Pike 454 leaking when new, what to do?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pike 454 leaking when new, what to do?

    I've never worked on a suspension fork, so am looking for advice.

    I have a several month old Pike 454 that I'm just getting around to installing. It has been sitting upright for the last couple months (it is actually installed on a bike, but hasn't been ridden) and dripping oil from the compression/motion control leg of the fork somewhere around the rebound adjustment knob.

    I've downloaded the "2005-2006 Pike Reba Revelation Air U-Turn Service Guide" and it looks like there is 15cc of 15wt oil in the lower leg. If 15cc == 0.5oz, I wouldn't be surprised if it all hasn't dripped out by now.

    Is there any easy way to refill only the leg I need? According to the instructions, it looks like I could follow steps 1 through 4 (unscrew lower hardware, then tap up with a mallet to drain oil) then skip down to 53 and refill. Will skipping steps 5...52 be an issue? Must I loosen both legs [are the uppers all one piece?], or could I get away with tapping out only the leaking leg?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotherbrian
    I've never worked on a suspension fork, so am looking for advice.

    I have a several month old Pike 454 that I'm just getting around to installing. It has been sitting upright for the last couple months (it is actually installed on a bike, but hasn't been ridden) and dripping oil from the compression/motion control leg of the fork somewhere around the rebound adjustment knob.

    I've downloaded the "2005-2006 Pike Reba Revelation Air U-Turn Service Guide" and it looks like there is 15cc of 15wt oil in the lower leg. If 15cc == 0.5oz, I wouldn't be surprised if it all hasn't dripped out by now.

    Is there any easy way to refill only the leg I need? According to the instructions, it looks like I could follow steps 1 through 4 (unscrew lower hardware, then tap up with a mallet to drain oil) then skip down to 53 and refill. Will skipping steps 5...52 be an issue? Must I loosen both legs [are the uppers all one piece?], or could I get away with tapping out only the leaking leg?

    Thanks for any help.
    You're thinking right on the money. However, since you have a leak there, I would suspect the o-ring to be bad. I would flip the bike upside down, then undo both lower nuts, tap the bolts in, slide off the lowers (no oil will escape) and investigate the damper leg bolt and see if anything obvious could be the culprit of the leak. Then reassemble as per manual and squirt the oil in.

    _MK

    "The things you get fired for when you’re young are the same things you get Lifetime Achievements for when you’re old."

  3. #3
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    Better get a bucket

    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    You're thinking right on the money. However, since you have a leak there, I would suspect the o-ring to be bad. I would flip the bike upside down, then undo both lower nuts, tap the bolts in, slide off the lowers (no oil will escape) and investigate the damper leg bolt and see if anything obvious could be the culprit of the leak. Then reassemble as per manual and squirt the oil in.

    _MK
    Er dude,

    When you remove the fork lowers, the residual oil in the lowers _will_ escape. I would refer you to the RS manual, which details the lower removal process and mentions being prepared for oil coming out. Also, don't forget to de-pressurise the fork (if it is air - sorry, not sure which one yours is).

    I would suggest removing the lowers, letting any residual oil drain out, the refill both legs as specified by RS. That would ensure the correct oil level. You can definitely skip the leg disassembly portion if you wish.

    As an aside, I found that my Reba (Pike's lil bro) also leaked from the MC compression/FG knob when inverted & cycled. AFAIK, oil leaking from there is directly from the internals of the right leg, as it is quite separate from the lowers. It also uses lighter weight oil (5W), which is utilised for the MC cartridge to perform the various damping functions.

    The oil in the lowers functions as the semi-bath lubrication for the lowers/legs interface, and has little or no bearing compression damping/FG/etc. function of the fork.

    P.
    "There are no hills on this trail. It's all flat." - Scott TDF Roberts

  4. #4
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by pongee
    Er dude,

    When you remove the fork lowers, the residual oil in the lowers _will_ escape. I would refer you to the RS manual, which details the lower removal process and mentions being prepared for oil coming out. Also, don't forget to de-pressurise the fork (if it is air - sorry, not sure which one yours is).

    I would suggest removing the lowers, letting any residual oil drain out, the refill both legs as specified by RS. That would ensure the correct oil level. You can definitely skip the leg disassembly portion if you wish.

    As an aside, I found that my Reba (Pike's lil bro) also leaked from the MC compression/FG knob when inverted & cycled. AFAIK, oil leaking from there is directly from the internals of the right leg, as it is quite separate from the lowers. It also uses lighter weight oil (5W), which is utilised for the MC cartridge to perform the various damping functions.

    The oil in the lowers functions as the semi-bath lubrication for the lowers/legs interface, and has little or no bearing compression damping/FG/etc. function of the fork.

    P.
    I won't get in an argument with you, since you've clearly never done this. Let me ask you one question, in two parts. When your fork is fully compressed, and the stanchions are at the bottom of the lowers, where is all the oil? And when you flip the fork upside down, as you slide off the lowers, where do the wipers dump that oil?

    _MK

    "The things you get fired for when you’re young are the same things you get Lifetime Achievements for when you’re old."

