Custom Shocks

Discussion in 'Hack Vendors' started by davebig, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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  2. angtlalaska

    angtlalaska Been here awhile

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    DB

    Why 5" of travel?

    What other particulars did you specify?

    Can you adjust rebound and damping while on the sidecar or do you have to take it apart and change the valve?

    I sent a detailed e-mail to Works but no reply just like the last time.

    While this may seem stupid I wanted to explore the possibility of having a remote preload on the sidecar shock to be able to compensate for more or less load similar to my Ohlins BM 676 rear shock

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Your post says you like this shock over the WP - true? why? Is the "old" terrible WP shock for sale then?
    #2
  3. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Dammit Richard even I get tired of delivering the same lecture over and over again.
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/large-csm-hack-small-schnauzer.826829/page-70
    I went with 5 " as I ended up with a shock that was too long (missed communication) but I had room for it and wanted to really improve the ride, don't know how I've done yet haven't had a 200 +pounder in chair. There is no external adjustments.
    The progressives and possibly most motorcycle style shocks top up when the there's no real load in the chair or when one has the camber control completely collapsed this may not be the best idea when it comes to ride.
    As far as I can tell sidecars often ride like shit except the HP one I bought. My first progressive had a 120/170 spring, I don't know the numbers on the Works they both have only 3.5" travel before the bumper. The Works rode way better than the Progressive according to my passengers as driver I could tell very little difference except the Works had rebound and when I turned it up it becomes harsh after 3 klicks.
    Your swaybar is a spring it engages both the sidecar shock and the tugs rear be-careful what you wish for it will get very harsh and the bar delivers that too the tug !!!!!!!!!!!!
    You could put a rear type shock with a hydraulic preload adjuster on ! Probably a fools errand but you seem to like to learn things the hard way ! Getting a shock built to the correct length with the proper ends isn't the issue those all take large diameter springs probably 2.5" getting a spring rate light enough might be difficult anything over 160 pound would be brutal and not really allow the swaybar to work much.
    Call Works it's what I had to do ! Maybe they will be willing to build you a shock with preload but stay away from springs that are over 160 and you will need Claude to build you a shorter link for the adjuster position. If you really are made of money help educate the rest of us ! I've thrown allot of good money after bad and I'm a retired postal worker ! It ain't worth it !

    To help you illustrate this jack up the sidecar and let the wheel hang undo one end of whatever shock is on it, then try and lift the wheel and swingarm up thru it's arc of travel. Duh !
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  4. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    FWIW I upgraded my rig with Hyperpro on the bike & a YSS on the car. Spec'ed by Klaus at EPM Performance after I sent him weights of all 3 corners and length of car shock. Comment from wife after her first ride (she was unaware I had changed the shocks) "The ride is so much smoother, what did you do?"
    Car shock was original Progressive with about 5k miles on it.
    #4
  5. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    That was my passengers thoughts also, the real shock folks thing most progressives are junk and gas charged so they top out too much ! Easiest sidecar improvement ever.DB
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  6. angtlalaska

    angtlalaska Been here awhile

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    I seem to recall you saying the exact same thing about your latest look at QA1 shock for your tub. What is this your 3rd or 4th sidecar shock?
    I frequently hear a klunk noise when hitting bumps with my sidecar wheel. I made the comment to you that you could hear the klunk when I hit the steel plate in the road with the video on my return to San Pedro. I even ran over the same road course with my sway bar disconnected to see if I was introducing the "klunk" from the Tug to the Tub or the Tub to the Tug. The noise was still there when I hit bumps. But it occurs when the tub wheel hits the bump not when the front or rear wheels on the tug hit the bump. You can clearly hear that on the video the sound occurs only when the tub wheel hits the bump.

    I assumed then the noise is coming from the sidecar or its suspension. I triple checked all the connections and body to frame bolts and the front light bar to see if anything was lose. Nothing. I triple checked the rubber mounts holding the sidecar tank to the frame. I checked all of the bolts holding the bash plate on the sidecar to the sidecar frame. All tight. I banged on the bash plate with a rubber mallet with shot beads inside to see if the bash plate was vibrating. Nothing.
    I had not considered that the sidecar shock was toping out and causing the noise. I have to jack up the sidecar fairly far to get the sidecar wheel off the ground although I haven't tried to see if there is a difference in how high I jack the tub with the sway bar disconnected. I will try that when I get back to SP in late February.

    I just thought that maybe the sidecar shock needed a softer spring (less pre-load) and a longer piston travel - maybe an adjustable rebound and damping setting that I could play with might help. Certainly an easier way to adjust the pre-load as the progressive currently installed was near impossible to adjust while in place.

