How to guide: Reshim your ABS+ HSC shim stack- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How to guide: Reshim your ABS+ HSC shim stack

    Seems like there has been a lot of talk on here about Manitous ABS+ damper and how good it is. I have been playing around with the HSC shim stack over the last few months and figured i would make a "how to" guide so others can do the same. It only takes 15-20 minutes and once you get a shim stack set up for your weight, The ABS+ damper is even better!


    Use a 2.5mm allen wrench to take the top cap off. Take it off carefully!

    Be careful not to loose the little ball bearings and springs, They are very tiny and easy to loose track of.When you reassemble, it doesnt matter where they springs and bearings go as long as they are across from each other.

    Once the top cap is off, unscrew the damper from the leg and pull it out. Pull is out slowly and you wont loose very much oil. Keep a rag near by because you will loose a little no matter what.
    Damper after being pulled out.

    At the very top of the damper, there is a place for a 10mm wrench to hold the damper while you use a 13mm socket to unscrew the nut on the bottom of the piston.

    One shim that is used as a check valve and a spring are under the piston. This just allows oil to flow freely back into the leg after the fork is compressed and re-extended. When reassembling, The spring goes back with the wider end toward the piston and the skinnier end toward the nut.



    Close up of bottom of piston

    Close up of top of piston

    Shim stack installed


    My 2010 drake has 6 compression shims stock. 3 the same size, and 3 that get progressively smaller in a pyramid shape. Lighter rider can remove shims to allow the HSC to open with less force, while heavier riders will want to add shims. Endless possibilities for shim configurations, So if you try this, post your weight and shim stack.


    Reassemble same way you take it apart. Make sure the LSC is all the way open(counter clockwise) when you put the damper back in the leg. Oil height should be 87mm from the crown when fully assembled. If your careful taking it apart you shouldn't loose a significant amount of oil, but always check to make sure.


    <b>Key points from that this thread has turned up:</b>

    1. Thanks to Solitone, we have the Manitou ABS+ tuning guide which includes dyno charts and many different shim stack combinations. Its probably the single best find this thread has produced (thanks Solitone)

    This link should work:
    <a href="https://goo.gl/JaqWO">https://goo.gl/JaqWO</a>

    2. Spring rate needs to be set up correctly. I get PM's and hear of people trying to get their fork to feel right when it is way under/over sprung. Spring rate trumps damping and should always be set up correctly prior to trying different shim stack configurations.

    3. A good place to order shims is MX tech.
    MX-Tech Suspensions
    Last edited by mullen119; 01-17-2014 at 01:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Is that a dished piston? With the outer ring protruding slightly more than the inner seat which the centre of the shims are compressed against?
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Is that a dished piston? With the outer ring protruding slightly more than the inner seat which the centre of the shims are compressed against?
    yes, there is a small lip that the shims sit on top of. From memory I would say is about half a mm tall

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    yes, there is a small lip that the shims sit on top of. From memory I would say is about half a mm tall
    Cool, there's another tuning dimension manitou have given you. By relocating small shims to under the largest one you can reduce the preload on the shim stack and have it opening sooner.

    Basically now you've got platform starting point on top of all the usual shim stack options. By closing the freebleed it's a total platform.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

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    that's a great point dougal. I never thought about it, but that would open up even more options.

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    So, for a total shim newb here, do you remove one of the largest diameter shim to decrease HSC? Conversely, do you add a shim equal to the largest diameter shims to increase HSC?

    What do you torque the nut to?

    Is there some place I can read about the underlying mechanics of how this shim system works?

  7. #7
    PMK
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    Yes the stack preload can be a good tuning option for those that understand it.

    Currently Race Tech has this option with their G2 series Gold Valves.

    Race Tech takes it a step further by allowing the preload shim the ability to run different diameters that alter the port area.

    Those wanting to understand more should do some searching about Penske dampers. There should still be tech articles about the various piston or valve body designs.

    Also, remember, that as you unload the stack, you almost always must firm the stack. The downside of running a non preloaded stack is in most instances you will increase HS damping and often create deflection issues.

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 02-21-2011 at 07:53 AM.

  8. #8
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    Subscribed. (great thread!)

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  9. #9
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    I have the Drake '10.

    I am not a suspension engineer.

    How does rider weight affect the purpose of the shim stack?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLantz
    I have the Drake '10.

    I am not a suspension engineer.

    How does rider weight affect the purpose of the shim stack?
    The purpose of the HSC shim stack is to open as a "blow off" when oil pressure builds up because it cant get through LSC circuit fast enough. Heavy riders are going to create more pressure then lighter riders, causing the shim stack to open on smaller hits that a heavier rider may not want it to open on. On the other side, lighter riders will have to hit a much bigger hit to get the same shim stack to open. Think of it as a 250lbs person is going to be much harder on a fork then a 150lbs person, So them same shim stack on the same fork will feel a lot different to those two people.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by half_man_half_scab
    So, for a total shim newb here, do you remove one of the largest diameter shim to decrease HSC? Conversely, do you add a shim equal to the largest diameter shims to increase HSC?

    What do you torque the nut to?

    Is there some place I can read about the underlying mechanics of how this shim system works?

    You can add and remove any size shim, you will get the biggest effect by adding or removing the biggest shims, but for fine tuning, you can change any of them. There is also different shim thicknesses that you can use for more tuning options.

    I couldnt find a torque number for the nut. I just snug it down fairly lightly and have not had any problems, But if anyone find a torque number it would be good to know.

    use google to find information on shim stacks, Lots of good information out there

  12. #12
    PMK
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    Took a moment and found a link to the Penske site info.

    http://www.penskeshocks.com/files/Adjustable_Manual.pdf

    Later pages discuss the various piston design formats.

    Pretty technical but should be more than enough information to make your brain hurt.

    Granted it is not bicycle specific in title but is applicable.

    PK

  13. #13
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    Good link PMK

  14. #14
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    I've got an introduction to shim stacks on the www.dougal.co.nz website below, because it's frames (yeah it needs updated), but follow this path
    www.dougal.co.nz
    -> click to enter
    -> Suspension
    -> Advanced tuning tab will turn up below. Read the basic tuning one first

    The Penske one is a gold mine once you've got a handle on it.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    I've got an introduction to shim stacks on the www.dougal.co.nz website below, because it's frames (yeah it needs updated), but follow this path
    www.dougal.co.nz
    -> click to enter
    -> Suspension
    -> Advanced tuning tab will turn up below. Read the basic tuning one first

    The Penske one is a gold mine once you've got a handle on it.
    Thats a great link dougal. It explains shim stacks in detail and it written in a way that I would think a noob would understand pretty easily.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    Thats a great link dougal. It explains shim stacks in detail and it written in a way that I would think a noob would understand pretty easily.
    Thanks, I always appreciate good feedback.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  17. #17
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    here is a good place to buy shims. I still need to measure the shims ID and max OD. I will do so and post them when I get a chance.
    Last edited by mullen119; 03-06-2011 at 11:38 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Thanks, I always appreciate good feedback.
    Dougal, did the quake affect your area?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by derby
    Dougal, did the quake affect your area?
    Hi Ray

    I live about 450km away so that quake and the aftershocks were just able to be felt here. But I do have a lot of friends and also family in Christchurch. So far every report I've heard from people I know is good, but it is still early days and there are a lot of people still to get news from.
    It will be some time before the extent of the casaulties are known.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Hi Ray

    I live about 450km away so that quake and the aftershocks were just able to be felt here. But I do have a lot of friends and also family in Christchurch. So far every report I've heard from people I know is good, but it is still early days and there are a lot of people still to get news from.
    It will be some time before the extent of the casaulties are known.

    Good to hear you are ok dougal, Hopefully all your friends and family are as well.

  21. #21
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    Subscribed!!!
    As I have a 2009 Minute modified with the ABS+ damper.
    It's a great setup BTW.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  22. #22
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    Hello everyone. I own a Manitou Minute Expert 100 mm.
    Weight around 158 pounds, maybe 165 equipped.

    Have been riding the fork for about 10-15 hours already and still feel it kinda stiff on its travel.

    One click from fully open is what i usually use when going downhill, on very rocky terrain. Im running the fork at around 10 psi.
    Im getting maybe 70 or 75 mms of travel from it, even from big, soccer sized football rocks.
    So i was thinking about getting rid of one of the medium shims.

  23. #23
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    Take the 10 psi out and go for a ride. Taking a shim out would allow you to run the 2-3, maybe even 4 clicks of low speed compression to dial out brake dive and some pedal bob and still maintain small bump sensitivity, But not change the amount of travel you use. Since your fork is a coil fork with air preload, you may need to change to a softer coil spring. That being said though, hitting a soccer sized rock should not bottom your fork, It should only use close full travel on a 2-3 ft drop or a pretty hard hit. What does the fork give you for sag?

  24. #24
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    Thought this would help out: Find your fork and your forks travel. The first number after is is stock oil height, Second set of numbers is acceptable range of oil height.

    Circus Comp/Match 80mm 83 80-85
    Circus Comp/Match 100mm 83 80-85
    Match 130mm 83 80-85
    Circus Expert/Drake 80mm 87 85-90
    Circus Expert/Drake 100mm 87 85-90
    Circus Expert/Drake 130mm 87 85-90
    R7 80mm 83 80-85
    R7 100mm 83 80-85
    Minute 100mm 87 85-90
    Minute 120mm 87 85-90
    Minute 140mm 87 85-90
    Drake 29er 80mm 87 85-90
    Drake 29er 100mm 87 85-90
    Drake 29er 120mm 87 85-90
    Minute 29er 80mm 87 85-90
    Minute 29er 100mm 87 85-90
    Minute 29er 120mm 87 85-90
    R7 MRD 80mm 103 100-105
    R7 MRD 100mm 108 105-110
    Minute MRD 100mm 108 105-110
    Minute MRD 130mm 113 110-115

  25. #25
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    Bob

    Just switched out my old 100mm minute absolute air (with ABS+) for a 120mm Tower Pro. I had the 100 dialed so that about 2-4 clicks, I had no bob on the climbs, but had the action that I wanted for travel. On my 120, the only way to control the bob on climbs is full lock out. Would you say adding about 1-2 big shims would put my "happy" range somewhere between full lock out and 0? I weigh 165 and have no idea which springs were in each of those forks, they had what ever was "stock".
    Thanks!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by slip20
    Just switched out my old 100mm minute absolute air (with ABS+) for a 120mm Tower Pro. I had the 100 dialed so that about 2-4 clicks, I had no bob on the climbs, but had the action that I wanted for travel. On my 120, the only way to control the bob on climbs is full lock out. Would you say adding about 1-2 big shims would put my "happy" range somewhere between full lock out and 0? I weigh 165 and have no idea which springs were in each of those forks, they had what ever was "stock".
    Thanks!

