Enduro Fork Seals - time for a Reba fork service- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Enduro Fork Seals - time for a Reba fork service

    I went ahead and ordered a set along with an OEM RockShox service kit, oils, and Slick Honey (Slick Honey is NOT needed in the Enduro seal assembly, but required with stock seals). I have been riding two years (1800 miles) on my fork without a full service (yep, WAY overdo) and I have noticed a very small line of grease on the air side stantion starting to develop. The oil side stantion is clean, and the oil is clean with a nice red tint to it. I have read that these seals offer a much plusher ride as most have to add extra air to compensate, by up to as much as 10-15 pounds, so I couldn't resist. Two downsides to the seals are the shipping costs, which are rather exorbitant, with the cheapest option being Priority Mail at just under 8 bucks. A tad bothersome since they are only in the next state over, a very small and light package, but it is what it is. The second being they only come in blue - great for the Evo guys, but might look strange on my Silver Goblin, but that is rather trivial.

    This seal kit does not use the foam rings that come with the RockShox service kit, so there is no need to pull out the wiper seals for intermittent lubing. Bonus for me! They just require a stantion lube to keep things smooth. I am looking forward to tearing into the fork as it will be my first time around the block doing a full service. If there is any interest in the rebuild, let me know and I would be happy to take pictures or vid along the way.

    Enduro Fork Seals - time for a Reba fork service-fskrs32b_full_w_low_fric.jpg
    Last edited by s0ul_chicken; 09-16-2015 at 12:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    No option to order from a retailer who you can buy another part early and get free shipping?

    Your posts and methods are always detailed and entertaining - are you by chance an engineer by trade?

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    I would love to see an overview of a full service! Thank you.

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    I have read really good things about these enduro seals and I am interested to see how much of an improvement you get. I am having problems with stiction and these enduro seals could possibly fix it.

    Let me know which type of grease you end up using on the airshaft and o-rings. I also purchased the slick honey, but I only used slick honey on the inside lips of the fork seals. The manual shows them using a thicker red grease on all the other parts, so I just used Park blue grease but not sure if that was the equivalent.

    Another thing... the manual says to add 5ml of oil in each lower for the oil bath, but I've read on multiple threads that increasing this amount to 10-15ml is a good idea. Here is link discussing the enduro seals and increasing oil bath levels: http://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspen...-582186-6.html

    A detailed right up would be great man.
    Last edited by TMO8853; 04-17-2015 at 06:41 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by opivy View Post
    No option to order from a retailer who you can buy another part early and get free shipping?

    Your posts and methods are always detailed and entertaining - are you by chance an engineer by trade?
    Believe me, I have looked. I have found them on other sites, but the advertised cost is actually higher, probably due to the original shipping from RWC. I couldn't find free shipping anywhere.
    I am not anywhere near an engineer, nor would I want to be - I always thought that engineers should work on what they design just so they get an idea of what the tech out in the field is dealing with.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperStang View Post
    I would love to see an overview of a full service! Thank you.
    Cool - I will be starting the rebuild after the Alien Race (May 3rd), as I would hate to run into a problem and not be able to compete in the 26 miler. I didn't know I would be racing when I placed my orders, so that will delay things just a bit. I was challenged by a buddy of mine that said I couldn't finish the race, so I couldn't back down! Now I have to put on my ass-kicking shoes...

    Quote Originally Posted by TMO8853 View Post
    I have read really good things about these enduro seals and I am interested to see how much of an improvement you get. I am having problems with stiction and these enduro seals could possibly fix it.

    Also, let me know which type of grease you end up using on the airshaft and o-rings. I also purchased the slick honey, but I only used slick honey on the inside lips of the fork seals. The manual shows them using a thicker red grease on all the other parts, so I just used Park blue grease but not sure if that was the equivalent.

