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Me ride.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My friend had a bad fork on his bike, and another gave him a mid-late '90s Judy DH. After installing it, I noticed a bit of oil around the shaft bolt, specifically, the one holding what I think is the damping oil.

As he is only going to be riding the bike around his neighborhood streets and paved greenways, is it safe to ride as it is? Are the rebuild parts too rare? Does the Judy DH even use damping oil?

Rebuild doesn't look too hard according to the manuals for it I've found.
 

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The Judy was supposed to be an innovative design when it came out, due to using a damping cartridge (named the Judy Cartridge). Unless I am mistaken, that cartridge only damped rebound. I believe the DH version still used elastomers, instead of springs.

I don't recall much about the Judy other than I hated them. I don't THINK there would be any major issues riding it as is. The Judy cartridge should come out pretty easily if the forks are disassembled, but rebuilding the cartridge is not something I ever did. I used the Englund air cartridges in my Judy SL, so any of the supposedly nice things of the Judy got ripped out. The Englund's made the forks actually work! Too bad those things needed rebuilt so often!
 

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Without know the exact year of the fork it can be hard to say, maybe a pic would help. But the judy dampener did both rebound and compression through a piston that physically moved in a cartridge, no shim but an orifice. The regular judy had a plastic cartridge til '97 that cracked and leaked all the time, White bro (?) had an alloy replacement kit for it and it was expensive.

I think the '90s era DH judy (usually red stanchions) had 2 cartridges, one rebound, one compression in each leg, forget which sides. Never took one apart so can't tell you if they were plastic.

Dangerous? not really, annoying yes without dampening. I would at least open them up and grease it up in there and see if they have coil spring or if elastomers haven't imploded .

I never liked the Englund cartridge, prefered Eibach springs and upping the dampener oil from 5 wt to 10wt.
 

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Me ride.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I looked all over it but couldn't find a model # or serial.
The Judy sticker also has "cartridge system" on it.
Here's a pic of a set that looks like it, minus the boots:
 

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It's a wall ornament. The cartridges don't hold oil well and the bushings corrode into the stanchions.
Most of them didn't survive 1995 so the following 19 years can't have been kind. Though I did service and ride one in 2000 that had a Risse Gem aftermarket damper cartridge which held oil quite well.

I have a later version (I think 97) when they went to steel stanchions to stop the corrosion and have the one piece lowers. But it's also a wall ornament.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I think that picture is one of the later ones, the earliest ones were a dark candy-red.
 
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