The Fox Float service manual recommends that you perform an air canister service after every 40 hours of riding in dry, dusty conditions, and after eight hours if it’s wet. Obviously you’re probably not going to stick to that, but you wouldn’t leave your drivetrain for more than a year before cleaning it and applying some lube, so why do it to your shock? The shock is a moving part and lack of maintenance will reduce performance and could lead to irreparable damage.
If Fox’s recommended service routine sounds excessive then aim to perform an air can service quarterly and have your shock serviced annually.
When you get into the habit of performing the air can service you’ll soon know how often you need to do it and when. If you want to go the whole hog and replace the seals you can buy a Float seal kit from www.mojo.co.uk for £10.
TOOLS FOR THE JOB:
Rags or paper
Allen keys to remove the shock
Fox Float fluid
1 Use the valve cap to remove all of the air from the shock. With the shock still attached to the frame, compress the suspension and remove the remaining air.
2 Now crack the air can by turning it anti-clockwise.
3 If the shock has never been serviced before you’ll probably need a strap wrench to get enough purchase. If you don’t have a strap wrench you can bodge one with an old inner tube.
4 Remove the shock from the frame, keeping the head of the shock elevated to stop any fluid dripping out.
5 If the shock fitting hardware is 22mm wide, the air can will slide straight off. Otherwise, remove the fitting hardware with a pair of pliers, being careful not to scratch the shock body.
6 Spray degreaser inside the air can and clean out any dirt or grit with a soft cloth.
7 Now clean the main air seal and shock body. If the seal is particularly grubby and you need to remove it, DO NOT use a screwdriver to lever it out. Instead, squeeze the seal at the three and nine o’clock positions, creating enough slack to allow you to remove it with your fingers.
8 Once clean, lightly grease the main air seal.
9 Before you refit the air can grease the wiper seal.
10 Guide the air can over the shock body then fit the shock to the bike. Don’t forget the o-ring for setting the sag.
11 Now squirt half a sachet of Fox Float fluid into the air can. This becomes airborne and floats around the air chamber, lubricating the seals.
12 Screw up the air can. You’ll start to feel some resistance and if you have trouble locating the threads use the swingarm to compress the shock.
13 Inflate the shock to the desiredpressure and go ride.
If your shock sucks itself down when deflated do no attempt to remove the air can yourself. The negative chamber has become overcharged and will need to be returned to Mojo for a service.
A slight twist of the air can as it passes over the main seal helps seat it and stops it from snagging.