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Old 04-24-2014, 08:28 PM   #1
wb22rules OP
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2001 Gas Gas 321 TXT suspension refreshing

I am trying to do a little freshening up on the suspension and chassis this spring on the bike and have a few questions I hope some of you veterans of the sport may be able to help me with.

I have Mike at the Tryals Shop seeing if he can find me a spring that has less sag than mine, with the rear wheel off the ground and the preload ring at its minimum setting I have a 5/8ths inch gap between the ring and the spring, I thought and Mike confirmed I should not have a gap there. My question is how do I remove the spring? This is the tapered variety and the small end will barely clear the body of the shock but will not clear the threads for the preload adjustment. If I try the other direction the small adjustment nut for adjusting the dampening rate stops the spring from passing.

I have the forks apart to replace the leaky seals, but since both adjusters on top of them have been frozen since I got the bike in 2012 I would like to get that those cleaned up and working again. I have removed the rust that was under the adjustment knob and on top of the adjustment shaft, I am going to put a little PB Blaster on that recess tonight to see if that wont help as I have already tried the rust removal stuff I have. I am unsure how to disassemble the fork interior assembly. It appears that if I compress the spring 3-4 inches there is a lock nut which can be loosened which then will allow the top cap part to be unscrewed from the rod and allow the spring to be removed. My concern is that by unscrewing that top cap while the adjuster screw/knob is frozen that I may damage that adjustment rod because I figure it must go all the way through the rod to reach down where the measured orifice must reside. But since I have not seen these apart before, and Jim's videos have all gone missing I am hesitant to try it without some confirmation from someone who has done this before on how I should proceed without causing damage.

I also have new dog bone bearings coming from Mike to be replaced. I did not get the swing arm bearings/bushings as there is no slop in them and they are smooth throughout their range of motion, so I just plan on lubricating them if they can be removed without damage or replacement. I see people referring to waterproof grease to be used, I have a conventional Castrol grease and a synthetic Mobil 1 grease from working on my cars wheels and cv joints, both claim to be very water resistant. would they be acceptable or is there a grease out there that is worlds better for a bike that may spend a day in creek?

any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

wb
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:37 PM   #2
lineaway
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Minimum preload would not matter, It`s the sag at maximum or less that would matter. You never specified your weight or condition of the bike. Also the front fork springs had a very short life span. That would be the first thing to replace. (if they are available) Good luck, a great bike in there day.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
wb22rules OP
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I can't really measure the sag now with the bike apart but the rear did sag more than would be optimal I am sure. I did have another 1/4 inch more I could adjust the preload ring on it. The front also seemed sluggish when trying to make either end bounce.

The bike is in decent shape, but from what I am seeing it appears the stuff I am taking apart is coming apart for the first time, so if I had to bet everything is likely the original equipment. Mike said the rear tire came off as if it had been on there a really long time, so it may have been the original as well, which maybe sheds some light on the amount of hours on the bike. The tire wasn't worn out but I had split the sidewall by riding it with too low a pressure on too cold of a day last winter. I know last year when I cleaned off the top end it wasn't that carbonned up so I don't think it has a ton of hours on it.

I weigh around 235 now, hoping to shrink that number back down closer to 200 this year. regardless I weigh more than either end is currently setup for. The forks I agree could also use new springs, but after talking to Mike and discussing my budget I think the plan this year was to add a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch spacer in them to bump them up to get through this year.
I haven't even started to look into that yet as I am still taking apart at the moment.

In looking closer at the fork it appears the measuring orifice may very well be at the top right under the adjuster and be part of the top cap, that would make sense as the oil would be compressed and sent through the rod up to be metered, and then exit the top and lubricate the entire assembly on its way back down. The fork I have apart at the moment is the left one which I believe is the compression dampening side (black adjuster knob). If that is the case I should be able to disassemble them without causing damage and get to the area that needs to get cleaned up to get the adjuster working again.

Thanks for the advice lineaway
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:11 AM   #4
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There isn't any real trials presence in VA. Dealers are non-existent and enthusiasts are well hidden. Might want to try http://www.cvotc.org/joomla/
And see if anyone semi-local has any expertise or can get you headed in the right direction.
If you are interested in heading toward Concord,NC this guy might be able to help. http://www.competitionwheelsandcycles.com
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Old 04-25-2014, 05:01 AM   #5
lineaway
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I think I am just misunderstanding the rear spring setting. As stock it should of handled the 235. (but it will sag) If you are actually riding trials, too soft is better than stiff. Good luck on the front forks, sounds like you are headed in the right direction. Check the front springs for cracks.
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:57 PM   #6
wb22rules OP
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I rode with the CVOTC guys one day last year in some serious mud, got owned by the creek beds bad lol. One of the guys I rode with that day has a 321 as well, but I don't think he is active on their forum that much. Tarheel might know the gentlemen I am referring to , he pulls his 321 on a trailer behind his Honda goldwing to events.

