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Shock & Fork 'Rebuilds'

Huck Banzai

Turbo Monkey
May 8, 2005
2,526
21
Transitory
maybe the ''s aren't appropriate, but the question is:

How often do you take apart and clean up your fork or shock?

How often SHOULD you take apart and clean up your fork and shock?

These questions comes up as I am overhauling bikes, and focussing on troubled fork, and shocks that could possibly use a rebuild (new oil at least)

1st Question/Issue

Issue: My 888 is showing wear on the stanchions as if the bushings are shot; these lowers are new, and have been on the bike for 12 days of riding, the last 6 at a very low intensity. I polished an extra set of lowers this season and rode them without issue for 6 days in early May before injury/surgery kept me off the bike until recently.

Can anyone propose what I did wrong? Im glad to admit guilt somehow if it solves the mystery.
- The lowers, seals, bushings were new and unused; they had been sitting in my closet for ~2 years, so maybe the material degraded being exposed for that long?
- I tore down, cleaned and reassembled the fork with an Ava cart and new spring which involved close handling/inspection of the parts and no issues were noted. The wear didnt become apparent until this Saturday (I admittedly didnt closely inspect since initially assembling)
- the only unusual thing I did this time was to extend the forks in the crown an additional 1/2"; MAYBE I went past the max mark and somehow caused binding that did the bushings in?

Maybe my wipers suck and muddy grit snuck past them at Snowshoe and I numbly overlooked? At one point I suspected contaminants from the stripping process, that maybe some stripper or some sand from the blaster made its way past the tape job, and also evaded my cleaning/washing, but then I ran it the 1st 6 days with zero issue, then cleaned and changed the oil (both sides) prior to recent use.


2nd Question/Issue

How often to rebuild a shock, and what's involved normally?

- New seals? Shims? O rings? What should be changed versus what must be? I figure that much like a fork that isnt leaking - a clean up and fresh oil will bring back the good performance, but I defer to the Monkeys.
- PUSH will tell you every year or 100 hours of riding, but then I have a PUSH'd RP23 and PIKE from early 2010 that still ride great -- maybe I just need to change the oil versus send it in for some $$ seals and shimzzz?



Theres no doubt that staying on top of your equipments health and 'freshness' will have a positive impact on performance and longevity, but Im curious to know where the real thresholds lie.
 
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tabletop84

Monkey
Nov 12, 2011
893
15
08/09 888 lowers had issues with the seating of the bushings. Bushings could be misaligned.

never touch a running system

that is all
 

Huck Banzai

Turbo Monkey
May 8, 2005
2,526
21
Transitory
08/09 888 lowers had issues with the seating of the bushings. Bushings could be misaligned.

never touch a running system

that is all
All parts, except Ava damper, are 2010, it get's rebuilt at least twice a season without issue.

I would have thought it easily inferred that I only wanted people with clues to answer.

IE - nothing to contribute, don't pollute.
 
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Udi

RM Chief Ornithologist: “I Brake for Birds”
Mar 14, 2005
4,773
925
When you say the lowers are new, you mean they had the bushings installed already right?

Sounds to me like you got a dud pair with misaligned bushings. I thought this was fixed for 2010 but maybe you just got unlucky. From everything you've said I honestly don't think it was user-error, although sand/grit entry is a possible cause. If you bought the lowers new I'd give marzocchi a call in the hopes of getting them (and possibly the worn stanchions) replaced... whether free / cheap / at regular cost I don't know.

As for a shock, an oil change once a year is a good general rule, but you can usually stretch that for a bike that doesn't get ridden a lot. The seals (on Fox shocks at least) tend to last longer than that, but if you're paying for a service then it probably doesn't hurt to pay the little extra for the seals too - the last thing you want is to pay for a service and have it leak a month later.
 

Steve M

Turbo Monkey
Mar 3, 2007
1,995
23
Whistler
As far as shocks go, all the dynamic seals (which are mostly o-rings) at a minimum need to be replaced when it is serviced, and ideally all semi static seals on adjusters as well. Otherwise there is a very high chance you will blow a seal immediately after servicing it. Oil obviously has to get changed, but shims are usually fine for a lifetime unless they display any permanent deformation or corrosion.
 

Huck Banzai

Turbo Monkey
May 8, 2005
2,526
21
Transitory
Aha! Spoke with MZ, and they said ride out the season, it should hold up, then we revisit; a possible 'their bad'.

I have been lucky enough to get good CS from most companies, and most definitely excellent CS from Marzocchi. This is the 1st time I've had a problem per se, but whenever I've needed a part, or a crash replacement, etc, they hop to it.

Even if it's on me, I'm getting quoted some pretty reasonable prices if it comes to that.

Boom. Keep em happy, keep em coming back.

--

@ Descente, these are the black, straight gauge legs from 2010. The second (current) set of lowers, is apparently (unconfirmed) from a 2010 run, but appears to have bushing issues nonetheless. ( <-- Udi calls it.)

Now to decide whether I'm spending $ servicing shocks, replacing them, DIY'ing or it's moot because somehow I have to finance a Nomad Carbon and shelf this Blur LT2.....
 
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