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  1. #1
    jason8265
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    AFR Shock Air Sleeve Service

    Seen a lot of great information on fork service but none on the shock for my SL. Is the air service the same as it was on the Fox line? Let air out, unscrew canister, clean, grease orings, etc.? Is the Slick Honey Grease the best to use for this service? Is this a good idea to do right away even thought the bike is new?

    Thanks

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    Yes to all

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    the air sleeve service is very easy and simple.
    remove the shock from the chassis.
    ( measure the eye to eye length of the shock and record it ----this can be very importaint for later)
    remove the air pressure from the sleeve.
    unscrew the sleve --( i use a rubber strap wrench -----if you do not have arthritis in your hands you can just screw it off with your hands )
    ----note that the sleeve will move down and will have resistance ( negitive air or a vacuum in the sleeve and you have to kinda pull hard to get it to come off the shock body.
    when it comes off you will also see an o ring left on the shock under the seal head or it may stay in the sleeve , --this is the top out bumper --do not forget it or loose it .

    take and clean it all up nicely , ---and put slick honey on the shock sealhead ring, and pack the seal in the sleeve with honey also ------i add aliltte extra honey on the shock shaft --------check out the bottom out o ring inbetween the shims at the top of the shock and make sure it is ok .

    no here is where fox does not tell you how to assemble the sleeve back on the body without causing a negitive pressure and actually making the shock shorter after reassembled .

    i take a 4" long .004 tho feeler guage and lay it on the shock across both seals areas at the same time,
    then now slide the sleeve on the shock right over the feeler guage, and while you are sliding the sleeve on you are causing a leak at the feeler guage and the sleeve will go all the way on and not have any back pressure pulling the shock shorter,-

    then pull the feeler guage out , ------air your shock up to your running pressure, --and then measure the eye to eye length of your shock and make sure it is at your running length ,

    and you are ready to go !!

    it is really simple.

    most of all the fox stuff i get is assembled wrong and the shock does not have full travel like it is supposed to because they do not correctly bleed the sleeve on assembly.

    there other ways to assemble and bleed the sleeve on these air shocks.

    but in the feild , the .004 feeler guage works very well

  4. #4
    jason8265
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    Thanks for the help. Are there concerns with cutting the oring in the process above. Should the same be followed on fox shocks. I have seen what you are talking about but it seems like the fox shock was only shorter until air was pumped into it. Would installing the sleeve while depressing the valve stem have the same impact.

    Thanks again for the detailed writeup.

  5. #5
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    the feeler guage will not hurt the seals at all on these shocks, i have been doing this for years and never had a problem at all with it .

    go ahead and put your sleeve on whithout bleeding off the negitive pressure and you will see that with even setting the pressure at 200 psi in the sleeve the shock will still be 3/8" two short

    the shape of the air sleeve and wheather or not it has a rebound bumper ring on the shock will make the difference somewhat,

    but i do not like having this negitive pressure in any shocks .
    i like all the shocks to come out full travel .
    my 07 stumpy was short and semi stuck down when i got it , ----and the bike did not handle correctly .

    i took the fox shock off and bleed it correctly and the thing poped up another 3'8" or better and the thing was now handling like it should and i could set the sag

    i have gotten several enduros that the guys did their air sleeves, and they noticed the things handled like hell .
    i showed them how to bleed the sleeve and they were back running fine !!

  6. #6
    jason8265
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    Just to be clear on this bleed process. You lay the feeler gauge on the shock shaft, along the shaft and slide the shock air sleeve up over the feeler gauge right? On my fox shock I had a couple questions that I assume would apply here. The seal for the air chamber is between the large o-ring and the inner surface of the sleeve. When I had my shock serviced last, I told them it seemed to loose a little air over time. They replaced the shaft also (pretty cheap at $20) and had circled a tiny scratch on it stating this may be my leak problem. Realizing that the seal is above this, that story doesn't make sense. Also, the seal you are bleeding the air from is only a dust seal, right? Does air normally move past this seal during operation? When the shock compresses, it would seem this would form a vacuum if it was air tight.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason8265
    Just to be clear on this bleed process. You lay the feeler gauge on the shock shaft, along the shaft and slide the shock air sleeve up over the feeler gauge right? On my fox shock I had a couple questions that I assume would apply here. The seal for the air chamber is between the large o-ring and the inner surface of the sleeve. When I had my shock serviced last, I told them it seemed to loose a little air over time. They replaced the shaft also (pretty cheap at $20) and had circled a tiny scratch on it stating this may be my leak problem. Realizing that the seal is above this, that story doesn't make sense. Also, the seal you are bleeding the air from is only a dust seal, right? Does air normally move past this seal during operation? When the shock compresses, it would seem this would form a vacuum if it was air tight.
    the bottom chamber is air tight , that is why you can trap negitive or positive pressure here and really affect the shock length and how it function )
    when the o-ring on the seal head leaks and lets pressure into the bottom chamber it will cause your shock to stick down ,-----this can be caused by several things ,------but generally when a shock leaks , ( wheather it be from inbetween the two chambers on the air sleve , or when the nitrogen charged seal in the head leaks and dumps in both chambers on the sleve )
    it is because the shock has not been taken care of and just ran to deth .
    i really can not believe that mountain bikers will go a year or more whithout servicing their forks and shock .

    ( these componets get beat all to hell )
    and really need to be taken care of alot to keep them from wearing out and performing badly.

    generally when a shock leaks the air sleeve "ride height" air , ---it is because the shock has ran so long that all of the slickhoney has worn off of the two seal areas in the sleeve and the air can go from the upper chamber and weep right out into the lower chamber and right out the lower seal .

    small nicks in the shock body are not good but generally generally do not pose a huge problem.

    ( the big thing is to not let your shock dry out and ruin the air sleeve seals, the seal head seal, --and or score the shock body with a dry air sleeve seal .)


    on bleeding the air sleeve, i like to lay the feeler guage along both the seal head o-ring and install the air sleeve on and let the bottom seal in the air sleeve also run right on this feeler guage and push it all the way up to the threads and i will spin the shaft by the upper shock eye and screw it all together and then slide the feeler guage out the bottom , ---and now you have bleed both chambers of the sleeve and you done .

  8. #8
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    any ideas on how to do bleed the lower air chamber on a Swinger 4 way without a total dis-assembly? I can't slip a slim feeler gauge under the seal due to the additional oil chamber being in the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    any ideas on how to do bleed the lower air chamber on a Swinger 4 way without a total dis-assembly? I can't slip a slim feeler gauge under the seal due to the additional oil chamber being in the way.
    i do like that old manitue swinger 4 way shock , they do work very well !

    i was able to slip a 35mm film negitive up in the bottom seal while it was still on the body and shove honey in the bottom by the negitive and then i used the negitive as a guide for my feeler guage in the bottom and it bleed good while i slid it up into place ,--
    i was going to slide another feeler guage in through the top of the air sleeve , but i did not need to .

  10. #10
    jason8265
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    Thanks for all the help. kelstr, if you do this in the near future can we coax you into posting a pic. For some reason the feeler gauge make me nervous for scratching or cutting the seal/shaft but I think I am picturing this wrong as I am in no way doubting the expertise I am getting. Could this also be done with a flattened straw as the plastic would help on any scratching concerns?

    Thanks again,
    Jason

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    a straw, ---you know that is a good idea, i have never tried one , but it would be worth a try .

    i have use a 35mm film negitive , -if you cut the negative down to a 6mm wide strip
    it will work generally .

    ill have to get some straws and have them here and try them !!

  12. #12
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    ?! I've serviced a lot of Fox shocks and never had the stated problem. What I find happen is that when you initially pump the shock up some of that volume will bleed into the negative chamber until the pressure is equalized. While not criticizing Kelstr's technique I find it unnecessary unless you don't want to wait for the air pressure to equalize. Just my 2 cents.

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    the one big difference on the AFR and most of the newer fox shocks, is that there is a rebound bump stop o-ring that will fit perfactly in the lower section of the air sleeve that is fixed to the botton of the seal head and when the shock is exspanded , the bump stop 0ring totaly seals off the area and the shock will stay 3/8" shorter forever.

    some of the fox shocks that do not have a bump stop will still stay shorter for ever also.

    i can not tell you the shocks that i get in the shop that are partially stuck down because they were assemblied with to much negitive air .

    also this is one problem that sticks a shock down, ------the pumped in "ride height air" will get blown into the lower negitive side when the seal gets worn and totally stick the shock compleatly down , ----and they never equilize or come back up.

    this is why you always want to check the installed height (eye to eye ) of any shock you are servicing, ----and make sure when you are done the shock is the same height you started with

  14. #14
    jason8265
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    All right, I did this service today and had some trouble. I used the straw which worked pretty good to bleed. The first couple times I slid the sleeve up I didn't have it all situated and so I tried a third time and that when the problem started. The sleeve would not slide over the main seal in the top of the shock. I lined it up carefully and it seemed that the main seal between the two white bushings would push up and the upper bushing would expand and not allow the sleeve to slid over. After about an hour I finally got lucky but not until I had removed the bushing pieces and the seal to try and figure it out. Once I did that it still took several times to get it. Has anyone had this problem? Its all together and seems good to go but it was a true pain in the butt.

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    generally this is not an issue on a shock with a seal set that has been already installed ,
    you can help the sleeve slide into place by gently rocking the sleeve side to side if you have troubble getting the sleeve to slide over the seal,
    there is also an assembly tool for automatic transmissions ( a lip seal tool , --its a .004 tho feeler guage ) that you can use it like a shoe horn to het a seal not roll and jam on assembly,

    you can also put the seal in the freezer and get it cold if you are having troubble,

    but like i say , generally these things will slide right on with enough slick honey and some carefull determanation !!

  16. #16
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    I know this is an old thread, but I just performed this shock service on my bike today and wanted to share my experience.

    It all went smoothly except for one part: the bleeding of the air sleeve when putting it back on. I tried a drinking straw, a thin zip tie, a shifter cable, and a feeler gauge, but couldn't for the life of me pull any of the aforementioned items out after getting the desired "bleed effect." The air escaping was audible, but the seals were so tight that whatever I put in there for the bleed just stayed wedged in there. I'm actually pretty lucky that I didn't do any damage to the seals, because I was struggling with this procedure for at least 2 hours.

    I ultimately gave up and threaded the air sleeve back on without making an attempt to bleed it, figuring that my shock would be too short from the negative air pressure, but I would at least be able to go for a ride. Surprisingly, my shock was not too short at all. My eye-to-eye measurements weren't necessarily the most precise, but as far as I can tell, my shock is maybe 1mm shorter than it's supposed to be, but it runs a million times more smoothly than before. No initial stiction, and really smooth throughout the entire stroke. Needed to up the air pressure in the shock about 5 psi to compensate for the new-found lack of friction.

    Just got back from a 3 hour ride on the newly serviced shock, and it's like I'm riding a brand new bike. It actually feels like I have a full 6 inches of travel in the back now, and it's much more supple than before.

  17. #17
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    i just got my bike back together with everything slick honey'd and it's almost too active! unless i really have the compression damping turned up, standing and cranking causes more suspension movement than before. i might try some green loctite on the dust wipers to compensate.

