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  1. #1
    MK_
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    DHX air upgraded with the RP3 air sleeve

    So, long time ago I made a suggestion to the guys bottoming out their DHX air on the Packs too easily to fill the air sleeve with oil to take up the air volume. Jerk Chicken suggested filling up the sleeve with something thicker, like Prep M. Then came along Tscheezy who figured out that the RP3 air sleever fits the DHX air. Finally JNC reported that Fox sells the RP3 sleeve for $35. I couldn't resist.

    So, I ordered the supplies. The RP3 air sleeve, part number 806-29-041 (you'll need it as noone at Fox seems to know the part number without digging through their parts list for a while), and the FLOAT/RP3 air sleeve rebuild kit, part number 803-00-142. It comes with all the seals and a Float fluid pillow pack for $6. I got some stickers, too, but the kid that serviced my ordered put in the DHX decal kit for the reservoir not the main body, so I'll have to call Fox and get it straightened out.

    Getting ready for the swap:




    The stock sleeve is off:


    Here's the interesting part. Everyone's reporting the stuck down problem with their Floats, RP3s and DHXairs. My negative spring had no air pressure what-so-ever. I unscrewed it from the shock body, prepared for the loud pop, and it never came. I then stuggled to pull it off due to the vacuum I was creating. But it did come off just fine in the end.

    So, I was checking out the air sleeve up close, once it was off, to see exactly how one could pack grease in there, if one wanted to do the mod I originally suggested and I came upon something REALLY interesting. The air sleeve on the DHX is composed of 2 air cambers held together by a C-clip.



    There is a small air port in the inner sleeve which allows for the air to pass between the two volumes. The hole is very small, I wonder why, but it appears to work fine, so whatever.



    Here is a comparison of the RP3 sleeve (left) and the inner DHX sleeve (right). You can see that these don't differ very much. The DHXair sleeve has just a little larger ID.





    This brings on another idea. If anyone of you wants to try the lower volume air sleeve, on the budget, you can just thread in a small set screw into the opening with some coating to make that air tight, or just fill in the hole with JB Weld, and you'll have almost the same volume DHXair as the one modified with the RP3 air sleeve.

    Here is a shot of the old seal (left) and the new seal (right). The material is different, softer.



    The new seal installed:



    All done:



    So, how does it feel once on the bike? I was able to drop my main chamber pressure by 30psi and remained with the same sag (boost valve volume and pressure unchanged). The shock definatelly does a better job resisting bottomout without added compression damping caused by increased air pressure in the boost valve or decreased chamber volume. The fact that I now have a negative spring definatelly helped, too. The shock was buttery smooth compared to how it felt before the swap. The rear felt far plusher than the front. I will now have to devote my attention to the dual air PIKE.

    _MK

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  2. #2
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    Nice work. I've wondered about that second sleeve on the DHX-A. Does it have a set of seals as well? And what does your cryptic remark about the Pike mean? A little retune to match the modified DHX-A or a mod for the Pike itself? That's too much of a tease!

    Incidentally I tried the idea of reducing the air volume by adding something thicker to the main chamber. In my case I wadded a couple of teaspoons of Slick Honey under the main cap and on top of the large nut (or whatever its called). This was in addition to the Float Fluid I put in. The effect was subtle; kind of like adding more BO. For about three weeks I had an extra 1/8th of an inch left on the shaft after rides. Then as the seals weeped it returned to normal. This was done also to avoid the stuck down issue. It was an idea worth trying.


  3. #3
    MK_
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    Yeah, the outer sleeve has its own set of seals. If you were to pack that full of thick grease, it would never weep out. It does equal extra weight, though. This is something I forgot to mention in my original post, the RP3 air sleeve is about 40g lighter than the DHXair original sleeve. Subtle, but a weight saving in any regard.

    I don't know if you'll be able to see the seals in the photo, as it isn't the best one, but here's a close out of the outer sleeve:


    As of the PIKE, it definatelly feels harsher than the rear end right now. And I did bottom it out on a couple of drops today, whereas the rear did not. And I didn't land nose heavy. There are a couple of things I am thinking of doing. One is an overdue oil change, which might make the compression damper work better, so it is less harsh, while it will aid with bottomout better. The other is possibly adding a few ccs of extra fluid to the positive air chamber. I might also need to refine my tuning skills with the floodgate. Anotherwords, nothing fancy, but a little bit of work.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  4. #4
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    This was very informative _MK thanks! Now I have a much better understanding of what folks are talking about.
    And I hope that Pike isn't too difficult to tune, I just finished bolting mine up.

    A quick Q: removing the air chamber is just a matter of airing down the shock and unscrewing it? I also just bolted up a mothballed RP3 and I think I'd like to grease up the insides incase it got a little dry with disuse.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  5. #5
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    Zilla,
    You're right about the procedure to remove the sleeve. When airing down, you have to take note of the extent to which the damper shaft goes back into the body. If it's a slight amount, it's fine, but if it's like 25% or greater, you have stuck down and should use some caution when opening to not lose a finger or damage the air sleeve on the reducers at the bottom. The first time you remove the sleeve, it's pretty tough to unscrew. It's easier after that. And disuse won't dry out the insides. Don't worry about that.

    I saw this link from you sram thread. It's got a video on it.

  6. #6
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    Beautiful work!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Yeah, the outer sleeve has its own set of seals. If you were to pack that full of thick grease, it would never weep out. It does equal extra weight, though. This is something I forgot to mention in my original post, the RP3 air sleeve is about 40g lighter than the DHXair original sleeve. Subtle, but a weight saving in any regard.

    I don't know if you'll be able to see the seals in the photo, as it isn't the best one, but here's a close out of the outer sleeve:


    As of the PIKE, it definatelly feels harsher than the rear end right now. And I did bottom it out on a couple of drops today, whereas the rear did not. And I didn't land nose heavy. There are a couple of things I am thinking of doing. One is an overdue oil change, which might make the compression damper work better, so it is less harsh, while it will aid with bottomout better. The other is possibly adding a few ccs of extra fluid to the positive air chamber. I might also need to refine my tuning skills with the floodgate. Anotherwords, nothing fancy, but a little bit of work.

    _MK

    Do you think the guys at Push can use the RP3 sleeve to push a DHX Air 5.0?

    I admire your work. Excellent. Also thanks to Tscheesy for thinking outside the box.

    You guys rock!
    Sit and spin my ass...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zion Rasta
    Do you think the guys at Push can use the RP3 sleeve to push a DHX Air 5.0?
    ...nope.


  8. #8
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    This was very informative _MK thanks! Now I have a much better understanding of what folks are talking about.
    And I hope that Pike isn't too difficult to tune, I just finished bolting mine up.

    A quick Q: removing the air chamber is just a matter of airing down the shock and unscrewing it? I also just bolted up a mothballed RP3 and I think I'd like to grease up the insides incase it got a little dry with disuse.
    I deflated my shock, cycled it a few times, deflated, cycled it again and deflated one last time, then with the suspension fully compressed and a shop rag under the shock, I unscrewed the air sleeve. When the shock is compressed, the negative spring volume is the largest possible, which results in lowest possible pressure, which reduces the likelyhood of it shooting down.

    I would open it up and grease it up. My DHXair was bone dry on the inside and it has less than a season of riding.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  9. #9
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    restless minds create a good solution. well done MK and tscheezy.

    MK -- I think the better term would be "improved" rather than "upgraded." "Improvement" means tangible thing. "Upgrade" is a salesman's term.

    (I'm assuming that the result will be as planned. If not, maybe "upgrade" is more appropriate.)

  10. #10
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    (I'm assuming that the result will be as planned. If not, maybe "upgrade" is more appropriate.)
    Exacly. I'm leaving myself a little window

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zion Rasta
    Do you think the guys at Push can use the RP3 sleeve to push a DHX Air 5.0?

    I admire your work. Excellent. Also thanks to Tscheesy for thinking outside the box.

    You guys rock!
    Maybe this should be a niche of a niche and be an MK Tuning service. Well something anyway, Tim Flooks probably likes his TF Tuning name as it is and wouldn't be seeking name copycats.

    Doesn't sound to me like it's so hard that you'd need to send to PUSH.

    MK, what did you think of the process? Something most of the folks who are reasonably handy with bike wrenching could handle?

  12. #12
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    Maybe this should be a niche of a niche and be an MK Tuning service. Well something anyway, Tim Flooks probably likes his TF Tuning name as it is and wouldn't be seeking name copycats.

    Doesn't sound to me like it's so hard that you'd need to send to PUSH.

    MK, what did you think of the process? Something most of the folks who are reasonably handy with bike wrenching could handle?
    The procedure does not require any special tools nor any type of precision. Very easy. The hardest part is mustering the courage to unscrew the air sleeve. Otherwise a small pillow pack of Float fluid is all you really need.

    I would definatelly get the $6 air sleeve maintenance kit, which also comes with the pillow pack, to repace the rubber o or q ring (whatever Fox refers to it) on the air piston to eliminate the possibility of the stuck down shock, although mine was actually stuck up . And no, there will be no MK Tuned service.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  13. #13
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    What do you charge?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    The procedure does not require any special tools nor any type of precision. Very easy. The hardest part is mustering the courage to unscrew the air sleeve. Otherwise a small pillow pack of Float fluid is all you really need.

    I would definatelly get the $6 air sleeve maintenance kit, which also comes with the pillow pack, to repace the rubber o or q ring (whatever Fox refers to it) on the air piston to eliminate the possibility of the stuck down shock, although mine was actually stuck up . And no, there will be no MK Tuned service.

    _MK
    MK,What would you charge me if I send my DHX to you and do the mods. Parts + Labor + Shipping= ???$$
    Sit and spin my ass...

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the info MK_ and folks.
    Can other oil be used in place of the Float fluid? How about Pedro's syn-lube, slick honey, Prep-M?
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  15. #15
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikezilla
    Thanks for the info MK_ and folks.
    Can other oil be used in place of the Float fluid? How about Pedro's syn-lube, slick honey, Prep-M?
    Just get some fully synthetic gear lube, 80W or greater from an automotive supply store like NAPA.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  16. #16
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I wondered about plugging that hole in the inner sleeve too, but I wonder if the piston head passes it when you approach bottomout. It would make sense for it to do that since it would suddenly reduce the chamber volume being compressed and provide an extreme end-of-stroke pneumatic bumper. If the piston passes the hole and you plugged it and any material were protruding into the inner cylinder wall at the hole, your piston seals would not be happy. Then again I don't know if the seals even go as far as the hole.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  17. #17
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by tscheezy
    I wondered about plugging that hole in the inner sleeve too, but I wonder if the piston head passes it when you approach bottomout. It would make sense for it to do that since it would suddenly reduce the chamber volume being compressed and provide an extreme end-of-stroke pneumatic bumper. If the piston passes the hole and you plugged it and any material were protruding into the inner cylinder wall at the hole, your piston seals would not be happy. Then again I don't know if the seals even go as far as the hole.
    Yeah, you're right, I didn't think about that aspect of it. The piston definatelly doesn't pass the hole, since if it would, the air from the auxilary sleeve would pass into the negative chamber, but maybe it comes up to it and would make contact with a protruding piece.

    Good observation.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  18. #18
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    Is this a crazy idea?

    MK,

    Based on the great results from your mod, what's your opinion about using an AVA sleeve rather than an RP3 one? First, let me tell you that I have no idea is such replacement is possible and how RP3 canister volume compares with Max/Min AVA sleeve, but if feasible, it could add even one more "tuning" setting to this shock.

    I guess it could even make more complicated to find the right setting for this shock, but I must admit that it sounds tempting to me!


    Edited: Typo
    Last edited by Tavinho; 05-29-2006 at 08:50 PM.

  19. #19
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tavinho
    MK,

    Based on the great results from your mod, what's your opinion about using an AVA sleeve rather than an RP3 one? First, let me tell you that I have no idea is such replacement is possible and how RP3 canister volume compares with Max/Min AVA sleeve, but it feasible, it could add even one more "tuning" setting to this shock.

    I guess it could even make more complicated to find the right setting for this shock, but I must admit that it sounds tempting to me!
    Exactly. If the minimum setting of the AVA sleeve is close to the RP3 and the max is close to DHX, then you can just play around by popping off the auxilary sleeve off the DHX and filling it with grease or oil. The DHX sleeve is actually a tad bigger than RP3 one, so it would be close.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  20. #20
    DGC
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    Dhx-ava

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Exactly. If the minimum setting of the AVA sleeve is close to the RP3 and the max is close to DHX, then you can just play around by popping off the auxilary sleeve off the DHX and filling it with grease or oil. The DHX sleeve is actually a tad bigger than RP3 one, so it would be close.

    _MK
    I have run the DHX with the RP3 air can, as well as the RP3 with the DHX air can. Dont like either set up that much the way I do the DHX stock. So I would really be interested in what the outcome is running the DHX with the AVA can. I dont have one here to try so some feedback once ridden by someone would be good to hear.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  21. #21
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    Any update on how these perform, esp on a 5-spot?

  22. #22
    No, that's not phonetic
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    I've run this setup on a few bikes now, and it benefits heavier riders who bottom their stock DHX Air shocks mostly. I put the DHX with the small volume RP3 air can on Barny's new 6-Pack and even with the higher leverage of that bike and with the BO all the way out, she does not get anywhere near full travel at this point (she's 130#). I am waiting for Push to send my RP3 back so I can get the larger volume can off it and put it back on the DHX for Barny. Either that or put the RP3 w/ large volume can on the Pack.



    The small volume can works for me though (190#). I have run it both on my 6-Pack and 5-Spot. You can run about 20psi lower pressure and the bottoming resistance is still better than the stock DHX Air.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Exactly. If the minimum setting of the AVA sleeve is close to the RP3 and the max is close to DHX,...
    _MK

    I have an AVA sleeve on a '02 Float... but if memory serves, I think when the RP3 came out it incorporated the pigger volume of the AVA, therefore the smaller volume of the AVA would be more like the older Float.

    I'll have to swap them out and play with it.
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  24. #24
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    Bump...

    Anyone tried the AVA sleeve on a DHX-A yet?

    I've got a DHX-Air (7.8785" x 2.25") and an old Float RL with the AVA sleeve (7.875" x 2" from memory) that I was thinking of messing around with... keen to hear if anyon else has done this experiment, otherwise I may just opt for the RP3 air can as it is relatively cheap.

    thanks

  25. #25
    DGC
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    shim

    Quote Originally Posted by marcus_dukakis
    Anyone tried the AVA sleeve on a DHX-A yet?

    I've got a DHX-Air (7.8785" x 2.25") and an old Float RL with the AVA sleeve (7.875" x 2" from memory) that I was thinking of messing around with... keen to hear if anyon else has done this experiment, otherwise I may just opt for the RP3 air can as it is relatively cheap.

    thanks
    Just a thought to you, I dunno if you read a post I made not long ago about putting a shim in the outer air sleeve on the DHX air sleeve. It ends up feeling in between the smaller volume RP air sleeve and the stock DHX air sleeve. It can be trimmed or made bigger to get the feel you want.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  26. #26
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    BUMP... modifying the mod.

    DGC - I've managed to make a similar sleeve to yours out of some stiff 1.5-2mm thick plastic. Excellent idea - thanks heaps for the informative pics.

    Great mod but I've been thinking more and more about this dual sleeve on the DHX and the tiny hole linking the inner and outer air sleeves.

    Given the location of the hole (about 1" from the top of the main chamber), I've been thinking that what happens is the main air chamber has the volume of the two sleeves combined until the shaft reaches the very last 1/2" or so of stroke, by which time the hole has been passed by the seal at the end of the shock shaft, and the main chamber volume is then reduced to just the inner of the two air sleeves. This would produce a shock that is linear for the most part of the stroke (because of the large volume of the two air sleeves combined), but ramps up at the end of the stroke due to the decrease in volume when the second (outer) air can is effectively cut off from the first...

    So... what I was planning on doing was blocking the hole with silastic or something removable (guess it make take a decent dab of silicone and very clean surfaces), and then drilling a similar sized hole further down the inside of the inner air sleeve. This way the shock will still have small bump sensitivity while the two chambers are linked, then it will ramp up nicely (like and RP3), when this hole is bypassed by the lower air seal on the shock shaft and the main chamber volume is reduced to just the inner of the two air sleeves..

    What do people think of this idea? The only issues I can think of are maybe altering the structural integrity of the inner air sleeve with the second hole, and maybe the problem of cleaning up the inner surface of the new, lower air hole so that it doesn't damage the lower air seal..

    Before I do this possibly foolish mod, I'm keen to hear other people's opinions.. is my theory about the two chambers flawed? If the lower seal never passes this hole, then the whole idea may be stoopid..

    thanks and apologies for the long winded post.

    EDIT - looking at the photos here, it looks as the hole between the two air sleeves is only blocked at the VERY end of the shock shaft travel. My DHX is not with me at the moment so I can't test the theory for myself..

    Have alsom posted this in the shocks forum:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspension/dhx-air-sleeve-modification-281356.html#post2872838

    **UPDATE** - tscheezy says don't make holes in the air can or the shock will get stuck down... back to the RP3 air can for me... cheers!
    Last edited by marcus_dukakis; 04-09-2007 at 09:02 PM.

  27. #27
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    I just tried the shim mod mentioned above on my 07 dhx air and while the progressivity is a bit improved and I was not as likely to bottom, I am still not totally happy wiith the way the DHX Air performs. It still seems to take an excessive amount of air (220psi) for my weight (150lbs) to achieve the proper amount of sag. At this point I am starting to think that the shock may need more sompression damping and specifically some more high speed compression damping. I am running the propedal knob one click from full hard and I have 175 psi in the boost valve and the shock still wants to blow theough its travel and is mushy when pedaling. I am afraid that the overall underdamped feeling is due to the fact that I purchased the shock as an aftermarket upgrade as it was not spec'd on the bike origionally. I know that manufacturers have these valved to complement the specific frame design that the shock will be used on and in my case my particular frame design may need more damping than others.

    Is this most likely the case? And does anyone know if there is any way to add more compression damping to the shock via mods I can attempt myself? Or is there a suspension shop out there that might be able to do some custom tuning of this model (since push will not)? Any input anyone has would be appreciated as at this point I am looking at getting rid of this thing if I can't get it working better.

  28. #28
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by sessionrider
    I just tried the shim mod mentioned above on my 07 dhx air and while the progressivity is a bit improved and I was not as likely to bottom, I am still not totally happy wiith the way the DHX Air performs. It still seems to take an excessive amount of air (220psi) for my weight (150lbs) to achieve the proper amount of sag.
    What frame are you on? And no, you cannot do anything to the damper without braking the seal and opening it up. Bleeding would be a hellish task without proper tools and know how.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  29. #29
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    I am riding a trek session 77. The leverage ratio isn't super high or anything so I'm not entirely sure what's going on. I'm lucky that I only weigh 150lbs otherwise there's simply now way this shock would even work at all. Anyone know of any tuning shops that will work on these?

  30. #30
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by sessionrider
    I am riding a trek session 77. The leverage ratio isn't super high or anything so I'm not entirely sure what's going on. I'm lucky that I only weigh 150lbs otherwise there's simply now way this shock would even work at all. Anyone know of any tuning shops that will work on these?
    I think the 77 has a leverage rate lower than 2.7, right?
    Anyhow, when I first got my DHXair, which was right after they came out. I bolted it up to my 5 Spot and took it on a trip to trails around Aspen. My buddy who was substantially heavier than me took a bike for a spin. After I got it back from him, the shock would bottomout when I rode off the curb. There was no change in air pressure and my sag seemed fine.

