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  1. #1
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    Formula K18 FCS installation

    Does anyone have instructions on how to install the FCS adjustment kit into K18s? I've done a search of both the US and Italian Formula sites and can't find anything.

    Thanks in advance.

    EDIT: Also wanting to replace levers at the same time, but presumably the levers have to come off to get the FCS kit in there.
    Last edited by budgie; 01-01-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  3. #3
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    Cool, thanks. Not sure I understand every word of the instructions, but it definitely gives me enough info to give it a go.
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  4. #4
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    don't do it... the beneficts are far from great.
    I have K24, but if I had to pay all over again, I would go K18 without that fancy FCS

  5. #5
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    Does anyone know what the FCS lever actually DOES? Does it increase the pushrod-length, or is there another mechanism?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tkul
    don't do it... the beneficts are far from great.
    I have K24, but if I had to pay all over again, I would go K18 without that fancy FCS
    Interesting... I have to take the front apart anyway to replace the lever adjustment bolt that I stripped, and figured I might as well do the FCS while I'm at it. So are you saying that it's just not worth the hassle, or is it actually detrimental to performance?
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  7. #7
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    If you have to open it, just put standard parts.
    over this side of the pond, CRC sell (or sold) the kits, to do an overhaul.
    I did to mine - and went OK! Use the proper oil and check for obstrutions on tubes and master cilinder, bleed it correctly (even if you have to do it twice).

    PS - If you use pressure, use googles, respirator and do it out side.
    As you blow... it will have a cloud of brake oil in the air.

  8. #8
    Never enough time to ride
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    The FCS adjuster changes the point in the lever throw that the pads contact the rotor. I've got K24's and K18's and just installed the FCS on the K18's at the same time I replaced the mc pistons. If you have stock K18's you will need to get new pistons at the same time.

    The adjuster is actually pretty simple and clever, all they do is mold a notch into the piston seal. When you rotate the knob, you change the position of the notch and that changes the lever position where the seal covers the transfer port in the MC body, after which pressure is built in the system and pistons begin to move. The stock K18 pistons DO NOT have this notch, and if you install the FCS levers on the them they will be completely ineffective.

    happy trails...

    Josh
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by squish
    If you have stock K18's you will need to get new pistons at the same time.
    Oof! Thanks for the super-clear explanation. With all those parts, though, I'd almost be better off buying a new discounted K24 (or shelling out for the Rx's) and saving myself some hassle. Is there any point to replacing the MC as a general maintenance item? If so, that might make it worth the trouble.
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  10. #10
    Never enough time to ride
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    Popping the pistons and adjusters out takes maybe 5 minutes for each lever, and the only tool you need is a t8 (?) torx and the bleed kit. Bleeding will take around 10 minutes or so if you've done it before more if you haven't. The pistons and adjusters shouldn't be too bad cost wise, right around $60.00 for 2 pistons and 2 FCS where as a complete master cylinder would be over $100 for each side.

    happy trails...

    squish
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by squish
    The adjuster is actually pretty simple and clever, all they do is mold a notch into the piston seal. When you rotate the knob, you change the position of the notch and that changes the lever position where the seal covers the transfer port in the MC body, after which pressure is built in the system and pistons begin to move. The stock K18 pistons DO NOT have this notch, and if you install the FCS levers on the them they will be completely ineffective.
    Ahhh, so it's the asymmetrical/slanted piston seal that changes orientation, and coveres the timing hole at a different amount of leverthrow.

  12. #12
    Never enough time to ride
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    Yup exactly!

    happy trails...

    squish
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  13. #13
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    Just finished this up, should help get things in and out. If I missed anything let me know and I'll update it.

    http://www.thesurlybikemechanic.blogspot.com/

    happy trails...

    squish
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    Oof! Thanks for the super-clear explanation. With all those parts, though, I'd almost be better off buying a new discounted K24 (or shelling out for the Rx's) and saving myself some hassle. Is there any point to replacing the MC as a general maintenance item? If so, that might make it worth the trouble.
    don't know where you can find K-24's anymore, Formula hasn't made them in a while, maybe fleabay, but i doubt they'll be new. Rx's don't even have the adjustment you are looking for so that move wouldn't make much sense.
    The fcs installation is easy. i cost me a total of $60 plus shipping for 2 fcs and 2 pistons. pull out old, put in new, bleed and you are finished. piece of cake. and it does make a difference in lever contact point. not as much adjustment range as elixir cr, but it does work and you can feel the difference.
    note: when i spoke with the Formula rep, i was told that older k-18's may not need to have piston replaced as they used to come with the same piston as the k-24 (with the slanted seal) but didn't come with the fcs. only the newer k-18's (since they stopped making the k-24"s) have the piston that needs to be replaced. i'm assuming you already have these brakes, so it might be worthwhile to pull out one of the pistons and check before you order.

  15. #15
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    squish:
    Just awesome: thanks so much! Formula should give you a free set of brake pads or a commemorative pen or something...

    Any suggestions how to get the lever off if the reach adjuster barrel is rounded out? That's actually what precipitated this whole business (that... and a new year's resolution to teach myself how to overhaul my own brakes).
    Last edited by budgie; 01-04-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclekittykiller
    so it might be worthwhile to pull out one of the pistons and check before you order.
    good tip! thanks... will do..
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  17. #17
    Never enough time to ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    squish:
    Just awesome: thanks so much! Formula should give you a free set of brake pads or a commemorative pen or something...

    Any suggestions how to get the lever off if the reach adjuster barrel is rounded out? That's actually what precipitated this whole business (that... and a new year's resolution to teach myself how to overhaul my own brakes).
    No problem, it's what I do! As far as getting out a stripped barrel, I would remove the pivot pin and pull gently on the lever while you turn the adjuster rod clockwise to remove it, this may allow the threads to bite enough to remove the the barrel. Usually works, but not always, let us know how it turns out.

    kittykiller, that's a good piece of information, I'll hold onto that for future reference.

    happy trails...

    squish
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by squish
    As far as getting out a stripped barrel, I would remove the pivot pin and pull gently on the lever while you turn the adjuster rod clockwise to remove it, this may allow the threads to bite enough to remove the the barrel.
    squish
    Ugh, sorry. Mis-spoke/wrote. It's the adjuster ROD, not the barrel that's stripped. Pesky 2.5 allen! Am I screwed (pardon the bad pun)?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by budgie
    Am I screwed?
    maybe not. iirc, you can pull the pivot pin out of the lever so it is only connected to the mc body by the adjuster rod that is stripped. you should be able to just spin the lever by hand until it unscrews itself from the rod. then order a new rod along with the other needed parts from formula.

  20. #20
    Never enough time to ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by unclekittykiller
    maybe not. iirc, you can pull the pivot pin out of the lever so it is only connected to the mc body by the adjuster rod that is stripped. you should be able to just spin the lever by hand until it unscrews itself from the rod. then order a new rod along with the other needed parts from formula.
    What he said, but you might have to hold the rod with a needle nose to keep it from spinning in the piston. A flat head screw driver stuffed in the end of the rod might get the job done as well.

    happy trails...

    squish
    Get out and ride!

  21. #21
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    You guys rock. Thanks for putting up with my inane questions. Ordering up parts tonight!
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