    One thing i did notice when putting the bike back together was if I torqued the shock bolts to spec, the plastic spacers on either side of the shock eye got clamped to the point that the shock did not want to pivot smoothly. This was especially noticeable on the bottom mount with the two tabs welded to the frame. I figured the reducer sleeve would get clamped solid before any significant pressure was applied to these spacers, but they were definately squeezing the shock and causing rotational drag. I cleaned the bolt threads, applied new loctite, and tightened the bottom bolt while pivoting the shock (not attached at the rocker) until there was zero side to side play and minimal rotational drag. I then installed the upper bolt to about the same torque. I figured what's the point of getting my shock moving real slick if it's just going to stick at the eyes?

  18. #18
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    Dexter:

    Glad to hear your service went well. This is why we recommend the service intervals. Suspension is a very dynamic component that sees a lot of hard use. A basic air sleeve service on your shock and a lower leg maintenance on your fork @ regular intervals will keep the suspension working at its peak performance until a full service is needed.

    For future reference; the bleeding of the air sleeve is not a required step in a basic air sleeve maintenance.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speci- Suspension Tech
    For future reference; the bleeding of the air sleeve is not a required step in a basic air sleeve maintenance.
    Haha yeah... After my absurdly frustrating experience today, I'm gonna be skipping that step in the future.

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    it is amazing how well the shock and fork work when they are kept serviced .

    the shock is so easy that once you get used to it , you can do it very quickly-----and you can very the amount of trapped negitive pressure in the shock for a different feel ----.

    i have been trying a different amount of negitive pressure , and a slightly different length shock untill i finnally got the feel i wanted for me.

    i even left the "o" ring off from under the air sleeve so i could trap more negitive pressure and slick honey and still have the stock length.

    7"15/16's is the fairly normal length ------( thats right at 5cm and 6mm of shock shaft sticking out the bottom of the shock)

    if you do not bleed the shock at all , and you use alot of honey and you have the "O" ring in the shock-----you can be 6 to 7 mm shorter .
    so you end up with 5cm of shock shaft sticking out ----and this will slaken out the ht angle more and you lose travel.

    so its good to really measure and know just where you are at.

    the other feature about trapping some negitive pressure that i like is, ---the shock breaks into the travel easier from fully extended ,
    this gives it a better small bump absorbtion .

    the other thing i noticed ,----is with negitive pressure pulling the shock down , you must use alot more positive pressure to get your ride height -----( i will go from 123 with a stock shock , to 140 with negitive pressure in the shock)---

    and this really helps the bottoming resistance big time ---------but yet the shock stills breaks into the initial begining part of movement easier and is smoother

    i will weld up alittle schradder valve assembly of somekind to the lower portion of the air sleeve so i can add and subtract the negitive pressure at will and be able to use it as a tunning tool easier .

    the AFR of the future should have this tunning option !!

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    "i will weld up alittle schradder valve assembly of somekind to the lower portion of the air sleeve so i can add and subtract the negitive pressure at will and be able to use it as a tunning tool easier .

    the AFR of the future should have this tunning option !!"

    I disagree. You know KISS right? "Keep it simple, for stupid" there are already to many adjustments on the shock as it is. Adding a negative chamber adjustment is going to further confuse the layman and if they add to much - air pressure it will counter act the spike valve's function. My shock works as designed with zero negative pressure and stays locked till I need it, Lower tire pressure takes care of the small bumps on a rear tire.

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    Anyone take any pictures while doing this AFR sleeve service? Would love to see some pics before I give it a go.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    "i will weld up alittle schradder valve assembly of somekind to the lower portion of the air sleeve so i can add and subtract the negitive pressure at will and be able to use it as a tunning tool easier .

    the AFR of the future should have this tunning option !!"

    I disagree. You know KISS right? "Keep it simple, for stupid" there are already to many adjustments on the shock as it is. Adding a negative chamber adjustment is going to further confuse the layman and if they add to much - air pressure it will counter act the spike valve's function. My shock works as designed with zero negative pressure and stays locked till I need it, Lower tire pressure takes care of the small bumps on a rear tire.
    you are correct PB ----i do see alot of guys that have the negitive and positive pressure adjustements on their suspensions and they do get it all confused.

    this is really only for a guy that needs and wants the option , --.( i am kinda queer and like to see what i can and can not achive )

    most guys will really like the shock with the negitive side all bled out like it was stock,---
    the AFR does work very well and is a great design !

    you gotta admit ---this AFR on the enduro works very well and the pedaling platform that is in all the compression ranges does work very well .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by solara
    Anyone take any pictures while doing this AFR sleeve service? Would love to see some pics before I give it a go.
    there was an article in Mountain Bike Action magazine done up real nice with pics and a good write up .

    it was april edition i believe ( of course i can't remember time very well so it may not be april )

    and i think that Fox on their web site has some kinda ok drawings and instructions on doing this air sleeve service on air shocks also !!

  25. #25
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    Come on Bro...post some pics!!!

    Kelstr,

    I've been following your post on several forums and you seem like the most knowledgable tech/mech out there. Thanks for you time and attention! Please...please...please, can you post some pics so mechanical idiots like me can do this service with confidence (including the negative air bleeding steps)!!!

    Thanks in advance,
    Clint
    PS, I ride an XL 2007 Enduro SL Expert and I am 230lbs with gear, do you have any tuning tips for guys my size?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clint Burke
    Kelstr,

    I've been following your post on several forums and you seem like the most knowledgable tech/mech out there. Thanks for you time and attention! Please...please...please, can you post some pics so mechanical idiots like me can do this service with confidence (including the negative air bleeding steps)!!!