    I reported the issue on these forums and Darren from PUSH contacted me as he wanted to see what could have gone wrong (he has had very little experience with the DHX air at the time). It turns out the valve which is supposed to close between the damper and the boost chamber was stuck open. I had virtually no compression damping. You may be experiencing the same issue.

    The suspected cause was a very hard bottomout which bent some shims and caused the valve to be unable to close.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  31. #31
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    _MK,

    Thanks for the info today.

    I made the swap tonight, interesting (and scary) thing I could unscrew the air can from my shock with my bare hands without the need for a vice. Anyhow, the shock is now amazing, so much better than with the stock can. I just wanted to post a big THANKS to you and the others who've posted regarding swapping the air cans on the DHX-A for the RP3 can. You guys rock!!

  32. #32
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    Hmmm that's interesting... Mine has seemed to have gotten worse over time and I have certainly bottomed out hard several times. The worst of which caused the shock to make a strange shreaking noise as it approached full compression. After that it has been noticably worse.

    So did you end up sending the shock back to fox to have the problem fixed?

    They're pretty close to me so it wouldn't be very difficult to get it back to them.

  33. #33
    DGC
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    shims

    Quote Originally Posted by sessionrider
    Hmmm that's interesting... Mine has seemed to have gotten worse over time and I have certainly bottomed out hard several times. The worst of which caused the shock to make a strange shreaking noise as it approached full compression. After that it has been noticably worse.

    So did you end up sending the shock back to fox to have the problem fixed?

    They're pretty close to me so it wouldn't be very difficult to get it back to them.
    I would give another vote towards what MK said, so it may need to be serviced and see if the problem is infact what MK describes. On the outer sleeve shim mod, once the shock is working right, the shim reduces the air volume by quite a bit, if you want. It also reduces the hard bottoming for sure if you use s decent size shim, which in turn may be what your problem is to begin with.
    That is the thing in making custom shims, you can make it to do what you want. I have been messing with it a lot on mine over the last 8 months on and off. I found a small shim goes a long way. I think you need to send it to Fox or PUSH if they will do the basic service.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by sessionrider
    Hmmm that's interesting... Mine has seemed to have gotten worse over time and I have certainly bottomed out hard several times. The worst of which caused the shock to make a strange shreaking noise as it approached full compression. After that it has been noticably worse.

    So did you end up sending the shock back to fox to have the problem fixed?

    They're pretty close to me so it wouldn't be very difficult to get it back to them.
    For me, PUSH is less than an hour's drive away.

    _MK

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    But does PUSH even work on the DHX Air? I was under the impression that they did not offer any service for this shock.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by sessionrider
    But does PUSH even work on the DHX Air? I was under the impression that they did not offer any service for this shock.
    They don't. But this was before Darren had any idea on whether he wants to work on these or not.

    _MK

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    do you guys know anyone that sells the rp3 sleeve online ?


    Thanks

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4extreme
    do you guys know anyone that sells the rp3 sleeve online ?


    Thanks
    1 800 FOX SHOX would be the phone number to call.
    As far as online, PUSH only sells the high volume sleeve and charges almost 2 times what Fox does. Your best bet would be to call Fox direct.

    _MK

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  39. #39
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    more info pls

    DGC,

    I'm liking your mod, very inventive. it seems like a fairly straight forward process of unscrewing the main sleeve, unclipping the outer chamber, adding the shim and then closing everything back up. am i right? can you provide more details?
    what material do you use for the shim and how thick should it be?
    do i need any extra tools, seals or fluids?
    anything else?

    Thanks, Peter.

  40. #40
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    Alright, I've got a 2006 DHX air and because it seems to be bottoming out on the little stuff, and holding my riding back, I've decided to modify the outer air sleeve using the shim method. Before I do this, is there anything i need to know before i open this beast up? I've also got a few questions regarding the whole process: How do I actually go about screwing off the air sleeve, the fact that theres two seems to further complicate this, do i take the o ring that holds the outer air sleeve off and then take the slide the outer air sleeve off, or do i just screw off the main air sleeve and let the outer air sleeve come off with the main air sleeve as one big piece? Once I get the outer air sleeve off and cut the right size shim, what do i use to keep the shim in place in the air sleeve, does it get taped or glued in? Also, should the boost valve air be let out when you screw off the air sleeve(s)?

    Thanks, and please forgive my Ignorance on this, i jsut don't want to screw this thing up--

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by dowst
    How do I actually go about screwing off the air sleeve, the fact that theres two seems to further complicate this, do i take the o ring that holds the outer air sleeve off and then take the slide the outer air sleeve off, or do i just screw off the main air sleeve and let the outer air sleeve come off with the main air sleeve as one big piece?
    You don't unscrew the outer sleeve off, as this sleeve is held in place by a large metal C-clip thing. The easiest way I found is to just remove the shock from the bike, and then use a small screwdriver or pick to pry the clip out of it's groove. Once the clip is removed you can just pull down on the outer air sleeve (you may need to twist and pull) and it will slide off. The outer air sleeve is not threaded, but rather it is just held in place with top and bottom rubber O-ring seals and the C-clip.

