Maintaining your mountain bike's suspension fork is crucial to ensure a smooth and safe riding experience. The damper leg is a vital component that helps control the fork's movement, and regular servicing can significantly extend its lifespan. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of servicing the damper leg on your Manitou Dorado Expert suspension fork, covering damper leg removal and disassembly, air spring service, damper bleeding, dust and oil seal replacement, and reassembly.
Before you begin:
Ensure you have the necessary tools and materials ready before starting the service. You'll need the following:
Manitou Dorado Expert service kit (contains seals, oil, and other required parts)
Clean rags and paper towels
Maxima 5Wt Fork Oil 33.8 Oz 1 Liter for the damper
5/40 Wt Semi-Bath Fork Oil - Manitou for lower forks
Suspension fluid syringe
Suspension fork stand or vise
Workspace with good lighting
Damper Leg Removal and Disassembly:
- Start by removing the front wheel from your bike.
- Secure the fork in a suspension fork stand or vise to provide stability.
- Carefully release the air pressure in the fork using the fork pump. Unscrew the top cap and let the air escape.
- Remove the upper and lower crowns and slide the fork's stanchions out.
- Using an appropriate Allen wrench, remove the rebound and compression adjuster knobs from the damper leg.
- Carefully disassemble the damper leg by unscrewing it from the lower leg. Be sure to follow the Manitou Dorado Expert owner's manual for specific instructions.
Air Spring Service:
- Begin by inspecting the air spring components for wear or damage. Replace any worn parts.
- Grease the air spring seals and O-rings with suspension-specific grease.
- Carefully reassemble the air spring components according to the owner's manual.
- Reinstall the air spring assembly into the lower leg.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions in the Manitou Dorado Expert owner's manual to bleed the damper.
- This typically involves carefully adding suspension oil to the damper leg and cycling the damper to remove air bubbles. Use a suspension fluid syringe for precise control.
- Reattach the rebound and compression adjuster knobs.
Dust and Oil Seal Replacement:
- Remove the old dust wipers and oil seals from the fork's lower leg. Use a seal pick or a suitable tool to gently pry them out.
- Clean the lower leg thoroughly, removing any dirt and old oil.
- Apply a small amount of suspension-specific oil to the new dust wipers and oil seals, and carefully push them into the lower leg.
- Reassemble the damper leg into the lower leg, following the Manitou Dorado Expert owner's manual.
- Slide the stanchions back into the fork's lower leg.
- Reinstall the upper and lower crowns, ensuring that all components are properly aligned.
- Tighten all the bolts to the manufacturer's recommended torque specifications using a torque wrench.
- Reinflate the fork with the recommended air pressure using the fork pump.
- Reinstall the front wheel.
Hayes Performance Systems has a great video showing the process here: Manitou Dorado Expert Damper Leg Service
Servicing the damper leg on your Manitou Dorado Expert mountain bike suspension fork is a critical maintenance task that ensures your fork operates at its best. By following this comprehensive guide, you can keep your fork performing smoothly and extend its lifespan, allowing you to enjoy your mountain biking adventures to the fullest. Remember to consult the Manitou Dorado Expert owner's manual for specific instructions and specifications relevant to your fork.