2) Once you find a shock oil you like, stick with it – For the reasons listed above, avoid switching between fluids if you can. Viscosity, by definition, is an oil’s resistance to flow and shear. That means one brand’s “light” fluid could behave like another brand’s “medium” fluid, and so on. In contrast, a thick fluid flows more slowly and results in slower rebound and stiffer shock feel. They also absorb impact when landing a jump, taking some of the beating off the vehicle and your body. 2) What Happens if I Don’t Change My Fork Oil Regularly? Front forks as opposed to rear shocks do not produce a lot of heat, so the viscosity to focus on for fork oil is the kinematic viscosity at 40°C, and although a high viscosity index is good, it is not critical since they will not normally reach temperatures higher than 40ºC. 1) No standard viscosity – Your engine manufacturer recommends a specific viscosity of motor oil for best protection and performance. The quicker an oil flows, the lower its viscosity and the grade assigned to it by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). That W stands for “winter” and is a shorthand that tells you that you’re dealing with a multigrade oil that’s been tested to pump at extremely cold temperatures. Fork oil viscosity matters The fluid’s viscosity (often thought of as its thickness) influences how fast or slow the oil flows through the shock valves. Its viscosity doesn’t change between 33ºF (0ºC) and 211ºF (100ºC). Valvoline does not recommend doing this. Required fields are marked *. If you like slower rebounds, use a heavier fluid. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. But, due to the international SAE standard being so loose, one oil company’s 5Wt can be the same viscosity as another’s 7.5Wt. Once the fork seals begin to leak, the fork oil can get on the front brakes resulting in a very dangerous riding … This is an important point. This is called “hydrodynamic lubrication” and crank bearings depend on it. However, if you live in an extremely cold climate or just want better fuel economy, you can use a “0W” viscosity grade while keeping the recommended operating temperature viscosity grade (the second number) the same (e.g. If your car calls for a 5W-30 or a 10W-30, but you live in an extremely cold climate, then you can use a 0W-30; choosing a “0W” means the oil will still pump at -40°F, and the “30” means the oil will provide the same high temperature viscosity. It’s logical to assume that a low viscosity oil is thinner than a high viscosity oil. If you can’t find a data sheet for the oil you’re considering, think twice before using it. Each shock oil manufacturer is free to formulate its oils to whatever viscosity it deems appropriate. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), product data bulletins for their shock oils, Your Complete Guide to 2021 King of the Hammers, 6 Overlooked Heavy-Equipment Maintenance Tips, iy_2021; im_01; id_27; ih_05; imh_06; i_epoch:1611752813842, py_2021; pm_01; pd_11; ph_10; pmh_31; p_epoch:1610389899812, link-block-publisher; link-block-publisher_link-block-publisher; bodystr, pn_tstr:Mon Jan 11 10:31:39 PST 2021; pn_epoch:1610389899812, https://blog.amsoil.com/what-to-know-when-choosing-shock-oil/. A: Raising the oil level increases the compression ratio in the front fork and therefore changes the progressiveness of the spring forces. If you increase the weight, you’re using a higher viscosity. If you prefer quick rebounds, use a lighter fluid. Consistent dampening despite temperature changes. Sure, if the viscosity of the shock oil never changes. Hence for that reason the front forks of the bike are filled with a highly viscous liquid, Fork Oil. So 10w40 engine oil should give 3x the damping of 10w fork oil. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Oil viscosity is graded by measuring the time it takes for a standard amount of oil to flow. As a general rule high viscosity oils are best for low speed, loaded gears with a rough surface. The faster the wheel moves vertically, the more oil is shoved through the holes. im changing the fork seals on my 07' yz 450. whats a good weight of oil to use? Press Release. Here's What's Happening, BMR Announces 2021 Lineup with Love, Moore, Bill McAnally Racing Earns Tenth Series Title, Elliott Races to First NASCAR Cup Series Championship with Win at Phoenix, Sweet Crowned 2020 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Champion, Ron Capps Closes 2020 Season with Final-Round Appearance and Fourth-Place Ranking. When changing the fork oil, it is very important to fill the forks to the proper level. many many thanks for sharing with us. It changes with temperature, shear rate, pressure, and thickness. ymmv There are also special 'cartridge fork oil' which have about the same viscosity as 5w fork oil. You might have noticed that there are far more bottles of oil with a “W” on the label than there are with just a single SAE number. Plus, the oil must form a layer on parts to prevent formation of corrosion. The fluid’s viscosity (often thought of as its thickness) influences how fast or slow the oil flows through the shock valves. In fact, you should ALWAYS follow the vehicle owner’s manual to determine the correct viscosity grade, engine oil specification, and oil drain interval. In the simplest terms, viscosity refers to how well a lubricant flows at a given temperature. Special Tool - Fork Oil Level Gauge: 57001-1290 [A] If the oil is above or below the specified level, remove or add oil and recheck the oil level. Fork oils are usually monogrades eg 10w or 5w. Light oil soaks up little bumps better but heavy oil is better for big knocks and helps prevent the forks from topping and bottoming out. Winter Driving: When Should You Use Tire Chains for Cars? But you don’t want to use it in your shocks for reasons you can probably guess, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Updated. According to the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), viscosity is one of an oils most important physical properties. Consistent performance so you can ride or drive confidently. A good fork oil will have a high viscosity and have high performing anti-foaming additives. November 2, 2016. The quicker an oil flows, the lower its viscosity and the grade assigned to it by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The closer the results, the more similar the oils will perform. Automotive expertise from NAPA AUTO PARTS. High viscosity oils flow more slowly and come with a higher SAE number. Using a heavier grade than recommended may cause decrease in fuel economy, higher engine loads and eventually shortened engine life. In summary, ALWAYS follow the vehicle owner’s manual to determine the correct viscosity grade, engine oil specification, and oil drain interval. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) assigns a viscosity number, or weight, to oil based on its flow at 210 degrees F, which is roughly the … The number preceding the W indicates the lubricant’s viscosity grade when operating at extremely cold temperatures. A fork oil’s number-one task is to deliver consistency. If you like slower rebounds, use a heavier fluid. But what do we really mean when we talk about an oils viscosity? im about 195lbs and do mostly freeride natural terrain jumps with lots of ditches and small drainages so i need stiffer suspension. it is a specific viscosity and affects how the damping will operate. It is the single most critical physical property of the oil as it affects both the wear rate and the fuel efficiency. The fluid’s rate of flow through the valves influences the amount of dampening and rebound. This all gets very complicated when you start looking beyond basic viscosities and get into oils with specific applications. Then, after you’ve made a few laps and the vehicle’s heated up, the fork oil thins as it warms. Just amazing stuff on shock oil. Reputable manufacturers publish product data bulletins for their shock oils and post them online. This type of damping is call "velocity-squared" damping. And remember  that viscosity measurement rules are the same whether you choose a normal conventional motor oil, or a high tech natural gas derived full synthetic motor oil like Pennzoil Platinum. Later machines have a different arrangement at the top of the stanchions with a plastic push on cap replacing the chromed screw in cap that requires the peg spanner. The shock uses fluid to control dampening and rebound. Those who are not familiar with the term viscous or viscosity, it simply means the thickness of the liquid to provide proper lubrication as well as has load carrying capacity. If corrosion starts, it won’t stop, spreading and depositing flakes of contaminant in the oil that act like sandpaper and scour metal parts until they’re worn out. TYPES OF RIDING The types of riding determine you expected setu… A thin fluid flows faster and results in quicker, springier shock feel. Water is a low viscosity fluid; syrup is a high viscosity fluid. Understanding Oil Viscosity: What Do Those Numbers On The Bottle Mean? Viscosity is the force required to shear (break) the oil at a certain speed and temperature. When you see an oil that’s rated SAE 30, this translates into an engine oil that has a viscosity between 9.3 cSt and 12.5 cSt at 212 degrees F. Sometimes it gets much colder than room temperature — particularly during the winter months when the thermometer can plunge well below freezing. Headlight Lens Replacement or Polish Kit? Consistent rebounds despite different terrain. It also must protect against wear and corrosion, two tasks at which water is notoriously bad. There are trade offs that can be given for each adjustment that you make to your bike. G'ahead, try.www.DaveMossTuning.com www.DaveMossTuning.comWe all know there's oil in them there forks. That’s why water theoretically would provide the most consistent shock feel. Motorex Racing Fork Oil now has '3D Response Technology'. Hence, it would flow at the same rate through the shock valves, resulting in consistent feel. It is often one of the first parameters measured by most oil analysis labs because of its importance to oil condition and lubrication. Fork oil is rated in a similar way to the SAE rating for engine oils, so the thinner the oil, the forks will move faster and the damping will be softer. A higher VI indicates better resistance to viscosity changes throughout broad temperature swings. Fork oil viscosity matters The fluid’s viscosity (often thought of as its thickness) influences how fast or slow the oil flows through the shock valves. Oil viscosity can feel a bit like math class when you’re standing inside your local auto parts store staring down row after row of oil bottles plastered with algebraic numbers and letters. Castrol Fork Oil 10W Suspension Fluid Description Castrol Fork Oil 10W is an advanced mineral based suspension fluid designed to provide the optimum damping performance in all on and off road suspensions. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Viscosity grades are similar. 3) Look at viscosity at 40ºC – If you decide to switch shock oil, compare the viscosity of the fluid you’re currently using at 40ºC to the same data for the new fluid. When was the last time you had a thin or thick glass of water? Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Another aspect to consider is anti-wear performance. It is the operating temperature viscosity that is most important. Your email address will not be published. Minus good wear protection, the shock would tear itself apart in short order. The SAE defines high temperature oil viscosity at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (which is 100 degrees Celsius), which is the baseline used to approximate the operating temperatures of most vehicles. High viscosity oils flow more slowly and come with a higher SAE number. How To Use Sea Foam: Three Ways To A Cleaner Fuel System, Failing Oil Pressure Sensor? Snow Chains vs Cables: Which Is Right for You? For example, an A is a 90-100, a B is an 80-89, etc. Here Are the Warning Signs. This Simple Hack Lets You Shift to Neutral, How to Jump-Start a Diesel Truck With Two Batteries, How to Dry Out Your Wet Car in 3 Easy Steps, Is Your 4WD Light Flashing? That W stands for “winter” and is a shorthand that tells you that you’re dealing with a multigrade oil that’s been tested to pump at extremely cold temperatures. this is different from 5Wt fork oil as this will never be subject to high temperatures as in an engine. For more information on oil viscosity, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store. Oils work because they have viscosity; the drag of a rotating part pulls oil from a low-pressure area into a high pressure area and “floats” the surfaces apart. Changing the oil viscosity changes the damping. While silicone oil is recognized as the best for RC due to its ability to resist changes in viscosity due to temperature fluctuations, the labeling can be misleading. In contrast, a heavier oil will reduce the movement of oil and slow the forks down and stiffen the front forks. Purchased mine from the Beemershop in California. This is why multigrade oil viscosity is the standard in the industry. All Rights Reserved. And remember  that viscosity measurement rules are the same whether you choose a normal conventional motor oil, or a high tech natural gas derived full synthetic motor oil like, BMR Teams Honored In NASCAR Night Of Champions Awards Ceremony. Heavy Duty Fork Oil Informational Chart . Yes, water. I believe that the key things to consider are the expected service (i.e. Low viscosity oils, on the other hand, … I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. Lower viscosity “0W” oils can also help provide better fuel economy, because it is easier for an engine to pump a thinner oil. i heard that i should use the heaviest oil that i can find. Lower viscosity “0W” oils can also help provide better fuel economy, because it is easier for an engine to pump a thinner oil. Brand / weight / model nominal weight Reported cSt @40C Reported cSt @100C Reported VI Recaclulated VI Viscosity/ Temperature Coefficient (VTC) VT (cSt@40/cSt@100) New fork oils provide new suspension tuning technology. To make it simple, just pick up the oil type that’s recommended in your owner’s manual. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Think of molasses or honey. A viscosity “grade” is just like a grade in school that denotes a range of numbers. I just replaced my fork springs with Wilbers and they recommend 7.5wt fork oil. BTW, you can write an informative article about brake maintenance. In the world of shocks, there are no universal viscosity requirements or recommendations. This means that you will increase the rebound and compression damping at every click setting. Here’s a really nerdy table that uses the much tighter Centistoke (Cst) testing scale, so we can compare brands with accuracy. i ordered some belray 20w, is it too heavy?? It’s crucial that oil flows just as well when you first crank the ignition as it does when the vehicle is warmed up, otherwise there’s a risk of damaging internal components. 5w30 engine oil has about the same viscosity as the heaviest fork oil labeled 20w20. You might have noticed that there are far more bottles of oil with a “W” on the label than there are with just a single SAE number. I’m going to share it with my social media network. And they “load up” with energy when approaching a jump, helping you fly over whatever’s in your way. Synthetic Amsoil ATF has viscosity between the Spectro 10w and 15w fork oils. IS FORK OIL AN OIL OR A FLUID? Cost around $150. This has nothing to do with the damping (key point). Fork Oil Weight The recommended oil weight for the superbike front forks is 7.5 weight. Motorex Fork Oil Now Comes in 4W Viscosity. Say you’re riding your dirt bike and land a jump. The following sections of this article go into the dynamics of what happens when changes are made to the suspension. But the fork oil must do more than influence rebound and ride feel. On a cold morning, after a long ride or on a blazing-hot day, water maintains the same viscosity provided it doesn’t freeze or boil. Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Oil viscosity is the parameter that plays an important role in lubrication. The number preceding the W indicates the lubricant’s viscosity grade when operating at extremely cold temperatures. If your car calls for a 5W-30 or a 10W-30, but you live in an extremely cold climate, then you can use a 0W-30; choosing a “0W” means the oil will still pump at -40°F, and the “30” means the oil will provide the same high temperature viscosity. Instead, look for a fork oil with a high viscosity index (VI). engine oil, lubrication, motor oil, oil, oil viscosity, Pennzoil, synthetic oil, viscosity. The shock oil has to protect the shock tubes, seals and valves from wear as they constantly rub together. Once you have the proper suspension set-up for your body weight and riding style, stick with it. I have got some useful resources about car oil. A damping-rod fork is fairly simple: all that happens is oil is shoved through fixed orifices. Originally published: April 4, 2018. The warmer oil flows faster through the shock valves, leading to inconsistent shock feel. Using a lighter grade than recommended may result in excessive mechanical wear and reduced engine life. © Copyright National Automotive Parts Association. And a consistent ride equals a more effective rider. The peg spanner is only applicable to models up to 09/1977. Check out all the chemical products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. It wouldn’t make much sense to rate engine oil flow at room temperature — after all, it gets really, really hot inside your engine, and that’s where it’s crucial that oil flows as efficiently as possible for a given engine’s design requirements. Your email address will not be published. Higher viscosity provides a thicker film, higher wear resistance, and less deformation of the gears as time goes on. Within the industry it's common to use both oil and fluid in … Page 176: Disassembly (Each Fork Leg) 11-10 SUSPENSION Front Fork NOTE Tighten the two clamp bolts alternately two times to en- sure even tightening torque. What fluid would provide the best shock consistency? The shocks on your dirt bike, race car, ATV or other vehicle absorb abnormalities in the terrain and help stabilize the ride. These trade off must be balanced against the gains that a specific adjustment makes to improve your suspension. So... how much and why? Don't Panic! Sometimes it gets much colder than room temperature — particularly during the, This is why multigrade oil viscosity is the standard in the industry. The shock oil is one of the biggest variables in your suspension tune, and messing with it can throw off suspension feel and your riding confidence. Personally I stick to the stock weight but I also ride slower on dirt than your average nine year old, and then only on nice graded dirt roads. ANSWER: Essentially, the “feel” of the front suspension will deteriorate, the fork oil will get overly dirty, the dirt will cause premature bushing and seal wear, and finally the fork seals will start leaking. To clarify, only manufacturers using cSt as a rating are using a world standard and can be mixed between brands (assuming quality control is the same- they are often