Fox crush washers - alternatives?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. Fox crush washers - alternatives?

    I have a Fox Vanilla 2005 RLC.
    According to the manual the crush washers on the lowers have to be changed every time the oil is replaced.
    I didn't do this the first time, but might have to do it when the next oil change comes around.
    Are there any similar washers available elsewhere cheaply?
    My local Fox agents sent a '03 Fox Float 80 RLT kit to my LBS that contains many o-rings and seals and two hard washers that might be crush washers...at about U$26 equivalent a bit steep and I don't need all those extra seals and O-rings...
    Might just pop into an auto parts dealer and see what I can find - anyone else use non-Fox washers?
    Goatman
    - It's not the destination that counts but how you get there -

  2. #2
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    Shock companies say you have to replace them every time the lowers are removed, but I have been able to re-use mine at least 1-2 times before they are garbage. (Double check for leakage before going riding!!)
    Fox crush washers are defiantely thicker than RS so I don't think they will work.
    You can buy the washers without having to buy the whole seal kit (I think they are around $3.00 each)
    The auto parts might have something to offer - keep us posted on that one

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by goatman
    I have a Fox Vanilla 2005 RLC.
    According to the manual the crush washers on the lowers have to be changed every time the oil is replaced.
    I didn't do this the first time, but might have to do it when the next oil change comes around.
    Are there any similar washers available elsewhere cheaply?
    My local Fox agents sent a '03 Fox Float 80 RLT kit to my LBS that contains many o-rings and seals and two hard washers that might be crush washers...at about U$26 equivalent a bit steep and I don't need all those extra seals and O-rings...
    Might just pop into an auto parts dealer and see what I can find - anyone else use non-Fox washers?
    Check
    Enduro Fork Seals

    Contact Chris. He has some crush washers available. If my memory serves me well those are cheaper than Fox's


    Edit... nevermind I just checked and the crush washers are sold along with Fox Enduro Seals... contact Chris anyway, he's a cool guy and might sell you the crush washers alone. If several people here might show interest, you can bet he'll make them available.
    Check my Site

  4. #4
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    I used my cw several times. I do not remember if Enduro Seals come with crush washers.... why would they? Wait, they do: http://www.enduroforkseals.com/id17.html

    Which reminds me. Last night I put some Enduros in my friend's F100X. Simple. No fear of a too tight fit. We used a long/narrow/thin punch and gently went around the top with a ball peen, and it just slid in. Didn't even have to do the freezer tip. But I can see how doing it by hand would be a bugger. I thought the inner seal was a tough job though because it was down there and I did not have the perfect sized pvc to get it down. All in all it took maybe 5 minutes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by goatman
    Might just pop into an auto parts dealer and see what I can find - anyone else use non-Fox washers?
    I could not find anything remotely comparable to Fox crush washers during my search of the "bolt room" at the local Ace Hardware store. The best alternative solution that I've found thus far is suitably sized rubber washers purchased from my local hardware store. I didn't see any leaks during the time I was using them. The inexpensive rubber washers that I used are significantly different than the crush washers from Fox though. The rubber washers are softer and the bottom nut actually cuts through them when tightened. Even so, I believe the remaining rubber inside the hollow portion of the nut and around the threaded shaft provided a good seal.

    Uncrushed crush washers from Fox appear to be short plastic cylinders which fit easily over the threaded fasteners protruding from the fork lowers. Tightening the bottom nut causes them to flatten out and provide a tight seal. On the other hand, crushed (already used) crush washers are somewhat hard to reuse. They do not slide easily on as they do when uncrushed, but instead need to be threaded on. I've also found it more difficult to achieve the recommended torque on the bottom nuts when using the Fox crush washers (either crushed or uncrushed), mostly due to the rotation of the internal mechanism. (I use the cargo strap trick to compress the fork and help prevent rotation of the damper and spring assembly as described on the Enduro Fork Seal site.)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin
    Which reminds me. Last night I put some Enduros in my friend's F100X. Simple. No fear of a too tight fit. We used a long/narrow/thin punch and gently went around the top with a ball peen, and it just slid in. Didn't even have to do the freezer tip. But I can see how doing it by hand would be a bugger. I thought the inner seal was a tough job though because it was down there and I did not have the perfect sized pvc to get it down. All in all it took maybe 5 minutes.
    When I installed Enduro wipers in my Fox Vanilla recently, I didn't have much trouble with the wipers as I had a suitably sized piece of PVC pipe lying around. I found the inner seals to be much more difficult however, because they're not supposed to be pushed all the way down to the bushings and each time I put them in, they started to rotate so that one side was too high and the other was too low. Hmm. Perhaps a suitably sized piece of PVC pipe would have helped to position these inner washers... Anyway, after several attempts using only my fingers, I finally managed to get them reasonably even and positioned at the correct location above the bushing.

    I've written in the past that I noticed a bit more stiction than I was accustomed to after initially installing the wipers. Now, after a month or so of use, the fork is operating just as smoothly as it ever did with the Fox wipers, the only difference being that the Enduro wipers haven't allowed even the slightest oil ring to form on the stanchions. (Just prior to replacing my Fox seals, I was wiping away a thick sludgy mess after each ride. Now, with the Enduro seals, all I wipe away is dust.)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    On the other hand, crushed (already used) crush washers are somewhat hard to reuse. They do not slide easily on as they do when uncrushed, but instead need to be threaded on. I've also found it more difficult to achieve the recommended torque on the bottom nuts when using the Fox crush washers (either crushed or uncrushed), mostly due to the rotation of the internal mechanism. (I use the cargo strap trick to compress the fork and help prevent rotation of the damper and spring assembly as described on the Enduro Fork Seal site.)
    Ah, yes. The threading on of old crush washers. I spent about 30 minutes trying to cheaply reuse one on a rebuild 6 months ago. I had to use a small vise-grip to git 'er done!

