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I've opened my Reba fork (FS-REBA-RL-A6) for the 1st time to investigate an air-spring failure and found the lower legs quite difficult to separate, even after not-so-gently tapping the bottom bolts.

I've pulled them hard (by hand still, so not suuuper hard) and when the shafts suddenly separated from the lower legs, the two pieces (crown upper legs assembly and lower legs) separated abruptly, with an "air popping" sound.

No oil seemed to be in there, just some drips and some grease. Maybe that's why it was so hard to pull?

Despite the non-genlte procedure I was forced to do, all seemed good. Now... since it's my first time opening a fork, I'm in doubt if I could have damaged anything.

I'm worried about the oil damper. It sounds mushy when I move the shaft in and out. Like air is inside, mixing with and creating foam in the oil.

I guess if I've pulled too hard I could have pulled air in... is that even possible? isn't there air already in normally?

The reassembly instructions in the manual, when one refills the damper back with oil, look like they leave some air in too (pour 108 mL and just close the thing). I guess it's ok but just wanted to check with you out.

Thanks in advance!

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I do not have experience with the Reba, but Boxxers and Lyriks. Separating the casting from the stanchions should not be that hard. It is important that the shaft where the bottom screws are screwed in can move easily and the air can pass before you try to separate the parts. You have loosen the screws a couple of turns like it's suggested in the manual. Then you have struck the screws. That does not have to be that gentle. If one or both screws cannot be easily moved up and down slightly repeat this task by loosing the screws a couple of more turns and striking on the screws again.

In the manual it looks like it's an open bath damping, so air is in the oil chamber by design. You cannot have put more air in it by pulling the fork apart.

If the sealing between the damper chamber and the lower leg is worn out there could be that oil is lost. But this should not occur with a newer fork. And then there should have been more oil in the lower leg. To make sure you could measure the oil level. Either per oil height (but I'm not sure how accurate this is) or by removing all the oil and adding oil back - preferable by cleaning everything and using new oil. Don't remove the old oil if you do not have the right spare oil.

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