    Quote Originally Posted by dowst
    Once I get the outer air sleeve off and cut the right size shim, what do i use to keep the shim in place in the air sleeve, does it get taped or glued in?
    No, don't use anything. When you bend the shim (ski base material) it will want to spring back into a flat shape, so when you curl it up and put it inside the outer air sleeve it will almost snap into place because it wants to push outward against the air sleeve. As long as you use the length (133.5mm if I recall) and width (around 25-30mm) that DGC recommended, you will not have the shim moving around in the outer sleeve.

    Quote Originally Posted by dowst
    Also, should the boost valve air be let out when you screw off the air sleeve(s)?
    You just need to let the air out of the main chamber. The boost valve can stay pressurized.
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerx40
    You don't unscrew the outer sleeve off, as this sleeve is held in place by a large metal C-clip thing. The easiest way I found is to just remove the shock from the bike, and then use a small screwdriver or pick to pry the clip out of it's groove. Once the clip is removed you can just pull down on the outer air sleeve (you may need to twist and pull) and it will slide off. The outer air sleeve is not threaded, but rather it is just held in place with top and bottom rubber O-ring seals and the C-clip.

    No, don't use anything. When you bend the shim (ski base material) it will want to spring back into a flat shape, so when you curl it up and put it inside the outer air sleeve it will almost snap into place because it wants to push outward against the air sleeve. As long as you use the length (133.5mm if I recall) and width (around 25-30mm) that DGC recommended, you will not have the shim moving around in the outer sleeve.

    You just need to let the air out of the main chamber. The boost valve can stay pressurized.
    Awesome! So I dont even need to remove the inner air sleeve to do the mod!?

    thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dowst
    Awesome! So I dont even need to remove the inner air sleeve to do the mod!?

    thanks!
    That is correct.
    I stopped driving my bike into my garage - I'm now protected with Roof Rack Ranger app for my iPhone.

  44. #44
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    I'd like to upgrade air sleeve, but have a slight problem. My DHX Air comes in 8,75 ETE length (222 mm) whereas Float is normally only up to 7,875 ETE. There are some custom versions however, like for SC Nomad which has 8,75" shock too.

    Any ideas where to get longer Float air sleeve for 8,75" shock are much appreciated.
    (contacted Fox already, still waiting for response)

  45. #45
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    It's pretty interesting that Fox now knows about the weight issue with the chamber selection, yet when you order the shocks aftermarket, it's claimed that they need your specs to assemble them properly, but air chamber selection is not an option...

  46. #46
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    Bump an old thread, in case anybody still cares...

    I JB welded the little air transfer hole in my DHX air sleeve, it works well so far.

    I put a piece of packing tape on the inside of the sleeve to cover the hole to make sure that no epoxy poked inside to tear up the seals. Then then I smeared the JB into the hole from the outside, holding the tape on tight from the inside. I heated the JB with a hairdryer a bit to make sure it filled the hole evenly. After it dried, removed the tape and sanded the inside a bit with some 1000 grit to make sure everything is totally smooth. Finally, I cleaned off the tape residue with some alcohol, and reassembled.

    The low volume is MUCH better for my riding style

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pressed
    Bump an old thread, in case anybody still cares...

    I JB welded the little air transfer hole in my DHX air sleeve, it works well so far.

    I put a piece of packing tape on the inside of the sleeve to cover the hole to make sure that no epoxy poked inside to tear up the seals. Then then I smeared the JB into the hole from the outside, holding the tape on tight from the inside. I heated the JB with a hairdryer a bit to make sure it filled the hole evenly. After it dried, removed the tape and sanded the inside a bit with some 1000 grit to make sure everything is totally smooth. Finally, I cleaned off the tape residue with some alcohol, and reassembled.

    The low volume is MUCH better for my riding style
    Sorry
    about my ignorance what means JB ....

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthuar
    Sorry
    about my ignorance what means JB ....
    JB Wled. It's a chemical welder that comes in a little tube. You can get it at your local hardwear store.

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    Thanks.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dowst
    JB Wled. It's a chemical welder that comes in a little tube. You can get it at your local hardwear store.
    It's not a welder. Ooof, it's just "x-treme" glue, breaking it down to its more bare elements.

  51. #51
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    Basically like a slow-cure epoxy that is supposed to bond to metal well.
    http://jbweld.net/products/jbweld.php

  52. #52
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    "MK tuned" DHX Air on Glory

    I know it's an old topic, but I've got few questions...
    I've got Glory 2008, which originally came with Roco. I switched it for 2007 DHX Air, in the first place. I was pretty happy about the way it worked. But then I heard/read about Push and Moto Pitkan tuning.
    I am about 150lbs and I am rather weekend warrior. I like the fact that I add pressure for urban jumping and decrease it when I am the moutains.
    Would switching air sleeve changed the way my bike acts in berms, etc?
    I use about 80% of travel crusing around town :|
    I friend of mine who works at Fox service said could work on my shock...

    thx in advance for answers
    pozdro
    frango

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvette
    I'd like to upgrade air sleeve, but have a slight problem. My DHX Air comes in 8,75 ETE length (222 mm) whereas Float is normally only up to 7,875 ETE. There are some custom versions however, like for SC Nomad which has 8,75" shock too.

