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Ok I have spent a good last part of the month doing my research and really coming up with nothing. Many phone calls to different companies resulted in a very quick conversation to say the least. No one seemed like they wanted to help. As if this highly guarded secret of valving should only be for a select few.

Then with the help of 2 board members. One gave me the basic info. and the other held my hand and so graciously took the time te explain how everything worked no matter how dumb the questions.(Thanks so much guys!) :excuseme::bonk::bonk::p Also please feel free to chime in if I am not explaining something correctly!

Now remember that I am valving for a 6'8" 265lbs +30 Vet rider. The fork springs are .54kg and shock spring 6.4kg and this is a base starting point for me but should work also for others +/- a hundred shims. Most all suspension tuners use a standard valve stack that they have come to feel is good for most and then re-spring and adjust the oil height accordingly

Parts List

FC Oil Lock Collars

FC Kashima Floating Pistons

Loc-Tite RED

PC-03 grease for O-rings and bushings

Maxima Racing 5wt Fork Oil Inner and Outer

So over the next week as I get the time I will post my progress and detail it as much as I can. I am not going to go through the basics of removing the forks and taking them apart. You can get all that info. in the Honda Service Manual. If you can not do that then maybe you should not proceed. :busted:

Once you have the forks broken down into the basics and oil drained you can start w/ the base valve. First order of business is to remove the nut on the end that has been peened. Using a 10mm I slowly backed the nut almost off. I then tighented down and used a very fine hand file and worked around the upper most thread. Take your time here. This is probally the toughest part of this whole re-valve. Once the peening is removed you should be able to removed the nut fairly easy.

Now have some zip-ties ready to stack the part onto as they are removed. (If you have trouble getting the piston off then you need to file some more. Put the nut back on and be careful starting the threads. Lightly tighten it down and file some more. Now that the piston comes off easy continue removing the rest of the peices and adding then in the correct order to the zip-tie.

Now take you zip-tie(s) inside and sit down at the table and lay a clean rag out and now lay all the peice out in order so you can see what you have and clean the parts making sure not to leave grit or lint.

Some of your numbers will vary due to production dates. You should now have some thing that looks like this laided out.

base_oem.jpg

After removing shims

base_mod.jpg

I will be adding 4,30x.10 shims to the stack ( this should stiffen it up on the compression )and removing shims 28,26,24,22,20.(This will make it plusher) These shims will be reversed stacked to form a V. This will allow for some more deflection.

The OEM will be stacked like this

base_oem_arrow.jpg

After changing the stack you will get this

base_mod_arrow.jpg

Looking close at the 2 pics you can see how the removed shims were reversed and stacked at the bottom to form a V.

Fork Springs .54kg Oil 380cc

Base Valve OEM

# of Shims O.D. x Shim Thickness

Compression

16 30 x 0.10

1 29 x 0.10

1 28 x 0.10

1 27 x 0.10

1 26 x 0.10

1 25 x 0.10

1 24 x 0.10

1 23 x 0.10

1 22 x 0.10

1 21 x 0.10

1 20 x 0.10

1 19 x 0.10

1 18 x 0.10

Base Valve Modified

# of Shims O.D. x Shim Thickness

Compression

20 30 x 0.10

1 29 x 0.10

1 27 x 0.10

1 25 x 0.10

1 23 x 0.10

1 21 x 0.10

1 19 x 0.10

1 20 x 0.10

1 22 x 0.10

1 24 x 0.10

1 26 x 0.10

1 28 x 0.10

Once you have the shim stack reordered...transfer it back onto the base valve and make sure to use some red Loc-Tite on the threads. Do not peen them over again as more than likely once you understand whats going on you will be back in the forks to make some adjustments..

Tomorrow I will post the Mid-Valve followed by the shock. So far this has been pretty easy. I will try and put together How-it-Works for each part modified. So there will be a better understanding of the fuction.

it is late here and I am tired so I post tomorrow

theDogger

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That is a VERY INTERESTING stack!

I've never seen a Showa configured like that. Thanks very much for showing this!

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I commend you for doing this. I once did the same thing on my WR250F some years ago. Result was a lot learned, and I did get some performance gains, but I'm not sure it was all really worth it in the end.

You just can't compare the knowledge and experience a good suspension tuner has. Your time is worth something, and all the time and money you would spend trying to get it perfect might not be worth it.

The guy who does my 450 suspension has a policy that he will make adjustments to the valve stack until the bike feels like you want. Funny thing is, he asks enough questions about how you ride and your weight that I've never had to have him redo the stack. When I take my stuff in to get serviced, he even makes minor adjustments if I feel it is necessary or sometimes adds things to the build that he has recently learned. Most of the time I get this at no extra cost.

It is really satisfying to do it yourself, but I don't think there are many people who can get the valve stack really right on their own.

I like that you are posting photos and pointers. It helps everyone to understand how their suspension is built and works.

ben

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Ok to each there own I am posting this in hopes of helping DIY'ers and taking some of the mystery out of suspension tuning. I feel pretty safe taking the knowledge I have learned and applying it....

Today was the mid-valve....most of you more than likely will not want to mess with it...but those look to keep the front end up in the stroke and firm things up this will work.

Now make sure to be careful when laying the stacks out no to get anything out of order. There should be no need to mess with the rebound stack. On my 04 there were 4 20's some 04 may have 5 or 6. (Once again some of the valve stacks may differ for production years.) So start by adding just one 20x.10 shim and go from there. Most all of the ProSX riders add 3-5 to lock it out to make it stiff enough for SX and basically just deflect off things.

Here is the mid-valve on a zip after it was removed

midvalve_oem.jpg

This is the mid-valve laid out

midvalve_oem_stack.jpg

This is the modified stack. I added a 20x.10 to the compression side.

midvalve_mod_stack.jpg

Again remember to record all the shim numbers for future reference.

More to come in the next few days.

theDogger

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Interesting thread. :excuseme:

If anyone wants to do this and are unsure, the Moto Power videos go over everything in detail and they walk you through the whole process. Makes it very easy.

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That is cool. Getting advice from someone is probably the biggest key. If nothing else it gives you a good base to start from and then fine tune.

ben

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The problem with what he's doing is, he's only slightly smaller than big foot. Ole boy is huge...6'8" and 270+...

He got good advice on the stack and springs. And he's a sharp guy too. He'll get this figured out pretty quickly. The only really bummer is his info is basically useless to guys of a more average stature.

Once he gets this dialed and then decides to send his top end off to Ron...he'll have to do it all over again because he's going to be going just that much faster... :bonk:

Good luck! :excuseme:

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Being the cynical "butt" that I am, that was my whole point with the- :excuseme: . It's great that you're walking everyone through the process, and explaining your findings, but suspension tuning is very much a tailored to the individual process. Like Shawn said, your settings would be great for monsters like you. . . :bonk:

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Being the cynical "butt" that I am, that was my whole point with the- :excuseme: . It's great that you're walking everyone through the process, and explaining your findings, but suspension tuning is very much a tailored to the individual process. Like Shawn said, your settings would be great for monsters like you. . . :busted:

The best thing hes done is show exactly what is in there and how it goes together. For that alone this is a good thread.

The next time I do a shock, Im going to take photos of each and every step and post those, because after doing it the first time the other day I was humiliated by myself having just had Factory Connection do for 180 bucks what I could have done myself for about 30 bucks including parts and oil. :bonk:

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The problem with what he's doing is, he's only slightly smaller than big foot. Ole boy is huge...6'8" and 270+...

He got good advice on the stack and springs. And he's a sharp guy too. He'll get this figured out pretty quickly. The only really bummer is his info is basically useless to guys of a more average stature.

Once he gets this dialed and then decides to send his top end off to Ron...he'll have to do it all over again because he's going to be going just that much faster...

Good luck!

Being the cynical "butt" that I am, that was my whole point with the- . It's great that you're walking everyone through the process, and explaining your findings, but suspension tuning is very much a tailored to the individual process. Like Shawn said, your settings would be great for monsters like you. . .

What I am doing will work for just about anyone. First and for most you have to get the right springs for you weight. (VALVING IS NOT BASED UPON WEIGHT BUT RATHER TERRAIN, SPEED/SKILL TYPE OF RIDING (MX, SX, AX, GNCC and Trail)

The basics behind the valving are to open the High Speed Compression (HSC)(Heavier rides can take out less where harshness will not be so bad.) and then pick a Low Speed Compression (LSC) stack to suit your weight, style, ability and terrain type. A fast 185lbs rider may not want to take out any LSC but rather add a few shims. (Good base line is a s follows for a CRF450 12,14,16(OEM on most),18,20,22 etc...) Where a rider of the same weight but lesser ability would take a couple out. For example....on the BaseValve (BV) removing every other odd HSC shim so the HSC looks like this..

29x.10

27x.10

25x.10

23x.10

21x.10

19x.10

Then pick a LSC stack 16(OEM) 14,16,18,20,22. So you end up with a complete BV like this...

20-30x.10

1-29x.10

1-27x.10

1-25x.10

1-23x.10

1-21x.10

1-19x.10

The same applies to the shock. Open the HSC up by removing the odds and (I would suggest removing 1-42 x .20 on the HSC) and pick a LSC stack just like the forks. You can try different combination on the LSC.

LSC

12 44 x 0.20

8 44 x 0.15

1 37 x 0.15 cross

1 30 x 0.15 cross

HSC

1 42 x 0.20

1 40 x 0.25

1 38 x 0.25

1 36 x 0.25

1 34 x 0.25

1 30 x 0.30

1 28 x 0.30

1 26 x 0.30

1 24 x 0.30

1 22 x 0.30

1 21 x 0.30

1 23 x 0.30

1 25 x 0.30

1 27 x 0.30

1 30 x 0.30

So basically Shawn if I was to swap my bike with a rider of the same ability but different weight only thing that would need to be changed is the springs...the valving should be fine. Maybe just a small adjustment to the shock rebound due to the lighter spring.....

theDogger

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You know what is funny unless I am missing something...the IMAGE link will show a picture when you are not logged in but show up as links when you are logged in.....HMMMMM! should be the other way around....

theDogger

There's a setting in your TT User Control Panel (Options) to enable the display of images. You probably have that turned off right now. When TT switched to the new forum software, that feature was off by default.

As for the content of these posts, keep it up! I'm learning a lot here too.

Shawn, please do post a thread yourself when you dive into your next shock. Everyone seems to love to tear apart engines and post about it, but not many will write about suspension. It's the one area I'm looking all over the board now for info.

Chris.

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Good thread, kudos to theDogger for the illustration AND the determination to work through it all to find a decent set-up for his size. :ride:

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Ok had a chance to work some more yesterday on the shock. The disasembly of the shock is very easy. A few short cuts that I found in taking the bladder out. The Honda Service Manual give this huge long process to remove the bladder. Here is what I did. First release the nitrogen, remove the damping adj. and drain the oil out. Pump the damper rod to make sure most all oil comes out. Then move on to removing the damper rod. This take some force to pull the piston out. Then go back to the chamber cap and make sure again that all the nitrogen is out. You can then push the chamber cap in with you thumbs to access the stop ring. Once the stop ring is removed, put the valve cap on and take a set of channel locks and gentley grab the valve cap and pull. The chamber cap will come out. This way there is no need to add air and then oil and then repeat until the pressure builds up to push the chamber cap out.

So anyway once the damper rod is out you have to remove the end nutz. This can be a scary though. It is not as easy as the forks end nutz. If you have a grinder take you time and you will remove some of the rod and nut at a 45 degree angle. Do alittle at a time until the nut comes off fairly easy. Remember you can always take more off you just can't put it back on.

Here is a list of parts that will be swapped out on the shock

FC Bump Rubber

FC High Speed Compression Adjuster Spring

FC Oil Seal

FC Rubber Bladder

FC Dust Seal

FC Shaft Guide Bushing

FC Piston Rings

Bel-Ray 3 wt HVI

FC Spring Seat (Red)

Works Bladder Cap

FC Rubber Seat (Red)

FC End Plate (Red)

FC Pre-Load Rings (Red)

So here is a pic of the entire shock taken apart.(The shims are flip-flopped then should be on opssite ends.)

shock.jpg

You also will thanks yourself if you have some type of system to keep everything together and labled

bags.jpg

This is the HSC & LSC valve stack laid out to inspect.

hsc_shock.jpg

These are my changes to the compression stacks

LSC OEM

9 44 x 0.20

6 44 x 0.15

1 38.5 x 0.15 cross

1 35 x 0.15 cross

My changes to the LSC

LSC My changes

12 44 x 0.20 3

8 44 x 0.15 2

1 38.5 x 0.15 cross

1 35 x 0.15 cross

Comp.High

HSC OEM

2 42 x 0.20

1 40 x 0.25

1 38 x 0.25

1 36 x 0.25

1 34 x 0.25

1 32 x 0.30

1 30 x 0.30

1 29 x 0.30

1 28 x 0.30

1 27 x 0.30

1 26 x 0.30

1 25 x 0.30

1 24 x 0.30

1 23 x 0.30

1 22 x 0.30

1 21 x 0.30

1 35 x 0.30

Shim base stop

shim

My changes to the HSC

HSC My changes

Reversed stack 27,25,23,21

0 42 x 0.20

1 40 x 0.25

1 38 x 0.25

1 36 x 0.25

1 34 x 0.25

1 30 x 0.30

1 28 x 0.30

1 26 x 0.30

1 24 x 0.30

1 22 x 0.30

1 21 x 0.30

1 23 x 0.30

1 25 x 0.30

1 27 x 0.30

1 30 x 0.30

valve stop

shim

HSR & LSR Stack

hsr_lsr_shock.jpg

LSR OEM

1 40 x 0.20

1 25 x 0.10

LSR My Changes

5 40 x 0.20

1 25 x 0.10

Then the HSR is unchaged.

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OK some more follow up. I am still awaiting the 6.4kg spring so I thought that I would do some other work as I wait for the spring and my package from FC with all their goodies.

I was looking at the spring seats and noticed how really bad the ports were cut. Very rough and not symmetrical. So going back to the days of cleaning the ports up on my 2-bangers....I started on the spring seats.

Take a look at the spring seat on the right that is what it looked like before cleaning things up...you can see how rough cut they are. The one on the left has been cleaned up.

sping_seat1.jpg

These are finished Spring Seats. I did not change any angles just opened them up a little by cleaning them up and made sure not to leave any rough edges.....

sping_seat2.jpg

Now you ask why just not get the FC spring seats? Well the FC spring seats require some machining to use according to FC. They are 10mm taller and require that the lock ring be re-cut higher up on the damper rod to allow for the taller seats.

I asked FC if I just could send in fork dampers and have them re-cut and the FC spring seats installed. They said NOPE! But rather they would want the entire forks to do to insure everything is ok. I can understand this and probably with more talking and poking they would probably do it. But anyway FC was very helpful and answers all my questions.

More to come as the parts come in..

theDogger

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When we talked on the phone I understood what you were doing with the spring seats, I just dont know why.

The oil in the outer chamber is there for lubrication and (as a side purpose really) to help set bottoming resistance.

Whats the purpose for porting the spring seat vents?

Im certain its something I hadnt considered, I just cant come up with it... :ride:

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Well after talking to FC the only real benefit is smoother flow of oil it is not going to be a radical change but more along the lines of 1+1=3% Small attention to details add up. It is a spot of resistance. Basically should add some plushness to the overall stroke

Also if you look at FC they offer 2 different type of spring seats. An outdoor (Larger ports)

MX_Seats.jpg

& SX (small drilled holes)

SX_Spring_Seats_Hon.jpg

So they are opening or restricting flow

theDogger

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great post

i am 285 6'1"

now how much would you change all this for offroad only?

new england rock root and rut riding

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