shock spring changeover tips

I plan to replace the shock spring on my 04 WR450 tonight. Any tips on how to do this with a minimal amount of disassembly? The manual tells you to pretty much disassemble the whole back end of the bike. It looks to me like I need to disconnect the lower part of the subframe, air intake off of the carb and then swing the subframe up out of the way. Then remove the top and bottom bolts on the shock, and maybe the bottom link. I'm also guessing that before I unbolt the shock that I should loosen up the existing spring...removing all tension/preload on it. Can I replace the spring (going stiffer) without having an actual spring compressor?

Any/all pointers would be appreciated!!

Also, what's the grease of choice for the suspension bearings? The manual says a lithium based (and I believe, waterproof) grease.

A few tips:

1. Loosen the shock spring while it's still on the bike. First loosen the lock ring and then grab the spring and twist it; the preload ring should follow the spring.

2. It may be easier to remove the top subframe bolt and pivot the subframe down. This will give clear access to the top of the shock. You'll have to disconnect the airbox from the carb and remove the seat, exhaust and some electrical wires near the battery. Now that I mention it, I can't remember how I did the WR shock, but it's way easier on the YZ this way.

3. There is no need to remove the linkage unless you're going to re-grease it (recommended). Just remove the top and bottom shock bolts (re-grease top and bottom shock bearings). There is also no need for a spring compressor.

4. I've used lots of different types of grease over the years and none are as sticky and hard to wash off as Bel Ray WP grease. It is all I use on the bike now.

Thanks for the tips!!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now