  5. #5
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    OK...

    You're right, I've never done anything with a Pike 454. And also my apologies if I have offended you in any way.

    I did however remove the lowers on my Reba to change my seals. As you say, you tap the undone neg air and rebound bolts to loosen. As you pull the stanchions from the lowers, oil definitely came out from the holes formerly occupied by the retaining bolts. This what I learnt from the RS Reba service manual, Enduro pictorial manuals (not Reba specific, but RS), and the real life experience from the above.

    If you read the original post, this is indicated by anotherbrian quoting from the RS Pike service manual.

    My understanding from all this is that there are 2 separate sets of oil involved - 15cc 15w in each lower for lubrication, and varying amounts of 5w in each stanchion depending on left/right leg and air/coil sprung u-turn/non-u-turn.

    So to answer your questions:

    When your fork is fully compressed, and the stanchions are at the bottom of the lowers, where is all the oil?
    The space remaining between the stanchions and the lowers - it is only 15cc per leg.

    And when you flip the fork upside down, as you slide off the lowers, where do the wipers dump that oil?
    I can only guess the answer would be all over the floor - I followed the recommended procedure of pulling the retaining bolts from the bolt holes in the lowers, whilst holding the fork over a drain container.

    Coming back anotherbrian's original question - "dripping oil from the compression/motion control leg of the fork somewhere around the rebound adjustment knob".

    What I was trying to say is that I experienced the same thing, and how I had experienced it. I forgot to add that this was happening whilst the lowers were off, so it was definitely coming from the right stanchion fork oil reserve.

    My humble opinion is that the same is happening to anotherbrian's fork, and that replacing the oil only the lowers probably won't replace the oil that's dripped out, and that if anotherbrian still wishes to replace the oil in the lowers, he may as well let the oil out both sides, and replenish in the right quantity and viscosity.

    In order to replace the oil in the right stanchion, you can simply undo the MC cartridge with a suitable 24mm socket wrench (after removing the knobs as detailed in the manual), drain the oil out, then refill with correct amount and viscosity of fork oil as recommended by RS. There is no need to remove the lowers to do the job.

    I'm afraid I don't know why the oil has leaked out, and I haven't gotten round to refilling my right stanchion due to lack of suitable fork oil (5w in my case). I cannot really tell if it has an effect as I am still fighting a large amount of stiction from the new seals.

    P.
    "There are no hills on this trail. It's all flat." - Scott TDF Roberts

  6. #6
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    Pongee, lighten up dude....

    you and MK are working from two different assumptions here. MK is thinking, as I am, that the crush washer, or seal at the bottom of the damper leg lower may be defective or bad. This would result in a slow leak around the rebound damper knob.

    You are assuming that the seal at the bottom of the stantion is leaking as well. There is no damper oil in the lower of the Pike 454, only semi bath oil, as the motion control damper and it's oil, is completely contained in the stanchion. Thus the only way that there would be damper oil in the lower would be if the seal at the bottom of the stanchion was leaking. And the only way it could get out is if the seal for the foot nut at the bottom of the lower is leaking as well.

    Also, you can replace the semi bath oil without completely removing the lowers. It is and pongee surmized, by simply following steps 1 through 4 and then skipping 5 through 53. Just when he gets to the tapping part he needs to invert the fork so the oil won't run out of the lowers, at least not until he wants it to. The rest is easy, check the nut seal to make sure there isn't a problem there. Then turn the fork back over and let it drain, then refill with fresh oil after replacing the seal or finding out what the problem is.

    While your procedure is correct for a complete removal of the lowers, pongee, at least at this point in his diagnosis process, doesn't need to remove the lowers. From what he describes he should only need to remove the foot nut and examine it's seal and the seat for the seal for defects or dirt (possibly replace the seal), clean things up and replace the lost oil. If it continues to leak after that then further disassembly would be needed to locate the problem.

    So lighten up and don't take it personal. MK is stating a fact, and the fact is at this point pongee can do what he needs to do without going through the whole porcedure for tearing the fork down, and that he IS on the right track for the problem that he describes.

    Learn to appreciate it when some one corrects you on this board. MK has corrected me before, and it's no big deal. We all make mistakes, or make incorrect assumptions. Not a big deal. I would rather be corrected if I give incorrect information and have the original poster get the correct poop! We're not all perfect you know. We're all here to help each other.

    Good Dirt
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  7. #7
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by pongee
    OK...

    You're right, I've never done anything with a Pike 454. And also my apologies if I have offended you in any way.

    I did however remove the lowers on my Reba to change my seals. As you say, you tap the undone neg air and rebound bolts to loosen. As you pull the stanchions from the lowers, oil definitely came out from the holes formerly occupied by the retaining bolts. This what I learnt from the RS Reba service manual, Enduro pictorial manuals (not Reba specific, but RS), and the real life experience from the above....
    So you think there is space between stanchions and lowers at full bottomout? If there was space there, you would have a lot of play in your lowers. That's the whole idea about bushings, there is no space there. All oil goes to the inside of the stanchions. When you pull the lowers off, with the fork upside down, so as to not allow the oil to run out through the bottom where the holes for the bolts are, the wipers wipe the oil into the stanchions, again.

