Results 1 to 87 of 87
  1. #1
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,022

    Switching from grease to oil on a Raidon due to stiction

    I recently upgraded my rockhopper suntour xcr fork to a raidon with air spring. The fork impressed me from the start and was really smooth with great small bump sensitivity. Some couple of months later I started getting some stiction on the fork which killed small bump sentivity. I tried using finsh line dry on the seals and stanchions and I also tried some silicone spray but these measures only seemed to work for a short time, and by the middle of the ride stiction was back. I decided to open it up to see what was up and re oil the foam rings but to my surprise there were no foam ring and no oil. The whole thing was splattered in some type of grease. I decided to clean the grease out and use 15wt oil like the rockshox forks use. I put in some oil soaked foam rings as it had the space where the rings go and added 10 ml of oil to each leg and put it back together.

    The fork now works incredibly smooth, even better than when it was new. I took it for a ride today and it felt great. There appear to be no leaks. So my question to you guys is: Will this fork be ok with oil instead of grease or will I kill it prematurely? If there will be no problem, then why does suntour use grease instead of oil?

    Thanks four your help!

    Cheers,
    Abel

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8,344
    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I recently upgraded my rockhopper suntour xcr fork to a raidon with air spring. The fork impressed me from the start and was really smooth with great small bump sensitivity. Some couple of months later I started getting some stiction on the fork which killed small bump sentivity. I tried using finsh line dry on the seals and stanchions and I also tried some silicone spray but these measures only seemed to work for a short time, and by the middle of the ride stiction was back. I decided to open it up to see what was up and re oil the foam rings but to my surprise there were no foam ring and no oil. The whole thing was splattered in some type of grease. I decided to clean the grease out and use 15wt oil like the rockshox forks use. I put in some oil soaked foam rings as it had the space where the rings go and added 10 ml of oil to each leg and put it back together.

    The fork now works incredibly smooth, even better than when it was new. I took it for a ride today and it felt great. There appear to be no leaks. So my question to you guys is: Will this fork be ok with oil instead of grease or will I kill it prematurely? If there will be no problem, then why does suntour use grease instead of oil?

    Thanks four your help!

    Cheers,
    Abel
    The lower semibath oil lubes the seals. Are you referring to greasing the dust wipers? I might use synthetic grease on the wipers for assembly only. Was 10ml the spec for the lowers as I have always used 15-16ml?

  3. #3
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,022
    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    The lower semibath oil lubes the seals. Are you referring to greasing the dust wipers? I might use synthetic grease on the wipers for assembly only. Was 10ml the spec for the lowers as I have always used 15-16ml?
    Thanks for your reply keen. There was no oil in the lowers, only splattered grease, so I went ahead and cleaned out the grease and replaced it with 15wt oil. Im now intrigued if this switch from grease to oil can cause some damage long term and why was it using grease instead of oil in the first place.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    Thanks for your reply keen. There was no oil in the lowers, only splattered grease, so I went ahead and cleaned out the grease and replaced it with 15wt oil. Im now intrigued if this switch from grease to oil can cause some damage long term and why was it using grease instead of oil in the first place.
    sorry to revive an old thread, but how has the raidon been since switching to the oil from the grease? my raidon is starting to get slow, i'm thinking it's time for service and wondering if this is the right move.

    also, what foam rings did you put in? do you know that type/size (beyond 32mm internal)?

  5. #5
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,022
    Hello Xeren, the fork has been great. I havent touched it since then and it has been ridden plenty. All of the excessive stiction was gone when I switched to oil and it seems to be performing just as good today, very plush. I have noticed some minor leaking in one of the lower bolts, but it is very minor. It just show up as a little bit of humidity on the dirt and dust around that bolt. At least it lets me know that there is still oil in the fork! An thin oil ring forms around my stanchions after some days of riding when I forget to wipe them clean, but its not an inconvenience. Ill get worried when I stop seeing it, Ill know then its time to clean the lowers and add a couple of CCs of oil again.

    I had no spare foam rings lying around at that time so I made some from a piece of foam I found in the house that seemed very similar to the fork foam ring on my other shocks (rock shox), Im sure you could use the same ones RS uses for their 32mm forks, something like this:
    Amazon.com : RockShox Foam oil ring, Pike, Reba*, SID (32mm) : Bike Oils : Sports & Outdoors

    Cheers!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    135
    Thanks so much abelfonseca! Last night I added ~15cc of 20wt gold Fox fork oil (b/c it was the only oil I had on hand) in each leg and it feels like a new fork again! I didn't even bother cleaning out the lower legs, as I figure i will do a proper job once i have those foam rings to add. For now, i'm scared to store the bike upside down without the foam rings, but that's not a big deal.

    Thanks again for all your help! i'll report back after a little while with how it's working out.


    One thing i will add for others looking for answers here, b/c i couldn't find it anywhere else, was, when I unscrewed the bottom bolts, I think it loosened the lockout bolt at the top of the fork, as the lockout suddenly stopped working.

    Here's the part I discovered after an hour of trial and error though. Once you remove the blue top cap, and then remove the black knob (seen at 50 sec in of this video: ) with pliers, there is a place to put a 5mm hex key, and you need to tighten that to 10nm, BUT, then, you can stick a 4mm hex key even deeper down into that hole, and that had come really loose- it took like 5 turns to re-tighten it (don't tighten that to 10nm as well, just to where it stops turning).

    THEN, when i reinstalled the little black plastic knob that has the 4mm hex attached to it, i realized that it wasn't working, because the little 4mm hex piece had gotten pushed up into the knob, so when i reinstalled it, it didn't reach down far enough to turn the internals like the 4mm hex key did. I had to use a pair of pliers to pull the hex out of the knob and push it back in to the knob less far, so that when i reinstalled the knob+hex, it sat deeper and actually could turn the internals to lock and unlock.

    I was up way too late last night figuring that last bit out, but it was worth it!

  7. #7
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,022
    Glad it worked! The foam ring will not work as a seal, what will stop oil from leaking out when laying your bike upside down are the dust wipers, assuming they are in good shape. The job of the foam ring is to collect oil to lubricate the stanchions as they cycle up and down through the foam rings, they also trap any dust that gets past the dust wiper. This will insure that there is always a small coating of oil on them. 15 CC might be on the high side, but if the fork is going through all of its travel and is not hydro locking, I guess your good.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    Glad it worked! The foam ring will not work as a seal, what will stop oil from leaking out when laying your bike upside down are the dust wipers, assuming they are in good shape. The job of the foam ring is to collect oil to lubricate the stanchions as they cycle up and down through the foam rings, they also trap any dust that gets past the dust wiper. This will insure that there is always a small coating of oil on them. 15 CC might be on the high side, but if the fork is going through all of its travel and is not hydro locking, I guess your good.

    Cheers
    Ah, that makes sense - i guess i won't worry about how i store it!

    Fox says to use 30cc in each leg for their 2014 forks with the new closed dampers, but I think they have much more volume inside the leg, so i thought 15cc was being conservative! I'll keep an eye on it to make sure it's not doing anything funky though.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    163
    Hello Abel and Xeren. Im experiencing the same thing on my 2013 29er Raidon and would like to do the same procedure. Did you follow any video or manual in the disassembly? I found a digram of how similar forks are designed. SR has some how to videos but im not sure which steps to follow.

    BikeRadar.com ? View topic - Suntour Raidon air suspension adjustment
    Tech Videos*- SR SUNTOUR Cycling

    I'm assuming this model has no oil baths, and uses sealed cartridges on both sides. One with lockout/dampener and the other with the air cartridge and springs. I'm a bit lost where it is you would be putting oil. Are you creating an oil bath in the lowers? or are you opening the dampening cartridge cleaning the grease and filling with oil from the top, and then filling both lowers with oil to keep the spring/piston lubricated?
    Thank You

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by jokaankit View Post
    Hello Abel and Xeren. Im experiencing the same thing on my 2013 29er Raidon and would like to do the same procedure. Did you follow any video or manual in the disassembly? I found a digram of how similar forks are designed. SR has some how to videos but im not sure which steps to follow.

    BikeRadar.com ? View topic - Suntour Raidon air suspension adjustment
    Tech Videos*- SR SUNTOUR Cycling

    I'm assuming this model has no oil baths, and uses sealed cartridges on both sides. One with lockout/dampener and the other with the air cartridge and springs. I'm a bit lost where it is you would be putting oil. Are you creating an oil bath in the lowers? or are you opening the dampening cartridge cleaning the grease and filling with oil from the top, and then filling both lowers with oil to keep the spring/piston lubricated?
    Thank You
    this video is very helpful



    (you can ignore minutes 1:51 - 4:52 since that involves replacing the cartridge)

    essentially, you're going to let the air out of the fork, pull the fork lowers (0:45 - 1:51), clean them out with a dust free rag, then put them back on (4:52 - 5:10), but before you replace the lower leg bolts, turn the whole fork upside down and use a small oral syringe (you can get them for free/cheap at most pharmacies) to feed the oil into the fork lowers via the lower leg bolt holes. I used 15cc in each leg, but that might not be necessary, or even possibly too much, i would use maybe 10cc.

    then, thread the bolts back into the lower leg at 10NM torque on each side. pumping air back into the air valve will probably help push the upper part of the fork into the lower so you can properly bolt the lowers back on. you may also need to stick a hex wrench in the lower leg bolt holes to properly guide the upper portion into alignment with the lower leg bolt holes

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    163
    Thanks xeren the fork works like new if not better. I went a head and installed a foam ring from a fox 32mm low resistance set. I failed to remove the original dust wipes, and simply inserted the oiled foam ring. The results are impressive, yet very dusty. I personally don't see a need for the oiled foam ring as the original dust wipes had plenty of lube. The top of the stanchions were covered in mud and debris after my ride today, even though it hasn't rained in a few days. I think its the oil attracting the dust, hopefully this will subside as the foam ring dries. So if you haven't installed o-rings don't, simply flip the bike over for a few seconds before a ride.

    Tip: I used a small amount of sealant on the bottom bolts to prevent any oil leaks. No drips/ signs of oil moisture yet..

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: huckleberry hound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    425
    Delete, posted in wrong topic
    Last edited by huckleberry hound; 03-13-2015 at 08:48 AM. Reason: I posted this in wrong place.

  13. #13
    Land of the 230+
    Reputation: GuitsBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    1,808
    FWIW, I'm running with about 15 cc in each stanchion. I highly doubt you'll be hydrolocking the fork with such small quantities. Especially if you're not running max travel.

  14. #14
    FJP
    FJP is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    Hi there,

    Interesting post. I have a question about adding oil into my SR Suntour Epicon X1 (2013). I am a bit confused about where to put the oil for what I have read at a couple of different fora.

    In this topic it is said that you can add oil into both legs (Air side and Rebound/Lockout side) from the bottom.

    But in the video below oil is added in the air side leg from the top:


    So now I have a couple of questions:

    1. What is the difference between adding oil from the bottom and from the top?
    2. What is the best way to add oil into my fork? From the bottom or from the top?
    3. Is it also possible to add oil from the top at the rebound/lockout side?
    4. Can I use LHM+ oil to put in the lower legs and possibly also the damper itself? I have this oil in stock for also bleeding my Magura MT2 brakes


    Looking forward to your replies. Thanks in advance!

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    746
    oil in the top will affect the air spring not the stachions sliding in the lowers

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    94
    Quote Originally Posted by FJP View Post

    1. What is the difference between adding oil from the bottom and from the top?
    2. What is the best way to add oil into my fork? From the bottom or from the top?
    3. Is it also possible to add oil from the top at the rebound/lockout side?
    4. Can I use LHM+ oil to put in the lower legs and possibly also the damper itself? I have this oil in stock for also bleeding my Magura MT2 brakes


    Looking forward to your replies. Thanks in advance!
    1 and 3. Answered above. To lubricate your fork with oil, you have to do it from the bottom.
    2. From the bottom: Flip the bike upside down, take the rebound adjuster off, loosen the bolts, tap them with a rubber mallet, slide the legs off (up) a bit, pour the oil into the holes take both bolts off, pour the oil in (I used 35 ml in each leg), assemble it back (pay attention to tighten the bolts well, if you don't the oil will leak!), flip the bike back on its wheels and ride.
    4. Yes, you can use LHM+, I use it too.

  17. #17
    FJap
    Guest
    Ok thanks, it is becomming clear to me. Final question. The purpose of putting oil (lhm+) in the air chamber (from above) is to reduce the amount of air needed to get the right sag and/or to solve air leakage. Is this correct?

    Sent from my ZORRO 001 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    22,049
    Just bumping this up again as my young cousin just got a Raleigh Tokul with this fork for xmas and already noticing the thick, black grease on the stanchions mid way through not even an hours ride. Just watched Suntours video and could not believe they show it assembled using only grease, WTF

    I will be going the Fox 20w oil route and if things go back, oh well, having that thick, nasty shit forming on the stanchions in a couple miles is absolute crap. Will also be e-mailing/contacting Suntour to say WTF they say about the matter.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    163
    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Just bumping this up again as my young cousin just got a Raleigh Tokul with this fork for xmas and already noticing the thick, black grease on the stanchions mid way through not even an hours ride. Just watched Suntours video and could not believe they show it assembled using only grease, WTF

    I will be going the Fox 20w oil route and if things go back, oh well, having that thick, nasty shit forming on the stanchions in a couple miles is absolute crap. Will also be e-mailing/contacting Suntour to say WTF they say about the matter.
    The grease on mine was like slick honey (clear in color). The fork did really well at first but the grease obviously worked its way away from the seals. If you use oil realize that you MIGHT leak oil on the rotors or pads (watch the pads for glazing). Also the fork does much better when stored at an angle so the seals and bushings are well lubricated. In the winter, @40 degrees, I have to cycle the fork before the lockout feels firm. The biggest change in the forks performance came from changing the spring curve by adding gear oil in the oil chamber. I played around with different oils in the lowers and it made little difference between brands. I settled on mobil1 synthetic, as it felt plush for a bit longer.

    Suntour has it's reasons for using grease, and the performance isn't so bad. Using oil has it's pros and cons. One of the cons is the risk of contaminating pads and risk of mixing in with dirt and grit. Stanchions and lowers were a bit cleaner with suntour's grease. If the grease is really all black and dirty, clean and switch to oil. If it's still clean add grease to the seals and bushings and be done with it. This fork is really good for the money but takes some effort to get dialed in. Also if the bike is new with less than 100 miles on it let the seals break in a bit before deciding to spend money on it. Good luck, I'm sure your cousin will enjoy.

  20. #20
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    22,049
    My little cousin is only 12 and I think weighs 90-100lbs, so don't think I'll have to worry about the actual performance of the fork yet, but don't like the look of that black gunk that builds up on the forks at all, will surely attract dirt/grit. Don't really see why oil would seem like such a big thing considering that most other manufacturers use it in their air forks, really don't understand the grease with no additional oil lube at all, even for a low end air fork. Anyways, I have the bike here with me tonight and will pull it down and clean it up, thinking that maybe it's a fork that's sat for a while and the seals may have started to break down.

    Just placed a call to Suntour and they say they use grease in all of their forks, even the high end ones. Asked the why and was told to reduce service intervals, but just can't see the grease providing as smoooth an action as oil, especially the new Fox 20w stuff, that is pure slickness.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flyfisher117's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    206
    I feel this thread is quite useful. Has anyone had any negative effects of running the oil sponges? 2+ years is probably a decent test.

  22. #22
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,022
    Quote Originally Posted by flyfisher117 View Post
    I feel this thread is quite useful. Has anyone had any negative effects of running the oil sponges? 2+ years is probably a decent test.
    Never had a problem, I sold the fork about a 8 months ago, I think the current owner is still putting miles on it.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    20
    Will this work on an XCR air? And I'm not sure how much to add on each side, 35ml seems like a lot to me.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Quote Originally Posted by _Xceptionist View Post
    Will this work on an XCR air? And I'm not sure how much to add on each side, 35ml seems like a lot to me.
    Thanks for bumping this, I'm having the same problems with mine. Black grease, sticking after a few miles. I have XCR Air also.

