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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new 2004 Marzocchi Z1 has so much stiction, it is what I would call "notchy". It will barely extend to full length when unweighted. It is so bad I am almost afraid to ride it. I know these forks are known for alot of stiction when new, but this is crazy. My 2002 MXR was nothing like this this when new.

Any wisdom out there on how I should proceed?
 

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Is it brand new, sitting in a box or is it on the bike?

If it is brand new but you don't want to take a chance and tinker with it, and you are rethinking your purchase, return it.

If it is on the bike already, just go ride it. The bushings may not be fully seated or the bushings do not have a decent coat of oil. Maybe one of the oil seal lips is rolled in a weird way. I don't know of any of my Zokes which extended when new, and most of them took between 5 and 20 hours of riding and an oil change to break in.

Some forks are plush out of the box but are sloppy fast. Zokes tend to start out tight and break in to be buttery and slop free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's new ...

It is a brand new fork which came in factory packaging, but I have cut the steerer, installed a star nut & mounted it to my frame. Maybe l'll take her apart and check the oil heights and lube the seals. I have not added any air yet to set the pre-load (I only weigh 155 lb). I do not have buyers remorse., but just want to make sure all is OK. Thanks for the input ...
 

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Some Ideas

I have a Marzocchi Z.1 FR SL 2004 and have somewhat of the same problem, kinda stiff not too plush yet, I guess it still needs to broken in, which model of the Z.1 FR do you have? If you have the SL like I do you may want to have less POS air pressure than what is recommended (Not to sure about this), also about lubing the seals, I was told this is a very good a idea to do, it will make the fork have less stiction and be more plush until the fork is properly broken in.
 

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Spray the stanchions with silicon spray. This will help to break the stichion of the seals.
Marzocchi used to specify to spray with silicon "fat". Works well, I've being doing it for years. It keeps the seals supple.
tscheezy said:
I have both the SL and the coil models and they are really quite different forks.
 

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lebikerboy said:
Spray the stanchions with silicon spray. This will help to break the stichion of the seals.
Marzocchi used to specify to spray with silicon "fat". Works well, I've being doing it for years. It keeps the seals supple.
But it's the bushings that cause stiction in breakin, right?

I say just get that sucker on there and ride it around your house for an hour or two and do push ups on the fork and jump up and down on it. That will take a lot of the stiction away. Just make sure not to ride it hard until it's broken in a bit where you don't feel it grab in the compression stroke. Doing big drops right off the bat "may" cause bushing damage.

Every one of my Marzocchi forks took forever to break in to full smoothness. I've always been able to get rid of most of it just by riding around my block and pushing the fork up and down with my weight.

You'll be glad you had so much initial stiction when your fork is over a year old and still tight as a drum.
 

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To add to what microhuck said, as a new fork, it probably doesn't have much lubrication on the seals and bushings. A little synthetic oil on the seals might help with this a bit, but mostly it just needs to be ridden to get that lubrication flowing all around the fork and to help the bushings break in smoothly.
 

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I just got some new '04 Z1 FR's as well. I definitely recommend changing the oil out with some golden spectro. When I poured out the factory oil I found that there was only about 70cc's in each leg. About half of what is recommended. I put about 155cc's in each leg and now they feel super plush!

Also, I way around 165 and run no preload.
 

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add air preload

jbf said:
It is a brand new fork which came in factory packaging, but I have cut the steerer, installed a star nut & mounted it to my frame. Maybe l'll take her apart and check the oil heights and lube the seals. I have not added any air yet to set the pre-load (I only weigh 155 lb). I do not have buyers remorse., but just want to make sure all is OK. Thanks for the input ...
I found that adding 5psi or so in the air preload helped the fork extend when it was new and didn't change the ride much with such low psi. My stiction was gone after about five long rides. I also dabbed some fork oil on the stachion tubes between rides, which helped. Just don't forget to wipe them clean before you ride. Also, I read on some thread here to leave your bike upside down (on the bars and seat) if you aren't going to ride for awhile to help keep the seals well lubed...sounded strange to me too, but I figured it can't hurt! Hey, gravity has ANOTHER use to us! Other than that, make sure the oil levels are good. Changing the oil is cake. I run 140cc in each leg (spectro 7wt.) and 10 to 15 psi preload. I found the cc recommendations on the website are too high. I like the old oil HEIGHT rule of thumb (which I converted into cc measurement)...anyway, I ride aggro trail but nothing more than 4' drops. I weigh 185, but ride fairly smooth. The fork handles everything really well.
 

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jbf said:
My new 2004 Marzocchi Z1 has so much stiction, it is what I would call "notchy". It will barely extend to full length when unweighted. It is so bad I am almost afraid to ride it. I know these forks are known for alot of stiction when new, but this is crazy. My 2002 MXR was nothing like this this when new.

Any wisdom out there on how I should proceed?
DOn't worry and just ride the bike. Change the oil after about 100 miles or so and you're good to go. Mine was very notchy and took many hundreds of miles to get completely smooth at full extension. The good news is that the notchy feeling is almost at full extension and your riding be far below that point....No Issue!

Enjoy the forks....It's a great one!
 

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jbf said:
My new 2004 Marzocchi Z1 has so much stiction, it is what I would call "notchy". It will barely extend to full length when unweighted. It is so bad I am almost afraid to ride it. I know these forks are known for alot of stiction when new, but this is crazy. My 2002 MXR was nothing like this this when new.

Any wisdom out there on how I should proceed?
Get some fork oil and some shop towels.... Use a towel to apply a little oil on the stanchion right above the seals. Cycle the fork several times and then wipe off the excess oil. You will notice a difference right away. I do this on every one of my forks out of the box.

The stiction you are feeling is due to the seals being dry from sitting for a while... Riding the fork will eventually get the oil on to the seals and lube them. This just speeds up the process a bit...

Brian
 
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