    I also assumed that I needed two basic settings. One for riding around with no load in the sidecar and one with a total of 400 lbs (male monkey and equipment) and everything else would be in between these two end points. I assumed that I would disconnect the sway bar set the sidecar to level and then re-connect the sway bar. Same thing fully loaded.

    As you point out I may never get a shock for the tub that rides smooth over all bumps with and without a load but I can dream. Maybe I am thinking that my "BMW" sidecar should ride or could ride as smooth as my 7 series BMW. Maybe that is my fools errand.
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  7. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Ok Richard lets start from the bottom no motorcycle and sidecar is ever going to ride like a 7 series BMW sedan the motorcycle equivalent would be the k1200LT or the 1600 nonsense vehicles, not quasi off pavement diva's
    You could possibly build one to ride like the big sedan but you'll spend some real money doing it, think air adjustable over length shocks leading swing arm on chair whole different sway bar strategy. If you want that ride Goldwing, luxury Hannigan ! Better yet HD with a sidecar tub hanging in springs !
    If you get things about right 2 settings will be more than enough , given as how your normal setup would be with full aux tank and normal tools on board, and the sway bar is transferring load to the rear shock. You could follow your plan but the initial one should be how you drive it the most experiment with swaybar I did an after endless fucking around and a fucked up ride settled on neutral !
    The next time you have a go at it take al preload out of sidecar shock you'll find the best you can do it 3.5" of travel the wheel will move a little more as it swings in an arc.
    I'm on my second sidecar shock third if you count OEM, I omly ended up with long shock as experiment ! Oops we're all the way back to buy a sidecar learn to ride figure out what you want ! WTF :jack
    The clunk is quite possibly the sway bar rattling in it's tube, it rides in plastic bushes that get loose ! They all clunk a bit but if you had that thing twisted enough the bolts dragged over the swing arm no telling what sort of shape they are in.
    Back back to the future !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Put the dog damn thing together weigh each corner on a decent scale call Klaus get the springs he thinks will work best ( he has them that fit Ohlins ) get a decent shock for the chair from him. But don't believe me as DRONE ! Strongs thought would be gather the info go to Works either is fine !
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  8. angtlalaska

    angtlalaska Been here awhile

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    Another good point on the sway bar. I had assumed just disconnecting the arm from the sidecar swing arm would do the trick. When I am back I will pull the sway bar rod out check for straightness and the status of the bushings. If the "klunk" goes away one phantom issue resolved. Just a thought. If I back off the pre-load all the way would you use the manual strut on the front of the upper control lever to level the sidecar?

    [​IMG]
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  9. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    My tub's shock never klunks or tops out. Am I doing something wrong?

    On another note, on my last trip to Baja a couple of weeks ago, I managed to melt the boots and stickers off of the Bilsteins on my truck on the washboarded dirt roads!

    [​IMG]
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  10. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Strong your a personal acquittance of the Works family and they may have got you right and mine doesn't top out or rattle or clunk either. My shock experiment is just a 350 $ experiment to see if it improves things ! So far with very little riding it way better than the Progressive and better than the Works in that it has more travel.
    One other thought when flying down a unpaved road w/o a passenger or load are you sure your not topping out ?

    Richard yes that is the sidecar height adjustment not the spring preload ! Change it's length .5" you move the other end 1.5" ! It would be nice to have a shorter one and more thread have Strong shorten it for you and find a longer rod. Then consider buying a longer shock and getting some more travel, mine currently only has a 137 pound spring rate and I won't know till it warms up if that will be enough but the original Prog had a 120/170 dual rate and I don't think it ever got to the tighter windings.
    You and I have Claude's old design his new version is better easy to change swing arm pivot to accommodate different heights, the swaybar always seem to klunk a bit if I had allot of money I'd like to try brass bushes but it's only a sidecar !
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  11. angtlalaska

    angtlalaska Been here awhile

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    Claude is as we speak making me a new strut with a left and right hand thread so I can adjust it without taking off one end of the strut. I was going to ask Claude to give me more threads so I would have more room to play with different shocks on the sidecar. As it is now I have less than 1" to play with that could increase shock length.
    Are your WP shocks a twin tube or mono tube? I wonder if WP could make the same shock with more overall travel if that is what you were looking for with the QA1. I do like WP's external reservoir for the extra cooling.
    #11
  12. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Richard WP represents White Power which was a Dutch shock company that built allot of good quality stuff but changed it's name Neo Fascists etc to White Performance they have since been bought by KTM and moved to Austria. The hydraulic guys who didn't want to move formed HyperPro and Yacugar shock companies or at least that's the way I heard it, seems plausible.