    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: huckleberry hound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    425
    Back when I had my XCM I used 15cc per leg.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneTheJeep View Post
    Thanks for bumping this, I'm having the same problems with mine. Black grease, sticking after a few miles. I have XCR Air also.

    Does your XCR Air feel sticky all the time? mine feels sticky even after spraying finishline Max on the stanchions. It sort of goes down in sections instead of gliding smoothly through the travel.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Quote Originally Posted by _Xceptionist View Post
    Does your XCR Air feel sticky all the time? mine feels sticky even after spraying finishline Max on the stanchions. It sort of goes down in sections instead of gliding smoothly through the travel.
    No not all the time, just when the black grease builds up on the stanchions, or when it's really cold out. Mine sticks on the rebound, is that what yours is doing or when you pressing down on the forks?

    I bought some fork oil over the weekend and I'll probably tear into mine this week some time.
    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    20
    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneTheJeep View Post
    No not all the time, just when the black grease builds up on the stanchions, or when it's really cold out. Mine sticks on the rebound, is that what yours is doing or when you pressing down on the forks?

    I bought some fork oil over the weekend and I'll probably tear into mine this week some time.
    Mine is always sticky, my fork doesn't have a rebound adjustment knob though. But after removing the lowers its clear the damper cartridge is also causing the striction, I can just press down and it stays stuck there for a while sometimes (the LO cartridge) May I know what fork oil u bought? Tell me about the results when u try it out

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    15
    I just finished Converting my 2015-Raidon over to an oil bath setup, with a little research I found a Fox rebuild kit(part#803-00-944) that contained all the necessary part to do the job correctly, cost me $40CDN plus $5 for 50ml of Fox Gold 20wt synthetic oil that my LBS sold my in bulk(25ml per leg).

    Right away it feels smoother and now has zero stickshion, I am betting small bump reaction will be greatly improved. I will report back with my findings after sometime on the trails.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flyfisher117's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    206
    Quote Originally Posted by Paschfire View Post
    I just finished Converting my 2015-Raidon over to an oil bath setup, with a little research I found a Fox rebuild kit(part#803-00-944) that contained all the necessary part to do the job correctly, cost me $40CDN plus $5 for 50ml of Fox Gold 20wt synthetic oil that my LBS sold my in bulk(25ml per leg).

    Right away it feels smoother and now has zero stickshion, I am betting small bump reaction will be greatly improved. I will report back with my findings after sometime on the trails.
    Keep us updated!
    Have any links of the process you used?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    20
    Can I just clean the inside and add oil from the 2 bolt holes at the bottom without a foam ring? What difference would it make if I do that without a foam ring?

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Quote Originally Posted by _Xceptionist View Post
    Can I just clean the inside and add oil from the 2 bolt holes at the bottom without a foam ring? What difference would it make if I do that without a foam ring?
    I just did it today, we'll find out later!
    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    This is what the black grease looks like.





    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  34. #34
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Cleaned out the lowers like you would a rifle/shotgun, except I used a very long screwdriver with a ball of duct tape on the end wrapped in old tube socks and paper towels lol! Took quite a while and got rid of some old nasty socks

    View with a flashlight up the bottom hole like a bore scope.

    Dirty



    Clean

    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Where to put the fork oil, I used about 15 ml per side.



    Some of the stuff needed. I used Bel Ray 10w I grabbed off the shelf at the motorcycle shop down the street. Grease for the wipes, loctite for the caliper bolts etc.

    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flyfisher117's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    206
    I'm no expert and I don't really know how the open oil baths work in other forks but if you just put the oil into the fork how is it lubing the stanchions? Won't it just settle in the bottom of the lowers?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  37. #37
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Quote Originally Posted by flyfisher117 View Post
    I'm no expert and I don't really know how the open oil baths work in other forks but if you just put the oil into the fork how is it lubing the stanchions? Won't it just settle in the bottom of the lowers?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Yes most of it does settle in the bottom, but just tip the bike upside down for a sec before a ride like someone mentioned above.
    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  38. #38
    mtbr member
    Reputation: EugeneTheJeep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    622
    Well I went for a ride this morning for about an hour, everything is so smooth and clean. No sticking and rebound works awesome. So this DOES work on the XCR Air fork as well as Raidon. Many thanks to the OP for starting this thread, I was actually thinking of buying a new fork because of these issues, but now I don't have to!
    2017 Giant Trance 2
    2015 Ghost Kato 5 (bikepacker)
    2016 GT Traffic 3.0 (commuter)
    1988ish GT Mach One

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1
    I am looking to change from grease to oil on a 2015 raidon fitted to a voodoo bizango.All is fine except that under the rebound adjuster is a allen key bolt with a plastic stem in the middle. do you have to use a hollow allen key (if such a thing exists) or am i missing something. cheers

  40. #40
    otb club member
    Reputation: Chris2fur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,612
    Quote Originally Posted by Paschfire View Post
    I just finished Converting my 2015-Raidon over to an oil bath setup, with a little research I found a Fox rebuild kit(part#803-00-944) that contained all the necessary part to do the job correctly.
    I've got some Suntour 32mm wiper seals that measure about 41.30mm Outside Diameter. The Fox standard is nominal 42mm and usually measures just over 42mm. I'm surprised the Fox wipers went in for you. Were they hard to install? I had assumed (based on the actual Suntour product measurement) that our 32mm seal kit would not fit Suntour 32mm forks.

  41. #41
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by flyfisher117 View Post
    Keep us updated!
    Have any links of the process you used?

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
    Sorry no links...
    I just looked at Rockshox & Fox setup diagrams in a Google search for reference, then hit the LBS to see what they carried for parts.
    The Fox kit I bought contained: 2x 32mm foam rings, 2x 6mm plastic crush washers, 1x 6mm aluminum crush washer and 2x dust wipers.


    I sure I could have bought all the parts separate and cheaper than $44 from the web, but hey... They had it... and well, priorities.


    So... It was all pretty simple, once I had the fork apart I just clean out as much grease from the fork legs as I could, using a lint free cloth wrapped around a metal coat hangar bent into a loop.
    Then soaking the foam rings in the 20wt oil making sure they get totally saturated in oil, finished with slipping them into place under the dust wipers using my fingers (yep there is a space for'em )


    With the foam rings oiled and in place, I slipped the fork legs back onto the stanchions about half way down, then using a small funnel poured 25ml of 20wt oil into both lower leg bolt holes, tighten up the leg bolts and your done!

  42. #42
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by Paschfire View Post
    Sorry no links...
    I just looked at Rockshox & Fox setup diagrams in a Google search for reference, then hit the LBS to see what they carried for parts.
    The Fox kit I bought contained: 2x 32mm foam rings, 2x 6mm plastic crush washers, 1x 6mm aluminum crush washer and 2x dust wipers.


    I sure I could have bought all the parts separate and cheaper than $44 from the web, but hey... They had it... and well, priorities.


    So... It was all pretty simple, once I had the fork apart I just clean out as much grease from the fork legs as I could, using a lint free cloth wrapped around a metal coat hangar bent into a loop.
    Then soaking the foam rings in the 20wt oil making sure they get totally saturated in oil, finished with slipping them into place under the dust wipers using my fingers (yep there is a space for'em )


    With the foam rings oiled and in place, I slipped the fork legs back onto the stanchions about half way down, then using a small funnel poured 25ml of 20wt oil into both lower leg bolt holes, tighten up the leg bolts and your done!
    So you didn't replace the dust wipers just put the foam rings in?

  43. #43
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2fur View Post
    I've got some Suntour 32mm wiper seals that measure about 41.30mm Outside Diameter. The Fox standard is nominal 42mm and usually measures just over 42mm. I'm surprised the Fox wipers went in for you. Were they hard to install? I had assumed (based on the actual Suntour product measurement) that our 32mm seal kit would not fit Suntour 32mm forks.
    I should have mentioned I only used the 2x 32mm foam rings, 2x crush washers and the SAG 'O'ring from the kit, I left the stock Suntour wipers of my Raidon in place.
    The 2x spare Fox 32mm wipers I donated to my LBS for spare parts.

  44. #44
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by 950sm07 View Post
    So you didn't replace the dust wipers just put the foam rings in?
    No, since my Raidon had only ruffly 30km of ride time on it and upon inspection the stock wipers seemed to be in perfect shape, so I seen no reason to replace them with newer ones.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    136
    Quote Originally Posted by Paschfire View Post
    No, since my Raidon had only ruffly 30km of ride time on it and upon inspection the stock wipers seemed to be in perfect shape, so I seen no reason to replace them with newer ones.
    OK thanks, it wasn't clear from your first comment.

  46. #46
    mtbr member
    Reputation: flyfisher117's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    206
    Quote Originally Posted by Paschfire View Post
    Sorry no links...
    I just looked at Rockshox & Fox setup diagrams in a Google search for reference, then hit the LBS to see what they carried for parts.
    The Fox kit I bought contained: 2x 32mm foam rings, 2x 6mm plastic crush washers, 1x 6mm aluminum crush washer and 2x dust wipers.


    I sure I could have bought all the parts separate and cheaper than $44 from the web, but hey... They had it... and well, priorities.


    So... It was all pretty simple, once I had the fork apart I just clean out as much grease from the fork legs as I could, using a lint free cloth wrapped around a metal coat hangar bent into a loop.
    Then soaking the foam rings in the 20wt oil making sure they get totally saturated in oil, finished with slipping them into place under the dust wipers using my fingers (yep there is a space for'em )


    With the foam rings oiled and in place, I slipped the fork legs back onto the stanchions about half way down, then using a small funnel poured 25ml of 20wt oil into both lower leg bolt holes, tighten up the leg bolts and your done!
    Sweet thanks! When I get ready to give my Raidon it's first service/clean up I may consider doing this.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  47. #47
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    136
    I did the "upgrade" on my 2016 Raidon 27+ Boost fork and I was surprised because there were foam rings in it already. Cleaned it and put 15ml oil in both side so far so good no leaking and the travel is smooth. I was thinking on upgrading it to Reba but cannot fault the Raidon I'll keep it for now.

  48. #48
    FJP
    FJP is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    Great topic and good to see it is still active and the thanks to that I have gained some valuable extra information. I want to execute this shortly on my Epicon X2. While riding I have an annoying ticking sound which comes from the fork. I hope cleaning everything and using oil will solve this.

    So just to be sure I want to perform the following steps:
    1. Remove Air
    2. Remove lower legs and clean them completely on the inside (removing any grease).
    3. Put legs back on, add 15cc oil (LHM+) into both legs
    4. Put in bolts and tighten them*
    5. Pump in air and spray a bit of brunox deo on the stanchions
    6. Test ride

    *Can I use PFTE Teflon tape on the bolts to minimise risk of leaking oil?

    If some has any remarks please let me know :-)

    Thanks!


    Sent from my V919 Air DualOS using Tapatalk

  49. #49
    Short-Change-Hero
    Reputation: gregnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4,826
    Interesting seeing this... My 2011 RS Revelation is done and I have an old Manitou Tower that is not getting used. Through the upgrade program I will be getting an Auron RC2 so I will be interested to see what the internals of the Auron are like.

    I did multiple services on my Revy so I am sure that the differences are pretty minor but something that they say to do to help CLEAN you fork is to use ISOPROPYL Alcohol in a spray bottle and spray on everything then wipe off. This goes as far as spraying the inside of the lower legs and cleaning out just as you guys have.

    Couple modifications to this process I would suggest (and will try once I have my Auron) are....
    - disassembly lower legs from stanchions and spray with Isopropyl Alcohol to clean. Be sure to wipe everything down.
    - spray isopropyl alcohol inside lower legs and wrap paper towel or clean cloth around a stick and clean out lower legs
    - When re-installing the legs, wipe a small amount of Slick Honey (or equivalent) around the inside of the dust wipers to aid in installation
    - before complete installing lower legs turn the fork on its side (preferably in a bike stand) and add 15ml of 15wt oil to each lower leg. Finish installation of lower leg and snug up all bolts.

    @FJP - if you are hearing a creaking you may have a creaky steerer/crown. This is something that lots of different forks have issues with and ultimately, unless there has been a mass incident with building of the forks from the mfg you will just have to deal with it. You can always check with Suntour and see if they would do anything for you.

  50. #50
    FJP
    FJP is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Interesting seeing this... My 2011 RS Revelation is done and I have an old Manitou Tower that is not getting used. Through the upgrade program I will be getting an Auron RC2 so I will be interested to see what the internals of the Auron are like.

    I did multiple services on my Revy so I am sure that the differences are pretty minor but something that they say to do to help CLEAN you fork is to use ISOPROPYL Alcohol in a spray bottle and spray on everything then wipe off. This goes as far as spraying the inside of the lower legs and cleaning out just as you guys have.

    Couple modifications to this process I would suggest (and will try once I have my Auron) are....
    - disassembly lower legs from stanchions and spray with Isopropyl Alcohol to clean. Be sure to wipe everything down.
    - spray isopropyl alcohol inside lower legs and wrap paper towel or clean cloth around a stick and clean out lower legs
    - When re-installing the legs, wipe a small amount of Slick Honey (or equivalent) around the inside of the dust wipers to aid in installation
    - before complete installing lower legs turn the fork on its side (preferably in a bike stand) and add 15ml of 15wt oil to each lower leg. Finish installation of lower leg and snug up all bolts.

    @FJP - if you are hearing a creaking you may have a creaky steerer/crown. This is something that lots of different forks have issues with and ultimately, unless there has been a mass incident with building of the forks from the mfg you will just have to deal with it. You can always check with Suntour and see if they would do anything for you.
    Thanks for the info. I hear/feel some minor "clicks" when fork suspension is working away small bumps. It is gone when I lock the fork. I will check the fork crown.

    About the 15wt oil. Should this be mineral, synthetic, semi-synthetic or doesn't this matter? I know LHM+ mineral oil can be used also, but was just curious regarding the type of oil best to use.

    Sent from my eMAX mini using Tapatalk

  51. #51
    Short-Change-Hero
    Reputation: gregnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4,826
    Most "Fork Oil" is pretty specific to being used for suspension. Because of the moving parts that the oil touches you want to be careful of cavitation (air in the oil, bubbling). This can cause the oil to not perform the way that it is intended if it starts to cavitate. So I would stick with dedicated suspension oil, I like Maxima brand, and go from there. The viscosity is going to really be a trial and error type game but most open bath that I have seen or worked on usually use 15wt for the lower legs and then 5wt for places like the damper.

  52. #52
    otb club member
    Reputation: Chris2fur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,612
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Most "Fork Oil" is pretty specific to being used for suspension. Because of the moving parts that the oil touches you want to be careful of cavitation (air in the oil, bubbling). This can cause the oil to not perform the way that it is intended if it starts to cavitate. So I would stick with dedicated suspension oil, I like Maxima brand, and go from there. The viscosity is going to really be a trial and error type game but most open bath that I have seen or worked on usually use 15wt for the lower legs and then 5wt for places like the damper.
    Cavitation, etc. is a problem specific to the damper, which requires suspension oil. There has been some confusion in this thread regarding the term "open bath."

    A true "open bath" system means that the fork oil in one of the lower legs is serving as damper oil. In other words, the damper is an "open bath" damper--it does not have a sealed bladder keeping dedicated oil in the damper; nor does it have a seal at the bottom of the stanchion tube to keep the damper oil isolated in the upper leg.

