Showa shock oil cavitation

I'm doing a shock oil change on a '05 CR250. This is the 1st time it's ever been cracked open. 1st thing I notice w/ spring removed is that the shock didn't retract fully after compression. It would stop retracting about 1/8" before end of travel.

THe other issue, I'm seeing quite a lot of air bubbles mixed in w/ the dirty fluid. There's no leaks that I can see. And the bladder has no holes and it held the air pressure fine.

My question is what caused all the cavitation?

What you see is normal. There always seems to be an excessive amount of air when servicing a stock shock for the first time. The shock probably didn't fully extend due to the amount of air, or a loss of nitro.

Air gets in the shock from the oil cavitating, but it there is also a good possibility the air is sucked in throught the seals (it can't come from anyplace else).

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