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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to the massive amount of tips I've gleaned from this forum, this job was MUCH easier than I thought it would be.

I had no trouble at all getting the damper rods out.  Inserted a big screwdriver into the mount for the brake caliper (to keep fork from spinning)...used a long 6mm hex socket on my 1/2" ratchet...I did this from underneath with the forks still mounted on the bike.  The trick is to do it with the springs in place to keep the damper rod from spinning.

Drilled the existing holes in the damper rod out to 3/8" and did not drill any extra holes.  It was suggested by someone here (TWF, I think) that drilling extra holes was not the right thing to do.  Holding the damper rod in my hand, I can see why.  Whatever it is that seals against the damper rod (upper fork tube I think?) left some very light marks on the damper rod where it seals and slides against it...drilling the extra holes as suggested by RaceTech would have definately put these extra holes in that area.  Sorry if that doesnt make sense, but if you were holding the damper rod in your hand, you'd see what I'm talking about.

I did not seal the small hole at the top (compression hole, I think it's called?).  Firstly, I dont think I could have done a very good job of it with the stuff I was considering doing it with (solder and electric soldering iron...or JB weld).  And secondly, I'm not convinced that it is necessary.  A few posts I read here suggested that it was not necessary to seal this hole if you're using thick oil...and although I am far from being an expert on this stuff, I'm inclined to agree.  This hole is TINY...just a pinhole really.  And I'm using 20wt oil.  If anyone vehemently disagrees with this, feel free to chime in...if I really need to do it, and I'm convinced it's needed, I will.

After drilling the damper rods, I cleaned up the holes with my dremel and a small, thin, pointy grinding stone.  The material is SOFT!  so it doesnt take much with the dremel.  Mine is a black and decker cordless, and I used the slower setting.

Emulators at stock setting...although I bought them used, the previous user said he never adjusted them, and I could still see threadlock on the threads, so they havent been turned since assembly.  Stock is two turns, I believe.

Springs are RaceTech .80's.  I probably need 85's or maybe even 90's...but I got these used with low mileage for a smoking good deal from the same guy I got the emulators from.  Since stockers are 67's or so I think, they're still heavier than stock.  And I'm thinking that it would probably be better to be a little bit undersprung than oversprung.  And I need to lose a couple of pounds anyway  ;D

I just used the preload spacers that the seller sent me with the springs and emulators.  Looks like he had already cut them to the correct height.  Turns out they're perfect.

20wt Maxima fork oil to 125mm.  The racetech instructions said to set it at 130mm, but after pouring back and forth for a while and finally getting them both perfectly even at 125, I said close enough.  Service manual says 92mm, I think...I dont understand why you should use less fork oil with the new springs and emulators?  BTW...I know everyone seems to recommend BellRay fork oil, but my shop had BellRay in liters and Maxima in pints, so it was more economical for me to buy 3 pints of Maxima than 2 quarts of BellRay.  I did end up needing more than 2 pints, since I spilled a little...so I was glad I bought the extra.  Capacity is probably almost exactly 1 pint per fork.

It took me most of the day, but I really took my sweet time about it.  Took lots of smoke breaks, and lots of stopping to step back and double check myself.  I started from scratch at 7 this morning, and finished around 2 this afternoon...took a 30 minute lunch break in that time, too.

Just took a nice long ride through some twisties.  I can definitely tell a difference.  No, it's not a Cadillac, and nothing is going to make it ride like one.  But much improved.  Front is less "bouncy" over bumps.  Front tire seems much more stuck to the pavement than before (although I'm still a noob, and I probably dont ride as hard as many of you, I could still occasionally feel the front wheel briefly bouncing off the pavement on the stock springs...or at least it felt like it was).  Still a little rough, but I think most of the harshness now is coming from the rear.  But, hey, it's a sportbike, it aint ever gonna be a Cadillac.  Definitely a worthy upgrade.  If I had paid full retail for the stuff and bought the pre-modded damper rods and paid someone to do this for me, I think I would be a little disappointed after spending that much money...it's much better, but it's not $500 better, IMO.  But it's well worth the $200 or so (including a couple of tools I had to buy) that I spent.  Plus, I love doing this stuff...so it was worth $200 to me just to get out there and wrench on my bike  ;D

many many many thanks to everyone who has posted helpful tidbits in various other threads!
 

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Re: new springs and emulators done!

Cool, I think you will appreciate it more with time.
I absolutely hated the way the front dived whenever I used the front brake!

Changing out the rear shock is nothing compared to what you just did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: new springs and emulators done!

Hey Joe, thanks for your offer of help with your phone number and everything...I ALMOST called ya once.  Couldnt get one of the damper rod bolts to thread in.  After taking everything apart and putting it back together a few times, it threaded right in.

There's *something* left in the bottom of the fork even after the damper rod is out.  Service manual calls it "oil lock piece."  It doesnt come out, but it gets loose and rattles around in there when the damper rod is out.  I'm assuming the only way to actually get it out is to take the seals out and actually separate the forks (which I didnt want to do...only 4000 miles on the bike, oil was very clean, so seals are still good).

Anyway, I'm thinking it got upside down or something, and shaking it around and getting it seated correctly fixed it.  Stumped me for a few minutes, though. 

Again, thank you very much for offering to help.

I still have some brake dive, but it is much less than before.  On the stock setup, I could actually feel a little bit of dive when pulling in the clutch to upshift...that seems to be completely gone. 

I didnt mean to sound like I wasnt happy with everything.  It's awesome, and I'm very pleased.  I think I'll be even happier when I get the rear shock changed out!  Won an 04 gsxr 1000 on ebay for 45 bucks shipped.  So I'll be doing that in a couple of weeks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: new springs and emulators done!

Currently said:
Changing out the rear shock is nothing compared to what you just did.
you mean that changing the rear shock won't have as much of a positive effect on handling?

or do you mean that changing the rear shock is a lot easier? I think that's what you meant.

Rear certainly looks like it's going to be easier. Some other folks here have said that the reservoir on gsxr shocks impinges on the battery box a little more on the 04 SV than on earlier models...that's the only thing I'm a little concerned about.
 

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Re: new springs and emulators done!

Yup, I meant easier to do mechanically.
My shock has a remote reservoir, which is and still is a pain to relocate.
I found a good idea here on flattening out a section of tubing and using that to bolt on.

In your case, there is the "problem" of cutting away the top of the battery box to fit the gixxer shock.

I did not have to do that, it took me less than a half hour to change out the shock.

Only thing to remember is to swap out the side where the bottom bolt goes into the clevis.
For some reason, Suzuki puts it in one way and the easiest way to put it back in is the other way.
For all intents and purposes it does not make any difference once loctite and torqued.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: new springs and emulators done!

jarelj said:
Get some JB Weld and close up the rebound hole, only take a minute or two, let it dry overnight and you're done.
jarel...can you elaborate a bit on this?

racetech's instructions said not to (not that we follow those, anyway!).

and I seem to remember reading *somewhere* on here that it wasnt necessary when using heavy fork oil. firstly, it wouldnt make that big of a difference in performance anyway...and secondly, since the hole is so small, using the thicker oil won't be going back and forth very much through such a tiny hole anyway....at least, I THINK that was the explaination. I wish I had a link...sorry.

is JB Weld strong enough to hold up under those conditions? I dont know exactly what the pressures in there are, but they've got to be a couple hundred pounds, cycling between pressure and vacuum several times a second, with every compression-rebound cycle.

is JB weld designed to maintain its integrity after being exposed to fork oil 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? chemically, I mean.

will I notice a difference in performance? enough of a difference that you think I really should take a couple of hours tearing down and reassembling everything, not to mention my main commuting vehicle being down for 24 hours while JB weld cures? What sort of difference does it make?

I'm not trying to question you're knowledge...I know you know your stuff. please take a little time out to help me understand this a little :)
 

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Re: new springs and emulators done!

Sorry, not a chemical engineer. I've never had JB Weld come loose..... it has the word "weld" in the name. ;) Just make sure you clean the surface good before and then let it cure after assembling. If it's a concern, then braze it shut. You don't "have" to do it, but there's only one "right" way to do it and that includes closing off that hole so that it won't provide supplementary rebound damping. I've never tested back-2-back with the hole closed and not closed, so I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes. But that hole IS the rebound damping circuit with the stock setup, so it obviously provides some level of damping.
 

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Re: new springs and emulators done!

did not seal the small hole at the top (compression hole, I think it's called?). Firstly, I dont think I could have done a very good job of it with the stuff I was considering doing it with (solder and electric soldering iron...or JB weld). And secondly, I'm not convinced that it is necessary. A few posts I read here suggested that it was not necessary to seal this hole if you're using thick oil...and although I am far from being an expert on this stuff, I'm inclined to agree. This hole is TINY...just a pinhole really. And I'm using 20wt oil. If anyone vehemently disagrees with this, feel free to chime in...if I really need to do it, and I'm convinced it's needed, I will.
Closing the compression hole at the top of the damper rod should reduce the amount of chatter while going through a turn. Even though you said you put heavy enough oil in there it will still move back and forth between the hole giving you the chatter effect. Also on the emulator there is a little hole that that creates the same thing but with the rebound. I have the Race Tech emulators as well in my SV and have a 3 1/2 turns out. I also have .90 springs, not because of my weight but that is what is recommended for the track. .80's or .85's should be great for street rides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: new springs and emulators done!

gixxer - thanks for your reply and your explaination. Closing that hole is definitely on my list of stuff I want to do...I've just got a whole bunch of other stuff I have to do, too.

btw...got the gsxr shock on. was much easier and required less mechanical skill than the forks...but for me was a bit more time consuming. I spent a LOT of time scratching my head and trying to decide if I REALLY wanted to cut the battery box that much. I hacked the battery box a little, refit it, cursed, took it off, hacked again, etc a LOT for a LONG time...lol. End result was that the stock battery fit, but just BARELY, with zero room to spare. Results? I was correct before when I said that after doing the forks I thought the harshness I was feeling was coming from the rear. Before everything, the bike felt like it had cheap crappy worn out suspension all around...now it feels like pretty good sporty suspension.
 

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Hey gahdzila,

I'm sorry to drag this post up from the dead, but I'm somewhat new to the whole taking-my-forks-apart-and-making-them-better thing. I could be mistaken, but from the sounds of things, did you put in the emulators and springs without actually removing the forks from the triple clamps, or did I read something horrendously wrong? Just curious as to whether or not it can be done that way. Thanks for your time; it's much appreciated.

Luke
 
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