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Old 09-23-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
ohgood OP
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kdx shock is .... crap ?

i have a 1997 kdx 220. love the bike, but the rear shock kills my back. basicly it feels like a 2x4 coated with pitch, or rocks, or similarly non-smooth/plush material.

terrible, basically.


so i rebuilt it today, 5w oil (or whatever the guys said this atf is), nice clean internals, 150psi nitrogen charged, all that jazz.

slapped it on the bike and... wtf , no change, zero difference, from yesterday ? nothing ? not even a little bit of difference ?





1 i have no idea what the spring rate is, it's grey, that's all i know
2 the compression / rebound were both turned OUT 15 clicks, with barely any preload on the spring, to get the softest ride i could





so, to prevent setting the bike on fire, or killing my back anymore, what shock can i buy on ebay, rebuild if neccessary, and enjoy drz-like plushness, on this wonderful kdx ?

thanks
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:34 PM   #2
stainlesscycle
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i've had one of those shocks apart, and rebuilt, it worked fine - i can't remember the spring color - i think it was blue - a couple of years ago.....i've ridden a few kdx. should not be as terrible as you mention.

sounds like:
suspension linkage issue/binding or spring rate is obnoxious.

a:when the spring was off the shock, and rebuilt, did the shock act properly (could you smoothly move it in and out?) did the clickers change this resistance?

b: now that it's all back together, can you push the seat down with your hand and the bike returns relatively quickly? do the clickers adjust this? if not either the spring is wrong or clickers are not working. if the rebound clicker does not click usually this is a nitrogen issue...

c:if you stand off the bike and push down on the footpeg do the forks and shock compress and return at relatively the same rate? this will tell you if at least the suspension is relatively balanced - it may be all wrong, but if the front and back work together instead of against each other at least you're getting somewhere.

does the shock work fine for a bit then become hard as a rock? might be rebound too slow and it's packing..
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Old 09-24-2014, 03:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stainlesscycle View Post
i've had one of those shocks apart, and rebuilt, it worked fine - i can't remember the spring color - i think it was blue - a couple of years ago.....i've ridden a few kdx. should not be as terrible as you mention.

sounds like:
suspension linkage issue/binding or spring rate is obnoxious.

a:when the spring was off the shock, and rebuilt, did the shock act properly (could you smoothly move it in and out?) did the clickers change this resistance?

b: now that it's all back together, can you push the seat down with your hand and the bike returns relatively quickly? do the clickers adjust this? if not either the spring is wrong or clickers are not working. if the rebound clicker does not click usually this is a nitrogen issue...

c:if you stand off the bike and push down on the footpeg do the forks and shock compress and return at relatively the same rate? this will tell you if at least the suspension is relatively balanced - it may be all wrong, but if the front and back work together instead of against each other at least you're getting somewhere.

does the shock work fine for a bit then become hard as a rock? might be rebound too slow and it's packing..


first off, thanks !

a) smoothly in/out, top to bottom, with the same rate of effort needed for the entire travel. clickers change resistance, to the point of the shock not moving at all if the clickers are left bottomed out. backing off the adjusters means the shock begins to move (on it's own) again.

b) not as quickly as my drz does. given, the drz has pretty plush suspension. yes, the clickers change this, but it's a very agressive change. 4-5 clicks feels no different, but 10 feels like the rug came out from under it. the both (compression/rebound) click as they should.

c) the back is stiffer than the front, but my understanding is the rear from the factory is sprung for about a 180# rider, while the front is for about a 140# rider. the bike's travel is generally equal, if i'm jumping up/down on the pegs.

d) rebound clicker is set to 15 from bottomed. i expected after the rebuild for it to be FAST coming back, but it's not significantly.



description:

rebound clicker completely bottomed= shock does not rebound. frozen in place
compression clicker completely bottomed = shock does not compress, frozen.

+5 comp/rebound = very slow to respond, like pushing on a 6" pine tree
+10 comp/rebound = appears to be suspension, until actually mounting the bike and riding 10 feet
+15 comp/rebound = similar to +10



i wondered about the swinarm/pivots yesterday while i had it apart. lifting the wheel through it's arc of travel was smooth and free of noise. there is -some- side to side play, maybe 1/32" at the wheel end of the swingarm. i don't believe this is contributing. i've greased all the points of contact/pivots/etc
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Old 09-24-2014, 04:18 AM   #4
stainlesscycle
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what is max out? 15?

it appears clickers are working properly, so just the spring and linkage could be the problem...if linkage is not binding (with all clickers out, bike moves up and down freely, through full travel) then it's the spring....

if you ride with compression and rebound all the way out, does the bike pogo/feel floaty? can you make it feel incredibly soft/overly springy feeling with any setting? with both clickers all the way out it should be so soft on compression and rebound so fast that it'll buck if you hit a bump...
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stainlesscycle View Post
what is max out? 15?

it appears clickers are working properly, so just the spring and linkage could be the problem...if linkage is not binding (with all clickers out, bike moves up and down freely, through full travel) then it's the spring....

if you ride with compression and rebound all the way out, does the bike pogo/feel floaty? can you make it feel incredibly soft/overly springy feeling with any setting? with both clickers all the way out it should be so soft on compression and rebound so fast that it'll buck if you hit a bump...
i would not describe it as feeling floaty, or springy, no. that's actually what I would prefer. as is, more like coconuts right now.

I've tried every combination i can, it only gets more harsh, when coming from15 towards 0.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:31 AM   #6
stainlesscycle
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spring must be way too stiff.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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Is it possible it has been revalved to be much firmer too? My KDXs were too plush. They bottomed far too easily.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:24 PM   #8
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Stock KDX springs are blue and are pretty cushy. Stock trim they are sprung for about a 140lb rider. The stock fork is especially soft, I put in a firmer fork spring and ride the stock rear preloaded up. Its great.

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Old 10-03-2014, 01:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navin View Post
Is it possible it has been revalved to be much firmer too? My KDXs were too plush. They bottomed far too easily.
in thinking yes
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Old 10-03-2014, 04:06 AM   #10
stainlesscycle
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ooh - i forgot you had it apart. did you line the valves up properly? if you put a seal head on it you surely removed the stack - you could have twisted the orientation of the stack... you could have blocked rebound/compression holes in the stack. i don't specifically remember the configuration of this shocks valve stack, nor do i remember if it has holes in the stack or they just bypass around it., but if you put the stack together with holes covered, or missing/misordered shims it could be awful stiff.

you mentioned it did move with no spring on it - with rebound and compression on softest, the shock (with no spring) should pretty easily compress and return on it's own pretty quickly. the only resistance is the fluid orifices/fluid weight/seal pretty much at this point - as the valves are wide open and most all fluid bypasses the stack... and the nitrogen is pushing back pretty hard to pop the shaft back to fully extended..
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