softtail shock adj

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Billbo, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    Hello all, I need to adjust the shocks on my '01 Heritage Softtail. My question for yall is this --- using the HD spanner wrench, and lets say turning it clockwise, will it ever get to a stop? and counterclockwise, will it ever get to a stop? to where you can no longer turn it in that direction.
    Reason I ask - I do not know where the shock is now but I want to tighten it up some for 2-up riding. I can figure out the direction to turn, but is there an infinite number of clicks or turns I can turn it - or will it stop?

    This question seems to be getting all messed up or confusing perhaps - sorry bout that. I just want to know for example - do you run the shock all the way in (to a stop) and then begin running it back out to where you like it?

    Thanks for your help -- Sorry again - I am just like that - maybe I analize too much.
    Bill
     
  2. Slapp

    Slapp Junior Member

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    No problem, your owners manual tells you how and which way to turn the adjustment to set it for the load rating you wish. If I am correct when you purchase the shock tool it comes with the directions as well.
     
  3. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    Thanks "slapp" - I have the owners manual and the HD repair manual and just bought the shock tool yesterday as well.

    In other words - when the shock is adjusted to it's most stiffest position, can you still adjust it more towards the stiff side or would it have come to the end of the adjustment travel - and stop turning using the spanner wrench? I dont want to make this a dead horse and then keep beating it. Maybe its sorta like adjusting a rifle scope - go all the way to the right and then all the way to the left and then back to the center to put that crosshair in the center to start off with. Then shoot and adjust left or right as required. A shock should have a MAX stiff and MAX soft - and if it does, it has a middle ground half way in between. Then you can turn towards stiff or soft as required.... JMO perhaps.

    Bill - not

    Bill
     
  4. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    I have a '94 FLSTC with progressive rear shocks. The units I have will stop in either direction when you reach the end of travel. In other words yes you will get to a point where you cannot turn it anymore, in both directions. I would think the stock shocks will do the same.
     
  5. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Bill, have you looked at gliders post here Harley Davidson Community
     
  6. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    Thanks HDon - you answered my question. sometimes we just run out of adjustment.

    Billbo

    Thanks Jack - no I had not seen/read Gliders post - but you can believe it when I tell you I have now - printed out the directions - and will use his notes to adjust my own shocks.

    Thanks again
    Billbo
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2012
  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

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    Good Deal Bill, let us know how it goes and if you like the ride better:s
     
  8. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    update - OK here's the deal. No one told me I had to take the shock OFF the MC before I adjusted it. :):):) (smiling here NOT complaining)

    Really, I followed everyones instructions - even opened up my service manual and re-read it. ALL directions say "loosen jam nut - adjust shock - tighten jam nut. simple right! WRONG. The rear wheel was off the concrete.

    Let me relay a few of my findings - the only thing simple is loosening the jam nuts - thats about as far as I got. There is no room up under and in there to even get the HD spanner wrench on the shock. The shock only has 4 holes for the spanner - they are opposite each other - N/S and E/W. you MIGHT get the spanner in two of the opposite holes, but, you only have room to turn it about 1/8-1/4 turn - then, you can't get the spanner back into any of the opposite holes to continue adjusting. Now throw in the MC jack in the way and you really have ZERO room to work a wrench. I actually fiddled around about 20 mins or so and could not even get the spanner wrench into the shock holes on one of the shocks.
    One thing here, from the adjustment end of the shock canister to a frame crossmember is only about 1" of clearance, and that, along with the two shocks being side by side, is the problem with not being able to access the shock holes and turning the spanner for adjustment.

    ANYWAY - I pretty much gave up on that idea and figured I MUST remove the shocks from the bike - put it in a vise and then adjust it and reinstall.

    Does anyone who has actually adjusted these Heritage Softail shocks have any tips or suggestions.

    IF I do remove the shock, will I have to compress it any at all to re-install it?

    HELP!! and Thanks so much for everyone's input.
    Bill
     
  9. TripleJ

    TripleJ Senior Member

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    Try grabbing the outside of the cannister and turning it. Often times the cannister will turn with the spanner portion while you are using the shock wrench and this is acceptable as the adjustment is still being performed.

    I left mine on the ground when I adjusted mine and even though things are tight it can be done.
     
  10. Billbo

    Billbo Junior Member

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    thanks Triple J -- I would have a better chance of grabbing the canister and turning it than using the spanner on the end of the canister. I did notice that seems the end plate (with the spanner holes) and the can turn together - so turning the can may be the ticket!!

    Thanks - I will try that before I remove them from the bike.

    Bill