    An open bath system will have a very high level of oil in the lower leg because it has to maintain a full damper as well as a splash bath for the bushings and seals. Gregnash's concern about using only suspension fluid in an open bath system is correct. However, it is not correct for a sealed damper system where the oil in the lower legs is only used to lube the bushings and seals. That would be a "splash bath" (also known as "semi-bath") system.

    In this case, where 15cc of oil is being used in each lower leg, it's a splash bath (NOT open bath) system and suspension-specific (damper specific) oil is not required. That is why Fox made the Gold lube, for example. It would never work inside a damper but does a great job lubing the bushings and seals. Fox was just responding to the fact that customers started using synthetic motor oil in the lowers because it works better than suspension fluid for splash bath applications. They were simply trying to come up with something even better.

    You can use something like Mobil1 synthetic motor oil in the lowers with great results for splash bath applications.

  53. #53
    Short-Change-Hero
    Reputation: gregnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4,826
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2fur View Post
    Cavitation, etc. is a problem specific to the damper, which requires suspension oil. There has been some confusion in this thread regarding the term "open bath."

    A true "open bath" system means that the fork oil in one of the lower legs is serving as damper oil. In other words, the damper is an "open bath" damper--it does not have a sealed bladder keeping dedicated oil in the damper; nor does it have a seal at the bottom of the stanchion tube to keep the damper oil isolated in the upper leg.

    An open bath system will have a very high level of oil in the lower leg because it has to maintain a full damper as well as a splash bath for the bushings and seals. Gregnash's concern about using only suspension fluid in an open bath system is correct. However, it is not correct for a sealed damper system where the oil in the lower legs is only used to lube the bushings and seals. That would be a "splash bath" (also known as "semi-bath") system.

    In this case, where 15cc of oil is being used in each lower leg, it's a splash bath (NOT open bath) system and suspension-specific (damper specific) oil is not required. That is why Fox made the Gold lube, for example. It would never work inside a damper but does a great job lubing the bushings and seals. Fox was just responding to the fact that customers started using synthetic motor oil in the lowers because it works better than suspension fluid for splash bath applications. They were simply trying to come up with something even better.

    You can use something like Mobil1 synthetic motor oil in the lowers with great results for splash bath applications.
    Thanks for the better information Chris. I knew that some of my info was correct but without coffee and only 3-4hrs sleep last night it got all jumbled. So in the lower legs you could use something like Manitou's semi bath oil, which is basically 5w40 motor oil. Is that correct?

  54. #54
    otb club member
    Reputation: Chris2fur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,612
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Thanks for the better information Chris. I knew that some of my info was correct but without coffee and only 3-4hrs sleep last night it got all jumbled. So in the lower legs you could use something like Manitou's semi bath oil, which is basically 5w40 motor oil. Is that correct?
    What's weird is Manitou used to recommend multi-viscosity motor oil for air piston lube. The semi-bath oil they recommended at the time was a 5-10w suspension fluid. It's the only multi-viscosity suspension fluid I've dealt with. The synthetic motor oil seems to stick to the parts better and give smoother operation (than the Mantitou semi-bath oil).

  55. #55
    Short-Change-Hero
    Reputation: gregnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4,826
    So what you are saying is going with the synthetic motor oil like the 5w40 would be better at lubricating the lowers vs. using a straight weight (e.g. 15wt) suspension oil?

    Talking with Nate Smith at Manitou about his servicing and products he recommends Maxima brand (everyone will have their own brand recommendation) but for their current and recent model forks he recommended a synthetic motor oil for the semi-bath, specifically a 5w40. So this goes in the damper side. Even RS recommended 123ml of 5wt suspension in the MoCo side with 3-10ml of 15wt in the lowers. I was somewhat basing my info off that.

  56. #56
    otb club member
    Reputation: Chris2fur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,612
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    So what you are saying is going with the synthetic motor oil like the 5w40 would be better at lubricating the lowers vs. using a straight weight (e.g. 15wt) suspension oil?
    Yes, in semi-bath applications, not open bath.

    Talking with Nate Smith at Manitou about his servicing and products he recommends Maxima brand (everyone will have their own brand recommendation) but for their current and recent model forks he recommended a synthetic motor oil for the semi-bath, specifically a 5w40. So this goes in the damper side.
    Yes, it goes in both sides. On the damper side of the Manitou forks, the damper has always been sealed off in the upper tube. The semi-bath in that lower leg is only lubing the bushings and seals. On the air side, it is doing the same thing.

    Even RS recommended 123ml of 5wt suspension in the MoCo side with 3-10ml of 15wt in the lowers. I was somewhat basing my info off that.
    Again, Motion Control damper is isolated in the upper tube and uses suspension fluid. For the lower leg semi-bath, you can follow RS recommendation and use straight 15w suspension fluid, but suspension fluid is not required because it's not going through damper ports/orifices/shim stacks--it's just lubing the main seals and bushings. My preference is the synthetic motor oil for this job.

  57. #57
    FJP
    FJP is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    Useful information indeed! Thanks. So can I conclude that synthetic oil is the way to go instead of mineral? Just wondering about LHM+ regarding viscosity. Is it more like 5wt 10wt 15wt or 5w40 etc. I searched for it but could not find the answer.

    Sent from my eMAX mini using Tapatalk

  58. #58
    otb club member
    Reputation: Chris2fur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    2,612
    Quote Originally Posted by FJP View Post
    Useful information indeed! Thanks. So can I conclude that synthetic oil is the way to go instead of mineral? Just wondering about LHM+ regarding viscosity. Is it more like 5wt 10wt 15wt or 5w40 etc. I searched for it but could not find the answer.
    I'm not sure where mineral oil even comes under consideration. A lot of different things are called "mineral oil." I've never heard of it used or even recommended for suspension applications--only for certain hydraulic brakes. I would not leave mineral oil as any kind of option on your list.

    If you are asking about the viscosity of synthetic motor oil to use as splash-bath, I would say 5w30 or 5w40. I don't think it's super critical given the temp range within a suspension fork.

  59. #59
    Short-Change-Hero
    Reputation: gregnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4,826
    Looks like LMH+ is a hydraulic machine oil which probably means that it is SUPER thick like 80W or 90W gear oil. I would probably just stick with either a synthetic lighter weight motor oil (like the 5w40 Chris and I have been discussing) or just go with your standard suspension oil you can purchase at your LBS or moto shop. I purchased a pint of Maxima 15wt oil and think I have used all of 60ml of it after rebuilding my old Revy a few times, so it will last you.

  60. #60
    FJP
    FJP is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    OK it's clear now. I use LHM+ for my Hydraulic brakes. I will get some 5w synthetic motor oil or 15wt fork oil

    Sent from my eMAX mini using Tapatalk

  61. #61
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    135
    Just an update from someone who switched over to Fox Gold Oil in the lower legs of the Raidon at least a year ago. My damper failed.

    Now, i'm not saying it's definitely related, because I don't know enough about the damper cartridge, and if the oil could have weakened any of the seals on it or not, but i thought I would mention it so see if anyone else who switched from grease to oil had similar issues, or if it's just that the Raidon uses relatively cheap parts.

    I'll also add, this fork is on a bike I don't use very much, i basically lend the bike out to friends interested in trying mtb. It gets used every month or so on average. At one point, the lockout stopped working - i would have to open the cap and insert a longer 4mm hex key into the damper to lock or unlock the fork. Eventually even that stopped working, and oil started leaking out the top, at which point the damping unit failed altogether.

  62. #62
    Short-Change-Hero
    Reputation: gregnash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    4,826
    Isn't the damper cartridge sealed though. Pretty much with the damper being a sealed system like it is I would probably have a spare going for swap out every year of hard riding.

  63. #63
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    Isn't the damper cartridge sealed though. Pretty much with the damper being a sealed system like it is I would probably have a spare going for swap out every year of hard riding.
    i'm pretty sure you're right - the 2 were probably unrelated. just a bummer that the damper went bad after so little use - ~6 months of hard riding and then only used once a month after for the last year and a half.

    at least replacements are only $75...

