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  1. #51
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    Hi Paul,
    We have been fooling around with the rear shock adjustments under various conditions for the last week trying to find the acceptable set up for PP2. Amazingly we seemed to have settled on just about the same as yours even though I tried a lot of different things with air pressure and rebound. We currently run 230 # air pressure and 5 clicks from open on PP2 and the bike handles well under all but the most exteme conditions and my stoker is comfortable and happy. Yesterday we did a 30 mile ride on a canal path ( think rail trail) as a test for PP3. It felt very reminiscent of our Fandango hardtail but more comfy over any ruts or bumps. Smooth and fast. The only time we had any bobbing problems was in standing and that is more of a technique issue rather than a suspension issue.
    Ed

  2. #52
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    Ed,

    Glad to hear you have tested a bit to find better settings. Your setup runs similar to ours, but most important is it is pretty much up the middle on the rebound clicker. The nice thing about being dialed on PP2 is the bike has a wider terrain envelope and can inspire more confidence as you carry momentum and more speed through sections.

    PP1, is very soft on compression damping. It will be cushy for anyone that rides it, provided there is enough air pressure to hold the back end up on rolling bumps. With PP1 selected the terrain envelope is good for roots and rocks when the bike / team does not carry much momentum across those features. In my opinion the setting is marshmallow soft and the rear end wallows constantly for us. It is especially unnerving in fast corners as the rear end is bobbing and constantly changing the headtube angle and steering feel + inputs. I work harder in PP1 and we go slower, also the stoker doesn't like it blowing through the stroke and wacking pedals. If we still ran an RP series damper, PP1 would be our mud setting, slower speeds, softer damping to keep the rear wheel compliant over super slippery stuff, or hooked up in low grip conditions.

    PP2 when setup well, will provide enough spring rate (psi) and firm the damping. Some times firmer damping can cause deflection issues on roots and rocks. The PP2 setting for us would unload the damper (blowoff) on extreme hits, but gave a good balance for rolling terrain and the high speed compression stuff like rocks and roots. Like almost all suspended vehicles, often times firmer damping, provides the control needed to ride rough sections at greater speeds and with more control.

    The secondary benefit of PP2, is this setting should be pretty good for all but the smoothest terrain. Plus PP2 will save your frame from being pounded to death via lockout on rough terrain.

    As for PP3, we only will run a full lockout on pavement or dirt roads.

    With us now running a DHX5.0 air, the version we have is clicker adjustable PP amounts. For us this works well, and let's the compression settings be better optimized, rebound also.

    I spoke with Sherwood recently about something unrelated. The DHX damper was brought up. As he indicated, and I agree fully long before the conversation, sometimes having more features can make finding optimum settings more difficult. The DHX has been a good mod for us. Unfortunately it is not a plug and play swap. The air can volume is not optimized for the linkage rates of the ECDM and does not work well for us in regards to spring rate progression. Once this was settled, the air spring pressure was optimized, followed easily by rebound. The PP settings were a bit of a learning curve for Jeanne. The best method to optimize the back is to force the stoker to make changes and learn about how the bike reacts differently with each change. Even with an RP damper, move the rebound, to full open then full closed several minutes later. Then go back to center. Ride that for a short bit and open it a couple of clicks, then go back past center and run it with more rebound.

    Eventually, the stoker should be able to find a setting that does not bounce her off the saddle, but is fast enough rebound that the captain retains lighter steering inputs and the bike turns consistently and predictable.

    Dialing in clickers and oil levels (in forks), plus ensuring you have the proper springs can be a huge difference in how a bike feels and rides.

    Glad you got it sorted out. Should be a faster safer bike to ride, and that is a good thing for you, maybe not others.

    PK

  3. #53
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    As noted in the ECDM topic, our current fork is a Fox 40 Kashima.

    We are running the firmest spring (red) with the travel set to 5 1/2".

    The good about the fork is how tunable and it's ability to work very well on all terrain.

    The downside is the obvious stupid expensive cost.

    The other downside was Fox as a company and their lack of getting the gold Kashima tubes close to the same color when they built it. We have one darker gold tube and one lighter gold tube. When asked about it, they said they are all this way, which is obviously not true.

    The only way they would even consider, but not promising a matched tube set, was to send it in for warranty and wait.

    If you consider this fork, be aware that you will need a different brake adapter for the caliper. The 203mm disc uses a smaller adapter, not uncommon but just worth noting when you order your fork. We went to Avid BB7's and I believe I had to install a 160 front adapter. No big deal.

    Additionally, I plan to buy another axle if they are reasonable. When transporting in the van, I use a Hurricane fork up on a BikeTight platform. The Hurricane adapter is a loose fit to the axle and the bike rocks back and forth. Regardless, I either need to line the ForkUp with a plastic tube to prevent axle wear or have one axle for transporting.

    If you have an old school Manitou 5mm super long allen wrench, dig it out. These work great for removing and installing the front wheel.

    Performance wise, the added shortening spacers increase the preload on the spring to a proper amount for us at 355 plus gear. The spring rate is decent.

    Damping wise, the fork has adjustments for low speed compression, high speed compression, and rebound. With no shimstack changes the fork dialed in via the clickers.

    One other motorcycle carryover used in the Fox 40 is bottoming control. I have not opened this fork, but if memory is correct it uses a bottoming cone type setup to gradually slow the fork as it reaches full stroke. We have ridden it and seen the "O"ring witness band pushed to 100%, but I can not recall feeling the bottoming in the bars.

    As I noted in the other topic, this fork is very capable and lends itself to making a rider very confident, it lets you ride faster while safer, but when you miss a good line, you are going a good clip headed off course.

    We like it and don't have any plans to make further changes.

    Like so many things, not tandem rated but could be something to consider.

    PK

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Additionally, I plan to buy another axle if they are reasonable. When transporting in the van, I use a Hurricane fork up on a BikeTight platform. The Hurricane adapter is a loose fit to the axle and the bike rocks back and forth. Regardless, I either need to line the ForkUp with a plastic tube to prevent axle wear or have one axle for transporting.
    This is interesting. I made a 20mm "Fork Up" type mount, but used 3/4" black pipe (from Home Depot, for gas work) and it is slightly too big in ID for the axle...so it wobbles during transport! I kept thinking about buying a legit item (but thinking $50 was highway robbery), thinking it'd be a perfect fit. Good to know.

    I've used a piece of Teflon sheet (had some extra from an old project) to line the inside. Still wobbled a bit, but the axle was protected.

  5. #55
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    Fox 40

    Fox 40 with their heaviest spring, Bicycle Fabrications Tandem 8" travel F&R.
    Riders weigh 380lbs +70lb bike.
    Downhill riding, resort and trail, jumps, drops, high speed.
    Fox makes some stout products, the heavy spring nicely matches the 700lb DHX 5.0 spring in the rear, all the travel has been used but no hard bottom out..... yet.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-t-1-xxsm.jpg  

    Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-t-3-xxsm.jpg  


  6. #56
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    I was curious and went looking for Bicycle Fabrications and found their website.

    The 70lb bike spec had me wondering why. This bike is in some photos on their website. Definitely a rugged race bike, all steel US made machine.

    Here's a photo from the websites photo section

    http://www.bicyclefabrications.com/B...ecial_P.html#3

    Very nice, though a bit overkill for XC riding.

    I may steal your idea of multiple steering lock cushions, very good idea.

    PK

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trails4Two
    Stevoo,

    Could you give more detail about your Jr T mod? I've got one at the original 170mm and would be very interested in lowering it to 150-160.
    Trails4Two, did you ever get the info you needed for your fork mod?

    I've got a Jr T shortened to 130mm. Easy! I spoke with the folks at Marz and they seemed confused when I said I wanted to buy a kit for shortening the fork.
    "Just cut a spacer to the length you want." He recommended plastic (PVC or ABS?), but the pipe I bought was too large, so I ended up cutting a 40mm piece of of an old handlebar.

    I seem to recall placing the spacer above the top-out spring. It's been a few years. Let me know if you have questions.

  8. #58
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    Jr T mod

    Did the spacer addition change the spring rate (make it stiffer)? It's not that critical since I did a pretty big handlebar/stem swap to get some weight off my hands, and in so doing happened to get the fork dialed in really well. We are really happy with it even in full travel right now. For an inexpensive fork it really eats up everything we throw at it.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trails4Two
    Did the spacer addition change the spring rate (make it stiffer)? It's not that critical since I did a pretty big handlebar/stem swap to get some weight off my hands, and in so doing happened to get the fork dialed in really well. We are really happy with it even in full travel right now. For an inexpensive fork it really eats up everything we throw at it.
    Good point. As I said it had ben a while. There is a preload spacer above the spring which is about 60mm stock. It can be shortened or replaced to suit. I replaced mine, ultimately increasing spring preload by about 20mm. It can be challenging to replace the topcap if there is too much preload.

    So you've got a more upright riding position on your bike? There is a guy in Phoenix that had his tandem set up that way....You like it? Pictures?

  10. #60
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    1. What fork make/model and what frame make/model?
    Marz Jr T @130mm (orig 170) Stiffest springs w/air caps
    Ventana ECDM 2006

    1a. single or dual crown
    Dual Crown

    1b. lock out?
    No

    1c. axle type 20mm thru? 9mm QR?
    20mm. I would not go back to 9mm on a mtb tandem.

    2. Team weight?
    350lbs, was 375-380 (capt lost weight)

    3. Type of riding.
    Singletrack, often rocky

    4. Any feedback regarding performance, maintenance etc. (positive or negative).
    Not nearly as stiff in terms of steering and deflection on old ZZYYX or ATC, but very smooth in terms of bump compliance. I run around 20psi in each leg, but initial travel is still a little too soft. I've gone to 10wt oil (from 7) and I will try heavier still next time I'm tinkering. Also less steering lock compared to ATC.

    No maintenance issues. One seal may be leaking a little after 4 years. Not bad.

  11. #61
    PMK
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    FWIW, when shortening forks, consider also the volume in the air chamber is decreased.

    If you run the same amount of fluid, either by measuring volume in cc or ml, or doing a dimensional check on a fully bled fork, you will lose spring rate of the air spring on account of it not building 40mm of travel pressure.

    So, if you shorten a wet fork, to regain bottoming resistance, which most shortened forks will need, plan on adding some fluid.

    PK

  12. #62
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by reamer41
    1. What fork make/model and what frame make/model?
    Marz Jr T @130mm (orig 170) Stiffest springs w/air caps
    Ventana ECDM 2006
    .
    What year is the JrT? More importantly, what are the tube diameters, 30mm or 32mm?

    The 2mm is a large percentage change in cross section and stiffness provided they did not try to retain flew for a better ride quality.

    PK

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    FWIW, when shortening forks, consider also the volume in the air chamber is decreased.

    If you run the same amount of fluid, either by measuring volume in cc or ml, or doing a dimensional check on a fully bled fork, you will lose spring rate of the air spring on account of it not building 40mm of travel pressure.

    So, if you shorten a wet fork, to regain bottoming resistance, which most shortened forks will need, plan on adding some fluid.

    PK
    Hmmm. I had increased fluid volume somewhat. I don't remember exactly how much, and I'm not at home now.
    Anyway, I had recently been condidering reducing fluid and increasing air pressure as I havent been noticing bottoming (but have been using the full stroke) and have been blowing through the initial stroke very easily. My thinking, however flawed, was that by gaining a larger air volume and increasing pressure I would get a stiffer spring rate that is more linear.

    From your initial comment, I'm thinking I was off base here... Thoughts?

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    What year is the JrT? More importantly, what are the tube diameters, 30mm or 32mm?

    The 2mm is a large percentage change in cross section and stiffness provided they did not try to retain flew for a better ride quality.

    PK
    I don't know. I bought the fork from Alex in 2006, but I don't know the model year.
    I've never measured and I'm a couple thousand miles from home. I'll measure when I get home. From looking at the Marz website, I'm thinking it's a 2006 w/32mm tubes.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by reamer41
    Hmmm. I had increased fluid volume somewhat. I don't remember exactly how much, and I'm not at home now.
    Anyway, I had recently been condidering reducing fluid and increasing air pressure as I havent been noticing bottoming (but have been using the full stroke) and have been blowing through the initial stroke very easily. My thinking, however flawed, was that by gaining a larger air volume and increasing pressure I would get a stiffer spring rate that is more linear.

    From your initial comment, I'm thinking I was off base here... Thoughts?
    Not to avoid a direct answer, but there is not enough information to give good feedback.

    Typically, springs support and damping controls.

    The key here is are you blowing through the stroke, or need more preload and mid stroke support.

    Additionally, is the fork harsh in any way on small square edge bumps. If not, I would add compression damping first, if it's underdamped, no amount of spring will keep it riding proper.

    Increasing viscosity will also add to the high speed rebound which will keep the front wheel more planted.

    PK

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Not to avoid a direct answer, but there is not enough information to give good feedback.

    Typically, springs support and damping controls.

    The key here is are you blowing through the stroke, or need more preload and mid stroke support.

    Additionally, is the fork harsh in any way on small square edge bumps. If not, I would add compression damping first, if it's underdamped, no amount of spring will keep it riding proper.

    Increasing viscosity will also add to the high speed rebound which will keep the front wheel more planted.

    PK
    The fork is not harsh at all. I have felt it is under damped, and I will try a more viscous oil. I've already gone from 7.5 to 10. Any recommendation on brand and/or weight of oil?

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by reamer41
    The fork is not harsh at all. I have felt it is under damped, and I will try a more viscous oil. I've already gone from 7.5 to 10. Any recommendation on brand and/or weight of oil?
    What brand and spec is the oil you had and went to?

    The easiest way to know if your change was good our bad is to compare the fluid on PVD's wikki chart.

    http://www.pvdwiki.com/index.php?title=Suspension_Fluid

    Use the viscosity of cSt (centistokes) @40 degrees C.

    Also, find fluids for your fork with lower VI ratings, typically they have better "slippery" performance which is good for an open fork.

    If you have any cartridge type forks, or are rebuilding a rear damper, look for higher VI rated fluids since the rear damper works much harder than the forks.

    For a tandem with a simple rebound tune only fork I wouldn't be hesitant to look at stuff in the 20 wt range, 60 ish on cSt.

    You asked for a recomendation, even though this is not a 20wt, it has decent numbers.
    Motorex racing fork oil 15wt, 69.80 cSt @ 40C and a 160 VI. If you have a local CycleGear, motorcycle accessory shop, they may stock it, I have seen them carry Motorex fluids before.

    Don't be afraid to accurately work the fluid level to gain a firmer mid travel spring rate AND to minimize fork dive and bottoming.

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 12-31-2010 at 04:14 AM.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    What brand and spec is the oil you had and went to?

    The easiest way to know if your change was good our bad is to compare the fluid on PVD's wikki chart.

    http://www.pvdwiki.com/index.php?title=Suspension_Fluid

    Use the viscosity of cSt (centistokes) @40 degrees C.

    Also, find fluids for your fork with lower VI ratings, typically they have better "slippery" performance which is good for an open fork.

    If you have any cartridge type forks, or are rebuilding a rear damper, look for higher VI rated fluids since the rear damper works much harder than the forks.

    For a tandem with a simple rebound tune only fork I wouldn't be hesitant to look at stuff in the 20 wt range, 60 ish on cSt.

    You asked for a recomendation, even though this is not a 20wt, it has decent numbers.
    Motorex racing fork oil 15wt, 69.80 cSt @ 40C and a 160 VI. If you have a local CycleGear, motorcycle accessory shop, they may stock it, I have seen them carry Motorex fluids before.
    PK
    Ah, I had been looking at PVD's site even before you posted it. Lots of information there. Who would have thought that the "weight" of oil changes from one brand to another. Is motor oil similarly varied, I wonder?

    OK. So I'm back home. Answers to questions asked. I do have 32mm fork tubes. The last batch of fork oil I used is Bel-Ray High Performance fork oil 10W. From the PVD table that shows a cSt of 33.5, which looks to be in the right direction from the stock of 26.1. There is a cycle gear shop near by. I'll see if they are carrying the Motrex 15wt and give it a try.


    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Don't be afraid to accurately work the fluid level to gain a firmer mid travel spring rate AND to minimize fork dive and bottoming.
    PK
    Well, I won't be afraid to do that, I'm just not sure that I know what I'm doing.

    Thanks for your help, PMD. I'll update with results.

  19. #69
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    Cycle Gear didn't have the Motrex, but had Maxima 20wt (cSt@40 65.60), which has similar numbers on the PVD chart. So I gave that a try. What a difference!

    Fork felt much more stable when cornering on relatively smooth trail, but harsh over bumps. Even small rocks were a little jarring. Also, even when set up with too much sag we never used the last inch of travel -- even off a 18" drop. I felt it quite difficult to control the bike on a rocky downhill.

    When draining the old fluid I was reminded that I had previously lowered the fluid volume to regain the last inch of shock stroke. Maybe I had taken it too low, but the recommended 265cc seems to be too much. I am using air-caps and have been using about 20psi to get about 1.25" sag.

    I will try reducing fluid volume a little bit at a time, but the harshness felt on rocky trails leads me to believe that something between the Bel-Ray 10wt and the Maxima 20wt might be the ticket.
    Last edited by reamer41; 01-03-2011 at 12:08 PM.

  20. #70
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    Take a photo of the fork caps.

    I would not, unless I had no other means use a volume amount for how much oil. The best way is to overfill and suck out the excess.

    You ensure the cartridge is bled 1005 by cycling the damper rod, then fully compress the fork. Use a syringe with a hose, or an old spray bottle. Mark the depth and remove the excess fluid.

    You should realy think any change through on an air sprung fork.

    Consider if you had to much fluid, it will not use full travel. If you lower the pressure the fork gets harsh.

    Run the most preload or air pressure to support the front that gives good small bump compliance, then retain that pressure while decreasing the oil level.

    The reality check is that you need to balance small bump compliance, mid stroke support (for good handling) and bottoming.

    BTW, Maxima is good stuff too. Testing with the same brand and dropping a viscosity may dial it in as you mentioned. The problem may be the cartridge is not capable of the load.

    I have a Marzocchi Drop Off Triple I never installed. Shortened the travel, and so on. It is a very basic fork, but one I know will handle the damping loads with no issue. The simplicity and non cartridge design are what will let it work.

    The is a fine balance on a cartridge setup where you must retain enough cartridge pressure for the fork to function, but still unload enough hydraulic pressure to prevent harshness.

    PK

  21. #71
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    Also,if I get a chance, I'll post some video we got this weekend. Pretty graphis of just how much punishment these bikes take when riding them.

    It may give you some ideas on tuning the fork.

    PK

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    Take a photo of the fork caps.

    I would not, unless I had no other means use a volume amount for how much oil. The best way is to overfill and suck out the excess.

    You ensure the cartridge is bled 1005 by cycling the damper rod, then fully compress the fork. Use a syringe with a hose, or an old spray bottle. Mark the depth and remove the excess fluid.

    You should realy think any change through on an air sprung fork.

    Consider if you had to much fluid, it will not use full travel. If you lower the pressure the fork gets harsh.

    Run the most preload or air pressure to support the front that gives good small bump compliance, then retain that pressure while decreasing the oil level.

    The reality check is that you need to balance small bump compliance, mid stroke support (for good handling) and bottoming.

    BTW, Maxima is good stuff too. Testing with the same brand and dropping a viscosity may dial it in as you mentioned. The problem may be the cartridge is not capable of the load.

    I have a Marzocchi Drop Off Triple I never installed. Shortened the travel, and so on. It is a very basic fork, but one I know will handle the damping loads with no issue. The simplicity and non cartridge design are what will let it work.
    PK
    Thanks for your response. It leave me with a couple questions: The Marzocchi manual gives fluid in CCs. You are saying better to measure the level, right? I am assuming (always dangerous) that you would measure from the top of the tube with fork compressed and springs removed. That right? I guess it doesn't matter as long as you do it the same way each time. How do you establish the starting fluid level?
    265CCs doesn't leave much air-volume when the forks are fully compressed.

    You wrote:Consider if you had to much fluid, it will not use full travel. If you lower the pressure the fork gets harsh.

    I think I may not have been clear in my post above. The fork was harsh all the time, with 20psi and still harsh with only 10psi. I reduced the pressure to see if we would use more travel, not due to harshness. But still we did not use the last inch.

    With these air caps it is hard to preload the coil springs. Considering I'm using air pressure should I, and how much should I, preload the springs? It is a little tricky to thread these non adjustable caps on while holding down a bunch of spring pressure.

    Here are the caps, and for good measure the springs...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-cap-side.jpg  

    Suspension Fork Experience - What's Working? What's Not?-cap-bottom.jpg  

    Attached Images Attached Images  

  23. #73
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    That's what I wondered, similar to my Drop Off Triple, except I have single springs.

    So now tell me because I don't want to confuse your fork with others, where is the rebound clicker, internal or external, photo of that and have you adjusted it to make the fork react better?

    PK

  24. #74
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    You are correct, fully bleed any cartridge device by cycling the damper shaft. Fully bottom out the fork. No springs, damper rods fully plunged if applicable.

    Set your depth tool for however many mm of fluid. Suck it to that level.

    By using a simple spray bottle, remove the bottle, remove the little filter screen if it has one, use masking tape to indicate the depth. Slide the tube into the fork and while maintaining the set depth, pump and spray the excess fluid into the bottle. If the fork has been cleaned and this is it's first reset, you might even spray it into the container.

    PK

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    That's what I wondered, similar to my Drop Off Triple, except I have single springs.

    So now tell me because I don't want to confuse your fork with others, where is the rebound clicker, internal or external, photo of that and have you adjusted it to make the fork react better?

    PK
    Since changing oil I haven't had a chance to do anything.

    The rebound adjuster is at the bottom of the right leg. 6 turns, no clicks, from full open to full closed. Even with the 20wt, It seemed about right at about 1 or 2 turns back from full closed (from slow rebound).

    The left leg is spring only. No adjuster and, I think no damper rod.

    At one point I was running the air assist on the left leg (with reduced oil) and the spring preload adjuster on the right leg with the recommended 265cc oil. It worked OK, but at some point I switched back to air in both sides.
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