    You would actually want to remove shims. The Dial on the outside of your fork is low speed compression. The Shims are the high speed compression blow off. If you remove shims, the fork will open the shim stack with less force. So if you remove one or two shims, you will be able to have your low speed one or two clicks from closed(or completely closed if needed) and have the fork still move on impacts.

    Your situation is a good situation for experimentation as well. It sounds to me like a dual stage shim stack would work perfect for you.

    That would look something like this:


    if you put a single shim or a one big and one small shim on the bottom, a few of the smallest shims on top of those to create a gap,( you would have to buy a few shims) followed by a big shim(stack) again, You would have something that would help you out tremendously. This would allow you to run the ABS almost closed to stop pedal bob and brake dive. But when you hit a small bump, open the 1st stage enough to give you some decent small bump sesitivity, but keep you from blowing through travel, and the second stage would allow for good feel on bigger hits.

    I would experiment with different shim configurations. You will be able to find something you like after a few tries. But you defenitly are going to want to remove shims, not add( unless you try the two stage stack)

  27. #27
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    Shims are 8mm ID with a max OD of 19mm

  28. #28
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    I tried the dual and triple stage shim stacks a few years ago and gave up on them.

    Basically the more stages you put in, the more your shim stack damper imitates an orifice damper. Not enough low speed damping and too much at higher shaft speed. This means the suspension both wallows and spikes. No good at all for the places I like to ride which are littered with sharp rocks and roots.

    If you spend a lot of time at either end of the damping spectrum it could work okay (i.e. small bumps followed by a cliff drop), but I've found between a single stage conical stack and a more digressive flat stack to work best. The digressive stacks with more low speed damping seem to be able to extract more bump energy without transferring it to the rider, holding the bike up better between hits and sucking up the fast hits much better.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    I tried the dual and triple stage shim stacks a few years ago and gave up on them.

    Basically the more stages you put in, the more your shim stack damper imitates an orifice damper. Not enough low speed damping and too much at higher shaft speed. This means the suspension both wallows and spikes. No good at all for the places I like to ride which are littered with sharp rocks and roots.

    If you spend a lot of time at either end of the damping spectrum it could work okay (i.e. small bumps followed by a cliff drop), but I've found between a single stage conical stack and a more digressive flat stack to work best. The digressive stacks with more low speed damping seem to be able to extract more bump energy without transferring it to the rider, holding the bike up better between hits and sucking up the fast hits much better.
    Thats good to know dougal, I have been experimenting with dual stage myself. I found decent results that seem promising, But nothing spectacular yet. But the places I ride are like you said, Smaller bumps and some medium sized drops, not much in between. Maybe If I dont find something that I really like soon, I will go back to experimenting with different single stage stacks. I have yet to try taking some of the preload off the shim stack yet, Maybe I will try that.

  30. #30
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    Hey dougal, Did you get affected by the tsunami?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    Hey dougal, Did you get affected by the tsunami?
    Not here, I'm in the south island and almost as far inland as you can be. It sounds like the north island got big enough waves to measure (40cm or so) but not enough to cause any problems.

    From a scientific point of view, this is the best recorded Tsunami of modern times and we will learn a lot from it's movements. My deepest sympathies to those affected in Japan.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  32. #32
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    I saw that Hawaii and the west coast of the United States had some minor damage from the Tsunami and heard some stuff about New Zealand as well. Good to hear nothing in your area.

  33. #33
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    Whoa - so Mullen119 is the Manitou Man! Great info.
    I'm gonna miss me when I'm gone.
    IMBA member #234701

  34. #34
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    The real Manitou man is dougal, He pretty much knows everything there is to know about Manitou.

  35. #35
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    I read Manitous also have Rebound shim stacks?

    How would that work?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by assas1n
    I read Manitous also have Rebound shim stacks?

    How would that work?
    Yes oil damped manitous have had shimmed rebound since 1996. The rebound knob is your low-speed rebound dial, it controls oil through the centre of the shaft. The shims are for high speed rebound and open up to allow the fork to extend faster and stick to the ground better (giving more traction and better ride) while keeping low speed movements well controlled and the bike stable.

    If your rebound is too slow even with the knob full open then softening up the rebound shim stack will help a lot. On my bikes I like a fast rebound and shoot for the rebound knob mostly closed with the shims doing the majority of the work.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  37. #37
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    Oh i see, so i need no manipulating on that matter hehe.
    I run more less at the middle of the rebound knobb.

    Whats weird is, if i run the fork with a really slow rebound, actually the compression gets harder and stiction rises alot !

    I own a Minute Expert 2011 - 100mm

  38. #38
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    Ok here's a couple question's for you Manitou guru's.

    I've been looking at the Minute Expert, and on their site it says:
    Travel: 80, 100 (Internally Adj), 130

    So what does this mean exactly? If I had a 130mm fork could it be tuned down to 100? And if so how involved of a job is it?

    Also I imagine I'll need some kind of air pump. Recommendation?

    Sorry for the newb questions!
    Last edited by dundundata; 04-09-2011 at 07:31 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata
    Ok here's a couple question's for you Manitou guru's.

    I've been looking at the Minute Expert, and on their site it says:
    Travel: 80, 100 (Internally Adj), 130

    So what does this mean exactly? If I had a 130mm fork could it be tuned down to 100? And if so how involved of a job is it?

    Also I imagine I'll need some kind of air pump. Recommendation?

    Sorry for the newb questions!
    No, the 130 is fixed travel. The 100 is adjustable down to 80 internally. Almost all the Manitou "Expert" and "comp" models do that.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  40. #40
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    You can shorten any fork if you are into real modifications. I've never let the factory recommendations or intentions bother me too much.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  41. #41
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    The reason i asked was because the best deal I could find for the 100mm has those darn v-brake bosses and the 130mm for the same price has none.

  42. #42
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    Can a 2007 Minute Platinum SPV 140 be converted to ABS+? I found the thread regarding converting to TPC but haven't found anything about ABS.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronka970
    Can a 2007 Minute Platinum SPV 140 be converted to ABS+? I found the thread regarding converting to TPC but haven't found anything about ABS.
    I don't know about ABS but TPC is great and you can shim it to give the ride you want.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronka970
    Can a 2007 Minute Platinum SPV 140 be converted to ABS+? I found the thread regarding converting to TPC but haven't found anything about ABS.
    Possibly, by swapping dampers, but Manitou says the ABS+ damper won't fit in an SPV fork, others on here say they have successfully fitted it.

    Buy one, try it out, let us know. I think the non MRD versions for Minutes are about 45 bucks at CRC. You'd have to get a TPC rebound damper while you're at it, another 40 bucks or so.
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  45. #45
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    Great, thanks!

    End of hijack. Could have started another thread, just noticed a lot of Manitou guys active on this one and I like the idea of fine tuning through shim stacks. Not to mention it sounds like ABS+ is the way to go.

  46. #46
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    Would it be ok if i take out one of the big shims? (manitou minute expert)
    Maybe get 2 of the smaller ones off? Dont know.

    I feel the fork is damping the compression too much and not getting enough travel.


    Thanks

  47. #47
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    The biggest shim is needed to cover the ports. If you feel you have too much compression damping, take out the smaller shims first.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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    All of them?

    What i believe is that the fork is too progressive, and i would want it to feel more linear.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by assas1n
    All of them?

    What i believe is that the fork is too progressive, and i would want it to feel more linear.
    Progression is the spring, not the damper. Feel free to drain the oil from the damper and go for a ride to see how much travel you can get with no damping. Just beware it'll be quite bouncey.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by assas1n
    Would it be ok if i take out one of the big shims? (manitou minute expert)
    Maybe get 2 of the smaller ones off? Dont know.

    I feel the fork is damping the compression too much and not getting enough travel.


    Thanks

    There should be 3 of the largest shims stack on top of each other on your fork. You need to leave at least one to cover the oil ports. But removing one(or two) should will be fine. Experiment with removing different shims and see how it effects the ride, and the LSC (ABS+ dial). It will allow you to better understand what you are changing.

  51. #51
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    Yep, ill have to get my hands dirty and learn!

    Will be getting oil for the damper and semi oil bath for the lowers next week, so i can do experimentation on the shims!

    Thanks guy!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    My 2010 drake has 6 compression shims stock. 3 the same size, and 3 that get progressively smaller in a pyramid shape. Lighter rider can remove shims to allow the HSC to open with less force, while heavier riders will want to add shims. Endless possibilities for shim configurations, So if you try this, post your weight and shim stack.
    Very interesting thread--I suscribed to it.

    Just wondering what configuration you tried was the best for your weight? The standard configuration from Manitou, or a custom one where you removed or added shims?

    I remember from another post of yours that you weigh like me, so it'd be a good starting point for me.

  53. #53
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    Dougal

    I have 2005 manitou Nixon super, air sprung with TPC+. I'm over 300lbs and want to tune this fork for cross country and all mountain. I do not get off the ground much but want better control from my Nixon. Right now I'm running 7.5 weight oil and have the max level in the fork. What suggestions do have to control diving and to keep the fork riding higher in it travel. I am willing to try re-shimming the fork but need some expert advice before I dig in.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by big Kat
    Dougal

    I have 2005 manitou Nixon super, air sprung with TPC+. I'm over 300lbs and want to tune this fork for cross country and all mountain. I do not get off the ground much but want better control from my Nixon. Right now I'm running 7.5 weight oil and have the max level in the fork. What suggestions do have to control diving and to keep the fork riding higher in it travel. I am willing to try re-shimming the fork but need some expert advice before I dig in.
    I would start by doubling the shims that are in the compression damper. Simply double them up and go from there. Presuming your air-spring pressure is okay, there is also a short coil spring under the air spring which should be upgraded to a stiffer one.

    The rebound will probably be okay as most find the stock range too slow, see how that end goes.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  55. #55
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    For outdoor riding, I remove one of the big shims and its close to what I am looking for. I have been experimenting with a two stage stack, But havent found the perfect set up yet. I need to order more shims to give myself more options.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    For outdoor riding,
    Is there any other type of riding?
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  57. #57
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    Dougal,

    Thanks. I have 2 stiff ride kits already. Do you have any info on the shim size? Should I move to a thicker shim or just double up?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by big Kat
    Dougal,

    Thanks. I have 2 stiff ride kits already. Do you have any info on the shim size? Should I move to a thicker shim or just double up?
    It is better to double up the shims. Thicker shims cannot flex as far without bending and eventually breaking.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Is there any other type of riding?
    Where I live, There is Rays MTB which is indoor mountain bike park for the winter. I was running a different set up there because there isnt much for small bumps. I was running my fork almost locked out with a weak shim stack to allow for it to blow off on the medium sized hits without a really harsh spike. Not much for big hits there, so the weak shim stack didnt give any problems with harsh bottom outs. I forgot about it and took it for my first outdoor ride of the year last week and had some problems

  60. #60
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    Manutou's ABS+ tuning guide

    I recently wrote to Manitou to ask the difference between the trail tuned ABS+ of Minute forks and the standard XC ABS+ of R7 forks.