  8. #8
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    I "warned" my friend it would take a few hours for things to feel normal, but I don't think he fully understood it'll take more than a pass down the driveway.

  9. #9
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    Answers to several issues brought up:

    Fox says re-using the crush washers is a bad idea because once they are deformed and have to be threaded on by hand, they don't line up squarely and sometimes tweak the rods aout of alignment. The new ones just drop on and don't put any pressure on the rod. I agree with Fox's recommendation on this, so we started including the crush washers with our seal kits, as Fox does with theirs. Any Fox dealer should stock the crush washers. They list for $1.00 each. Based on this thread, maybe we should make them available separately for those who want some spares.

    For those of you that mentioned trouble seating the oil seals, just get them started and use the wiper to push the oil seal down. That way you don't have to worry about pushing the oil seal too far and distorting it (if it goes too far it may get damaged when forced against or past the "stepped" area just above the bushing).

    Using something like O-rings as a substitute for crush washers on a Fox may not be good because when you torque down the fixing nut, the raised lip of the nut (that usually retains the crush washer) might cut into the lower casting when the soft rubber compresses.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the answers!

    Discussion of the Enduro (inner) oil seals reminded me of another question that I've had...

    Fox recommends cleaning the wipers and lubing the foam rings every 25 hours. The Fox wipers are intended to be pried up giving access to the bottom of the wiper as well as to the foam ring underneath. Enduro seals use an inner oil seal in place of the foam ring and the wipers are seated in the lowers much more tightly than the Fox wipers. Fox wipers were difficult enough to pry up; I can't imagine prying up the Enduro wipers without first disassembling the fork so that the stanchions are removed.

    That being the case, I assume that I don't have to perform the wiper and foam ring maintenance? Is there some Enduro seal specific maintenance that should be performed at the 25 hour mark instead?

    I'm already cleaning the stanchions after each ride. Every one to two weeks, I lube the stanchions with either silicone spray or with Stanchion Lube. I've also been doing oil changes at the recommended intervals.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    Fox recommends cleaning the wipers and lubing the foam rings every 25 hours. The Fox wipers are intended to be pried up giving access to the bottom of the wiper as well as to the foam ring underneath. Enduro seals use an inner oil seal in place of the foam ring and the wipers are seated in the lowers much more tightly than the Fox wipers. Fox wipers were difficult enough to pry up; I can't imagine prying up the Enduro wipers without first disassembling the fork so that the stanchions are removed.

    That being the case, I assume that I don't have to perform the wiper and foam ring maintenance?
    No foam ring to maintain. Also, I don't beleive Fox recommends prying up the wipers to lube the foam rings. The latest Fox recommendations I've heard are to lube the rings by inverting the fork (duh, the oil is already in the same chamber as the foam rings). We recommend the inversion thing just before riding, as mentioned earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    Is there some Enduro seal specific maintenance that should be performed at the 25 hour mark instead?
    No. What you are doing to keep the stanchions cleaned and lubed (as described in your quote below) is all that is required to maintain the wipers. You are right that our wipers are tough to pry up without damaging. We recommend you leave them alone until they need changing. If you are careful, you can use them through several oil changes. I've never really liked the prying up the wipers thing many manufacturers have recommended. Seems like a good way to scratch up the stanchions (or skewer one's eye).

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinB
    I'm already cleaning the stanchions after each ride. Every one to two weeks, I lube the stanchions with either silicone spray or with Stanchion Lube. I've also been doing oil changes at the recommended intervals.

  12. #12
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    Chris,

    Thanks for the reply. And thanks too for the most excellent instructions on your web site. I use the pictures and instructions from your site to supplement the maintenance instructions from the Fox Forx manual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2fur
    Also, I don't beleive Fox recommends prying up the wipers to lube the foam rings. The latest Fox recommendations I've heard are to lube the rings by inverting the fork (duh, the oil is already in the same chamber as the foam rings).
    Interesting. I've just looked over the 2006 32mm Forx manual and see no reference to the foam ring maintenance instructions that I had been following from the 2004 and 2005 Forx manuals. FWIW, the instructions in the 2005 manual read as follows:

    Step 1 - Around the perimeter of the fork seals are small notches. Use a small flat blade screw driver in these slots to gently pry the seal from the lower legs of the fork. Once loose, raise them all the way up to the crown on the upper tubes. It is recommended that the tip of the screwdriver be covered with tape or a piece of material to protect the paint on the fork from being damaged.

    Step 2 - Wrap a clean rag around the junction of the upper tubes and the lower legs. This will keep dirt out while the seals are being cleaned.

    Step 3 - Use a rag to wipe around the outside diameter of the seal. Wipe until clean.

    Step 4 - Remove the rags and check the foam rings which will be visible just inside the lower legs. They should be soaked with oil and should not contain any dirt or debris. If the foam rings are dry, use a few cc's of FOX Suspension Fluid to saturate them.

    Step 5 - Wipe the upper tubes and slide the seals down into the lower legs. Carefully press the seals into place. A thin flat bladed screw driver can be used to press in between the upper tube and the fork brace. It is recommended that the blade of the screw driver be covered with tape or a rag to prevent damage to the seal. Inspect that seal is firmly seated against the top surface of the lower leg.

    Step 6 - Wipe off any excess oil and cycle the fork a few times to check for proper operation.
    Oddly enough though, the 36mm and 40mm Fox Forx manuals still contain these instructions (or something very much like them).

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