    The Works I have is exactly like the one Elizabeth Muir posted. I'm only getting this shock stuff now, springs hold things up,shocks damp spring movement, the shock guys consider how much bump force one wants to the shock before it moves, that's how they decide on valving, on the QA1 I wanted it to move easily, they also like to know what sort of overall length you want with the shock in the middle of it's travel as they use the threaded collars to adjust ride height. On motorcycle shocks we start out with the shock topped out and if we don't get some SAG we are oversprung.

    This is just a experiment to see how well it works, I bought a 112 lb spring and a 137 the small one sagged allot ( the original progressive was 120/170) I may need more yet but keep in mind the sway bar is also a spring and adds to the overall suspension.

    I like your spring jack idea but it's overkill and unnecessary( I love a Gizmo) and like I said it would cost you a fortune to get a rear shock built long enough and find a spring light enough. Time for a reminder springs hold up the chassis shocks damp the spring ! as far as I'm concerned don't over complicate this.

    Lets build a long travel adv sidecar rig ! We'll start with a KTM 990/950 the early one's had 8" + of travel at both end's we'll get Claude to build us a sidecar for it with a swingarm the same length as the tugs and 8" of travel and experiment until Strongbad won't give us anymore money ! :jack

    I think the reason that sidecars always seem over sprung and swaybars work well is mostly about turning left, fast lefts over load the chair suspension and the swaybar spreads that load around better than camber adjusters or spring jacks.
    It may be impossible to get series 7 ride quality and M3 handling in one rig !
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  13. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    [​IMG]
    My original Progressive and the Works I replaced it with !
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  14. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    Interesting - they built a set for my solo bike with a tender and a main spring. Was that discussed for your application?

    I need something softer for my sidecar.



    #14
  15. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    My Works shock for my tub looks exactly like DB's using only one spring and no "booster" (or what I think you are calling a tender) spring. Works custom builds each shock for your application which includes both internal valving, as well as appropriate springs. This weekend I was out trials riding with friends and you should have see how light of a spring Works set up for a 1966 Cotton trials bike. I'm a firm believer that you should use all of your shock travel and you should occasional bottom out on big hits.
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  16. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    I think you mean one of there dual spring setups I one of those one a K100 years ago, worked well. I just described what I had and they sent me a shock, my latest adventure is because I could (longer shock) I as the rider noticed only a little improvement with the Works rather than the Progressive but all my passengers commented on the improved ride.Allot of that maybe as it took me too long to stop fooling(playing with preload) with the swaybar.

    Strong will find when he eventually helps Richard to sort that rig out that best ride will be with no preload, I used to jack my rear wheel off the floor and hook up swaybar so all static sag preloaded swaybar, makes for rigid taught handling and brutal ride.
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  17. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    Understood - yes, by tender spring I meant the lighter rate unit in a dual spring setup. Can work well for the right reasons if needed. Same with pre-load. If you need pre-load with the rig set up at its lightest running weight, then the spring is too soft. In my opinion, adjustable pre-load allows two things: a suspension builder can use fewer springs in their inventory, and; a user can get a wider range of load capacities from a single suspension component. Of course, if pre-load is adjusted for a heavier static load (loaded sidecar, etc.), then the damping should be adjusted accordingly. That part often gets overlooked/forgotten. Also, adjusting pre-load every time the rig is loaded/unloading is a PITA!

    Thanks guys. I have to give Works a call again.
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  18. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    I just got off the phone with Klaus at EPM http://www.epmperf.com/contact.htm
    About a new front spring for my 1150gs tug he wanted me to be sure and understand that it required preload and that's what the Dutch wanted, motorcycle shocks all seem to start out topped up, the circle track guy I got the new sidecar shock from seemed more interested in only how much movement I needed and not necessarily installed height, they see the threaded spring collars as height adjustment.
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  19. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Thanks Strong as I've become older I've noticed I'm really not absolutely sure of anything ! If that's what your inferring ! If I had your resources (money) I'd do exactly as you have done ! Then when Richard turns up march him over to Works and get the whole shebang properly suspended !
    Since I like to make fun of all the affluent Walter Mitty's on this list running off to whatever sidecar builder and having them construct their every dream ! I've never seen a trailer behind a hearse ! So all you Walters wondering what's right go ahead and have a go ! Or at least try and be helpful !
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  20. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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