I just got the fork assembly apart so I can try to sort out the frozen adjuster, the uncompressed spring looks good and is 14 3/8ths inches long, now to try to find out if that is good bad or indifferent....
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Old 04-25-2014, 04:59 PM   #7
wb22rules OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lineaway View Post
I think I am just misunderstanding the rear spring setting. As stock it should of handled the 235. (but it will sag) If you are actually riding trials, too soft is better than stiff. Good luck on the front forks, sounds like you are headed in the right direction. Check the front springs for cracks.
I understand I do not want it like a mx bike where it throws me back off of impacts, but the sag is the issue, its steals 20% of the travel I should have available I believe.
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Old 04-25-2014, 06:37 PM   #8
wb22rules OP
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Well an hour and half of small tools, small wire brush, evapo-rust, pb blaster and wd 40 later I was able to free up the adjuster .

The adjuster seems to have 4 revolutions of travel up and down which pre-load a spring that is leaning on a piston restricting the flow of oil when the fork is compressed. It was really rusted up good, the adjustment screw and the small allen screw and spring that serve as the locking screw were frozen in the year 2005 I think lol. I was not sure if I could get it free but once I was able to get the locking spring out with a small easyout very gently then I could get pb blaster right on the threads of the adjustment screw itself. I took a few pictures but cannot remember the login to my hosting place, so I will post them later when I get to the computer I usually use to upload pictures. Now if I can confirm what the length of that spring is supposed to be I can decide to shim or not to shim and reassemble this one with the new seal
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #9
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Did you ever get the rear spring off the shock ?
If you turn the rebound screw all the way in at the bottom the spring should clear it.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:24 AM   #10
wb22rules OP
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Originally Posted by GAS GUY View Post
Did you ever get the rear spring off the shock ?
If you turn the rebound screw all the way in at the bottom the spring should clear it.
I haven't tried that yet, thanks for the heads up that it will go in that far to clear.
Off to go catch some catfish on the Rappahannock , I will give it a try when I get back.

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Old 04-27-2014, 06:24 AM   #11
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In looking around at trials central and other places I have found lots of replies about this topic.
I am going to add a 1/2 inch in length to the preload spacer on the front and see how it goes, I dont want add too much and cause the spring to fail from collapsing fully against itself when the bike bottoms out.
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Old 04-27-2014, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wb22rules View Post
I understand I do not want it like a mx bike where it throws me back off of impacts, but the sag is the issue, its steals 20% of the travel I should have available I believe.
I think you are wasting your time. Get time on the bike. It as good you got the adjusters working. You are much better off (When you are ready) to get new springs for the forks. Sag on a trials bike is not an issue.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:30 PM   #13
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That is the goal lineaway, believe me. I envy the amount of time most of you guys get to spend on two wheels. I have had two weekends I could devote to trials since I got this bike, one I took my son to the worlds and one I took a friend to southern VA to try a CVOTC event. I just have had limited daggone time in the past years but that should get better.

This bike is like every other old vehicle I own, I intend to keep it forever and don't mind doing the services it needs so it works like it should. I have 1 car payment and 6 vehicles, if I don't go to autozone for a month when I walk in they ask if was out of the country or something since I am usually in there twice monthly on one of the cars or such.

I have had the seals for the forks since last year, one was weeping so badly hardly any oil came out when it was disassembled. The rear tire spilt badly around the sidewall this winter one cold day I decided to mix a tank of fuel and putt around the neighborhood forgetting the last time I had rode it was 50 degrees warmer and I only had 2.5 lbs in the rear then. So while I had to get a rear tire mounted, I wanted to install the seals and freshen up the chassis bearings. .

Tonight got the left fork reassembled with the lengthened spacer (1/2 inch) and the new seal. 1.5 inch dia white schedule 40 pipe was really handy during reassembly btw. Mike at the Tryals Shop sent me an email that my newly mounted rear tire is on its way back and the new dust seals and dogbone bearings are with it. I am glad I sent it to him as he stated that it did not want to come off, probably was the original rubber. Picked up some waterproof marine grease on the way home. Disassembled the right fork and have the rusty bits soaking for the night, hopefully get that cleaned up tomorrow and if I can get some neighbors to assist like tonight will get that baby back together.
I have the left fork back together but have not torqued the top or the bottom. I know from my poking around that the triple clamps should 18 ft lbs, but does anyone know what the top piece and the bottom allen bolt should be torqued to? I never thought I would miss all those Jim Snell videos so bad....

Anyway, thanks in advance if someone knows those torque specs.
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Old 04-28-2014, 07:54 PM   #14
lineaway
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Barely tighter than snug is fine, since it is a pinch bolt. Nothing worse than over tightening a bolt into aluminum. Glad Mike has helped you out. He has always been a great guy to do business with. ( Besides he has always loved trials!)
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Old 05-01-2014, 08:11 PM   #15
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I thought for sure I had noted 350cc as a fork fill amount, do you think I ought to drain 50cc back out of the compression fork as it appears I was mistaken and everywhere I check it says 300cc. I wont make the same mistake when I out the right back together tomorrow night.

Still waiting on some front end parts to get here as well, but plan on getting the dog bone bearings and all the rear stuff installed this weekend, then I will just be waiting on front wheel bearings and the dust seals.

Whats the best way to get some lubrication onto the swing arm pivot? I don't have any replacement parts for it so if disassembling one that has been on since 2001 will damage the parts I will just have to defer and let it go this time around.
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