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Matris Cartridge KIt and Matris KDF Shock Installation Notes


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Just installed the Matris Cartridge Kit and Matris KDF Shock. Purchased from PJ's. Good service, good price, quick delivery.
Both items went in without much issue, but wanted to give a heads up to just a few things for those contemplating installing the same. If you have done fork seals and bushings before, this job is easier than that as you are just swapping out the guts of the fork legs and don't need to separate the inner and outer tubes unless you want/need to. 
Items come to mind on the forks: 
A. The cartridge holding tool you may have on hand for the OEM fork cartridge may not fit the Matris cartridge. Not just that the teeth are the wrong size, but the ID of my tool is not big enough to go over the Matris spring guide. However, very easy to make a tool out of 1" PVC using a dremel as you have the cartridge for a guide to cut the teeth. You will need this to hold the cartridge so that you can properly torque the bolt at the bottom. 
B. The spacer on the Matris kit does not have two holes for a fork spring compressor tool. (I don't see how you are going to compress the spring enough to get at the top of the damper rod to attach the fork cap without a compression tool.) I just drilled two holes in the spacer to fit my tool. It's soft metal. 
C. You will need a long bit 8mm hex to get to the bottom bolt. 
D. I read where Matris supplies 7.5wt fork oil as standard. Mine came with 5wt. I put the 5wt in the Rebound Leg and 3wt in the Compression Leg. 
E. Both cartridges came with all adjusters turned completely out (CCW) and that is how they should be installed. 
Items on the Shock Installation:
A. You don't need to remove the rocker or dogbone to get the old shock out as per the Shop Manual. There are a number of ways to do it. Just google FZ-09 and/or FJ-09 for various tips. 
B. The shock I bought has the Hydraulic Preload adjuster alongside the remote reservoir. It comes with a really nice bracket arm you attach between the left side passenger peg bracket and subframe. Perfect fit and hose routing not an issue with just the right length of hoses.  
C. The bottom clevis teeth are a few mm thicker than the OEM shock. When you put the OEM bolt through and screw on the nut, at the torque setting the bolt end will just be flush with the top of the nut. 
D. For those with charcoal cannister emissions equipment, it will be much easier to get at the top shock bolt/nut with that removed. It's very easy to permanently remove this item. Again, lots of how-to threads on that.
That covers the install. I'll pass my comments on about how they perform once I have a chance to set it up. 
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  • 2 weeks later...
Spent a few hours on a local road going back and forth looking for the "right" set up that works for me followed by the next day a long 300+ mile ride. For my taste, the recommended settings from Matris were quite close. In the end, I ended up just reducing the Rebound 5 clicks front and rear and left the Compression as recommended. Used the length adjuster to raise the rear ride height 5mm. Chassis very controlled under acceleration and braking. Nice feedback. Only get an occasional uncomfortable reaction to the sharpest edged road imperfections and then only from the front. A bit too much High Speed C damping I think. But for the majority of normal road conditions, the ride is very comfortable and all the things I didn't like about the OEM suspension are gone.
I did ask myself a few times if it's worth the $2K. I got the result I wanted so I guess it is. I wondered in advance if I could achieve this result less expensively. The answer was maybe, but then I run the risk of spending more money in the end if the OEM re-work options didn't give me the result I wanted. So I fell back on "my clock is ticking" and keep it simple. A high quality shock and front end cartridge kit gives the highest probability of success, regardless brand.
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Thanks for the write-up. The excessive HS Comp can only really be fixed by flipping the piston over and tweaking the shim stack. You could go to 'water' fluid viscosity and still not get rid of it. Hopefully threads like this one can get some more people interested.
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