    Another thing... the manual says to add 5ml of oil in each lower for the oil bath, but I've read on multiple threads that increasing this amount to 10-15ml is a good idea. Here is link discussing the enduro seals and increasing oil bath levels: http://forums.mtbr.com/shocks-suspen...-582186-6.html

    A detailed right up would be great man.
    I went with the recommended grease, the Liquid O-Ring® PM600 military grease, ordered it with the Slick Honey. I wasn't sure if the Park Tool grease was going to be safe for the o-rings or not, so I thought I would play it safe and not have to worry about doing the service all over again due to an air leak.
    I haven't heard about adding extra juice to each side other than what was recommended, so I will have to do some reading up on that. Thank you for that link!! This is the final frontier for me and my bike, the only thing I haven't tried to tackle yet is this fork service.

  6. #6
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    Really looking forward to your write up on this, I'll be looking to do this soon too.

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    Have you started your fork service yet soul chicken? I did mine a few days ago and got my first ride on it yesterday. The whole deal went well, the rockshox service manual with pictures was really helpful. I also used enduro seals and had to bump up pressure, they're very smooth! The only thing I woulda done different is used a syringe with a smaller tube to fit inside the bottom hole. The tube on mine was a little too big so I made quite a mess trying to get the oil thru, and also the amount wasn't as accurate. I put ~12 ml in there but it was probably more like 8-10 ml with the spillage

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8iking VIIking View Post
    Have you started your fork service yet soul chicken? I did mine a few days ago and got my first ride on it yesterday. The whole deal went well, the rockshox service manual with pictures was really helpful. I also used enduro seals and had to bump up pressure, they're very smooth! The only thing I woulda done different is used a syringe with a smaller tube to fit inside the bottom hole. The tube on mine was a little too big so I made quite a mess trying to get the oil thru, and also the amount wasn't as accurate. I put ~12 ml in there but it was probably more like 8-10 ml with the spillage
    I was going to start my fork service tomorrow, we are supposed to get a good shot of rain the next coming few days. The race went well, but I had a pretty hard crash fumbling with a water bottle, my right wrist and shoulder are still pretty sore, but getting better.

    Glad to hear yours went well! Let me know how the ride is.

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    Bummer to hear about the crash, get well soon! I've switched over to a small camelbak for races for that exact reason....I ran into a tree while reaching for a water bottle during a race. Ouch

    I only have one short ride on it so far but it was noticeably smoother right away. Like you mentioned before I had to bump up my pressure about 10 psi to get the same sag.


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    I should have trusted in what I had left in my hydration pack at the last watering station myself! I wasn't sure, so I took a bottle and did the very same you did, a branch hit my handlebar with bottle in hand and next thing you know I am doing a very poor impersonation of Superman. I hadn't landed that hard in a long time.

  11. #11
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    Jumping in with both feet, I started the total rebuild of the 2013 Reba. Probably a good thing as my poor Gobi was accidentally left outside to deal with the heavy rains that came through yesterday afternoon, and it has been a long time since I lubed the foam rings.

    I can see why fork service is so expensive when you take it to an LBS, having everything you need can add up quickly the first time around, the service can be time consuming, but you will have enough left over to do quite a few services in the future if you decide to take it on.

    I started off by removing the front brake caliper and adapter, and left the fork on the bike for this first part of the service.





    With the caliper out of the way, I flipped the bike onto the bars, and removed the rebound adjuster. The next step is to loosen both shaft bolts 3 to 4 turns, and give both bolts a love tap with a rubber mallet to separate the lowers from the uppers. I had to try this step twice, the first time I didn't hit the allen wrench hard enough, so I tightened them back up, and backed them off two turns and smacked it again. This time my thumb was in the way... once it wasn't, another punch and I was able to remove the lowers once I took the shaft bolts out. Time to go find a band-aid! One of those times I am glad I was using a rubber mallet instead of a regular hammer. OUCH!





