I've managed to inadvertantly remove the rebound adjuster of my 5th Element Air rear shock. Any ideas how to put it back in?
It happened on a ride last night when I noticed that my rebound had become comically slow – taking a couple of seconds to rebound – and so I began attempting to adjust the rebound. Small adjustments in either direction seemed to make no difference, so I attempted to wind it to its minimum-damping stop. And just as I was thinking "I don't remember it winding this far before" it popped out!
And it won't go back in. In the hole where the adjuster was there's a little white piston that moves in & out of the side wall of the hole. This is now extended halfway into the hole. Judging by the taper on the adjuster screw it seems that this piston's position sets the damping rate. When it's retracted out of the hole the damping is set to maximum and, in normal operation, as the adjuster is wound anti-clockwise the piston extends into the hole, regulated by the adjuster's taper, reducing the damping and providing a stop to avoid winding the adjuster out too far.
I suspect that this piston had become jammed at maximum damping before I started adjusting and so did not move into the hole, and so did not stop the adjuster from winding out.
Anyone who knows these shocks well enough to offer an answer probably knows all this already, so the explaination is for those who'll tell me I'm a ham-fisted monkey who must have forced it past its stop.
My best idea so far is to use very thin shim steel to form a tube to hold the piston back while I push the adjuster in inside it. Then retract the shim tube. But the hole ID is 0.275" and the adjuster OD is 0.270", and I doubt 0.001" shim will resist the piston's spring.
I wonder if there are any tricks like perhaps extending the shock quickly, causing the little white piston to retract for long enough to pop the adjuster back in. Just a guess.