Changing Rear Shock Spring

I need to change the rear shock spring on my WR400 and wanted to know if I need the specialty tools I have seen described or can I do it with common home mechanic tools. Also, is there any tricks to doing this job that will help make things easier.

Any positive input is appreciated.

A spanner wrench is nice for the pre-load adjusting collars but not necessary, just try to bust loose the locking one (top) before you remove the shock from the bike, it can be tough to do on the bench.

Torque wrench is essential when re assembling.

Go thru and re-pack or replace all of your swingarm and linkage bearings at the same time :thumbsup:

I just did the replacement of the rear shock spring. I had to take it off from the top and not by just un-doing the bottom as suggested to me here in this forum. The reason--I didn't have a metric hex socket attachment to get the lower bolt loose. Going through the top took some time. I don't know if I had to do it this way, but the manual said to and it seemed make sense--I disconnected the lines leading to the coolant overflow, the battery leads, etc. because otherwise they get stretched when you remove the top subframe bolt to get the subframe out of the way to get at the shock.

I say loosen the lock nut on the shock and loosen the adjuster before taking the shock off unless you have the shock compression tool--it seems a lot easier to beat on that with a hammer and screwdriver while the shock is secure in the bike.

Also, the following trick that was posted here before works too--once you get the adjuster loosened a ways you can grab onto the spring and rotate it around the shock and it will turn the adjuster with it.

I had no trouble loosening up the lock ring after the shock on my WR was removed. I just clamped the shock in a vice and sprayed the threads on the shock with WD40. I tapped the locking ring a couple of times with a brass punch and hammer and bingo! it was loose. I then grabbed the spring and rotated it counter clockwise unscrewing the ring all the way to the end of the threads. At this point it was just a matter of sliding the rubber stop down and removing the locking shims then removing the spring. it should pretty much, fall apart in your hands. Prior to loosening up the lock ring, you may want to measure the exposed threads. That way, you can always return the spring to the same adjustment when you put everything back together.

Hope this helps!


Thanks everyone for your input. I can see how Loosening the the tension of the shock spring can be easier while it is still attached to the bike along with some WD40 on the threads. I don't think I would have thought to rotate the spring to finish loosening the nut so I am sure that will make the job a little easier. I was planning on going threw all the bearing on the bike including the swing arms while I had the shock removed but thanks for the reminder. Since this bike is new to me as of this year. I will also be checking the front forks and changing their fluids to make sure all is well there also.

I will be changing my stock 5.0 gram spring for a 5.4 to better match my 200lb. weight. I will have to redo my sag setting so I don't have to worry about remembering what the spring length is.

I just changed out my springs this week. Went .48 in forks and 5.8 on shock, (I am 225lbs.).

Went through all my bearings and replaced my steering stem bearings, (if I ever do that again it will be to soon :bonk: ).

Goin' riding in the morning :thumbsup:

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