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  1. #1
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    VT 4 way shock issues

    I got a 2003 VT 1 about a month ago, and have been trying to get the Swinger set just right. When in the 5.7 inch setting, the O ring indicates that I have used nearly all of the shock's travel. I don't feel it bottom or anything, but I am not doing anything on the bike that should use up this much travel. I have the volume nut a little more than 3 turns in, with about 130 in the SPV chamber. Sag is right at 25%. If I set it to 5.0 inches, and readjust the main spring for sag, but leave the SPV volume and pressure constant, I have about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of shock shaft left above the O ring, riding the same trails in the same manner. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Sounds to me like you are not running enough pressure in your main.

    I found that I had to increase the pressure in the swinger 3 I have on my VT-2 to get the required reaction from the shock. I weight about 170 lbs ready to ride, and am using a 150/120 setting with a few clicks on the rebound setting.

    Anything less uses too much travel on the shock O ring indicator. Try upping your main pressure a bit.


    R.

  3. #3
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    Agree with Rainman on increasing the main chamber PSIs.

    You mentioned the SPV canister setting but never mentioned the PSI on the main chamber, try it at 3/4 of your weight and keep playing with it.

  4. #4
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    I have been running about 155-160 in the main (in 5.7, 135 in 5.0 setting), up to 175, which felt stiffer but still had the O Ring issue. I'll play with it some more and see where I get

  5. #5
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    I was told by the guy at the LBS that during a typical ride, the shock should reach its full travel [compression] a few times, otherwise you are not getting the benefits of the whole of the shocks travel/plushness.

    I was a bit concerned about bottoming the shock out over bigger hits, but his opinion was that it wouldn't 'bottom out' because you can only compress the air in the chamber so much, then no further.

    I get full travel on my settings, which are currently 150/120 on every ride, but never actually feel the shock 'hit the bottom'...so maybe he is correct.

    I don't worry about the 'sag' factor much at all, just how the shock feels and behaves during riding.


    R.

  6. #6
    XC rider/racer
    Reputation: Andy 's Avatar
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    Swinger 3 way

    That sounds about normal to me. On most of my rides the O ring usually indicates that there was around 1/2" inch of travel left on the shaft.
    By all means experiment with your pressures until you find a "sweet spot" that suits your riding style, as long as youre not actually bottoming out i wouldnt be too concerned that the O ring is showing 1/2 - 3/4" inch left.
    Cheers

  7. #7
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    The concern is that there is essentially no room left on the shaft in the 5.7 inch setting. The O Ring will be at the top of the sjaft or at the most 1/8 inch below the top. Only in the 5.0 inch setting is there any appreciable travel remaining by looking at the shaft.

  8. #8
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    Can you post some pics, this doesn't seems right.

    I've heard that you'll never get 100% of the travel on the Swinger shock, in my case the o ring is almost always about 3/4 of the travel at the 5.7 setting.

  9. #9
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    I'll try to take some next time I ride...Maybe I need to move the volume adjuster in more when in the longer travel setting. I hope to just get it working right in the longer travel setting, as I like the angles a little more set this way

  10. #10
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    Here is an admittedly poor picture. If you look closely (sorry) above the dust ring on the shock, you'll see wheer it is. This is with 130 psi SPV and 180psi main. I weigh 185 lbs.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Imo, you need more air pressure in your main, so try increasing it to 200psi and see how you go.

    On another subject.. I see so many VT riders with crud all over their shock and front mech. There is an oh-so-easy fix for this. I took a piece of soft black eva [an old pad off one of my windsurfing boards] and cut it so that it attaches neatly to the square alloy section in front of the back wheel with tielocks, and extends to the bottom of the seat post hole.

    This stops about 90 percent of the mud/crud from the back wheel being thrown onto the shock/mech area.

    I would take a foto but my camera is busted...from a crash on the trail...lol..

    Back on subject... try more air in that main chamber and let us know if it works better...



    R.

  12. #12
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    IMHO adding more preasure might do the trick but not 100% on that. I'm 200lbs and run 190psi on the main chamber, try that first.

    How many turns in the SPV nut? I run 1 turn in and 130psi.

    Also how is your riding posture? Do you use a regular seatpost or setback? This may sound a bit strange but if you ride with more weight to the back your shock will require more psi's to deal with the added weight.

  13. #13
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    ..Oh yeah..

    Forgot to add: What pump are you using to pressurise your shock?

    Most shock pumps let a fair bit of air out when you unscrew the fitting from the schrader valve.

    You may think that you have 130/180 psi, but in reality, you have a lot less.

    Check how much air you are losing when you detach the pump from the fitting..


    R.

  14. #14
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    Another dirt fix

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    .

    On another subject.. I see so many VT riders with crud all over their shock and front mech. There is an oh-so-easy fix for this. I took a piece of soft black eva [an old pad off one of my windsurfing boards] and cut it so that it attaches neatly to the square alloy section in front of the back wheel with tielocks, and extends to the bottom of the seat post hole.

    This stops about 90 percent of the mud/crud from the back wheel being thrown onto the shock/mech area.

    R.
    Armadillo also make a "sleeve" that fits directly over the Swinger 3 ways to keep dirt and rubbish out.
    Cheers

  15. #15
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    Agree with Rainman on the shock pump issue, most pumps loose about 10psi when been disengaged from the valve, always pump additional air to cope with this.

    Also try another pump to see if you get the same results, had a friend that had a similar problem and turned out to be an inaccurate reading on the pump.

  16. #16
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    This was a pic taken after a muddy ride, it would be washed normally but I didn't want to disturb the position of the O ring for the pic. I've got an Easton EA50, which does have a decent amount of setback, but I have the saddle moved towards the front of the bike a decent amount. I've used the included Manitou pump, as well as another one from Performance with a no loss head which seems to work better, particularly on the SPV valve. The volume adjuster is approximately three turns in, and I have played with that setting some as well. I don't want to screw it in too much more though, as I am worried th suspension will be too harsh.

  17. #17
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    i put about 250 into the main chamber and 150 into the SPV chamber....

    but it does seem to slowly lose air after a ride.....

    seems your 03 model is different to my '04 model shock

  18. #18
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    It seems better with another turn of the volume adjuster (a little over three now)...

  19. #19
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    Losing pressure...

    Quote Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL
    Agree with Rainman on the shock pump issue, most pumps loose about 10psi when been disengaged from the valve, always pump additional air to cope with this.

    Also try another pump to see if you get the same results, had a friend that had a similar problem and turned out to be an inaccurate reading on the pump.
    I have seen this mentioned a couple times. I was wondering if you use the procedures listed in the Manitou product manual for connecting the shock pump. It says to screw on the pump until pressure shows on the gauge and then turn it only a half a turn further. Using this method, I have found it much easier to disconnect the pump with a noticable difference in loss of air pressure. When I first got my bike, I would screw on the pump until it stopped. When disconnecting the pump, I would hear air hissing out before I could get the pump completely unscrewed from the shock. Since I started using the method recommended by Manitou, I have had to change the amount of air I was putting into the shock by about 7 pounds less. I am actually pretty sure any air that I hear now when I disconnect the pump is what was in the line and more importantly, it feels more consistent.

    Brian

  20. #20
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    No leak pump head

    I was doing that with the stock pump, and wasn't losing air pressure to my knowledge. I got some pump from performance with the two stage lock for the head (screw on main cap and then screw in smaller cap to open valve) and it works great, particularly with the piggyback chamber which is tight to get to (especially with it screwed ina few turns). It as only $20, and is smaller than the stock one as well, so it fits more readily into my backpack. I think the volume adjustment was the cuplrit, as a little past three turns has improved it enough to back off on the SPV pressure a little.

  21. #21
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    Glad that you were able to find a setting to your liking. This shock is a pain to dial in but after setting it correctly works great.

    I'm still looking for the sweet spot but I believe I'm getting pretty close. Got to go, my SS is waiting for me at home today.

  22. #22
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    my manitou pump died... the black rubber section disconnected from the main body

    need to buy a new one... i might look out for that double valve one

  23. #23
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    just replaced the shock pump with a topeak one... nice pump but cost me $A69

    anyway, the difficulties with pumping the shock was definitely due to the crappy manitou one....

    no probs pumping with the topeak one...

    prob solved and now after the bike store tightened the valve core... no leaks

    i luv my VT !!

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