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Old 02-10-2008, 10:06 PM   #1
johntripwire
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Default Cartridge Emulators

Just installed Race Tech Cartridge Emulators. If you don't have em, get em! Worth every penny! Went from a Volkswagen to a Cadillac! Only problem is now I feel the harshness in the rear. Moab shock is next! It's only money, right?
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

timely post for me.

JTW did you add additional holes to the dampner, or just enlarge the existing 6?

I am ready to drill but am scared....
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

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Old 02-10-2008, 10:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

This eve I am installing my race tech gold cartridge emulators and progressive springs. other than the question above (post No. 2) and buying threaded rod and nuts to make a dampner removal tool, things have gone well. I have searched here but found no picts of this proceedure, so here are some (well actually a bunch, but any how):





















1st problem, bike fell backward off the stand, when second fork leg was removed. scard me, but did not fall and ended up as seen here:









Pict down the tube with sprng removed:



my new dampner removal tool in action



here's just the tool, worked great:



Dampner and spring removed:


Last edited by wzd1a; 02-10-2008 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Dampner holes:





How the emulator will sit:





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Old 02-10-2008, 10:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Mine came with only four holes. The instructions direct you to open them up to 5/16" and add an additional two holes. I center punched the tube and added the holes to the bottom side of the existing lower holes at 90 degrees. (same as the top two holes) I then deburred the holes. I backed off the emulator adjuster screws 1 and 1/2 turns each for a plusher ride. Used Mobile One Synthetic trans fluid as oil.
Two hints. One, Remove the top caps and springs. Dump the oil out and reinstall the spring and cap. This keeps tension on the inner tube to help keep it from spinning while removing the bottom cap screw. I used a 3/8" drive impact. Hint # two: Make sure when you open the holes, that it doesn't spin around and wack you in the nuts when the drill punches through. Ask me how I know!
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

as you can see in my very last pict i have six holes already (stock 2007 bought new). this is different from yours?

the pict shows three of the six. the other holes are oppsite those shown.

Last edited by wzd1a; 02-10-2008 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Yep, I only had 4 hole for sure. I added two more. Good Idea with that all thread. I had some right next to me and never even thought about it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:17 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Hey JTW, I know your overhung, but i could really use your input. ( or any one else that knows)

And, can ya find the bong the the above picts? That 'ill help the HO. Think fork leg and t mod, cause ya gotta have a carb.....

edit: I see ya posted, and the above is just a yoke.....

Last edited by wzd1a; 02-10-2008 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

wizd1a, Maybe I,m wrong, but from your pics, I only see four holes. The other two down lower, to my understanding are not counted. I think they serve a different purpose.
I do not claim to be an expert, it was my first time installing these. If I did it wrong, I did it wrong, but man, what a ride.
I did call Race Tech before starting to get recomendations on valve settings and spacer length. He said loosen the valves a turn and a half if I wanted a plusher ride, and adjust the spacers for the proper preload vs weight. My PVC spacers are now 1.5". I'm about 220 lbs. But I also have the Larry Whatshisname progressive springs. These are much taller than stock springs. On Race Tech's site, they don't recomend progressive springs. I used them any way, and I'm happy.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Quote:
Originally Posted by johntripwire View Post
wizd1a, Maybe I,m wrong, but from your pics, I only see four holes. The other two down lower, to my understanding are not counted. I think they serve a different purpose.
I do not claim to be an expert, it was my first time installing these. If I did it wrong, I did it wrong, but man, what a ride.
I did call Race Tech before starting to get recomendations on valve settings and spacer length. He said loosen the valves a turn and a half if I wanted a plusher ride, and adjust the spacers for the proper preload vs weight. My PVC spacers are now 1.5". I'm about 220 lbs. But I also have the Larry Whatshisname progressive springs. These are much taller than stock springs. On Race Tech's site, they don't recomend progressive springs. I used them any way, and I'm happy.
Tripwire
Thanks trip, I am still scared to drill, i'll pm NCRick for his input before i proceed, he is the suspension guy for the Cogent Dynamics Moab, and also sells the gold emulators.

Thought i'd have this portion done this eve, but want to be sure....

Last edited by wzd1a; 02-11-2008 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Here's a little write up I did to show what's involved with the install. Didn't get all the pics I should have like wdz1a but you get a real good idea of the process.

I ordered from Arrowhead Motorsports and as usual I received them in record time. First thing READ the instructions. Then check the setting and adjust how you want it. Loosen and back off the lower lock nut and unscrew the top bolt until the spring and seat are loose. Then finger tighten until it just seats back together. Then set your number of turns from that point. I used 3 turns. Hold the bolt and tighten the lock nut.

Now lets begin. Drain the oil from the shocks. I remove the little drain screw and give it a shot of air from the top through the schrader valve.

Not too much air and keep the flow into the pan.

Once all the oil is out of both sides, begin your wheel removal and all the things that are mounted to the forks. I reinserted the axle to try to remove the lower allen bolt from the fork. It loosened it but that was all.

Loosen top fork clamps and remove caps, see where or measure your preload for reference as per instructions. Remove spacers, washer and spring.

Remove axle if you tried what I did and loosen lower fork clamps and remove fork leg.

Insert damper rod holding tool. I used the 24"x5/8" threaded rod double nutted at both ends. Worked great. I also shoved a length of plastic tubing over the threads for protection. The damper rod unscrewed with very little effort. So the impact wrench did its work.

