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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm gonna call marzocchi on Monday (and probably send my fork in) but I wanted to get the opinion of some of the experience Zoke users on the forum here first. I bought my 2006 66SL back in August from MHC, as most of you know it hasn't been ridden yet because my RFX build isn't done yet. :rolleyes: :D Anyway, it's just been sitting waiting for me to do something with it.

Yesterday my buddy (who just purchase one of these forks for himself) checked his out and realized that he's got a thru-axle/lowers misalignment problem that looks similar to these pics by Bikezilla. He called me right away and said that I should check mine, just in case there is anything wrong. Well, I pulled the fork and I don't notice anything too bad. But upon closer inspection today I notice that the axle is "catching" slightly as it's inserted throught the lowers. It doesn't appear terribly off, but not perfect either.

The bigger problem I have is related to the shock stroke. Even uninstalled, the fork is incredibly difficult to push down, I have to put much of my weight on it to get it to move (and I weigh a lot). It moves down pretty slowly, also. In addition, the return stroke takes about 2 seconds, much longer that I would expect the fork to ever take to rebound.

I tried multiple adjustments to see if something is out of whack (obviously something is), but can't figure out what could be wrong. The forks response is exactly the same regardless of the configuration I tried. Here's what I did:

I pumped the air chamber up according to the manuals specifications - 35 psi in both positives and 150 in the negative. I was using a high pressure (300psi) RS fork pump, so the #'s may've been a little off, but close enough for assessment. The test was tried with the bound turned all the way up, then all the way down...same response. Same test was done with the compression up and then down...same response. I did not touch the PAR chamber as it didn't seem that it would have any affect on what is happening.

Then we emptied all the air chambers and tried the same thing. The fork compressed a little bit easier (not much, though) but rebounded the same - excruciatingly slow. I obviously wouldn't expect the fork to act normally with no air, but I would expect there to be minimal resistance throughout the stroke with no air spring to support or resist it.

Curious little issue - using my fork pump I can only get the negative chamber to pump up to ~170psi. Even at this pressure (with the chamber apparently "full") the travel does not reduce at all. In addition, that negative chamber seems to fill very quickly when pumping it up. For example, each "stroke" of the pump adds about 10 psi. That seems like a lot. When I use that same pump to set the air pressure on my Reba it probably takes about 5 strokes (or more) to change it by 10 psi. Now, I understand that the air chambers in different forks (and even within the same fork) have vastly different volume capacities, and I'm sure the pump used makes a difference, but this seems a little strange. Anyone else have a similar experience with their negative chambers?

The whole thing just seems really odd. I've read many of the reports of twisted lowers and reports of initial stiction in non-broken-in forks. But what I've got going on seems excessive. I've only owned two other forks (a Zoke DJ and RS Reba), the Dirt Jumper came as OE on my HT and the Reba I replaced it with (that I purchased new) worked fine from the get go. I would've expected that the 66, even if it needed to be broken in, would at least be usable to begin with. As it is now, it doesn't seem to be.

If anyone can provide some insight I'd appreciate it. It seems that it's gonna need to go back to Zoke, if only to be checked out. I'm an idiot for not fully inspecting it earlier, since I received it way back in August and was fully aware of the potential issues with twisted lowers and such. :rolleyes: :madman:

Hopefully I'll be able to get this thing back and up and running in by the time I get the rest of my parts for the build. Thanks in advance for any replies.
 

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trail fairy
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PCnSC interesting thread u haven't ridden it but it seems faulty:D

I tell ya what it really does need the ride test! send it to me at yr cost I'll give it the TA treatment and give ya impressions while ya RFX is being built up:D

I'll soon tell ya if its faulty and you'll have true ride impressions to talk to the boys at Marz:p

1: Marzocchis are very stiff when new and not used so I don't know if what ya describes is relevant or not tricky one others maybe better qualified than me on that one Ive only owned 3 Zokes:D

2: Marz air chambers usually are very small compared to others dude be careful not to over do it

3: The paint on these forks is usually excessive in that area mine was tight when new but after a few removals my axle lined up no probs.

