Thursday, 21 February 2013

Tuning tip: Oiling the foam ring.

For the 2010 season Marzocchi introduced a foam/ felt ring that sits between the oil and dust seal. When originally fitted these were dry, this can lead to a sticky – notchy feeling over small movements. Newer forks have the ring assembled wet, however it is good practice to look after them. *Update: 2013 forks do not have these fitted.

The simple solution is to just cut them out! However by wetting the ring with oil, small pump performance and sensitivity of the fork is greatly improved – in fact this mod was done to my own fork by Marzocchi’s race mechanic and the difference is incredible.

1/ Carefully prise the dust seal up using a small flat bladed screwdriver – be careful not to slip as not to damage the stanchion.

2/ inspect and clean the area underneath the dust seal.

3/ Using a syringe, soak SAE7.5w suspension fork oil (the same as what’s inside) in to the foam ring until it looks completely wet.

4/ Re-seat dust seal

5/ you will get some oily smears on the station the first time you use it, just wipe these off and they will disappear after a very short time.


We have noticed that in the new production of 2013 models there in no foam ring. The tolerance can also be tight, so combined with the NOK dust seal it can create a 'sticky' feeling. Marzocchi recommend using calcium grease under the dust seal to keep things running sweet.

carefully lift the dust seal with a flat bladed screw driver

clean and inspect

We are currently testing Morgan Blue calcium grease

get it up and under the seal, work it in by rotating the seal.


  1. Hi, I have the stiction issue on my 2013 55 rc3 ti's, and proceeded to oil the foam rings, but upon removing the dust seals they are nowhere to be found! Are they not fitted to the 2013's?

  2. Hi Mark, the 2013's models do not have had the foam ring left fitted! We are now using grease under the dust seal with amazing results. We are also experimenting with different types of grease and will recommend a specific type shortly.

  3. Thanks for the reply Dan. I was hoping the sticky/notchy feeling would disapear as the forks bedded in but it's still there. Ok, i'm swapping out the original oil this weekend, will stick some grease under the seals at the same time!

  4. I don't know if this is the proper place to get help with my brand new (now about 5 hours of riding time) 2013 55 RC3 EVO V.2 Ti fork, which I very much like so far, but here is the situation:

    I weigh 145 lbs. & the fork is on a (small) Ibis Mojo HD/160. After many different permutations of adjustments on the trail, including riding with normal atmospheric air pressure, and also squeezing all the air out (neg. pressure) in head space above bath oil, and also trying several clicks to zero clicks of spring preload, etc, I am unable to achieve close to 25% sag (42 mm of travel), or full travel when riding even on very technical ST, jumps & drops. The best sag I obtain, using both static and bounce techniques, is about 18%, and that is with no air left in head space above bath oil (neg. pressure), and zero spring preload. I also have of course experimented to see what difference the rebound knob makes, and find it doesn't make a difference in sag or travel in the range of about 12 clicks from fastest to fastest (I like it about 6 clicks from fastest).

    I believe I need a lighter spring --> can I swap my current spring for a spring that will be correct for my weight? What are the various Ti springs available?

    thank you, -Bob (in NH, the Granite State, USA)


  5. Hi,
    my father and my brother both have stiction problems on their Marzocchi forks (55 R and 66 RC3 evo), and as I am used to tune motorcycle forks they ask me to give it a look.
    Before doing anything I searched on internet and (among many other) found this blog. It look's like stiction is the main problem on these forks.
    I used thin MoS2 grease mixed up with a little synth. oil to impregnate the foam rings, and now the 55 works very well, moves very smoothly. I know both Fox and RockShox use MoS2 in their seal lubs. Did you also tried it? (I didn't have calcium grease, so I don't know which one works better)
    That said, the 66 becomes a bit sticky again after one hour or two of use. I'm thinking about replacing the dust and oil seals with SKF ones (low friction motorcycle fork seal kits). I'll keep you informed if it solves the problem completly. (I also checked the bushings which looks perfect, as new)

    Thomas, from France
    (email: thomas(dot)dewancker(a)free(dot)fr )

  6. Hi there,
    Just bought a pair of 66 RC3 TI.
    Today i change the oil and clean it. Put a new oil - Motorex 5W and just help the air to comes out of the cartridge.
    Rebound work great, the fork feels really great, but i can't feel ANY difference between the 2 end points. Soft/Hard
    So i don't think the compression works at all.
    Can the reason be the viscosity of the oil?
    Or can it be from the producer of the oil? Because last year i ride my 66 RC3 with Motul 5W and everything seems to work pretty normal?
    viscosity, producer of the oil or problem with the cartridge.

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