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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Twice! and it feels GOOOOOOD baby!



Aaaah yes, after waiting to put the family to bed, professor 'Zilla began his evil experiments, based entirely on SSINGA's medical Journals. So I cranked up the generators and initiated the:

FRANKENFORK PROJECT...part trois


The project: To build a 20mm thru axle fork with all the features(internals) of the AM1. That is, to put the AM1 TAS and TST rods into a Z1 chassis. I won't repeat the actual process as SSINGA documented it quite well.
Of course it was fun, and actually this was easier than expected. The most time consuming part of was probably sharpening my scalpel:


Then I prepped the patients and layed them out on the table after dismemberment.


Of course I took the time to document the dimensions.
The stanchions and crowns are only 100g different in weight.


It is interesting to see that both sliders weigh exactly the same even though one is for a 20mm axel.


The TAS and TST carts are acutally kind of heavy. I think this contiributes to the end weight not being all that different when comparing Z1 and the AM1.


It all went back together pretty easily. I realized that to fill it, I had to put the top caps on and pour the oil in from the base bolt holes around the cartridge shafts. NBD just different.


The finished weight is only 90g more than a standard AM1. This weight is without the axel. I consider the axel part of the wheel weight, just like a QR skewer. BTW the finished product is a Z1FR3 Upper and lower carcass with the AM1 TAS and TST rods.

The left side is the Z1AM w/o the axle, the right is the stock AM1.
Later I'll be adding gold trim: stickers and caps to the new fork.;)

Here's my measurements:
Z1FR3:
Springs(2), each weigh 150g
Cartridges (hah! I mean pipes with holes) I didn't bother to weigh these. I will later. they're light. Incredibly primative. Just a tube with a couple of holes. No adjustemnts. nada.
Stanchions & Crown:1000g
Sliders: 700g

AM1:
TAS cartridge w/springs: 280g
TST cartridge: 200g
Stanchon & Crown: 890g
Sliders: 700g

Oil Volumes Extracted:
~35ml+ right leg AM1 ~134ml right leg Z1FR3
~148ml left leg AM1 ~137ml left leg Z1FR3

Z1AM volume replaced:
~140ml left leg ETA side
~40ml right leg TST side

Whole fork weights (full length uncut steerer)
AM1: 2300g
Z1FR3: 2450g w/o axle 2540g w/axle
Z1AM: 2390g w/o axle 2470g w/axle
Axle: ~80g
*all these weights are +- 10g which I believe is the minimum resolution of the scale.
Stock forks:


Everything went exactly as SSIGNA's guide described it. I was impressed that my measurements matched his so closely. There were no unpleasant suprises, which for me, is a suprise in itself. I'm a total hack, I stumble my way thorugh most of my wrenching and honestly this wasn't much different than an oil change. My primary reasons for doing this should be obvious:
-UGI
-Boredom
-20mm AM1 is not available
-I really wanted a black and gold fork to match the color scheme of my bike.
-I really don't like the baby barf AM1 slider colors.
-No way in hell I'm ditching my gold CK hubs.

*Note, please be considerate and don't annoy Marzocchi with questions about this. While I'm sure they're happy to sell 2 forks for every one built (or charge discouraging prices for the internals), I would imagine they are quite busy enough helping people use their products as intended. If this is something you must try, be sure to chant to yourself something like "It's my choice, and I'm on my own." throughout the process.

Parting thoughts: It seems pretty odd seeing a single sealed cartridge doing all the damping after having been on a Z1 full open bath for 3yrs. I rode my '03Z1 today and was hard pressed to think of something missing from the ride performance, other than adjustability. Jm. made an interesting point that an open bath should be able to handle a larger sustained beating than a sealed cartridge. That, and I don't know how to change the oil in a sealed cartridge. My reservations about sealed cartritges go back to the RockShots Judys which leaked and blew with alaming frequency.(Alarming that people put up with it) Also, I've read comments that one of the great strengths of the Zoke's and Avys is their high volume of oil flow. Pass a lot of oil get a smooth solid performance. Well That may not always be the case. It's sounding like there are several other semi-bath and sealed cartridge forks doing quite well. Perhaps it is similar to how air shocks have recently come into their own. Maybe sealed cartridges have taken some big steps. We'll see. The AM1 hasn't been out all that long, but I figure by the end of the summer we'll know if there are any weaknesses in the system.

