Learning Marzocchi oil change details the ‘hard’ way

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      Background:
      Last Sept on the Kenosha Pass trail, the foot nut and o-ring fell off the left leg of my fork, letting all the oil out. I was able to complete the ride as-is, which is a credit to Marzocchi performance.

      Parts:
      eBikeStop in Colorado Springs has great prices on OEM replacement type parts, and I was able to get the foot nut, o-ring and oil for about $15.00.

      Repair:
      A friend of mine who is a good (Fox-trained) bike mechanic agreed to help me refill the oil after I had installed the new foot nut.

      Theory:
      He deduced that the oil went in before the springs, so we filled the fork legs, leaving 45mm of space as per Marz instructions, and installed the springs and air caps.

      Problem:
      All summer I’ve had about 2" of travel, and it was a really harsh 2" at that. Before looking more closely, I just assumed that the fork was not a good match for the new full suspension setup, and I was trolling eBay for a Fox replacement.

      Hmmmm:
      What if the oil and subsequent air space were supposed to be measured [i:1p86med1]after[/i:1p86med1] the springs were dropped in?

      Solution:
      I unscrewed the air caps and using a drinking straw with my thumb over the top I pulled out enough oil to leave both legs with 45mm of free air space over the oil level, with the springs in.

      Result:
      After being bounced around and abused all summer, my fork is now plush and smooth, with a full 4" of progressively damped travel, just like it always had before the repair. With the right preload pressure, it matches the stroke and rebound of my rear suspension very nicely, and I feel like I’m riding a different bike.
      Buffalo Creek this last weekend was an absolute blast with my corrected setup.

      Moral:
      Before assuming something is broken or worn out, it’s not a bad idea to examine the setup. It could just be mis-adjusted, like mine was!

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