Mtb suspension fork stanchion scratch repair

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 G. Tiger, Esq. 22 Jun 2021

I've managed to scratch both stanchions of my forks, presumably in the same incident, although I'm not sure sure how.

Lots of faint scratches on one side, a couple of deeper on the other.

I can't find anyone prepared to fix them for me so I'm going to try myself. Any recommendations for instructions to follow? Kit to use? Brand of sandpaper etc?

Fwiw they are Fox evolution 32 float something or others, if that makes a difference. I don't know enough about the inner workings to know which type of fork I have and if it even matters.

Any help gratefully received 


 Jon Greengrass 22 Jun 2021
In reply to G. Tiger, Esq.:

On most modern mountain bike forks the stanchion is a sliding surface only and is completely separated from the seals that protect the damping and air spring ( all contained within the stanchion). A scratched stanchion is not going to seal as well so will let water and dirt past the wiper seal and accelerate bushing wear. If  you didn't notice the scratches till after a ride you've probably contaminated the bushings and wiper seals already. Service interval (full strip, clean, oil and seal change) was 100hrs it will now be less.

If there is a burr on the scratches, you could rub it down with some very fine wet and dry paper, but I would want to disassemble the fork before I did this to prevent any free abrasives from contaminating the fork wiper seals and accelerating the wear even more.

 GPN 23 Jun 2021
In reply to G. Tiger, Esq.:

There’s lots of information online on how to do this. I’ve heard that nail varnish works well to fill scratches, but haven’t tried it myself. 

 G. Tiger, Esq. 23 Jun 2021
In reply to Jon Greengrass:

Thanks, I'll see about getting service booked shortly to make sure the seals /bushings are in good nick.

Couple of burrs, almost certainly have gone past the seals many times - fell at the top of cut gate and rode back to Langsett, so a couple of km minimum of fairly bouncy terrain.

I'll try the nail polish filling. I've got some videos to watch and some fine emery paper to sand it down with.

If it all goes wrong then I may have to ride the forks into the ground. The spring back controls have snapped off so if the uppers are shafted too then I probably need to replace the lot. And if I'm replacing the forks, why not the frame too....

 jameswhitty 26 Jun 2021
In reply to G. Tiger, Esq.:

These guys have a good reputation if you haven't tried them already (and are happy to send the forks away).

Hope some help. 

Post edited at 18:08
 LastBoyScout 27 Jun 2021
In reply to G. Tiger, Esq.:

Depending on the size/depth of the scratch, I read an article years ago in one of the MTB magazines that described filling with epoxy and then sanding smooth with fine wet and dry.

As mentioned, ideally you'd take the forks apart first.

In reply to LastBoyScout:

That is the route I would take, change the seals and whilst the forks are apart use a metal filled epoxy and the finest wet and dry you can get hold of. 

 RichJohnson 13 Jul 2021
In reply to G. Tiger, Esq.:

For a deep scratch use nail varnish and wipe all excess off immediately. It's not perfect but it's a pretty good bodge.

For anything other I would send off for professional repair as unless you know what your doing you are likely to make it worse.

Here speaks a voice of experience!

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