  64. #64
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    26

    Excellent upgrade

    SR Suntour Raidon 27.5+ on my 2016 Specialized Fuse Comp:
    This upgrade completely changes the fork's performance. I did what others have summarized: Cleaned out all the grease. Then, I used foam rings from a Fox 32 rebuild kit and Mobile1 synthetic 5w30 (15ml in each leg) in the lowers as a semi-open bath. The travel has gone from sticky and sluggish to buttery smooth and much more responsive. Reminds me of my old Manitou Tower Pro. Thanks for all the info everyone. Very helpful.

  65. #65
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    57
    Using the intended (grease) lubricant, such as Manitou/Motorex Prep-M fork grease, should restore any Suntour GREASE fork to a free-moving condition.

    Oil is not better, EXCEPT where the seals are failing to keep dirt out, so where the replenishment of splashing oil allows the sliding surfaces to be flushed of the dirt that is getting in (since the dirt absorbs away the thin film of grease while shedding wear particles from the tubes and bushings that further displaces the clean grease, ouch).

    Lower level Suntour forks such as the pre-2012 XCR models (and all models of any year that are below XCR), have User-replaceable (slide-in) bushings in the lowers, which allow too much free-play for the seals to work in off-road conditions, so are pretty hopeless UNLESS some kind of boots are fitted to keep dirt away from the upper tubes.

    The lowers on modern forks have none of the legs extending above the fork brace, so you can't slip boots over the upper ends of the lowers to attach them where the seals are pressed in, as was done in the past.
    Only the cheaper welded-steel fork lowers have an inch of the lower legs extending above the brace, and these can be fitted with rubber bellows/gaiters/boots that will seal off any exposure to the upper tubes from the elements. Not that finding good-fitting rubber boots is easy these days.

    Some low-end (XCM or M-3000) OEM-spec Suntour forks come with fantastic rubber boots that snap onto an external rigid lip of the seals. I contacted Suntour about buying these seals and boots for my XCR fork, but was told that they never stock any such OEM parts for these cheaper models with 28mm legs, which sucks.

    Lizard Skins Velcro fork protectors extended my XCT28 fork service interval from three rides to more than a dozen rides so far, but I just replaced that 6lb fork with an Epicon air fork that saved 2.1lbs and has rebound damping, tight bushings and good grease seals.

    All of the current forks at the XCR level, 2012 and up (and up through Raidon, Epicon, Auron, etc. ), have lowers with pressed-in bushings that allow for much less free play, so the seals have a chance at working for a good length of service interval. You just re-grease them from time to time with proper suspension grease and they shouldn't stiffen up prematurely. The bushings are not replaceable, you would have to replace the lowers, but it is just a matter of re-greasing before the fork seals get so dry inside that they stop working and dirt gets in and wears away the bushings and sealing surfaces.

    Using oil instead of grease, caution should be used in cheaper forks where the retention bolt threading is hidden from view so that Loctite would be displaced by oil and not provide retention. Most good forks don't seem to need Loctite there though since there are nuts that thread on externally (it's all in the service documents if you can find them online).
    Using oil to free up a contaminated fork masks the important symptom of dry, failing seals and now-circulating grit, so you could be happily grinding away your sliding surfaces with every ride. If the seals are working well and the internals stay clean, then oil should be ok though.

  66. #66
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    26
    Thanks for the info. My fork is essentially new. I just purchased the bike a few weeks ago so the seals are great. The oil improved the performance of the fork substantially. It's intriguing that Suntour would sell forks wth only grease for the sake of longer service intervals, because they perform so much better with oil.

  67. #67
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by bdillmd View Post
    Thanks for the info. My fork is essentially new. I just purchased the bike a few weeks ago so the seals are great. The oil improved the performance of the fork substantially. It's intriguing that Suntour would sell forks wth only grease for the sake of longer service intervals, because they perform so much better with oil.
    Thanks for your reporting on the results of adding oil.

    I will be keeping track of how my new Epicon fork performs, whether or not it stiffens up and after how many rides.
    It's an easy fork to pull apart for a quick wipe of the bushings and re-greasing, so If I can get 20-25 rides out of it without issues I will just re-grease it as a routine service item every 20 rides or so.
    I've used the Manitou/Motorex Prep-M suspension grease on older/cheaper Suntour forks with great results, as long as these fork's stanchion tubes were kept shielded. Even these bike's welded-steel forks have given good service intervals, after being resuscitated from nearly-seized condition after just a few rides, then rebuilt with the rubber boots added. Both rebuilds are still going strong, if not so much fun to ride any more now that I have a lighter bike with a much better fork.




  68. #68
    FJP
    FJP is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    Hi there, I was servicing my fork and planning to put oil in the lower legs. But I was checking the damper cartridge and I have serious doubts that it working correctly based onthe noise it is making. I added links to two short videos. Can someone point out what's wrong if that is indeed the case? I am thinking to open it up and refreshing the oil. Thanks!

    http://gdurl.com/sHN4
    http://gdurl.com/NrzN

    Sent from my eMAX mini using Tapatalk

  69. #69
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dougal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,135
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2fur View Post
    What's weird is Manitou used to recommend multi-viscosity motor oil for air piston lube. The semi-bath oil they recommended at the time was a 5-10w suspension fluid. It's the only multi-viscosity suspension fluid I've dealt with. The synthetic motor oil seems to stick to the parts better and give smoother operation (than the Mantitou semi-bath oil).
    Manitou semi-bath is and always was a fully synthetic 5w40 engine oil.

    They were basically 10 years ahead of all the other companies going to ~100cSt bath oils.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
    www.dougal.co.nz Suspension setup & tuning.
    SPV Devolve

  70. #70
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    20
    Hi, i was wondering if using 0w40 motor oil would be okay for this? would it be as effective as 5w40? Asking because the car uses 0w40 and i dont want to buy a 1 litre bottle just for the few CCs i will use. How will the lower viscosity affect the plushness from the splash bath? my fork is an Asian Epixon with the raidon dampers.

  71. #71
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    419
    Deleted.
    Last edited by ro7939; 07-04-2017 at 03:49 PM.
    jimbo

    www.jamesromeyn.com Music and Audio, LLC
    www.prime-vibe.com guitar & violin seasoning device

  72. #72
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dougal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,135
    Quote Originally Posted by ro7939 View Post
    Thanks for this informative thread.

    If middle viscosity fork oil is ideal, any OEM type ATF is second best choice, equivalent to a light viscosity fork fluid. Both these fluids have the required anti-foaming quality.

    Crank case oil is verbotten in forks and A/T. If you want to know how crank case oil works in a fork, replace the ATF in your A/T with crank case oil. HINT: the A/T shall promptly fail!

    The Raidon fork on my 2016 Spec Fuse 6Fattie has so much stiction over small bumps that it's literally worse than my carbon rigid fork. I plan to install the fluid soon.

    My under side damping adjuster free spins with no stop in either direction. What's the fix?
    Unfortunately not. Because forks are not automatic gearboxes.

    ATF works as a fork lube oil but not very well unless you've got ~150cc or more. In small quantities it is too thin (35 cSt at 40C is 7.5wt) and doesn't adhere well to vertical surfaces.

    Been there and done that 10-15 years ago.

    Which is why certain motor oils work far better. They are more slippery, higher viscosity to give a better lubricating film and are formulated to adhere well to metal surfaces.

    Anti-foaming doesn't matter in lower leg oil. It does in open dampers.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
    www.dougal.co.nz Suspension setup & tuning.
    SPV Devolve

  73. #73
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    419
    Dougal,
    I just spent the day disassembling, cleaning, adding motor oil, and reassembling.

    Yes, as you state above, I wrongly thought the oil/subject of this thread was fluid for a fork damper rod. With perfect hindsight, the oil's sum total purpose is to lube the stanchion tube/bearing interface. I used Honda motorcycle crank case oil, 10-40W IIRC, likely as good or better than anything else for this purpose.

