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Oil change on 2012 Fox Van 36 R (180 mm) questions...

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by kail, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. kail

    kail Monkey

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    Hey guys -- I've been riding this fork all season and it's probably about time to do an oil change. My question is, will running a lighter oil weight affect this fork at all? The only adjustments are rebound and preload on this badboy -- not the compression-adjustable version. My only complaint with the fork so far is that it seems to have too much compression damping. My thinking is that there is still a compression valve in there that could be affected by oil viscosity, right? If it speeds up my rebound, that wouldn't be a big deal at all either, because I run the rebound damper all the way fast as it is.

    Basically, I just want it to be more responsive on small hits and braking bumps. Hell, I wouldn't mind using more travel on larger hits as well. I set my stanchion o-ring before every new trail and thus far I've not used more than about 160 mm. Fox recommends 10 wt oil -- I was thinking of trying 7.5 or even 5.

    Also, any tips regarding servicing a Fox fork would be appreciated -- it's the first one I've owned. I've rebuilt many, many Marzocchis in my day though -- so I don't expect it will be too much of a challenge.

    Also, yet another question -- would it be possible to eventually get a compression-adjustable cartridge for this fork?
     

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  2. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    In your other thread, people suggested a lighter spring weight. Did you try that yet?

    It still sounds like a good first step to me. Wait a week for shipping, $35 and a super easy spring swap is all you need! I'm pretty sure you can buy directly from Fox as well.
     
  3. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    Here's this again from a guy who really knows what he's doing:
     
  4. boylagz

    boylagz Monkey

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    Actually just changed the oil in my '13 Van 180 rc2 last week. I used 5WT Redline oil, the yellow one. Ive had just 2 rides in after the oil change so no real feedback yet. Ill chime back when I get more miles in.

    Not sure if the '12 Fox forks have the 10WT as stock, so might wanna look into that. Dont always rely on oil weights. One brand's 10 might be a 5 in another. Check the numbers to be safe.
     
  5. Sugar_brad

    Sugar_brad Monkey

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  6. tuumbaq

    tuumbaq Monkey

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    Get on the bike, measure sag, swap spring for something lighter, go ride.

    You wont get better small bump compliance with a lighter oil ( although if you havent serviced your fork in a a while it would help ) . . .I also doubt it'll help getting full travel as well...If you still feel like trying a different oil weight, make sure you to check the real actual viscosity as you might end up putting a heavier oil than stock ...Id' be easy but expensive to replace your cartridge for an RC2...also running zero damping wont help traction and is the best way to have a fancy pogo stick at the front on your bike.RUN more rebound and slow that thing down !
     
  7. kail

    kail Monkey

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    ^^^It doesn't feel like a pogo stick at all -- still plenty of rebound damping with the adjuster all the way out. In fact, I wouldn't mind if it was a tad faster.

    I'll check the sag. Is fork sag measured with my weight in riding position? On most rides, I'm pushing the o-ring to about the 5.5-6" mark. The fork can definitely achieve full travel -- I can push it to around the 6.25" mark by putting on the front brake and really forcing it to dive. But on the average rides I do I never use more than 6." Granted, there are practically no technical trails where I live, no jumps, and no drops. I'd probably be happy with the fork's performance if I lived in Vancouver or Whistler.

    It would kind of surprise me if a spring change fixes this problem. It really just feels like too much compression damping; but I've been wrong in the past I guess...

    The bike it came on is a "medium" and I weigh 205 pounds with gear -- it seems rather silly that Specialized would equip a medium bike to accommodate a 210+ pound rider. I would think I'd be experiencing the opposite problem, actually...
     
  8. kail

    kail Monkey

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    ***I forgot to ask --

    How do I identify what spring I HAVE in my fork currently? Is the weight stamped on it somewhere or are they rated by color?
     
  9. 4130biker

    4130biker PM me about Tantrum Cycles!

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    It is by color on the spring. I didn't see what spring rate they put in there on their site, so you'll have to pull it. Sometimes stock bikes can be pretty unbalanced front to rear as far as spring rates go.
     
  10. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    PSA: oil "weight" doesn't really tell you much. 10wt oil from company A probably won't be the same viscosity as 10wt oil from company B (pretty much as a rule). If you really want to change the performance of your fork by trying different oil you need to refer to an oil's cSt (a measurement of viscosity, typically taken at 40°C for suspension oil as an apples to apples comparison).


    but i would still try swapping your spring first based on the issue you've described.
     
  11. kail

    kail Monkey

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    Now I'm thinking that might indeed be the case (duh -- why didn't I think of this earlier??? Lol -- I guess I've never had a problem with a fork being too stiff!). I just checked my sag when standing on the bike -- even leaning forward to put a little more emphasis on the front end and it's only sagging about 18-20%. That seems a little low to me for all-around performance. Plus there's the fact that I'm losing weight pretty fast now. In another month I might be down to 190 pounds at this rate. I shall look at what spring I have and try to order the next lighter one...

    Thanks for all the responses guys!
     
    #11 -   Jul 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  12. flinty

    flinty Chimp

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    Hi Guys,
    I have the same fork (Van R 180mm, Open Bath). I'd like to change oil as well, the thing is I'm not sure about volume of oil.According to this site http://service.foxracingshox.com/consumers/Content/Service/oil_volumes.htm there are two versions of the fork. "EUR" - oil volume 220 ml, and "regular" - 160ml. How do I find out which one I have? Any help/advice appreciated.Thanks.
     
    #12 -   Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  13. basysmith

    basysmith Chimp

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    Has anyone adjusted the travel of their 2012/11 Fox 36 Vanilla R's (180mm to ~120mm)? Is it even possible?