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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I wanted to start my own thread on this since they are starting to pop up everywhere. It gives me a bit of a chance to document what I'll be doing to my bike as I go as well as trap any information for the future that might be easily accessible.

I want to give a big thanks for Kbuskill and NDM for the help thus far, especially Kb for diving in and leading the charge for the rest of us that go the same route!

So here are the part numbers so far that I'll be gathering:


Cylinder Options:


  • Bimba is the 702-DXP cylinder
  • Parker is the 3.00 DXP SR Y 2.00 (no wiper) or 3.00 DXP SRW Y 2.00 (with wiper) (Y denotes stainless steel shaft): I purchased the Parker model from a local rep. These 3 models as far as I can tell share identical dimensions.
  • McMaster Carr PN 6498K692: Double-Acting, Universal Mount, 3" Bore Size, 2" Stroke Length
Air Resevoir

  • Bimba's air tank is Part number D-17469-A-5. The -5 denotes the length of the actual holding portion of the cylinder, not the OAL (Overall length). So the -5 would have a 3" dia. x 5" holding length, or a 35.325 CI volume. The -4 reservoir has a 3" dia x 4" holding length, or 28.26 CI volume. This is actually if you want a holding tank. Most kits you buy don't have a holding tank.
  • I purchased the -4. I got a killer deal on one that I couldn't pass up. It may not hold as well, but it will give me a bit more room for fittings and such without stressing tubing. We'll see how it works functionally
  • There is also an option to use a paintball tank, and I believe 35 CI volume is around the correct size. Correct if I'm wrong
Pressure Switch:

Something in the 150/180 psi range. This might vary based on rider weights though, depending if you're planning on airing up while on the bike, single or 2-up, etc. I know this was recommended by Kb in another thread.

Vixen Horns 150-180 PSI Air Pressure Switch Tank Mount Type 1/4" NPT 12V/24V (advisable to use 1/8 NPT thread, less bulk)


You can make your own leads off of this.

Toggle Valves:

You can choose the direction you want to go here. You can use a solenoid operated valve and hook it to electronics with a relay, or you can use any variation of paddle valves.

I chose these Paddle valves because they had a push-connect port at the backside. I've only seen them on ebay so far, so not sure how long they will be there:


Compressor:

Viair 275C. It fits, it's proven:


Tubing:

D.O.T. rated, length will vary depending on your setup. I chose 1200 psi min burst strength, 1/4"

Fittings:
Various/Optional:
  • Frame protection (for compressor and tank) tubing
  • Stainless steel band clamps
  • 1/4" push-connect schrader valves (if you want to be able to fill in case of a system failure):
  • (2X) Prestacycle 1/4 barbed fitting for schrader valves (to run to a gauge)
  • 1/4" in-line push-connect shut of valve (if bike sits for a long time, prevent flow from leaking into cylinder...I'm not sure how often this happens or what would cause it, but there are some photos Steve (STG) posted a while ago of a bike that tipped over because of it):
  • Viair 220 psi dual needle pressure gauge (black or white face):
    [ame]https://www.amazon.com/Viair-90080-Dual-Needle-Gauge/dp/B005UG9OVU[/ame]
  • Bump Stop: 3/4" ID x 2.0" OD x .5" thick
I'll be updating this thread as I go, as well as updating the above list as there are a few things that I haven't tackled yet that I'm looking into!
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
The first thing I was going to ask is if anyone has their rear shock off the bike and may be able to get me a few measurements, metric would be my best option but I can convert.

See image below for what I'm looking for:



So the parts exploded diagram does not list the bolt size/thread that goes through the top mounting bracket. Instead of shimming the cylinder I'm looking into a couple options:

1) Use a shoulder bolt of appropriate size with the stepped down thread
2) Punching the bushing out of the Air Cylinder and pressing in my own. Either should be fairly easy if I can figure out what that bolt is.

Either option will be necessary to know what that bolt size is.

The lower mount center hole distance to the stop is the clearance I'll need for my clevis, either that I fab or purchase.

I also plan on making my own bottom out stop but I won't be able to do that until I'm fitting everything up and I know what my final stack-ups are!
 

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The first thing I was going to ask is if anyone has their rear shock off the bike and may be able to get me a few measurements, metric would be my best option but I can convert.

See image below for what I'm looking for:



So the parts exploded diagram does not list the bolt size/thread that goes through the top mounting bracket. Instead of shimming the cylinder I'm looking into a couple options:

1) Use a shoulder bolt of appropriate size with the stepped down thread
2) Punching the bushing out of the Air Cylinder and pressing in my own. Either should be fairly easy if I can figure out what that bolt is.

