Manitou Drake 09 Super Air compression problem-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Manitou Drake 09 Super Air compression problem


    I have been tickling with this fork for quite some time and figured something's wrong.

    Fork model, Manitou Drake Super Air 80 2009 (currently at 100) with new ABS+ 2012 and new rebound.

    The problem is that the fork will not compress easily (like it's locked but it's not), for example, when not sitting on the bike (meaning the fork is completely extended), so then when I'm standing next to the bike and I grab my hands on the handlebar (not sitting on the bike) and try to compress it... it behaves like something is preventing it from going down easily. But once that, let's call it a gap at the bare top, is passed, the fork works perfectly fine, lockout damper works great and it's a new ABS+ which was replaced since the old Absolute failed somehow. So the damper oil level height is correct too (around nominal 87 height by the book lol), next, complete rebound kit is also brand new and it works, the oil in lower legs is also at the right amount.

    I'm not sure if I described right the issue I am having. Currently the fork is on the bike and I've released the air and opened left leg and took out the spring. Spring is a soft one, green, and I am at 148lbs. I was told to try to put some grease below dust seals and those foam rings so it can soften the feel over bushings and I did but nothing's changed. Now with no spring in leg its the same, at the start of the travel it won't go down easily, I have to push it a bit, then it'll work.

    Could it be the bushings got bent somehow? Oil level in lowers got out? But I inspect regularly and didn't saw any leaks from lower screws. I remember before when I had the fork set at 80mm it work fine, but that was with the old damper which had travel problems, but either way there was no lock at the beginning of the travel of course with lock out open.

    Any thoughts on what am I supposed to look, fix, will be much appreciated, thank you.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Pull the spring shaft and see if the problem is still present. The spring shaft has a large o-ring that could be the issue. If it is still present pull the seals and cycle the lowers.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    keen thanks for your reply!

    Ok I think im at it now, or at least near the problem. lol I took the lowers apart and found the o ring from the spring shaft to be kind of sticky, but not completely dry. I remember I greased that very o ring a couple of months ago with some lithium based grease... Anyway it seems like that o ring is doing that strange lock, cause I put the lowers on the upper legs without the oil in the lowers, and no screws either, just to see if it'll go smooth but unfortunately it didn't. So I think that must be it.

    Any suggestions what should I do with that ring to get it working?

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