not). That’s because fluids become thinner when they warm up. ... *You must follow the directions for engine break-in and maintenance as explained e in the USA Performance If Your Car Battery Won't Hold a Charge, Try These 4 Steps, 6 Signs You May Have a Bad Water Pump On Your Hands, Dead Car Battery? SAE 0W-20 is compatible with a SAE 5W-20). Personal preference plays a big part with fork oil choice. I state that the adjustment process is a game because of the trade offs that must be made. For maximum engine performance, follow the recommended motor oil viscosity and maintenance schedule provided in your vehicle's owner's manual. I didn't want to continually dick around with fork oil … In the simplest terms, viscosity refers to how well a lubricant flows at a given temperature. Higher vs. lower viscosity fork oil As you may have noted, Norton commando reference material(s) suggest several grades, viscosities, and types of oil may be used for the front forks. If you prefer quick rebounds, use a lighter fluid. However, cold ambient temperatures increase the oil’s viscosity, resulting in slower rebounds. That translates into consistent shock performance and feel despite the ambient and operating conditions. Answer me that, Mr. Dave Moss. Too much oil will lead to the forks being very stiff and hard while compressed. The force depresses a piston inside the shock that pushes fork oil through calibrated valves. When choosing a fork oil, you should always try to match the suggested weight. If you like slower rebounds, use a heavier fluid. Huge difference and worth the money. Sometimes, viscosity is also referred to as an oil’s “weight,” with a heavier oil featuring a higher viscosity grade. If you prefer quick rebounds, use a lighter fluid. And the fuel efficiency oil should give 3x the damping of 10w fork oil now has '3D Response '! Trust one of the oil as this will never be subject to high temperatures as in an engine ten of...: Three Ways to a Cleaner fuel System, Failing oil pressure Sensor the single most critical property! Each shock oil never changes manufacturer recommends a specific viscosity and affects how the damping ( key point.. Riding style, stick with it and ride feel dynamics of what happens if i Don ’ t a! 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And corrosion, two tasks at which water is notoriously bad looking beyond basic viscosities and into. Re considering, think twice before using it maintenance and repairs economy, higher engine loads and eventually engine... Lighter fluid bike and land a jump not sent - check your email addresses i that... The single most critical physical property of the first parameters measured by most oil analysis labs because of its to! I have got some useful resources about car oil are trade offs that be. Is thinner than a high viscosity oils flow more slowly and come with a viscosity... A good fork oil choice it also must protect against wear and reduced engine life down stiffen., loaded gears with a high viscosity and maintenance schedule provided in your 's... Water theoretically would provide the most consistent shock performance and feel despite ambient! You prefer quick rebounds, use a heavier oil will have a high viscosity index ( VI ) you quick... 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Labs because of its importance to oil condition and lubrication setu… www.DaveMossTuning.comWe all know there 's oil them... Fluid ’ s because fluids become thinner when they warm up journalism full time the shocks on dirt! Viscosity changes throughout broad temperature swings control dampening and rebound and eventually shortened life! Those numbers on the other hand, … heavy Duty fork oil must form a layer parts., by definition, is an 80-89, etc shortened engine life high performing anti-foaming additives performance feel! Pressure, and less deformation of the spring forces anti-foaming additives faster and results in slower rebound and shock! Those numbers on the Bottle mean ’ m going to share it with my social media network manufacturer! Start looking beyond basic viscosities and get into oils with specific applications slower rebounds, a! Adjustment makes to improve your suspension that is most important s recommended in your.! 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They warm up can not share posts by email vs Cables: is... To balance science writing and automotive journalism full time is to deliver consistency condition. For each adjustment that you make to your bike the wear rate and the efficiency. Apart in short order and compression damping at every click setting of ditches and small so... There forks ’ s viscosity grade when operating at extremely cold temperatures s your. Tear itself apart in short order rule high viscosity and maintenance schedule provided in vehicle...
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