Ohlins fork upgrade - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 66 Old 07-30-2018, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Ohlins fork upgrade

I decided to follow LDH's advice and use the Ohlins valves instead of the Andreani,
but I have some queries, if you good gentlemen wouldn't mind sparing some time.
My Ohlins springs are 85 and 286mm long and didn't come with a spacer,
as you can see the stock spring is 18mm longer than the Ohlins, the one rmb had looks shorter,


LDH said the spring might be a little light for my 200lbs, so I was wondering if I should cut a spacer slightly longer than the stock spacer+18mm.
What you see in the photo is all I got, no instructions for anything.
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post #2 of 66 Old 07-31-2018, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
I decided to follow LDH's advice and use the Ohlins valves instead of the Andreani,
but I have some queries, if you good gentlemen wouldn't mind sparing some time.
My Ohlins springs are 85 and 286mm long and didn't come with a spacer,
as you can see the stock spring is 18mm longer than the Ohlins, the one rmb had looks shorter,


LDH said the spring might be a little light for my 200lbs, so I was wondering if I should cut a spacer slightly longer than the stock spacer+18mm.
What you see in the photo is all I got, no instructions for anything.
FRONT

SPRING RATE
While the surface, the spring sounds a bit light, given the kind of riding you have outlined, and allowing some of your road routes may have some rough stuff, it could be perfect for you.
(Im not absolutely sure, but I think Islandboy has the same front springs as you just got, and hes extremely happy with the rating. His weight is not that much different that yours.)

INSTALLED PRELOAD
I suggest either 15 or maybe 20 mm of installed preload.
Given your particulars, rear spring rate included as well as an assumed rear Free Sag, I suggest starting with 15.
Forget about trying to do anything else but properly determine what the spacer length needs to be.
The original spring length + spacer length means nothing relevant to anything but stock parts, keeping in mind the stock spring is a mush dual rate winding that needs lots of installed preload.
Do you have decent instructions on this?
If not, just PM me an e mail address to use and I will send you info to help you along.

OIL LEVEL
I suggest using 125 mm of oil level.
This will allow you the greater compliance your lighter springs will offer in the normal (non big bump non big braking) zone of fork travel, but give you a nice air spring stiffening effect toward the end of bump stroke, especially under heavy braking.
The oil level is not going to effect your riding as outlined, nor the compliance on road bumps.
If you are hesitant to go that high, go with 140 but no less.
If you try 140, and get too much fork stroke, go to 125.
If you are not happy with the fork stroke at 125, then add 5 mm of washers to your Installed Preload.

REAR

SPRING PRELOAD
My guess is that to get reasonable Rider Sag values with your 180 spring, youll need a Free Sag of 3 5 mm.
Dont go less than 3 mm of Free Sag, regardless of how big your Rider Sag might be.
Suggest you start with 5 mm of Free Sag, see what your Rider Sag is, but try it @ 5 mm before making any changes.

By the way, what year is your bike?
02/03 with non adjustable front end?
04/07 with adjustable front end?
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post #3 of 66 Old 07-31-2018, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
FRONT

SPRING RATE
While the surface, the spring sounds a bit light, given the kind of riding you have outlined, and allowing some of your road routes may have some rough stuff, it could be perfect for you.
(Im not absolutely sure, but I think Islandboy has the same front springs as you just got, and hes extremely happy with the rating. His weight is not that much different that yours.)

INSTALLED PRELOAD
I suggest either 15 or maybe 20 mm of installed preload.
Given your particulars, rear spring rate included as well as an assumed rear Free Sag, I suggest starting with 15.
Forget about trying to do anything else but properly determine what the spacer length needs to be.
The original spring length + spacer length means nothing relevant to anything but stock parts, keeping in mind the stock spring is a mush dual rate winding that needs lots of installed preload.
Do you have decent instructions on this?
If not, just PM me an e mail address to use and I will send you info to help you along.

OIL LEVEL
I suggest using 125 mm of oil level.
This will allow you the greater compliance your lighter springs will offer in the normal (non big bump non big braking) zone of fork travel, but give you a nice air spring stiffening effect toward the end of bump stroke, especially under heavy braking.
The oil level is not going to effect your riding as outlined, nor the compliance on road bumps.
If you are hesitant to go that high, go with 140 but no less.
If you try 140, and get too much fork stroke, go to 125.
If you are not happy with the fork stroke at 125, then add 5 mm of washers to your Installed Preload.

