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  1. #1
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    ~95-ish Rockshox Judy XC Rebuild help!

    I'm refurbing a ~95 Specialized Stumpjumper FS Comp M2 and i was going to repaint the forks but after doing research and learning more about this bike i bought used off craigslist years ago, i'm finding out that it's a pretty cool bike with lots of history and sentimental value.
    Anyway, I've decided not to repaint it. Too hard to match that "champagne" color but I need help in rebuilding the shocks. I have no clue what it should be like. I've found some manuals but i don't think it's the right year/model.
    I guess my question is...
    both lowerlegs have cartridges. From the looks of it, they look great!
    But one side had "oil" in them albeit not a lot. What's the best way to rebuild this? I know it's not a great fork but i want to keep it as original as possible. I also looked for the springs to put in but i cant find any on ebay. let me know what i should do.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkatracing View Post
    I've found some manuals but i don't think it's the right year/model.
    Well, you're one step ahead of any of us, at least you know what the fork is. Some photos might help us identify it and point you in the right direction of the correct manual or service procedure.

    The bike might be a 95, but we can't be sure of the year of the fork, or if it's got aftermarket internals.

    Grumps

  3. #3
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    You can still get elastomers if that's the correct fork:

    https://www.suspensionforkparts.net/...95-96-all.html

    You can also often find parts here: SUSPENSION - Bike Recyclery

    Make sure you get the model and year correct though. They did quite a bit of changes in the early years so compatibility can be a coin toss.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  4. #4
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    Do your cartridges look like these? They come out once you remove the c-clip at the bottom of the stanchions. Maybe it's just mine but there was no oil in there. England cartridge (or whatever it was called) had oil if I recall correctly.

    ~95-ish Rockshox Judy XC Rebuild help!-20181222_205851021_ios.jpg

  5. #5
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    There was a damper cartridge in one leg if I remember right; there was a 2mm Allen screw accessible from the bottom of the right leg. Those forks used elastomer's squishiness to control rebound, and had adjustable compression damping.

    I had two bikes with those forks. My GT had an SL with a Risse Racing cartridge w/ rebound adjust and coil springs, and my wife's Fisher had a stock XC.

    More details are coming back to me now. They had problems with the plastic damper cartridge body flexing and blowing out oil past the seals in early Judys on high energy hits. That's probably where you're getting some of that oil from.

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  6. #6
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    ~95-ish Rockshox Judy XC Rebuild help!

    I've worked with a couple of these in the past few months, not an expert, but I had to do the research, time to share:
    Lots of technical manuals for Rockshox over on retrobike.uk in the archives section. One of the most interesting is a Parts manual from 2000? That goes back to 1994 or so, super handy for id.
    97 and up Judy had a cast brace, springs and one solid elastomer per side. 96 and back bolted on brace with multiple sections of elastomer.
    From what I learned, an SL or an XC have one damper in the LH leg for compression damping, while the Judy DH had an additional damper in rh for rebound damping. Not sure why you have a difference.
    To oh the damper, remove casting from legs, remove snap ring, remove wave washer. Cartridge should slide out or require just a nudge to remove. Plastic cartridges have a reputation to puke oil, I don't know, both my judys are '97 up, but it seems to be the urban legend...the seal at the lower end of the cartridge is retained by press fit, and the snap ring when back in slider. The press fit is not machine tight and can be home serviced. To remove seal, you need to hold the cartridge vertical and tap the rod downward. It will come out, and when it does, you will get some nasty fluid, so be prepared.
    Remove the tiny 2mm bolt in the center of the rod, (the compression adjuster)
    Clean it all up. The fill is 5 or 8 wt shock oil. Fill with cartridge inverted, rod in tube, and seal out. Add fluid, slow stroke cartridge to remove air pockets. Fill pretty close to top, but don't worry about exact, we will get to that. Position seal, and press in by hand as much as possible to start. Get creative for a seal installer. I believe a 14 mm socket can do the job. I had a hole in my bench the same size as the rod, so is was able to place the cartridge top side down on the bench, then tap the seal in. Don't flip it to the regular position yet. Add additional fluid into the end of your the rod until it tops out before you install the adjustment bolt and stroke the rod a few times to remove any bubbles before installing the compression adjuster bolt. This process will be messy.
    You should end up with cartridge that with rod extended and pushing upward, resistance is felt, tapering off toward the end of travel. Reality is that you won't get full travel anyway, so don't fret if you have a bit of air in there at the end of stroke.
    I did order up the replacement elastomers, and recommend them.
    Firm is firm, and work as I wanted for my path bike. Standard has some squish, but be prepared that fork performance over the past twenty years has changed a lot!
    Yes, the champagne color is a pita to match up. It might require custom paint. The fork I built as a refresh/upgrade for the red bike was totally trashed and corroded, not happy with the paint and crappy surface, but it rides well.
    (After install I noted that I have cantilevers, with a hangerless suspension fork, bad - movement causes brakes to apply, I have since found a piece of retro hardware as a solution.)
    Edited 12/30 17:21 - revised seal removal process.




