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  1. #1
    mikeb
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    older marzocchi fork maintenance

    so i'm riding what i believe to be a marzocchi bomber fork built sometime in the mid nineties on my hardtail. i can't find anything online about this fork, so i thought some of the rest of you old timers here might be able to help me out.

    back in the day, rock shox used to advise putting a drop of lube where the stanchion tubes entered the lowers. would the same apply to the marzocchi in the photograph? based on the photograph, can anybody identify what model this fork is and when it was built, and perhaps point me to a link which can provide maintenance tips?

    thanks!
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  2. #2
    Former Bike Wrench
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    Looks like a 100mm travel Z1...possibly 1997 or 1998 (Nice Rasta Paint Job!)

    Anyway, best thing to do is change the oil in it if it hasn't been done. Golden Spectro 7.5wt 125/150 oil found at Moto shops is what you want. If the seals start leaking, they are easy to replace (so are the bushings) if needed.

    Here is a list of manuals

  3. #3
    mikeb
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    thanks for the manual, it's on my computer's desktop now for future reference.

    supposedly the fork had been rebuilt before coming into my possession. (get this--i traded my old mac mini computer for it)

    thanks again.

  4. #4
    dru
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    Take it apart, it's dead easy, even for an oil change. A bolt on each lower leg is all that holds them on, and the springs and stuff come out the top. I just rebuilt my '01, and had a '98 previously. I say take it apart because that way you can pump fresh oil into the damper, by putting it in a jar of fork oil. When you reassemble the fork a bit of GP grease on the seals and dust caps is a good idea. You can use any type of varsol to clean the internals, but I just used a tooth brush and lots of dish soap. You'll get rid of all the black gunk (wear particles) and dirt that will remain if you just do an oil change.

    The lower bolts are aluminum (grease the o rings when reassembling) and WILL strip if you don't have a good touch/feel. Luckily I do, since I became paranoid after hand tightening them and had to check them with my torque wrench-they were spot on!

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  5. #5
    All 26.5" all the time!
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    It appears to be a 1998 Z2. The Z1 had both rebound and compression adjusters, but this fork only has the rebound adjustment in the right leg.

    Like the others said, it's relatively easy to overhaul, and you can use ATF for suspension fluid if you wish. I've owned a 1998 Z2 Bomber and a Z2 Atom Bomb and both forks performed beautifully with ATF.

  6. #6
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb
    so i'm riding what i believe to be a marzocchi bomber fork built sometime in the mid nineties on my hardtail. i can't find anything online about this fork, so i thought some of the rest of you old timers here might be able to help me out.

    back in the day, rock shox used to advise putting a drop of lube where the stanchion tubes entered the lowers. would the same apply to the marzocchi in the photograph? based on the photograph, can anybody identify what model this fork is and when it was built, and perhaps point me to a link which can provide maintenance tips?

    thanks!
    http://enduroforkseals.com has the manual online and the seals for rebuilding it.
    mtbtires.com
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  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zanetti
    It appears to be a 1998 Z2. The Z1 had both rebound and compression adjusters, but this fork only has the rebound adjustment in the right leg.

    Like the others said, it's relatively easy to overhaul, and you can use ATF for suspension fluid if you wish. I've owned a 1998 Z2 Bomber and a Z2 Atom Bomb and both forks performed beautifully with ATF.
    That is not correct. Only the 2000 Z1 had the rebound AND compression damper, after 2000 they went back to what they had in 1999, which was that both carts were the same and had rebound adjusters on top. The 2000 Z1 was also a 5" travel fork. All of those early Z1s had "twin cartridges", but only 2000 had compression and rebound adjustable carts. It sort of backfired though because everyone thought the 2000s "spiked" on fast repeated hits, so a lot of people drilled out the compression cartridges to increase the flow. It was one of those "just because it has an adjustment doesn't mean it has good damping" situations.

    I also had a 1999 Z2, and the fork in the picture seems to have a lot of exposed stanchion, but it's difficult to see if the left leg (right one in the picture) has a rebound-adjuster on top. Most likely a Z2, and if there's no rebound adjuster on the left leg, then it's definitely a Z2. With that much exposed stanchion it's possibly the 80 or 85mm version, there was a "speed-springs" kit that would give you a bit more travel (especially for the '98 model), so perhaps that's why there seems to be more exposed stanchion.

    BTW, it's an open-bath lubrication fork. There's no point to putting a "drop of oil" on the stanchions, that will only attract dirt and grime. Better to wipe the stanchions/seals clean after rides with a soft rag, but that's ONLY if they get really nasty. Otherwise, they'll be fine. The bushings and lowers get impregnated with oil constantly, and those forks run very smooth. On some forks it does make seme sense to put some oil on the stanchions, but that's only when the lubrication system is lacking to start with.

    New seals, bushings if it needs it, and some new oil, and you are good to go. It may not need all of those things critically, but if you do them it will ride "like new" for a long time.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  8. #8
    No known cure
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    That's a 1999 Z2 BAM. The 1998 Z2 and 1999 Z2 Alloy (leftover 98's) did not have the step down on the lowers. I bought several when Supergo was blowing them out. Old timer?? I'm only in my thirties.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  9. #9
    mikeb
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    the fork was rebuilt just before i made the trade for it.

    **There's no point to putting a "drop of oil" on the stanchions, that will only attract dirt and grime.**

    this is exactly the answer i'm looking for.

    thanks, everyone!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeb
    the fork was rebuilt just before i made the trade for it.

    **There's no point to putting a "drop of oil" on the stanchions, that will only attract dirt and grime.**

    this is exactly the answer i'm looking for.

    thanks, everyone!
    A guy (Drake Thomas at isotuned) who rebuilds and tunes forks and rear shocks for factory riders here in Southern California told me that after particularly dirty rides, I should put a drop of lube on the dust seal, cycle the fork, and wipe off the stanchion tube. Keep cycling the fork and wiping the tube until clean. This helps to prolong the life of the seal.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  11. #11
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    I have a bomber Z1 drop off (140mm!!), I love it but it is acting kinda strange. It making noise and I can bottom it out. I REEEALY dont want to put the junky suntour forks back on. It appears it is high time for an oil change, and I kinda know how to do it, but I would like to find a manual for mine if possible (I checked marzocchi's site--not there). Also I see someone used ATF. I already have that so I thought I would try it out. I will post some pictures later. TIA for any insight you may throw my way

  12. #12
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    that seems to be a variation of the Z2 (good fork) i would suggest, not only changing the oil (use 50mL of 7.5wt oil) but yes adding a little oil on the sanctions does make them more responsive. Or you can put for grease inside the seals (either should work).

  13. #13
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    I wonder if that Bomber Z1 has been serviced since 2013?

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