    Thanks in advance,
    Clint
    PS, I ride an XL 2007 Enduro SL Expert and I am 230lbs with gear, do you have any tuning tips for guys my size?
    i will get some pics up on here, --( my ex wife knows how and has the camera ) (--and she still hates me --but----------i never got into the 20 century much less the 21'st -----i am an old 1960's guy that still has a 1932 bell rotory phone on the wall )

    the good thing about an air shock is you can get the ride height correct , ----and if you upgraded to the 08 shock , you will have pleanty of rebound to keep you dialed .

    i like the smaller 07 air sleeve --------but you can add oil in the 08 sleeve to make the voloum area smaller ------so it really does not matter -----i just liked the sleek look

    this enduro is very adjustable and does work with all size riders !!

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    That would be awesome kelstr.

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    found it on google, check it out if it helps

    http://www.foxracingshox.com/fox_tec...ice_videos.htm

  29. #29
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    Step by step with photos

    I just performed this service, and thought I'd share a few photos to help those who might be a little more visually oriented. After the Slick Honey treatment on the fork and shock, my SL feels like an entirely new animal. I'm heading out to Napa Skyline in about an hour to put it to work...

    Step 1: Remove AFR Shock from bike

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/AFR%20Air%20Sleeve%20Service/img_2106.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    *Once the bolts are removed, the rear wheel will drop without warning, so rig something up to support it. Also, be aware that the shock will pop right out of the mounts as soon as the bolts are removed. I was lucky enough to catch it before it hit the floor.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/AFR%20Air%20Sleeve%20Service/img_2112.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Step 2: Measure eye to eye length before discharging air pressure to use as a reference for reassembly. Then discharge air from Schrader valve.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/AFR%20Air%20Sleeve%20Service/img_2128.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Step 3: Remove air sleeve from shock by turning counter-clockwise. I had to gently but forcibly compress the shock to get it to finally separate.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/AFR%20Air%20Sleeve%20Service/img_2132.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Step 4: Clean everything, slather it up with Slick Honey, and reassemble. I used a small strip of 35mm film negative as recommended by Kelstr to cover the seals in order to prevent negative air from being trapped. Worked like a champ.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/AFR%20Air%20Sleeve%20Service/img_2138.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Step 5: Reinflate to proper pressure according to your weight and desired sag (note a little more pressure may be required to achieve proper sag because everything is so slippery now), and remeasure eye to eye length.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z87/ewberndt/AFR%20Air%20Sleeve%20Service/img_2135.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Step 6: Remount on bike and torque bolts to 100-120 inch pounds. Enjoy.

  30. #30
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    thank you e-bo-b for getting pictures up on here ! --( since i am a morron and can not understand how pictures work on a computer )

    good job on write up also .

    now everybody can see how easy it is to take care of their air sleeve !!

  31. #31
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    Slick Honey

    Is slick honey the same thing as prep-m?

  32. #32
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    WORD TO THE WISE,
    There is negative spring for a reason; do you think the engineers designed them that way for S&^% and giggles.
    Have you ThunderBrapped Today?

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    please, engineers!!!, waaa haaa haaa, i am sure that negative air is not a design feature, if it was there would be a air fill port for it on some manufacture's shock somewhere. Kelst just has too much "play time on his hand". I like 0 neg pressure and full extension of the shock, he doesn't.

  34. #34
    Fat Skis/Fat Tires
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    Just got back from the test ride...



    I wish there was a face with a bigger smile, because it is indeed that good!!! Between the slick honey treatment on the fork and shock and the stanchion alignment, she's as slippery as an eel!!! I was literally giggling for most of the ride. This bike has never felt this good, even on day one!! I jumped on my friend's '08 Expert half way through the ride just to get a little perspective, and I can't believe I ever lived like that before!!! I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see!!!!!!!!!

    AMAZING!!!!! If you haven't yet performed this procedure, do it now. Call in sick if you have to. Don't pedal another mile without it!!!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  35. #35
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    Can we service an afr epic brain a similar way (without touching the brain part, only air sleeve service)?

    thanks

  36. #36
    100% italian mtbiker
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    thanks e-bo-b for the picture giude. it's pretty useful for those who are not english mothertongue (like me).

    if it's that simple, i will definitely give it a try. (i've never dared disassembling the fork, but I was able to see a day-night improvement just by injecting some fork oil through the dust seals!).

    I just need to find an equivalent for the Slick Honey in Italy.
    Last edited by mdsjack; 09-24-2008 at 03:16 AM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsjack
    thank's e-bo-b for the picture giude. it's pretty useful for those who are not english mothertongue (like me).

    if it's that simple, i will definitely give it a try. (i've never dared disassembling the fork, but I was able to see a day-night improvement just by injecting some fork oil through the dust seals!).

    I just need to find an equivalent for the Slick Honey in Italy.
    Hi Jack!!!
    You can find Slick Honey at crc.
    I also find it at my local bike shop!!! In fugassa town

  38. #38
    100% italian mtbiker
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    ahahaha hi dyna, do you think it's better if I *actually* ask my LBS if he sells slick honey, before posting? I doubt he does, but who knows...


    ps: did I really write " thank's "?... :P

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsjack
    ahahaha hi dyna, do you think it's better if I *actually* ask my LBS if he sells slick honey, before posting? I doubt he does, but who knows...


    ps: did I really write " thank's "?... :P
    what''s the problem to post before ask if you think he does not sell SH?!?!
    It's better to have as much info as possible... as soon as possible!!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by stmarti
    Can we service an afr epic brain a similar way (without touching the brain part, only air sleeve service)?

    thanks

    Would also like to know.
    12 Specialized SJ EVO 29
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  41. #41
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by e-bo-b
    Just got back from the test ride...



