Marzocchi Fork Maintenance De-Mystefied?

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motobene, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    thanks lineaway,
    I do have to ask - why does everyone talk about measuring the "height of oil" when it should be the same amount of mL/cc for every one? I know left and right are probably different since one's open and one's closed, but why couldn't there be a static number and you can vary from that depending on your suspension needs...?
    #21
  2. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    11,341
    Location:
    nm
    It`s not the same amount for everyone. The best measurement is the air gap. If you just drain it vs completely disassembly. Actually it`s the same for engines too. Changing your oil vs a rebuilt motor is two different amounts.
    #22
  3. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    that just seems crazy to me.. so how does one measure it? can I use a regular tape measure? How much of the guts needs to be in there? you can't get a real measurement cause for it to be fully submerged, you wouldn't be able to see the level...
    #23
  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,572
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    I use a chopstick with a metal clip on it. And admitted a torch. Just refill to the same level each time.

    Easy if you take that measurement the first time you open them up. Lift the front, take the caps off, slide the measuring stick down until it just touches the surface, mark that level on the stick. In my case I had this clip in my junk box, slipped that on as the marker, done.


    Pete
    #24
    Hatch likes this.
  5. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    admitted a torch? the stick idea is a good one. simple solutions
    #25
  6. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    11,341
    Location:
    nm
  7. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,315
    Location:
    Portales, New Mexico

    ...Just like the one in the Brewtus Scuderia.....

    :thumb
    #27
  8. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    7,083
    Location:
    Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
    Some time ago when I was searching Google nothing nice like the pdf turned up.

    Hell Team I could see is from somewhere in The Dominion, as the English is not American. I checked and they are in Artarmon, Australia.

    For oil changes with the Zokes, we have only two choices: Change the oil around the outside of the cartridge a few times and ride in between, or disassemble the cartridges. Brilliant:bluduh (and boo, by the way). I suppose that is not so onerous as fresh oil will last a decent amount of time int hese well-made forks.

    It is nice to have the visual procedure displayed in that way, so thank you, Hell Team. I like the idea of tape around
    the cartridge to keep the oil from escaping while filling the cartridge.
    #28
  9. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    11,341
    Location:
    nm
    #29
  10. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    I actually asked jim snell about this in a youtube comment, he replied with links to that tech page and that pdf haha
    #30
  11. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,315
    Location:
    Portales, New Mexico
    Damn good idea to read this thread if you are a Noob to closed-cartridge Marzocchi forks.

    I'm certainly not Noob to motorcycle fork service by any stretch, but I learned a lesson here. Some weeks ago I replaced fork seals in my buddy Hammer's 'Zoke-equipped GasGas. I did wonder why the RH fork did not seem to take that much oil on refilling, but did not give it a second thought. During the first event of the year, his bike developed the dreaded "'Zoke clunk" and I was baffled as to why. Hell, I'd been doing forks for years, what the hell could it be?? Hammer finished the event (let's just leave it at that) worried about his scooter, and with good cause. We talked about it with Lineaway afterward, and he mentioned something about the cartridge filling process. Monday morning after the event I Googled "GasGas/Marzocchi clunk" and ran across lots of info, including this thread which I never bothered to read (no offense, 'Bene).

    Damn good info here.

    I won't go into exactly what I think of Marzocchi's design here, but I am humble enough to admit I don't know every damn thing. Everything "they" said was true, this process is critical and a damn messy sumbitch to do. The 'Zoke tech quoted earlier was right - no way to get away from making a big mess. The Hell Team's instructional said the same thing. Not complicated to do (unnecessarily, but I digress), but one does need to know this info beforehand. I didn't, and am now the proud owner of a set of fork fluid-soaked clothes (new fluid, thankfully) to wear as a badge of my arrogance. :shog

    Point is, do the research. Study what you are about to undertake before you disappoint a friend. Don't be lazy or overconfident. I had not done a set of 'Zoke forks since I worked on Moto-Guzzis in the '90's, and it bit me. Won't happen again.
    #31
    Hatch likes this.
  12. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    11,341
    Location:
    nm
    I agree, sometimes progress is awkward. :pope
    #32
  13. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    so is the clunk at full compression? or at full rebound? I am sure I screwed mine up, but it feels good enough holding the front brake and bouncing... haven't had a chance to ride it yet. hoping to do a trials day training at ttc next month, maybe bring it up a day early an have charlie look at it..
    #33
  14. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,315
    Location:
    Portales, New Mexico
    Yeah.


    RH fork, rebound. Hammer's made no noise riding around on Saturday and half of the event on Sunday. After the front forks got a really good workout is when they got unhappy with their notta-service. If you are not sure, take 'em apart again and see. The problem will be rather evident the minute the cartridge comes out of the fork if you follow the procedures posted earlier.
    #34
    Hatch likes this.
  15. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    ah ok, so you did something wrong with reassembly? my only problem is I don't think I got the fluid level right..
    #35
  16. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,315
    Location:
    Portales, New Mexico

    Go back and read post #15 on this thread.
    #36
  17. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    oh I didn't disassemble it that far, I figure it'll eventually cycle the oil through.
    #37
  18. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,315
    Location:
    Portales, New Mexico

    Yeah, that's what I thought also. :nah
    #38
  19. Hatch

    Hatch Perpetually lost

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,971
    Location:
    850
    :fpalm
    #39
  20. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 49 years Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    7,083
    Location:
    Wichita Mountains SW Oklahoma
    The closed cartridge Sacks forks on some budget GasGas bikes will top out with a serious clunk after servicing as one would open cartridge forks, by pumping the oil out.

    That was my big learning experience that the tech had changed. The Sachs rebound cartridge, however, will eventually bleed all air out after about 5 hours of riding. Sounds like the Marzocchis may not.

    It was after that learning experience that I went looking for info that wasn't there on Marzocchi oil changes. It was later available, but still, given the fact that these new forks typically don't trash the oil really badly as older forks will, I still don't want the hassle of complete disassembly just to change the oil. So, I will continue to do my 3 times or so outside-the-cartridge oil swap method, unless there is something wrong with the forks.

    I think of it like highway vehicle automatic transmission oil changes. You never get all of the oil out in an oil change, just some. My trick with automatic trannys is to braze a steel 1/8 pipe coupler machined in half at a hole drilled through the lowest point of the steel pan. This gives me a drain plug! The pan comes off and it and the magnet get pressure washed. The plugs gets installed and the pan painted. A new filter is put in. You need a filter only every blue moon, however.

    Now, refreshed to new, the oil gets attention. The drain plug allows me to refresh the fluid after the servicing without having to remove the pan. Yes, you can do the same by siphoning down the fill tube with a long hose, but I'm an old-world guy who likes to have a drain plug.

    I've had some vehicles where I waited too long for the first service, like my VW TDi, because the `net said the transmission was "service free." Bullexcrement! The oil at 125k miles was severely trashed! I did the pan and magnet cleaning and filter, then with a new drain plug would drive it a week between the multiple refreshes of about 3 liters each. That 'reset' the oil to squeaky clean. Transmission continues works like new at well over 200k miles. About time to drop the oil and check it.
    #40