    The uppers look like they are in good shape, but the oil on the air side looks contaminated. Wouldn't surprise me, as it was quite the deluge that passed through, and my last service was several hundred riding hours ago. I put the shaft bolts back on the ends of the uppers so I wouldn't misplace them.





    After removing the lowers, you can see the foam ring inside looking nasty - I have neglected my services! It is time to pop out the seals, and start to clean the lowers next. The seals weren't that tough to pop out, I just took my time and worked around the edge to work them loose.





    With the seals removed, I cleaned the inside lowers with a rag and alcohol, and cleaned the seal seats. Those foam rings have seen better days though! Everything looking much better now, cleaned up and ready to go for the new Enduro seals.





    That was my stopping point for the day, so I decided to flip the bike over a paper plate and let the oil drain out overnight. The air side still had plenty of oil, however, the other had zero come out. You can see by the picture that the oil side of the fork has run dry, and there should be approx. 5 to 10ml of 15WT in each lower. Since I see no oil on the oil side, o-ring replacements are certainly due. The fork is now off the bike, ready for me to start on the uppers tonight. More to come.


  12. #12
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    Day Two - Air side rebuild tonight, first time going through this part of the process but it doesn't look too tough. First picture is of all the o-rings, foam rings, seals, grease, oil, lube, and tools.



    The next part will differ from the OEM seals and foam rings, as they will not be used. Just before I laid everything out, I went ahead and popped the Enduro Seals into the freezer. The Enduro kit comes with two sets of inner seals (these replace the foam rings), that are of different thicknesses to accommodate deep or shallow seats. The black ones are too tall (Thanks Eric!), so the blue ones are going in. I didn't need any kind of press tool, they seated very easily without any real pressure. I pulled the Enduro Seals out of the freezer (maybe 15 minutes had passed since I put them in), and they also slid right into their seat without needing any tools. Nice!





    Next is removal of the top of the air shaft that holds the shrader valve. I was expecting this to be hard to remove due to the shallowness and size of the nut, but it came off rather easily. O-rings replaced, and greased ready to go back in once the piston assembly is ready.





    Time to remove the piston assembly, you just need some snap ring pliers to remove the clip, and the assembly comes right out. I am glad I left the shaft bolt on the leg, it made it much easier to grab the shaft to remove it from the uppers. Time to clean the parts, replace o-rings, and re-grease all the components. I also cleaned the upper air shaft, and threads and applied new grease.











    The only thing you have to watch here is how the aluminum support washer, and the wavy washer go back into the upper. You will need to manipulate both to get them started, then you can push the whole assembly back into the upper.



    Now that the assembly is back in place, time to put the snap ring back in. Sharp side of the snap ring toward the tool, smooth side to the piston assembly. Top cap also goes back into the top of the upper, torqued to 7.3 N·m.





    Air side is complete, which means tonight comes the oil side of the fork. Still raining here, so there is no real rush. Maybe I can get a test ride in on Sunday! More to come.

  13. #13
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    This is an awesome level of detail. Great work!

  14. #14
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    BTW, if anyone would like the RS manual for the Reba, let me know and I will send you a copy of it. It has a great amount of detail, which helped me quite a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by opivy View Post
    This is an awesome level of detail. Great work!
    Thanks dude! I am having fun doing the job.

  15. #15
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    Day Three - Oil side. I had hopes this part would go fast, but it seems I am at a sticking point (literally). First step is to remove the top cap for the oil side with the 24mm socket. No biggie, but according to the manual, once this is loose from the threads, you wiggle it up and out.







    My issue is the white bottom of the compression damper is sticking to the top of the head. I didn't take pics as I was starting to get oil everywhere. I tried to reinstall the compression damper, try again, but this time the white end separated from the assembly.



    It snaps back in, so I don't think I damaged the parts, but it looks like I will have to keep it separated and push it down the other way once I get the shaft removed. I put it all away last night in attempts to not panic, or cause any further damage - I am better going back in with a clear head, and a plan of attack. Reading further through the manual, when it comes to reinstall, the compression damper needs to be in the unlocked position. Nothing is mentioned about this position upon removal, so maybe that is the trick? More to come.