    They sent me a useful document that explains the different configurations (XC, trail, linear) and how to tune the ABS+ damping system. It has lots of interesting graphs and drawings.

    This document isn't in their website, but they told me I can publish it. It is very informative and I think it could be helpful. You can find it here: ABS+ Tuning REV 3-10-2011.pdf
    Last edited by solitone; 05-19-2011 at 05:05 AM.

  61. #61
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    Great find, thanks.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  62. #62
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    Awesome link!

  63. #63
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    That is a fantastic link and really useful information for anybody that has a Manitou fork.

  64. #64
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    Suspension Damping

    For those like me who don't have a deep knowledge of suspension damping, here's an article that gives a good brief introduction.

    It refers to motorbike suspensions, hence velocity figures used in the examples are higher than those experienced by MTB suspensions. Nevertheless the basic principles are the same.

    It explains the difference between low and high speed damping, as well as the meaning of damping curves, so it helps understand the damping curves in Manitou's document I posted before.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone
    Score!!!
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

    Have Ashtray, Will Travel....

  66. #66
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    Thanks for posting that up, solitone, great doc!

    P

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone
    For those like me who don't have a deep knowledge of suspension damping, here's an article that gives a good brief introduction.

    It refers to motorbike suspensions, hence velocity figures used in the examples are higher than those experienced by MTB suspensions. Nevertheless the basic principles are the same.

    It explains the difference between low and high speed damping, as well as the meaning of damping curves, so it helps understand the damping curves in Manitou's document I posted before.
    link is not to article, but to the main page, which doesn't have the article
    could you double check

  68. #68
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    I tuned mine a long time ago.. from what I remember, even at 200lbs I ended up pulling out all but one of the big shims. Mine had a ton of shims in it and it rode like a brick! I think they wanted a simulated platform.

    Dont forget about very nice shimmed rebound damper! IMO, rebound tuning is really what turns a good fork, into a fantastic fork. Theres tons of control in getting your HSR really dialed.. nice and fast HSR stops pack up, and slow LSR gives control.

    Sadly, I had to give up on ABS+ I had a fork that technically shouldnt exist, an IT abs+ minute. The IT needs the spv pressure to have a normal spring rate.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    I tuned mine a long time ago.. from what I remember, even at 200lbs I ended up pulling out all but one of the big shims. Mine had a ton of shims in it and it rode like a brick! I think they wanted a simulated platform.

    Dont forget about very nice shimmed rebound damper! IMO, rebound tuning is really what turns a good fork, into a fantastic fork. Theres tons of control in getting your HSR really dialed.. nice and fast HSR stops pack up, and slow LSR gives control.

    Sadly, I had to give up on ABS+ I had a fork that technically shouldnt exist, an IT abs+ minute. The IT needs the spv pressure to have a normal spring rate.

    I don't think that is true. Manitou made a Minute 140 IT with ABS. Not very common but they made it.

  70. #70
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    The fork sagged excessively. Running enough pressure to keep it in the top of the travel like it should would make using all the travel impossible. It wasnt the platform either, as I had gutted the ball assembly. It was effectively a 130mm fork with abs+. With IT, I had it at about 145mm.

    Manitous cs told me making an abs IT minute would be impossible.. its obviously not, but something funny happens with the IT spring. If theres a factory IT ABS fork, they might have retuned the negative chamber or something.

  71. #71
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    Thanks for the link! Much appreciated

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by chauzie
    link is not to article, but to the main page, which doesn't have the article
    could you double check
    That's strange. I've just hit the link and it opens the article--not the main page as you say. Its titile is Technicalities: Suspension Damping, and it is in the section Home»Motorcycle Tech Tips.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone
    I recently wrote to Manitou to ask the difference between the trail tuned ABS+ of Minute forks and the standard XC ABS+ of R7 forks.

    They sent me a useful document that explains the different configurations (XC, trail, linear) and how to tune the ABS+ damping system. It has lots of interesting graphs and drawings.

    This document isn't in their website, but they told me I can publish it. It is very informative and I think it could be helpful. You can find it here: ABS+ Tuning REV 3-10-2011.pdf

    Whats odd about the link is that my stock shim stack is not listed IMO, One of the best links posted on this site.

  74. #74
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    I'm actually curious which fork gets which stack-configuration...

    Is manitou planning on offering a shimpack/tuning kit?

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    The fork sagged excessively. Running enough pressure to keep it in the top of the travel like it should would make using all the travel impossible. It wasnt the platform either, as I had gutted the ball assembly. It was effectively a 130mm fork with abs+. With IT, I had it at about 145mm.

    Manitous cs told me making an abs IT minute would be impossible.. its obviously not, but something funny happens with the IT spring. If theres a factory IT ABS fork, they might have retuned the negative chamber or something.

    That is interesting. I have a 160 Nixon IT that originally came with an intrinsic damper. Worked great but wanted to try TPC+ (as I had it before in my X-vert super and loved it!). While it works well, I can't help but think that the intrinsic, with it strong bottom out control and progressive nature worked better with the IT system.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by two-one
    I'm actually curious which fork gets which stack-configuration...
    I'm not sure, but I think it should be like this:

    - Production XC Stack: Marvel, R7, Tower, Match;
    - Production Trial Stack: Minute;
    - Production Jump Stack: Circus.

    I would have said that Tower had the same stack as Minute (being the same fork as Minute but for 29er), however Manitou's webpage doesn't specify trail tuning.

    Quote Originally Posted by two-one
    Is manitou planning on offering a shimpack/tuning kit?
    They told me that the document comes with Manitou's new tuning kit they are selling. So yes, I think there is already a tuning kit on offer.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119
    Whats odd about the link is that my stock shim stack is not listed
    Yes, I noticed that. Perhaps something has changed in this year's shim stack configurations?

  78. #78
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    Well I will be looking into this soon. I just put in a ABS+ damper in my 2008 Minute Comp 140. Dont know if I will though since mine fork has the stage 2 spring rate and it seems (only after one ride) that I have really finite control on the amount of bump control for the fork. really plush spring rate at the lowest ABS+ fully open...perfect spring rate three clicks from the lowest ABS+ two clicks from open....fully locked spring rate at the highest ABS+ closed

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    I'm not sure, but I think it should be like this:

    - Production XC Stack: Marvel, R7, Tower, Match;
    - Production Trial Stack: Minute;
    - Production Jump Stack: Circus.

    I would have said that Tower had the same stack as Minute (being the same fork as Minute but for 29er), however Manitou's webpage doesn't specify trail tuning.
    Finally pulled the HSC stack from my 2011 Minute Expert to see what shim stack i have. Turns out it came stock with the XC stack, not the Trail stack.
    I had a total of 2 shims on top of the piston (diff than the OP) & the normal 1 below like the OP.
    Just thought i'd share. i'll be calling Manitou to see what i can do about ordering some more shims to play with.

    Oh and it looks like Manitou switched the piston (HSC) from an anodized alum to red plastic....not a big deal, but my 2011 is definetly diff than the OP.

    sent from my hand-held computer

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Finally pulled the HSC stack from my 2011 Minute Expert to see what shim stack i have. Turns out it came stock with the XC stack, not the Trail stack.
    I had a total of 2 shims on top of the piston (diff than the OP) & the normal 1 below like the OP.
    Just thought i'd share. i'll be calling Manitou to see what i can do about ordering some more shims to play with.

    Oh and it looks like Manitou switched the piston (HSC) from an anodized alum to red plastic....not a big deal, but my 2011 is definetly diff than the OP.

    sent from my hand-held computer
    Photo's...?
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  81. #81
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    Negative. Looks the same as the OP's pics, just the differences i explained. Maybe next time i open her up, i'll take pics

    sent from my hand-held computer

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Finally pulled the HSC stack from my 2011 Minute Expert to see what shim stack i have. Turns out it came stock with the XC stack, not the Trail stack.
    I had a total of 2 shims on top of the piston (diff than the OP) & the normal 1 below like the OP.
    Just thought i'd share. i'll be calling Manitou to see what i can do about ordering some more shims to play with.

    Oh and it looks like Manitou switched the piston (HSC) from an anodized alum to red plastic....not a big deal, but My 2011 is definetly diff than the OP.
    sent from my hand-held computer
    I will be super disappointed if they are using a plastic piston.......


    Side note: I talked to a Manitou tech a few days ago and they said there may be a long travel fork (160-180mm coming out, but not until 2013. Hopefully this is true.

  83. #83
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    Well, be disappointed. I was told today by Manitou tech, that the Pro comes with the alum piston. Expert gets plastic. Waiting to hear back from them about my shim stack. Their website definetly says 'Trail Tuned' and i most definetly have the XC pack..... Hopefully they will be sending me a Trail stack, but i was told the tuning 'kits' aren't available yet...?!?

    sent from my hand-held computer

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Well, be disappointed. I was told today by Manitou tech, that the Pro comes with the alum piston. Expert gets plastic. Waiting to hear back from them about my shim stack. Their website definetly says 'Trail Tuned' and i most definetly have the XC pack..... Hopefully they will be sending me a Trail stack, but i was told the tuning 'kits' aren't available yet...?!?

    sent from my hand-held computer
    I wonder it the Match comes with a piston made out of a wicker basket......

    Im very disappointed with that news. Especially because My 2010 drake came with a aluminum piston and the Minute Expert is suppose to be the exact same fork.

  85. #85
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    Manitou have almost always used plastic damper pistons. The only exceptions I have owned are 99 Xvert Ti (aluminium rebound piston) , 2000 Xvert carbon (aluminium rebound piston), 03 Minute SPV (aluminium piston), 06 Nixon (TPC+ removable cartridge) and Nixons.

    All the rest of the EFC's, FS Ti's, Xverts, Blacks, Mars etc that I've owned are plastic pistons, none of them have suffered because of that.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    Manitou have almost always used plastic damper pistons. The only exceptions I have owned are 99 Xvert Ti (aluminium rebound piston) , 2000 Xvert carbon (aluminium rebound piston), 03 Minute SPV (aluminium piston), 06 Nixon (TPC+ removable cartridge) and Nixons.

    All the rest of the EFC's, FS Ti's, Xverts, Blacks, Mars etc that I've owned are plastic pistons, none of them have suffered because of that.
    I dont see why it would have any effect on performance, but its still disappointing IMO.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Finally pulled the HSC stack from my 2011 Minute Expert to see what shim stack i have. Turns out it came stock with the XC stack, not the Trail stack.
    I had a total of 2 shims on top of the piston (diff than the OP) & the normal 1 below like the OP.
    Just thought i'd share. i'll be calling Manitou to see what i can do about ordering some more shims to play with.

    Oh and it looks like Manitou switched the piston (HSC) from an anodized alum to red plastic....not a big deal, but my 2011 is definetly diff than the OP.

    sent from my hand-held computer
    You can order shims here by the way

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Finally pulled the HSC stack from my 2011 Minute Expert to see what shim stack i have. Turns out it came stock with the XC stack, not the Trail stack.
    I had a total of 2 shims on top of the piston (diff than the OP) & the normal 1 below like the OP.
    Just thought i'd share. i'll be calling Manitou to see what i can do about ordering some more shims to play with.

    Oh and it looks like Manitou switched the piston (HSC) from an anodized alum to red plastic....not a big deal, but my 2011 is definetly diff than the OP.
    What is the OP?

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    What is the OP?
    Wow. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=OP+%2B+urban+dictionary

    sent from my hand-held computer

  90. #90
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    lmgty.com one of my fav websites..I send that link to my wife all the time.


  91. #91
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    Good news & bad news....

    Good news, always first:
    After speaking to Manitou tech last week about my valving, i recieved a small envelope today. Inside was the 'speed shim' as Manitou calls it. This is essentially the only diff between the XC & TRAIL valving. It lies on top of the piston and then the 2 platform shims on top of that. Everything mic'd out as per Manitou's charts.(that link rules!)

    Installed the Speed Shim along with both Platform shims (removed 1 before) in the proper order. Reassembled & rode around the block a couple times.
    Initial impression is a much livelier feel & less platform. This setup also ramps up considerably compared to the XC valving that was real linear after the platform. Will be taking it out for a real ride thurs.
    This is my kinda feel. A couple clicks of comp damping and we should be good to go.

    Bad News: i didn't take any pics!
    (I hate messing with my camera while wearing oily latex gloves)

    I've got about 10hrs on mine so far and all i can say, are good things.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomegrownMN View Post
    Good news & bad news....

    Good news, always first:
    After speaking to Manitou tech last week about my valving, i recieved a small envelope today. Inside was the 'speed shim' as Manitou calls it. This is essentially the only diff between the XC & TRAIL valving. It lies on top of the piston and then the 2 platform shims on top of that. Everything mic'd out as per Manitou's charts.(that link rules!)

    Installed the Speed Shim along with both Platform shims (removed 1 before) in the proper order. Reassembled & rode around the block a couple times.
    Initial impression is a much livelier feel & less platform. This setup also ramps up considerably compared to the XC valving that was real linear after the platform. Will be taking it out for a real ride thurs.
    This is my kinda feel. A couple clicks of comp damping and we should be good to go.

    Bad News: i didn't take any pics!
    (I hate messing with my camera while wearing oily latex gloves)

    I've got about 10hrs on mine so far and all i can say, are good things.
    Thats great! Manitou costumer service is top notch.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    I dont see why it would have any effect on performance, but its still disappointing IMO.
    Why does it disappoint you? I would myself say an aluminum piston is more stiff and durable than a plastic one. But is this the case indeed?

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    Why does it disappoint you? I would myself say an aluminum piston is more stiff and durable than a plastic one. But is this the case indeed?
    I would agree, My Drake came with an aluminum piston. When they switched the name "Drake" to "Minute Expert", They also must have switched from an aluminum piston to a plastic piston. Its really not a big deal, But its a little disappointing. I would much prefer my aluminum piston over the plastic.

  95. #95
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    Found what I think is the perfect setup for my Clyde ride!!! Running one velocity shim and four blow-off shims. My 29 M Minute is performing better than ever…

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    This seems like a good place to ask..what is the difference with the "jump stack" in the new circus forks? Does it still have tunable shims?

    I've got a circus on my dj bike..seems to work very well. I'm almost interested in picking one up for my AM rig and tuning it to work better on the trail. I like the fact that it is such a stout durable fork and i feel if i can tune it different, a 130 would make a good AM fork. what do you guys think?

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by squints88 View Post
    This seems like a good place to ask..what is the difference with the "jump stack" in the new circus forks? Does it still have tunable shims?

    I've got a circus on my dj bike..seems to work very well. I'm almost interested in picking one up for my AM rig and tuning it to work better on the trail. I like the fact that it is such a stout durable fork and i feel if i can tune it different, a 130 would make a good AM fork. what do you guys think?
    Yes, I think you can tune the Circus, although I'd probably take the Minute, which is already tuned for trail riding and it seems stiff and durable as well.

    Regarding the jump stack, have a look at a couple of previous posts:

    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    I recently wrote to Manitou to ask the difference between the trail tuned ABS+ of Minute forks and the standard XC ABS+ of R7 forks.

    They sent me a useful document that explains the different configurations (XC, trail, linear) and how to tune the ABS+ damping system. It has lots of interesting graphs and drawings.

    This document isn't in their website, but they told me I can publish it. It is very informative and I think it could be helpful. You can find it here: ABS+ Tuning REV 3-10-2011.pdf
    Quote Originally Posted by solitone View Post
    I'm not sure, but I think it should be like this:

    - Production XC Stack: Marvel, R7, Tower, Match;
    - Production Trial Stack: Minute;
    - Production Jump Stack: Circus.

    I would have said that Tower had the same stack as Minute (being the same fork as Minute but for 29er), however Manitou's webpage doesn't specify trail tuning.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by squints88 View Post
    This seems like a good place to ask..what is the difference with the "jump stack" in the new circus forks? Does it still have tunable shims?

    I've got a circus on my dj bike..seems to work very well. I'm almost interested in picking one up for my AM rig and tuning it to work better on the trail. I like the fact that it is such a stout durable fork and i feel if i can tune it different, a 130 would make a good AM fork. what do you guys think?
    I think it would be overkill for an AM fork, but it certainly could be tuned to perform. It has all the same internals, just a different shim configuration. Considering you can find the Minute Expert for about the same price, I'd rather go that route, save about a pound and a half...
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  99. #99
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    thanks i read over that pdf and it seems like the damper is the same and thie difference is simply in the shim stack.

    I am weighing the differeces between the minute and another circus..weight isn't really a concern for me as much as reliability. I've got a lot of downhill components on my bike that are a little overkill haha but i dont usually have to replace them thats for sure. Theres some great info in this thread i cant wait to tear into this new fork lol

  100. #100
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    I've got a 2011 R7, and I just did the shim stack mod last night.

    I ordered a bunch of shims to play with from these guys: www.racingsuspensionproducts.com

    What I really wanted was to swap from the stock XC stack to the Trail stack, which means adding one 17.5x0.2 Speed Shim. I couldn't find a perfect match for that, so I went with a 17x0.15 instead.

    With the stock XC stack I had found:

    1 click from fully open was beautiful on really rooty, technical stuff, but it had seriously unpredictable brakedive.
    3~4 clicks mostly eliminated the brakedive, but was significantly harsher
    2 clicks was kindof the worst of both worlds.

    So I put in the speed shim last night (took maybe 20 minutes) and went for a nice long ride today. The new stack is definitely a better fit for me, because I was able to run at 4~5 clicks and have no brakedive, but still a nice supple ride. With this setup I still have more platform than I need, so I may add a second speed shim or remove/swap one of the blowoff shims with something smaller. Definitely a nice mod, though.

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    Took a moment and found a link to the Penske site info.

    http://www.penskeshocks.com/files/Adjustable_Manual.pdf

    Later pages discuss the various piston design formats.

    Pretty technical but should be more than enough information to make your brain hurt.

    Granted it is not bicycle specific in title but is applicable.

    PK

    That is awesome. Hopefully getting a roco wc air soon (if the guy doesn't take me for a ride lol).

    This is meant to be pretty easy to pull apart, so shim tuning is something I plan on tinkering with!

    (also subscribing to thread)

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I've got a 2011 R7, and I just did the shim stack mod last night.

    I ordered a bunch of shims to play with from these guys: www.racingsuspensionproducts.com

    What I really wanted was to swap from the stock XC stack to the Trail stack, which means adding one 17.5x0.2 Speed Shim. I couldn't find a perfect match for that, so I went with a 17x0.15 instead.

    With the stock XC stack I had found:

    1 click from fully open was beautiful on really rooty, technical stuff, but it had seriously unpredictable brakedive.
    3~4 clicks mostly eliminated the brakedive, but was significantly harsher
    2 clicks was kindof the worst of both worlds.

    So I put in the speed shim last night (took maybe 20 minutes) and went for a nice long ride today. The new stack is definitely a better fit for me, because I was able to run at 4~5 clicks and have no brakedive, but still a nice supple ride. With this setup I still have more platform than I need, so I may add a second speed shim or remove/swap one of the blowoff shims with something smaller. Definitely a nice mod, though.

    Another option to try, assuming you have a shim to use, would be putting a smaller speed shim in. Say 15-16mm x .15. This would allow for more oil flow around the speed shim without the need for the shim to flex as much, giving better oil flow without taking more preload off the rest of the shim stack. I'm afraid that if you have two speed shims, the stack may not have much preload left, making for too weak of a stack. If you do add a second speed shim, You will probably want to add a few more shims to the stack to stiffen it up.

  103. #103
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    ^ thanks. My shims are now in the parts box, but I think what I got was 19x.1 (narrower blowoff shims), 17x.15 (my "speed shims"), 17x.1 (narrower speed shims) and 15x.1 (smaller speed shims). So I've got lots to play with. To start with I wanted to get as close to the stock Trail stack as possible, and then work out from there.

    There's also a note in the Manitou techdoc that "For TS or ISO Air systems, an extra 5-10cc of semi-bath oil on the air piston will increase the ramp-up of the air spring, reducing bottoming and improving control overall for some riders." I may do that before changing the stack again, just to see what sort of effect it has.

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ thanks. My shims are now in the parts box, but I think what I got was 19x.1 (narrower blowoff shims), 17x.15 (my "speed shims"), 17x.1 (narrower speed shims) and 15x.1 (smaller speed shims). So I've got lots to play with. To start with I wanted to get as close to the stock Trail stack as possible, and then work out from there.

    There's also a note in the Manitou techdoc that "For TS or ISO Air systems, an extra 5-10cc of semi-bath oil on the air piston will increase the ramp-up of the air spring, reducing bottoming and improving control overall for some riders." I may do that before changing the stack again, just to see what sort of effect it has.

    If you end up taking it apart, I would try the 15 x.1 by its self first and see if you like it. If not I would try both 17mm shims and add the 19x1 to the blow off shims to help compensate for the loss in stack preload. Adding the oil to the air spring is always a good thing if you have a bottom out problem or the feeling of a weak mid stroke.

    Make sure to change only one thing at a time though so you can see what affect each change makes on performance. It usually takes a few tries, but you will end up with awesome fork.

  105. #105
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    Yeah, thinking about it a bit for a few more minutes...with the new stack there's no bottom-out issue, so adding oil on the spring doesn't get me anything. I've got to go back to the graphs in the techdoc to see what looks good.

  106. #106

  107. #107
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    Absolute Plus Tuning Kit

    Interesting! So now it's official, they'll offer the Absolute Plus Tuning Kit.

  108. #108
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    I wonder how much the kit will cost? The moto ones online are upwards of $100, which isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, but which seems geared more to a shop/team than to the home tinkerer.

    As for my R7, adding the extra velocity dependency has made it so much better and I think I'll be keeping my current stack for the foreseeable future. I know the R7 is a bit of a specialized fork, but I don't know when the stock XC stack would ever be better than that trail stack, unless it's for people who ride trails that have absolutely no technical features.

  109. #109
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    The thing that that has me interested in the kit is that it comes with multiple pistons. I am wondering if there is a difference in the ports on them or if they are just different OD dimensions for the different fork stanchions. Shims are easily bought if needed and solitone posted the contents of the tuning guide, so if the pistons do not have different port designs, the kit is pointless to mtbr users.

  110. #110
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    I have a tower pro fork and like the ride with the compression set to 3-4 clicks from soft. When the compression is set to 3-4 the fork bottoms out very easily and often. The rebound is set to the middle.

    I would like to have the fork set to 3 clicks and have it ramp up quicker so it will not bottom out as easily. So I would think adding a shim to the hsc stack would be the right thing to do.

    What do you guys think?

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    I have a tower pro fork and like the ride with the compression set to 3-4 clicks from soft. When the compression is set to 3-4 the fork bottoms out very easily and often. The rebound is set to the middle.

    I would like to have the fork set to 3 clicks and have it ramp up quicker so it will not bottom out as easily. So I would think adding a shim to the hsc stack would be the right thing to do.

    What do you guys think?
    Its hard to answer that question without knowing a few other things first.

    Mainly, how much do you weigh? When you fully close your LSC, is your fork fully locked out? If so, how much force does it take when you push down to make the fork move?

    If it takes a a pretty good amount of force to break the lock out, then adding a shim would not help you out very much because the shim stack would already be fairly strong giving you a good amount of HSC. If it breaks free from being locked out without much effort, then your current stack is fairly weak and there is not much HSC. Adding a shim would help only if the stack is on the weak side. If its not, your problem is elsewhere.

    When it comes to bottoming problems, Its normally caused by the fork being under sprung for the riders weight. In that situation, the damper will be ineffective. Your fork has a small coil spring that is used for the first 20% or so of travel, after that the air spring kicks in. I would up your air pressure a few PSI to help with the bottoming. The small bump sensitivity should not be effected to much since the intitial travel is absorbed by the coil, but it should increase your bottom out resistance. If you are running more then 25-30% sag, you may need a stiffer coil.

    Hope that helps.

  112. #112
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    I guess it's been about two months now since I reshimmed my R7, and I'm totally impressed. I like running 3-clicks too, but I was having problems with nasty brakedive. So like mullen is saying it could just be a spring setting. For brakedive and pedalbob though, adding a speedshim worked beautifully.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I guess it's been about two months now since I reshimmed my R7, and I'm totally impressed. I like running 3-clicks too, but I was having problems with nasty brakedive. So like mullen is saying it could just be a spring setting. For brakedive and pedalbob though, adding a speedshim worked beautifully.
    Im glad to see this thread helped you find what you were looking for

    As for rupps5, If we find out he is properly sprung, and doesnt care about a firms lock out, Changing from a platform style stack to more of a true HSC stack by adding a speed shim could be a possible solution. To me, its the only way to have it set up, but I also hate the platform feel of any damper, front or rear.

  114. #114
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    I weigh 165 without gear.

    Messed around with my fork and here is what I got:

    original setting:
    -70 psi
    -sag 18mm -lsc open
    -lsc closed and running over a 4x4 in the basement test. Went through 35mm of travel

    setting 2:
    -85 psi
    -sag 19mm -lsc open
    -lsc closed and running over a 4x4 test. Went through 37mm of travel

    now the test and sag measurements ares not perfect but they are the average of taking each measurement 5 times. So why am I sagging and using up more travel at a higher psi?

    I do not care about lock out, I have never used it on any fork and would rather have a true hsc stack.
    Last edited by rupps5; 11-04-2011 at 07:18 PM.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    I weigh 165 without gear.

    Messed around with my fork and here is what I got:

    original setting:
    -70 psi
    -sag 18mm -lsc open
    -lsc closed and running over a 4x4 in the basement test. Went through 35mm of travel

    setting 2:
    -85 psi
    -sag 19mm -lsc open
    -lsc closed and running over a 4x4 test. Went through 37mm of travel

    now the test and sag measurements ares not perfect but they are the average of taking each measurement 5 times. So why am I sagging and using up more travel at a higher psi?

    I do not care about lock out, I have never used it on any fork and would rather have a true hsc stack.
    The way your fork spring works, Adding air pressure only has a small effect on the amount of sag you get, and at higher air pressures, effect gets smaller.(because the coil spring moves for the first part of travel, the air spring kicks in deeper into the stroke.) It sounds like you have an acceptable amount of sag, so your coil should be correct for your weight.

    Running over a 4x4 wont be a very good test because there are many variables that can change the result.(speed, body weight distribution, and body reactions). What you really need to do put in a full ride at 85psi and if it helps the bottoming.

    As for your shim stack, adding a speed shim would completely change the feel of the damper. What it would do is take preload off the shim stack making it weaker, and would lose the platform feel to it. Doing this would allow you to run more LSC (say 4-5 clicks) without losing the small bump compliance and without the harsh spiking you feel when running more LSC with your current stack. It basically will create a smooth transition from the LSC to the HSC. This could help you because as your run more LSC, it will force more oil flow through the HSC stack, giving you more overall damping.

  116. #116
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    ^ like you're saying, before I added the speed shim I had my fork set so that it wasn't beating me up on the rootiest, choppiest sections of my trails. After the speed shim was installed the fork didn't spike nearly as badly (or at all, really) on the choppy stuff, so I was able to up the pressure and the LSC. Looking back over this thread, I guess that I used to run at 1-2 click open (I thought it was 3), and now I'm at 4-5. The behavior is totally different.
    Last edited by newfangled; 11-05-2011 at 10:58 AM.

  117. #117
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    Just got back from a ride with 85psi and I did not like it at all. I did not bottom the fork as much but it was just too stiff. I ended up with the rebound and lsc all the way open to try to get the fork to soak up more bumps but there was just too much air. So I think I will try 77psi for the next ride.


    I am interested in trying the speed shim. Where would I get one and what dimensions does it have?

  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    Just got back from a ride with 85psi and I did not like it at all. I did not bottom the fork as much but it was just too stiff. I ended up with the rebound and lsc all the way open to try to get the fork to soak up more bumps but there was just too much air. So I think I will try 77psi for the next ride.


    I am interested in trying the speed shim. Where would I get one and what dimensions does it have?
    Look over the information in this link: http://solitone.interfree.it/ABS+%20...03-10-2011.pdf

    It can be somewhat hard to understand at first, but it gives great information on how the different shim stacks effect the damping curve.

    I would suggest starting with a stack consisting of (2) 17.5mm OD x .02mm thick shims on the piston, followed by a 15mm x.02mm followed by a 13mm x .01mm. all with 8mm ID's. That would be a pretty strong stack with no platform.

    That is just my suggestion though. Taking the time to learn the information in that link will help you decide what stack to go with. It really depends on what you are looking for performance wise from your fork. Generally speaking, the XC series of stack in the link are going to have a platform feel. The Linear series is a true HSC stack with no preload. And the trail series is a a mix of the two with a small amount of platform, but with much less spiking then the XC series.

  119. #119
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    Thats funny I just read that pdf a couple of minutes ago. I like the sound of the linear stack. The whole reason this fork was bought was to play with the shim stacks. Time to order a bunch of shims.

    There are a couple of links to shims in this thread but I have not seen a 17.5mm OD x .02mm for sale anywhere. Do you have to get these from Manitou?

  120. #120
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    ^ I went with a 17x0.15 from here: Racing Suspension Products. I bought eight to play with, but so far the 17 is the only one I've used.

  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    Thats funny I just read that pdf a couple of minutes ago. I like the sound of the linear stack. The whole reason this fork was bought was to play with the shim stacks. Time to order a bunch of shims.

    There are a couple of links to shims in this thread but I have not seen a 17.5mm OD x .02mm for sale anywhere. Do you have to get these from Manitou?
    As said by newfangled, Just use a 17mm shim. I would also buy them from the link he posted because the MXtech website keeps getting hacked for some reason. Post your results one you find a stack you like

  122. #122
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    They don't offer shims in a thickness of .02mm.
    You should be looking for .2mm.

    FWIW,
    .1mm is approx .004 inch.
    .2mm is approx .008 inch

    .02mm is approx .0008 inch
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK View Post
    They don't offer shims in a thickness of .02mm.
    You should be looking for .2mm.

    FWIW,
    .1mm is approx .004 inch.
    .2mm is approx .008 inch

    .02mm is approx .0008 inch
    Thats what I meant to type. Im sure he figured it out when looking them up.

  124. #124
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    I'd also thought about going to a motorcross shop, but decided online was easier. Anyone know if moto shops would be likely to have the right shims in stock?

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I'd also thought about going to a motorcross shop, but decided online was easier. Anyone know if moto shops would be likely to have the right shims in stock?
    I would be surprised if they did. Most shops dont tune suspension in house.

  126. #126
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    Some facts about Minute MRD, Absolute+, Mars Air

    MRD Absolute+ shims have not been covered in this thread so far.

    My Minute MRD, 100 mm travel, 20 mm thru-axle, came with the following shims, starting from shaft:

    narrow clamp shim, 9 x 0.2(*) mm x (1)
    wide clamp shim, 11 x 0.1 mm x (1)
    blow-off shim, 14 x 0.15 mm x (4)
    preload reducer shim, 9 x 0.1 mm x (3)

    Which is a strange stack: a lot of equal height blof-off shims, reinforced by a wide clamp shim, and preload reduced by as much as 0.3 mm. The fork was impractical to ride with needle fully closed, too much platform and spiking. Running the needle in semi-open positions was a compromise between plushness and bob/dive.


    I have installed a 0.2 mm M6 precision washer (technically it's not a dedicated damper shim) to use as the speed shim and only left 1 blow-off washer (now preload reduced by 0.2 mm) and the narrow clamp washer. I hope that this setup resembles tune EK-012611-02 from the Manitou document, which only mentions non-MRD dampers.

    I am yet to test this setup in real use -- waiting for the current cold spell to end.


    _____________________
    (*) This number is taken from memory.



    PS
    I'm overhauling the fork completely anyway, and have changed the stock coil spring (color code red, which is medium I guess) for spring code 83-3172, which was sold to me as firm, although it has no color markings. It feels firmer by hand indeed. It's also 3.7 mm wire thickness and 87 mm long, as opposed to 3.4 mm and 77 mm respectively on stock spring.

    I had to shorten the rubber top out bumper (the one on spring rod) by 10 mm to accomodate the longer spring.

    Also, it's a known fact that there is no spring grease/semi-bath oil separating seal in Mars Air forks. Which results in oil penetrating coil spring chamber in use, where it attempts to dissolve the grease (even if you only leave enough grease to cover stahcnion wall from inside -- they put a huge amount of grease in during assembly) and gets thickened in the process. This thickened snot-like mixture has trouble reaching the upper bushing.


    What I have done is cut a 4/2 mm heat shrink tube into several 1 cm pieces, piloted them on the spring wire, distributed them around and shrunk them until they are unable to move. I used no grease at all, relying instead on the tube and quality motor oil to protect the stanchion wall.
    Last edited by J. Random Psycho; 01-24-2012 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Spring change
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    MRD Absolute+ shims have not been covered in this thread so far.

    My Minute MRD, 100 mm travel, 20 mm thru-axle, came with the following shims, starting from shaft:

    narrow clamp shim, 9 x 0.2(*) mm x (1)
    wide clamp shim, 11 x 0.1 mm x (1)
    blow-off shim, 14 x 0.15 mm x (4)
    preload reducer shim, 9 x 0.1 mm x (3)

    Which is a strange stack: a lot of equal height blof-off shims, reinforced by a wide clamp shim, and preload reduced by as much as 0.3 mm. The fork was impractical to ride with needle fully closed, too much platform and spiking. Running the needle in semi-open positions was a compromise between plushness and bob/dive.


    I have installed a 0.2 mm M6 precision washer (technically it's not a dedicated damper shim) to use as the speed shim and only left 1 blow-off washer (now preload reduced by 0.2 mm) and the narrow clamp washer. I hope that this setup resembles tune EK-012611-02 from the Manitou document, which only mentions non-MRD dampers.

    I am yet to test this setup in real use -- waiting for the current cold spell to end.


    _____________________
    (*) This number is taken from memory.



    PS
    I'm overhauling the fork completely anyway, and have changed the stock coil spring (color code red, which is medium I guess) for spring code 83-3172, which was sold to me as firm, although it has no color markings. It feels firmer by hand indeed. It's also 3.7 mm wire thickness and 87 mm long, as opposed to 3.4 mm and 77 mm respectively on stock spring.

    I had to shorten the rubber top out bumper (the one on spring rod) by 10 mm to accomodate the longer spring.

    Also, it's a known fact that there is no spring grease/semi-bath oil separating seal in Mars Air forks. Which results in oil penetrating coil spring chamber in use, where it attempts to dissolve the grease (even if you only leave enough grease to cover stahcnion wall from inside -- they put a huge amount of grease in during assembly) and gets thickened in the process. This thickened snot-like mixture has trouble reaching the upper bushing.


    What I have done is cut a 4/2 mm heat shrink tube into several 1 cm pieces, piloted them on the spring wire, distributed them around and shrunk them until they are unable to move. I used no grease at all, relying instead on the tube and quality motor oil to protect the stanchion wall.

    Instead of using the washer, You should get the results you are looking for by removing one(or maybe even two) of the blow off shims. It would allow the stack to blow off easier while still using damper shims. You can also add the shims you remove to top of the stack to give less platform, but keep a little more HSC overall

    Let us know how it rides when you get a chance

  128. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    Instead of using the washer, You should get the results you are looking for by removing one(or maybe even two) of the blow off shims. It would allow the stack to blow off easier while still using damper shims.
    I'm going to order some real shims, of course )
    But will try my luck with the improvised shim washer for now. I googled up, and they seem to be made of spring steel and with good tolerances. The one I used is 12 mm OD which covers MRD piston ports but clears the raised edge, just like how a speed shim is supposed to fit.


    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    You can also add the shims you remove to top of the stack to give less platform, but keep a little more HSC overall
    Would this be a form of 2-stage shimmed damping that was mentioned in this thread?


    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    Let us know how it rides when you get a chance
    Will do!
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post


    Would this be a form of 2-stage shimmed damping that was mentioned in this thread?


    Yep. It would allow the stack to open partially on smaller hits to feel less spikey, but keep a good amount of damping on big hits.

  130. #130
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    Well, here's how that 0.2 mm "speed shim" and 0.15 mm blow-off shim combination feels in room test with needle fully closed: no perceivable blow-off force on low-speed movement, and a suddenly appearing spike feel when I try to compress the fork faster.

    Feels like 0.2 mm is way too thick of a speed shim for MRD. At least the improvised type. Since any blow-off force seems to be absent, I'm not even going to try this stack on a real ride.


    Next stack to try, starting from shaft:

    narrow clamp washer (it's 0.25 mm, I've just measured it)
    wide clamp washer
    2 x 0.15 mm blow-off shims
    1 x 0.1 mm preload reducer
    2x 0.1 mm "speed shims", hopefully for 4 times less stiffness than 1 x 0.2 mm (not gonna give up on that idea right away..)


    PS
    Results are weird. I expected the blow-off force to be about half of what there initially was with 4 blowoff shims and 0.3 mm total preload reduction (which was way too much). But there is still no detectable blow-off force. And the higher speed spike remains, it just requires me to push the fork faster to trigger it, than it was with 0.2 mm "speed shim".


    Anyway.. next stack, starting from shaft:

    narrow clamp washer
    wide clamp washer
    3 x 0.15 mm blow-off shims
    2 x 0.1 mm preload reducer
    1 x 0.1 mm "speed shim".


    PPS
    I'm using a very light oil, Stendec Crystal Fork Fluid 2.5W (stock oil that I dumped was definitely heavier). This must be why very low speed compression with needle closed feels like there's an orifice still open. Oil must be having very little trouble flexing whatever "speed shims" that I tried, and (what is mysterious) up to 3 x 0.15 mm blow-off shims, preload reduced by 0.3 mm.


    PPPS
    I went back to (almost) the first stack I was going to try, but with wide clamp washer added:

    narrow clamp washer
    wide clamp washer
    1 x 0.15 mm blow-off shim
    1 x 0.2 mm "speed shim",

    and this time changed the oil to a 1:1 mix of Stendec 5W and 10W. Weeeeeeell... it feels better now (with needle sitll fully closed). Much more explainable. What was preceived as absence of blow-off and a sudden spike, is now a platform-like feeling that with reasonable force opens to what feels like heavily damped travel (real riding will tell whether it's too heavy or not).

    I guess that the light oil was (in small quantities) bypassing the (defective?) check valve on the front side of piston. It would have had little effect when riding, but on manual room test even the small blow-off force kicking in at higher speeds was perceived as a spike (which it wasn't, it would open if I pressed harder, but in comparison to very low speed free travel it felt like hitting a wall). It's as if the needle was not fully closed, but instead 1-2 clicks from closed.
    Last edited by J. Random Psycho; 01-24-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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  131. #131
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    Marzocchi 55r 08'

    Hi guys,

    Im all the way from the Philippines and I read one of you forum posts. I own a Marzocchi 55r 08 model. It seems to lock out and I only get 2-3 inch travel and even less sometimes. This form is supposed to be 160mm travel.

    I read that you can drill into it and make it work again.

    Im am not really sure how to do it so I am researching for more info and photos as well.

    It'll be a great deal of help if you can send me more specific details.

    Thanks much!

    regards,

    Nicolas

  132. #132
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    badburn666,
    you may want to look here, for instance.
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    55r

    yup, read that already. thanks though.

    Still need more instructions and illustrations for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Also, it's a known fact that there is no spring grease/semi-bath oil separating seal in Mars Air forks. Which results in oil penetrating coil spring chamber in use, where it attempts to dissolve the grease (even if you only leave enough grease to cover stahcnion wall from inside -- they put a huge amount of grease in during assembly) and gets thickened in the process. This thickened snot-like mixture has trouble reaching the upper bushing.


    What I have done is cut a 4/2 mm heat shrink tube into several 1 cm pieces, piloted them on the spring wire, distributed them around and shrunk them until they are unable to move. I used no grease at all, relying instead on the tube and quality motor oil to protect the stanchion wall.
    I recently changed the ride kit on my Minute Pro (also has the Mars Air) and can confirm that your grease experience was not an anomoly. The stock spring was covered in huge globs of grease. Manitou's excessive use of grease for the spring seems somewhat strange given that the service manual says you're supposed to "lightly" grease it.

    I followed the manual's instructions and lightly greased the new firmer spring. I'll see what the grease does to the semi-bath oil next time I service it. If it looks like it's making a thick soup, I'll give your heat shrink tubing idea a shot.

    Do you think it makes any difference in the type of grease used? Manitou used copious amounts of a red grease that seems thinner than the standard white teflon grease I usually use. It seems like using thicker and less grease would reduce the sem-bath/grease soup risk.

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by MPH_66 View Post
    Do you think it makes any difference in the type of grease used? Manitou used copious amounts of a red grease that seems thinner than the standard white teflon grease I usually use. It seems like using thicker and less grease would reduce the sem-bath/grease soup risk.
    Well, when I first overhauled my Mars Air sprung Minute (did it out of the box, before first time installation) I used a little Rock'n'Roll Super Coat on the spring. I also removed most of the red grease, only left a thin layer on stanchion wall. The results were less snotty than with my previous Mars Air and TS Air experiences with other forks, -- a considerable amount of oil actually leaked out of spring side lowers when I started overhauling it the second time (that's when I wrote that post).

    Before that, when I used to leave some red grease on the spring itself (still removed most of it before 1st install), I only got several drops of oil from (spring side) lowers on next overhaul -- and the lower leg was invariably filled with goo.

    On our more local forum I once suggested devising a seal in the plastic stanchion lower end nut around the compression rod. Some guys have given it a try. A recent successful attempt was to cut a groove in plastic, put a petrol-resistant o-ring in there and polish the rod (as I suggested). I don't yet know how he cut the groove (but see below), but he says that the result is very promising so far -- no oil penetration and negligible stiction.


    Edit: he used a dremel.
    Last edited by J. Random Psycho; 02-24-2012 at 06:15 PM.
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    This isn't about reshimming, but I'm hoping some of the manitou experts might be able to help out.

    I just serviced my 2011 r7 for the first time, and when I was putting it back together it seems like the threads at the bottom of the leftleg/compressionrod are stripped. The manual says to tighten to 45-55 in-lbs, but I can only get it a little more than fingertight and then it spins and spins. I don't think I stripped it, but the threads are just plastic so it seems like it would be an easy thing to do?

    Anyway, I'm assuming that running it like this would be a bad thing and that I should try to track down a replacement compressionrod assembly? Or did I miss something during reassembly that's preventing me from tightening it up? Any advice from the experts?

  137. #137
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    newfangled,
    yes, the plastic nut threads can be stripped. Examine them closely.

    Also examine threads in the stanchion, just in case -- maybe there's something that fscked up the plastic thread.
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    The piston may be spinning in the stanchion. Take the lowers back off and put the bolt back in and tighten it. If the compression rod is spinning with the bolt then the piston is spinning in the stanchion. To fix this, hold the compression rod to stop it from spinning while tightening the bolt. This should clean out the threads and allow you to tighten it when the lowers are attached.

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    Thanks mullen, I'd considered taking it apart again and threading it in without the lowers, but I was feeling too lazy. I'll give that a shot, though.