I highly doubt my riding will overwhelm the AM1 damping as 90% of my riding is trail stuff and that rarely exceeds 20mph even then it's only for a few seconds. The last 10% is almost all pure XC. It's not that I'm a big chicken (well not totally anyway) but East coast trails are usually very tight and twisty with lots of intense, short climbs and decents. While I do push the trail aspect of things with chutes and rock gardens, it's not like I do shuttles, go to bike parks or decend 1000+feet. If you were to call me a mediorcre rider, I'd accuse you of flattery.

In any event, while I'm not at all worried about the durability of the damping, I'll reserve judgement and my '03 HSSV cartridges, until I've had some significant time on the new fork. it may be awhile before I mount it up.

Big Thanks to SSINGA for forsaking the medical community with unsanctioned experiments and sharing his methods, to MHC's head ghoul, Larry for the corpses, to Tom @ Yorktown Cycles for supporting medical supplies, to Jncarpenter for the spanky logo templates, and to Tscheezy for a very useful graduated cylinder.:D
 

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I don't do PC
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I'm confused, so which fork are you gonna use? I will be needing a good 6" fork real soon if you or SSinga have one laying around after your evil experiements-good post BTW.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Sorry. My bad, I tried to give you top billing, but I see how parenthesis of marginalized it:
professor 'Zilla began his evil experiments (based etirely on SSINGA's medical Journals).
Late night posts always end up screwed...I think I got the credits corrected now...
oh, I forgot to thank my Mom for that kewl bananna seat bike when I was 6.:D

Performance thoughts in a week or two. First I have to mount it up. I may wait until I get all the trim first.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
rroeder said:
I'm confused, so which fork are you gonna use? I will be needing a good 6" fork real soon if you or SSinga have one laying around after your evil experiements-good post BTW.
I'll be using the one I've been whining about for the last 5 months...the 20mm thru Z1AM:D
I think SSINGA may have something available. I'm not sure what I'll have when I'm done or when it will be ready. I'll let you know though.

Tapper, Western trip? I'd love it. Maybe If I can get my UGI in check.:rolleyes:
 

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not so super...
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LOL - thanks (I think)!

I figured out what the setting between AM and CL is for.........Pulling a trail-a-bike :D

Cartridge damping Question: Isn't that technology from the MX world? Isn't sealed better? That way no outside contaminates can get in?????
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I've been editing the initial post (frequently) so it's changed a lot. I tried to be brief and not retype your stuff. I have a terrible habit of typing way too much...(like right now)
Interesting point about the MX type sealed cartridges, but how do they deal with break-in wear and oil changes?

I'm guessing the sealed dampers have additional protection from oil contamination from the fork's main seals, and the fact they aren't using the oil that lubes the main bushings. But still I would think the damper oil would have to be changed sooner or later. The other thing question is, since it's using far less oil would the oil heat up more and/or wear out sooner?

It would be nice to know how to tell if/when the sealed damper oil needs changing, and what to do about it. I hope it doesn't require a new damper.
 

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Baked Alaskan
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Zilla! So you went the Frankenfork route too huh? Very cool, wery cool indeed. Of course we'll need ride reports, cool pics of the ZAM1 eating those east coast boulders with some spandex and such.

So what are you gonna do with the "medical waste" generated by the operation? That's one of the best/worst cases of UGI yet. The 1 for 2 fork swap... errr something like that.

All that black and gold, too much bling my man, too much bling. Although, if you could make your way to Anchorage pronto it'll probably melt the rest of the snow out of the mountains. :D

Great writeup though. Looks like you're really digging that scale too, eh? One last question, where's the pic of the fork mounted?
 

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not so super...
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Just noticed this part, or you just added it:

"It all went back together pretty easily. I realized that to fill it, I had to put the top caps on and pour the oil in from the base bolt holes around the cartridge shafts. NBD just different."
I filled mine through the top. Why could you not?

Did you go 110-130 or 130-150??
 

