“Adjustable suspension” by Fox

As the proud new owner of a 2011 Fox Vanilla 36 160 fork, I finally got around to give it the TLC that it deserved. I had already swapped the stock ‘blue’ spring (039-05-102, 45 lb/in) for a stiffer ‘green’ spring (039-05-103, 50 lb/in). That’s a pretty simple task and takes about 5 minutes.

It was time to adjust the hydraulic bottoming valve. The Fox 36 (not float) and 40 forks have a valve that is position sensitive over the last 45mm of travel in the fork. This is a great thing if you have a poorly sorted fork and need insurance. For folks that understand suspension tuning, this means you are throwing away most of your travel for zero to no gain.

In my 2008 Fox 40, adjusting the bottoming valve is a simple affair once the FIT cartridge has been disassembled. Loosen a screw, change spacer orientation and bang, 45mm of insurance is now 17mm. Perfect.

The new 2011 36 FIT forks leave out something very important that astounds me, adjustablity! Sure, I can go in and look at the valve but no way to adjust it is provided. This is a huge problem since it is one of the major tuning parameters needed to change when working on this fork.

Solution. Well, it’s not the greatest solution but it will help for now. Remove the valve entirely. I hesitated to just remove the valve body since the shaft that it mount to is too close to the ID of the receiver to do anything but damage the fork. I had to cut the HBO shaft off entirely from the rebound bleed bolt.

The fork was refilled with my favorite suspension fluid, Red Line (Medium, Red, ISO 30.4). It’s one of the best fluids you can put in Fox forks.

2011 36 160 RC2 HBO Rebound Assembly, Note p/n# 210-22-422, Piston Bolt, Oil RC2, HBO

2011 36 RC2 HBO Base Valve Assembly
, Note p/n# 210-22-421, Bottom Out Cup, Oil RC2

The job looked good in the end. Today is testing.