Anyone DIY rebuild their rear shock?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by turboderek, May 5, 2009.

  1. turboderek

    turboderek DL650 TW200 RD400

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    I just got my ebay rear shock. I'm planning to remove the 80,000 mile rear shock I have on now and put this used one on. I want to use the my old shock to learn how to rebuild a rear shock. If it costs a bit more then paying for an aftermarket/rebuild, I will now be able to do a rebuild on friends or my other motorcycles shocks. I emailed Jay at Suspensions by Sasquatch and he gave me some good info.

    Has anyone here rebuild a vstrom rear shock or know a good resource?
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  2. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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    I have torn into a shock or two...it wasn't too bad. I am sure you have been told to be sure and bleed the bladder first and to make sure you get all the air out when you recharge with oil. I think those may be the most critical things. Don't really know about revalving tho.
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  3. The Cyclops

    The Cyclops Long timer

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  4. RandyM

    RandyM Less talk, More ride

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  5. RunningBare

    RunningBare Been here awhile

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    I've had my wee strom shock rebuilt, but I think you'd be better to get someone to do it rather than do it yourself. It involves cutting it open and making a threaded collar to take a new seal, installing a valve, regassing etc. so unless you have the knowledge and the gear, forget it. FWIW an aftermarket shock such as a Wiburs,Elka,Ohlins is better if you can afford it, the Strom shock is a cheap shock and very basic and after rebuilding it you will still have a basic shock but a bit better than stock.
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  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    You will need to have a heli-arc welder (TIG). You need to weld in a port for nitrogen charging. The seals are pretty basic. You also need to know precisely how much fluid to put in that shock.... Too much and you blow out seals, too little and the shock does not operate properly. You also need to know how much Nitrogen to put in it.

    But other than that, it is pretty basic.

    :hide


    No it does not need a threaded collar. Whoever told you that was incorrect.

    Now, the DL shock can be made into a really nice performing shock. When I do most DL shocks, the valving piston gets reworked, the valving stack gets a new stack, it gets a new spring and new fluid. I can even add a floating piston to the DL650 shock to make it perform as well as the Sasquatch modified DL1000 shock.
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  7. greywolf

    greywolf Unpaved road avoider

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    Does that mean the DL1000 shock separates the gas and oil and the DL650 shock does not? What are the differences between them besides length?
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  8. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    Thats it. The DL1000 has a floating piston in it and is a tad longer. I think 5mm if my memory serves. Same spring, same valving, same nasty shock oil...

    More info on my work
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  9. RunningBare

    RunningBare Been here awhile

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    Sorry to disagree but my shock, rebuilt in Australia has a threded collar to hold the seal, it also has a floating piston. As I said before although some revalving is possible it cannot be made to perform like a quality shock so if you want the best find the extra cash.
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  10. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    I have only been building suspensions for 20 years, so I may not know anything, but no threaded collar is needed to hold the seals in. The stock seal head is held in by a snap ring (as are 97% of all shocks) and is used again after you rebuild the seal head. The same seal head is reused, only new bushings and seals are installed, so it stands to reason that the same retention method would be reused.

    That said, if your builder did something odd (or different:D ) to deal with the recharging of the nitrogen rather than welding in a bung for a shrader port, that may explain the collar on yours. Or if he used a non OEM seal head that he had to modify to work, that may explain it as well. I would love to see a photo of what he did..

    As far as performance, you would be surprised. You see, with shocks there is no big secret. The insides of an Ohlins looks just like the inside of a DL1000. You have a piston assembly moving through a chamber of pressurized hydraulic oil. Movement is controlled by a stack of shims of different diameters and thicknesses that flex under the flow of the oil. They are all the same, or at least pretty close in design. Some use a better piston assembly that flows oil better. How a Ohlins works better than a stock DL shock is that they spend tons of money and time designing the valving stack and piston to work perfectly with the spring for best ride. The stockers get it close and call it good. For race applications larger shafts and piston surface area works to regulate the action even better, but you will never see those conditions on a DL, sorry.

    If you took a standard DeCarbon style DL1000 shock, and had me do my works treatment on it, and then compared it to a non-remote reservoir Ohlins, and did a blind test on public roads with average riders (like us) I would lay down hard money that half the group would say the Ohlins is better and the other half would say mine is better. A $1200 Ohlins is not $750 better than my $450 built shock, no way, no how. I have built and raced on Ohlins, White Power, Showa, Kayaba, KYB, you name it. I aimed at the top dogs (WP and Ohlins) when I was designing my shim stacks in terms of performance and I got damn close.

    My customers have been more than overjoyed with my product. Read the link I posted in my last post. And in this economy, $750 savings on a shock goes a long, long way. Not only that, you are supporting a US company, US parts, and can pick up the phone and contact the guy who built the shock directly. Try that with Ohlins.

    How about a KLR shock that performs as well as a Ohlins???? Here is one I built for my own KLR.
    [​IMG]

    The internals are all new, with a custom piston assembly, custom valved, teflon lined bore, Fox remote reservoir that was reworked to match the flow rate of the KLR shock, synthetic fluid and a custom spring.

    Total overkill for a KLR, but it blew me away at how well it worked.
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  11. Tinks

    Tinks Demented Snow White

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    Hey sasquatch...I have a shock a friend gave me for my bike. It needs to be rebuilt and I don't feel capable. The stock shock on the 599 blows, and this one is from an F3i (IIRC). It is supposed to bolt right on. What is reasonable for me to pay to have this rebuilt? I need to get another year and a half or two out of my bike before I can afford my next bike, and after two back surgeries, I need better suspension (desperately). :cry

    The shock I have looks kind of similar to the one you posted above...but I'm not a trained eye either.
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  12. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    The F3 shock is going to be a bit on the stiff side as it came off a full performance bike. Along with a rebuild, I would suggest that whoever does the work to revalve it into a two stage valving stack where the first stage is nice and plush. This will give you a plush ride and not jar that back of yours.

    Reasonable pricing should be in the $225-250 range. That is right where I would fall including the revalving.
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  13. Tinks

    Tinks Demented Snow White

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    Ok, treat me like I've never heard of two stage valving stack (probably becasue I've never heard of two stage valving stack) and explain that to me a bit...I'm conceptual so give me a picture of what that means/does....pleeeeease!
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  14. monkeyfez

    monkeyfez Enabler....

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    :nod Jay is the man.

    He'll be getting any suspension work I may have until he doesn't do it anymore. I won't even consider anyone else. The results are just that good.


    Oh and Tinks I didn't win the lottery so no GS fer ya. Sorry.
    #14
  15. Tinks

    Tinks Demented Snow White

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    :cry :cry :cry :cry
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  16. Reposado1800

    Reposado1800 Juicy J fan!

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    Thanks for the information Sasquatch! When my shock comes off it is going your way.:evil
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  17. jawmail

    jawmail Adventurer

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    +1
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  18. eng42

    eng42 Adventurer

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    Sasquatch, or anyone else--my nephew and I rebuilt the shock on his NX125 a few years ago, and it had a strange arrangement. The seal gland was the usual snapring, and it all came apart and went back together just like an old-fashioned non-gas shock. What was odd was that the floating piston that separates the gas and the oil sides was down there at the bottom, held in with its own snapring, it appeared. It still had a little pressure, apparently, since I couldn't push it down easily, and we just left it alone. Everything worked just fine, but I'm wondering how the heck you would get that apart, and how you would recharge the gas side. And, I guess, how did those clever suckers charge it the first time?[​IMG]
    #18
  19. Big_John

    Big_John Ridin 4 the King

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    I am saving my pennies for Sasquach to rebuild my DL650 shock. When the cold really settles into Colorado in February, I will be shipping it his direction. I really, really need and want this upgrade!!!!!
    #19
  20. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Banned

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    If you were able to get it apart the nitrogen charge is about gone in that shock. It should have about 150-200psi of nitrogen in it. With that, you would never compress the seal head enough to get the snap ring off if it. So, in essence, even though you put new oil in it, it is not working up to it's potential.

    How I do it is I drill a small port into the nitrogen chamber, weld in a special threaded insert, and install a micro Schrader port for filling the charge after the shock is assembled. This also makes the shock rebuildable by anyone in the future. Your shock was never intended to be rebuildable by the factory.

    How they do it is the shock is assembled by equipment that is able to press it together while under pressure. As the piston is pushed down the shock tube, it builds pressure behind it. Once it is pressed beyond the snap ring, another device installs that. It is quite fascinating how they do it in the factories. Each manufacturer has a little bit different procedure.
    #20