Rear shock replacement may seem like such a back-breaking task. However, anyone can do it as long as they can remove the wheels of a bike. Some bike models from the late 80s and early 90s have highly complicated linkages and may take about 3 to 4 hours, which is longer than it may take to replace other bike models. But, it is still possible to replace their rear shocks
Can it be that easy? Well, read on and find out.
Before starting the rear shock replacement, ensure that you have a good tool kit comprising a torch wrench, a few spanners and sockets that are a minimum of about 10-19mm. These, plus some lubricant for moving parts, are the most fundamental tools in this process.
After ensuring the tools’ availability, inspect all the bearings for any prior damages. Then, suspend your bike from the ground at the rear wheel. Avoid using a paddock stand. Instead, raise the rear end of the bike using a strap attached to the roof of the garage or place support beneath it. The fundamental thing to note is that the weight of the bike gets pushed forward. This way, you will be able to do the rear shock replacement comfortably.
Once the bike is in position, take out the bike’s wheel spindle followed by the rear wheel. Though it may seem easy to remove the shocks through the frame rails above the wheel, it will take much longer to connect the linkages. Taking the wheel out is easy as you will be able to clearly see what you are doing and also do the linkage connections easily.
Unbolt the top and bottom bolts that usually hold the shock in place. With these out, it is easier to access the others as the shock can now move with ease. As you remove the bolts, shake the swinging arm a bit for ease. Due to corrosion, some bolts may need some force to remove and a bit of WD40 soaking. If it becomes too difficult, gas-torch heat will help.
Once the bolts are out, remove the shock carefully. Watch out for the way it sits as well as any spacers and bushes that may fall from the tool chest. Watch out that you do not scratch the frame of the body or cause any damage. Once this is done, you can now go ahead with the rear shock replacement.
Before fixing in the new shock, ensure that it has similar length and rear fitting as the old shock. Use grit paper to clean the corrosion off old bolts and bushes. If the cleaning is impossible, acquire new bolts for the shock. Apply grease on all the Aluminum surfaces that are exposed to prevent corrosion.
Then, take a new shock and set it up as you wiggle it like you did while removing the old one. Push the shock’s top-end into its mounting point then refit the mounting bolt loosely. Once secured, put the securing nuts on the bolts and use your finger to tighten them on the nut side. Using a torque wrench, fix them tight into the right torque figure. Use a bit of Loctite, which is a thread locking compound, on each bolt thread.
See, rear shock replacement is not as hard as it may seem. With the right tools and good bike support, you can ensure that your bike has a new rear shock as fast as possible.