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    Alright - Day Three continued, finally completing the service! YES! Sorry for the delays in the write-up.

    I tried one more time removing the compression damper, and this time it did come free. Only difference in what I was doing was how I wiggled it out. Before I was trying to move too much side to side instead of tight wiggle and pull with minimal side to side. Once it popped out, I poured out any remaining fluid from the oil chamber, and then started to remove the rebound damper head. Glide ring, and o-rings replaced, cleaned, and ready to go back into a clean upper.





    The entire assembly cleaned with alcohol and placed into the upper, with the gap in the glide ring facing up, working in from that direction. Once the rebound seal is in the tube, the snap ring goes in to secure the rebound damper seal assembly into the upper.





    The next part requires 106ml of 5WT shock oil. I went to Walgreens to the pharmacy counter, and got a 10ml syringe (w/o needle) for a whopping 25 cents. The container of oil says it is 120ml, so all I needed to do was take out 14ml from the oil container and pour it into the oil side upper. The compression damper goes in next, and torqued down to 7.3Nm.





    So now we have both uppers finished, and ready to go into the lowers. I thought it would be difficult to get the upper started into the seals, so I got the Finish Line Stanchion Lube and placed a couple of drops on the inner seals, and the outer seals. This stuff is slick! Once the uppers slid into the seals, I tilted the fork to the side a bit, and put in 10ml of 15WT into each lower. I only pushed the uppers in far enough to pass each seal.





    Once that was completed, all that is left is to reattach the lowers to the uppers. Slowly push the lowers onto the uppers until they fully compress into the lowers, you should see the ends of each shaft through the bottom of the lowers. Get a new crush washer and crush washer retainer for both bolts and secure the lowers to the uppers (red bolt is oil side), and install the rebound damper knob. Reinstall the shrader valve, and pump up the shock. My normal PSI on the Reba is 110, but I am going to go 120 and take the shock pump with me on the next ride... if it ever dries out... Here are the completed seals on the bike. I rode it on the street and gave it a good 2 dozen pumps while riding to see how it feels, but I won't really know until I get out onto the trails.



    There are several service kits available for the Reba forks, it all depends on how far you want to take the service. You can get just seals and foam rings, a basic service kit, and a full service kit. I would highly recommend the full service kit - 11.4018.018.001 - as it includes every hardware part you could need to service your 2013 Reba forks (washers, o-rings, shaft bolts, bumper cone, crush washer retainers, etc.) and each bag is labeled. I found this kit for 25 dollars at Universal Cycles.



    Knowing what I know now, I am not hesitant at all about going through the fork again in the future without any real worries. Dropping the lowers to lube foam rings is a thing of the past with the Enduro seals, which only require Stanchion Lube. The real test is to see if they hold up, and if they don't, I still have stock seals I can always go back to.
    Last edited by s0ul_chicken; 09-16-2015 at 12:15 PM.

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    WOW! These seals are fantastic, with a much more plush ride! I ended up starting at 110psi, and the ride was smoooooth. I can't wait to go back out tonight, I should have done these seals a long time ago.

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    If you get time, could you look and see if the PM600 Military Grease list a NLGI or ISO number any where on the tube? I'm trying to compare its consistency and characteristics to other greases that I can pick up locally.

    Also, whats your thoughts on the endure seals after a few months on them?

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMO8853 View Post
    If you get time, could you look and see if the PM600 Military Grease list a NLGI or ISO number any where on the tube? I'm trying to compare its consistency and characteristics to other greases that I can pick up locally.

    Also, whats your thoughts on the endure seals after a few months on them?

    Thanks
    Happy to help, I will look on the container when I get home for lunch. I couldn't find a small tube of the PM600, which means I have enough grease to do 500 fork rebuilds. If you would like some, you can PM me with your address and I can put a glob of the stuff in a ziploc bag for you to have.

