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  1. #1
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    Fox fork suspension fluid service -- every 30 hours?

    What does that entail? My Fox manual says all Fox forks require "suspension fluid service" every 30 hours. I can't find anything on the Fox website that says that, and I can't find anything about suspension fluid service.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by happyriding; 11-28-2011 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #2
    PMK
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    Welcome to the world of high performance "stuff".

    30 hours sounds about right. Depending upon the fork model, this could be a simple 15 minute outer tube fluid change or possibly a much more detailed damper fluid change.

    FWIW, if you plan to do this work yourself. Get your tools in order first, by making a set of no lead in taper sockets. This will minimize damage to the fork while servicing. You will also want a decent graduated measuring bottle. Plan to keep some fluid on hand, and pick up a tub of Slick Honey for the seals. If you are a stickler for exactly following instructions, order a bulk amount of the sealing crush washers. A quality torque wrench is good if you like things really tight.

    The fox website does offer some information and the internet does have some videos. Overall the service is pretty easy and straightforward. Keeping the seal area clean and the outer chamber fluid levels proper will make the fork last a long time and give it the best performance.

    FWIW, it is recommended to invert the fork, preferably prior to each ride, for a few minutes. This will flow the outer chamber fluid up to the seals and upper bushing, making the fork perform better. Typically, during use their should be a wet witness line of fluid getting past the seals. This is a good indicator that the seals are being lubricated, it does not mean the seals have failed. If the witness line begins to lessen or disappears entirely, the outer chamber fluid needs service. Many times this is an easy way to know when you are near or at the service interval.

    All the best with it.
    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response. My fork is a 2011 Fox 36 Talas RLC. I plan to do the work myself.

    making a set of no lead in taper sockets.
    What does that mean?

    FWIW, it is recommended to invert the fork, preferably prior to each ride, for a few minutes. This will flow the outer chamber fluid up to the seals and upper bushing, making the fork perform better.
    Thanks. Will do.

    Typically, during use their should be a wet witness line of fluid getting past the seals. This is a good indicator that the seals are being lubricated, it does not mean the seals have failed. If the witness line begins to lessen or disappears entirely, the outer chamber fluid needs service.
    I just did the dust wiper service, and I soaked the white ring with Fox Float Fluid, which is what I assumed caused the wetness on the fork tubes.
    Last edited by happyriding; 11-30-2011 at 11:41 AM.

  4. #4
    PMK
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    The sockets are illustrated and described on the Fox site. Basically it involves purchasing decent quality 6 point sockets of various sizes. Then, while keeping the end profile flat, grind away the taper that lets the socket more easily get onto the nut or bolt head. FWIW, I use a belt sander with good results. More true and stable than a bench grinder. Some folks have mentioned using a Dremel, guess if it works for them.

    On the belt sander, a full set of sockets for that fork takes about 10 mins. Add in another 10 minutes if you can Scotchbrite wheel the edges to polish and deburr them.

    The taper is removed so that you ensure 100% contact height on the soft aluminum fork parts.

    I forget the exact sizes, but one is a 32mmm, a 15mm, and a 10mm. Don't hold me to those being correct. I have a bunch of various sizes for many fork brands.

    Purchases some good quality, such as Bondrous allen wrenches also.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  5. #5
    What?
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    I believe the 30hr service is bath oil only.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    I believe the 30hr service is bath oil only.
    Correct, and quite easy to do without removing the top caps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    The sockets are illustrated and described on the Fox site. Basically it involves purchasing decent quality 6 point sockets of various sizes. Then, while keeping the end profile flat, grind away the taper that lets the socket more easily get onto the nut or bolt head. FWIW, I use a belt sander with good results. More true and stable than a bench grinder. Some folks have mentioned using a Dremel, guess if it works for them.

    On the belt sander, a full set of sockets for that fork takes about 10 mins. Add in another 10 minutes if you can Scotchbrite wheel the edges to polish and deburr them.

    The taper is removed so that you ensure 100% contact height on the soft aluminum fork parts.

    I forget the exact sizes, but one is a 32mmm, a 15mm, and a 10mm. Don't hold me to those being correct. I have a bunch of various sizes for many fork brands.

    Purchases some good quality, such as Bondrous allen wrenches also.

    PK
    You can buy the 32mm here if you don't have access to a sander: Bike Tools Etc. - 1000's of bicycle tools and parts for the home mechanic! It's a 12pt but it's not that big of a deal.

