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Home arrow Modifications arrow Rotary Damper Modification

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TLS Rotary Damper Modification

All the following information was given to me by David Beaman a poster at the TL EZBoard. Here is a picture of his "Street Fighter".


Over to David.

OK... here goes... I'll try and explain this with detail, as I dont know the experience level of each mechanic, but I may leave some details out so please feel free to ask questions if I said something too complex or left something out.


Step 1.

#1- Remove shock from bike. Get a valve core remover and removed the valve core from the air port on the back. Remove the drain plugs and pour and shake out most of the oil. It's really not alot. Chuck the shock in a vice with the shaft pointing up and remove the dust seal from around the shaft. It should just pull off with your hands. (After removing the lever).

Rotary Damper

Step 2.

#2- Remove all the bolts on that side thats facing up and gently tap and pull the top cover off the shock. Pay close attention after you get it off to the seals and valve retaining washer around where the adjusting screw is. If the seals pop out then push them back in with your finger and don't loose the washer. Take the shock out of the vice and pour the remaining oil out of it. Notice in the hole oposite the valve, a plastic plate..... shove it down about half way or more.... it is designed to slide so don't worry... just don't scratch the sides of that area with a tool. We will explain this later.

Rotary Damper

Step 3.

#3- Chuck her back in the vice and focus on the adjusting valve. Grab it with your hand and gently work it out of the shock body. Wipe it clean and set it on a nice clean place on the bench. This is the item we will drill and clean.

Rotary Damper

Step 4.

#4- Get a screw driver and back the brass adjusting screw all the way out and set it aside on the bench. Get a drill and a 5/64 bit ready. Examine the valve and notice where we are going to drill it. The object is to pass more fluid through where the brass needle allows. We want to be able to open the needle and pass MORE fluid, allowing it to be a little less harsh and damnped. In one end, where there is a nut you will see what looks like a very small aluminum insert. Use this drill to enlarge that orafice, but don't drill all the way through where the brass needle rests. Now, lets drill the other 2 holes on the sides of the valve where the oil would pass when the needle is open. You will see them on the side and the bit size should only enlarge them slightly. After you are done here, clean all your shavings from the valve, use carb cleaner or something of the sort to make damn sure there are no shavings in the valve or around the needle seat. When you are done, put the brass adjuster needle back into the valve. See that it seats all the way down and leave it there. Don't over tighten it.

Rotary Damper

Step 5.

#5- Carefully install the valvle back into the shock body as and clean up the side of the shock in preperation for closing it. The valve should be turned in the shock body so the retaining washer will prevent it from turning when the cover is installed back on... so orient it correctly. Make sure all the o rings are in thier grooves and the surfaces are clean, and slide the cover back on the shock. tighten the bolts back up.

Rotary Damper

Step 6.

#6-- Turn the shock over, and remove the bolts on the back cover. (The side with the air port.) And remove it. You will see that the air port in the shock is clean and dry. Take a tool of some sort and make sure that plastic accumulator piece is about half way down in the shock (if its not already) we also want to keep that hole clean and dry as we reinstall the shock side later.


Step 7.

#7- Remove the valve in the same manner by pulling on it, clean it, remove the brass adjusting needle, drill the hole in the end and on the sides, clean it good, replace needle and leave it tight, and reinsert the valve back in the shock body.


Step 8.

#8- Clean the shock out good with a rag.... leave no sediment, or rag lint, dirt, etc in the shock. Make sure the valve retaining washer is in correctly and the valve is oriented correctly and all o rings are in their grooves. Fill the shock as best you can with your oil. (Don't fill the air port with oil.) Then reinstall the side of the shock and tighten the bolts.


Step 9.

#9- NOW, we have to bleed the remianing air from the shock... and this may take some doing. Each fill plug is located so you can get to the places that will contain air. The plug on the side is where the accumulator will store oil and vary back and forth (with the help of the air on the backside of the plastic plug). With the shock on its side in the vice, leave this plug out and install the other plug on the end. Find a funnel with will fit tightly in the hole of the shock.... fill this funnel slightly. Put the arm back on the shock... anyplace it will fit and you can work it back and forth is fine. I put some large vice grips on mine to make it easier to move back and forth. Now work the shock slowly back and forth.... you will hear the air as it moves inside the shock... and see it as it rises into the funnel of oil. Keep doing this with a small amount of oil in the funnel.... go slow... don't stir the air into the oil with fast furious motions. Once you think you got most of the air out... pull the funnel and plug the hole. Turn the shock on its end and remove the end plug. Same procedure here, jam funnel into the hole and put some oil in it and start working the shock. Slowly... any air that comes out is a pluss.... when you think you got it ... remove the funnel and plug the hole. Go back and forth with this procedure a couple times till you cant hear the air squishing back and forth in the shock. Turn the adjusters all the way out and work it some more.... This is MESSY... and takes patience..... get a pan under the vice of the bench.... don't be afraid to make a mess. :)


Step 10.

#10- Turn the shock over and put the valve core back into the air port.... take her down to the gas station and put in all the air they got... (about 80-100 lbs), try not to let any air escape when your doing this.... be quick with your air chuck. :)

Ok.. You should be set.


I'd like to thank David for letting me reproduce this information here. (Also, I think as a general rule, 120psi of nitrogen for a charge is the norm now, you'll have to find a bike shop that does it).

Disclaimer, this information is just a guide and is posted here for general information only. If something is wrong or you cock it up, don't blame us. Thanks.


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