    I shall just delete my whole post above after posting this update. BTW, I have indeed used ATF at least a dozen times to lube mc fork damper rods, where it functions as good as dedicated fork fluid. In fact, I would bet $10 to a donut that OEM mc makers recommended ATF for this purpose back in 70s/80s (that's 19, not 18!) Again, I'm old, and owned about 75 motorcycles.

    Two side benefits during today's exercise: It was a perfect opportunity to add grease to my fork bearings, which Spec, in their infinite wisdom, omitted during original assembly. (Wow, just like a $99 Walmart special, what a crock!) Plus Spec employs a plain bearing below, with semi-sealed ball bearing race above. Water/moister has easy access lacking the grease, which I applied in abundance and wiped away the excess after re-assembly.

    Also, I found quite a ding on one of the fork tubes, at the exact location that would increase stiction at the bottom of the stroke. I sanded the tube smooth, and I'm sure this could only increase performance. (I bought the bike second hand.)

    Beyond the above....why on earth does someone not make and sell fork damper tube upgrades for low to mid-price forks like this. At least one or two motorcycle companies have made such products for close to thirty years, they are universally accepted, and in all my reading (owned about 75 mc) I've read only positive results from pros and users.

    C'mon, man! How many millions of forks including my own would benefit with an upgraded fork damper? How much would users save v. buying a new fork?

    With the fork damper from my Raidon in my hands, the stiction at the bottom of the stroke (full extension, where it's most needed for small bumps), was obvious. Judged by the sensation in my hands, it seems like cheap damper rod. (Disclaimer: I purchased 2nd hand. A prior owner might have abused this fork.)

    Maybe one of the reasons no such bike upgrade accessory exists is there's simply too many types of damper rods to upgrade. OTOH, for mc forks, buyers ship the entire fork assembly to the upgrade company, who installs their new parts, and returns the fork.

    "Emulator" is one mc fork upgrade model (forgot the maker). The name derives from making a standard style fork damper rod "emulate" a high end cartridge style damper.
    jimbo

    www.jamesromeyn.com Music and Audio, LLC
    www.prime-vibe.com guitar & violin seasoning device

  74. #74
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by ro7939 View Post
    ...Beyond the above....why on earth does someone not make and sell fork damper tube upgrades for low to mid-price forks like this. At least one or two motorcycle companies have made such products for close to thirty years, they are universally accepted, and in all my reading (owned about 75 mc) I've read only positive results from pros and users.

    C'mon, man! How many millions of forks including my own would benefit with an upgraded fork damper? How much would users save v. buying a new fork?

    With the fork damper from my Raidon in my hands, the stiction at the bottom of the stroke (full extension, where it's most needed for small bumps), was obvious. Judged by the sensation in my hands, it seems like cheap damper rod. (Disclaimer: I purchased 2nd hand. A prior owner might have abused this fork.)...

    Since many of the Asian-sourced Epixon forks come with a Raidon damper, why not buy an Epicon fork damper as an upgrade for your Raidon fork?
    The Raidon damper in my Epicon fork has a very loose, imprecise feel at the rebound adjuster knob, but has been working well since I reduced the air pressure for my 140lbs and then played with the rebound adjuster.
    IIR, the rebound knob moves through nearly full five turns, so the first thing one needs to do is figure out their damping adjuster's rotation range and where they are wanting to set this adjustment for their chosen air pressure. I prefer to start with the knob 3/4 of the way out, then add damping by turning the knob in only if the fork seems to be topping out.

    I can't imagine one of these forks not moving smoothly and freely if the correct type of grease is used. I have not serviced my Epixon yet and it's still smooth after about 300 miles of off-roading. If the cartridge is bad, just replace it.
    If a more-sticky grease is used it may provide too much damping of it's own, so before resorting to oil I would give Suntour's own special grease a shot. Like I said, mine moves freely, just like a fresh set of Fox forks does!

  75. #75
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    419
    Doh! Thanks for the advice! I'm glad someone around here grew a brain, because I sure did not.

    What's a good source for replacement damper rod? How can I confirm the Epicon fits my 2015 Raidon (OEM on 2016 Spec Fuse 6Fattie)?

    Ride update: took it out today on the trail. To say the ride is transformed is an understatement. Ride quality shot from D- to B- (the best bike I ever rode was $4500 2017 Trek Stache 9.8 rigid full carbon 29+, carbon wheels, RS Pike fork).

    Remember though, one of the fork stanchion tubes had moderate to severe nick/deformity, caused by I don't know who or what. After about thirty minutes of sanding it looked and felt close to perfect.
    Last edited by ro7939; 07-05-2017 at 02:43 PM.
    jimbo

    www.jamesromeyn.com Music and Audio, LLC
    www.prime-vibe.com guitar & violin seasoning device

  76. #76
    Merendon Junkie
    Reputation: abelfonseca's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1,022
    I would be cautious of not using fully synthetic oil. Not sure how the rubber seals will respond to mineral oil.


    Cheers

  77. #77
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    419
    Overnight I parked the bike upside down. Today there was absolutely no trace oil leak past the fork seals.

    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I would be cautious of not using fully synthetic oil. Not sure how the rubber seals will respond to mineral oil.
    Thanks for this advice.

    With all due respect, all crank case oil is mineral (dino) oil, whether synthetic or not. Synthetic oil starts out as exactly the same product as non-synthetic oil. (I would not be surprised if the word "synthetic" was originally a marketing term.)

    Re. seal compatibility or non-compatibility, synthetic v. non-synthetic: For motors with hi-miles accumulated with non-synth oil, changing to synthetic tends to loosen and remove the sludge built up around seals, plus the synth lubes so much better, that it may increase the likelihood of oil leaks.

    I have never heard of any rubber seal tending to leak more with non-synth, and leak less with synthetic. If anyone has, I'd love to learn about it.

    Thanks!
    jimbo

    www.jamesromeyn.com Music and Audio, LLC
    www.prime-vibe.com guitar & violin seasoning device

  78. #78
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dougal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,135
    Quote Originally Posted by abelfonseca View Post
    I would be cautious of not using fully synthetic oil. Not sure how the rubber seals will respond to mineral oil.


    Cheers
    No concerns there. The rubbers used in standard orings and seals will handle any commonly available mineral or synthetic oil.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
    www.dougal.co.nz Suspension setup & tuning.
    SPV Devolve

  79. #79
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    57
    I advise to keep in mind what Dougal said about oil not adhering to vertical surfaces, but which might be less of an issue if the bike is regularly stored inverted or hanging from the front wheel.
    Keep in mind that Suntour sells grease that they have chosen to meet their fork's needs, and that this may help give Suntour forks the longest service interval. I have known riders to ride an entire season on Raidon forks, 40 hours or so at least.

    These damping cartridges have part numbers printed on them, so firstly you want to know what cartridge exact number you now have.
    Then Suntour should be able to sell you a compatible replacement, though they are not in the game of supporting owners of known "Gray Market" forks from Asia.
    Both the Asian-sourced and OEM forks tend to have different specifications, especially the cartridges, but also there is the issue of these forks coming into the US with less than the full price having been paid to cover for the increased legal liability of products used in the US. So be prepared for limited service help, and hope that they can simply upgrade your cartridge based only on it's part number.

  80. #80
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1,792
    Quote Originally Posted by ro7939 View Post
    Overnight I parked the bike upside down. Today there was absolutely no trace oil leak past the fork seals.



    Thanks for this advice.

    With all due respect, all crank case oil is mineral (dino) oil, whether synthetic or not. Synthetic oil starts out as exactly the same product as non-synthetic oil. (I would not be surprised if the word "synthetic" was originally a marketing term.)

    Re. seal compatibility or non-compatibility, synthetic v. non-synthetic: For motors with hi-miles accumulated with non-synth oil, changing to synthetic tends to loosen and remove the sludge built up around seals, plus the synth lubes so much better, that it may increase the likelihood of oil leaks.

    I have never heard of any rubber seal tending to leak more with non-synth, and leak less with synthetic. If anyone has, I'd love to learn about it.