Remove the spring from the damper rod and wipe it off. Now its time to drill. Enlarge the existing four holes to 5/16" and drill another set as per instructions. I drilled it in steps.

Debur the holes and clean out the tube.

Reinstall the small spring onto the damper rod and insert into the fork. Using the holding tool screw the allen bolt into the bottom. Torque to 29 ft/lbs. Drop in the emulator with the bolt towards the top and temporarily install the long spring and washer. Pull the slide tube to its full extension and insert your old spacer and set the cap on top of the spacer to check your preload. You have now just increased your preload, shorten the spacer as needed to suit you. I was able to use the spacers that came with my Progressive spring instead of the PVC ones I had made. It kept the preload the same. Remove the spacers, washer and spring. Leave the emulator in place and reinstall the fork into the triple tree and snug up the bottom clamps. Now do the other side, it goes a lot quicker. Once that is done to the same point add your favorite fork oil. I used 10W $$$$$ Honda fork oil. It's all they had. Pump the forks a few times to get the air bubbles out and install the wheel. No need to do every thing else yet till the caps are back on. Finish setting the oil level I used 185mm or real close to it. Install the caps and tighten the clamps and torque as required. Finish out the tubing hangers and brake caliper and torque the axle. I found out I had bent my speedometer washer the last install. It was easy to flatten out. Pick up tools and clean the shop...about three hours. Took it out for a ride,yep that made a big difference. I hit the edge of the field at the end of my street and got on to a very rough dirt single lane path. The front wheel felt as if it was glued to the ground. Way more control than what I had. I may get my self in trouble now being too over confident!.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

JV, Thanks, that is exactly what i needed.

Wish i woulda found that during my search.

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Old 02-11-2008, 12:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Question: if these are Cartridge Emulators, what is an example of a real cartridge?

Thanks for documenting the procedure WZD1A and please post how you like them. I noticed in the pictures you don't have tie downs to hold the bike on the jack. You might want to think about strapping it down when wrenching on it. A friend at work had his 883 Sportster slide around and fall off when he was messing with the kickstand spring. Ended up with a broken arm but saved the bike.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Quote:
Originally Posted by twdobie View Post
Question: if these are Cartridge Emulators, what is an example of a real cartridge?

Thanks for documenting the procedure WZD1A and please post how you like them. I noticed in the pictures you don't have tie downs to hold the bike on the jack. You might want to think about strapping it down when wrenching on it. A friend at work had his 883 Sportster slide around and fall off when he was messing with the kickstand spring. Ended up with a broken arm but saved the bike.
1st your welcome, i could not find a write up for this during my searches here, but JV's is right-on.

2nd: +1, could have been painfull, i was "lucky" today.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Quote:
Originally Posted by wzd1a View Post
JV, Thanks, that is exactly what i needed.

Wish i woulda found that during my search.

Your more than welcome! Just stopped in to help. I wish I could have enjoyed mine more but two months later I swapped the forks for the KX500 forks. Got to keep up with Zrod!
Now my OEM forks are gracing a corner of the shop until I get tire of the new set up....might be awhile though.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Also, nobody has commented on my "gripmaster", the only thing i have ever bought off an informercial, and i love it. 12 years in service.

The only other thing i have been tempted by on an informercial is "girls gone wild", and a propane alminum welding rod. can't remember what they were called "aluma something"

Last edited by wzd1a; 02-11-2008 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:50 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Yep drilling those holes is the right thing. You cant have too many as far as flow goes. We want to maintain the structural integrity of the rod and as you get higher up the rod, the holes will get covered by the fork stanchion once it is in the lower part of the stroke.

The holes are no longer providing the damping for the fork (those WERE compression damping holes) and the Emulators are now doing the work.

Get those set up right and they are going to be one of the best mods you can make.

A real cartridge uses a combination of differing diameter springy washers (thin) that cover ports, deflecting (or bending) more or less depending on how much fluid is trying to flow through those ports. The Emulator uses the same principal but a blow off washer is held over the "ports" with a spring and that spring compresses allowing the blow off washer of to resist the fluid. These are great things and for $149 an awesome addition to any damping rod equipped fork.

The tiny hole that is further up on the damper rod provides rebound damping (along with a bunch of "leakage"). As to the holes right at the bottom, I could not tell you if the KLR forks I have done had those or not. I am wondering if there are any more parts stuck in the bottom of the fork slider. Often there are bottoming cushions or even spring loaded blow offs of another type in some damper rod forks. It has no effect of what you are doing though.

Last edited by NC Rick; 02-11-2008 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:49 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Did those of you who have installed these add an additional washer above the PVC spacer (between the PVC spacer and the fork Cap)?

Race Tech instructions say to do this, so i quess i'm off to the hardware store....
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:00 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cartridge Emulators

Yep, a Cartridge Emulator, emulates, or pretends to be a catridge type shock system. Look at a break down of a modern KTM or other high end bike forks. They are considerably more complicated, thus have the price to go with it. A KLR is a poor man's bike. About half the price of a KTM. A KLR is worth the price. Just farkle and upgrade and still have some cash left over from what you could spend on a KTM or like bike. If someone could figure a way to take about 150 lbs of a KLR, I bet you could be a worthy competor. Hey, I got it! an anti gravity emulator.
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