Front suspension collapsed conundrum - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 26 Old Sep 29th, 2019, 9:33 pm Thread Starter
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Front suspension collapsed conundrum

So I picked up a used set of Ohlins and had them rebuilt and recently installed them in the LT.
I was enjoying the newfound harmony and feed back when on a bumpy road I stated noticing that the front end was moving around after hitting some uneven pavement.
I was riding it home as the sun was going down and noticed not only the front end was moving around but that the headlight was bouncing considerably as well.
I pulled in the garage and went to put it on the center stand and I could not get enough momentum to lift the bike. So I put it on the side stand.
The next day I looked at the bike a little better and noticed that the front suspension was collapsed and not moving at all. By jacking up the bike and putting wood under the front tire I was able to put it on the center stand I then put a jack under the bike and lifted the front end. And the suspension remained collapsed. Not even gravity would lower the tire to the ground. I then removed the fender to get a better look and the shock spring is completely compressed as if there is something heavy on top of the bike, but the front wheel is off the ground.
I'm not familiar with this suspension and this doesn't seem to make sense as most suspensions would expand once the weight was removed from the spring.
Any ideas???
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post #2 of 26 Old Sep 29th, 2019, 9:47 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

Tom, it sounds to me like some sort of shock issue. Yeah, that is stating the obvious, I know. Who did the rebuild? I would be very careful removing it. Shochks should dampen on the rebound but if something is broken and jammed, then it could fly apart if it released suddenly.

Does the rest of the front end look intact like the ball joint is still in place and not broken? I have heard that the front collapses if that breaks but I would expect it to expand again as the front was lifted and probably be pretty wobbly with no fixed connection point.
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post #3 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 12:24 am Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

I know it doesn't make much sense. But my suspension knowledge is more telescopic forks vs Paralevel suspension.

The guy who re did the suspension has been doing my shocks for 30 years and even works on monster truck suspensions, so he knows his stuff. But that doesn't mean that he didn't forget to torque something down.

And I'm plenty respectful of stored energy. I gave the forks a good whack with a dead blow hammer just to see if something is stuck but nothing released.

I know it doesn't make any sense. Just thought I'd check with the experts
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post #4 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 4:58 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

Good morning,

Try loosening the axle pinch bolts to allow the sliders to realign. If you tightened a axle pinch bolt before tightening the axle the fork tubes will be closer together on the bottom than the top and will bind.

Good luck
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post #5 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 12:05 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

A valve has moved inside the shock. You will have to ratchet the front subframe down before you remove the top nut.
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post #6 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 12:29 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by trussell View Post
So I picked up a used set of Ohlins and had them rebuilt and recently installed them in the LT.
I was enjoying the newfound harmony and feed back when on a bumpy road I stated noticing that the front end was moving around after hitting some uneven pavement.
I was riding it home as the sun was going down and noticed not only the front end was moving around but that the headlight was bouncing considerably as well.
I pulled in the garage and went to put it on the center stand and I could not get enough momentum to lift the bike. So I put it on the side stand.
The next day I looked at the bike a little better and noticed that the front suspension was collapsed and not moving at all. By jacking up the bike and putting wood under the front tire I was able to put it on the center stand I then put a jack under the bike and lifted the front end. And the suspension remained collapsed. Not even gravity would lower the tire to the ground. I then removed the fender to get a better look and the shock spring is completely compressed as if there is something heavy on top of the bike, but the front wheel is off the ground.
I'm not familiar with this suspension and this doesn't seem to make sense as most suspensions would expand once the weight was removed from the spring.
Any ideas???
It is unlikely that the fork tubes jammed as there is not much inside them. Most likely something came apart inside the shock and locked the damper rod in the fully compressed position. Definitely wire the spring before taking it apart or otherwise ensure that the rod can’t release unexpectedly when your hand is in the way. That would make for a bad day.

At least the shock should be easy to get out in its fully compressed state.

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post #7 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 12:53 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by Toolmaker View Post
Good morning,

Try loosening the axle pinch bolts to allow the sliders to realign. If you tightened a axle pinch bolt before tightening the axle the fork tubes will be closer together on the bottom than the top and will bind.

Good luck
Dave
Since that was the easiest I loosened them but there was no change

Next is to loosen the nut on top of the shock and see what happens
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post #8 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 1:08 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by saddleman View Post
A valve has moved inside the shock. You will have to ratchet the front subframe down before you remove the top nut.
The from suspension is currently fully collapsed the opposite of fully extended.
My guess is as I unscrew the top bolt the suspension will lower down.
Worried about the shock opening up on me when I'm in there though. Have to strap it down or something.
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post #9 of 26 Old Sep 30th, 2019, 3:26 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by trussell View Post
The from suspension is currently fully collapsed the opposite of fully extended.
My guess is as I unscrew the top bolt the suspension will lower down.
Worried about the shock opening up on me when I'm in there though. Have to strap it down or something.
Just to make sure that the ball joint didn't break, have a look and see that it is still intact. #13.
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post #10 of 26 Old Oct 1st, 2019, 10:23 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by bmwcoolk1200 View Post
Just to make sure that the ball joint didn't break, have a look and see that it is still intact. #13.
That will not keep the front collapsed when the front wheel is off the ground. My vote is a valve failed in the shock jamming it in the collapsed position.
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post #11 of 26 Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 12:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
That will not keep the front collapsed when the front wheel is off the ground. My vote is a valve failed in the shock jamming it in the collapsed position.
I don't know the enough about the inner workings of a shock, but I suspect that you are correct. As I was unwinding the nut at the top of the shock it started to lower the suspension. I was able to remove the shock without it unloading on me and I'm taking it back to my suspension guy on Thursday, so I'll post an update when I know what went wrong. But I'm guessing you are correct.
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post #12 of 26 Old Oct 3rd, 2019, 5:24 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

I think I would be handling it like it was a live grenade with the pin pulled! Yikes!
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post #13 of 26 Old Oct 3rd, 2019, 5:53 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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I think I would be handling it like it was a live grenade with the pin pulled! Yikes!
Guys,

These things are like McPherson struts on a car. They're self-contained. You put the top threaded shaft into the bikes orifice, then, with the suspension extended, put the bottom into it's hole. Tighten it up appropriately and it's good to go.

Removing is the opposite. You don't have to free the spring to get the shock/spring assembly out. For this reason, what the OP is doing should not be dangerous. The danger is when the tech dismantles the strut. They know all about dealing with that.



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post #14 of 26 Old Oct 3rd, 2019, 7:11 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by rtwiz View Post
Guys,

These things are like McPherson struts on a car. They're self-contained. You put the top threaded shaft into the bikes orifice, then, with the suspension extended, put the bottom into it's hole. Tighten it up appropriately and it's good to go.

Removing is the opposite. You don't have to free the spring to get the shock/spring assembly out. For this reason, what the OP is doing should not be dangerous. The danger is when the tech dismantles the strut. They know all about dealing with that.


Read it again. You completely failed to understand the situation with the OP’s shock.
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post #15 of 26 Old Oct 4th, 2019, 2:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

Well trust me I put on leather gloves and chose to handle it like a live hand grenade.
It came out still collapsed and I proceeded to take it over to the shock guy yesterday.
It never unloaded on me.
I'll let you know what he says happened when he gets back to me.
I'm going with the shim theory but it seems weird.
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post #16 of 26 Old Oct 5th, 2019, 1:55 am Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

OK shock is apart and the problem was the internal rubber bumper. It got Jammed between the piston and the body.
New internal and external bumper on order.
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post #17 of 26 Old Oct 6th, 2019, 10:16 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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OK shock is apart and the problem was the internal rubber bumper. It got Jammed between the piston and the body.
New internal and external bumper on order.
If these were new, shouldn't they be warrantied?


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post #18 of 26 Old Oct 6th, 2019, 11:13 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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If these were new, shouldn't they be warrantied?
"So I picked up a used set of Ohlins and had them rebuilt and recently installed them in the LT."

Not new but newly rebuilt so I am pretty sure the rebuilder is taking care of this and ordered the internal parts.

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post #19 of 26 Old Oct 6th, 2019, 11:59 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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OK shock is apart and the problem was the internal rubber bumper. It got Jammed between the piston and the body.
New internal and external bumper on order.
I have to admit that I am surprised that a rubber bumper could jam with enough force to withstand the force of a fully compressed spring. That must be several hundreds pounds of force.

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post #20 of 26 Old Oct 7th, 2019, 9:17 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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I have to admit that I am surprised that a rubber bumper could jam with enough force to withstand the force of a fully compressed spring. That must be several hundreds pounds of force.
Exactly what I was thinking.


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post #21 of 26 Old Oct 8th, 2019, 9:20 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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I know it doesn't make much sense. But my suspension knowledge is more telescopic forks vs Paralevel suspension.
Televeler.....

Paralever
is for the dual arm (swingarm + secondary arm attach to the ear of the final drive and the bottom of the bike frame), dual join rear suspension

in any case is weird since in most cases the Spring holds the bike suspension to length, and the internals control the rebound and damping..
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post #22 of 26 Old Oct 8th, 2019, 11:47 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Televeler.....

Paralever
is for the dual arm (swingarm + secondary arm attach to the ear of the final drive and the bottom of the bike frame), dual join rear suspension

in any case is weird since in most cases the Spring holds the bike suspension to length, and the internals control the rebound and damping..
One more time: Telelever.

I am not sure what you mean by the spring holds the bike suspension to length. In vehicles with combined spring and shock units (our LTs, MacPherson strut cars, etc.), the length of the shock unit is set by the damper as the spring is almost always under compression and the damper at full extension sets the length of the unit. So, the damper is not only doing damper duty, but it also holds the spring to a set maximum extension.

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post #23 of 26 Old Yesterday, 8:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Originally Posted by jzeiler View Post
"So I picked up a used set of Ohlins and had them rebuilt and recently installed them in the LT."

Not new but newly rebuilt so I am pretty sure the rebuilder is taking care of this and ordered the internal parts.
Correct. This shock design has not been changed since the 80's and he has never seen this happen before. Phil ordered new upper and lower rubber, installed, dynoed it and it is now on it's way back to my garage. All under warranty. Currently traveling for work but she should be back together and riding by the end of next week
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post #24 of 26 Old Today, 4:41 am
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

Glad you got this figured out. That had to be frightening taking the shock back off!
I just replaced my front Ohlins also. I got the bike with just under 85,000 miles and the front was like a porpoise. The main shaft of the shock was bad and was going to cost almost as much as just getting a new shock.
This post had me a little concerned as this is my first experience with the telelever suspension. The previous owner must have hit some whopper of a pothole as the front shock was blown and the front wheel had a pretty good dent in it. The wheel shop that repaired the wheel was surprised how bad it was. They said the LT wheels are very heavy duty and it takes a lot to dent them.
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post #25 of 26 Old Today, 7:47 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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One more time: Telelever.

I am not sure what you mean by the spring holds the bike suspension to length. In vehicles with combined spring and shock units (our LTs, MacPherson strut cars, etc.), the length of the shock unit is set by the damper as the spring is almost always under compression and the damper at full extension sets the length of the unit. So, the damper is not only doing damper duty, but it also holds the spring to a set maximum extension.

Sure Suspensions are far more complicated that just the Spring, but try to ride with out and let see how far you get...
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post #26 of 26 Old Today, 9:02 pm
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Re: Front suspension collapsed conundrum

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Sure Suspensions are far more complicated that just the Spring, but try to ride with out and let see how far you get...
True, but this is non sequitur to the topic at hand.

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