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  1. #1
    Senior Member squeegy200's Avatar
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    Rebuilding a Manitou Mars Fork

    I have a 2000(?) Manitou Mars that I'd like to rebuild.

    Unlike other Manitou's I've owned in the past, there seems to be no rebuild kits available. I downloaded the service manual and there are simple maintenance procedures that are easily accomplished. The only special tools being the Prep-M grease gun.

    However, in my searches, I've discovered Manitou Mars rebuilding services. But all of the outfits are in England. Why no services here? Is there something above and beyond the simple maintenance procedures in the factory service manual?

    I also checked with my local bike shop and they called their manitou rep who informed them, there is no such rebuild kit. (Manitou would rather have you buy a new one rather than service the old one!)

    Anyone rebuild a MARS fork? I know there are spring kits but any additional tips or tricks I should be aware of before disassembly? I was going to use Finishline Shock oil in a 7 weight. Any other recommendations?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    You don't really need a "kit" to rebuild a Mars. I bought the heavier spring from the Manitou booth at a NORBA national a few years ago. So, I had to completely take the fork apart to install it. I damaged the rubber o-rings inside, so the lock-out no longer worked...so I just called them up and was able to buy a pack of o-rings...I do recall having to have my bike shop order them for me...anyway, I bought the correct oil as well at that time. Motorex I believe Answer now uses. I followed the directions exactly from the manitou site, and the forked was like new. I do this every year now. So, some fresh o-rings, and oil, and a good clean job and your fork will be like new...

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    I have a Manitou SXR fork came with the bike (2001 Trek fuel 90). Anyhow I downloaded info from Answer but does not tell much. I am just trying to drain the old oil and add new oil. Do you know if it has oil on both sides and do you just tip it upside down to get the oil out. Anyhow it is not leaking just has not enough damping.

  4. #4
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    SRX? I forget if both have oil...I have had almost every Manitou fork every made...wait, I have, except the Skareb, I skipped that and am waiting for a new R7 in August...Some early Manitous did use oil on one side...I'm surprised the instructions aren't clearer. I'll go download them and see what I can tell you. I've worked on all my Manitous since I bought my first set - Manitou I's, the grey/silver ones from 1991.

    I'll get back with you shortly.

    jv

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    well, the SX's are basically all mechanically the same. I still have a SX-Ti fork on one of my hardtails...Only the left leg has any oil in it, the other side is either a spring, or elastomer. Leave the fork on the bike, unscrew the fork cap on the top, and get a bucket, and drain the old oil out by, yes, just flipping it over. If it's no big deal to ttake the fork off, then I do it that way, a little easier...and I get a chance to clean everything good too. You have to use the exact weight oil...so, find a good bike shop who can or has the stuff. I ordered a bottle through my local bike shop, and it's the official stuff Answer recommended. Email manitou first to be sure what to get. Then just pour in the new oil, and read that PDF from answer's site. It says how many MM from the top of the fork crown the oil should be. Just pour in until it's at the right level, then put the top cap back on and you're done. I bought a special metal ruler with only mm's on it for this purpose. Hardware store had some...

    The newer manitou forks have much better instructions on tearing them apart. Modern forks do work much better than old early '90s models, but boy, it was nice to pup two caps off, pull out a skewer with rubber elastomers, lube them up, and re-install...5-minute job.

  6. #6
    Newbie
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    What is wrong with your Mars fork? I have got a few bits salvaged off crashed forks

  7. #7
    Fuji Rider
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    I have a Manitou Skareb fork - that worked fine until I was hopping curbs on a downtown ride one night. I made a kinda metal sound when I hit even a small bump after that - mostly on the right side I think. Anyhow, I got instructions on the web site from Answer and they don't seem to match up with what I have inside my fork. There was nothing broken, and now all the oil is out of it.

    What is the easiest way to put oil back into the fork? Does it go in both sides or just one. Does it go in the top and or the bottom?

    Oh, also my lockout did not work after that bumpy ride???

    Any help - thanks.
    Sometimes I ride and think, sometimes I just ride.

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