Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122

    White VT 1.3 Issues

    I just got a "like new" 2005 White Bros VT 1.3, got it installed, and some problems jumped up before I got out of my living room. This thing is a 2005- but it was ridden less than 10 times in its lifetime, and isn't even broken in yet.

    The VT 1.3 is an 80-130mm oil damped, coil sprung fork with rebound, compression and lockout adjustments. It uses a cartridge damper.

    Let me describe the problem:

    The rebound nob falls out randomly when the fork is compressed, and oil leaks out. This happened 3 or so times and each time some oil dripped. After the third time the fork appears to have no lockout, no rebound ,and no compression adjustment. This tells me there is something wrong with the damper, and that it is most likely low on oil.

    The rebound nob is held in by a single O ring, and this o ring appears to be a little dry rotted. Other than having essentially no damper, the fork feels wonderful and plush. 1 last detail is the fork was modified by white industries ~2 years ago with a "spring actuated rebound dampening rod", so the previous owner tells me. I have the original rod on hand as well.

    What do you think I should do?

    I have questions to help things get started:
    Is there a source for rebuild kits on white forks?
    Is this a known issue?
    What is usually used to lubricate the lowers? A small volume of oil or grease?
    What weight oil comes standard in the damper? What volume is needed in the cartridge?
    What is the advantage of this spring actuated damper rod?


    I just couldn't resist the pretty machined goodness of this fork... have a look.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails White VT 1.3 Issues-s4010009.jpg  

    White VT 1.3 Issues-s4010010.jpg  


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,338
    no idea on your troubles, but it looks sweet! maybe send it to WB for a rebuild?
    whatever...

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    update:
    it appears the oil dripping out of the rebound nob hole was oil bath oil- not damper oil. However- my damper is also leaking. I know this because the oil dripping has been clearish yellow BUT when I pulled off the lowers a larger volume of opaque yellow oil came out. When I cycle the damper rod by hand there doesn't seem to be any oil resistance- i.e. the damper is empty...

    thoughts?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,294
    well you have the fork apart, why dont you look inside

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    im honestly nervous about pulling the damper cart out. should I not be?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    Call White Brothers. They are extremely helpful over the phone. If the fork needs a rebuild (sounds like it does), they're very inexpensive on those.

    I have a VT 1.3 that they converted to 100/120 (internally adjustable) for about $80. The travel adjust wasn't working well for me - I wanted to run it at 100mm but I wasn't getting any sag out of the fork.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    i just talked to white- they said it would be ~80$ to rebuild the cartridge regardless of whether I sent them the whole fork or just the damper. They could try to put a new style fluid damper in it for about 200$.

    is 80$ cheap to rebuild a fork cart?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by orangeskill
    i just talked to white- they said it would be ~80$ to rebuild the cartridge regardless of whether I sent them the whole fork or just the damper. They could try to put a new style fluid damper in it for about 200$.

    is 80$ cheap to rebuild a fork cart?
    I would do it if it were my fork. White Brothers has helped me out on 3 rebuild issues over the years (Total Air cartridges, a suspension seatpost, and the VT fork) and they have always given me more than I expected for the price. Send the whole fork in.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    do you still ride your vt 1.3? What do you think of it? I only weigh 125 lbs and white told me they do not have any soft springs for it. I think the stock spring is borderline too stiff- but may be helped with some lighter weight damper oil ( and the fork isnt even broken in).

    How much do you weigh? what spring is in it?

    I am considering just dropping the VT and getting a plain ol minute with TPC or something. The white is pretty- other than that, what does it have going for it?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by orangeskill
    do you still ride your vt 1.3? What do you think of it? I only weigh 125 lbs and white told me they do not have any soft springs for it. I think the stock spring is borderline too stiff- but may be helped with some lighter weight damper oil ( and the fork isnt even broken in).

    How much do you weigh? what spring is in it?

    I am considering just dropping the VT and getting a plain ol minute with TPC or something. The white is pretty- other than that, what does it have going for it?
    Actually, it's not on my dual-suspension bike right now. I had the WB on there long enough to break it in, but then I took it off to service it and stuck my Marzocchi Marathon on the bike. Right after that, I lost interest in riding my dual suspension bike very much because I built up a fully-rigid singlespeed. The Marathon has about a half-pound weight penalty but it's very plush.

    I weigh 190. The WB is light for a coil fork and very laterally stiff. The lockout works great and it's very well made. The only downside, for me, is its lack of plushness. It probably wouldn't compress much at all for a 125 pounder. (I think I have a heavy spring in there.) It would be a great fork for a hardtail. I've got a Curtlo fully rigid 29er on order, and in the spring I'll probably sell the WB.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    I also think the travel adjust of the VT 1.3 fork is not well-designed. (I think WB makes a really high quality product and has great service.) To adjust the fork from 130 travel on down, you pre-compress the fork which also pre-compresses the spring. To wind it down to 100mm, you are pre-compressing the spring so much that you can't get any sag at all basically. That just seems wrong. That's why I had them take out the external travel adjust on my fork and replace it with an internal travel adjust that works the way it's supposed to.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    ya, it seems the" travel adjust" is really a preload adjust with an odd side effect. Luckily I want a 120-130mm fork, and need no preload.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    its in the mail to white. I bit the bullet. It better be pretty AND badass when it comes back. Otherwise I should have just stayed w/ my old 2006 reba team. Ill write a little report of how it rides in ~3 weeks.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by orangeskill
    its in the mail to white. I bit the bullet. It better be pretty AND badass when it comes back. Otherwise I should have just stayed w/ my old 2006 reba team. Ill write a little report of how it rides in ~3 weeks.
    Good luck. BTW - you said you weigh 125 pounds. Do you even need a suspension fork?

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    lol, I am sure I could make due without it- but it might make some things a little less fun.

    I honestly haven't ridden a bike off road with no front suspension in ~10 years. On the trails I spent most my life on in Texas- suspension is more of a necessity. Here in California (bay area)- there are lots of mtn bike trails well suited for cyclecross machines.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    update: I send my fork in to white and talked to them on the phone 1 week after it got to them. He is going to rebuild the damper with slightly lighter oil, replace seals, replace bolts, replace wipers, refit bushings, replace rebound knob.

    he is "doing what he can" to make it work better for a lighter rider without changing the spring (no springs available). this is why the wipers are being changed, even though they originals are like new still- Eric at white claims the news ones are alot slicker and better sealed.

    i dont quite understand what he meant by refitting the bushings. he clarified that he wouldnt be replacing them ( not needed), he just said they have a new, better way to fit them, and he was re-doing them. I just hope to have a reliable fork, slightly tuned to work better at my light weight in 1 ~ week.

    should ship tomorrow, after having $110 worth of service done.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    got the fork back yesterday. I did a quick city ride w/ some small drops to get a feel for it. I think all is well with it.

    i have some issues though:
    1.the fork is loud. it makes oil flow noises in compression and rebound.
    2. not getting full 5 in travel, more like 4 in. it is plush enough in the 4 in of travel though...
    3. rebound adjustment range doesnt seem to be very big, but it is enough.
    4. compression damping adjustment nob is finicky- but it works (first 90 degrees of movement seem to do nothing, last 45 degress do all the adjustment.)

    on the bright side:
    1. it is adequately plush compared to a reba dual air
    2. the lockout works (basically just locks the damping circuits and it compresses/rebounds VERY slow.)
    3. it still looks lovely and is light weight

    it came w/ a 90 day service warrantee on the rebuild... so if im going to break it... ill try and do it in the next 90 days.

    questions:
    1.are the slurping noises this thing makes normal/OK?
    2.is taking the spring side top cap off, and compressing the fork all the way w/ no spring an OK way to test the fork for its full travel?
    3. narrow adjustment range of rebound/ compression typical of white forks?

    photos of install: http://forums.mtbr.com/specialized/post-your-enduro-enduro-sl-573685-2.html#post6338468

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    i dont think any1 is looking at this anymore- but for that sake on info:

    i took off the spring side cap and removed the spring in order to test what "full travel" is with just the damper. i found that the fork bottomed at 4.5in (115mm), and not the advertised 130mm. i do not know if this is a design flaw, problem, or a result of some change that was done when white rebuilt it with a couple of updated parts (seals, rebound rod, ect..) I honestly dont care either.

    i also messed around with compression/rebound settings with the fork springless and found that the adjustments do more than i expected. they work well.

    i think the spring really is too stiff for me. white does not offer springs for this any longer- does anyone know a company that might work or do something to a custom length? i did not measure the spring....

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    Quote Originally Posted by orangeskill
    i dont think any1 is looking at this anymore- but for that sake on info:

    i took off the spring side cap and removed the spring in order to test what "full travel" is with just the damper. i found that the fork bottomed at 4.5in (115mm), and not the advertised 130mm. i do not know if this is a design flaw, problem, or a result of some change that was done when white rebuilt it with a couple of updated parts (seals, rebound rod, ect..) I honestly dont care either.

    i also messed around with compression/rebound settings with the fork springless and found that the adjustments do more than i expected. they work well.

    i think the spring really is too stiff for me. white does not offer springs for this any longer- does anyone know a company that might work or do something to a custom length? i did not measure the spring....
    I'm still hangin in there with ya, dude

    I suspect you're right about that spring stiffness. I think mine is on the stiff side for me, and I weigh 190. As long as you can get 100mm or so of travel, maybe you shouldn't sweat the extra bit. I agree that the technology of the fork is a bit dated, although it is really well made. I doubt that White Bros manufactured that spring in-house. Maybe they can tell you where to find a new one. I do remember that my spring was tapered at one end, making it non-standard. Don't know how important that is.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    276
    If you're still sweating about that extra half inch, maybe you can check out these guys - http://www.leespring.com/

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    122
    i contacted white for info in the standard spring the vt1.3 came with.
    diameter: 1 1/16in
    length:10.2 inches
    spring rate: 54lb/in
    can compress more than 5 inches.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •