Some pointers before you begin...
• While everyone has to start somewhere, and this isn't the most technically demanding job, it still isn't for everybody. If you have some doubts about being able to get it done, don't start. Likewise, you need every single tool listed below to do this task - no substitutes. If your fork needs some love but you don't feel up to the task, take it to your local shop to have the work done by the pros.
• Anytime that you are dealing with suspension, you need to be aware that there may be residual pressure within... even if you've let out all of the air. Take your time and wear eye protection to prevent injury.
• As always, clean your work area before beginning this job. An organized work area is an efficient work area and you'll be less likely to lose parts.
• Be sure to write down both your rebound and compression damping settings, as well as your air pressure, before taking things apart. This will save you setup time once you have the fork back on your bike.
• The easiest way to loosen the fork's top caps is to first back off the clamping bolts on the top crown and then crack the caps before loosening off the lower crown's bolts and removing the legs. While the top caps should never need to be overly tight, this method can still make the first step of this job much easier.
• This is very important
- too much oil in the fork will prevent it from attaining full travel and possibly damage the internals. Too little oil and your fork will suffer from inconsistent damping... get it right! Stoking the damper rod and rotating the leg while draining the oil will help to empty the leg.
• Take a few minutes when you have the fork apart to inspect the seals, stanchions, and internals for any damage that may be present.
• Stroking the damper rod while adding new oil will let it flow into the damper and is vital to attaining the correct oil height.
• Be sure to double check any and all bolts on the fork once you have everything back together and it on your bike. This includes crown bolts, caliper and axle bolts, and even the bolts holding on the leg guards.A note about fork oil
: The oil used for damping has very different demands than the oil that is best used for lubrication. The damping oil, in this case it is a 5w fluid, is designed to resist cavitation (foaming
) as the piston and internals travel though it at a high rate of speed. Cavitation can cause inconsistent damping as the damper now has to deal with air in the oil. Lubrication oils, such as the the 5w full synthetic recommended in the Dorado, are made to resist shearing forces and let the parts slide as smoothly as possible. Yes, you can use damping oil for lubrication. No, it won't work as good. If you have a fork as nice as the Dorado, you're far better off taking the time to use the correct oil in the correct places.If you've never worked on your Dorado before
, you'll be doing yourself a big favor by taking a few minutes to read the manual found on the Manitou support page
before watching the video below. Better yet, print it out and have it on hand in case you get lost. Even if you've done this job numerous times, it doesn't hurt to refresh your memory.What's needed: hex key set
, 12/13/36 mm wrenches
(or an adjustable wrench
), shock pump, 5w suspension fluid, 5w full synthetic semi-bath fluid (full synthetic 5w40 motor oil
), drain tank (for old oil
), eye protection and nitrile gloves
.Learn how to rebuild your Manitou Dorado: