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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a thread about the issues that I'm having over on the Turner forum, but I figured I'd put it here as well to get input from more people. The text below is a copy form the other thread.

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 be350ka (who just purchased 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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Mine is not nearly that bad at all even before any break in. It sounds alot like you have one with twisted lowers. Your best bet it to call up marzoocchi monday and see what they say. You should get a return number, and be all set in a 1-3 weeks depending on your location. Let us know how it works out.
 

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MaxxChris said:
Mine is not nearly that bad at all even before any break in. It sounds alot like you have one with twisted lowers. Your best bet it to call up marzoocchi monday and see what they say. You should get a return number, and be all set in a 1-3 weeks depending on your location. Let us know how it works out.
Maxx, his lowers, as far as the dropouts go, are cleaner than mine and mine seems to work just fine. My issue is the misaligned dropouts and while PCs are aligned better, his rebound seems to be toast and his air chambers seem whacked. I am going to lend him my low pressure pump to see what true values he is using, but in a side by side comparison yesterday, things dont look great.

He could have a case of the twisted lowers as well, but it seems that the problem in PCs case is deeper than that.

WE will let you know what transpires and we need you to keep reporting on how good this thing feels when its broken in.:thumbsup:
 

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Will do. I agree it sounds like there could be more at work there than lowers. Especially the issue with the negative chamber. I dont think that its a pressure issue. It sounds pretty bad to be just an issure of being off a few psi. Definatly keep us informed.
 

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Mine were barely out of alignment and they felt WRETCHED. And that little bit of misalignment can cause big problems... but I agree that his fork sounds REALLY jacked up...:skep:

I was definitely torn about my 66rc2x. On one hand you have the legion of Marzocchi fans talking about how great they are. I wanted a 66 for a long time, and was sure I would love it. And yes, when I was actually riding my fork it felt fantastic. But there were also times that I wasn't riding it because of manufacturing defects. And finally, the god-awful clicking and clunking sounds it made (that no amount of Tech Support time could fix) forced me to sell it.

Marzocchi Tech Support was always helpful and responsive. But that didn't change the fact that the fork was badly made. The strangest part of all this is when I was researching the problems I was having, I got a lot of responses claiming exactly the same issues. Where are the bad reviews? It's almost like 66s/888s are on the same pedestal as CK headsets.

I wanted to love it, but I couldn't.

I hope you get yours sorted out!

JMH
 

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noMAD man
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Yeah PC, that doesn't sound anything a misaligned lowers issues. You may recall that I also have the '06 66SL. Indeed as 350 is suggesting, it sounds like the rebound portion of your damper isn't functioning. It sounds like the rebound damping is very high...like the knob is turned way further "in" or clockwise than it needs to be. If turning the knob way in or clockwise didn't slow down the rebound, it could also be a rebound damper malfunction or low oil in the damper leg. However, yours is obviously the reverse...too much rebound damping...so apparently you have enough oil.

One thing I'm always suspicious about with Marz forks is their oil amount as shipped from the factory. Before I'd send it in, I'd do an oil change just to eliminate something weird in that area.

Your positive pressures, 35psi, seems high for normal use, but is probably helpful in trying to test your rebound control. Your observations on the negative chamber filling seems fine. It is indeed a smaller chamber and fills rapidly compared to the positive chambers. Also, your rebound issue here should have nothing to do with break-in. While during the break-in period the fork isn't as supple as it will be later, it doesn't have the apparently dramatic effect you're getting on your rebound movement in this case.

The RC2 damper in our forks while more sophisticated than the old HSCV models, isn't known for being very problematic...especially the rebound circuit...but yours sure is exhibiting that possible problem. The rebound adjusting knob on our forks also seems very precise in the way it sits atop the damper rod at the top of the fork, so a poorly attached knob that's just spinning uselessly on the damper rod doesn't seem a likely problem. However, you may have noticed that everytime you remove or reattach the air chamber cap on the RC2 leg, you have to be careful not to spin the rebound adjuster...and of course as you tighten that air chamber cap, it increases rebound damping. That may be obvious to most but something to consider.
 

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thats right living legend
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JMH said:
Mine were barely out of alignment and they felt WRETCHED. And that little bit of misalignment can cause big problems... but I agree that his fork sounds REALLY jacked up...:skep:

I was definitely torn about my 66rc2x. On one hand you have the legion of Marzocchi fans talking about how great they are. I wanted a 66 for a long time, and was sure I would love it. And yes, when I was actually riding my fork it felt fantastic. But there were also times that I wasn't riding it because of manufacturing defects. And finally, the god-awful clicking and clunking sounds it made (that no amount of Tech Support time could fix) forced me to sell it.

Marzocchi Tech Support was always helpful and responsive. But that didn't change the fact that the fork was badly made. The strangest part of all this is when I was researching the problems I was having, I got a lot of responses claiming exactly the same issues. Where are the bad reviews? It's almost like 66s/888s are on the same pedestal as CK headsets.

