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Old 11-23-2008, 09:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Changing oil in your air shocks

There has been some discussion on changing oil in your shocks. By changing the weight of oil you can adjust the dampening. This is done all the time in racing bikes and quads. I changed the oil in my own bikes shocks and found it to be quite easy and the results were well worth it. I had problems with bottoming out all the time even with the air pressure as high as I dare putting in to them as much as 50 psi. After the change of oil to a 10 weight only 12 to 15 psi was needed even with a heavily loaded ultra. I made a simple press out of materials I bought at Home Depot about 20$ and is makes the oil change about a 30 minute job. My adapter made from a 1/8 pipe nipple and a 45 street el and a spark plug boot and small funnel make up the rest of the parts needed.
1 With the shock removed and brass fitting out of it install the shock upside down with the adapter pipe installed, It takes about 5 complete strokes on the handle to empty the shock of its old dirty oil about 10 oz.
2 Turn the empty shock over and put the funnel into the spark plug boot and measure out 10 oz of clean suspension oil into your measuring cup I used a ratio rite.
3 While pumping with short strokes on the press add the oil into the funnel and do not over fill because by pumping you will be burping out the air and sucking the oil into the shock.
4 when the shock is filled with no more than 10 oz of oil put the air fitting back on the shock with thread sealant and reinstall on the bike. You are now ready to do the same for the second shock.


pictures can be seen at http://s841.photobucket.com/albums/z...view=slideshow
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Last edited by cts1950; 08-11-2009 at 10:49 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, good looking job on the device.

Better yet, install Progressive 440's and never worry about air pressure again. Best thing I ever did to my bike.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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very nice ! bookmarked for future.
Thanks
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Old 11-24-2008, 12:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool , Is there any chance of posting pictures for people who can not view these ? Like me !
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Become a Premium member, the cost is cheap considering all the great info we get on here and it supports the site. So we will have more and better things on here in the future.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've wondered about servicing the rear shocks, and how often it should be done.

So each shock holds 10oz of fluid, what kind of oil is best to use?

Steve
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineUltraClassic View Post
I've wondered about servicing the rear shocks, and how often it should be done.

So each shock holds 10oz of fluid, what kind of oil is best to use?

Steve
I used Amsoil Fork oil 10 weight and mine put out 12oz I believe. I would think you would want to do it at the same time as when you do the front forks.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cts1950 View Post
There has been some discussion on changing oil in your shocks. By changing the weight of oil you can adjust the dampening. This is done all the time in racing bikes and quads. I changed the oil in my own bikes shocks and found it to be quite easy and the results were well worth it. I had problems with bottoming out all the time even with the air pressure as high as I dare putting in to them as much as 50 psi. After the change of oil to a 10 weight only 12 to 15 psi was needed even with a heavily loaded ultra. I made a simple press out of materials I bought at Home Depot about 20$ and is makes the oil change about a 30 minute job. My adapter made from a 1/8 pipe nipple and a 45 street el and a spark plug boot and small funnel make up the rest of the parts needed.
1 With the shock removed and brass fitting out of it install the shock upside down with the adapter pipe installed, It takes about 5 complete strokes on the handle to empty the shock of its old dirty oil about 10 oz.
2 Turn the empty shock over and put the funnel into the spark plug boot and measure out 10 oz of clean suspension oil into your measuring cup I used a ratio rite.
3 While pumping with short strokes on the press add the oil into the funnel and do not over fill because by pumping you will be burping out the air and sucking the oil into the shock.
4 wen the shock is filled with no more than 10 oz of oil put the air fitting back on the shock with thread sealant and reinstall on the bike. You are now ready to do the same for the second shock.
Looks just like how I did mine.
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Old 11-24-2008, 03:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for the valuable information.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I did this a while ago somewhat following TexasBowHunter's thread, which is similar to this one.

When I had both shocks re-filled I put them on the bike and sat on it, forcing out some fluid, then closed them up.

It is a pretty east job.

The way they're drained in this thread is pretty slick as you put in the same amount as you took out.
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolmaker View Post
Become a Premium member, the cost is cheap considering all the great info we get on here and it supports the site. So we will have more and better things on here in the future.
cool was an expression .
Since on the subject I was a premium member . Until the site changed hands and my payment went to the old owner Mr P .
Maybe , again when I get over it !
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So you have to pump the oil out, it won't just drain out if you leave them upsidedown?

I'll probably do this this winter as another project...........I'm sure they need a service since I have 36000 miles on them.

Steve
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I used bel ray shock oil I believe there is a difference with fork oil. I used 10 w the original is about 5w I have seen 7w by bel ray. I have now drained 6 shocks and have always come up with 10 oz and am reluctant to put more into them so as not to get hydraulic lock up going. The shocks I have drained had about 25 to 35 k on them and I was surprised how dirty the oil was. As easy as it is to change I would do it with each fork oil change. I will post a tool I came up with for the forks also made life a lot easier I modified a pump for out drive oil to pump a measured amount of oil into the drain hole and put the plug back in. I did remove the top caps off the forks to vent the tubes.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I serviced mine recently and all that hog-wash from harley about not being able to is just that HOG-WASH. They work perfectly. Next time though, i will used 7.5 wt. oil. Mine are a bit firm with 10 wt. Belray fork oil.

Ride on
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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So fork oil can be used in the shocks?

That will give me something to use the bottle of regular fork oil I bought by mistake, instead of sitting on the shelf taking up space.

Steve
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