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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

So I picked up a used 2009 Jamis dakar Bam 2 that has Fox DHX 5.0 and 08 Fox 40. I don't know how well the guy took care of the bike but the suspension seems to work nicely. I just transfered to Mtn biking ffrom dirt biking so i don't know a whole lot about them. I am just wondering, what should I do as far as maintenace is concerned for my DHX and 40? The suspension feels good but do I need to oil up the seals and such or is it something I should never touch? Should I check to make sure the rear suspension linkage is moving nice and smoothely or is it probably good?, My primary goal is to keep the suspension as smooth as possible. :)

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I would look to perform 'air sleeve maintainence' on the shock unit when you can just so you know where you're currently at. It could feel good at the moment, but without knowing if or when it was last serviced you don't know the condition it's currently in regarding lube/dirt. It's a pretty simple process to do - plenty of threads on here about it, or just hit up youtube for 'fox air sleeve maintainence' or something.

With regard the fork, you'll probably want to look into dropping the lowers at some point to change out the oils, lube the 'foam rings' and clean up or replace the wiper seals. Same as with the shock, lots of info on this forum for doing that, or try youtube again for some videos on it.

No need to buy expensive MTB-specific oils for doing this work, in most areas you can substitute with more common (and sensibly priced) oils (motorcycle fork oils, synthetic automotive engine oils / gear oils, etc).

Regarding suspension linkages, I'd first make sure there's no play in there. Any play/knocking could mean new bearings/bushings needed. Whether it's running smooth could be hard to tell with the shock mounted, but if you remove it that'd be a good time to test it. Some people might go the extra mile and service pivot bearings at some point by prising a seal of and repacking them with grease which can help keep them running good for a longer time then normal.

Alternative option, for rich people, is just to send the bike/fork/shock off to companies periodically and have them do the work. :)
 

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the shock spec'd on this bike is a coil, not air so disregard the air sleeve maintenance advice. if you feel comfortable doing your own work check out WebHelp for info on the fork. the shock is a sealed and pressurized unit so you probably won't be doing anything with that except sending it out when it needs service.

any time you have a used bike it's wise to go over everything, especially pivots, to make sure things are in good working order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you,

I plan on riding all day Friday and a lot of the weekend so tommorow I am probably going to clean and lube everything. I checked the linkage and it is all smooth except the cables make noise going through the zip-tie when you compress the suspension. It kind of misleads me into thinking the suspension isn't smooth. As for the rear shock: I greased the bolts that go through with waterproof thick grease and it was smooth. I will clean the shock with soap and water and lube the seal.

Fork: Tommorow I would like to clean the seal and do the procedure on Fox's help page. My biggest fear is that I will mess up while doing it and ruin something but i don't want to pay the shop to do it. Also another problem is that I don't have FOX suspension fluid or any suspension fluid for that matter I also don't have the FLOAT pillow pack it says I need in the materials. So, are there any other fluids I can use to substitue? I have bicycle chain lube, 2 stroke oil, transmission fluid etc. What could I use to substitue for the suspension fluid and the FLOAT pack?

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Don't do the seal cleaning procedure. You run much more chance of damaging your fork than helping it. Drop the lowers, clean the fork, and reassemble. For the splash oil use Moibl1 motor oil or Mobil1 ATF. Personally I use motor oil because the Mobil1 ATF smells horrible. Since the fork is two years old, go ahead and replace the seals with Enduro seals. They work better than the stock ones, and cost about the same. You can find them at www.enduroforkseals.com.

Fox forks work great, but love their maintenance. The Fox 40 needs it's bath oil changed every 30 hours of riding.
 

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It might be fine to 'grease the bolts' as you say to stop them rusting/whatever, but one thing to not do is grease the actual bushing and pin that the shock pivots on as typically these should run dry (unless they happen to be needle bearings, though these are uncommon).

About 'lube the seal' on the shock. You shouldn't really need to lube the shock shaft (or fork stanchions) at all as the internal oil, when in sufficient condition, should keep these lubricated sufficiently. Adding additional oil to the outsides only helps attract dirt to them. On the other hand, if you're seeing a lot of oil on them after use, then it could be time for new seals.

Bear in mind if you're only dropping the fork lowers for a bath oil change / seal clean, then you don't need to remove the topcaps as the Fox page shows (to gain access to the internals), nor remove the wiper seals. You'll only need to remove the bottom two bolts on the fork legs and pull the lowers to do what you need to do.

Tip: When doing up the bottom bolts, don't go mad and overtighten them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Ok, well I took the shock off and it seems as if it pivots on the bolt that goes therough the frame and is held in place by the screw, that is what I greased. The kid I bought it from said he had changed the oil in the fork a few months earlier and he hasn't ridden it much since so he said it should be fine (this was after I bought it). I feel like if I print out the guide on the Fox help page and follow the instructions very carefully and take my time, I could do it but if you really strongly advise me not to I will stay away. I just like knowing my seals aren't holding back the fork from smoothely comressing and rebounding. Could I use chain lube and or 2-cycle motor oil as substitutes for the FLOAT pack and suspension oil or is this stuff not close enough to the real thing? I could go see if the LBS has the pillow pack thing but buying a bottle of fluid doesn't seem reasonable at this moment considering I have to dish out some money soon to fix the rear axle.

EDIT: What do you mean when you say remove and clean the lowers on the fork? I looked on the WebHelp page on fox's website and couldn't find anything where it talks about the lowers and maintenace regarding them.
 

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I'm no authority on saying what you should or shouldn't do as I don't know your skill level, but if you feel confident, then go for it. I don't think there's anything too complicated about working on these things, though the Fox pages can give that impression (they're thorough). I'm not sure it'd be wise to dive into the damper on a first attempt though if you have no need to.

Don't use anything like chain oil in your fork. I'm not sure about the 2-stroke. I would stick with what others have experience with here in the forums using alternatives, like the Mobil 1 for bath oil as bad mechanic suggests. Always use damping oil in the damping circuit though, never anything else. Motorcycle damping oil is the same stuff MTB uses (tends to be cheaper for more and is more widely available). The Float pillow pack fluid is a thick lube used in a few places on some areas, though I've personally found it's OK to substitute this with a similarly thick alternative, like 85w gear oil (which I happen to have a plentiful supply of). There is no guarantee at all to using these substitutes though, you're always on your own really. Some oils may contain additives that could swell seals and so on. Best to stick with what others have tried and had success with IMO, or take no risks and simply use what Fox says.

The lowers (lower legs) are the bottom-half of the fork that house the bath oil that lubricates the bushings the stanchions slide on (and maybe other internals bits, like the coils). A simple maintainence that should be done periodically is to change out/replenish the bath oil. This is easiest to do if you simply unbolt the 2 nuts at the base of the lowers and pull them off - that allows you to drain the existing bath oil, clean the lowers out, clean the seals and clean/soak the foam rings, or replace them, re-add new bath oil, and reassemble. It's more basic than what the Fox page shows as it describes a more thorough overhaul, which probably isn't necessary for what you need to do.

Discaimer: I'm not an expert on anything, nor familliar with that particular fork!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am going to do it. I went and bought a tube of the FLOAT fluid and now all i need to know is this: I found an old bottle of full Mobil motor oil SAE 10-30w. My only worry is that it says seal conditioner so I am worried if this will "expand" the seals. I also have Coastal ATF+3 if you don't think that Mobil I should use because it looks a few years old. (although it has never been opened.)
 
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