    Thanks!
    Actually synthetic and standard oils are vastly different. Standard oils are refined crude oil with additives. Synthetic oils only partially start their life as crude oil. And its only some of the chemicals used to synthesize the lubricant. Its molecular structure is vastly different.

    That said, seals designed for synthetic specifically often times swell when regular type of oil is used. And synthetic used in systems with older types of rubber seals will leak. It can matter about the "crud" on old, used seals causing more drastic leakage issues but even brand new it can be a problem.

    But in this case its truly hard to say if it makes one bit of difference. Primarily because the temps, loads, and RPM isnt there to put that strain on seals. Plus we change seals as needed anyway. The big variation will be is performance since synthetic reduces friction so much better. And you won't have "crud" build up unless you grossly neglect maintenance.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.

    US partner for Ravemen:
    www.rakclighting.com

  81. #81
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by ro7939 View Post
    Overnight I parked the bike upside down. Today there was absolutely no trace oil leak past the fork seals.

    Thanks for this advice.
    ...
    ...Re. seal compatibility or non-compatibility, synthetic v. non-synthetic: For motors with hi-miles accumulated with non-synth oil, changing to synthetic tends to loosen and remove the sludge built up around seals, plus the synth lubes so much better, that it may increase the likelihood of oil leaks.

    I have never heard of any rubber seal tending to leak more with non-synth, and leak less with synthetic. If anyone has, I'd love to learn about it.

    Thanks!
    Usually a synthetic oil is chosen with the same "summer" viscosity (that's the bigger number) as one's regular specified oil.
    A synthetic oil with an often-smaller "W" number (i.e., it's winter grade), would affect viscosity inside of a fork because forks do not get very hot like engines do.
    So in other words a synthetic 0W30 or 5w30 will act like a thinner oil than a 10w30 at the fork's operating temperature.

    So what is a good thing in a car's cold engine may increase the rate of oil loss past a fork's seals.

    The removal or mobilization of sludge or dirt will occur if a detergent oil is used, whether or not it is synthetic. And, as Dougal mentioned, the seals will not be affected by any motor oil. Forks should not have sludge accumulation since their motion prevents sediments from accumulating in solid form and because there is no combustion contamination, but wear sediment can be seen to have settled in the bottom of the lowers after a fork has sat unused for a while, and is why we change the oil.

    Lastly, oils formulated for use in engines have a completely different additive chemistry than oils made for use in suspension units, so will not be as well-suited for the job or have as low friction at the bushings.

  82. #82
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    163
    On topic of these forks. Stiction and seal issues aside, the biggest problem for me was the fork would flex despite being ~5lbs. Despite changing the oil regularly I was developing wear marks on the lowers. Likely due to flex and dirt making it's way past the seals. The anodizing on pikes and fox forks is more durable. I don't think the oil you use is critical at all. It's the amount of oil and how well its sealed. If you want to reduce stiction keep the seals lubricated and clean. Look into the air volume modification as that really improved the fork for me. If your looking for an upgrade a used pike or fox 34, shouldn't be a whole lot more money. Having dialed suspension on a full suspension bike results in a lot of confidence. On a hardtail you can set it up firm to keep the two ends of the bike level, or plush for comfort. If you want it plush just add gear oil to the air chamber and drop the psi 5-10. No disassembly or relubing required.

  83. #83
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by jokaankit View Post
    On a hardtail you can set it up firm to keep the two ends of the bike level, or plush for comfort. If you want it plush just add gear oil to the air chamber and drop the psi 5-10. No disassembly or relubing required.
    Gear oil is laden with both Sulphur and metallic extreme-pressure additives meant for steel sliding on steel, but which serve no purpose in a suspension fork and which will tend to increase friction and thus heat, deformity and wear of any sliding polymer seals or bushings.
    Bubble packets of Fox air chamber oil are often discarded at bikeshops when a new fork's packaging includes a single-use supply of this oil (I've found these in the shop's trash bin).

    The Epixon, Epicon and Raidon forks are low cost and light weight for their price points, so are not as stiff as 34mm forks or even the better 32mm forks.
    I found the Epixon to be affordable, 1700 grams light, and better than needed for my WalMart-sourced Huffy aluminum hardtail. So far I am liking it.


  84. #84
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Steel Calf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,497
    Quote Originally Posted by 950sm07 View Post
    I did the "upgrade" on my 2016 Raidon 27+ Boost fork and I was surprised because there were foam rings in it already. Cleaned it and put 15ml oil in both side so far so good no leaking and the travel is smooth. I was thinking on upgrading it to Reba but cannot fault the Raidon I'll keep it for now.
    Anyone else found foam rings in his Raidon 27.5+ fork??

    I've a red Fuse Comp 2016 which comes with that fork and unsure if I need to buy the foam rings or the whole Fox dust wiper kit. Do the 32mm Rock Shox rings fit as well as the Fox 32?

    What do you guys think about Fox Gold 0W20 vs. Rock Shox 0W30 oil?

    the 0W30 is used in the Pike lowers and slightly thicker (30 vs. 20)

  85. #85
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    163
    Used fox SKF and it was a pain. More specifically I had to trim the flange*? I liked the results of thicker oil, like Mobil1 0w30 or 20. I don't have the most positive experience with foam rings. I mean a seal kit should come with 4-6 foam rings to replace everytime you do an oil change. The rubber seals on the other hand last for thousands of miles. Modifiying the air chamber volume with gear oil allowed me to drop my pressure from 110 psi to something like 70 psi. I didn't want to respond to ddd, because he seems to know better. I got my info from the suntour tech's post on the suntour upgrade thread. He specifies what oil to use and how much to start with (I think on the 7th page). I recall using <10CC of 80w synthetic gear oil. My air pressure and spring rate are similar across my forks. IMO a lot of additional stiction comes from the rebound damper and negative spring on the suntour forks. Those are two areas you can do nothing on this fork to resolve.

    I think a lot of people overlook the spring component of their suspension. I was riding my bike for months without realizing my shock had 0 rebound damping lol. Point is, it rode great when the sag and spring rate were dialed. Once I setup the rebound the grip and stability after a jump and landing were noticeable.

    There is a big difference between a pike and a fox 34 one is plush and responsive the other offers support without stiction. You have to chose what you prefer. Never ridden a reba but I think you can get the raidon setup close. The weight difference might be considerable though.

  86. #86
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Dougal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,135
    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    What do you guys think about Fox Gold 0W20 vs. Rock Shox 0W30 oil?

    the 0W30 is used in the Pike lowers and slightly thicker (30 vs. 20)
    Nope.

    RS 0W30 is ~47 CSt at 40C.
    Fox 20wt is 99 cSt at 40C.

    The fox oil is about twice as thick.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Agent.
    www.dougal.co.nz Suspension setup & tuning.
    SPV Devolve

  87. #87
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    50
    Thank you Ablefonseca for starting this thread.and Praivo for directions on putting in oil
    I have a my16 Auron 29er
    that lately has been feeling wooden as of late ( esp after downieville)-- actually it felt somewhat wooden brand new but improved a bit when I cut down the volume spacer to nothing practically

    I turned over the bike
    used 15cc of Castrol synthetic 10/40 per side
    left the bike inverted over night-- no leaks
    never took off the lower or addressed the seals
    and the next day the fork was performing the best ever-- even better than brand new.
    will report back in a couple of months--

Similar Threads

  1. Advice on Suntour Raidon RLD Air Forks Please
    By xc_ryd3r in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-23-2013, 04:54 PM
  2. Reba Race 29 vs suntour raidon 29
    By El_Zilcho in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-23-2013, 07:14 PM
  3. suntour raidon ltd 29 forks
    By roli1 in forum 29er Components
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-31-2013, 09:19 AM
  4. What Type of Grease for Grease Ports?
    By B-Line in forum Santa Cruz
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 10-28-2012, 05:06 PM
  5. Fox FIT dampers, what's with the stiction?
    By dodger in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 11-16-2011, 10:44 PM

Members who have read this thread: 99

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •