RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

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hard-rider
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RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sat Feb 09, 2013 18:15 pm

I need to check something with my damper. After having trouble with my lockout which a seal service didn't fix I decided to have another look at the damper and stripped it to see if I could see any obvious problem inside.

I've re-assembled the damper but it will not fully slide into the top of the fork leg. It goes as far as the oil then stops because the oil can't seem to pass into the damper. It's pressing on a valve forcing it closed. The oil level is correct (120ml 5wt). The lockout is in the open position (it is spring loaded as it's a remote lockout). I've read and re-read the service manual and watched all the damper service videos I could find and in all of the the damper just slides into the leg easily.

So I'm puzzled why my damper won't go fully in. I started thinking perhaps I didn't assemble it correctly but there is nothing to it inside. On the one end there is a disc valve. I'd like someone to confirm that I have the valve correctly assembled. I've got two photos below, one showing the valve as I remember it being before disassembly (in the normally closed position) and the second photo with it unseated (which to me already just looks wrong). I'd appreciate if someone familiar with these dampers can confirm which is correct.

Image

Image

If the first photo is correct then I wonder if the oil volume is a mis-print in the manual and should be quite so much to allow the damper to go in.

Manual is here for reference (page 19)
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby supersonic » Sat Feb 09, 2013 18:25 pm

The manual file is corrupted for me - is this the Turnkey damper or Motion Control?

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sat Feb 09, 2013 19:00 pm

It's the basic turnkey. i.e. just locks the fork, no adjustment to damping.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby supersonic » Sat Feb 09, 2013 19:13 pm

Someone had the same problem before, I can't find the post and remedy though!

Do you use the lockout a lot? It isn't the best made part of the fork, I'd be tempted to remove the whole cartridge and just cap the top of the fork.

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sat Feb 09, 2013 22:57 pm

I had the same problem when I first serviced the fork. I finally got it in by opening the rebound on the bottom of the leg. It doesn't make sense why it worked then because it's not related to the damper. Opening the rebound doesn't help this time.

I need the bike tomorrow so will do as you suggest and remove the cartridge. Should I leave the oil in there as is or fill it further?

Would I be able to drop a motion control damper in there instead if I need to replace the damper?
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby supersonic » Sat Feb 09, 2013 23:03 pm

Leave the oil the same. A moco damper should work, but would have to be a Tora 318 one. And even then I am not 100% sure, they used a different rebound assembly.

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sat Feb 09, 2013 23:29 pm

ok thanks.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby supersonic » Sat Feb 09, 2013 23:33 pm

Oh, a possible solution:

With the rebound fully open, and the TK damper out, push the forks through their travel 10 times or so. This should bled some air out of the rebound circuit.

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sun Feb 10, 2013 07:05 am

Ok will try that. I don't think that it will help much though. If you look at the first photo you'll see that there is no way for the oil to pass into the damper cartridge as the disc is completely sealing the face. On one of the YouTube videos there was a comment by someone who had a similar problem and implied that the cartridge required bleeding somehow but there was no answer to the question.

When you insert the cartridge you can hear the air being pushed through it but as soon as it hits the oil it stops dead. No amount of wriggling or twisting makes it budge.

I'm surprised that this problem hasn't come up before.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby sensi10 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:13 am

Hi , are you sure its meant to be 120ml and not 115 ml as checking rockshox website 2010 model recon sl solo air with turnkey damper should be 115ml whats the year of your fork ?

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:18 pm

It's a 2009. Interesting you say for the 2010 that the oil required is 115ml. I just looked at the 2010 manual and it too says 120ml on page 19. Are you looking at a different manual or spec sheet? I did wonder if the oil level was correct and even mentioned if there may be a misprint in the manual in my first post.

I'll look around to see if I can find any other reference to oil volumes for the fork.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:33 pm

Here is a link to an oil chart. Also specifies 120ml.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:50 pm

OK, just checked the 2010 oil chart and it indeed does specify 115ml. I wonder if my fork is a 2010 model spec even though it has a 2009 serial number (47T90051201). Am I just clutching at straws here? Perhaps I should just try 115ml and see if that works.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby suspended » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:22 am

Hi All - just took my old (2008) RS Recon SL forks apart because the Turnkey (not Motion Control) lockout was no longer locking out (i.e. no change in compression resistance with lockout open or closed). Now I see that changing seals etc. is unlikely to help because the Turnkey damper is a unit so I'd like to open up the damper itself.

Any advice on the best way to proceed/links to diagrams would be much appreciated. Btw, before anyone directs me to the SRAM website, I already have the relevant RS manual, which doesn't show how to dismantle the Turnkey damper, only how to remove it, replace its o-rings, and refit it.

Thanks!

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby supersonic » Sat Apr 13, 2013 13:47 pm

Not sure dismantling will happen - the unit is a simple port orifice damper, you should be able to see a metal disc at the bottom that, as it turns, covers up the port. First thing to check is this ie is the adjuster rotating the disc?

Seals still may need changing as this stops oil leaking around them bypassing the damper.

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby suspended » Sat Apr 13, 2013 14:13 pm

Tx for your input supersonic - bit the bullet and dismantled the Turnkey damper myself, holding tight in case little springs went flying everywhere. Discovered a number of things: (i) as suspected, the top cap comes off the plastic body of the damper by turning it clockwise; (ii) the shaft rotates a little spring-loaded plastic disc about 5mm thick inside the damper body (took some head-scratching to get the shaft back in the right orientation - the little L-shaped slot in the shaft lines up with the port half-way up the body when it's in the closed position); (iii) the plastic disc is rotating correctly; (iv) there's a little spring-loaded metal shim bolted onto the lower, outside end of the plastic body that you have to remove to be able to see whether the internal plastic disc is rotating correctly.

About to reintroduce lowers with uppers, will keep y'all posted on success or lack thereof...

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby suspended » Sat Apr 13, 2013 16:24 pm

Mooost successful - following oil change all round and dismantling/reassembly of Turnkey damper (but no seals replaced), the lockout now works again. For what it's worth, I use Putoline synthetic suspension oil in SAE 5 and 15 weights, instead of RS-branded oils. As supersonic noted above, after reassembling the forks, I did need to open the damper then pump the forks 10 times or so before the lockout worked - not sure why I couldn't get it working before because it really is a simple gadget.

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby supersonic » Sat Apr 13, 2013 16:35 pm

Good work!

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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby hard-rider » Sat Apr 13, 2013 16:56 pm

Sounds like your TK damper is like mine except mine has the remote lockout so there is a spring around the shaft to return it to the open position. One question. Did the TK damper just easily slide back into the top leg? Mine seems to hit the oil once it gets 3/4 down and then won't go further as the oil is unable to pass the metal disc that is seated on the bottom (with the lockout in the open position). The sram manual makes it sound so easy the way it goes in. I could never figure out how the damper is supposed to go in all the way with that disc basically sealing the damper. The hard you push the tighter that disc seals. The photo shows the metal disc that blocks the oil from passing through the slots underneath it and filling the damper when you try insert it into the upper leg. Is that how yours looked.
Image

To get my damper in I had to part fill the upper leg then insert the damper 3/4 in and then pour the rest of the oil in above the damper then push the damper in completely. But after pumping the fork a few times to redistribute the oil the fork locks solid. I assume the oil has passed through the damper and then gets blocked by that disc so cannot pass back up thus hydraulically locking the fork. To me it makes no sense how it is supposed to work with that metal disc there.
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Re: RS Recon SL Solo Air Damper assembly

Postby suspended » Sat Apr 13, 2013 18:28 pm

If you also dismantled the TK damper itself, then you may have reassembled it with the shaft in the incorrect orientation relative to the internal disc. That could possibly prevent correct oilflow through the damper, which would create difficulty in inserting the damper. Alternatively, you might simply have put too much oil in the upper leg - I used 120ml (measured with a syringe) of oil. The spring-loaded metal disc on the bottom end of the damper, shown in your pic, contributes to controlling oil flow down through the damper, i.e. on rebound, not as you insert the damper into the fork. The internal plastic disc is what actually does the locking out. If you're still having trouble, open the damper and check that, when the internal plastic disc is rotated to the right (lockout position), the L-shaped slot in the upper half of the plastic shaft inside the damper is aligned with the port about halfway up the damper, then press the shaft down into the square hole in the top of the plastic disc and screw (anticlockwise) the top cap onto the damper body without disturbing all the relative orientations of the bits. Yes, needs about three hands...


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