    Any ideas where to get longer Float air sleeve for 8,75" shock are much appreciated.
    (contacted Fox already, still waiting for response)
    ok, thinking about trying the air sleeve mod, but I'm at the same question. I have a DHX-Air that is 8.75 x 2.5. I don't see a comparable size for RP23 shocks, closest is 8.5x2.5.

    Is the 8.5 rp23 air sleeve being used on 8.75 DHX shocks?

  54. #54
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    Sorry for digging this thread up again, but this thread just might be the answer to my prayers. I love the overall feel of my DHX Air 4.0, but it tends to blow through its mid-range travel too fast for anything more than a few-foot drops. I don't want to take 15 footers or anything, but the occasional 3-5er withuot bottoming out would be super sweet. Btw, I am 6'3" 220lb and on a Giant Reign 1, running around 250psi in the main chamber.

    My question is this: Will I be able to 1) get an RP23 sleeve that will thread onto my DHX Air 4.0, and 2) will it enable me to get a slightly steeper shock rate while running lower chamber pressure? I don't want to lose the super soft ride, I just want to take some drops without bottoming.

    Thanks in advance for any insight.

  55. #55
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    The air sleeves are interchangeable between the RP3s and DHX airs.
    To further tune the air spring, check out DGC's plastic shim mod thread; he puts various dimensions of plastic into the air sleeve to fine tune the spring curve.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  56. #56
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    Good job! Practicality may be an issue

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Just get some fully synthetic gear lube, 80W or greater from an automotive supply store like NAPA.

    _MK
    Edit at the top to say that despite the subject, as I wrote this I found more and maybe practicality is not an issue. Read to end.
    But before you buy, take all this with a pinch of salt. I have not tested it. It is currently hearsay. And, I have my doubts about the assembly lube being the same as float fluid or even a perfect sub.

    First - the required thanks to all on this thread and the site. Makes me lol in GLEE when I find a thread like this.
    Looked for fully synthetic gear oil and found a brand name for those interested. Mobil "Delvac 1". There are other grades of Delvac, I expect the 1 (best) is closest to fully syn or maybe fully syn.
    The problem is, it costs $86 for 6L at the only supplier near me.
    No smaller quantity available.
    It is even cheaper per unit in even larger quantities, but in the 6L quantity at RETAIL price it still works out at about 7cents for 5cc - the contents of a pack of float fluid.
    If, someone could repackage this stuff and sell it for $1/pack...
    1000% margin? Doooo iiiiit.
    If anyone knows other suppliers offering smaller quantities (maybe you considering the potential margin?! ), then please post.

    Great news to end on.
    Further from the above, this thread :Fox Float Fluid
    Says that fox float fluid is (or is v similar to) "Torco assembly lube" w a dif dye.
    I also suspect that that the float fluid would probably at least be 'watered down' - ahem IMPROVED w some 'cutting agent' AHEM performance additive. And I think that it is possible that it may be necessary to do this to get the right viscosity. However, Torco state that the product is fully oil soluable so that gives a clue to what any additive would be. If it's too thick, then mixing w a little fork oil should do the trick. *SPECULATION!*
    Torco assembly lube is available online direct from the manufacturer for $8 for 4oz. http://www.torcousa.com/products-auto-pro.html
    Also, by sheer luck/coincidence synthetic gear oil is available on that same page for $18/L! Equiv to 9cents per pack of float fluid.
    Anyone trying any of this stuff, please post back w results and comparison w float fluid. Thanks again.

    To help anyone searching...a couple of keywords.
    substitute alternative shock lubrication
    Last edited by Ecogeek; 09-12-2010 at 05:14 PM.

  57. #57
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    Did this mod on 2008 DHX Air 4.0. NB this is on 18" RM Slayer SXC 70 frame w custom build. Set up for AM but light park capable.
    I weight about 185 loaded right now. Had been running 198psi in main w decent results after plenty of tuning. It has been raining hard here for days. The shock needed a service anyway. This mod looked so simple and quick (and entirely reversible) that I thought I'd give it a whirl and see.
    Used CD spindle lid plastic. Only 0.8mm thick. So cut to 137mm x 25mm for a volume of 2.74cc (vs 3.16cc in the OP). Lower adjustment seemed wise as the Slayer is famous for not bottoming out anyway. I wanted it plusher at first, with less wallow in the mid-stroke and still wouldn't bottom hard. Figured that this mod and the right pressure could do that.
    After the mod and a bit of tuning/testing I arrived at 185psi in main. Perfect 25% sag. Much plusher initially, but with no more and maybe a little less wallow in the middle and more ramp later. So bottom line it's plusher but can still take bigger hits at lower pressure.
    Bob still no problem at all - I checked in various gears. Tested the shock on some jumps/drops until it got dark. Love it! Not even going to bother trying a dif size shim. This is great at my weight on this bike.
    Landed one drop to flat more rear-wheel heavy that I should have. Shock sucked it up and spat it out like it always did, but for general riding it was just super smooth. Better than before.
    Many thanks to OP.
    I used fox fluid for rebuild. Next time I'll try syn gear oil.