REAR

SPRING PRELOAD
My guess is that to get reasonable Rider Sag values with your 180 spring, youll need a Free Sag of 3 5 mm.
Dont go less than 3 mm of Free Sag, regardless of how big your Rider Sag might be.
Suggest you start with 5 mm of Free Sag, see what your Rider Sag is, but try it @ 5 mm before making any changes.

By the way, what year is your bike?
02/03 with non adjustable front end?
04/07 with adjustable front end?

It's an 07 with adjustable preload.
I cut some spacers 6 mm longer than standard, but have enough left to cut some longer ones if needed.
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post #4 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
It's an 07 with adjustable preload.
I cut some spacers 6 mm longer than standard, but have enough left to cut some longer ones if needed.
Given that you have the adjusters, go with 15 mm of installed preload.
Any more that should ever be dialed in beyond that, will come from the adjusters.
Also, when you do the determination measurements to figure out the needed spacer length, be sure to do it with the preload adjusters fully backed out such that all the indicator rings are showing up top.

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post #5 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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So instead of 6mm longer, cut some that are 15mm longer, is that correct?
Having trouble with one of the forks, the bolt at the bottom just turns around but doesn't unscrew, so it seems the piece in the damper rod is turning. I may have to drill it out and find another bolt somewhere.

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post #6 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
So instead of 6mm longer, cut some that are 15mm longer, is that correct?
Having trouble with one of the forks, the bolt at the bottom just turns around but doesn't unscrew, so it seems the piece in the damper rod is turning. I may have to drill it out and find another bolt somewhere.
Because the original amount of installed preload is an unknown, the combination of stock spring and spacer length is of no insight or use.
So, to do it right, you're going to have to do some measurements, a calculation, and then the cutting.

In conceptual terms, imagine the fork fully extended with the spring in it and whatever washers you intend to install sitting on top of the spring.
The top surface of the top washer will be well down from the end face of the fork tube, as you already know.
Then imagine how many mm down from the end of the fork tube, the spacers top perch surface will be when the fork cap is fully threaded in. (for adjustable 04+ forks, do this with the preload adjuster fully backed out so all the indicator rings are showing up above)
One can easily visualize by looking at the parts, that there will be a gap between the above two described surfaces.
That gap would be the spacer length needed for zero preload, so making the spacer another 15 mm longer will net 15 mm of installed preload.

In as simple terms as possible, heres how to do it for 919 forks:
1
Fit a spring, plus all the washers
Pull the fork tube as hard as you can.
Measure the distance from the end of the fork tube down to the top of the stack.
Write it down as A = xyz mm
(04+s have a perch cup that sits on top of the spacer so for 04+s, put the perch on top of the washers)

2
Look at bottom end of your adjustable fork cap.
Determine the surface of the fork cap that the top of the spacer will butt up against.
Measure from the bottom of the fork cap flange down to that point.
Write it down as B = cd mm

3
Determine zero preload spacer length by A B = Zs

4
For what ever amount of Installed Preload in mm that you want, simply add it to Zs.

Lucky for you, the 919 has extremely stiff and short top out springs (internal type), so they can be ignored.
Otherwise the above would have to be amended to reflect top out spring allowable counter growth.

As a self check, or even to just maintain confidence at any step, go back and revisit the conceptual sketch above.
As long as what you are doing is consistent with the conceptual sketch, you know you are on the right path.
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post #7 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
So instead of 6mm longer, cut some that are 15mm longer, is that correct?
Having trouble with one of the forks, the bolt at the bottom just turns around but doesn't unscrew, so it seems the piece in the damper rod is turning. I may have to drill it out and find another bolt somewhere.
LDH gives a little advice on removing that retainer bolt. This thread.
https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums...ad.php?t=76217
Good luck mate.
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post #8 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 02:58 PM
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@mcromo44 is such a knowledgeable lad...


Always a pleasure to read his responses when he gets going on front fork setup.


Keep up the good work
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post #9 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Because the original amount of installed preload is an unknown, the combination of stock spring and spacer length is of no insight or use.
So, to do it right, you're going to have to do some measurements, a calculation, and then the cutting.

