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  1. #1
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    Clunky Lefty max spv

    I am having some problems with my lefty max 140 spv. It developed a clunk about 4 months after purchase. It came on a Prophet 1000 2005 model from Canada. I got it in the sale then smashed my pelivis while snowboarding and only started riding properly again in the summer.
    The clunk seems to happen on rebound. It seems to stop if i put about 70 psi in the spv but then the fork is not that plush. I have changed the oil, i used 5w fork oil and put in 5 ounces. also checked that the bearings have not migrated. It also doesnt make the same nice squelchy sound.
    Does any one know of this problem and how to overcome it as it is very frustrating and ruins an otherwise awesome bike.
    Cheers, Tim

  2. #2
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    same problem here

    I read somewhere that the clanking sound means that air has entered the oil chanb...I think

  3. #3
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Sure you did a nice job bleeding it? Sounds like a bit of air at the top of your rebound assembly. Creates all sorts of funny (not) noises.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  4. #4
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    So, when I change the oil I must prevent air getting in there, right?

  5. #5
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by keoman
    So, when I change the oil I must prevent air getting in there, right?
    Assuming you've done it before, spend a few moments really working the rebound damper while the forks open and upside down. Pump it a bunch, wait a bit, pump more, quickly slowly. Get all those bubbles out. The make sure you put enough oil in so that you make a little bit of a mess when you put the lower back in, the welling out will expell any other bubbles.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  6. #6
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    Does that "clanking" sound cause damage? If so what parts would be effected.
    Thnx

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadFishToo
    Does that "clanking" sound cause damage? If so what parts would be effected.
    Thnx

    Depends what it is, sorry! Top out? no. low oil? no. broken bits banging around, yes.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  8. #8
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    clunky lefty

    When i changed the oil i noticed that the o ring on the spv was damaged so i have replaced it. srewing the spv chamber back in was very tight but i didn't have an over flow of oil. Perhaps i need more oil?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Arnold
    srewing the spv chamber back in was very tight but i didn't have an over flow of oil. Perhaps i need more oil?

    Sounds like it. It's a fine line, you want to avoid oil running down your forearms and legs, but you do want a bit of overflow, indicating a completely full system. I fill it most of the way(3ish inches from the top), insert the lower, no overflow? A dribble more, repeat, till o slight overflow starts.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  10. #10
    StupidDog
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    My lefty dip stick

    I used to do the same thing as Craig and then once I determine the correct level I pulled the SPV ballon back out and made a dip stick using a black tie wrap. I slid the tie wrap down until the fat part contacted the bottom of the fork. See illustration.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by E105002
    I used to do the same thing as Craig and then once I determine the correct level I pulled the SPV ballon back out and made a dip stick using a black tie wrap. I slid the tie wrap down until the fat part contacted the bottom of the fork. See illustration.

    Great idea, saves a bit of trial and error = I would note though, you do want a bit of overflow, so when doing this, make sure to compensate for that, no overflow means a lurking bubble, and everyone hates an insidious, lurking bubble!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  12. #12
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    The clunking is caused by bearing migration. The Lefty has four racks of needle bearings that it slides on. Every so often you are supposed to take off the top cap with a bottom bracket wrench, take the adjusting nuts off the spring and pull the lower portion of the Lefty down firmly several times to reset the bearings. When you have finished the inner parts of the Lefty will be down below the top cap, then you reassemble it.

    The reason this happens is because sometimes the racks of needle bearings move unevenly, so they need to be reset. It's in the Lefty owner's manual with pics.

    I don't think it hurts it, but it does limit travel somewhat.
    Last edited by jerrynorton; 11-22-2006 at 03:39 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrynorton
    The clunking is caused by bearing migration.The reason this happens is because sometimes the racks of needle bearings move unevenly, so they need to be reset. It's in the Lefty owner's manual with pics.

    I don't think it hurts it, but it does limit travel somewhat.

    Actually, if you read the OP, it's not a migration issue, though that is a frequent culprit, to be sure. Also, the migration occurs during particularly high speed impacts, the inner steerer moves faster than the bearings are able to keep up with, causing a "stuffing" action. Ride the fork more gently, it will happen more gradually, harder? Happens faster. Over time this accumulates in mm's, and travel get's reduced. Eventually the top out clunking begins. You are correct, it does not cause damage, just annoyance till fixed=
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  14. #14
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    I've been debating spec'ing my next custom 29er hard tail with a Lefty, but there seem to be a lot of maintenance issues that crop up. I assume that the Speed DLR2 forks are prone to bearing migration as well. You would think that an issue like that could have been engineered out by now due to the maturity of the Lefty design.

    Tim Arnold: Were you able to resolve your clunking issue?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinepig
    I've been debating spec'ing my next custom 29er hard tail with a Lefty, but there seem to be a lot of maintenance issues that crop up. I assume that the Speed DLR2 forks are prone to bearing migration as well. You would think that an issue like that could have been engineered out by now due to the maturity of the Lefty design.

    Tim Arnold: Were you able to resolve your clunking issue?

    With all due respect, here we go again....... Any needle bearing assembly, whether a lowly MTB fork, or a million dollar manufacturing tool, experinces bearing migration, it's inherent to the design, and due to how well the design works compared to alternatives, it continues to be a viable bearing option in spite of it's "issue". It is no more a worrisome, unresolve-able issue than say, losing pressure in your tires. Cannondale has gone out of their way to make it super easy to reset, and once you get how it's done, it takes not more time than filling that low tire up. The Lefty will make a fine fork for you, don't get wrapped up in it. In a year of riding, you will spend less time doing this, than lubing your chain.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  16. #16
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    Yes, I've only done mine once since I've owned it in a year and a half.

  17. #17
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    Ok, it sounds like I could live with the bearing migration. More troubling is the number of oil/air leaks that seem to crop up, including several on brand new forks.

  18. #18
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinepig
    Ok, it sounds like I could live with the bearing migration. More troubling is the number of oil/air leaks that seem to crop up, including several on brand new forks.

    They do happen, it's true, but it's very uncommon, compared to the number of forks out there which are fine. The problems are also usually simple to fix, if your mechanic has a bit of matter between the ears, and a few years experience. The larger issue is that many Cannondale dealers stink when it comes to service. They are great at selling it to you, and great at saying "i have no idea, I'll send it back to Cannondale though", which tends to be why many end up here, *****ing about their forks. find a good dealer, who actually does them in house, and you'll be fine, or deal with someone who can sell you a fork, and provide excellent after the purchase, internet assistance, via MTBR etc =
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  19. #19
    siv
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    Im ready to reset my bearings but friggin Nashbar is taking there sweet ass time sending me my order that includes a bottom bracket tool for the top cap. Is it really as easy as it looks in the PDF?

  20. #20
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    [QUOTE=sivIs it really as easy as it looks in the PDF?[/QUOTE]

    Yup, just be ready to give it some firmness, don't be shy about extending it you'll feel it when it's done=
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  21. #21
    siv
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    Ok, I jusr reset the bearings. They were off almost 1 1/2 inches. Everything is now below the cap. How am I supposed to adjust the rebound now?

  22. #22
    siv
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    Duh, forget it.

  23. #23
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    Tim,

    Did you get this resolved? What did you find out? My Prophet's Lefty also clunks on the rebound when my SPV pressure gets low (below ~30 psi), then I pump it up to 70 psi and it's fine. I also have the added complication that my SPV pressure drops from 70 down to 30 psi in the course of about six weeks. Before the posts start coming, my problem is NOT migration, and my air loss is NOT from attaching the pump.

    Is this abnormal?

    How often do most have to inflate the SPV air?

  24. #24
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    I changed the oil in my lefty max spv but it still needs 90psi for not clunking

    it works better know with the new oil but the problem insists
    if I put 60psi the rebound doesn't work (very fast!)
    if I put 90psi the rebound works perfectly

    a guy told me thar the spv valve is stucked (I'm not sure which valve)

  25. #25
    I'll do it next time!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDDDylan
    Tim,

    Did you get this resolved? What did you find out? My Prophet's Lefty also clunks on the rebound when my SPV pressure gets low (below ~30 psi), then I pump it up to 70 psi and it's fine. I also have the added complication that my SPV pressure drops from 70 down to 30 psi in the course of about six weeks. Before the posts start coming, my problem is NOT migration, and my air loss is NOT from attaching the pump.

    Is this abnormal?

    How often do most have to inflate the SPV air?

    Hi,

    When i first changed the oil i didn't have it leaking out and the clunk was still there. So i went and topped up the oil so it leaked out a bit when you scew the spv back in. It takes a while and i did go through a couple of o rings as the thread chewed them up!!? It works best if you srew a bit then leave for about 20mins (i'm not a good mechanic but tried to go on what the other smart guys have recommended) and screw a bit more. The oil leaks out so i had a rag to mop it a bit. I found the spv damper hard to push in but it went.

    I still had the lefty at around 60 psi but no clunk. It worked better. I didnt have the spv leaking air though.

    I hope this helps, I used 7.5wt oil (from motorbike shop) and you can get o rings from a plumbers for next to nothing and yes they are the same as they measured them for me. You can get different types of rubber for o rings so try and get a softer stretchy type.

    Good luck
    Tim

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