  58. #58
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    thanks DGC! did this mod today on a DHX air 4 on an 08 reignX.

    HUGE!!! benefit! Was able to ride without propedal without it feeling too mushy or riding too low in the shocks stroke, much better! I still had about a 1/4 inch of travel left on the shock, will first play with reducing the pressure in my boost valve as it's been set at max ever since I got it. Then with reducing shock pressure slightly if needed and only then will I look at making my shim smaller. And if I do mess with the shim again I think I will just go get some P-tex and do it right as the plastic I used was a bit too brittle.

    I used the side of the top of a spray paint can lid, not sure how thick it is but was too thick to try and partially double it up on itself. Had to trim it back so that it was a single layer to get the shock back together.

    Thanks again for posting this, wish I would have noticed it sooner...
    Quote Originally Posted by the_owl
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    So, I was checking out the air sleeve up close, once it was off, to see exactly how one could pack grease in there, if one wanted to do the mod I originally suggested and I came upon something REALLY interesting. The air sleeve on the DHX is composed of 2 air cambers held together by a C-clip.



    There is a small air port in the inner sleeve which allows for the air to pass between the two volumes. The hole is very small, I wonder why, but it appears to work fine, so whatever.

    Here's a theory (that I couldn't find elsewhere in this thread, apologies if I overlooked it): the small hole between the two chambers is there to give a speed dependent spring rate. For slow speeds, the pressure in the two chambers will be almost equal, and the spring rate is given by the large volume. For higher speeds, the air port restriction will not allow the air pressure in the outer chamber to rise as quickly, effectively giving a stiffer spring rate given mainly by the inner chamber volume. Mellow spring for low speeds = good sensitivity, stiff spring for high speeds = bottom-out resistance.

    Just a theory. Don't slay me if you disagree.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by arne_and
    Here's a theory (that I couldn't find elsewhere in this thread, apologies if I overlooked it): the small hole between the two chambers is there to give a speed dependent spring rate. For slow speeds, the pressure in the two chambers will be almost equal, and the spring rate is given by the large volume. For higher speeds, the air port restriction will not allow the air pressure in the outer chamber to rise as quickly, effectively giving a stiffer spring rate given mainly by the inner chamber volume. Mellow spring for low speeds = good sensitivity, stiff spring for high speeds = bottom-out resistance.

    Just a theory. Don't slay me if you disagree.
    I agree. What we need is a guinea pig, someone to bore out the port a little and see what effect it has on high speed compression.

  61. #61
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    Hi just added a bottom out pad to my dhx 5.0. (Remove air sleeve, put bottom out pad(taken from old shock) on main shaft) assembly, ride happy......Very nice ramp up, and no more bottom out...

  62. #62
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    I need help.
    I have a problem with a FOX DHX AIR.
    The review and when I ride it on the bike and after about 15 moves in the damper it loses the operation of the return.
    He goes back and forth at the same speed, even closed completely ing the return button.
    Remove the valve and SHIM, someone would have the correct order of SHIM in compression and rebound.
    Thank you and waiting for feedback.

  63. #63
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    Hi MK_, I want to change my broken Equalizer shock in Scott Ransom for a DHX AIR. I've read some threads about this and many people wrote, that your modification is needed for DHX to work well in Ransom. I found this Fox DHX AIR 4.0 shock, which seems to have a smaller volume one-chamber air can already installed from factory, what do you think?

    traildevils.ch/marketentry.php?eid=39272

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqadra View Post
    Hi MK_, I want to change my broken Equalizer shock in Scott Ransom for a DHX AIR. I've read some threads about this and many people wrote, that your modification is needed for DHX to work well in Ransom. I found this Fox DHX AIR 4.0 shock, which seems to have a smaller volume one-chamber air can already installed from factory, what do you think?

    traildevils.ch/marketentry.php?eid=39272
    If the shock has a low volume sleeve on it already, you're set. If it doesn't, check out DGC's extensive write up on his idea of shimming the outer sleeve with plastic; it appears that this is becoming how the industry deals with fine tuning the volumes as well.

    _MK

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not just surrounded by a*holes

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    If the shock has a low volume sleeve on it already, you're set. If it doesn't, check out DGC's extensive write up on his idea of shimming the outer sleeve with plastic; it appears that this is becoming how the industry deals with fine tuning the volumes as well.

    _MK

    thank you, the way to fill the outer sleeve with plastic seems good, but i still hope to get one dhx air with original low volume sleeve like this one: traildevils.ch/marketentry.php?eid=39527

  66. #66
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    Dang, he should have filed a patent on that idea!
    Quote Originally Posted by the_owl
    Everytime you ride in mud, god kills a kitten.

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