Need info on Rebuilding a fork

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Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby CAWard » Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:37 pm

So heres the deal. A couple of my friends both got 05 big hit fsr's which came with the manitou stance stock on the front. Well the fork blows big weiner basically. Both forks have blown seals and locked out and by lock out i mean the freaking fork will not budge. One friend got his rebuilt at the LBS after his locked out and it has been alright since then. My other friend's fork just locked out on him tonight and luckily hes got a 888 on the way. I would like to figure out how to fix the fork myself. Just tinkering around with it i opened up the stanchion and pulled out the spring. After doing this the fork would compress all the way but when i put it back together with the spring in it, it was locked out again. I'm thinking that the problem with the fork is that there is a mixture of oil/air in a chamber below the spring... i cant totally remember my friend's explanation of what was wrong with it. So after all of the set up to the question i'm not sure how to rebuild the fork. I downloaded a pdf of the owners manual for this fork which has some info on how to disassemble and reassemble it but i was curious if anyone knew of any good how-to's online. Post up if you think you can help me out.
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Re: Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby billcosby » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:12 pm

step 1. Throw manitou in garbage

step 2. buy something that is not manitou
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Re: Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby CAWard » Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:29 am

billcosby wrote:step 1. Throw manitou in garbage

step 2. buy something that is not manitou


Thanks for restating what i put in the original post on this thread. I know the forks suck and neither of them are mine, they both came on my friends' big hits stock. one is being upgraded to a 888 but what good is a locked out fork no matter what kind? thats why i was asking for info on how to rebuild a fork. not info on how to restate my question with obvious facts.

Still looking for how-tos on rebuilding forks though so like i said, if anyone knows any good sources please post them. No need in paying the LBS 60 for something i can potentially do myself. I've never messed with fork internals before but i can do everything else on a bike so a screwed up fork is a great place to learn.
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Re: Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby Timekiller » Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:22 am

This may help a bit... its a good pictorial on a manitou sherman fork.. I dont know exactly if the forks have any similar parts.

http://www.enduroforkseals.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/sherman_flick_web.pdf

I have rebuilt 2 Sherman forks and it is extremely easy.
-Ryan
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Re: Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby DownCycles_Stef » Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:19 pm

From what I remember looking inside Stance's they are kinda similar to all old-school Marzocchi forks (i.e. they have a spring, oil and a simple dampening rod). Hayes just bought out Answer/Manitou, and I think that's why thier site is down. I don't have a manual in front of me so I can give you exact oil heights/volumes. However if you are just messing around with the fork, you can always just drain the oil into a segmented cup and take a rough measurement that way.

As for the rebuilding of the fork itself, if it is as basic as I remember, it's a matter of popping the top caps (after releasing any air-preload); removing the springs, draining the oil and removing the piston nut (under the leg) to get the rod out. If you are having locking up problems, there are three things you'll want to check. As you drain the oil, look for any metal chunks that come out (or plastic for that matter). If that's the case, examine the internals closely and check for any damage, and replace parts as needed. Next look at the oil ports on the piston itself to see if they are damaged, also cycle them (watch out, some latent oil may squirt from the ports). But see if there is anything from inside pushing up against the ports. If they don't cycle or you see something there is probably something blocking the flow of oil, if you're lucky, your rods may be able to be dissassembled. Although without suspension experience you may want to forget about that, unless you don't mind potentially killing them. Finally check the volume of the oil.

Overfilling the oil on many forks will cause hydraulic lock-out. If 300cc of oil comes out of each leg when you drain it, that's probably the issue. Again, while I don't know exactly how much oil is in Stance's, a good rule of thumb, is that as you fill the leg with oil, cycle the piston. Once you feel resistance throughout the entire stroke of the piston go another 20-30mm tops. May still be a little too much or too little, but probably not enough to cause lockout. Also make sure to fill it up with either 5wt or 7.5wt. You never really need heavier than that unless the fork is a total peice (no bashing but I have used 15wt on Jr. T's to make them feel ridable). Always remember, if a fork feels way to stiff or soft, you don't fix it with oil, you fix it with the correct spring weight for your fully-geared rider weight. Changes in oil volume/height are only good for minor adjustments.

If all that fails and the fork still won't move, you may be outta luck, and you'll have to bring it to a LBS. Generally I won't charge anything myself at Down to take a look at it and tell you if it can be fixed, so hopefully your shop is the same. But if all goes well, this won't even be something to consider. Good luck, and have fun with your first go at suspension work. As a final pointer, wear non-coated latex gloves and make sure you work on a surface that's clean & dust-free but that you won't mind getting some oil on. And ALWAYS clean your internals with a lint-free towel. It's not 100% necessary, but then again I'm real anal when it comes to suspension.

-Stef 8)

p.s. feel free to PM me with any other questions you may have. And also try calling information for Answer Manitou's number, their tech department guy will be able to tell you the correct oil info for your particular fork (just be helpful though and try and have the exact Stance model and year for the guy.....it makes it easier on them)
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Re: Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby CAWard » Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:19 pm

Thanks Ryan and Stef for the advice. Thats just the kind of info i was looking for. We'll give it a shot this weekend when i'm done with class.
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Re: Need info on Rebuilding a fork

Postby Dingo » Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:20 pm

You can buy an oil measuring cup at any good MX shop. I got mine at the local cycle gear for about $5.00. J
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