    As far as performance, I love the seals. It did give me a much more plush ride, and they are easy to keep clean. It also took some time to get the fork dialed back in, I ended up going up 6 psi on the air side to get it right. I clean the stanchions, add a drop of fork juice to each stanchion and rub it in with the supplied felt pad (Finish Line Stanchion lube) before each ride. I won't really know how well they keep dirt out of the lowers until the next tear-down this coming winter. Once I do take it back apart, I will update on what I find.

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    That's really nice of you Soul, but I'll just buy a tube if I have to. I couldn't find any specifics on the PM600 grease online and I was just curious if it had any of those numbers listed. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by TMO8853 View Post
    That's really nice of you Soul, but I'll just buy a tube if I have to. I couldn't find any specifics on the PM600 grease online and I was just curious if it had any of those numbers listed. Thanks
    There weren't any other numbers on the packaging, but it was slathered with PM600 everywhere else. Sorry I couldn't be of more help - at least the stuff is cheap.

    Edit needed in the OP - if you are going with the Enduro seals, there is no need for the Slick Honey.

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    Thanks for checking for me.

  23. #23
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    I would like to know how oil level affects fork performance. I am about to rebuild my SID and would like to make some adjustments in the oil level to fine tune my fork's performance. Currently, my lockout does not fully lock. I get about 1/2" of bob when locked out. I read in another thread that an additional 3-5mls of damper fluid could solve that problem. How does the oil level in the lowers affect performance?

    Thanks,

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by txtom View Post
    I would like to know how oil level affects fork performance. I am about to rebuild my SID and would like to make some adjustments in the oil level to fine tune my fork's performance. Currently, my lockout does not fully lock. I get about 1/2" of bob when locked out. I read in another thread that an additional 3-5mls of damper fluid could solve that problem. How does the oil level in the lowers affect performance?

    Thanks,
    It's not supposed to lock out fully, there's supposed to be a little travel. It acts as a blow off feature in case you forget to unlock it on the trail and take a big hit.

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by txtom View Post
    I would like to know how oil level affects fork performance. I am about to rebuild my SID and would like to make some adjustments in the oil level to fine tune my fork's performance. Currently, my lockout does not fully lock. I get about 1/2" of bob when locked out. I read in another thread that an additional 3-5mls of damper fluid could solve that problem. How does the oil level in the lowers affect performance?

    Thanks,
    The oil that is put in the lowers is only there to keep the stanchions lubricated while the fork is moving up and down. As far as performance goes, it is sometimes possible to use more oil in the lowers to reduce stiction and create better small bump compliance. The oil that is used on the damper side is there to control compression.

    The oil used in the lowers and the oil used on the damper side of the fork are two different types of oil and they are not interchangeable. Usually, the oil that is used in the lowers is 15wt and the oil in the damper is 5wt. Also, the amount of damper oil is very specific to each fork and is listed in the service manual. It’s important when rebuilding/servicing a fork to put the exact amount back into the fork based on the manual. For example the manual recommends 106ml for the Reba RL & RLT models and 111ml for Reba RL3 model.


    The amount of oil you put back into the lowers does not need to be as exact as it does with the damper. For example, the Reba manual recommends 5ml of 15wt oil in each lower leg, however it is very common for people to use 10-15ml of oil in each leg to help keep the stanchions lubed and moving smoothly. Also, a lot of people substitute the 15wt oil that goes in the lowers with 5w30 full synthetic that you would use in your vehicle.


    It is common that overtime the damper oil can seep down into the lowers through worn-out seals and cause the damper oil level to be off. Also, some people experiment with different weight damper oils to see how it changes the shocks performance. You can get damper oil in weights like 5wt, 7.5wt 10wt, etc... You’ll need to read up on how the different weights change the shock performance.

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