4: I should also qualify my offer by saying my Zoke just had a warranty replacement for my compression adjuster X cartridge left leg 66RC2X I was having clunking noises on big high speed hits yesterday was my first ride on the new cartridge so far it seems it works yeahhaa finally my fork can be given the TA treatment.

Still happy to put yrs through the wringer if required I'll be gentle I promise:D
 

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First: I'm not sure why, but I've seen the forks come from the factory with a bunch of air; way too much. Make sure there's no air in the par, open the compression adjuster all the way-turn it counter clockwise. Next open the rebound all the way; turn it counter clockwise.

Drop the air pressure in the positive chambers and then drop the negative pressure. Don't just use the pump to lower the pressure, use a small screw driver to push the valve-that way you'll be sure the air is out of the chambers.

Next pressure up the Negative chamber; 75-100. You'll put waaaaay too much air in the chambers with that 300lb pump-it's NOT close enough to make adjustments-it's going to be at least 30-50psi over the limit. Putting too much air in the chamber will make that fork hard as a rock.Next pressure the positive chamber; put 10-15psi. If you're using the 300lb pump, put less air than usual. The settings by Marzocchi are off-they're too high.

give it a shot, let it know what happens. Hope it works for you. I'm thinking the shock will respond-chances are you're using too much air and it sounds like the compression or rebound is closed-open them up.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Consider putting a rag over the valve before poking it with a screwdriver. Even on properly working forks, a fair bit of oil can shoot out. A busted fork can be a guiser.

BTW I just recieved a Zoke low pressure pump yesterday... man why the fock did I wait this long. Life is MUCH easier.



Props to Krispy on the idea for filing the threads off the adaptor tip... Makes trailside tuning a breeze.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to clarify, this fork has not ever been installed or ridden. It's been sitting in the box with the protective tape on the decals, and is in whatever condition Marzocchi shipped it in.

That said, I did what you suggested Turtle. I emptied the chambers completely (with a small tool on the valve), so I know they were empty before I started the re-fill. Using the high pressure pump (it's all I got right now) I put ~90 psi in the negative and just under 20 psi in each positive chamber. I also turned both the compression and rebound all the way counter-clockwise. There is no difference in the fork's behavior. Very, very stiff and difficult to compress, then it rebounds very slowy taking 2-3 seconds to fully return to show maximum stanchion.

Another peculiar thing is that the rebound dial "stiffens up" considerably when turned counter-clockwise. It will continue to turn and "click" into the next position, but it takes a lot of effort. And even more effort to turn it back clockwise. My buddies 66 did not exhibit this behavior at all (we compared them side by side today). His stroke was much more normal and his rebound dial was smooth and easily manipulated. And curiously his fork's case of "twisted lowers" seems much more severe, because his thru-axle will not insert through the stanchion lowers without manipulating the angle of entry and forcing it through. But his shock stroke seems to be OK.

I think that my forks problem is internal, I really get the feeling that the fork's behavior is not really normal. I mean, if taking air out and putting it back in, and changing the compression and rebound from one extreme to another doesn't have any effect on how the fork responds, doesn't it seem like something is really not right?
 

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Lay off the Levers
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That sounds brokeken to me. I think you should call Zoke and request an RMA.

BTW anyone know how many detents are in the compression adjuster? I just replaced a lost knob... check your set screws fellas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bikezilla said:
That sounds brokeken to me. I think you should call Zoke and request an RMA.
I'm gonna. This sucks. I'm such a dope for not checking this out sooner.

Bikezilla said:
BTW anyone know how many detents are in the compression adjuster? I just replaced a lost knob... check your set screws fellas!
I tried to determine this for you. I had the compression turner completely counter-clockwise as per Turtles little test instructions. I counted 19 clicks until I could not turn it anymore. However, the dial "stiffened up" and was increasingly more difficult to turn from about click #10 onward. I don't know if this is normal (probably not). So I don't know if the knob actually should have more clicks than the 19 that I counted . Hopefully someone with a fully functioning fork can tell you.
 

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PCinSC said:
Just to clarify, this fork has not ever been installed or ridden. It's been sitting in the box with the protective tape on the decals, and is in whatever condition Marzocchi shipped it in.

That said, I did what you suggested Turtle. I emptied the chambers completely (with a small tool on the valve), so I know they were empty before I started the re-fill. Using the high pressure pump (it's all I got right now) I put ~90 psi in the negative and just under 20 psi in each positive chamber. I also turned both the compression and rebound all the way counter-clockwise. There is no difference in the fork's behavior. Very, very stiff and difficult to compress, then it rebounds very slowy taking 2-3 seconds to fully return to show maximum stanchion.

Another peculiar thing is that the rebound dial "stiffens up" considerably when turned counter-clockwise. It will continue to turn and "click" into the next position, but it takes a lot of effort. And even more effort to turn it back clockwise. My buddies 66 did not exhibit this behavior at all (we compared them side by side today). His stroke was much more normal and his rebound dial was smooth and easily manipulated. And curiously his fork's case of "twisted lowers" seems much more severe, because his thru-axle will not insert through the stanchion lowers without manipulating the angle of entry and forcing it through. But his shock stroke seems to be OK.

I think that my forks problem is internal, I really get the feeling that the fork's behavior is not really normal. I mean, if taking air out and putting it back in, and changing the compression and rebound from one extreme to another doesn't have any effect on how the fork responds, doesn't it seem like something is really not right?
Where's the big cheeze when you need him, maybe he'll pop up soon; he'll have an idea. Try dropping the positive pressure and keeping 75lbs in the negative; see what happens. If nothing happens, try pressuring the negative up more; see what happens. If you get positive results, try one or two pumps in the positive chamber-go slow.

I've had mine at crazy before but after a couple cycles, it was fine. Where did you get that fork; can you exchange it; hope you bought it from a shop? If all else fails, call Marzocchi on Tuesday-not sure if they're open on Monday.

I know it happens, but having messed up brand new fork sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Turtle 1 said:
Where's the big cheeze when you need him, maybe he'll pop up soon; he'll have an idea. Try dropping the positive pressure and keeping 75lbs in the negative; see what happens. If nothing happens, try pressuring the negative up more; see what happens. If you get positive results, try one or two pumps in the positive chamber-go slow.
I'm gonna try to borrow my buddies low pressure (0-200psi) Marzocchi pump. I got the feeling that it's not gonna make a difference. Remember, I took the air pressure all the way down in all chambers and the fork acted the same way.

Oh yeah, does anyone have a source for the 0-100psi low pressure pumps? It seems like they're not available and/or not being made anymore.

Turtle 1 said:
I've had mine at crazy before but after a couple cycles, it was fine. Where did you get that fork; can you exchange it; hope you bought it from a shop? If all else fails, call Marzocchi on Tuesday-not sure if they're open on Monday.
I bought it from Larry at MHC (are there other places to buy bike parts...I hadn't realized :rolleyes: ;) ). I haven't talked to him about it yet, figured I wouldn't be able to reach him over the weekend. If he's got another one in stock I would love to be able to exchange it, I doubt he does, the '06 models aren't exactly plentiful these days. Most likely I'm gonna try to go through Marzocchi directly, it'll probably be easier to contact them than Larry anyway. Thanks for your suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bikezilla said:
BTW I just recieved a Zoke low pressure pump yesterday... man why the fock did I wait this long. Life is MUCH easier.
Mini-rant: Why is it that the $250 Rockshox fork I purchased came with a pump, but the $800 Marzocchi didn't come with jack-$hit except for broken innards? :confused: :madmax:

Hey 'zilla, what did you file the threads down with? A metal file, or did you use a dremel or something? Does the adapter still seal properly?
 

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PCinSC said:
I'm gonna. This sucks. I'm such a dope for not checking this out sooner.

I tried to determine this for you. I had the compression turner completely counter-clockwise as per Turtles little test instructions. I counted 19 clicks until I could not turn it anymore. However, the dial "stiffened up" and was increasingly more difficult to turn from about click #10 onward. I don't know if this is normal (probably not). So I don't know if the knob actually should have more clicks than the 19 that I counted . Hopefully someone with a fully functioning fork can tell you.
I've got 14 or 15 clicks in from full open; it gets harder as you tighten the adjuster; mine works the same way. I run mine with one or two clicks in from all the way open.