I wanted to love it, but I couldn't.

I hope you get yours sorted out!

JMH
In what way did it feel wretched, due to the misaigned lowers. And why?
 

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Sugary Exoskeleton
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Twisted lowers don't slide as smoothly on the stanchions as lowers that are perfectly aligned. Mine were out of alignment by about 2mm and there was an unusual amount of stiction.

JMH

blackagness said:
In what way did it feel wretched, due to the misaigned lowers. And why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses guys. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get quick and satisfactory service from Marzocchi.

TNC said:
One thing I'm always suspicious about with Marz forks is their oil amount as shipped from the factory. Before I'd send it in, I'd do an oil change just to eliminate something weird in that area.
Honestly, I'm really reluctant to dig into this thing. I've got no experience working on forks, so I wouldn't want to screw anything up further. In addition, since the fork is brand new I know that this isn't a problem that I caused, because the fork hasn't even been used yet. Just pushed up and down in my living room. So I don't want to enter another variable into the equation, possibly making this issue more difficult to diagnose and fix.

TNC said:
Your positive pressures, 35psi, seems high for normal use, but is probably helpful in trying to test your rebound control. Your observations on the negative chamber filling seems fine. It is indeed a smaller chamber and fills rapidly compared to the positive chambers. Also, your rebound issue here should have nothing to do with break-in. While during the break-in period the fork isn't as supple as it will be later, it doesn't have the apparently dramatic effect you're getting on your rebound movement in this case.
That's good info, thanks.

TNC said:
...you may have noticed that everytime you remove or reattach the air chamber cap on the RC2 leg, you have to be careful not to spin the rebound adjuster...and of course as you tighten that air chamber cap, it increases rebound damping. That may be obvious to most but something to consider.
The rebound adjuster is pretty stiff and difficult to turn. There is no way that it would turn in concert with tightening the air chamber cap. The other thing is, the air chamber cap is what is holding the rebound adjuster dial onto the top of the fork leg, IOW, if the air chamber cap is removed, the rebound adjuster is then just sitting loose on the fork and can easily be pulled off (and needs to be removed to put air in that chamber). Is that normal, or should there be something else holding the rebound adjuster on there?
 

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noMAD man
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On your last comment about the rebound adjuster knob, no it just sits there, but it is secured well by the air cap and the fact that the knob is indexed by the shape of the adjuster knob and shape of the end of the rebound cart shaft. As to how hard it turns, IMO the rebound knob turns fairly easily with clearly defined detents. If indeed yours is very stiff and hard to turn, then something may be jacked. And PC, if your rebound knob won't turn relatively easily when you tighten up the air cap, then something may be jacking up the rebound cart. That's one thing you kinda have to watch with the '06 66SL. Tightening up the air cap or tightening and loosening the air pump can definitely turn the rebound adjuster if you don't hold the rebound adjuster cap with your free hand or try to tighten up the shock pump valve too hard. PC, double check yours just for grins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TNC said:
...if your rebound knob won't turn relatively easily when you tighten up the air cap, then something may be jacking up the rebound cart.
My rebound adjuster's got about 4 clicks where it turns smoothly (towards the + end of the spectrum). When I turn it towards the (-) direction it stiffens up considerably, and I can only get a few clicks more before it becomes very difficult to turn. I only have the air chamber cap hand tightened enough to stay on, not super torqued or anything.

TNC said:
That's one thing you kinda have to watch with the '06 66SL. Tightening up the air cap or tightening and loosening the air pump can definitely turn the rebound adjuster if you don't hold the rebound adjuster cap with your free hand or try to tighten up the shock pump valve too hard. PC, double check yours just for grins.
If the rebound adjuster is set within those few clicks of adjustment where it's easy to turn, tightening the air chamber cap will turn that adjuster if I don't hold it. That's easily solved by keeping a finger on the rebound adjuster to hold it in place. Another curious thing is that my pump valve adapter does not fit all the way through the roubnd adjuster. I must remove the rebound adjuster in order to be able to get the adapter on the valve and get air into the chamber. Is this normal, or should the pump adapter thread through the rebound adjuster into the fork chamber valve?
 

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noMAD man
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On the shock pump adapter fitting into the valve on the RC2 leg with the rebound knob in place, I think you're right. I've never tried it because it looks too deep to make full insertion. I always have the knob off when servicing that side of the positive air.

Yeah, it doesn't sound good on the operation of your rebound adjuster. It should be fairly smooth and easy right up until full rebound or no rebound. PC, do you feel the detents in the action of the adjuster?
 

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35 psi in both positives and 150 in the negative. I was using a high pressure (300psi) RS fork pump
PC you say you pumped your fork with a 300psi pump to 35 in both pos chambers, i think this could be another possible reason for it being very difficult to compress it.

i've got a 66sl too, and at first i adjusted the air pressures with a 300psi pump and thought i had 18-20psi in both pos chambers. I then got myself a 100psi pump and found the chambers were actually more like 38psi. Perhaps your positive chambers have a touch more than 35psi in?

ack, just read that you deflated all your chambers and it didnt make a huge difference.... ignore me lol
 

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I find it very hard to tell how a fork feels when you just plop it on the floor and start pushing down on the crown. I think you need to install it on a bike and ride it for a few days and see what break-in does for the action. A slightly sticky shim or valve may make the fork feel totally hosed in the living room, but one run down a rocky trail sets everything straight. The fork is quite sensitive to air pressures in their respective chambers, so I also don't think you can diagnose things well until you have a relatively low-pressure pump, and have a chance to play with pressures accurately for a while. Your fork may well be a lemon, but I would not send it to Zoke until you have a chance to mount it up and determine this more conclusively. In the beginning it is hard to tell the difference between the tight seals/bushings and twisted lowers. Basically if the stickiness does not go away or diminish after about a month of hard use and one oil change, it's twisted. Before that, I don't think you can point a finger at twist easily. Otoh, if the axle does not line up, that can be diagnostic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
tscheezy said:
I find it very hard to tell how a fork feels when you just plop it on the floor and start pushing down on the crown...A slightly sticky shim or valve may make the fork feel totally hosed in the living room, but one run down a rocky trail sets everything straight.
I understand that, and agree that it could be true. But why would the compression and rebound knobs, when adjusted to their extremes, have absolutely no effect on the fork's behavior? My buddy's 66 seems to react normally to the "push the crown in the living room test" and his comp and rebound knobs seem to affect the way the fork reacts. We did compare them side by side, and they are not acting the same way.

tscheezy said:
The fork is quite sensitive to air pressures in their respective chambers, so I also don't think you can diagnose things well until you have a relatively low-pressure pump, and have a chance to play with pressures accurately for a while.
I'm gonna try out his low pressure pump to see if it makes a difference. I doubt it will because thus far the fork has acted the same with or without air in the chambers, with compression and rebound set at full on and/or full off. I would think that a two to three second rebound time is too much, regardless of whether there is a little too much air (or no air) in the chambers.

Thanks for all your input.
 

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PCinSC said:
I would think that a two to three second rebound time is too much, regardless of whether there is a little too much air (or no air) in the chambers.

Thanks for all your input.
From what we saw on Sat. I would have to say that your RC2 side is messed up considering the fact that your rebound time takes WAY too long. I would think that if you mounted the fork you would see that the fork would be "packing up" since you have little to no control over your rebound. I do see the validity of mounting to see what could be the problem, but in your case I would just send it off to be fixed since something is wrong. No matter how little the problem could be, it is still an unused fork and it is not your responsibility to fix it. And, you could have the lowers replaced since it seems that you have a slight twist since things dont lineup perfectly although not as bad as mine.:rolleyes:
 

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PCinSC said:
But why would the compression and rebound knobs, when adjusted to their extremes, have absolutely no effect on the fork's behavior?
Not feeling the compression knob effects does not surprise me, but the rebound does sound very suspicious. My point was that if a rod or valve were sticking, livingroom squishing may not free the part, but a good bomb down the trail may. There is a good chance your fork is indeed focked, my point was just that it is hard to evaluate dampers when they are not on bikes being ridden. :)
 

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sheezy said:
Not feeling the compression knob effects does not surprise me, but the rebound does sound very suspicious. My point was that if a rod or valve were sticking, living room squishing may not free the part, but a good bomb down the trail may. There is a good chance your fork is indeed focked, my point was just that it is hard to evaluate dampers when they are not on bikes being ridden. :)
I would think it next to impossible.... but hey I wouldn't even have attempted to do so.

Anyway just picked up a very slightly used All Mnt 1 SL, and it is pretty harsh at the moment. The TA seems to line up ok but when putting the wheel on I have to spread the lowers a little to get the hub to fit. I was looking for it to be binding, but I suppose "this way" wouldn't result in binding but could affect feel. Anybody know if them being misaligned "I guess" in this way would be BAAAD, or affect feel?.... Anybody have an educated guess, or other wise.... Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
be350ka said:
...it is still an unused fork and it is not your responsibility to fix it.
Plus I wouldn't know where to begin with trying to fix it. It's not like I'm a master mechanic or something.
(little inside joke there)

Here's why I'm reluctant to strap it on and abuse it a little on the trail. I'm not finished building up the bike yet. Another month or so and it'll be ready to ride. If I wait until then, then I figure out it is indeed focked up, I will be out a fork for however long it takes to send it out, get it fixed, and returned. That's time that could be spent riding, because I can send it out immediately and hopefully have it fixed by the time the rest of the parts for my build come in. In the unlikely event that there isn't anything wrong, Zoke can tell me to pound sand and just ride the thing, and I will just be out shipping. So there's my rationale for not doing a thorough, on-bike test.
 
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