Mountain Biking - Leaking oil normal?
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This only happens when I hit the trails. When I ride around town, it's not as bad. Time for a new fork? Any way to fix this? Should this be in the mechanics forum instead?
Only left side leaking. Right side bone dry.
09-06-09, 03:49 PM
With that ancient fork, its prolly time for a new one.
I had that same exact fork, and also had leakage issues.
I'd recommend a new one, looks like your is leaking pretty good.
The lower seal of the TPC damper has failed. That fork used grease to lube the sliders (notice the grease ports on the backside of each leg). Oil spewing from the dust wipers means the oil contents of the damper has filled the lower left leg, and is being forced out during compression.
You'll have to remove the lowers and examine the seal and damper shaft. It might be something as simple as an o-ring you can pick up at a local hardware store.
What model is the fork?
There's probably a service manual for it that'd show you how to repair it.
09-07-09, 10:57 AM
I've had fork issues in the past, all luckily within warranty though so just sent them off to the manufacturer... Good luck fixing it, i think fork maintenance will always be one thing that remains way out of my league!!
09-09-09, 01:23 PM
I still haven't taken the time to take it apart because I really have no forking skills. I really don't want to mess up the fork anymore than it is already.
But if I have to buy a new fork (most likely used due to $$$), what would you guys recommend? I have a few requirements:
- 80mm only (as I want to keep the bike's geometry the same)
- I want something at least as good as the 1999 Manitou SX.
- fairly inexpensive
- same weight or less. The Manitou I have weighs 3.5lbs (see reviews here. It rec'd pretty damn good reviews back in the days) (http://www.mtbr.com/cat/older-categories-bikes/front-shock/manitou/sx-98/PRD_351555_120crx.aspx). I want a fork that weighs about the same.
Will lower end forks (something like the Dart3) be as good as the 10 year old fork that I have?
Can I find a decent fork (meeting the expectations above) for under $100 used?
I dart three will be better than that manitou.
I'd look for something atleast in the dart 3 to the tora range from rockshox. If you do some good shopping you can score either for under, or close to 100. Other companies as well have other options, check around between Rockshox, Marzocchi, Manitou, and what ever else is out there.
09-09-09, 02:37 PM
I think you might be able find something here.
09-09-09, 09:18 PM
Rebel, the only reason I don't want to go with a Dart is because it'll make my bike 2lbs heavier! I would rather have a crappier fork that weighs less. I'm not good enough (of a rider) to really notice the difference between a good fork vs a bad fork.
I'm pretty much a hack and I can easily tell the difference between my F100 and a cheap fork. Once you ride a good fork, you'll immediately see what the big deal is. And even if it's heavy...I've also ridden a DJ1 and it wasn't half bad. The spring was too heavy for me, so it wasn't ideal, but even with the wrong spring in there it STILL had a better feel than the cheap forks I've ridden.
You're trying to convince a roadie to add 2lbs to his bike, Zephyr...not gonna happen.
09-10-09, 10:11 AM
I probably would just invest in some new forks, your opening up a big can of worms if you start taking the forks apart if you dont know what your doing!
Older Manitous like that are pretty easy to disassemble, ddac. The key to opening one up is a 6mm? (I believe- - I'd have to check back in my haphazard pile of plans) stub of an allen wrench on about an 18"-long T-handle (easy to fabricate). Or see if you can borrow the one your LBS has. This T-wrench is what lets you hold the top of the inside rods so that you can loosen the bolts on the bottom of the sliders. Once those bolts are out the sliders with separate from the stanchions.
Then it's a matter, as Svr says, of disassembling and going over the damper cartridge o-rings and seals and replacing all of the culprit and suspect rubber.
I'll try to track down some disassembly instructions for you - - either of the Manitou or of a very similar-model RST (who did most of the contract-manufacturing for those Manitous). In some ways, yes, it may be time to think about a new fork; BUT - - this might be just the time to learn, as you say. You've got one that is fairly user-friendly to service yourself; a good opportunity to expand your knowledge base.
The RS Recon in solo air is pretty light at 4lbs. It has brake bosses and tabs and they can be had NIB from eBay for about $329. If that's too much dough, I would look for a used Fox F80.
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