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    Last edited by davez26; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:22 PM.

  7. #7
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    I worked in a bike shop until late 96, and I remember having to warranty a couple of the early model cartridges. The one in my SL puked oil, which is why I swapped to the aftermarket setup. It had an aluminum body. The XC never puked, but that fork was never really challenged. I rode mine hard and was a pretty aggressive rider.

    I'm likely remembering LH vs RH backwards. Every time I serviced one, the bike was in a stand so the handlebars would spin around. It's been years since I've been inside one, and we didn't sell but a few before I moved to another job. They we're considered pricey back then, something like five or six hundred bucks for the top end model.

    Off topic, but I went back to my old shop yesterday and visited the owner for an hour to BS and catch up on old times. She's about to retire next year. She also has a sweetheart of a shop dog now, much better than the one back then that got a Bad Dog ticket for barking at an equestrian cop in our parking lot.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    I've worked with a couple of these in the past few months, not an expert, but I had to do the research, time to share:
    Lots of technical manuals for Rockshox over on retrobike.uk in the archives section. One of the most interesting is a Parts manual from 2000? That goes back to 1994 or so, super handy for id.
    97 and up Judy had a cast brace, springs and one solid elastomer per side. 96 and back bolted on brace with multiple sections of elastomer.
    From what I learned, an SL or an XC have one damper in the LH leg for compression damping, while the Judy DH had an additional damper in rh for rebound damping. Not sure why you have a difference.
    To oh the damper, remove casting from legs, remove snap ring, remove wave washer. Cartridge should slide out or require just a nudge to remove. Plastic cartridges have a reputation to puke oil, I don't know, both my judys are '97 up, but it seems to be the urban legend...the seal at the lower end of the cartridge is retained by press fit, and the snap ring when back in slider. The press fit is not machine tight and can be home serviced. To remove seal, you need to hold the cartridge vertical, and pull the rod downward, I couldn't find an easy way, so I fiddled around, and can't recall how I got those out! It's difficult to hold the cartridge, and you don't want to vise it, but if you can install allen bolt and find a way to tug, that's what you are looking to do. It will come out, and when it does, you will get some nasty fluid, so be prepared.
    Remove the tiny 2mm bolt in the center of the rod, (the compression adjuster)
    Clean it all up. The fill is 5 or 8 wt shock oil. Fill with cartridge inverted, rod in tube, and seal out. Add fluid, slow stroke cartridge to remove air pockets. Fill pretty close to top, but don't worry about exact, we will get to that. Position seal, and press in by hand as much as possible to start. Get creative for a seal installer. I believe a 14 mm socket can do the job. I had a hole in my bench the same size as the rod, so is was able to place the cartridge top side down on the bench, then tap the seal in. Don't flip it to the regular position yet. Add additional fluid into the end of your the rod until it tops out before you install the adjustment bolt and stroke the rod a few times to remove any bubbles before installing the compression adjuster bolt. This process will be messy.
    You should end up with cartridge that with rod extended and pushing upward, resistance is felt, tapering off toward the end of travel. Reality is that you won't get full travel anyway, so don't fret if you have a bit of air in there at the end of stroke.
    I did order up the replacement elastomers, and recommend them.
    Firm is firm, and work as I wanted for my path bike. Standard has some squish, but be prepared that fork performance over the past twenty years has changed a lot!
    Yes, the champagne color is a pita to match up. It might require custom paint. The fork I built as a refresh/upgrade for the red bike was totally trashed and corroded, not happy with the paint and crappy surface, but it rides well.
    (After install I noted that I have cantilevers, with a hangerless suspension fork, bad - movement causes brakes to apply, I have since found a piece of retro hardware as a solution.)




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    How do the brakes on that bottom bike work once somebody is sitting on the bike?
    Latitude 61

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    How do the brakes on that bottom bike work once somebody is sitting on the bike?
    Yeah, that was a bummer, that bike has been through a Quadra 10, Mag 21, then a rigid, before what should have been an upgrade to the OE fork.
    Fixed it with some old tech solution:
    Cannondale Force 40 brake cam, GTG!



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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    How do the brakes on that bottom bike work once somebody is sitting on the bike?
    Quote Originally Posted by davez26 View Post
    Fixed it with some old tech solution:
    Cannondale Force 40 brake cam, GTG!
    Phew! I was gonna ask the same question, thinking the "before" photo was your solution. Pleased to see you've got the Cannondale doohickey on there and now you have functional front brakes!

    Grumps

  11. #11
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    ~95-ish Rockshox Judy XC Rebuild help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Grumpy View Post
    Phew! I was gonna ask the same question, thinking the "before" photo was your solution. Pleased to see you've got the Cannondale doohickey on there and now you have functional front brakes!

    Grumps
    It was a fun little project finding a builder fork, tear-down, the whole deal and then that moment, D'oh!
    The Cannondale piece was a life saver, it's along the lines of the stock pivot in the rear; I will probably swap one in at some point.

    Sorry to thread-nap.
    I am hoping the OP posts some pics, I want to figure that thing out!

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