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  1. #1
    MTB B'dos
    Reputation: LyNx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Blue Printing Maestro

    I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with motorsport and the term Blue Printing, but it basically means making sure that something is running at it's optimal - in terms of an engine it means getting a stock engine and then taking it apart to check that everything is put up with very tight tolerances. That all pistons, rods, rockers, bolts etc. weigh the same. That all tolerances for clearance are exact. That the crank shaft is perfectly balanced and machined. All this makes the engine gain an increase of from 10-25% sometimes.

    I asked about Blue Printing as I got to thinking that we all just buy "production" bikes that are put together on an assembly line, with tolerances falling where they may - if all parts are machined/made properly and line up then things work pretty good, if however they are maybe out things may not run so smooth.

    I came accross a problem with my Maestro based Trance which I wasn't confortable with even though I was reassured it was "no big deal" and didn't effect the bikes handling or rigidity. What had happened was that I noticed a slight bit of play in the suspension shock area when I gently tipped the sadle. When I checked it out I found play in the shock and thought it was the bottom mounting hardware not being tight, but it was and a slight retightening helped for all of 1/2 till I was on the trail. I then took it to a trusted machinist and car expert who reassured me that although there was play - probably because it is a production bike, not custom - that the actual suspension design did not need exact tightness there for the rear rigidity to be in tact.

    I didn't like the slight play,so I decided to check more closely into this and here's what I found and did.........
    I found out it wasn't a fault at the bottom mounting position of the shock, but rather at the top eye that mounted to the rockers. I figured a couple things... 1. The bolt or bushings had become slightly worn and therfor weren't making as close contact as when new and this was causing some of the play problems. 2. That the wear had been caused because the chock actually didn't run centered inbetween the rockers, yet the mounting hardware was identical for both sides.

    Here's what I did to correct what I found.............
    I checked to see placement for the chock in the rockers, noted which side the shock was closer too and confirmed by having the shock mounted through the bottom eye and then trying to gently push the shock ninto the rockers - looking towards the rear I found that the shock actually sat closer to the drive side of the rockers. So I sanded some material from the inside and outside of the mouting bushing for the drive side. I check regularly to make sure I wasn't removing too much material. Once I had gotten the bushing to the specs I wanted I then found a spacer/washer to mount between the rocker and bushing of the no-drive side, re-assembled the bike and voila the play was gone and suspension moving much smoother. Now I have aproperly aligned suspension with no extra forces playing on the shock to wear it outed prematurely.

    Anyone had any similar problems? Mine might have become more aparent as I have no fear of doing regular maintance/checks on my suspension after really nasty rides and as such have pulled it completely down 3 times
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Benno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Good job!

    My 2004 NRS Air developed a slight amount of play right at the end of it's life in the exact same area and I've heard of many full suspension bikes developing this. Mine was most likely caused by worn bushings and could be fixed by replacing them. Thank you very much for the posting though, it is knowledge I can use if I ever run into that problem on a newer bike (like my 2006 Anthem 1 which is due to arrive in a few weeks).

  3. #3
    "El Whatever"
    Reputation: Warp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    My Warp's shock frame mount is that same situation... Now I have caliper and will check closely.

    There was a tiny play between the spacers and the eyelet liner (actually the spacers contact with the liner rather than the shock's head, as it should be)... less than 0.5mm I guess. A bit of teflon tape got rid of it... I'll use a shim next time I service the crap out of that stuff.
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