Either option will be necessary to know what that bolt size is.

The lower mount center hole distance to the stop is the clearance I'll need for my clevis, either that I fab or purchase.

I also plan on making my own bottom out stop but I won't be able to do that until I'm fitting everything up and I know what my final stack-ups are!
This is exactly what I need myself. I have everything else (mostly) on hand except the mounting of the cylinder. I was figuring I would have to pull the old one and figure it out from there. Good measurements and I might be able to come up with a drawing, and get one made (my son works in a machine shop).
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
This is exactly what I need myself. I have everything else (mostly) on hand except the mounting of the cylinder. I was figuring I would have to pull the old one and figure it out from there. Good measurements and I might be able to come up with a drawing, and get one made (my son works in a machine shop).
I'll probably be making CAD drawings of all of the bits and pieces that I do. I design tooling for a space company so I have everything available to me.
I'm sourcing out everything currently. I have ordered the majority of the pieces. I just ended up purchasing the Parker model cylinder. I'm thinking I want to plumb in the schrader valves but I'm uncertain yet if I want the shut off valves or if they are necessary
 
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Same here, thought I'd lift the bike over Winter, pull the shock, measure, pull the wheel all the way up, measure, then the maximum travel is known. I'd factor in the cylinder end mounts, cylinder, and then use a bump stop to avoid maximum travel. I was thinking the ends could me machined out of blocks of aluminum if that's what the current mounts are (magnet test), steel if necessary. Having AutoCAD and access to machine shops this works out pretty well, especially if others want the same adapters.

I was thinking of putting in a Schroeder valve so that if the compressor fails there's a backup plan.

The one thing I was *starting* to look at is pressure sensors, electronic valves, and arduino nano controller board. The would allow the bike to drop automatically when the ignition is shut off and raise to the previous pressure when the bike is running. Varying an electronic control switch would raise/lower the bike, another firm/soften the rebound. This allows the driver to vary the setup, and the processor to store the setup. If an additional switch was added the controller could have several memory slots, much like a car sets the seat to a keyfob.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Here are some dimensions.
Thank you so much!!! Got a couple more in you?

At the base clevis the center of the bolt hole up to the next surface (flat). Need to know clearance for the swingarm to clevis when mounted because if the bolt sticks through the clevis, need to know how much room we have until you hit the radiused part of the swingarm bolt mount.

The diameter of the thru hole for the top mounting bolt of the shock bracket to the shock
 
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Same here, thought I'd lift the bike over Winter, pull the shock, measure, pull the wheel all the way up, measure, then the maximum travel is known. I'd factor in the cylinder end mounts, cylinder, and then use a bump stop to avoid maximum travel. I was thinking the ends could me machined out of blocks of aluminum if that's what the current mounts are (magnet test), steel if necessary. Having AutoCAD and access to machine shops this works out pretty well, especially if others want the same adapters.

I was thinking of putting in a Schroeder valve so that if the compressor fails there's a backup plan.

The one thing I was *starting* to look at is pressure sensors, electronic valves, and arduino nano controller board. The would allow the bike to drop automatically when the ignition is shut off and raise to the previous pressure when the bike is running. Varying an electronic control switch would raise/lower the bike, another firm/soften the rebound. This allows the driver to vary the setup, and the processor to store the setup. If an additional switch was added the controller could have several memory slots, much like a car sets the seat to a keyfob.
I was planning on making the clevis out of billet aluminum since that's what the bottom of the shock mount is. Or even looking for an off the shelf option. As far as measuring the maximum travel, I would think that you would have to insert that "stop" internal to the cylinder so the piston wouldn't travel all the way to the bottom wall. These cylinders aren't re-buildable so I don't think you can do that and there are no internal bumpers:



You could put them somewhere on the frame possibly. The limiting factor for max travel will be the cylinder. If you remove the shock all together, basically the swingarm will just drop until things come into contact or start stretching/pulling wires or lines.

I will be adding 2 schrader valves before the toggle switches (on the tank side) They really only let you fill up in case of a something other than a toggle switch failure. The toggle switches really only allow air to flow towards the cylinder. If it flows back through the switch, the toggles have exhaust ports which dump the air. If the toggle switches fail, then you will be riding on your bump stop until you can fix them. That's why a cut off valve would be nice on the cylinder side as well so if you have to fill from the schraders you can also prevent air from bleeding out the failed switches (but you can still get air to the cylinder).

The other nice thing about the schrader valves is it allows you to monitor the system pressure on each side by using a standard tire pressure gauge or something that attaches. It will give a good baseline for adjustments and rebounds/heights. I'm going to look for an incognito place on the frame to mount the schrader valves and Tee into the lines running from the manual toggles to the cylinder.

