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c'est la vie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had an opportunity to work on a 2018 Fox SC fork for the first time and found getting the crush washers off was a real pain.

Typically, the crush washers do not come off with the bottom nut removal but with the older Fox fork design, this was not much of an issue. You could easily get to the crush washers and thread them off by hand or if real stubborn; cut them off with a knife.

For those who have not yet worked on Fox forks, the fork lowers cannot be removed with the crush washers in place. Pulling on the lowers with the crush washers will likely damage the air and or dampener shaft. Unfortunately, they must come off for service.

Here is the problem, with the recessed step cast forks you cannot get your fingers or most tools in this confined space. What’s the solution? I’m not saying this is perfect, but I used a long, thin screwdriver and tapped a notch in the side of the crush washers. Then used a long, sharp pick and pressed into the notch, with effort and persistence, spun the washers off. This extra step added an extra 20 minutes or more to the job.

If someone has a better solution, please share. Maybe a special tool is needed (or needs to be invented)?
 

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I just thread a nut on the damper or air shaft and tap it with a hammer as I would anyway to loosen the shaft in the lowers. The plastic crush washer strips out.
 

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c'est la vie
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I’ve tried that with limited success even using the Fox removal tool. I could not get it to work on the 2018 SC fork though. From previous experience, seems to depend if the bottom nut was properly torqued on but no guarantee. Slightly heavy handed and the crush washer is really “crushed” on the shaft and not easily dislodged. I suppose you are right, if you bang on it hard enough the plastic washer will strip out. I fear of damaging the damping shaft though; it seems delicate.

The 2018 fork I worked on was assembled by Fox so assumingly they used a torque wrench.
 

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c'est la vie
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183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The other thing worth noting is the oil in the air chamber -there was not any of the 3cc of oil to be found. This is servicing the fork before the recommended 125 hours. I have worked on Fox forks since circa 2002, this is a first for me. I have always found air chamber oil still there albeit worn out.

Fox has switched the air chamber oil from their tried-and-true Float Fluid to the 20wt Gold. The older Float Fluid is noticeably thicker than the newer 20wt Gold oil. I am wondering if Fox did not place enough oil in during assembly (its only 3cc so not much to speak of) or maybe, the lighter 20wt oil is too light and escapes pass the air piston’s O-ring. Something to keep an eye on going forward.

I am going to check again in say 30 hours and see if there is oil remaining in the air chamber. If not, I will switch back to the thicker Fox Fluid.

Thought I would pass this on, not sure if anyone else is experiencing this.
 

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Reviving this thread because I'm having trouble attempting my own lower service on a 2019 32 SC. I'm trying to do lowers service and and add a volume spacer and.... I can't even get started. Air comes out of the fork, leg bottom nuts come off, but when I hit the shafts (pretty hard) with the Damper Removal Tool, nothing budges. I can't get at the crush washers, because step cast, tried the bottom nuts and a socket but that doesn't work either. This is my first Fox service, but I've rebuilt rockshox in the past without issue.
 

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c'est la vie
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Feel your pain, or in this case, frustration especially if you know how much easier Rockshox forks are to service.

One common mistake is treading the removal tool all the way down which prevents the shaft from dislodging when striking with a mallet. Best to tread all the way and then, back off a turn or two. This give a little gap to press the shaft inward, striping the crush washer.

If this does not work, well, take your time, have a beer, use a flash light and see if the above mentioned method (screwdriver & pick) works. Wish there was a better way.
 

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I ended up able to get the lowers off after wrestling with them. I needed to pull/push pretty aggressively to get the lowers off. Just tapping on the spring and damper shafts wasn't enough, like I had seen in videos. The crush washer are probably the culprit. My fat fingers couldn't reach them on the SC lowers and once the lowers were off they popped into the oil pan.

The Damper Removal Tool isn't really necessary. Even if you aren't comfortable using the nuts, a soft plastic dowel drilled with a pilot hole and threaded with an 8mm cap screw to cut some threads would be sufficient. The Seal Driver, on the other hand, seems essential. I couldn't see getting those seals in straight and flush without the tool.

Now my next step in this saga is figuring out if my damper is shot. The air spring and lowers were serviced but I left the damper alone. Threw everything back together and on the bike, but the default state of lockout doesn't seem to be locking out. I'll need to get the air spring set correctly (added a token) and cable up the remote lockout. Its a ton of $$$ to have Fox do the service, but almost seems worth it.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Now my next step in this saga is figuring out if my damper is shot. The air spring and lowers were serviced but I left the damper alone. Threw everything back together and on the bike, but the default state of lockout doesn't seem to be locking out. I'll need to get the air spring set correctly (added a token) and cable up the remote lockout. Its a ton of $$$ to have Fox do the service, but almost seems worth it.
Naw, it's not shot, but it needs new seals and a re-bleed. That's the downfall of closed cart dampers like that, they tend to suck in some air over time and lose damping. Also when they make the user servicing difficult with all sorts of proprietary tools. That's one advantage I think with the charger, it's similar, but a level or so easier to do for a home mechanic. A bleed is probably going to restore the function, but it'll work for a lot less time before doing the same thing again.
 
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