In conceptual terms, imagine the fork fully extended with the spring in it and whatever washers you intend to install sitting on top of the spring.
The top surface of the top washer will be well down from the end face of the fork tube, as you already know.
Then imagine how many mm down from the end of the fork tube, the spacers top perch surface will be when the fork cap is fully threaded in. (for adjustable 04+ forks, do this with the preload adjuster fully backed out so all the indicator rings are showing up above)
One can easily visualize by looking at the parts, that there will be a gap between the above two described surfaces.
That gap would be the spacer length needed for zero preload, so making the spacer another 15 mm longer will net 15 mm of installed preload.

In as simple terms as possible, heres how to do it for 919 forks:
1
Fit a spring, plus all the washers
Pull the fork tube as hard as you can.
Measure the distance from the end of the fork tube down to the top of the stack.
Write it down as A = xyz mm
(04+s have a perch cup that sits on top of the spacer so for 04+s, put the perch on top of the washers)

2
Look at bottom end of your adjustable fork cap.
Determine the surface of the fork cap that the top of the spacer will butt up against.
Measure from the bottom of the fork cap flange down to that point.
Write it down as B = cd mm

3
Determine zero preload spacer length by A B = Zs

4
For what ever amount of Installed Preload in mm that you want, simply add it to Zs.

Lucky for you, the 919 has extremely stiff and short top out springs (internal type), so they can be ignored.
Otherwise the above would have to be amended to reflect top out spring allowable counter growth.

As a self check, or even to just maintain confidence at any step, go back and revisit the conceptual sketch above.
As long as what you are doing is consistent with the conceptual sketch, you know you are on the right path.

I might add that I had a zip tie on the forks for several weeks, I also had the adjuster turns all the way in to fully cover the last ring, so maximum adjustment, with all else, springs and oil, stock.
On my rides the zip tie showed maximum fork travel of 105mm.
LDH pre cut the spacer for rmb to exactly the same length to match the stock spring and spacer together.
I just thought by adding 6mm it will make up for the lighter spring.
I will try your way Mcrom44, if and when I get the bolt out, but my mind likes to keep things simple, and sometimes your posts go right over my head.

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post #10 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
LDH gives a little advice on removing that retainer bolt. This thread.
https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums...ad.php?t=76217
Good luck mate.
Thanks, I did read up a bit first. I first heated the bolt, that was you I think Islandboy, when it cooled I sprayed WD40 on and left it for about 4 hours,
I then used an impact driver with a 6mm hex 1/2" drive socket.
Later when I have time I will try again on the turning bolt, but for now work calls.

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post #11 of 66 Old 08-01-2018, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so A = 150mm
Minus B = 43
Total = 107mm

So for 15mm of preload I need to cut them to 122mm
The ones I had already cut are 125mm
So my initial guessing gives me 18mm of preload, which is right there with your suggested 15mm to 20mm
I might start with an oil gap from top of 135 and see how she goes, as it's not a huge job to adjust the oil level.
Any other suggestions are welcome, otherwise many thanks kind Sir.

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post #12 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
OK, so A = 150mm
Minus B = 43
Total = 107mm

So for 15mm of preload I need to cut them to 122mm
The ones I had already cut are 125mm
So my initial guessing gives me 18mm of preload, which is right there with your suggested 15mm to 20mm
I might start with an oil gap from top of 135 and see how she goes, as it's not a huge job to adjust the oil level.
Any other suggestions are welcome, otherwise many thanks kind Sir.
It sounds as though you have it nailed.

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post #13 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
1
I might add that I had a zip tie on the forks for several weeks, I also had the adjuster turns all the way in to fully cover the last ring, so maximum adjustment, with all else, springs and oil, stock.
On my rides the zip tie showed maximum fork travel of 105mm.

2
sometimes your posts go right over my head.

1
105 is not far from the 109 total, in other words you're seeing almost all of you bump stroke used, and have been getting down into the hydraulic snubber zone - not that there is any inherent problem with that, but you do want to know that, right ?

2
It's not my intent.
Sometimes I go into a zone, to the point that later on I even have trouble being able to read my own stuff. Sorta like when I talk sometimes, and my brain runs ahead of my mouth.
Not ideal.

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post #14 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmin3m View Post
@mcromo44 is such a knowledgeable lad...


Always a pleasure to read his responses when he gets going on front fork setup.


Keep up the good work
Thanks for the kudos.
I also think you're guaranteed of seeing more just by having called me lad, despite my being a grandpa.

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post #15 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Thanks for the kudos.
I also think you're guaranteed of seeing more just by having called me lad, despite my being a grandpa.
You're only as old as you feel

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

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post #16 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
1
105 is not far from the 109 total, in other words you're seeing almost all of you bump stroke used, and have been getting down into the hydraulic snubber zone - not that there is any inherent problem with that, but you do want to know that, right ?

2
It's not my intent.
Sometimes I go into a zone, to the point that later on I even have trouble being able to read my own stuff. Sorta like when I talk sometimes, and my brain runs ahead of my mouth.
Not ideal.
I guess that shows how mushy those OEM springs are, or how bumpy the roads can be around here.
Small population, large area and extreme sub tropical weather.

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post #17 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Having a lot of fun trying to drill out the bottom bolt with my el-cheapo hand drill.
It was my last resort, but no matter what I did, it just kept turning in place.

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post #18 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 02:35 PM
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I'm sure your doing the right thing, drilling that bolt out. I did a bit of a Google search and have read on other Honda forums that drilling is your only option. Quite a few said is was no real issue drilling the bolt out. Some said remainder of bolt came easy once drilled. Are you just taking of the head to release torque? Or are you trying to drill out the full length? I'd suggest taking the head off, drilling into shaft a bit and jamming a small screw driver into drill hole then reapply heat and try to undo while hot. I don't like easy outs as they sometimes put outward pressure on the bolt making it grip.

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post #19 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 03:17 PM
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There is some discussion here on your problem.
https://www.vfrdiscussion.com/index....n-bolt/&page=2
Some suggest putting it all back together to hold the cartridge. One fellow said to put tension on the spring not compression?

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post #20 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
I guess that shows how mushy those OEM springs are, or how bumpy the roads can be around here.
Small population, large area and extreme sub tropical weather.
The mush springs make it easy to come near bottoming out just by braking hard.
Braking technique can help or aggravate, but if one is hauling down hard from high speed anywhere near the a good traction limit, the front end will easily be into the hydraulic snubber zone.
(which is why a good race build will trim or eliminate the 'snubber zone, as the 'snubber zone has a tendency to hold the fork back a bit from rebounding once the braking force is lifted)

No way are road bumps alone going to do it.
At least not ones that have you still on the bike and both wheels still round after the hit.

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post #21 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
There is some discussion here on your problem.
https://www.vfrdiscussion.com/index....n-bolt/&page=2
Some suggest putting it all back together to hold the cartridge. One fellow said to put tension on the spring not compression?
Yes, I did all that.
I'm just drilling the head off the bolt, there's no thread in the fork leg so once the head is drilled through it should pass through,
I'm being careful not to damage the aluminium fork leg, so using a small drill and progressively larger drills until the hole is the same diameter as the thread, and hopefully I can punch it through with minimum damage.
The key word here is hopefully.

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post #22 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 06:28 PM
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Ahh... Of course just take the head off and the whole lot should fall out. Should have a good size stub left to work on. I had brain fart, forgot there was no thread in fork. I've even done the fork bolts myself. They wouldn't spin if there was thread in the fork. Excuse my mild retardation!
Let's know how you get on. Some pics would be useful if ya don't mind. I don't think this problem has come up on wrist twisters yet. I'm sure it will happen more often as these bikes age.

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post #23 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Man, this is very difficult, it blunts my drills very fast, I have the final 1/4" hole now, maybe another 1mm to go and I should be there.
Wish I had a proper workshop and drill press, it gets hot very quickly, so bit by bit.
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post #24 of 66 Old 08-02-2018, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
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Man, this is very difficult, it blunts my drills very fast, I have the final 1/4" hole now, maybe another 1mm to go and I should be there.
Wish I had a proper workshop and drill press, it gets hot very quickly, so bit by bit.
Haha, I see what you did there!

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post #25 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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It's finally out, when I got the 1/4" hole drilled, I punched it through with the drill chuck.
The bolt remains came out easily with only finger pressure.

