Problem with Progressive Monotube Fork Kit installation - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-04-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question Problem with Progressive Monotube Fork Kit installation

Hey folks.
Calling all those who have installed Progressive's Monotube Fork kit on 2 gen KLR!

Hoping to depart for 9 days on BDR on the 16th, and I've run into a problem that could really get in the way.

Last Saturday (holiday weekend), while happily installing my new front suspension, the shop music suddenly turned dark.

Assembling per instructions, I slid the new assemblies in the fork tubes, rotating them to "seat" them at the bottom (sort of expecting to feel a detent or something, but not getting any such satisfaction - even though the instructions don't mention it), applied RED Locktite to the bottom slider bolts (with associated sealing washers) and attempted to tighten them to the specified 29 ft. lbs.

I was lucky if I was getting 5 ft. lbs before the damper rod started to turn withing the cartridge.
Holding the housing static did nothing to stop the damper rod from turning. Compressing the internals (to the extent one guy can while operating a ratchet), also failed. Attempts to remove the bolt were equally fruitless.

This is a critical problem, compounded by the use of RED Loctite.

Crap. I called Progressive, but being a holiday weekend, they were out riding. God bless 'em.

I had to get it home, so I reassembled it all knowing fully that I will be doing a much more complicated version of this job again very soon. I kept an eye out for seepage at the bottoms of the fork sliders. They were dry when I got home, but sure enough, today, they both have a film, and one is starting to drip.

I'm hoping Progressive will offer a definitive solution to achieving specified torque, but I really, really, really hope they have a definitive answer as to how I'm going to disassemble this mess...

Has anyone run into this problem?
Any ideas how to get this apart?
Am I in as big a predicament as I think?

I appreciate any ideas or experiences.

Instruction details for any interested:
After removal of the stock springs, spacers etc., Progressive mentions what it calls "Bottoming cups", and I think this is what Clymer refers to as an "oil lock piece" - these did not come out, nor did the springs that Progressive mentions might, but that should simply be put back if they do.

Progressive then instructs that the Monotube assembly be slid into the fork tube "until the monotube is seated at the bottom of it, then put a drop of red thread locking agent onto the bolt that came out of the bottom of the fork and reinstall it (along with the sealing washer)..." then it says to tighten it up to 29 ft. lbs.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-05-2017, 09:51 AM
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Good luck; I have no words of wisdom for you but will be watching and hoping for a successful resolution.

....curious as to why you chose the Monotubes?


Cheers,
Dave
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-05-2017, 06:54 PM
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I have no clue, but I know what I would try.

The screw head should be protruding from the bottom of the fork. Carefully put some heat into it to try and break down the Loctite. You have to get the Loctite broken down, as now that it has cured it will hold well over 5 ft-lbs all by itself.

Try to remove the screw. I would use a drill motor to spin a 1/4" drive hex bit as fast as possible rather than using a hand hex key. Sometimes speed helps over come stiction.

If the caps are not threaded into the tubes, fully install them and try the screw.

If that doesn't work, unscrew the monotube cap from the fork tube and pull up on it as hard as you can. While pulling on it, turn the screw.

If that doesn't work, try side-loading the monotube by tilting the monotube. It won't be much, but might help.

After that, I got nothing.

The theory, I think, is that given a clean screw and a clean internal thread in the bottom of the monotube, the screw should run up freely, the bottom of the monotube should suck itself into the bottom of the fork tube, and you should be able to get the final torque. It would probably help if the monotube are fully installed.

I have replaced the stock internals without the recommended holding tool, but the screw and internal threads were squeaky-clean and the screw was free-running in the threads. If the screw hangs up on anything in the internal thread then the internals can start to turn before they bit into the tube.
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“I still held his automatic more or less pointed at him, but he swung on me just the same. It caught me flush on the chin. It was meant to be a hard one, but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 09-05-2017 at 07:00 PM. Reason: Started out as a short answer, but then...
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-05-2017, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I have no clue, but I know what I would try.

The screw head should be protruding from the bottom of the fork. Carefully put some heat into it to try and break down the Loctite. You have to get the Loctite broken down, as now that it has cured it will hold well over 5 ft-lbs all by itself.

Try to remove the screw. I would use a drill motor to spin a 1/4" drive hex bit as fast as possible rather than using a hand hex key. Sometimes speed helps over come stiction.

If the caps are not threaded into the tubes, fully install them and try the screw.

If that doesn't work, unscrew the monotube cap from the fork tube and pull up on it as hard as you can. While pulling on it, turn the screw.

If that doesn't work, try side-loading the monotube by tilting the monotube. It won't be much, but might help.

After that, I got nothing.

The theory, I think, is that given a clean screw and a clean internal thread in the bottom of the monotube, the screw should run up freely, the bottom of the monotube should suck itself into the bottom of the fork tube, and you should be able to get the final torque. It would probably help if the monotube are fully installed.

I have replaced the stock internals without the recommended holding tool, but the screw and internal threads were squeaky-clean and the screw was free-running in the threads. If the screw hangs up on anything in the internal thread then the internals can start to turn before they bit into the tube.
Hey thanks for the support guys - I did speak with Progressive today. The rep casually noted that "this sometimes happens". When I told him I had followed the instructions and used red thread locker, he said something along the lines of "OOOOOOoooooh (crap)!..." He went on to ask what revision of instructions I had, and that he was sure they had taken the recommendation for red threadlocker out. Nope. Still there in Revision C.
He seemed genuinely helpful and concerned, and he acknowledged in no uncertain terms that I have a problem on my hands. He initially recommended heat and an impact wrench, but I asked him #1. if I should expect to essentially rebuild my forks - replace all the rubber seals etc, and #2. if I was at risk of detonating the gas charged cylinder into which the damper rod runs. Good point he acknowledged, and said he was going to check with another tech and call me back.

I'll check with him again tomorrow morning.

I'm hoping Progressive will step up and take care of what appears to be a big instructional faux-pas.
I think it's reasonable to ask them to pay my local dealer (from whom I bought the kit) for the removal and correct installation of the kit. I've already done the job once, but I'm willing to remove and replace the forks again, I'm just hoping they'll step up and take care of the potentially dangerous part.

Do I think they'll do it? Having never dealt with them, I honestly do not know, but I'll keep you posted.

If I'm on my own, I will try all of the above and post results. Thanks for those suggestions Tom!

Last edited by alphashifter; 09-05-2017 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Forgot to thank Tom!
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-05-2017, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
....curious as to why you chose the Monotubes?


Cheers,
Dave
I read some reviews and honestly thought I was getting the best bang for buck.
As many reviews as I saw, I did think there would be more people piping up with their installation experience.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-05-2017, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphashifter View Post
I read some reviews and honestly thought I was getting the best bang for buck.
As many reviews as I saw, I did think there would be more people piping up with their installation experience.
Well, not to pour salt in the wound but I can't think of a good reason to use them, honestly. The better choices are the "cartridge emulator" products: Racetech Gold Valves, Cogent DDC's or Ricor Intiminators....all work fairly well but the Cogent DDC's are cheaper than the monotubes, work better and have a dead simple install.

I think Tom's recommendations of heat and speed (and I'd add that an impact couldn't hurt) are your best bets but that red loctite isn't to be taken lightly.

Let us know how you make out.

Cheers and good luck,

Dave
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-05-2017, 11:03 PM
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An impact wrench has to have something to work against. I'm not sure how hard it is going to hit up against 5ish ft-lb of torque.

I would not think that the gas cylinder would be an issue. It is just nitrogen (inert) and is contained by a seal (i.e., a vent). It is too far from the bottom end to be affected by heat and, even if it were, it would simply pfffft out of the seal if it went over pressure. There would be no risk of it bursting.
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Tom [email protected]

“I still held his automatic more or less pointed at him, but he swung on me just the same. It caught me flush on the chin. It was meant to be a hard one, but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-06-2017, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Monotubes

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
Well, not to pour salt in the wound but I can't think of a good reason to use them, honestly. The better choices are the "cartridge emulator" products: Racetech Gold Valves, Cogent DDC's or Ricor Intiminators....all work fairly well but the Cogent DDC's are cheaper than the monotubes, work better and have a dead simple install.
Dave
Ahh no sweat. I suppose I equated "emulator" with "imitator" read "inferior". I think I'll be happy enough with these if I can get 'em squared away before the trip. But in retrospect, I shoulda (coulda woulda) asked here before making a decision.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
I would not think that the gas cylinder would be an issue. It is just nitrogen (inert) and is contained by a seal (i.e., a vent). It is too far from the bottom end to be affected by heat and, even if it were, it would simply pfffft out of the seal if it went over pressure. There would be no risk of it bursting.
Was thinking that damper rod would be a great conductor of heat, but knowing the gas is nitrogen certainly changes things.
If Progressive won't do anything, I'll try the heat/impact approach after work tonight.
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-06-2017, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by alphashifter View Post
...Was thinking that damper rod would be a great conductor of heat, but knowing the gas is nitrogen certainly changes things...
It is a long, thin piece of hi-tensile steel. You will be playing a flame as directly onto the head of the screw as possible in order to break down the Loctite. In fact, the best tool would probably be one of those wee butane torches, but a tight propane torch flame will do.

You will need to heat the part to a bit over 300°F to break the Loctite down. Red Loctite really isn't a 'high temp' product, but you need to break it down as much as possible to have a hope of loosening that screw.

The whole bottom half of the fork tube would need to be glowing red before the rod would transfer enough heat to the top of the Monotube to do any harm or even have an effect.

I'm going to retract this statement: "An impact wrench has to have something to work against. I'm not sure how hard it is going to hit up against 5ish ft-lb of torque."

I was playing around with my Ryobi drill motor. It has an adjustable chuck on it that can be dialed down to almost no torque. If you can use something like that instead of an impact gun it would probably do a lot of good. When the torque clutch on that thing overruns it vibrates like a dog poopin' peach pits. That would have to be helpful.
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Tom [email protected]

“I still held his automatic more or less pointed at him, but he swung on me just the same. It caught me flush on the chin. It was meant to be a hard one, but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
Noli Timere Messorem
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-06-2017, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
An impact wrench has to have something to work against. I'm not sure how hard it is going to hit up against 5ish ft-lb of torque.

I would not think that the gas cylinder would be an issue. It is just nitrogen (inert) and is contained by a seal (i.e., a vent). It is too far from the bottom end to be affected by heat and, even if it were, it would simply pfffft out of the seal if it went over pressure. There would be no risk of it bursting.
ditto on the nitrogen worry. As far as the impact wrench; I beg to differ as I've had luck in similar situations with them.....I think it's the speed of the impact working against the inertia of the pce......or that just sounds good!

LOL; Tom, I should have read your last post before posting.

Cheers,
Dave
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Last edited by DPelletier; 09-06-2017 at 09:46 AM.
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