FOX Float RLC fork leaking fluid. Is it oil or float fluid?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    FOX Float RLC fork leaking fluid. Is it oil or float fluid?

    After riding in mud at one night, unintentionally, next day when I went for a ride 03/04 Fox Float RLC fork started leaking fluid on air spring side out of the seal. It seems excessive to me but not as bad as some of the photos I have seen on the forum...about half as bad. It only dripped half way down the lower leg. It went on for next 4 to 5 rides and it seems to have stopped now or not as nearly as bad.

    Question:
    1. If fluid comes out of the outer seal (dust wiper) onto stanchion, is that a oil that gets added from the bottom lower leg, or is that a Fox Float Fluid that I am supposed to add 5cc every 500 miles or so from the air spring side top cap?

    2. If it is oil, can I add some more oil from the bottom leg to top it off? Maybe time for overhaul and new seal? Damping side has no issue, however.

    STH

  2. #2
    Do It Yourself
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    Oil coming out of the stanchion seals is the suspension fluid, not the float fluid. If it's leaking, your seals are probably shot and it's probably time for an oil change anyway.
    Long Live Long Rides

  3. #3
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    Thx!

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    Oil coming out of the stanchion seals is the suspension fluid, not the float fluid. If it's leaking, your seals are probably shot and it's probably time for an oil change anyway.
    Thx for the info. I have some Fox oil in hand but I guess topping it off is not recommeded if seal is gone. Maybe time for PUSH conversion?

    STH

  4. #4
    TNC
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    On my 36 seals...

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew
    Oil coming out of the stanchion seals is the suspension fluid, not the float fluid. If it's leaking, your seals are probably shot and it's probably time for an oil change anyway.
    I had a small weep on the spring side leg from the very first ride. I rode for a few months like that and ordered a set of seals and crush wahers at the shop when we ordered some stuff from Fox. When I took the fork apart for service, I tried an experiment. I just cleaned up the seals at their stanchion interface really well and put it back together with fresh oil. Amazingly there was no weeping...no, don't worry...there's plenty of oil in there. That was in April, and I haven't had a weep yet. Judging from the amount of oil I poured out during the service, I don't think it was overfilled. I believe some crud got into the seal in that "pocket" area of the rubber when it was new and kept the seal from completely sealing. I had seen this with Marzocchis in the past, so I thought it might be worth a try. The OP mentions the mud ride, so maybe this is the case. For some it may not be worth the effort, but those seals are decently expensive. Apparently it doesn't take much crud to cause the weeping, because I could only see a little bit of dirt lodged in there. Cleaning the seals made all the difference for me. Oh...and I didn't use the new crush washers either. ...I'm a cheap bastid.

  5. #5
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    Great info!

    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    I had a small weep on the spring side leg from the very first ride. I rode for a few months like that and ordered a set of seals and crush wahers at the shop when we ordered some stuff from Fox. When I took the fork apart for service, I tried an experiment. I just cleaned up the seals at their stanchion interface really well and put it back together with fresh oil. Amazingly there was no weeping...no, don't worry...there's plenty of oil in there. That was in April, and I haven't had a weep yet. Judging from the amount of oil I poured out during the service, I don't think it was overfilled. I believe some crud got into the seal in that "pocket" area of the rubber when it was new and kept the seal from completely sealing. I had seen this with Marzocchis in the past, so I thought it might be worth a try. The OP mentions the mud ride, so maybe this is the case. For some it may not be worth the effort, but those seals are decently expensive. Apparently it doesn't take much crud to cause the weeping, because I could only see a little bit of dirt lodged in there. Cleaning the seals made all the difference for me. Oh...and I didn't use the new crush washer either. ...I'm a cheap bastid.
    I will do that since oil leak began after mud got caked around stanchion area. I thought perhaps seal was starting to go since fork has two years riding since last overhaul by FOX, albeit after mud riding. I was planning on keep addig oil until I got fed up with it and send it out to get "PUSH'd".

    On different subject, when I slam the front brake only or intentionally do endow, I hear creaking. Is it my fork crown? I hear that FOX fork has some issues with creaky crown. I don't feel any loose feel during ride.

    STH

  6. #6
    TNC
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    Yeah

    Quote Originally Posted by SingleTrackHound
    I will do that since oil leak began after mud got caked around stanchion area. I thought perhaps seal was starting to go since fork has two years riding since last overhaul by FOX, albeit after mud riding. I was planning on keep addig oil until I got fed up with it and send it out to get "PUSH'd".

    On different subject, when I slam the front brake only or intentionally do endow, I hear creaking. Is it my fork crown? I hear that FOX fork has some issues with creaky crown. I don't feel any loose feel during ride.

    STH
    There are a few reports here of the 32mm models developing a creak. We haven't had one come through our shop, but you see it mentioned here some. Maybe that's part of why Fox appears to have beefed up the lowers on the new 32mm models.

    Two years, eh? It might be time for new seals anyway then. For a 32mm model, I'd go with the Enduro seals. They seem to be excellent. I'd probably install a set in my 36, but I haven't seen them available in that size.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    There are a few reports here of the 32mm models developing a creak. We haven't had one come through our shop, but you see it mentioned here some. Maybe that's part of why Fox appears to have beefed up the lowers on the new 32mm models.

    Two years, eh? It might be time for new seals anyway then. For a 32mm model, I'd go with the Enduro seals. They seem to be excellent. I'd probably install a set in my 36, but I haven't seen them available in that size.
    Two years since the last overhaul by FOX but that two years of riding was shared among three other bikes. Anywho, I hear good things about Enduro seal as far as durability but I hear that they fit very tight and are bit stickier than FOX OEM seal. Fox fork are plush in most situation but not good with small bump sensitivity and has high speed compression spike that I feel from time to tme...at least the 03/04 Fox Float RLC that I own. I wonder if the tighter seal will make it worse...

  8. #8
    Harky
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    I ride an 03 TALAS. Love the feel...very adjustable and very supple.
    The original fork seals lasted about 1-1/2 yrs...in spite of cleaning the seals regularly and storing the bike upsidedown to keep the foam rings oiled up. They started dribbling during rides, but they would clean up. I added a little oil from time to time by prying up the seals and wetting the rings. They finally got to leaking so badly that they were leaving puddles on the floor. This was bottom oil, not damping fluid, so I wasn't worried. The damping action was still good.
    I overhauled them last winter and put on a set of Enduro Seals. They started out pretty sticky...not supple. I thought i had a problem with the sliders binding on the stanchions...tore it down, checked everything...reassembled...no change. But they kept getting better. They're pretty nice now...and don't leak, but it was a long break-in.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by harky
    ...I overhauled them last winter and put on a set of Enduro Seals. They started out pretty sticky...not supple. I thought i had a problem with the sliders binding on the stanchions...tore it down, checked everything...reassembled...no change. But they kept getting better. They're pretty nice now...and don't leak, but it was a long break-in.
    I could live with replacing seal every year or so...how's your enduro seal now? Is it as supple as OEM seal? If so, how many miles of riding got you to that point? Thx.

    STH

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