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Bikezilla said:
Tapper, Western trip? I'd love it. Maybe If I can get my UGI in check.:rolleyes:
Trips out west have an interesting effect on UGI. You have NO UGI for the week or 2 that you are actually riding out here, but after you get back, it comes back with vengenance (mostly from trail carnage). Nice writeup, BTW.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
SSINGA said:
I filled mine through the top. Why could you not?
Did you go 110-130 or 130-150??
It was late and at least one of the top caps appeared to be rather attached to the shafts, the other had a little c-clip holding it on. I was too tired to figure out how to get them off. What did you do?

it's a 130-150 fork. I know I'll never want less than 130, and there's always a chance I'll see a 6P frame selling cheap. I have plenty of spare components...UGI is like buying a bike on layaway. I figure a longer fork will have a better resale too. The leftovers will get built into some kind of useable fork or just end up in the classifieds soon enough.
 

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not so super...
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Bikezilla said:
It was late and at least one of the top caps appeared to be rather attached to the shafts, the other had a little c-clip holding it on. I was too tired to figure out how to get them off. What did you do?.
If you push the sliders down a little it gives you room to pour around the caps.

Bikezilla said:
it's a 130-150 fork. I know I'll never want less than 130, and there's always a chance I'll see a 6P frame selling cheap. I have plenty of spare components...UGI is like buying a bike on layaway. I figure a longer fork will have a better resale too. The leftovers will get built into some kind of useable fork or just end up in the classifieds soon enough.
Ohhhhhhhhhhh......your not riding a 130-150 fork on the Spot are you??? I'm telling DT!! Of course you'd never actually run it in the 150 mode, right.;)

How are you going to get the SSV parts to stay put w/o the c-clips?
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SSINGA said:
If you push the sliders down a little it gives you room to pour around the caps.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh......your not riding a 130-150 fork on the Spot are you??? I'm telling DT!! Of course you'd never actually run it in the 150 mode, right.;)

How are you going to get the SSV parts to stay put w/o the c-clips?
There's no need to run it in 150 mode ...130 is as slack as I'd want to go on a 5" bike. The decents in my area are so short they probably last less time than it takes to dial in the height. I never use the ETA either.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the spares. I may just switch back to the AM1 crown and stanchions. +100g of alu is shouldn't make a difference for xc & trail riding.
 

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Bikezilla said:
I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the spares. I may just switch back to the AM1 crown and stanchions. +100g of alu is shouldn't make a difference for xc & trail riding.
............you still have your '03? I thought they had the groove in the stantion to allow for the c-clips..??? If so, just throw the carts from the '03 with the AM steerer/ stantions & the SSV stuff with the '03 steerer/ stantions.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I predict a garage sale soon.

Tnx Jnc...Somehow I misunderstood the umpeen previous times you explained it.

I haven't looked at the bottom of the '03 stanchions and I was thinking they used the C-clips to hold the HSSV rods...The fog is slowly lifting. I just checked the Tech' manual (not the owners manual) and indeed the the '03 rods are only held in by the foot nuts...just like the AM1. It does not mention if the groove is there for the C-clips, but the odds are good as they pretty much use the same equipment across the line in '03...we'll see.

If the groove is there I will reassemble the AM1 carcass with the HSSV rods as a std dropout Z1 (w/, and throw the SSV donkey rods into the well scratched 03 Z1 carcass as a cheap beater fork. Nice...no leftovers. Worst case I get to put the HSSV rods in a new body and only have the old '03 outsides and ssv stuff to sell as parts.

Fire up the generators Igor...Frankie needs a bride...and maybe a son.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The '03s have the groove

It has the groove and the SSV rods lock in place nicely. Many thanks.


Notice the internal walls change slightly near the end.

The stanchions have an interesting bevel/diameter reduction about an inch from the bottom. It makes insertion into the sliders easier.

The clips hold the groove and the rods in place quite securely.
 

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not so super...
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Are the stanchions the same length as the 05 150mm stuff?

So, the 2003 - 2004 - 2005 Z1 lines are completely interchangable and the AM line will interchange with those units that have cartridge damping and are held in place by the foot nuts.
 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes. They are essentially the same weight too.
The steerer has been cut down slightly on this. (I'd haven't measured it) I would guess that accounts for the majority of the weight difference.


The Sliders are also about the same weight. The increase I believe is due to the QR20 flaps and hardware. (Axle excluded here).
 
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