So my RS Pike was leaking damper oil out of the rebound adjuster hole. This is no ordinary Pike, it has the hi-end "aftermarket factory kit" from that company that will go un-named in this thread out of respect to their owner. It wasn't leaking bad but enough to fill the rebound knob full of oil so I just plugged it and left it for two years. Well time for a rebuild this season and I'm unemployed so... plenty of time to do it myself. You can get the damper seal rebuild kit at Universal Cycles which also happens to be my LBS (YES!). But I also wanted to FIX that leaky rebound system once and for all since I had it apart. Several calls to the aftermarket shock/fork company went unanswered and then they finally told me I needed to send it in for their $160 rebuild. After having already spend hundreds of dollars with them on this particular fork alone, uhm... I DON'T THINK SO! LOL I figured it out myself, no thanks to them.
Here are the steps to the fix along with pictures.
1. Remove the fork lowers per this RS vid:
RockShox Lower Leg Removal - YouTube
2. Service the Motion Control Damper System per this RS vid:
RockShox Motion Control Service - YouTube
3. With the rebound damper assembly and shaft out and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol, take a 2.5mm hex key and unscrew the rebound adjuster as far as it will go as seen in the first pic (mine was 32 clicks from full closed by looking thru the blow-off port near the piston). There is an o-ring seal that is keeping it from being unscrewed any further.
4. Now take that 2.5mm hex key and insert it thru the hole in the rebound piston retaining nut at the opposite end as seen in the second pic. GENTLY push on the rebound adjust shaft which is inside the piston shaft and DO THIS WITH THE SHAFT INSIDE OF A BUCKET. There are a spring and two detent balls for the rebound adjust detents and they are freaking MICROSCOPIC (Pic 5)! These will come flying out when you push out the rebound adjust shaft.
5. Replace the o-ring at the top of the rebound shaft (pic 4). I found it to be the same size as those used in Mikuni snowmobile/motorcycle carbs (I actually had one laying around) so go to a motor sports dealer and ask for their Mikuni parts bin.
6. Put everything back together. Be careful NOT to overstretch the o-ring when putting it on (probably what had happened with mine). I found it easiest to get the detent balls in by putting finger over hole in rod, insert one ball then spring, balance other ball on top of spring and push in with thumb while the whole thing is pushed up right next to the outer shaft. Slide the rod into the shaft until you feel the o-ring catch and then just screw it in like normal.
7. Replace fluids. I find RS's/Sram's 5 wt. fork damper oil to be of slightly less viscosity than the aftermarket company's Torco fluids so the fork is more responsive. The Pike takes 120 ml of oil or 5" from the top (after plunging the shaft up and down to get air out). I also use 5W-40 Castrol Syn lube for the splash oil in the lowers and swear by it. It's even thicker than the Mobil 1 syn that many here recommend and really sticks to the bushings well while also adding a high degree of slip (Thanks to Enduro Seals for that tip). My forks are the SMOOTHEST of all of my friends and I've heard that from a couple shops too. My fork even rides noticeably smoother than when I've gotten it back from the aftermarket company too!
8. Congrats, have a beer, and laugh at the lame aftermarket shops that want to rip you off for a 50 cent part!
PS - Big shout out to RS/SRAM for their informative vids, Universal Cycles for always having the parts I need in stock, and RWC/Enduro Seals for their lube tips.
PSS - DON'T BE AFRAID to delve into fork rebuilding yourself, there are plenty of instructional vids online for all major brands. It isn't rocket science like the aftermarket shops want you to believe so do NOT be intimidated and just post questions in this forum if needed!
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