Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new 2018 Fox 40 float dual crown.

Normally I would think you shouldn't service or do anything with a new fork but install it and use it.

I did read someplace that someone got a fox fork and it had no oil in it. This has me thinking if I should service it or check it or something before using it? I really don't want to, but I want to be safe.

Thanks
 

·
Boom bap ambassador
Joined
·
910 Posts
If you are on the fence between pulling lowers and not pulling you could flip the fork upside down, loosen the foot nuts, and use a zip tie or something similar to poke around to see if there is oil in the lowers.

If the damper is off you are going to tell on a ride around the block.

I did some Google fu and I didn't come across any reports of Fox 40 being shipped dry or people having issues with a new fork being dry from the factory.

That being said it comes down to how paranoid you are and the case could be made that being sure by dropping the lowers is the only way to be absolutely positive.

On the flip side I have had several brand new forks from different companies and I don't drop the lowers when I get them out of the box.

Used forks are a different matter but for brand new I would just ride it but everyone has different levels of paranoia and it really comes down to how sure you want to be I think.
 

·
Perpetual Hack
Joined
·
2,193 Posts
I always open up a new fork.
I have yet to see one with the correct grease / oil volume.
The usual seems to be too much grease and not enough oil.

I have legendary **** luck and so am the butt of jokes by my friends, so your mileage may vary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,754 Posts
A few years ago it was very common to find way too much grease in the negative chamber of Fox forks substantially reducing its volume and effect. You have to pull the lowers and air shaft to check that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
I pulled my lowers and air spring after getting it back from Fox after their factory service. Oil volumes were good, a little extra grease in the negative chamber, but not too bad. Foam rings had some oil on them, but nowhere near saturated. Dust wipers were completely dry.
 

·
Shartacular Spectacular
Joined
·
443 Posts
On both my Fox 40 and my Fox 36 I dropped the lowers when I got them and I’m glad I did. Large globs of excess grease in the negative air chambers, not enough oil, wiper seals and foam rings were drier than your significant other’s... ehhh... they were dry, really dry.

I’d drop’um get rid of the excess grease, re-lube, soak your foam rings, top off your bath oil, and slap it back together. It’ll feel a lot better for doing so. If yours is equipped with a grip 2 damper make sure to get the 5 wt Teflon and the 20 wt gold before disassembling. It probably goes without saying, but if you haven’t done it before, review the procedure beforehand to make sure you have the necessary tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The big question is will you damage anything before you notice something is wrong with a fork if the oil level is not correct?

Or will you notice right away that something isn't right and stop riding?
 

·
Shartacular Spectacular
Joined
·
443 Posts
The big question is will you damage anything before you notice something is wrong with a fork if the oil level is not correct?

Or will you notice right away that something isn't right and stop riding?
Depends on how familiar you are with what it's supposed to feel like and how "wrong" it is. Is it completely dry or just low? Completely dry will likely result in a lot of extraneous wear and potential damage depending on how long it's ridden as such. But if you know what it's supposed to feel like, it will probably just feel like garbage for a while (not smooth) as you tear up the seals and o-rings. If the o-rings in/on the air piston wear/tear first it would result in a "blown shock." If there is too much grease in the negative air chamber it will feel overly stiff, but not result in any damage directly.

On the damper side, no oil would essentially result in little-to- no damping and likely be pretty obvious pretty fast. Really low oil would result in decreased performance and premature wear.

At the very least, chances are if it's been sitting (depending on how it was sitting) on a shelf/not in use since late 2017 / early 2018 the dust wiper seals and o-rings are probably dry, take it easy until some of the bath oil (damper side) and air chamber oil (air side) works its way up there. Letting the fork sit horizontally for an hour or two before installation should help alleviate this. On the air side you can pop the cap off the top with a chamferless socket and take a peak to see if there's anything in the positive air chamber, but obviously this is independent of any oil volume in the lower baths.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,754 Posts
The vast majority buy a new bike and ride it way past recommend service intervals and have no issues when they finally do get the sus serviced. I certainly don't advocate that but it does suggest that riding a new fork as is until its first scheduled service is a small risk.

If you let a bike sit upright all the time (i.e. on the bikeshop floor for months on end), oil will drain from the foam rings. Hanging a bike from the front wheel angles the bottom end of the fork upward allowing bath oil to run up and wet the bushings and foam rings. That's how I store my bikes and I find the foam rings are still saturated when I service the fork.
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
The big question is will you damage anything before you notice something is wrong with a fork if the oil level is not correct?

Or will you notice right away that something isn't right and stop riding?
The chances of the oil levels being wrong are basically zero, so I wouldn't be concerned about that, and if they were that's what a warranty is for!

Dropping the lowers on a new fork is just to grease the dust wipers and fill up the foam rings
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,485 Posts
Many years ago I found it mandatory to drop the lowers & verify damper fluid levels. On my last 2 new forks - Fox & DVO I gave then a couple break in rides then dropped the lowers. If you drop the lowers on a new fork you should be prepared to drop them a second time after break in.

I will add my Fox was the most expensive to service - fancy oils & new crush washers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,083 Posts
I say, if in doubt, then drop them, nothing hard to do and you'll have peace of mind. Some have found forks coming almost dry (new RS forks use very little oil, so note that).

As to replacing parts on service, in all the years I've serviced forks, I have only ever change dust seals or foam rings when they need it, which is definitely not every lower leg service. As to crush washers, those as well, hardly ever change them unless I have the kit with dust wipers and foam rings and am changing those as well, never had any leaks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
So it's 2021 and I remembered reading somewhere about this issue. Disassembled my brand new, never used Fox Factory 36. That's the amount of oil in the lowers. Barely covers the bottom of the plastic cups. Manual says there should be 40 cc on the damper side and 10 cc on the air side.
1924913
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
So it's 2021 and I remembered reading somewhere about this issue. Disassembled my brand new, never used Fox Factory 36. That's the amount of oil in the lowers. Barely covers the bottom of the plastic cups. Manual says there should be 40 cc on the damper side and 10 cc on the air side.
View attachment 1924913
Is it a 2021 fork? Grip or grip2 damper? The grip dampers should have a milky coloured oil on the damper side so I wonder if someone has opened that fork already

A lot of oil clings to the insides and gets trapped on the bottom as well, so this isnt a very good way of knowing the exact amount of oil that was in there
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
Is it a 2021 fork? Grip or grip2 damper? The grip dampers should have a milky coloured oil on the damper side so I wonder if someone has opened that fork already

A lot of oil clings to the insides and gets trapped on the bottom as well, so this isnt a very good way of knowing the exact amount of oil that was in there
2021, but it's a Fit4. There was also something that looked like hair inside one of the legs. Although there should be Fox Gold 20WT on both sides, looks like the oil on the damper side is a bit darker.

To have an idea of the volume of oil shown in this picture, I had filled with 10 cc, and it covers the bottom of the cup with about 1-2mm in the center of the cup. So I estimate that the volume shipped was about 3-5 cc.

Also disassembled the air chamber. This is what I found. ?
There was a bit (a few drops) of oil.

1924995
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top