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  1. #1
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    Lefty damper oil change

    Can anyone fill me in on the correct method to fill and bleed the damper cartridge on my 2007 110 DLR2 alloy lefty. I have changed the oil and refilled, seems to be a little air left in it, it has an inch or so spongy movement with the damper locked.

  2. #2
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    I dont have that lefty, but what I do (from Lefty God, Craig at Mendoncyclesmith) when I'm putting the new oil in:

    I fill the lefty 3/4 (eyeballing it) and then cycle it best I can to get any air out.

    I then insert the dampener about half way. I fill more as I slowly move the dampener in more. Sometimes moving it up and down to get any trapped air out.

    I keep filling until the dampener is almost all the way in. I then SLOWLY screw it all the way down with my 22 mm socket. (I will assume you have the bleed screw out)

    I then check the bleed hole to make sure the oil is visible and still take a dinky screwdriver and put it in there to release any trapped bubble.

    I torque to spec on the dampener, the put the bleed screw back in..

    I hope some of this may help
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  3. #3
    Fixin' shocks Day & Night
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    Quote Originally Posted by tf1958
    Can anyone fill me in on the correct method to fill and bleed the damper cartridge on my 2007 110 DLR2 alloy lefty. I have changed the oil and refilled, seems to be a little air left in it, it has an inch or so spongy movement with the damper locked.
    Hey tf1958, I feel the best way to approach this is be ready to be messy. It is an oily process at best. You need to fill the cartridge to the threaded area while cycling the shaft so you remove any trapped air bubbles. Now on yours there are some tricks. You should only fill the cartridge 3/4 full and cycle the shaft several times. Once you are sure all trapped air is out, then slide the lockout lever on while leaving the top cartridge cap removed still pour some more oil in and cycle the shaft. Now this is IMPORTANT on your Lefty. Lockout the cartridge and then try to press down ward gently and the apply pressure. You should feel the sponginess go away and see some foam surface on the oil. Now you can unlock the cartridge and remove the lockout lever. If more oil is needed pour it in make sure it is up to the middle of the threads. Now install the top cap to the cartridge and your cartridge should lockout and feel great! You can bench test it just install the lockout lever and see if you got it, sometimes it takes 2 or 3 tries.

  4. #4
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    You guys are forgetting about the pressure compensation system in the damper. If this area is not filled and the comp piston set at the correct height, you can get excess movement while locked out. Up to 10mm of damped movement is normal.

    Let me offer you this thorough walk through.

    Crack open the bleed screw to releive any pressure that may have built up. Tighten the bleed screw back shut once any pressure is relieved.
    Remove the negative spring and all of the components from the bottom of the damper. Be sure to clamp the lower shaft with 1/2" shaft clamps to unthread the negative spring perch. Also remove the spring that is found inside of the lower shaft. Unthread the lower oil cap and pour out the oil. Insert a 15g spoke into the lower shaft. If you look into the lower shaft, you will see a white plastic piston with a hole in the center. Thread the spoke into the hole...you'll actually form a few threads. Push the piston up and into the lower shaft until it stops. This will push the old oil out of the pressure compensation chamber. This oil can now be poured out of the oil cylinder.

    Now you're ready to fill with new oil. Slide the lower oil cap onto the lower shaft using a bullet tool. Slide the pressure comp spring onto the spoke and into the lower shaft (you will use this as a gage for the comp piston height). Make sure the damper is in the ON position and the rebound is in the 'wide-open' position. Start filling the oil cylinder will fresh oil. Cycle the damper slowly to pull the oil onto the opposite side of the main piston that is in the oil cylinder. Once the damper will not accept any more oil, slowly pull on on the spoke to draw oil into the pressure compensation chamber. Slowly move it back and forth to release any trapped bubbles. Cycle the oil cylinder a few times to help dislodge the air bubbles. As you pull the spoke, the oil level in the oil cylinder will drop...add more oil as the level drops. Pull the spoke/comp piston until the end of the comp spring is even with the end of the lower shaft. This is the proper position for the comp piston. Thread the lower oil cap in. This will push the comp spring out just a touch more. Unthread the spoke from the comp piston. Install the negative spring perch and check your bleed quality, lockout function, etc. If you are satisfied, reinstall the negative spring and its pieces. Reinstall the negative spring perch. Done.

  5. #5
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    Thanks very much for the info. I am going to try to refill it this weekend.

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Late to the party, but what they said. Two6 baked the cake, and Headshok'r put the icing on top
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  7. #7
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    I did mine folowing this.

    http://maximatgmh.free.fr/Instructio...fty%20DLR2.pdf

    Look at numbers 36 - 37 and you see how he bleads the air out pushing the compensator piston in.

    I found that some tapping helped to get the bubbles moving.

  8. #8
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    Thanks

    Thanks very much for posting the service info, much appreciated.

  9. #9
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    Just used Headshock'r's bleed procedures on a used '07 DLR2 I just picked up. I filled the cartridge to the brim before threading the lower cap in. Once fully seated, the compensation spring protruded out of the shaft ~10-15mm (should have measured it). Is this too far? It took a decent amount of force to compress the spring and get the threads started on the spring perch.

    Compared to the Cannondale procedures linked above, this yields a piston position ~25mm further out.

  10. #10
    Ridin' dirty!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktm520
    Just used Headshock'r's bleed procedures on a used '07 DLR2 I just picked up. I filled the cartridge to the brim before threading the lower cap in. Once fully seated, the compensation spring protruded out of the shaft ~10-15mm (should have measured it). Is this too far? It took a decent amount of force to compress the spring and get the threads started on the spring perch.
    bleed screw a little bit while pushing the spring in.
    Compared to the Cannondale procedures linked above, this yields a piston position ~25mm further out.
    In order to have the spring flush with the damper shaft you have to open up the bleed screw.
    This will relieve excess pressure from the cartridge and also get rid of the extra fluid which is causing the spring and piston from sitting at the appropriate level.
    If you don't do this, chances are high your cartridge will develop a leak very soon, worst case scenario is that the top cap or damper shaft seals pop out.
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  11. #11
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    Here's a silly question - roughly how long does it takes to do an oil change? I'm just wondering how long to set aside...
    My LBS | Riding this and this

  12. #12
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_N
    Here's a silly question - roughly how long does it takes to do an oil change? I'm just wondering how long to set aside...
    Give yourself an hour at least. Less once you're comfortable with the process.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_N
    Here's a silly question - roughly how long does it takes to do an oil change? I'm just wondering how long to set aside...
    Yeah, what Craig said on the time.

    Also, wear safety glasses!!!!

    One of my bad habits on changing the oil was to put a tad too much in there when putting the dampener back in. Well, that makes oil shoot out of the bleed hole. I'm not talking a little flow here, a good stream. That oil stream hit me right above my hairline. A few inches lower and it would have been right at my eye. I had safety glasses on, but it still would have been bad.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  14. #14
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    Ha!

    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg
    Yeah, what Craig said on the time.

    Also, wear safety glasses!!!!

    One of my bad habits on changing the oil was to put a tad too much in there when putting the dampener back in. Well, that makes oil shoot out of the bleed hole. I'm not talking a little flow here, a good stream. That oil stream hit me right above my hairline. A few inches lower and it would have been right at my eye. I had safety glasses on, but it still would have been bad.
    I was at a buds house about 5 years ago right when he got his first Lefty (and was one of the first cats to bolt it to a non-cannondale frame). He just got it on his bike, had it in the stand and was going to do an oil change on it.

    Same exact thing happened. It squirted oil, hit him right smack dab in the middle of the forehead.

    Yeah, wear your safety glasses! Especially when using grinding tools!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg
    Yeah, what Craig said on the time.

    Also, wear safety glasses!!!!

    One of my bad habits on changing the oil was to put a tad too much in there when putting the dampener back in. Well, that makes oil shoot out of the bleed hole. I'm not talking a little flow here, a good stream. That oil stream hit me right above my hairline. A few inches lower and it would have been right at my eye. I had safety glasses on, but it still would have been bad.
    I wear glasses anyway so have some level of protection already, but I'll certainly keep things in mind when I do the service...

    Thanks for the response guys!
    My LBS | Riding this and this

  16. #16
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    process of changing oil for Speed ​​XLR ? some pdf or photo presentation ?

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    To revive an old thread I am wondering if the rebuild requires the special tools mention on the pdf or are standard tools workable?
    My Rush was hanging upside down in the garage and lost oil from the front fork. How much is unknown but the local bike shop wants $290 to $500 for a rebuild. That's a little crazy if it's really a 1 hour job minus parts cost.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by edonthenet View Post
    To revive an old thread I am wondering if the rebuild requires the special tools mention on the pdf or are standard tools workable?
    My Rush was hanging upside down in the garage and lost oil from the front fork. How much is unknown but the local bike shop wants $290 to $500 for a rebuild. That's a little crazy if it's really a 1 hour job minus parts cost.
    Is it a Lefty or a 2 legged monstronsity of weight?
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by edonthenet View Post
    To revive an old thread I am wondering if the rebuild requires the special tools mention on the pdf or are standard tools workable?
    My Rush was hanging upside down in the garage and lost oil from the front fork. How much is unknown but the local bike shop wants $290 to $500 for a rebuild. That's a little crazy if it's really a 1 hour job minus parts cost.
    Also, if any fork looses oil, you will most likely need more than just an oil change. You might need new seals. Oil should not leak out of a for just hanging there.

    If it's a Lefty, sending it to Craig at MendonCycleSmith will make it work like new. He may work on other forks as well. Check with him.

    If it's just a std "Joe Boring" type of fork, check Push Industries for a rebuild price.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  20. #20
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Sounds like Cannondale service pricing, not "in shop" pricing. That will include a new damper, just FYI.

    If they actually get that much to rebuild a Lefty with any kind of regularity, I need to start charging more
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Is it a Lefty or a 2 legged monstronsity of weight?
    It is a lefty fork.

    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    Also, if any fork looses oil, you will most likely need more than just an oil change. You might need new seals. Oil should not leak out of a for just hanging there.

    If it's a Lefty, sending it to Craig at MendonCycleSmith will make it work like new. He may work on other forks as well. Check with him.

    If it's just a std "Joe Boring" type of fork, check Push Industries for a rebuild price.
    Well, now that the bike is back upright the leaking has stopped. The last time I took it out the air pressure was low but there was some air in there. I pumped it up to operating pressure and it's working good and still holding pressure along with no more oil seepage.

    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Sounds like Cannondale service pricing, not "in shop" pricing. That will include a new damper, just FYI.
    If they actually get that much to rebuild a Lefty with any kind of regularity, I need to start charging more
    You should. As soon as you are done with mine I would highly recommend it
    I'm sure you do wizardry with the lefty forks but to be honest I paid just a little more for the bike then the rebuild would cost. That and the fact the bike doesn't get much use is a limiting factor on my repair expense. I'm not too likely to get that serious into riding again so I'm thinking if it works now it's "good enough". I was just kind of hoping there was a way to patch up what I had with some fresh oil.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    Sounds like Cannondale service pricing, not "in shop" pricing. That will include a new damper, just FYI.

    If they actually get that much to rebuild a Lefty with any kind of regularity, I need to start charging more
    No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by edonthenet View Post
    It is a lefty fork.


    Well, now that the bike is back upright the leaking has stopped. The last time I took it out the air pressure was low but there was some air in there. I pumped it up to operating pressure and it's working good and still holding pressure along with no more oil seepage.


    You should. As soon as you are done with mine I would highly recommend it
    I'm sure you do wizardry with the lefty forks but to be honest I paid just a little more for the bike then the rebuild would cost. That and the fact the bike doesn't get much use is a limiting factor on my repair expense. I'm not too likely to get that serious into riding again so I'm thinking if it works now it's "good enough". I was just kind of hoping there was a way to patch up what I had with some fresh oil.
    Yeah, if it works, just roll it and have fun.

    I need my bike dead on perfect when I ride otherwise I hit a tree. Even then, I can still hit a tree.

    So, the score:
    Tree: 1
    New front wheel: 0
    My ego: 0
    My wallet: $0
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  24. #24
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg View Post
    No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Don't worry, returning customers would still get preferential pricing...
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



    www.mendoncyclesmith.com

  25. #25
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    I followed the head shock guide too and the negative spring was sticking out about 15mm before I reinstalled the perch. As above it needed some pressure to get the perch thread engaged. Is this wrong? I could probably reduce the pressure on the spring by bleeding it a little.

    Prior to the above I had just serviced it for the first time and it felt great but then started leaking oil from the lower seal around the damper shaft (seal and shaft are fine) Is having some air trapped in there enough to cause a leak? Does it matter which way up the seal is on the inside of the lower plastic cap? (I replaced that seal , maybe the wrong way up.?..)

    Thanks (posted this in the sticky but not sure how often that gets seen)

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