Open all the valves, let the air out of the positive and negative chambers. Pressure up the positive with 2-3 pumps only. See what the fork does. Next, put 25psi in the Negative chamber and see what happens; cycle the fork a couple times.

I thought mine was stuck down once, I went through one sequence after another of filling it with air and letting out; after a couple times it started working; don't ask me why.

JNC or one of the guys who knows about forks, can give you some better advice; I just fiddle with stuff till it starts working again; I never understand how things work.

How much travel is are you getting-measure the sliders-I think that's what you call them. try changing travel with the negative pressure; pump some air and then cycle the fork. If it changes the travel, try raising and lowering the pressure in the positive chambers.

If all else fails; call Larry for sure; he'll help you out.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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PCinSC said:
Mini-rant: Why is it that the $250 Rockshox fork I purchased came with a pump, but the $800 Marzocchi didn't come with jack-$hit except for broken innards? :confused: :madmax:

Hey 'zilla, what did you file the threads down with? A metal file, or did you use a dremel or something? Does the adapter still seal properly?
Heheh.... I've got four pumps now. My RS pump that came with my Pike...nice piece of hardware, but the scale is too high for Zoke. A performance Huricane with 2-stage release head I got for my RP3. Decent Idea, no great improvement IMO. a Nashbar long pump that looks EXACTLY like the Zoke but also has a 300+ PSI scale and the Zoke which is very nice and controlled for small increments...oh and a '95 RS syringe style low pressure pump that came with my Mag-21 wait that's five pumps yikes!

Yeah if RS can drop a good pump in the box, I think Zoke should too considering the cost of the forks.

I used a basic flat metal file and held the adapter in my hand, dragging it across the file while rotating it between my index and thumb in the opposite direction of the stroke. It worked out quite well. I have 3 adaptor so I was willing to take the chance. Seals perfectly.

Actually I was more concerned with stripping the threads in my fork by miss feeding the threaded adaptor than I was using the filed one.:thumbsup:

FWIW my compression knob also gets very difficutl to trun farther in. I think I have ~23 clicks end to end.
 

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I'm hoping this story has a happy ending; did you get the fork working? Where's JNC, he knows about the 66SL. I bought a new frame and had the shop build it up with the stuff off my old bike; I replaced the Fox 36 with the 66SL. I remember the fork was set up like a ROCK! The fork was like a rock because because it came with too much air and the guys at the shop followed the recommendations in the Marzocchi manual. For some reason, just about everyone thought you needed a lot of air to make the fork work right:madman:

The low pressure pump (100psi) makes setting up the 66SL easy; it's too easy to put too much air in the fork with the 200-300psi pumps. However, after the break-in period and you have a clear sense of what the fork feels like when it's set up right, you can use just about any pump because you'll be setting it up for performance, not the number of PSI.

Some of the guys on this site-and others opted to pick up a 100psi gauge from the hardware store and swap it out with the 200 or 300lb units; they said it worked fine. You just need some Teflon tape around the threads to create a good seal.

I actually have a 100psi Marzocchi Pump; it works well. The 175psi Manitou pump works ok-I have a couple of those too; I acually have Zilla beat when it comes to number of pumps, I have 5 :D

If the fork is defective, see if you can upgrade to an 07; I'm not hearing of anyone having problems with the 2007 models. One thing you can look forward too is high end performance when you get your 66SL on the trail; it's a super sweet fork. good luck, let us know what happens
 

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Man, it doesn't sound like an air pressure problem to me.

If you have too much positive pressure it'll compress hard and rebound fast.
Too much negative pressure will make it stick down and compress easily.

Sounds like the damping cartridge is hosed. It's not letting any oil flow in
either direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Turtle 1 said:
he probably got it fixed and is out ripping trails; I hope.
I wish. It's raining out anyway (yeah, raining in PA in January :rolleyes: ), trails are probably a little sloppy. I cross-posted in the shocks forum. No resolution yet, but since it's the weekend I'm gonna have to wait till this week to find out what's really wrong. Thanks again all for the e-suggestions.
 

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Bummer Patrick!!

Let Zocchi take care of it. It's not like you'll need it anyway and maybe you'll get the super dope white lowers :skep:
 
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