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Thread: Specialized rear shock "Brain" rebuild with pictures & now forks too

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    Senior Member link1896's Avatar
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    Default Specialized rear shock "Brain" rebuild with pictures & now forks too

    As the title says, I'm embarking on rebuilding Specialized rear Brain shocks (and now forks too, see post 243 of this thread). This has been a long time coming, I've spent a fair amount of time on the couch reading the patent documents while feeding my son over the last few weeks.

    There are valid Australian patents for the brain technology and autosag technology. Spare parts availability seems to be non existent. Between Specialized's patents and their bus load of lawyers, I've had some legal advice, but really need to spend an hour with a patent lawyer. Personally I find the cost of ownership too high if I can't service myself. I really like SRAMs style, full service documentation and parts availability. Until I embark on an electronically controlled shock to supersede the brain, I want to maintain it to top condition. Until I have clarity from a patent lawyer, this thread will only show what I have done, current IP law lets an individual use/copy patent protected designs or processes as long as there is no commercial consideration.

    Inertial mass (aka brain) Australian Patent http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/o...nNo=2011253723
    Autosag Australian Patent http://pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au/o...nNo=2012227197

    So far I have two shocks to experiment with, a 2012 S-Works Epic rear brain, and a 2014 Epic World Cup rear brain. I've started with the Sworks, have stripped and cleaned. I'm currently stuck getting the piston head out of the brain assembly. Will need to make a tool with multiple pins to engage the piston head to spin it out, using a circlip tool quickly burred up two ports. grrr.

    Next step is to hunt down generic parts from my local bearing/hydraulic shop. Fingers crossed the seals, etc, arn't custom sizes. I have a bad feeling they are. Seals are all made by NOK but have very odd size markings.

    Some revisions provide a bleed port for vacuum bleeding, the 2012 Sworks shock doesn't have a bleed port, I'm yet to work out how to bleed.

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    Last edited by link1896; 23-04-2016 at 07:53 PM.
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    Senior Member Ivan's Avatar
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    Top work. Any thoughts on modifying the brain?

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    Senior Member link1896's Avatar
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    Thanks. Yep, thinking of adding adjustable preload to the spring and a Schrader valve so I can recharge with air for testing
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    Senior Member Ivan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by link1896 View Post
    Thanks. Yep, thinking of adding adjustable preload to the spring and a Schrader valve so I can recharge with air for testing

    I had assumed that is what the adjuster did, adjust the preload on the spring. I'll have to go and look at some pictures to figure out whats actually going on.

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    Senior Member link1896's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan View Post
    I had assumed that is what the adjuster did, adjust the preload on the spring. I'll have to go and look at some pictures to figure out whats actually going on.
    The brain fade adjuster on the reservoir sets the needle height inside the damper shaft, the spring for the inertia mass is fixed. fEwgdq0.jpg
    Last edited by link1896; 08-06-2015 at 03:00 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by link1896 View Post
    ...the 2012 Sworks shock doesn't have a bleed port, I'm yet to work out how to bleed...
    Any idea who makes the 2012 for Speci? Doesn't look like a fox shock. Earlier brain shocks made by Fox have to be assembled in a 2l ice container full of shock oil to solve the bleed problem.
    Wanted: broken 10 speed XTR rear derailleur

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    Senior Member link1896's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SummitFever View Post
    Any idea who makes the 2012 for Speci? Doesn't look like a fox shock. Earlier brain shocks made by Fox have to be assembled in a 2l ice container full of shock oil to solve the bleed problem.
    It was fox. I've drawings with Fox's logo on them. I guess shesh wanted to differentiate and didn't use Fox's aesthetics.

    The original brain with the inertial assembly threaded into the main housing was a bucket bleed job, possibly the older remote reservoirs, like this 2012 example, are too. It will be fun working it out.
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    Senior Member link1896's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by link1896 View Post
    It was fox. I've drawings with Fox's logo on them. I guess shesh wanted to differentiate and didn't use Fox's aesthetics.

    The original brain with the inertial assembly threaded into the main housing was a bucket bleed job, possibly the older remote reservoirs, like this 2012 example, are too. It will be fun working it out.

    even as far back as 2010 by the looks of it:

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/...orks-epic-29er
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    Senior Member link1896's Avatar
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    Progress update.

    damper shaft seal is rock hard, like rp23's of similar vintage I've had apart.
    Dowel pins ordered for making a tool to unthread the reservoir piston head.
    found small metal shavings around the main shim stack but nothing is damaged, this shock has been apart previously, score marks on housings around hose c clips.
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    Senior Member rider124's Avatar
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    just thought id add to this thread
    love the brains, and im just about to teach myself to rip them apart too i hope
    when i was at specialized recently, i snapped this of a brain they had on display if anyone was curious on what they looked like
    11268341_940067666013803_185271780_n.jpg

    will be following this thread closely!
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