As for all the electronic monitoring and operation, that would be really cool to do and convenient, but adds failure modes to the mix. Although I'm decent in the electronics area, I'm more of a mechanical type of guy for working on and troubleshooting purposes.
 

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If the swing-arm uses the current shock to limit extension travel, the air piston should be able to do the same--we're not jumping the machine, so the rear wheel is probably under load except when it's on a lift, and the lift scenareo should not be a problem as it's not a jarring shock, correct?

The worry would be compression, but a bump-stop between the clevis & cylinder would absorb a sharp impact before it was transmitted to the cylinder.

I like the Schroeder valve idea, functional and functional! :D I was thinking under a side cover so they're never exposed (unless you expose them). The covers pop on/off pretty easily.

I like the cutoff valve idea also.

Agree on the electronics, first get the mecanicals working, then see if the electronics are necessary.

As a side note, BIO-KEN did warn me that:
  1. There's not a lot of room for all the extra stuff.
  2. Extra stuff tends to fail (probably due to heat/vibration/dirt).
So I'd figured it best to go all mechanical and simple until proving more is "needed."
 

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Just for the record... I used a pressure switch with 1/8" npt fittings instead of 1/4"... but either will work, the 1/8" fittings are just less bulky.

All of this adding cut off valves and Schrader valves and such is a good idea but I think when you get into it you will find there is less room to hide things than you may think. Not saying it's impossible but sometimes less is more... remember the KISS principle.

As a side note, I originally planned to get a dual needle air pressure gauge and hook it to the upper and lower ports so you could dial in the lift and rebound easier but never got around to doing it before the wreck.

Something like this...



And then mount it kinda like Ed @AV8R mounted his oil pressure gauge or mount it in the top of the stock air cleaner housing for a cleaner look without seeing the hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If the swing-arm uses the current shock to limit extension travel, the air piston should be able to do the same--we're not jumping the machine, so the rear wheel is probably under load except when it's on a lift, and the lift scenareo should not be a problem as it's not a jarring shock, correct?

Exactly correct, the air cylinder will limit the "max" height. If you really didn't want to "top out" you could run some sort of limiting strapnext to the shock body, like they do for crawlers.

The worry would be compression, but a bump-stop between the clevis & cylinder would absorb a sharp impact before it was transmitted to the cylinder.

Because of the way we're going to have to set up the rod/clevis for this, I don't think technically you will bottom out the cylinder internally even if you dropped it all the way down. If you tapped your clevis, you could use a jam nut above it. That jam nut would be the first thing to hit exterior on the cylinder, technically preventing bottoming. You could use a nylon spacer on top of the jam nut (thin) just as protection from metal to metal contact. Or use the bottom out bumpers you showed.

I like the Schroeder valve idea, functional and functional! :D I was thinking under a side cover so they're never exposed (unless you expose them). The covers pop on/off pretty easily.

They could go under a side cover. I'll be already using one cover for the toggles so I wanted them incognito. easy to conceal elsewhere. Plus, if you're pushing on them all the time to take pressure, screwing something on, etc, if you get too guerrilla (which it takes sometimes to get a good pressure reading) you could crack the cover.

I like the cutoff valve idea also.

Agree on the electronics, first get the mecanicals working, then see if the electronics are necessary.
Good discussions going on here!
 
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Something like this, Ken ?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Something like this, Ken ?
I definitely like the idea of being able to monitor the pressures all the time. Not sure I'll do this right off the bat, but the schrader valves would allow a screw on fitting to run a gauge like you did.
 
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If the swing-arm uses the current shock to limit extension travel, the air piston should be able to do the same--we're not jumping the machine, so the rear wheel is probably under load except when it's on a lift, and the lift scenareo should not be a problem as it's not a jarring shock, correct?

Exactly correct, the air cylinder will limit the "max" height. If you really didn't want to "top out" you could run some sort of limiting strap next to the shock body, like they do for crawlers.

The worry would be compression, but a bump-stop between the clevis & cylinder would absorb a sharp impact before it was transmitted to the cylinder.

Because of the way we're going to have to set up the rod/clevis for this, I don't think technically you will bottom out the cylinder internally even if you dropped it all the way down. If you tapped your clevis, you could use a jam nut above it. That jam nut would be the first thing to hit exterior on the cylinder, technically preventing bottoming. You could use a nylon spacer on top of the jam nut (thin) just as protection from metal to metal contact. Or use the bottom out bumpers you showed.

