Air Chamber Quick Lube

How To

Disclaimer: If you don’t know what you’re doing, feel uncomfortable doing this, or find you’re in over your head at any point in the procedure, STOP and either seek advice or go to a professional to finish the job. I, nor MTBR management, will take responsibility for a poor outcome. Follow proper safety precautions, such as using protective and/or chemical resistant gloves and eye protection.

This procedure was outlined using a 2008 Fox 36 TALAS. It has been used on a Float fork, as well as a Float rear shock. The idea originated from adding fluid every so often to my rear Float shock’s air chamber instead of opening it. Also, this procedure does the periodic lubing of your shock pump at the same time.

Note: Make sure everything is clean, including the chamber and seals for the air pump before you proceed. This may entail adding oil to the chamber and purging it out a few times, or even cleaning the interior with a cloth.

Ease of service: 2/5 only due to being a slight be messy.

Items needed:
Quality Shock Oil*
Shock Pump
Valve Core Remover
Paper Towels
Small Catch Container.

A. Flushing the shock pump and the air chamber

1. Unthread the plunger locknut and clean the barrel and piston. If it’s especially grimy, add a few cc’s of shock oil and cycle, then purge through the nozzle.

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2. Add about 5cc’s or a capful of shock oil to the barrel again.

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3. Release all of the air from the air chamber of the fork, then screw the pump adapter onto the schraeder valve, then screw the plunger in. No need to push the plunger into the barrel before it’s secured and sealed, otherwise you might have a mess.

ALTERNATELY: screw pump onto the fork first, then fill. Due to doing this alone, I elected not to so I wouldn’t spill oil.

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4. Slowly pump the contents of the shock pump into the fork. You will feel the resistance of the fluid going into the valve at first. This is normal. Pressurize to a moderate setting, remove the pump. This setting allows one to easily compress the fork to cycle the new fluid and clean the chamber.

*note, you may ride at this point, to continue cleaning the interior, but don’t do this too many times as the oil will accumulate inside the chamber and it has not been designed to do so.

B. Drain

5. Start pressurizing beyond your normal riding pressure (maintain safe limits and don’t exceed the maximum). I go to about 100psi, riding psi is 45, for example.

6. Turn the fork or the bike upside down and let sit for at least ten minutes or so. This allows all the fluid to drain towards the valve.

7. Place a catch container underneath. There is very little fluid, so even a cup will work.

8. Using the valve core remover, slowly and CAREFULLY turn the core until air and oil come out. DO NOT REMOVE THE CORE COMPLETELY!

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9. Cycle the fork several times to remove more oil.

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10. Reinstall valve core after cleaning the seal and lubricating it (although there will be oil on the threads in the valve body).

C. Fill

11. Add about one capful of high quality shock oil to the barrel of the pump, once again.

12. Repeat the charging procedure and bring up to proper psi.

Your air chamber is now cleaned and relubed.

*Fox Float Fluid is said to be closer to the viscosity of gear oil. I use shock oil, which is much lighter, with no ill effects, though you may note the fork is much faster and settings should be made accordingly.

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