Author Topic: Amb / Eldo forks  (Read 3207 times)

Online dxhall

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Amb / Eldo forks
« on: August 15, 2015, 02:22:13 PM »
After getting a speeding ticket on my Le Mans a few weeks ago going up Independence Pass, I find myself riding the '71 Ambassador.  The stock forks on the Ambo are pretty harsh compared to the Ohlins on the Le Mans.  What's the best way to improve the Ambo forks?  I can't remember what fork oil I used.

Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 03:45:16 PM »
Something's wrong with them...

Most (drum-brake) Loop owner's will have the opposite complaint - too mushy or soft. Maybe your springs are so sacked that it's bottoming out, or the bushings are so worn that they're binding? Could be fork alignment as well. I'd loosen up all 4 pinch bolts and see if it gets any better.

There's really only two improvements for drum-brake forks: 1) Wirth springs and heavier fork oil. I use 8 oz. of 30w fork oil in each leg. The extra 2.6 oz. over factory specs helps in two ways: a) damping for the entire stroke of the fork and b) less air gap for slightly firmer effective springing.

http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=197_199&products_id=1147
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 07:32:26 PM by Antietam Classic Cycle »
Charlie

Online dxhall

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 05:32:16 PM »
Sounds like I should hit up the MG Cycle guys.  Charlie, do you know what Moe Moore puts in the Cycle Garden bikes?

Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2015, 07:31:49 PM »
No, I don't.
Charlie

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2015, 07:31:49 PM »

Offline rodekyll

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2015, 07:41:37 PM »
Sounds like I should hit up the MG Cycle guys.  Charlie, do you know what Moe Moore puts in the Cycle Garden bikes?

synthetic saline 30w skank oil.

Offline Yeahoo Whoyah

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2015, 09:01:03 PM »
Quote
Something's wrong with them...

Most (drum-brake) Loop owner's will have the opposite complaint - too mushy or soft.

 :1:

Greg Tillitson
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Offline Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2015, 01:00:39 AM »
Sounds like I should hit up the MG Cycle guys.  Charlie, do you know what Moe Moore puts in the Cycle Garden bikes?

considering his prices, I'd guess unicorn tears  :laugh:
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Online John Ulrich

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2015, 06:40:23 AM »


There's really only two improvements for drum-brake forks: 1) Wirth springs and heavier fork oil. I use 8 oz. of 30w fork oil in each leg. The extra 2.6 oz. over factory specs helps in two ways: a) damping for the entire stroke of the fork and b) less air gap for slightly firmer effective springing.

http://www.mgcycle.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=197_199&products_id=1147

 :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2015, 02:31:19 PM »
I used 30w VR1 in the forks of my Eldo. It was all I had handy at the time and it seems to be working good for the last 2 or 3 years.
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Offline BrianK

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2020, 11:21:00 AM »
I'm getting ready to change fork oil and it's been long enough that I don't remember the process from last time.  But my '72 Eldo doesn't seem to have drain screws so I'm thinking I'll have to remove and invert the fork tubes instead.  Does that make sense, or am I just not seeing the screws? :sad:

Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2020, 12:14:26 PM »
I'm getting ready to change fork oil and it's been long enough that I don't remember the process from last time.  But my '72 Eldo doesn't seem to have drain screws so I'm thinking I'll have to remove and invert the fork tubes instead.  Does that make sense, or am I just not seeing the screws? :sad:

The screws are there - they're "hidden" under the the "lug" where the rear fender brace attaches to the slider.



« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 12:25:10 PM by Antietam Classic Cycle »
Charlie

Online Markcarovilli

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2020, 01:36:15 PM »
Charlie

can you drain and then refill using same hole while on the bike?  I'm thinking of a syringe and squirting it in and then plugging back up.

Mark

Offline BrianK

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2020, 01:58:15 PM »
Thanks Charlie

Offline bigbikerrick

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2020, 02:25:03 PM »
Charlie

can you drain and then refill using same hole while on the bike?  I'm thinking of a syringe and squirting it in and then plugging back up.

Mark
[/quote

Interesting question, Mark. I imagine you may be able to if you rig up some kind of threaded nipple to screw into the little hole, then about a 10CC minimum syringe with tubing attached , after draining all the oil, use a clamp to block the hose while you reload your syringe for the next "injection " of oil.
 What Charlie advised is 100%. I used a full 10 oz of 50 wt "Harley" oil in each fork leg of my 73 eldo, and it helped the forks work better.  When finished, you will have to be quick in reinstalling the bolt, to keep the oil from leaking out.. Of course ,its always better to take them all apart and clean them up, but in a pinch, just doing an oil change like that may get you by.
Good luck,
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Offline LesP

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2020, 02:48:28 PM »



Donor 16/17/18/19/20 maybe more.

Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
Charlie

can you drain and then refill using same hole while on the bike?  I'm thinking of a syringe and squirting it in and then plugging back up.

Mark

I've never tried, but my suspicion is that it could get very messy. The oil that you're squirting in would be trying to displace air within the fork, compressing it. The compressed air will force whatever oil you manage to get in, back out again.

But, here's a thought, as Rick surmises, if one had a fitting to thread into the drain plug hole, it might be possible to compress the forks to drain the old oil, compress them as much as possible again, hook up the fitting and a hose going into a container of whatever fork oil you want to fill it with. Extending the forks fully should create enough of a vacuum to draw the oil into the forks. Will it draw in even the original 5.4 ounces, much less 8 or 10? Good question. Trying to draw fork through a small (3 mm?) hole likely won't go well. All hypothetical.

But, is it really so difficult to lift up the dash, take the top plugs out and pour the oil in? I guess for a Loop with certain windshield brackets it could be.
Charlie

Offline severely

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2020, 06:41:08 PM »
I agree with ACC and his recommendations. I go a little farther and pour some leftover 5wt fork oil in to flush the tubes a little more, usually get some more dirt out the drains. And use 8 oz. of 15w-50 Mobil 1 engine oil. Forks don't know the difference and seem to ride well, done yearly. :bike-037:

Offline Turin

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2020, 02:38:33 AM »
Quote
synthetic saline 30w skank oil.

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Offline ampm7

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2020, 10:11:55 AM »
The way I do it is to open the drain plugs and let the oil drain out completely then pour in some kerosene from the top; let it drain out completely and move the bike from side to side and pump the forks with your hands on the handlebar further emptying it, then let it sit over night and button up everything the next morning and put in Bel Ray 30wt. Put in an ounce extra and make sure you have Wirth springs in there. I simply do not know why motorcycle manufacturers don't put drain plugs on their forks.
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Online Antietam Classic Cycle

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2020, 10:33:31 AM »
Put in an ounce extra and make sure you have Wirth springs in there. I simply do not know why motorcycle manufacturers don't put drain plugs on their forks.

I have Wirth springs in my V700 and while it doesn't bottom out as badly as my Ambo with (50 year old) stock springs, it also doesn't ride as well. I may try a set of new stock type springs and see if I like them better.

Up until fairly recently almost all manufacturers did put drain plugs on their forks (except maybe on USD type forks). I guess it costs too much to drill a hole, tap it and fit a plug and sealing washer.  :wink:
Charlie

Offline jumpmaster

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2020, 07:12:02 PM »


But, is it really so difficult to lift up the dash, take the top plugs out and pour the oil in? I guess for a Loop with certain windshield brackets it could be.

Trust me, if I can manage to do that job, just about anyone can!
JC
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Offline cliffrod

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #21 on: February 29, 2020, 08:01:15 PM »
I have Wirth springs in my V700 and while it doesn't bottom out as badly as my Ambo with (50 year old) stock springs, it also doesn't ride as well. I may try a set of new stock type springs and see if I like them better.


Great to know before replacing springs on mine.  Thanks, Charlie.
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Offline garbln

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2020, 04:36:17 PM »
When I overhauled the forks on my 70 ambo I used synthetic trany fluid in them.  The guts on them are pretty basic so if they are stiff somethings wrong.  My old ambo is the smoothest riding bike I own.  I also have IKON shocks on the back.  I can ride the old beast all day with no problem'

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Re: Amb / Eldo forks
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2020, 07:18:25 PM »
When I overhauled the forks on my 70 ambo I used synthetic trany fluid in them.  The guts on them are pretty basic so if they are stiff somethings wrong.  My old ambo is the smoothest riding bike I own.  I also have IKON shocks on the back.  I can ride the old beast all day with no problem'

I've rebuilt dozens of these forks so I know my way around them by now.  :wink: I didn't write "stiff" - the "something wrong" is just that the ride is firmer than my old Ambo. Not a bad thing, just different. Does make for better handling.  :azn:
Charlie


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