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

kail

Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
134
0
Montana
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?
 

4130biker

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May 24, 2007
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Lizard Town
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.
 

4130biker

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May 24, 2007
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Here's this again from a guy who really knows what he's doing:
Buckow is on the money - if you're not even coming close to using full travel on one of those, chances are that your spring rate is simply too high, because the stock compression damping levels on those are not excessive. Marzocchis are notoriously softly sprung, relying on oil height for ramp up towards the end of the travel, which is what gives them that initial plushness. Make sure you're on the right spring before you get caught up with anything else.
 

boylagz

Monkey
Jul 12, 2011
470
2
SF bay area
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.
 

tuumbaq

Monkey
Jul 5, 2006
726
0
Squamish BC
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 !
 

kail

Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
134
0
Montana
^^^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...
 

kail

Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
134
0
Montana
***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?
 

4130biker

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May 24, 2007
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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.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
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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.
 

kail

Monkey
Mar 14, 2002
134
0
Montana
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.
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!
 
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basysmith

Chimp
Jan 15, 2014
1
0
Has anyone adjusted the travel of their 2012/11 Fox 36 Vanilla R's (180mm to ~120mm)? Is it even possible?