Rear Spring or Dogbone Removal and Replacement

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Written by Pat Martin   
Sunday, 04 July 2004

So you put on a few pounds and figure it’s time for that rear spring upgrade? Installing the upgraded rear spring will stiffen up the bike so it does not bottom out as easily. This job is simpler than you think. Lets review the tools we need:

  1. Motorcycle Lift
  2. New upgraded Spring
  3. Hand tools (3/8" socket swivel is handy)
  4. Access to a hydraulic Press

First put the bike on the lift and make sure it is secure. Only lift the bike to the point where the rear tire is barely touching the shop floor. Remove the rear horn and let the horn lie out of the way. This gives enough access to the front suspension assembly bolt that needs to be removed. Remove the nut on the front bolt.

We will also have to remove the rear nut on the bolt that attaches the relay arm to the frame.

You might need a helper to slightly lift the rear wheel assembly up and relieve pressure from the bolts to get them out. At this point the suspension assemble is free from the bike. Keep in mind the bike is on a lift and be careful. Once the bolts are completely removed, have the helper lift the back wheel up a little higher and you will be able to work the suspension assembly out of the bottom of the bike. The assembly will come out by dropping the front of it down and removing towards the front of the bike.

Now that the suspension assembly is out of the bike we are ready to change the spring. First we need to remove the side links (dogbones) and the relay arm and set them to the side. (If you are just changing dogbones, just exchange them and reinstall everything in reverse order and torque all fastners to the service manual.)

Lets take a look at what the assembly will look like disassembled to get familiar with the parts.

The small metal retaining ring on the left side of the picture is what holds the assembly together. You can see the grove that is sits in on the disassembled shock. This is hidden under the bottom retaining plate when assembled.

Now that we are familiar with the assembly, lets take the shock and spring over to our Press. Warning: The spring is under tension. Keep all body parts away from the assembly while compressing. If the shock/spring assembly comes loose from the press, bodily harm can occur.

Install the shock securely in the press as shown.

We are going to compress the shock to get to the metal ring that is located under the lower metal retainer plate. Once the shock gets compressed, the ring will be exposed and you will need to remove it from the groove. Keep in mind that the spring is under high pressure and keep you body as clear as possible from the assembly.

Once the ring is removed from the groove, slowly release the pressure on the press. You will then be able to remove the assembly and pull the top retaining plate out because it has a cut out in it. This will let the stock spring be removed and replaced from the top. Exchange the spring and reinstall the top plate.

Reinstall assembly in press and compress until the metal ring can be reinstalled in the groove. Slowly release pressure from the press and verify that the metal ring is holding the lower retaining plate securely under the lower plate. The remaining steps are just reverse order of removal. Torque all fastners according to the service manual.



Questions should be asked in our forum (Use discuss link below). The forum is very active and you stand a good chance of getting your questions answered there. If you would like to leave feedback for the author, or have additional information you think will benefit others, please use the comment section at the bottom of this page.

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DISCLAIMER: This information and procedure is provided as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.  Neither the publishers nor the authors accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or suitability of this procedure.  You assume all risks associated with the use of this information.  NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.  Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, this procedure may endanger the safety of you and others on your motorcycle and possibly invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.


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  Comments (10)
Tips on removing the shock
Written by RonK, on 10-19-2013 22:43
-- 
 
You can go here to get my process for removing the shock: 
 
http://roadstarclinic.com/component/option,com_fireboard/Itemid,187/func,view/id,697584/catid,13/ 
 
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Spring Change
Written by Crusierbob, on 08-22-2010 12:58
Thank you for a great write up and pics. I just changed out the rear spring for a progressive and it took less than 1 1/2 hours from start to tools put away and ready to ride.
removing shock
Written by snowbeast, on 05-16-2010 13:05
The photo does not show a clear pic of what it takes to remove the two bolts holding the shock in place,do i need to remove anything to get a wrench on those tow bolts,and what size wrench and what kind works the best,do i need a swivel,it looks kinda tight up in there,thanks any extra pics would help. pete
bike
Written by travis, on 02-18-2010 18:25
thanks for the information on the spring change going to order one tomorrow i had to set my bike down for my short legs i hope it does not raise it back up a little
adjusting my rear shock
Written by gopamer, on 07-10-2008 10:21
I just bought my 1999 Roadstar and it sits to low to the ground, and my pipes are dragging. I bought it from a guy who was 80 lbs lighter than myself and I need to get the rear end up off the ground about 1 to 2 inches. Any help on adjusting my rear shock would be greatly appreciated. Thanks gopamer
spring
Written by shorty, on 06-21-2008 07:29
does the spring slip over the end
shock ?'s
Written by brian9559, on 03-12-2008 20:16
What kind of shock did you use? What kind of results did you get? Any advice would be appreciated. I have been considering the L.A. Chopper shock out of the new Dennis Kirk catalog but I would like to hear more about it first.
If you have a press
Written by vegasdave, on 02-02-2008 16:32
Had access to a press at work.this was one of the easiest things I` ve done.Excellent.
Written by JRBoisvert, on 06-01-2007 09:27
Pat, 
Very well done. I will changed my spring, but where did you got yours? 
 
Jacques :)
Written by dollarman123, on 03-10-2007 14:06
Very well explained thanks

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