My boxxer wc, charger damper is feeling super rough lately. I know its due for a service but is that going to make it feel much different? Does bleeding the charger damper make quite a difference to? Im going to service it soon but spare money is an issue right know so just wondering if i need to make it more of a priority. Is changing the oil enough?
The damping oil tends to last a reasonable amount of time in closed cartridges such as the charger cartridge. When I have changed my oil in my charger cartridge, it was in good shape and likely could have gone longer.
If money is tight at the moment, try changing the lube oils in the lower legs and ride it to see. It will very likely make a big difference and you may decide its not worth doing the charger yet. It is an easy and quick job so it wouldn't hurt to just do that first and see.
In my experience with the charger damper, the oil itself tends to outlast the need to service it due to slow migration of air INTO the damper. Over time (and I'm talking around a year of regular riding here) air seeps in and causes an increase in total volume, swelling the bladder. Eventually the bladder is no longer able to compensate and it ruptures. I know Sram have been through a few iterations of seals, so maybe this is no longer the case. It's also not at all a problem in terms of the length of service intervals, as both my Pike and my Boxxer hold up pretty well in that regard, it's just a different failure mode to what most people expect.
Does a small rebleed of the Charger cartridge (just from the top with a syringe) rectify the issue? It's just too much pressure, from what it sounds like?
I just followed your advice and opened the bleed plug at full extension and a little bit of oil spilled out. Closed it again and will see how the fork performs tomorrow. There was a little bit of pressure in the system and I don't have any play in the charger after the procedure.
I guess it worked then.
Who owns a 6mm socket anyway - had to run to the hardware store first :)
I now can confirm: My Lyrik works a lot better again. I can almost get full travel without any of the spiking I felt in the last weeks.
Thanks again, Ted!
Finally got around to doing this. Took the lowers off and no oil came out. Is that normal? Seemed to bleed quite a bit of air out of the charge as well. Hoping it feels all good on the trail now as It was super rough feeling lately
There isn't a lot of lubricating oils in the lowers of the forks. That being said you should have seen some come out. Was the inside coated with oil? When the oil becomes dirty or breaks down, and it does, then the oil becomes much more viscous and may not flow out of the lowers when opened. The oil can also be inside the stanchions and may migrate to the spring and damper.
Your fork should feel much better with new lubricating oil.
Yes the inside of the lowers were coated with oil. Nothing came out though.