The fear is something goes wrong (like a line blows) and the bike drops, and needs to be ridden, or at minimum has to continue to be ridden until it can be parked safely. You wouldn't want the swing-arm hammering the cylinder, at least a rubber bumper should take the hit, hence the bump-stop idea.

I like the Schroeder valve idea, functional and functional! I was thinking under a side cover so they're never exposed (unless you expose them). The covers pop on/off pretty easily.

They could go under a side cover. I'll be already using one cover for the toggles so I wanted them incognito. easy to conceal elsewhere. Plus, if you're pushing on them all the time to take pressure, screwing something on, etc, if you get too guerrilla (which it takes sometimes to get a good pressure reading) you could crack the cover.


I think it would be infrequent use, mainly at first when getting things set up, then when adding a passenger. After a while I think it would go by feel. Noting what Ken-BusKill said: when I was putting in additional electronics I remember what a tight fit it all was and how I had to do the job 3x to get it all perfect; Ken has to be right that the minimum stuff in there will reduce issues greatly, both regarding installation and system longevity.

I like the cutoff valve idea also.
Listening to Ken, that's going to be another "two leak potentials" (in and out) per cutoff valve. If anything, maybe only one valve for the bottom chamber (lift).

Agree on the electronics, first get the mecanicals working, then see if the electronics are necessary.
I'm going to scrap this. Ken and Bill both advised against adding electronics, and they're both way smarter than a simple woodland critter (especially this one).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The cylinder will bottom out internally without a Bump stop or spacer on the shaft. The threaded portion of the shaft stops outside of the end of the cylinder when the cylinder is bottomed out.
You would need some sort of spacer on the shaft though that would keep you the right height off your rear fender though. So you would set the gap you wanted minimum for fender clearance then wouldn't you make the appropriate thickness of spacer with a 3/4 inch thru hole that would come into contact with your clevis assembly and the bottom of the cylinder (the larger threaded portion fixed on the cylinder)? Or am I missing something?

Oh Kb I misread your post ^^. I read "with or without" not "without". Yes I agree
 

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I'll probably be making CAD drawings of all of the bits and pieces that I do. I design tooling for a space company so I have everything available to me.
I'm sourcing out everything currently. I have ordered the majority of the pieces. I just ended up purchasing the Parker model cylinder. I'm thinking I want to plumb in the schrader valves but I'm uncertain yet if I want the shut off valves or if they are necessary
If you do, I would be more than interested in it. I would be happy to pay for your work on it.

I don't design things. What I do is make things actually work after the designer has gone home. And I am very good terms with a number of machine shops. I would really like to knock this one out this summer.

Something like this, Ken ?
This is another one. I have all the parts to do the pressure gauge, except for the gauge mount. But I am pretty sure I have your sketch of yours saved somewhere.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
I think it would be infrequent use, mainly at first when getting things set up, then when adding a passenger. After a while I think it would go by feel. Noting what Ken-BusKill said, when putting in additional electronics I remember what a tight fit it all was, he's most likely right that the minimum stuff in there will reduce issues greatly.
Most likely infrequent, but it's one of those things I'd be checking every ride for safety purposes until I felt comfortable the system was performing how I expect it to

I definitely think it's going to be tight in there. between the tank and the toggles, from each outlet line, I'd like to put in one of these or something similar. I'm guessing I'll have give or take 12" of line to work with on that run, depending on where I mount the toggles:



Then run the perpendicular push-connect fitting with a line of hose to the schrader valve, wherever it may go. Frame, plate, etc.

The toggles to the air cylinder is going to be a much shorter run, so not sure what will fit there without taking some crazy way to get back to the cylinder instead of clean and direct.
 
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If you do, I would be more than interested in it. I would be happy to pay for your work on it.

I don't design things. What I do is make things actually work after the designer has gone home. And I am very good terms with a number of machine shops. I would really like to knock this one out this summer.
Something like this, Ken ?
This is another one. I have all the parts to do the pressure gauge, except for the gauge mount. But I am pretty sure I have your sketch of yours saved somewhere.
 

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You would need some sort of spacer on the shaft though that would keep you the right height off your rear fender though. So you would set the gap you wanted minimum for fender clearance then wouldn't you make the appropriate thickness of spacer with a 3/4 inch thru hole that would come into contact with your clevis assembly and the bottom of the cylinder (the larger threaded portion fixed on the cylinder)? Or am I missing something?

Oh Kb I misread your post ^^. I read "with or without" not "without". Yes I agree
I think the trick is to set the fender on the tire, then use a bump-stop to shim it off the tire when a driver is sitting on the bike so the fender can't hit the tire, and the bump-stop takes the shock if something fails in the system.
 
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