The bike was new this spring, doesn't seem like I should need new seals but will get them if it's still recommended. Might be good to add them to get free shipping (LBS can't get fox shock stuff through their distributors).
Had the bike out at Bass River, not exactly a place to kill the suspension but that where the couple of us were riding at. Made a few changes to air pressure before hand to see how much higher I could go, the answer was not much or I would be around 10% sag. Went back to the settings I've been working on all week and they felt really good during the ride, but again, nothing resembling a big hit, people frequently ride cyclocross bikes on the course. Did feel controlled over a few log piles though which was nice.
The real testing came afterwards when I was just noodling around the area and noticed a car going down the long entry drive to the lake in the middle of the area and noticed it was about bottoming out from the pot holes in the gravel drive. Figured why not, so I took off hitting every pot hole I could for about a mile of the gravel road, many were a good 1-2 feet deep and many in a row. The good news was that I didn't blow through all the travel, so I must have gotten something right while tinkering. I think I had about 20% left in the rear, not as much in the front but that's because at some point I turned the knob to descend mode to see what it would do, doesn't feel like much but it used more travel so it must have done a little.
Okay, so the biggest thing I learned from the gravel stuff was what the rebound damper does. A question, the knob has clicks, but do you have to adjust to the click or are they more for reference? With the knob where I had going to the trail, some of the time the fork would come off the ground from the force of the rebound combined with the upward motion of the "out" side of the pot hole is this about where you want it? if I went one full click harder, about one full turn I think, it seemed like the fork never fully extended before hitting the next hole, and the difference was very obvious. Should my setting be somewhere between the clicks or is one of those seem like where it should be?
Back to the air pressure and volume change thing, my under standing is that I would want the more progressive rate, take out volume/add insert, for being able to take bigger shocks, but it would have little affect at the top of the travel, small bump compliance, because it more progressive nature of the shock affects the end of the travel more than the top of the travel. Do I have this figured out? I feel like I have the small (roots and such) to mid bump (pot holes/ steps) stuff figured out, so probably 90+% of XC riding, it's just the harder hits or "oops I took that log pile wrong" that needs the tinkering still.
Might be going to Copper Harbor next month for a week so it would be sweet to have this figured out in case I can get the time off work to go. I've never been there but it seems like this bike should be good for it. Hope so, everyone else in the group is on hardtails.
Again, thanks everyone for the help. It greatly helps to know what's going on underneath me to put "sensation" to "what the suspension is doing."