    2nd that on Bondrous allen wrenches. they are good quality, cheap and they are made in the USA.
    Killing it with close inspection.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    I believe the 30hr service is bath oil only.
    Would you happen to know where some directions are that cover just that?

    Thanks.

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    WebHelp

    Take a look there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    Welcome to the world of high performance "stuff".

    30 hours sounds about right. Depending upon the fork model, this could be a simple 15 minute outer tube fluid change or possibly a much more detailed damper fluid change.

    FWIW, if you plan to do this work yourself. Get your tools in order first, by making a set of no lead in taper sockets. This will minimize damage to the fork while servicing.
    I would have to buy the tools and have them ground down at a machine shop. Can you verify which sizes I will need?

    Thanks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kan3 View Post
    I've already looked there. Nothing for my fork model.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonaKen View Post
    WebHelp

    Take a look there.
    The service charts there don't even mention the 30 hour suspension fluid service, and my model fork does not appear there.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    The service charts there don't even mention the 30 hour suspension fluid service, and my model fork does not appear there.

    You're talking about the 2011 FIT forks, right...because I have the same question.

    Does it just involve removing the rebound knob and both bottom bolts, draining, inverting, refilling and reassembly? The FIT damper is completely self contained, correct?

    I also wanted to replace the seals, but the real question is about having to mess with the damper, which I don't feel comfortable with or have the tools to do so.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by richde View Post
    You're talking about the 2011 FIT forks, right...because I have the same question.
    Yes.

    Does it just involve removing the rebound knob and both bottom bolts, draining, inverting, refilling and reassembly?
    Yes. You're supposed to use new "crush washers" under the bolts, but lots of people say you can reuse the old ones. I've found no source for crush washers, but I believe new ones come with the seal kits. You also need the green Fox 10wt suspension fluid, and Fox Float Fluid, which is a thick, viscous, blue fluid. JensonUSA sells them. Some experts say that you can forget about the Fox Float Fluid and just use the green Fox 10wt on the foam ring under the dust wipers instead. Supposedly, the bath oil gets up into the dust wipers and splashes on the foam rings.

    There are a couple of threads around discussing various fork oils if you want to try to use some substitutes:

    2010 Talas 32 RLC FIT - Rebuild? - Page 2
    fox green 10wt, looking for substitute

    I've decided to go with the green Fox 10wt, which is proprietary. I think you can also use some version of Mobil 1 motor oil.

    The FIT damper is completely self contained, correct?
    Yes.

    I also wanted to replace the seals, but the real question is about having to mess with the damper, which I don't feel comfortable with or have the tools to do so.
    As far as I can tell, 'seals' == 'dustwipers', and you can replace the dust wipers easily if you slide the lowers off while you are draining the "bath oil" out of the fork for the 30 hour suspension fluid service. Supposedly, the new Fox SKF seals are better than the Enduro seals, which are better than the old Fox seals. JensonUSA currently has all sizes of the new Fox SKF seals in stock.

    There's better info about the 30 hour suspension fluid service ("changing the bath oil") in this thread:

    30 hr. suspension fluid service on a 2010 36 Talas RLC?

    The mojo tutorial is probably the best. The competitive cyclist video is okay, but it's incomplete.

    Another relevant link:

    Fox Forks Wiper Seal Service - Bikes | Cycling | Mountain Biking on Cyclist No.1

    If you want to do the 15 hour dust wiper service between the 30 hour suspension service, this is the best tutorial I've found:

    Tech Tuesday: Clean and Lubricate Your Fox F32 Dust Wiper Seals - Pinkbike.com

    ...but prying up the dust wipers gouges the paint on your fork(which you can see in the pictures). Do not follow the Fox tutorial where they say to "lift" the dust wiper--you'll scratch the hell out of your stanchions when your screwdriver slips, and it will slip. Wrap a terry cloth towel around the stanchions in any case to protect them until you've got the dust wipers pried up.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by happyriding; 12-06-2011 at 01:39 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by happyriding View Post
    I've already looked there. Nothing for my fork model.
    Sorta doesn't matter, for the purposes of an oil change they really are all pretty much the same.

    If it helps, the following link refers specifically to the 2011 36 FIT damper, but you won't be getting past item 3 for an oil change anyway
    36 mm FIT RLC Cartridge Service Procedures

    NB. The 30 hour "oil service" refers to changing the splash oil in the bottom of the legs, not to fully servicing the sealed FIT cartridge and changing the oil inside that.

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