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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was doing a simple road ride with my girlfriend when I heard a small pop sound then Sssss noise for like 2 seconds. I thought I got a flat tire but nope.

Today I go to take my bike out and I notice the frt is very soft and the seal has popped up.

Can I easily and quickly fix this somehow? Just carefully push it back down? I have to get this fork fixed for my race coming up this weekend!!!!

https://img267.imageshack.us/img267/9936/img7472kl1.jpg

https://img267.imageshack.us/img267/4920/img7479mq4.jpg

It's a 05 Manitou Black fork btw.
 

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you could try to push it back in place... but I doubt you will succeed... the best would be to dissasemble the fork and check if the dust seal is still ok....

maybe you could replace them with enduro seals just to be on the safe side..and take advantage of the disassembly..
 

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I already rode that
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If it is just a dust seal you can push it back in place. If it keeps poping up then you might want to replace it. If theres a seal below it that holds air in it might have leaked or something then it would have to be replaced too.

But getting someone that has dealth with that fork would be a better help if more then pushing the seal back in is needed.
 

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Sound like the seals in your air spring blew out and dumped all the air pressure into the fork lowers. The pressure from the air spring is what pushed the dust seal up. If I'm right, you can press the dust seal back down...but it's not going to fix the problem until the internal air spring seals are replaced. Sounds like it's time for a fork rebuild.

What kind of fork is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Arg. This fork was fully serviced not THAT long ago in Jan of '06 for a leaking and sagging IT function.

I'll try and reinstall the seal at work and order some Enduro seals at the same time.

But what about the oil bath lost? "Manitou recommends Motorex® Semi-Bath 5/40w synthetic oil. Other brands of fully synthetic multi-viscosity oils are acceptable"

So any quality synthetic motor oil will work?
 

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Destroy said:
Arg. This fork was fully serviced not THAT long ago in Jan of '06 for a leaking and sagging IT function.

I'll try and reinstall the seal at work and order some Enduro seals at the same time.

But what about the oil bath lost? "Manitou recommends Motorex® Semi-Bath 5/40w synthetic oil. Other brands of fully synthetic multi-viscosity oils are acceptable"

So any quality synthetic motor oil will work?
well..Destroy..over a year without service is a "long time" unless you don't ride your bike much (which I doubt ;) )

for the semibath, any synthetic multigrade oil will do..
 

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Switchback Prince
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hey that exact same thing happened to me. i heard the exact same "Sssssss" sound on my ride and also thought it was a tire, but nothing wrong with the tires. i eventually decided the sound had been a leaf caught between the wheel and where the chainstays join the seatpost (i have thought i was loosing air out of a tire before, only to discover it was this). before finishing my ride my fork took a large hit when i didn't clear a ditch and the front wheel landed just below the lip. when i got back to my car i noticed the seal popped up. at first i thought it was the hard landing. but now hearing you talk about hearing a sound like air leaking i'm wondering if that isn't when the seal popped up (however, i never heard a 'pop' sound then, so maybe it really was just a leaf then). at any rate, my fork is also a manny, with the same evil genius wiper seals. to reseat mine, i took off the lowers to try and push it back down. no amount of pushing will move that thing though. I eventually had to, against my own will, take the broadest punch i could fit down onto the edge of the seal without touching the wiper portion of the seal, and tap the seal back into place with a rubber mallet using as little force as necessary. i tried cutting a peice of PVC pipe to fit on it but none of them fit well, and they kept dislodging that metal thingy around the wiper whenever i tapped on them. I'd take off the lowers so you minimize risk to damage anything else, use a punch and with as little force as necessary tap the seal back into place. have the bottom of your lowers on somthing softer then mag but firm, like a wooden workbench, and if possible have someone hold the lowers as you tap the seal back in. and seriously dude, you should be servicing your fork at least every six months. and those who ride a lot and in bad conditions should at least be replacing the oil every six weeks. order a liter of Motorex Power Synt 4T 5w40, it is the same stuff marketed as their "Semi-Bath Oil" except you get a liter for the same price that you would have paid for 4.5 oz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I was able to easily tap down the seal into place with a tool I had at work. All seems find BUT...

Now there seems to be a different issues with the IT travel adjustment.

In full extended position(long) the fork feels perfectly normal but when I lower the fork with the IT switch it lowers very easily and the force required to bottom out the fork in this lowered position is very little i.e. the fork feels soft or like it has 1/2 the psi lowered as it does fully extended.

The IT function works normal otherwise, doesn't leak down or gain in height while riding, just that the fork is very soft when in the lower(short) position.

Any ideas what's going on? Trying to find a GOOD detailed diagram of how the IT feature works but service manual pics are rather vague and undetailed.
 

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Switchback Prince
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well don't get me lying, I'm no expert on this. I would suggest checking to make sure there is oil in the air piston (my IT requires 8-10cc) and then reinflate and make sure you have right PSI (by holding down IT lever as you reinflate). also, what kind of damping do you have? bottom out resistance is usually the dampers role. are you sure you have your damper set up correctly? doesn't SPV require right amount of PSI and all that jazz in it? if everything is set up correctly, and it has been over a year since your last service, then you probably need to have your fork fully disasembled, cleaned, all seals replaced, lubed, and reassembled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Was able to talk to tech support guys at Manitou. He was very helpful and asked me many questions of what happened.

He noted a few things. One is storing my bike upside down is bad. In doing so causes the oil to be away from the seals that need it the most. Two that seal that popped up is just a dust seal and does NOT hold any pressure.

He recommended I carefully unscrew the LH fork cap screw, lift it up no more than 1/2 inch and inject in 20cc of Mobil 1 oil into the fork from there. Work the fork up and down a few times then pump it up normally equalizing the IT pressures by pressing the lever.

I just got back from a ride on the trail and all is good so far. Time will tell, especially during my races if lack of lube was the issue or not.
 

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Adding oil might slow the leak, but if your internal air seals are leaking (they are) they will continue to. The seals are most likely worn due to lack of lube/contanination and oil will not 'fix' them. The oil may help fom a better seal and slow the leaking, but that is all.

Not sure I buy the upside down bike idea. Any oil would be able to flow back to the 'seals that need it' within a minute of righting the bike (assuming there is oil in there to begin with...my guess is lack of oil is the root cause).

Each side of your fork has 16mm max of bushing lube oil. That amount of oil could contaminate in a few long days of riding in bad conditions like dust or mud.

I usually do at least a partial service (incl at the least, bushing lube replacement and clean/grease the stanchion seals) on my forks every 20 hrs of riding or so ....
 
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