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It's been nearly a year since I am riding with my 2006 Fox Vanilla RLC fork.

In my first 2 months of the fork, I noticed a creaking sound coming from it whenever I brake or stand up and sprint. I then send it to "Push" industries, have their factory fork system installed. The creaking gone.

Now, In just about 6 months back from Push, the creaking come back. Now, whenever I brake, sprint, or in rock garden where the rocks are twisting your fork, it creaks. My last ride in a very rocky trail, my fork creaks like christmas bells...


So, am I the only one out there having these creaking, probably from the bushing. Or other Vanilla RLC riders are also getting them too?
 

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I apologize if I'm off, but it could also be your headset - that creaks more than your folk. I would lock the brake and push the bike back and forth to recreate the noise. Mine doesn't make any sound.
 

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zoip.
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mine creaks. it's not the headset. you can grip the fork while rocking against the brake and feel the clicking between the stanchions and the lowers. it's a f100 RLT, but it's the same issue. fork is six months old, creaking developed after an over-the-bars incident. I haven't done anything about it yet. it's annoying, but it doesn't seem to affect the fork performance. when my seals go, I'll probably see if i can have the bushings dealt with as well....
 
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Ernest Lam said:
It's been nearly a year since I am riding with my 2006 Fox Vanilla RLC fork.

In my first 2 months of the fork, I noticed a creaking sound coming from it whenever I brake or stand up and sprint. I then send it to "Push" industries, have their factory fork system installed. The creaking gone.

Now, In just about 6 months back from Push, the creaking come back. Now, whenever I brake, sprint, or in rock garden where the rocks are twisting your fork, it creaks. My last ride in a very rocky trail, my fork creaks like christmas bells...

So, am I the only one out there having these creaking, probably from the bushing. Or other Vanilla RLC riders are also getting them too?
I think your suffering from a creaking crown, bushings have nothing to do with a fork making noise like that. You will feel bushing play in your fork when you need to do an oil change. You really should do an oil change before you get to that point as once you have bushing play you are having your stachions ride up and down on the bushings without any lubrication which leads to wear on your stanchions.

Your first mistake was sending it to PUSH, so claiming warranty is out of the question. Should have called FOX and told them something was up and have them check it out before you sent it off to get "customized." Now your without a warranty on a less then year old fork.

I will admit though I can't explain why it was creaking before you sent it to PUSH and it didn't start back up again till 6 months after, that sounds really wierd to me.

However I am going to have to say its a creaking crown.
 

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carpe mañana
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Whoaohohohoh said:
You will feel bushing play in your fork when you need to do an oil change. You really should do an oil change before you get to that point as once you have bushing play you are having your stachions ride up and down on the bushings without any lubrication which leads to wear on your stanchions.
Hmmm. I'm sorry, but I don't know where you came up with that theory, it doesn't sound right at all. :skep:

Bushings are what guides the stanchions sliding up and down inside of the lowers. They are plastic/teflon cylinders which have an inner diameter roughly that of the stanchion's outer diameter. When they wear out, you can change your oil all day long and you will not fix the problem. You will notice play between the lowers and the stanchions. When the oil is dirty your fork will ride stiff and harsh, you may have attributed that to worn bushings, however, it rides harsh because the oil becomes very viscous.

When the bushings are worn, you actually get more oil on the stanchions since there is a bigger gap between the bushing and the stanchion. Hence Fox claims that it is normal to feel play on the fork when it is fully extended as they want more oil around the stanchion. The reasoning there is questionable, however, what they claim is true (more oil).

Going back to the original question, Fox forks are notorious for creaky crowns. Grab the fork stanchions in your hands and rock them side to side and see if you hear anything. It is also pretty common to get dirt between your headset spacers which produces an ultra annoying creak which is really hard to locate. I now put grease between my spacers to avoid that as it drove me bezerk for weeks before I finally tracked it down.

_MK
 
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MK_ said:
Hmmm. I'm sorry, but I don't know where you came up with that theory, it doesn't sound right at all. :skep:

_MK
Hey MK

FOX give me this "theory"

I invite you to give FOX a call on this one. I am sure anyone there will set you straight on how they designed there forks and why there is suppose to be play in the fork when you are doing a static test. They even have niffty document on there bushings and oil and why it is nessecary to have this play.:thumbsup:

Here is what they say, from there online manual:

FOX Racing Shox forks use hydrodynamic lubrication. This system force feeds oil into the tall, slotted bushings during the compression stroke. When the fork cycles up and down, the oil is trapped between bushings, upper tubes and seals.

Thermal expansion rates can cause the bushings to close in on the upper tubes, causing high friction and binding during normal operation. Correct bushing clearance is critical to prevent binding of the fork during normal operation.