    I wish there was a face with a bigger smile, because it is indeed that good!!! Between the slick honey treatment on the fork and shock and the stanchion alignment, she's as slippery as an eel!!! I was literally giggling for most of the ride. This bike has never felt this good, even on day one!! I jumped on my friend's '08 Expert half way through the ride just to get a little perspective, and I can't believe I ever lived like that before!!! I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see!!!!!!!!!

    AMAZING!!!!! If you haven't yet performed this procedure, do it now. Call in sick if you have to. Don't pedal another mile without it!!!!
    Top job e-bo-b (in every respect)

    It just hacks me off big-time though, that WE THE OWNERS have been lumbered with having to initially carry out these procedures in order to provide any hope of the front & rear suspension components working satisfactorily from the off and that WE have to continue to repeat these strip-down procedures pretty damn regularly (IN ADDITION to the relatively frequent paid service schedules, necessary to ensure warranty compliance); otherwise as you will find, the components very soon regress back to under-performing, unreliable mediocity ............... But hey; maybe I'm just having a bad day(?!) - Well done again, you
    Last edited by Lipps64; 09-24-2008 at 12:23 PM.
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by LititzDude
    Is slick honey the same thing as prep-m?
    Sounds like a similar light weight suspension grease, and should serve the same purpose.

    http://www.ridemonkey.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=147845

    Not sure if Slick Honey is a little thicker or not.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipps64
    Top job e-bo-b (in every respect)

    It just hacks me off big-time though, that WE THE OWNERS have been lumbered with having to initially carry out these procedures in order to provide any hope of the front & rear suspension components to work satisfactorily from the off and that WE have to continue to repeat these strip-down procedures pretty damn regularly (IN ADDITION to to the relatively frequent paid service schedules, necessary to ensure warranty compliance); otherwise as you will find, the components very soon regress back to under-performing, unreliable mediocity ............... But hey; maybe I'm just having a bad day(?!) - Well done again, you
    I can't imagine why these e150's and AFR's are shipped without being properly lubed up. The only thing I can think of is that there is such a marked difference in the feel of these components post-Slick Honey, and down the road when the grease eventually dissipates, that people would be bringing them back for warranty replacement. Better to start us off with low expectations I suppose...

    And I'm not particularly stoked on having to send the cartirdges back to Specialized for a service. 250 hours is it? I imagine that counter resets when you get a replacement cartridge, right?

    That being said, I'm sure that this service, when performed on ANY brand of suspension components, would make a night and day difference. It really feels like I have a coil shock on there now. I find wrenching on my bike therapeutic as well.

  44. #44
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    So, it is so simple?! I will perform this treatment right now. I hope that lithium grease will do the trick instead of slick honey. Thank you kelstr and bob.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThunderBringer#1
    WORD TO THE WISE,
    There is negative spring for a reason; do you think the engineers designed them that way for S&^% and giggles.
    as delievered, the AFR shock on the enduro does not have any negitive spring air in it .

    so yes ----the engineers designed it with no negitive spring in order to have a eye to eye length of 7.935"

    so if you want the bike put back stock , you will bleed the negitive spring side out .


    but however, i have found i can leave out the one rubber "O" ring under the air sleeve while servicing the sleeve and i can leave a good charge of negitive spring air and still have my correct shock eye to eye length.

    and the shock works like a spring shock and the small bump performance is greatly improved.

    i will add a schrader valve on my air sleeve when i get a chance and then i can tune with it alittle easier .

    its all good , just another tuning option for the guys that want the best dialed chassis they can get !!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by gorsic
    So, it is so simple?! I will perform this treatment right now. I hope that lithium grease will do the trick instead of slick honey. Thank you kelstr and bob.
    I don't think litium grease is a good idea. let us know if it works.

  47. #47
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    Quote:
    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by gorsic
    So, it is so simple?! I will perform this treatment right now. I hope that lithium grease will do the trick instead of slick honey. Thank you kelstr and bob.

    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    I don't think litium grease is a good idea. let us know if it works
    What should go wrong?

  48. #48
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    I use litium based Dow Corning #33 on all my rubber seals and o-rings on paintball markers and MTB products with great success. Slick Honey was tried in all these applications as well, but it just does not last as long as the Dow33. Slick Honey would last 1500 shots on my Matrix Marker, Dow33 would last 3,000 or so. Slick honey on the E-150 seals would be gone in less than two weeks, Dow33 will still be in the seal and has to be removed and then refreshed after a month or so.

  49. #49
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    I have just tried the air sleeve service. Prior to the service the length from bottom to top of the shock was 217 mm. After the service with Kelstrs feeler gauge trick, I measured again and got 222mm from top to bottom give or take 1 mm before and after. So possibly an extra 5mm of travel. Can't wait to get out and try it, but won't be able to for a few days yet.
    I love my bike and my bike loves me

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by stmarti
    Can we service an afr epic brain a similar way (without touching the brain part, only air sleeve service)?

    thanks
    the epic is alittle different , the fairly normal epic ( with the resivoir attatched on the bottom of the shock )-----it can be lubed, you can get a film negitive slid in it and get it lubed.

    i have real quickly removed the air sleeve down on an epic and you can work slick honey into the lower seal and fill the top and upper portion with slick honey and put her all back together and it sure works wonders .

    all these shocks should come all apart at least once if not twice a year for a good oil change , bleed, reset the ifp height -----lube all up and re-presurize with nitrogen .

    these suspensions on all of these bikes really gets a hard work out and they all die if not cared for.

    i get alot of fox , marzocci ,new lyric rock shox stuff all with bad stiction, leaks jammed controlls and so on just because of lack of care .

    these longer travel bikes are mini motorcycles ( without the motor of course ) ------and they need lots of care just like your racing MX bike does .

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    Slick Honey was tried in all these applications as well, but it just does not last as long as the Dow33.
    What about damaging seals and O-rings? That's not a problem? I like the idea of refreshing the grease because it's old rather than because it's dissipated

    Aside: what's the status of the kits you were thinking about assembling for the e150 (hopefully AFR as well)? I'd be interested in one stop shopping rather than tracking down each piece a-la-carte.

  52. #52
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    Dow33 is safe for seals and o-rings. Duh!! Do you think I would use it if it wasn't, Come on!! IMHO I think it is safer than petroleoum based lubes for Buna-Nitral rubber compounds. The E150 and AFR shock Seals and O-rings are made from Durameter 70, Buna-N.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    Dow33 is safe for seals and o-rings. Duh!! Do you think I would use it if it wasn't, Come on!!
    I don't put anything past anyone. So it sounds like Dow33 is a superior product to Slick Honey for this treatment. Anyone disagree?

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelstr
    thank you e-bo-b for getting pictures up on here ! --( since i am a morron and can not understand how pictures work on a computer)
    Hey, it took me 2 days to figure out how to get the bearings out of my hub. Everybody's gotta be good at something.

  55. #55
    100% italian mtbiker
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    although Speci-Tech said removing air from the negative chamber is optional, does anyone know if there's any negative side effect, technically speaking?

  56. #56
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    Is it OK to use the Parktool PolyLube 1000 grease (which claims to be safe for fork internals)? It's poly-urea based for whatever it is worth....

    ?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    Is it OK to use the Parktool PolyLube 1000 grease (which claims to be safe for fork internals)? It's poly-urea based for whatever it is worth....

    ?
    It will work, just keep track of how long it lasts for us.

  58. #58
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    Would rockshox judy butter be any good do do this?

  59. #59
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    rockshox judy butter = Slick honey, same same

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    rockshox judy butter = Slick honey, same same
    the judy butter is old school and really does not even come close to slick honey .

    the judy butter and the parktool 1000 will go away quickly on the fork and shock.

    the slick honey lasts along time -----especially in the shock

  61. #61
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    Since I have everybody's attention....first of all thanks for the replies, and second, can you also list out a couple of good suspension oils to use in the fork lowers? I'm sure I won't be able to find all y'all's favorite brands here, so just gimme a suitable list if you please.... :-)

    Third question (thankfully you guys don't charge by the question...): some people I know use silicon spray (froma dive shop for example) on the stanchions every now and then...they spray it on, cycle the fork/shock a couple of times, which pulls some dirt out of the seals and lubes up the seal and whatever. Recommendable or not?
    Personally I seem to get good results just leaving my bike upside down the night before a big ride....lubes up the seals and the internals a bit apparently....

    thanks!

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdsjack
    although Speci-Tech said removing air from the negative chamber is optional, does anyone know if there's any negative side effect, technically speaking?

    Well the negative air spring is there in order to reduce the initail force it take to activate the travel (think a free body diagram, if you do not know what that is go take a physics course). Say you have 150 psi in you posi air chamber and 60 psi in your negative chamber. 150-60=90. This is just an example to visualize what the negi spring is doing for you. It makes you suspension more plush . It also helps control the rebounding speed of you shock. With no negi sping there is much less control so you may get bucked!
    Have you ThunderBrapped Today?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman2058
    Since I have everybody's attention....first of all thanks for the replies, and second, can you also list out a couple of good suspension oils to use in the fork lowers? I'm sure I won't be able to find all y'all's favorite brands here, so just gimme a suitable list if you please.... :-)

    Third question (thankfully you guys don't charge by the question...): some people I know use silicon spray (froma dive shop for example) on the stanchions every now and then...they spray it on, cycle the fork/shock a couple of times, which pulls some dirt out of the seals and lubes up the seal and whatever. Recommendable or not?
    Personally I seem to get good results just leaving my bike upside down the night before a big ride....lubes up the seals and the internals a bit apparently....

    thanks!
    Fork lowers = Synthetic Auto Trans Fluid (It lubes the internal bushings, foam ring, and oil seals well, is cheap and non-foaming)
    Rebound/Damping Cartridge = SRAM 5wt Fork oil in Summer and 2.5wt in Winter
    Compression cartridge 2mm x 19mm air piston o-ring and top out spring = Dow #33 plus 10cc of 5wt fork oil in the air chamber (to lube the air piston from the bottom)
    Dust Seals = Dow Corning #33 Silicon Grease (lasts for months of hard riding)
    Altitude Adjuster = 3 in 1 oil plus Dow #33 on the pins

    Divers Silicon is OK but disipates quickly, has no metal benificial additives like anti-rust

  64. #64
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    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I just got back from riding Downieville today and found that the AFR shock on my Enduro SL is stuck down about 1/3 of the way into its travel. Any suggestions for fixing this? Or should I just say "screw it" and utilize the 5-year Specialized suspension warranty?

  65. #65
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    How many hours are on the shock and has it been serviced?
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speci- Suspension Tech
    How many hours are on the shock and has it been serviced?
    Hey S tech,

    I'm still within my hours on my fork, and on the second set of internals. My problem is in this thread. What do you know about the o-ring, top-out, '09 cartridge-is-better situation. My fork has felt like this pretty much since day 1, and I want it to be better.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speci- Suspension Tech
    How many hours are on the shock and has it been serviced?
    Um... I got the bike at the beginning of April, was riding it about once a week from April till mid-June, and have been riding it two or three days a week from then until now. I'd say I average 2 hrs per ride, so... maybe about 70 or 80 hours of riding? I pulled the air sleeve off the shock in July to apply a whole bunch of Slick Honey to the internals, but that's all I've done. The shock rode flawlessly after I greased it up, and only got stuck down today while riding (almost 5 months after the Slick Honey treatment).