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    Ah, that bolt. I thought it's about the plastic nut that you turn with 22 mm wrench. One came from factory with stripped threads recently.
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    ^ sorry, yeah it's the metal bolt into plastic threads. I don't think I stripped it because I wasn't able to get any force into it, so either the piston is spinning (hopefully), or it came stripped and was never tight to begin with. We'll see after I take it apart again.

  142. #142
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    Well then, lowers on a R7 (TS Air sprung) fork are best removed and put on with some pressure in air chamber. This preloads the negative spring, which, in turn, presses down on the plastic rod thus preventing it from turning somewhat, together with the force that bolt creates pulling the rod into the bottom of the lower leg. You kind of compress the rod in between the negative spring and the bottom of lower leg.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Well then, lowers on a R7 (TS Air sprung) fork are best removed and put on with some pressure in air chamber. This preloads the negative spring, which, in turn, presses down on the plastic rod thus preventing it from turning somewhat, together with the force that bolt creates pulling the rod into the bottom of the lower leg. You kind of compress the rod in between the negative spring and the bottom of lower leg.
    This is good advice. But I was just thinking about it, and 45in/lbs is not more more then finger tight. Its not a bad idea to pick up a torque wrench if you dont have one already. My current fork( RS Lyrik) says 60in/lbs on the foot bolts and I was shocked at how little torque it was. After you put the bath oil in, Put the bolt in the get everything lined up, then take it out and clean it(bolt and lowers) with rubbing alcohol to get any oil off. Then use some blue locktite to keep it from coming loose. (oil and locktite do not mix very well)

    If you dont have or cant get access to a torque wrench, 45/in/lbs will be just a hand tight when holding the short side of an allen wrench.(hope I worded that so it makes sense )
    Last edited by mullen119; 02-25-2012 at 07:25 AM.

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    tagged for future reference
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  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    This is good advice. But I was just thinking about it, and 45in/lbs is not more more then finger tight. Its not a bad idea to pick up a torque wrench if you dont have one already. My current fork( RS Lyrik) says 60in/lbs on the foot bolts and I was shocked at how little torque it was. After you put the bath oil in, Put the bolt in the get everything lined up, then take it out and clean it(bolt and lowers) with rubbing alcohol to get any oil off. Then use some blue locktite to keep it from coming loose. (oil and locktite do not mix very well)

    If you dont have or cant get access to a torque wrench, 45/in/lbs will be just a hand tight when holding the short side of an allen wrench.(hope I worded that so it makes sense )
    Why, 45 in/lbs is about 5 Nm torque, and that's the typical amount applied on stem bolts, for instance. I use a 0-60 in/lbs torque wrench to install carbon handlebars, and I surely am not able to develop 5 Nm torque by turning the short side of an 4 or 5 mm hex wrench. )

    That being said, I do agree that with any of the forks that I worked on (Manitou, RS, Fox, DT Swiss, Magura, Suntour - haven't yet been trusted with a Marzocchi, however), however different methods they all use to retain the rods in the lowers (by the way, Manitou I think is one of the best in this regard), the torque needed is invariably much lower than what could be achieved with the size of fasteners used.



    Back to the shim stack topic -- I did several rides on my modified Minute MRD stack (Mars Air, 100 mm travel, firm coil spring, 90 psi in air chamber, rider weight between 75 and 80 kg with gear). It's a low platform and a single 0.1 mm speed shim combination. 2.5W Stendec fork oil. I've always ran it with LSC needle fully closed (my intention was to be able to leave that knob alone for the most riding). The bike is a 2-speed DJ-based 26" hardtail, with plastic pivotal saddle bolted way down.

    Well.. the amount of platform is sufficient to climb whatever grades I tried (traction on snow trails permitting). I wonder why the XC factory tune is so much harder -- must be intended for very strong and heavy riders hammering while not pulling on the bars.

    The same platform prevents the fork from handling small irregularities, however, which takes away ride comfort. Guess I'll have to become used to that. Platform opens when I hit something that would throw me off with a rigid fork, and that's great.

    The fork only bottoms out when I make a serious mistake, like casing a double with my front wheel. Typical maximum landing travel to transition is 75 mm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Why, 45 in/lbs is about 5 Nm torque, and that's the typical amount applied on stem bolts, for instance. I use a 0-60 in/lbs torque wrench to install carbon handlebars, and I surely am not able to develop 5 Nm torque by turning the short side of an 4 or 5 mm hex wrench. )
    I have found that I can put about 60-70in/lbs holding the short side of an allen wrench. I took the time to test to help a riding buddy who didnt have a torque wrench and needed to know for a frame bolt. That said, its not a great way to judge as everyone can create different amounts of torque. I was a hold out for a while on buying a torque wrench, but after hearing of people cracking lowers from over tightening the foot bolts, so I picked one up a few years ago. Now its something I recommend anyone who is serious about working on a bike buys.




    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Back to the shim stack topic -- I did several rides on my modified Minute MRD stack (Mars Air, 100 mm travel, firm coil spring, 90 psi in air chamber, rider weight between 75 and 80 kg with gear). It's a low platform and a single 0.1 mm speed shim combination. 2.5W Stendec fork oil. I've always ran it with LSC needle fully closed (my intention was to be able to leave that knob alone for the most riding). The bike is a 2-speed DJ-based 26" hardtail, with plastic pivotal saddle bolted way down.

    Well.. the amount of platform is sufficient to climb whatever grades I tried (traction on snow trails permitting). I wonder why the XC factory tune is so much harder -- must be intended for very strong and heavy riders hammering while not pulling on the bars.

    The same platform prevents the fork from handling small irregularities, however, which takes away ride comfort. Guess I'll have to become used to that. Platform opens when I hit something that would throw me off with a rigid fork, and that's great.

    The fork only bottoms out when I make a serious mistake, like casing a double with my front wheel. Typical maximum landing travel to transition is 75 mm.

    Its good that you found a stack that you like, but I would recommend leaving the dial one click from fully closed and getting a shim stack that you like in that position. You can ride with it fully closed, but you are completely closing off the LSC port and running with oil flowing through the HSC stack only. It wont cause any problems, but you are loosing a over all performance by getting rid of a useful tuning point completely.

  147. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    Its good that you found a stack that you like, but I would recommend leaving the dial one click from fully closed and getting a shim stack that you like in that position. You can ride with it fully closed, but you are completely closing off the LSC port and running with oil flowing through the HSC stack only. It wont cause any problems, but you are loosing a over all performance by getting rid of a useful tuning point completely.
    I thought about that -- but I'll have to use thicker oil because with 2.5W even 1 click from fully closed is enough to make the platform ineffective. I also expect that the effect of some oil flowing through LSC port at every force applied to fork would be not useful enough as to make it handle the small stuff better at speed, but harmful enough to make it bob on every pedal stroke (this is what I wanted to get rid of) -- what do you think on this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    I thought about that -- but I'll have to use thicker oil because with 2.5W even 1 click from fully closed is enough to make the platform ineffective. I also expect that the effect of some oil flowing through LSC port at every force applied to fork would be not useful enough as to make it handle the small stuff better at speed, but harmful enough to make it bob on every pedal stroke (this is what I wanted to get rid of) -- what do you think on this?
    I see what your trying to achieve. I dont know if you will ever find a set up that allows for small bump compliance and pedaling efficiency without some compromise. The closest thing you can get would be to switch to a Fox fork with Terralogic or buy a MILO remote to switch from fully open to fully closed on the handle bars. A set and forget just wont allow for a perfect set up in your situation though.

    Tough call.

  149. #149
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    I have no problem running with the clickers closed. If you can acheive the ride you want with all the oil through the shims it's not a bad thing.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    I see what your trying to achieve. I dont know if you will ever find a set up that allows for small bump compliance and pedaling efficiency without some compromise. The closest thing you can get would be to switch to a Fox fork with Terralogic or buy a MILO remote to switch from fully open to fully closed on the handle bars. A set and forget just wont allow for a perfect set up in your situation though.

    Tough call.
    Looks like it. I've been considering Terralogic since 2007, then Fox stopped making them, then resumed, but I was running Manitou forks by that moment. I'm building a true singlespeed now (for XC duties) and am going to put another Manitou fork on it, because I have the parts. If I don't like it I'll face this exact choice, Fox or MILO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Looks like it. I've been considering Terralogic since 2007, then Fox stopped making them, then resumed, but I was running Manitou forks by that moment. I'm building a true singlespeed now (for XC duties) and am going to put another Manitou fork on it, because I have the parts. If I don't like it I'll face this exact choice, Fox or MILO.
    Terralogic is a pretty interesting damper design that makes a lot of sense for XC riding if it works as good as they claim. Its about the only way to get a good platform and keep most small bump compliance. I dont ride a ton of XC, If I did(and had loads of cash) I would consider one myself.

    Your set up sounds like its pretty good for what you are looking for though.

  152. #152
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    Can any that has used the minute with both absolute and ABS+ please tell me which of the systems is more plush in the open position?

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    They are both the same system. Absolute only had 5 detents from fully open to close while the ABS+ has 7 from fully open to close. They are the same when fully open or fully close.

  154. #154
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    So the only advantage is tuneability and detents range, right?
    And if you use MILO remote (2 positions, full open and full close) they act exactly the same

    now I know the update is not necesary for me, thanks

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    yes, I do not use the MILO remote for that exact reason. I use fully open, the third detent(where I usually ride) and fully lockout available to me.

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    I've used ABS and ABS+ ( in Drake ,but it doesn't matter I think) and IMO ABS+ is much more plush in fully open position. ABS+ made my fork more sensitive for small bumps and more linear than with ABS. Tuneability and detents range are additional bonus .

  157. #157
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    Absolute is a very different damper, it's nothing like Absolute+.

    In Absolute, there are no compression shims, just constant sized oil port plugged with blunt-needle-shaped check valve. And it's the preload of that valve which you adjust with the knob, not port size directly.
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    Absolute + is better compared to the original TPC damper which was similar in design.

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    Anyone got the piston head dimensions - in particular the outside diameter?

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    Same as any minute damper.. I dont want to pull my abs+ unit, but the SPV unit it replaced measured 28.62mm. The abs+ should be the same or very very close.

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    On a semi related note, I went for a ride on my coil u-turn () abs+ minute. Beautiful ride, I love this thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld View Post
    Anyone got the piston head dimensions - in particular the outside diameter?
    It would depend on the fork. The Minutes/Towers would be different from the Match, which would be different from the R7. Would also depend on if it was MRD or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    On a semi related note, I went for a ride on my coil u-turn () abs+ minute. Beautiful ride, I love this thing.
    This sounds very interesting, please explain........

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    Its down on travel currently (as expected), so not 100% done. I used a tora coil u-turn spring. Just have to change the lower leg cap from a seal head to one for a coil. I used the drake lower cap, and a drake top spring cap. Removed the u-turn cap (its just a c-clip), drilled out the drake cap and installed a short rubber bumper and put the c-clip back on. Slips right in and you're on your way! If i had a pike spring, it would be perfect.

    I intended on using all manitou parts for a coil conversion, but they just dont exist. Tried a drake coil pushrod, but its too narrow and falls through the lowers. nixon 145 coil, but its way too long and too fat. The RS u-turn parts end up working better.

    Weight be damned, im faster on the coil and its so so much smoother!

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Its down on travel currently (as expected), so not 100% done. I used a tora coil u-turn spring. Just have to change the lower leg cap from a seal head to one for a coil. I used the drake lower cap, and a drake top spring cap. Removed the u-turn cap (its just a c-clip), drilled out the drake cap and installed a short rubber bumper and put the c-clip back on. Slips right in and you're on your way! If i had a pike spring, it would be perfect.

    I intended on using all manitou parts for a coil conversion, but they just dont exist. Tried a drake coil pushrod, but its too narrow and falls through the lowers. nixon 145 coil, but its way too long and too fat. The RS u-turn parts end up working better.

    Weight be damned, im faster on the coil and its so so much smoother!
    That is awesome. Post some pics when your done. I love franken forks. A straight coil Minute is very appealing.

  166. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Same as any minute damper.. I dont want to pull my abs+ unit, but the SPV unit it replaced measured 28.62mm. The abs+ should be the same or very very close.
    Awesome. Cheers.

  167. #167
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    And has anybody tried to insert a 2012 ABS+ updated cartridge in a 2008 MRD minute? Or only the 2010 version fits?

  168. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by STS View Post
    And has anybody tried to insert a 2012 ABS+ updated cartridge in a 2008 MRD minute? Or only the 2010 version fits?
    From what I was told by Manitou, Everything is interchangeable from 2006 and newer.

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    Help with ABS+ installation

    Hey all, slightly off topic but I just installed the ABS+ damper in my 2007 R7 super 100 TPC. Everything went fine until I tried to tighten the compression rod fixing bolt to the suggested 45-55 inch lbs....the bolt just keeps turning and I can't get it tight enough. I guess the compression rod is spinning around inside the leg? Any guidance? Thanks!

  170. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by labarnett View Post
    Hey all, slightly off topic but I just installed the ABS+ damper in my 2007 R7 super 100 TPC. Everything went fine until I tried to tighten the compression rod fixing bolt to the suggested 45-55 inch lbs....the bolt just keeps turning and I can't get it tight enough. I guess the compression rod is spinning around inside the leg? Any guidance? Thanks!
    Try adding air to the air spring then finish tightening the bolt. Might just need a little resistance to finish it off.
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  171. #171
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    tried adding air

    I did add about 90 psi, which helped only slightly.

  172. #172
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    Take the lowers back off and put the bolt in to clean out the threads. This allows you to hold the compression rod if needed. Sometimes the threads get slightly damaged and they need to get cleaned out. Once it feels like it threads in smoothly, put the lowers back on see if it works.

  173. #173
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    Quote Originally Posted by labarnett View Post
    I did add about 90 psi, which helped only slightly.
    Impact wrench... an air tool will do it also.
    Check my Site

  174. #174
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    You'd have to have some serious balls to impact that on! Thats asking for a disaster.

    Get it as tight as you can get it, lock out the compression and go bounce down the street for 5 minutes. It'll seat, and tighten up afterwards.

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    Fixed, thanks

    Thanks guys, I just rode it around for a few minutes and was then able to tighten it up to the correct torque. Good suggestion One Pivot. It's not that big of a deal to take it apart again and clean the threads, but I was glad I did not have to go to that effort again.

    Obviously I haven't gone on any real rides yet, but the new damper seems to be doing what it claims...more plush in the first 2 inches of travel and more stiff upon deeper compression. Hopefully this will limit the substantial brake dive I experienced with the original damper.

  176. #176
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    Good stuff, glad that worked.

  177. #177
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    I have just got the ABS+ damper to replace the 2008 absolute one

    But I'm confused about the oil
    for my 130mm MRD The manitou service manual says 125mm, but in the instructions that comes with the new damper says 110mm
    may be ABS+ needs less oil?
    which is the correct one?

    thanks

  178. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by STS View Post
    I have just got the ABS+ damper to replace the 2008 absolute one

    But I'm confused about the oil
    for my 130mm MRD The manitou service manual says 125mm, but in the instructions that comes with the new damper says 110mm
    may be ABS+ needs less oil?
    which is the correct one?

    thanks
    I would go with what the instructions for the new damper says. If the oil level is to low you will know, But I think the ABS+ damper is slightly longer allowing for the lower oil level.

  179. #179
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    Thanks,
    I will mount it this week
    And I'm planning a tunned remote instead of milo, to be able to select 3 potitions: open, low platform and lock, that are what me (and most) use
    I will post it her if it works

  180. #180
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    You might have a problem with the middle position. Unlike the original ABS damper, ABS+ only gives a platform feel on the last click. The first 6 clicks work as low speed compression and slow the movement of the fork, but do not have a platform threshold to break.

  181. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    You'd have to have some serious balls to impact that on! Thats asking for a disaster.

    Get it as tight as you can get it, lock out the compression and go bounce down the street for 5 minutes. It'll seat, and tighten up afterwards.
    Thats good to know, I never heard this suggestion. but if it works it can save a lot of time. I would give you rep, but it says I need to spread some Rep around before I can rep you again

  182. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    You might have a problem with the middle position. Unlike the original ABS damper, ABS+ only gives a platform feel on the last click. The first 6 clicks work as low speed compression and slow the movement of the fork, but do not have a platform threshold to break.
    Strictly speaking, this depends on oil viscosity. The thicker the oil, the less pronounced is platform loss when LSC knob is rotated counter clockwise (platform is still there, but it requires higher shaft speeds to take effect and then overcome).
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  183. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho View Post
    Strictly speaking, this depends on oil viscosity. The thicker the oil, the less pronounced is platform loss when LSC knob is rotated counter clockwise (platform is still there, but it requires higher shaft speeds to take effect and then overcome).
    Thats only partially true. Platform by definition means that there is a threshold that needs to be broken to allow the fork to move. The way the ABS+ damper is designed, the only way to have a true platform is to make all the oil flow through the shims. If oil is able to flow around the shim stack(through the LSC port) there would be no threshold that needs to be broken to allow movement. Thicker oil can allow the oil to move more slowly through the LSC port, but the effects are very small and still not a true platform since the fork can move, just slowly. This is why ABS+ is better compared to TPC and not the original ABS which was a true platform style damper. (and why Manitou calls it TPC technology, Absolute+)

  184. #184
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    That's exactly the first difference I appreciated with absolute
    But I had a problem when installing Abs+
    When trying to insert the damper it was too hard (it came in locked position from factory!) and pulling it out made the long cylinder inside the leg to go out with it
    So now I don't know if the oil must be only inside that cylinder once mounted again, or also around it
    Quantity would be very different

    Do you know how it is?

  185. #185
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    STS,
    seems like you've got an MRD fork. The long cylinder (damper tube) should contain all the damping oil, and no oil is supposed to be in the space between stanchion walls and the damper tube. This is how weight loss is achieved with Minute/R7 (and I guess also Marvel Pro now) MRD style dampers.

    You will have to disassemble the fork to get the tube back in place (this is best done with rebound assembly unscrewed from stanchion).
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

  186. #186
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    Thanks
    I manage to insert it easy from the top, fill with oil and insert the ABS+
    Seems it works correctly
    And it feels more plush than absolute in the open sets

  187. #187
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    Anyone have a link to the Manitou tuning guide? The site appears down.

  188. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1017 View Post
    Anyone have a link to the Manitou tuning guide? The site appears down.
    This one? https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-s...M2ZGFlNGUwZGQw
    "I wrote a hit play! What have you ever done?!"

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  189. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattsavage View Post
    YES! Thanks!

  190. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by mullen119 View Post
    You might have a problem with the middle position. Unlike the original ABS damper, ABS+ only gives a platform feel on the last click. The first 6 clicks work as low speed compression and slow the movement of the fork, but do not have a platform threshold to break.
    I dont know about a problem.. you might kinda like it! Depending on your shimstack, the middle position gives a pretty firm, very brake dive resistant setting which still gobbles up chatter.

    Its really so good, I think it kills any need or desire for a true harsh platform.

  191. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I dont know about a problem.. you might kinda like it! Depending on your shimstack, the middle position gives a pretty firm, very brake dive resistant setting which still gobbles up chatter.

    Its really so good, I think it kills any need or desire for a true harsh platform.
    Agreed, I dont know if "Problem" was the correct word to use "lol"

  192. #192
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    Hey guys, I am having a bit of an issue with my new Minute Pro. I weigh about 185 with the stock spring installed. Even with 110 psi, the fork blows through its travel too easily. It will bottom if I open the Absolute+ dial and bounce on the front end of the bike. The sag is just about right. Will the firm spring be what I'm looking for, or is that only for sag? There is little midstroke support, and it bottoms easily even with full compression Thoughts?

  193. #193
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    The firmer spring should help. I find stock manitou springs on the weak side. I'm 150lbs and the stock spring on mine was to soft.

  194. #194
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    I am also thinking about getting some shims, but the trail stack I want to try requires a 13x1.1 clamp washer. None of the shim places carry anything that thick. Where can I get one of those?

  195. #195
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    1.1mm thick is about the thickness of a regular washer from a hardware store. I would head to a local hardware store with some calipers or something you know is 1 mm thick and compare.

  196. #196
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    Clamp shims don't flex a noticable amount, so any thickness will do as long as you don't run out of room.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  197. #197
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    Good call. Thanks guys!

  198. #198
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    This thread has gotten much bigger then I would have ever thought. I wanted to edit my post to add some of the great info that this thread has brought up, but for some reason I cant. I figured this is the best way to get the information towards the beginning of the thread to keep people from looking through the whole thing.

    The most important things are:

    1. Thanks to Solitone, we have the Manitou ABS+ tuning guide which includes dyno charts and many different shim stack combinations. Its probably the single best find this thread has produced (thanks Solitone)

    This link should work:
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-s...M2ZGFlNGUwZGQw

    2. Spring rate needs to be set up correctly. I get PM's and hear of people trying to get their fork to feel right when it is way under/over sprung. Spring rate trumps damping and should always be set up correctly prior to trying different shim stack configurations.

    3. A good place to order shims is MX tech.
    MX-Tech Suspensions


    Im sure there is more that I should add to this list, but I am out of time. If anyone thinks of anything else, feel free to post it up.

  199. #199
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    I tried quoting my first post to get it on the first page sine it wont let me edit my original post, but it didnt work. Oh well, I tried.

  200. #200
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    mullen119,
    try contacting a moderator perhaps? They may be in a position to alter editability-expiration forum rules for you.
    26" rigid SS 4130 BB7 nylon-flats ESI latex-tubes non-lubricated-8spd

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