nieve to think that you could pick up any old random oil and get reasonable performance in a particular shock.

    BTW, if you are trying to change damping performance, oil viscosity changes are not the 'proper' way to do it.


    My point was and is this:
    Nick's DHX service paper, makes specific reference to an oil that he claims is the same as what came out of the shock. This is in fact not correct....Fox does not use Torco as the supplier for their 10wt damper fluid, and their current fluid (silkolene RSF pro 10 wt) is significantly different that what you would end up with following the recomendation in the paper.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    My point was and is this:
    Nick's DHX service paper, makes specific reference to an oil that he claims is the same as what came out of the shock. This is in fact not correct....Fox does not use Torco as the supplier for their 10wt damper fluid, and their current fluid (silkolene RSF pro 10 wt) is significantly different that what you would end up with following the recomendation in the paper.
    Davep, thankyou for bringing that to light, i shall change the info, but be aware that when i first compiled this guide a while back, id read at a couple of sources that they rebadge torco fluid, but if they have now change to silkolene, then i will change it.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    My point was and is this:
    Nick's DHX service paper, makes specific reference to an oil that he claims is the same as what came out of the shock. This is in fact not correct....Fox does not use Torco as the supplier for their 10wt damper fluid, and their current fluid (silkolene RSF pro 10 wt) is significantly different that what you would end up with following the recomendation in the paper.
    Torco makes a quality product just like Silkolene, Showa, Maxima, Motorex etc.
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  59. #59
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    O-ring sizes for DHX5

    In case anyone wants to know...

    I recently changed the oil and the o-rings in my DHX5 (7.875x2.25). These are the quantity and sizes of o-rings required (AS568, your o-ring shop knows what the numbers mean, or look here: http://www.marcorubber.com/sizingchart.htm):

    2x -022
    1x -118
    1x -206
    1x -017
    1x -006
    1x -211

    I didn't remove the ProPedal, piggyback or main cylinder, only enough to do what I had to do, which is pretty much what's in Nick's guide.

    FWIW I bought enough o-rings to do the rebuild five times and the total cost was $AUD4.50.

    BTW: my DHX5 has a bleed channel machined across the threads of the main cylinder cap which made it possible to bleed it without having to do it under oil in a bucket, bag or with a "funnel."

  60. #60
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    Here is the link to my new thread i made with the link to my complete service guide, had to make a new thread as i can no longer edit my original post in the thread

    See my signature

  61. #61
    Wil109
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    Mayday, mayday

    Hi all,

    Followed Nicks awesome service guide and it worked super well, unfortunately I didn't tighten the shim stack/piston bolt enough and the shim stack has came away and is all messed up.



    I've uploaded photo of the aftermath, can anyone recommend suitable link, approach to rebuilding this please? It was stock setup so if anyone has hi res photo of DHX4.0 (2008) shim stack setup/arrangement I would be super grateful.

    Much thanks,

    Wil
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Fox DHX 3/4/5 Coil Rebuild Thread-dsc_0086_smaller.jpg  

    I love my bike and my bike loves me

  62. #62
    Wil109
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    Shim Tastic

    Well I couldn't wait and tried several different combinations, the first couple didn't work out all that well. I ended up blocking the ports piston side which meant the ports were blocked during rebound..... not good!!

    So anyways I tried this combination (excuse the crappy artwork), top is piston side (compression damping I do believe). The bottom is piston side (rebound damping I think). The side of the port shown I put piston (rebound) side.

    It seems to work ok, rebound is a little nippy even when damping is fully on but I like it that way, there is a marked difference when its fully off. Pro pedal feels quite incredible I was amazed when I put it fully on, pedal bob was so much more improved.

    Will do a proper test ride and report back might try a different configuration to see how it goes.

    Wil
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The Fox DHX 3/4/5 Coil Rebuild Thread-shiming.jpg  

    I love my bike and my bike loves me

  63. #63
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    can you please update your links? Theyre invalid

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by arekieh
    can you please update your links? Theyre invalid
    They nolonger work because i have updated the guide to include more stuff but i cant replace the original link, so i had to create a new thread, see my signature for the new one

  65. #65
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    thanks

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    DHX 4.0 Shim Stack

    Hey Nick you wouldnt happen to have pictures of the shim stack would you? Or at least know the basic stack orientation of a dhx 4.0 would you?

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    I am just changing oil so I dont want to unscrew stack shim. Can I just fill the rebound shaft putting oil on rebound stack shim screw on top?

  68. #68
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    You should disassemble, dont need to take the shim stack apart but clean everything
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  69. #69
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    Beating a dead horse but a torque spec for the piston/valve shim nut would be killer, as would some info or tricks to replace that DU bushing. Also, A shim stack like the guy ahead of me asked for would be cool too. You never know what the clown before you did to it!

    I found a plastic soda bottle threads into the resevoir and if you cut a relief for the bottom out foam on the shaft you can cycle the shock and bleed it pretty well. Thanks man!
    Word to your mother.

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