  68. #68
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    Well no wonder, that Slick Honey is LONG GONE, your riding on just a seal now. Unless you happen to wipe that shock seal clean and lube it with some light oil occasionally.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    Well no wonder, that Slick Honey is LONG GONE, your riding on just a seal now. Unless you happen to wipe that shock seal clean and lube it with some light oil occasionally.
    For real, I have done mine twice since the initial treatment a couple months back, and it's always about dry.

    PB- where would one ordinarily find Dow 33? I've looked at automotive, power sports, and hardware shops to no avail. Guess I could have ordered it online by now, but I always like to have a local source.

  70. #70
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    Grainger

    or a Paintball shop (Ask for Shocker Lube)

    or

    Call the Dow Corning Customer service rep, they sent out free samples in the past, not sure if they still do. Make sure you mention it is for your small business that you run.

  71. #71
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    dexter:

    You are in need of a shock air sleeve service, and your fork is probably well in need of a lower leg maintenance as well. I would recommend a full service this winter so your bike is ready to hit the trails in the spring.

    For the original owners that follow the service schedule, they will be covered by our 5 year warranty. Visit www.specialized.com or my profile for further information.
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  72. #72
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    Hmmm... I was under the impression that when air shocks get stuck down, it means that air has leaked between the positive and negative air chambers, idicating that an internal seal may be bad. Is popping off the air sleeve and adding a bunch of grease really going to solve this? I'll certainly give it a shot, but I hope you can understand why I'm somewhat skeptical.

  73. #73
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    Hi Dexter,

    When seals are ridden dry it increases wear thus increasing the likely hood of an air leak and/or air reaching the negative chamber.


    The 50 hour air sleeve service recommended to be performed by a Specialized Dealer involves thorughly cleaning and greasing the air sleeve and seals, and if the seals have any indication of wear they will be replaced.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speci- Suspension Tech

    The 50 hour air sleeve service recommended to be performed by a Specialized Dealer involves thorughly cleaning and greasing the air sleeve and seals, and if the seals have any indication of wear they will be replaced.
    I just wanted to check if performing the air sleeve service myself will void my warranty, because I remember reading in the manual that disassembling the shock would do just that. It all looks very simple to do, I'd definately rather do it myself instead of paying my LBS to do it, I"ve had bad experiences with shops in the past that don't really know what they're doing when it comes to suspension.

  75. #75
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    Basic maintenance is recommeded to be performed by an authorized dealer. They have been made aware how to perfrom these services. If the customer and/or the shop would rather have an Authorized Service Center perform the basic maintenance service, that option is available as well.

    A customer who chooses to perform their own basic maintenance is not suggested.

    Any Full service work is Required to be performed by an Authorized Service Center only.

    Any attempt at a full service performed by a non-Authorized personnel will void warranty.

    Follow the service schedule to remain covered by our 5 year gurantee.
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  76. #76
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    Just did my AFR slick honey treatment.
    It went well, first I used the film negative, though my initial shock length was appx 202mm with the film in there got 200mm length, so used thin plastic tubing that lined gear tubing and that's when I heard the air hissing out when I put the air can back on, bolted on and when I finish work tomorrow will try it out.

    A few questions;
    On the fox cans they use fox oil, just used slick honey.
    What's the eye length, on the manual it says 222.3mm? 55mm of shock shaft showing o mine.

  77. #77
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    Well had it's first ride with the 'broken in' 8 hour ride, I reckon you should do this after 6-8 hours to see what a diference the slick honey treatment can do. So the first 2 1/2 ride is under my belt and the fork was good before the lubing but it is excellent now. Everything set up and it is more responsive, but knowing how easy the fork and shock are to service, any problems with stiction will be a strip down. If you have the tools and competence it's a very relaxing thing to do. No hassles or swearing involved.
    It's worth keeping a log of hours ridden, so you know when it's due, bought date and settings as it makes it much easier to keep track of things so you send it back annualy. or before 250 hours.

  78. #78
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    Just replaced all the seals in my AFR shock, but did a couple things differently this time around. First off, I lubed up the internals with Fox Float fluid instead of Slick Honey. We'll see how that goes. And for the record, when I pulled my shock apart after it was stuck down, there was plenty of Slick Honey still in there; it wasn't dry inside. Second, I used a little trick to make it easier to thread the air can back on, but that also left more negative air in the shock. I compressed the shock a bit before threading the air can on, then turned the rebound knob to full slow, which kept the shock compressed, making it a TON easier to get the air can back on. Obviously the shock was not at full extension when I threaded the can on, but once I aired up the shock, it extended to its full length. I realize this is kind of the opposite of kelstr's bleeding method, so... thoughts?

  79. #79
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    The method you just described is exactly how Big S wrote up the procedure for the shop service guys.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason8265
    The method you just described is exactly how Big S wrote up the procedure for the shop service guys.

    I would very much like to get my hands on that procedure any chance you might shear it with us?

  81. #81
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    just look UP

  82. #82
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    Could anybody tell me if Phil Wood waterproof grease would work or too viscous?

  83. #83
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    If you mix it with a bit of 3 in 1 oil or hair clipper oil or gun oil or sewing machine oil, it will be better. Right out of the tube is too thick IMHO. But, you can put a gram or two in a plastic cap, add a bit of oil, stir it up well, and make it a bit thinner.

  84. #84
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    Just thought I'd report on my experience.

    I was having no issues with the AFR, but figured I should do the service anyway. Its a rainy, cold day here so no riding going on. It took maybe 20 minutes including taking the shock off and putting it back on. I have about 58mm of travel on the shock before and after. I used a plastic covered twist tie (like one that comes on a loaf of bread) to bleed the air, and it worked great I could hear the air escaping as I put the air can back on.

    There was plenty of grease inside and no wear that I could see anywhere. So all good there, much different than the E150 when I took it apart a few months ago. The E150 was having stiction issues before I did the service and it was much better after the service, I don't expect the AFR to work that much differently since it seemed to have plenty of grease left inside.

    John

  85. #85
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    Just did my AFR service. Awesome. Thanks for all the tips. Easy as pie - took about 15-20 minutes, and it's beautiful.
    If your bike isn't dirty, it isn't happy.

  86. #86
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    I have found this thread very useful and I hope it will solve the problems I am having with my AFR shock. However, I cant seem to remove the air can from the shock. The bushing on the lower eye end is larger than the hole on the air can and I dont want to damage the seals. It looks larger than the one in e-bo-b's picture. The shock is off an '08 Enduro SL Pro Carbon. I presume it is larger because of the differing mounting platform on the carbon frame.
    Is there a way to remove the bushing completely so the air can will slide off? I have removed the two outer cups but this doesnt help.
    Thanks for your replies
    Andrew

  87. #87
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    That bushing is press fitted and will come out with some loving.

    I used a 12 or 13mm deep well socket, scraps of leather, a vise, and a brass punch to remove them in the past with out dmamge to anything.

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by PB Matrix
    That bushing is press fitted and will come out with some loving.

    I used a 12 or 13mm deep well socket, scraps of leather, a vise, and a brass punch to remove them in the past with out dmamge to anything.
    Thats good to hear! I'll give it a go today.
    Thanks

  89. #89
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    i'm planing on doing the air sleeve service and was wondering where people are getting the seals? i know fox sells the air sleeve rebuild kit for 6$ which includes all the necessary seals...

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by piesoup
    I have found this thread very useful and I hope it will solve the problems I am having with my AFR shock. However, I cant seem to remove the air can from the shock. The bushing on the lower eye end is larger than the hole on the air can and I dont want to damage the seals. It looks larger than the one in e-bo-b's picture. The shock is off an '08 Enduro SL Pro Carbon. I presume it is larger because of the differing mounting platform on the carbon frame.
    Is there a way to remove the bushing completely so the air can will slide off? I have removed the two outer cups but this doesnt help.
    Thanks for your replies
    Andrew
    Ah - you would think Spesh would inform the Carbon SL owners of the special suspension maintenance procedure on these bikes, but they probably just forgot in your case: when the shock and fork are due for service on these high-end machines, you are supposed to simply discard the old frame and buy a new one. Typically this will occur once a year. You even get a special-spesh discount of 10% - but since you own a Pro model, money should not be an object, anyways???


  91. #91
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    Sweet! It came off with a 13mm deepthroat socket and a 1/4 inch square drive extension in the vice. I just wasn't sure how the bush had been fitted and if it was possible to remove it without damage.
    Thanks!

  92. #92
    West Chester, PA
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    I have a question I'm surprised no one asked -

    What do I do about the Brain on my '08 shock ? Do I just do the service with the brain still connected to the shock or do you disconnect the hose ?

    Thanks

  93. #93
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    I disconnected mine - it would be very awkward with the Brain still on the bike - only two bolts and a couple of cable-ties!

  94. #94
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    During a 50 hour air sleeve service for an 08 SJ shock, dealers who perform this service leave the air can on the hose. Do not make any attempt at disassembling the brain, this will void warranty.
    Visit my profile for Links to:

    Performance Guarantee, Service, Setup, E150 Maintenance....

  95. #95
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    RichardL and speci-tech - I wasn't talking about taking the brain off the bike with the shock, that much I'd already planned just to make things easier.

    What I'm asking is if I should remove the brain hose from the shock at the connection near the shock's lower eyelet ? It looks like the air can will just slide down over the brain hose once its unscrewed, but I think it would be easier to handle the shock without the brain attached.

  96. #96
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    92gli;

    To reiterate: Do not disassmble the hose nor the brain, this will void warranty, the brain and main shock body are not to be thought of as independent, the oil in the shock/hose/brain is under high pressure any attempt at dissassembling the shock will void warranty. If done improperly it will affect the shock's performance and it can be dangerous. Don't do it.

    I highly suggest you have your lbs perform the air sleeve service. During an air sleeve service for a SJ shock with a brain hose connection, the air can is left on the hose. There is no need to disassemble the shock any further.
    Visit my profile for Links to:

    Performance Guarantee, Service, Setup, E150 Maintenance....

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speci- Suspension Tech
    92gli;

    The brain and main shock body are not to be thought of as independent, the oil in the shock/hose/brain is under high pressure any attempt at dissassembling the shock will void warranty.
    Thanks - Thats what I thought I'd read somewhere on here but I couldn't find it. As far as the warranty goes, I don't have one because I got the bike on ebay. Even if I did, I'm a hard core doitmyselfer, can't stand paying somebody to work on my toys.

  98. #98
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    Slick Honey AND / OR Float Fluid

    I am going to service my AFR on my Enduro SL tonight. Thing is, i also want to try the Float Fluid mod - 5-7cc in the chamber for better bottom out / lower psi. If i do this surely i wont need the slick honey as the Float Fluid will act as the lube?

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by allmountain76
    I am going to service my AFR on my Enduro SL tonight. Thing is, i also want to try the Float Fluid mod - 5-7cc in the chamber for better bottom out / lower psi. If i do this surely i wont need the slick honey as the Float Fluid will act as the lube?
    Wrong!

    The seal has a cavity that needs to be packed with grease for many reasons:

    Complete lubeing of the seal
    Water barrier
    Dust barrier
    Need to keep the external shaft lubed
    some others as well

  100. #100
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    ok, i see what you mean now i have the can off, the float fluid wont get passed the air seal and there is a dust / second seal in the bottom of the can.

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