During normal riding conditions, hydrodynamic lubrication occurs when there is a complete separation of the upper tube from the bushing by a thin film of oil. Hydrodynamic lubrication is characterized by very low friction and no wearing of the bushings or shaft since there is no metal-to-bushing contact. During hydrodynamic lubrication, normal bushing clearance will not be noticeable.

Once again if your oil was worn out and lost its properties, it would no longer take up that space between the bushings and in the slots of the bushings and you would feel more movement between the uppers and the lowers. The bushings on any fork will not wear out as long as you do the regular maintance and change the oil every 6 months if you ride a lot and every year if you don't. If you stay on top of that you will be rocking any fork for years to come.
 

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carpe mañana
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Whoaohohohoh said:
Once again if your oil was worn out and lost its properties, it would no longer take up that space between the bushings and in the slots of the bushings and you would feel more movement between the uppers and the lowers. The bushings on any fork will not wear out as long as you do the regular maintance and change the oil every 6 months if you ride a lot and every year if you don't. If you stay on top of that you will be rocking any fork for years to come.
Going from that to:

Whoaohohohoh said:
You will feel bushing play in your fork when you need to do an oil change. You really should do an oil change before you get to that point as once you have bushing play you are having your stachions ride up and down on the bushings without any lubrication which leads to wear on your stanchions.
is quite a mental leap and again, it isn't correct. A difference between feeling bushing play and a little play being there for the oil to take up the space is quite large. And the oil will need to be in an extremely poor shape to lose its lubricating properties to the extent it will not lubricate the stanchions or force itself between the stanchions and the bushings.

How will you explain bushing play in a brand new Fox fork, then? Will you say that Fox is putting old oil in their fork? I think Fox is trying to cover their a$$ with what you quote rather than admit to poor QC. Marzocchi has none of the bushing play and somehow their forks are more buttery smooth than the Foxes and are rock solid and the bushings far outlast the Foxes.

_MK
 

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The reason why I commented on the headset is because the noise was gone after sending it to PUSH (removed + reinstalled fork). When the headset gets loose just by a bit, it will start making creaking and sometimes clunking sounds...

At least you have two possible causes you can trouble shoot by yourself. Good luck.
 

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Advice from someone who rides

MK_ said:
Going from that to:

How will you explain bushing play in a brand new Fox fork, then? Will you say that Fox is putting old oil in their fork? I think Fox is trying to cover their a$$ with what you quote rather than admit to poor QC. Marzocchi has none of the bushing play and somehow their forks are more buttery smooth than the Foxes and are rock solid and the bushings far outlast the Foxes.

_MK
I think this post needs some advice from someone who RIDES

Whoa has a good point about the viscosity of oil breaking down causing the tolerance between the bushings and stanchions to be "more noticeable". I have ridden both Marzocchi and Fox as well as Rock shox. They all have their good and bad points. The Zocchis (66) feel tremendously rigid and perform great on the trail (the ETA is nice), the comparison about the Marzocchis being "more buttery smooth than the Foxes" tells me someone has been spending a little too much time on the P.C. and not on the trail. The Zocchis seals have more stiction than Foxes - bottom line.
Back to the subject here- if you want know if you have a creaking crown on any fork, take the fork off and put the steerer tube in a vice. Apply torsional pressure- be aggressive- and rock it back and forth with your weight. If you hear the creaking - its a creaky crown.

This post is just a reminder to take advice from riders that ride - not a desk jockey
 

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carpe mañana
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10Clams said:
the comparison about the Marzocchis being "more buttery smooth than the Foxes" tells me someone has been spending a little too much time on the P.C. and not on the trail. The Zocchis seals have more stiction than Foxes - bottom line.
I hate to get into this cockfight, but maybe you ought to spend more time on trail and actually break in your fork?

_MK
 
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MK_ said:
How will you explain bushing play in a brand new Fox fork, then? Will you say that Fox is putting old oil in their fork? I think Fox is trying to cover their a$$ with what you quote rather than admit to poor QC. Marzocchi has none of the bushing play and somehow their forks are more buttery smooth than the Foxes and are rock solid and the bushings far outlast the Foxes.

_MK
I would explain bushing play, by asking you what test are you running to determine this? Are you standing over the bike and rocking it back and forth? Welll then yes you might feel bushing play but that is becasue the oil is not taking up the space in-between the bushings and the uppers. If you feel the play while riding, when then something is definately wrong and you need to look into it.

Saying Marz forks is butter smooth is a user preference and unfortantely I disagree and will say that FOX forks feel better to me then Marz.

If you don't want to believe in this, go right ahead and believe what you want, but when a manufacturer is stating that this is how there product is suppose to work, I am definately not going to second guess them, since they are the ones who know about their products, not you or me.
 
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