Now I just hope I can find another bolt that fits.
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post #26 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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The only PVC pipe I could find was only 1.5mm thick, so I cut some pieces to fit inside, soaked them in boiling water for 10 seconds, inserted them in the tubes and let them go cold, this reshaped them to fit.
Then I coated them in PVC pipe glue and re inserted them, you have to be quick, but it's more than strong enough now. The walls are now 3mm, or 1/8" thick.
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post #27 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
The mush springs make it easy to come near bottoming out just by braking hard.
Braking technique can help or aggravate, but if one is hauling down hard from high speed anywhere near the a good traction limit, the front end will easily be into the hydraulic snubber zone.
(which is why a good race build will trim or eliminate the 'snubber zone, as the 'snubber zone has a tendency to hold the fork back a bit from rebounding once the braking force is lifted)

No way are road bumps alone going to do it.
At least not ones that have you still on the bike and both wheels still round after the hit.
I suspect you are correct.
A few weeks age I was going around a sweeping bend, only to see an idiot overtaking on the wrong side of the road, double yellow lines and a blind bend.
I hit the brakes and managed to steer through the 1 metre of road available between the car and the soft gravel shoulder. Thank God that at 60 I still have some reflexes, haha.

I had a big adrenaline high after that one.

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post #28 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 03:13 PM
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I have this left over from when I did my forks. Your welcome to it, if ya want I can post.
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post #29 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
The only PVC pipe I could find was only 1.5mm thick, so I cut some pieces to fit inside, soaked them in boiling water for 10 seconds, inserted them in the tubes and let them go cold, this reshaped them to fit.
Then I coated them in PVC pipe glue and re inserted them, you have to be quick, but it's more than strong enough now. The walls are now 3mm, or 1/8" thick.
Where abouts are you? I have some of the aluminum pipe left over as well

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post #30 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Island boy and Quadiak, but these will do, they are the exact same diameter as the OEM, and only 3mm thick.
Only the damper adjustment rod has to fit through it, and with the laminated effect, they are extremely strong and light weight.

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post #31 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
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I suspect you are correct.
A few weeks age I was going around a sweeping bend, only to see an idiot overtaking on the wrong side of the road, double yellow lines and a blind bend.
I hit the brakes and managed to steer through the 1 metre of road available between the car and the soft gravel shoulder. Thank God that at 60 I still have some reflexes, haha.

I had a big adrenaline high after that one.
Still the pup, eh?
Otherwise no adrem' and worse yet, no buzz.

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post #32 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Still the pup, eh?
Otherwise no adrem' and worse yet, no buzz.
Yes, I'm not ready to give up just yet, when the fun stops, then what's the point.

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post #33 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Next step is easy, file down the thread protruding for the nut, as it's flared to stop the nut coming loose. I didn\t even need a vice, just 30 seconds with a hand file, otherwise you are left with the last picture, but no drama, just file it down.
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post #34 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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I removed 2 of the 4 washers, slide them straight off the plastic stem. Don't forget the Loctite.
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post #35 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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File the other valve the same.
Mine doesn't quite match, with all the washers it's slightly longer, if I remove 1 it's slightly shorter?
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post #36 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Very open to suggestion re which way to go here, the longer or shorter?

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post #37 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Murphy must have followed me home, I was using 2 x 4" 10mm spanners to tighten the nut, not mush pressure, and this happened.
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post #38 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 06:10 PM
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Murphy must have followed me home, I was using 2 x 4" 10mm spanners to tighten the nut, not mush pressure, and this happened.
I looked at the Racetech instructions I still have.
The torque spec for the nut is only 30 in/# = 2.5 ft/#, along with a warning not to exceed that amount.
Quite a low torque spec, and reflects the cut (not rolled) threading and thin remaining wall.
In hindsight, pretty easy to see how it could happen.
It sure sux!

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post #39 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diablo View Post
Murphy must have followed me home, I was using 2 x 4" 10mm spanners to tighten the nut, not mush pressure, and this happened.
I looked at the Racetech instructions I still have.
The torque spec for the nut is only 30 in/# = 2.5 ft/#, along with a warning not to exceed that amount.
Quite a low torque spec, and reflects the cut (not rolled) threading and thin remaining wall.
In hindsight, pretty easy to see how it could happen.
It sure sux!
Damn, is 30 inch/lbs even measurable?

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post #40 of 66 Old 08-03-2018, 06:25 PM
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Damn, is 30 inch/lbs even measurable?
I have a beautiful Snap-On 0 - 12 ft/# dial type torque wrench and rest assured, such a low level easily measurable AND way too easy to exceed without a torque wrench.

Also.
Imagine trying to remove said nut after having been locked with Loctite 271, and trying to keep the breaking free torque low without having first applied heat!
I don't know if Racetech still calls out for 271.
I wonder what Ohlins calls out for use.
Personally, I'd never use 271, and would instead use an oil resistant lower strength grade, and use heat for disassembly.

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