I recently purchased a set of Fox 32 F120 forks. I tried to fit them to my Marin Hawkhill 2009 but the width of the fork post meant it wouldn't fit all the way down. This also meant the ball bearings couldn't be put in place.
The fox forks widen at the base of the post leaving a 1 inch gap between the bottom of the forks and the bottom of the headset when in place. If I rode the bike like this the post and frame would grind together during turning of the bars resulting in a sorry excuse for a mountain bike.
I am using the original Dart2's that came with the bikeat the moment and hating them
Is there a fix for this or are the frame and forks non-compatible?
I'm sure there are many many options - the only constraint is that you need a frame with a tapered headtube. Most major manufacturers have a few frames that will work - SPecialized, Trek, Santa Cruz, Jamis...
Just so you know, you are likely to spend as much or more on a frame that accepts your fork than you would on a whole new bike with better quality overall than your entry level Marin. If I were you I would sell the Marin complete and sell the Fox fork and put the money toward a new or used better quality bike.
After considering my options I have decided to buy a new frame. I tried asking my LBS but he was far more interested in selling me a new bike!
Any suggestions for a hard tail frame?
This sounds like a nightmare of incompatibility issues waiting to happen. Plus, a new frame plus the fork you already bought will probably be more expensive than a new complete bike of comparable quality.
Can you return the fork? If not I would try selling/trading it on craigslist. You will probably take a bit of a loss on it, but you did buy the wrong one...