    As to the rest, Squash has it covered.

    _MK

    "The things you get fired for when you’re young are the same things you get Lifetime Achievements for when you’re old."

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone.

    I need more explanation though.

    I pulled off the external rebound adjuster knob, and it is all oily.

    I removed the hollow bolt that the adjuster knob snaps onto with a 5mm allen wrench. The bolt has a washer and retainer. All oily. The washer doesn't appear to be damaged, nor does it appear oil has leaked passed it.

    Looking into the fork, I see the threads for the bolt, as well as the receptacle for the adjuster knob. All oily.

    Is there a seal between the adjuster rod and the lower leg assembly (I can't tell from picture 9a)? I could find no mention of replacing it if it exists.

    So my plan now is:

    1) pick up some 15wt fork oil from a motorcycle shop on the way home (I've read the threads mapping Torco RFF oils to RS's, however will presume the weight of the lower oil isn't as critical as that of the upper) this afternoon.
    2) invert the fork and knock the lower legs free enough to look in, but presume I'll need to completely remove the lower assembly and allow the oil to drain

    Should any bike shop that claims to service forks have the RS washers/o-rings I might need?

  9. #9
    MK_
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotherbrian
    Thanks everyone.

    I need more explanation though.

    I pulled off the external rebound adjuster knob, and it is all oily.

    I removed the hollow bolt that the adjuster knob snaps onto with a 5mm allen wrench. The bolt has a washer and retainer. All oily. The washer doesn't appear to be damaged, nor does it appear oil has leaked passed it.

    Looking into the fork, I see the threads for the bolt, as well as the receptacle for the adjuster knob. All oily.

    Is there a seal between the adjuster rod and the lower leg assembly (I can't tell from picture 9a)? I could find no mention of replacing it if it exists.

    So my plan now is:

    1) pick up some 15wt fork oil from a motorcycle shop on the way home (I've read the threads mapping Torco RFF oils to RS's, however will presume the weight of the lower oil isn't as critical as that of the upper) this afternoon.
    2) invert the fork and knock the lower legs free enough to look in, but presume I'll need to completely remove the lower assembly and allow the oil to drain

    Should any bike shop that claims to service forks have the RS washers/o-rings I might need?
    Was the bolt hard to undo? It is possible it wasn't tightened all the way. It is also possible someone spilled some oil on it during assembly (especially since you say no oil appears to have gotten past the washer). First thing I would do would be to wipe everything dry and reassemble and see if it gets moist again. Since the fork is new, it isn't unlikely some oil got spilled in the wrong place.

    As far as the washers/o-rings go, you may very well be able to find what you need in the plumbing section of your local, well supplied, hardware store.

    _MK

    "The things you get fired for when you’re young are the same things you get Lifetime Achievements for when you’re old."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Was the bolt hard to undo? It is possible it wasn't tightened all the way. It is also possible someone spilled some oil on it during assembly (especially since you say no oil appears to have gotten past the washer). First thing I would do would be to wipe everything dry and reassemble and see if it gets moist again. Since the fork is new, it isn't unlikely some oil got spilled in the wrong place.

    As far as the washers/o-rings go, you may very well be able to find what you need in the plumbing section of your local, well supplied, hardware store.

    _MK
    The bolt was snug, and probably as tight as it should have been.

    I suspect it is more than spilled oil, based on the consistent drip (I notice a new spot on the floor anytime I move the bike). I had pulled the adjuster knob off when I first realized it was leaking (months ago; which probably would have drained any excess oil as well) though didn't wipe it clean.

    On a side note, this is the last thing that is keeping me from using the set of 5" rockers I bought from you several months ago!

  11. #11
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    Half-way there

    Impatient, I pulled the lowers off before I left for work and discovered that there was plenty of oil in the MCD side (R), and practically none in the U-Turn side (L).

    Checking the inside of the lowers, it appears there is no o-ring, and it is a metal-to-metal press fit that seals the lowers from leaking. I did see some sparkly metal bits at the bottom of the leaking R side.

    I wiped down the shafts on the upper portion and left a container under each ... when I get home I'll see if either leg dripped, which would only explain why there might be an excess of oil in the lower, rather than why it is leaking from the lower.

  12. #12
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    My bad

    Squash - touché. Your point is taken. I was confused as to which knob was being referred to. I guess we now know it is rebound and not compression...

    I've learnt a lot from reading on this, and other boards. I was merely trying to share what I had learnt having gone thru it myself. I am totally cool about being corrected, so that the original poster can have the correct info and solve his problem.

    _MK, what I've also learnt in these forums is about eating humble pie and being respectful. There is no need to be condescending or holier-than-thou when correcting others. It is a 2 way street.

    I'm not going to say anything further except 2 things. 1. I was wrong about some things, but proven right about others, and more importantly my apologies to anotherbrian for all the commotion and I hope you get your problem solved.

    P.
    "There are no hills on this trail. It's all flat." - Scott TDF Roberts

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