Aftermarket Rear Shock

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Hppants
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:39 pm

OK - got the shock mounted.

First, a technical concern. The lower shock clevis bolt, the infamous one that was related to Josh's clevis failure, fits like a glove inside the aftermarket shock. The right side of the clevis is larger diameter to accommodate the shoulder of the special bolt and it is exactly the same size as the stock. I measured the difference in the clevis opening (inside measurement, taken with a dial caliper at the center of the holes) and that dimension is about 0.005" difference (insignificant, IMO). Before I took the old shock out, I noted a bit of free play in the lower shock mount. Not a ton, but some. After I put the new shock in, torqued everything per FSM, including the lower shock mount bolt at 29 ft pounds, the free play was greater. While Mike was prying on the rear wheel up and down, I could feel the free play in the lower shock mount only. So we tightened up that bolt in 5 ft pound increments until the free play was hardly noticeable (much tighter than stock was).

Now then, I'm trying to rationalize whether or not I have a rear suspension issue (bearing failure, etc) to deal with. In my mind, the bearings that go to the piece that the lower shock connects to (the fulcrum arm or whatever) - those are needle radial bearings only. In other words, they resist no side to side load at all. Furthermore, I believe the slack I was concerned about (and ultimate removed) is from the bushing in that fulcrum part pushing against the bolt on both ends. Once you tighten the slack out of that bushing, then you are done. Everybody in agreement with this? Was it appropriate for me to "over torque" that lower shock bolt for the purpose of taking out the slack in the bushing? Or is some slack necessary and built in from the factory?

Also, the aftermarket shock can move left to right significantly. Like maybe 1/8" or even a little more. Sadly, I don't remember what the stock shock was like. Again, the width of the bushing should be driving this - you can tighten only to that width and no more, regardless of what the clevis is doing. Am I thinking that correctly? Would anyone please reach down on their stock shock and see if you have some left to right movement on the lower mount?

Now off to go test ride it. Hope I don't die.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by raYzerman » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:35 pm

Don't worry about left to right in the lower clevis. Torque to spec, leave it there. It can float. You are concerned about up and down, controlled by the diameter of the bushing, which should be a slide fit.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by STrep » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:07 pm

Thank you for the information Ray...very helpful

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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by escapefjrtist » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:04 am

What's the verdict 'pants?

Longer shock length will increase the rear ride height. Did you notice a difference? Secondly, does the shoulder of the lower [stock] bolt slightly extend into the clevis opening? On the stock shock, the shoulder captures the bottom bearing race.

~G
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Redfish » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:50 pm

Should we be worried? He went off to ride it and typed, "Hope I don't die". It's been 24 hours and we haven't heard anything.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:57 pm

First, I didn't die. I got busy this morning with my neighbor's clothes dryer. (sigh)

Next, ride impressions:

The ride is better in every imaginable way. The spring with no preload on it is perfect for me riding by myself (as expected). The dampening came at the mid point from Hagon, and it was a bit harsh from the get go. Over the 75 mile ride yesterday, I stopped every 10 -15 miles and backed off the dampening 1/2 turn until it got spongy/mushy, and then went back up 1/2 turn. I'm not sure where that puts me in the total range of dampening, but the ride is most excellent. Bumps while in curves are absorbed without being bouncy. I really like the performance of the shock. Truthfully, I can't remember the bike ever riding this good.

Also, my ride height is a bit higher, but again, it's not much and I can't remember if when the bike was new it was higher and it sagged over time. Wheatie - I know you have a brand new OEM shock, and maybe we could compare measurements of my old one and your new one to see if there is a difference. Regardless, I don't notice much difference in the turn in, considering the idea that if I'm sitting higher from the "longer" shock, then theoretically, my rake should be steeper, which should make the bike turn quicker. Either that theory is crap, I'm not experienced enough to notice it, or I haven't found a road twisty enough to really test it.

Now, back to my technical concerns. I've made a couple of videos for you to watch explaining that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHeulVB ... e=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiT5WVL ... e=youtu.be

Edit - the audio on these videos is low for some reason. On my media player, it sounds fine. If you turn up the volume, hopefully you can hear what I am saying. If not, I'll remove the lifeproof cover from my phone and the mic should work better, especially if I talk up. Again, apologies.

I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Last edited by Hppants on Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by bigjohnsd » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:04 pm

escapefjrtist wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:04 am
What's the verdict 'pants?

Longer shock length will increase the rear ride height. Did you notice a difference? Secondly, does the shoulder of the lower [stock] bolt slightly extend into the clevis opening? On the stock shock, the shoulder captures the bottom bearing race.

~G
George, wouldn't that longer length have to be measured with the rider on the bike to find Race or Dynamic SAG, or at least with the shock in the bike to determine the Static SAG? Just having a longer measurement on the bench doesn't really give any valuable information as far as I can determine?
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:11 pm

Can ya'll view the videos? I'm not too good with this Youtube and computer stuff....
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Redfish » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:50 pm

I can see the videos. I don't know if you should be worried or not.

I am assuming you did not clean and grease the bearings in that suspension linkage while you had things apart?

If the new shock/spring assembly does raise the rear of the bike enough to measure/notice with you sitting on the bike then you should absolutely notice some difference in turn in and cornering. I bet if you add some preload you will see it.

On my old ST1300 I would see and feel differences in the preload settings and I rode even worse back then than I do now. You will definitely notice it.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by raYzerman » Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:51 pm

1. Overall length of both shocks - when both are out of the bike and on the bench, spring is pushing everything to max length, so "old age sag" has nothing to do with it while unloaded. Measuring may be awkward, minor difference may seem bigger than it is. Does it matter? Only when you're off the bike, but not relevant to anything. Sitting on the bike, you'll notice a slight difference because the stronger spring on the new one is holding you up like it should. That's mostly due to the difference in effective spring rates, again, not so much "old age". As you add preload, your ride height increases (less sag) unless of course you gain enough weight to negate that, lol.
2. First vid - side to side play isn't necessarily a concern. If the thickness of the clevis wall is bigger on the Hagon, that's what's giving you the play. It's ok to float side to side, but if it bugs you, put a 0.030-0.040" washer between the clevis and the bushing on the nut side. I would not go any more than the spec torque, don't want to squeeze the clevis itself.
3. Second vid - a concern. Maybe the (needle) bearing is shot (kinda doubting it), but would have done so if dry and bushing rusted up, which you likely would have noticed. If bearing inside the relay arm looks good, bushing in good shape, should be a firm slide fit (check with the grease seals out if you think you need to go there). The bushing ID and bolt OD is a more likely source of play since the bolt is not a machined part, nor really a slide fit, then I'd call it normal and not worry about it. I mean, nothing much you can do about that.

Just an FYI, I'll have to dig up the bolt RaceTech gave me, it was quite long, really just retained on one side, allowing side to side float. Again, standard kind of bolt, not a true slide fit in the bushing, but I never checked up and down play. ALso, IIRC (I keep a spare relay arm I got used from pre-Gen3), the OEM Gen1/2 bolt and relay arm have different ID bushings, the Gen3 being larger... but as long as you're using Gen3 parts (you are), no issue.

Take the hint from Redfish..... If you didn't take the opportunity to grease up the relay arm bushing/bearings..... tsk tsk. You should do it. To do the very front one completely, you'll have to remove the centerstand, however, next best thing is to cheat the bolt out as much as you can, grease what you can, work it in by sliding the bolt/bearing in/out, put it back together... and keep in mind that particular one is up higher and less susceptible to road crud/water, don't let it keep you awake at night.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by escapefjrtist » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:45 pm

Both of the conditions you're showing are normal 'pants. The side to side clevis movement is indeed the difference between the bearing race and housing width. When tightening the clevis you should feel a hard "stop" when the shoulder of the bottom bolt contacts the race.

~G
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by escapefjrtist » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:54 pm

bigjohnsd wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:04 pm
escapefjrtist wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:04 am
What's the verdict 'pants?

Longer shock length will increase the rear ride height. Did you notice a difference? Secondly, does the shoulder of the lower [stock] bolt slightly extend into the clevis opening? On the stock shock, the shoulder captures the bottom bearing race.

~G
George, wouldn't that longer length have to be measured with the rider on the bike to find Race or Dynamic SAG, or at least with the shock in the bike to determine the Static SAG? Just having a longer measurement on the bench doesn't really give any valuable information as far as I can determine?
I should have been more specific John. I made an assumption the new shock would [at least] have an equivalent spring rate and base preload. All things equal, longer shock length will increase the ride height by the multiple of the rear linkage. On the FJR that's ~2.7X.

Sorry for any confusion!

~G
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by bigjohnsd » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:15 pm

escapefjrtist wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:54 pm
bigjohnsd wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 3:04 pm
escapefjrtist wrote:
Sun Feb 17, 2019 2:04 am
What's the verdict 'pants?

Longer shock length will increase the rear ride height. Did you notice a difference? Secondly, does the shoulder of the lower [stock] bolt slightly extend into the clevis opening? On the stock shock, the shoulder captures the bottom bearing race.

~G
George, wouldn't that longer length have to be measured with the rider on the bike to find Race or Dynamic SAG, or at least with the shock in the bike to determine the Static SAG? Just having a longer measurement on the bench doesn't really give any valuable information as far as I can determine?
I should have been more specific John. I made an assumption the new shock would [at least] have an equivalent spring rate and base preload. All things equal, longer shock length will increase the ride height by the multiple of the rear linkage. On the FJR that's ~2.7X.

Sorry for any confusion!

~G
All things equal I agree with you George, I thought I might be missing something.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:15 pm

OK - I've confirmed from numerous FJR owners that, as George and Ray elude, the "side to side" issue is a non-issue. This is the way they are made.

The "up and down" issue is still under investigation. I'm going to tear back down the lower shock mount and examine the exact measurement of the bushing (or "collar" as it is described on the parts fiche) and the bolt. I'll also measure the holes for the shock. While I'm in there, I'll take a closer look at the relay arm bearings, and lube them up proper.

I thought about ordering a new collar and bolt, but they are apparently not in stock (at least until 2/28/19 from what I can tell), so I've got a little time.

More to follow....
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by escapefjrtist » Mon Feb 18, 2019 10:36 pm

While you're back in there 'pants, slip the bottom collar [bearing race] out of the needle bearings. Put the collar in the shock clevis and assemble with the shoulder bolt. Without tightening, the shoulder should capture the collar and there should be zero side-to-side collar movement in the clevis.

Whatcha got?

~G
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:13 am

^^^^^ Gotcha, George. Haven't done it yet, but I'm smelling what ya cooking.

Our Canadian friend sent me a PM that contains every conceivable measurement taken from a "basket case" that he's working on. I'm going to draw it out on paper and with my dial caliper in hand, start comparing. I'll update this thread with the particulars for documentation purposes.

Full work schedule this week. Plan to get back in the shop Friday afternoon.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by bigjohnsd » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:51 pm

Hppants wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:13 am
^^^^^ Gotcha, George. Haven't done it yet, but I'm smelling what ya cooking.

Our Canadian friend sent me a PM that contains every conceivable measurement taken from a "basket case" that he's working on. I'm going to draw it out on paper and with my dial caliper in hand, start comparing. I'll update this thread with the particulars for documentation purposes.

Full work schedule this week. Plan to get back in the shop Friday afternoon.
I sure hope you are not on your hands and knees and are working comfortably on your Harbor Freight Lift. JSNS!
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:53 pm

H/F lift? The hell, you say. I've been spending so much money on shocks and tires and everything else, the lift is on the back burner!!
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Redfish » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:04 pm

I would really hate to have to drag my '15 ES to Lafayette on a trailer so Hppants could have an FJR to ride while he has out of town guests next month.

But if it does happen there will be pics. Lots and LOTS of pics.
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Re: Aftermarket Rear Shock

Post by Hppants » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:30 pm

Update: 2/23/19

DISCLAIMER: ALL MEASUREMENTS TAKEN BELOW ARE WITH A DIAL CALIPER, WHICH IS NOT NECESSARILY THE MOST ACCURATE MEASURING DEVICE FOR THIS APPLICATION.

Ray was nice enough to take some measurements from the FJR on his lift, and I'll re-post them here for posterity:

Gen 2 OEM shock/relay arm. Measurements are:
Measurements for side to side play:
1.20 - OEM clevis opening
1.18 - Relay arm bushing length
0.22 - Shock bolt shoulder depth
0.22 - Shock clevis thickness (shoulder side)
Calculated clearance, not assembled ~0.020. Torquing shock bolt reduces to zero, as expected.

1.18 - Clevis opening, bolt torqued (Relay arm bushing length)
1. 11 -Relay arm casting width
0.07 - Calculated clearance, actual is 0.065 w/feeler gauges, which is side to side play. Aftermarket clevis, if thicker than OEM at bolt shoulder end, will reduce this.

Measurements for up/down.. a stack of all clearances, bolts to bushings, 5 places, although actual should be less because none of these are truly "in line", so not linear.
0.470 - Shock bolt OD
0.475 - Shock bushing ID
0.005 clearance

0.470 - Frt. relay, rear relay and swingarm bolts OD
0.475 - Frt. relay, rear relay and swingarm bushings ID
0.005 - Clearance, each X 3 = 0.015"

0.470 - Center relay arm bolt OD
0.485 - Center relay arm bushing ID
0.015 - Clearance

0.470 - Suspension link bolts OD (same relay arm bolts)
0.473 - Suspension link hole ID
0.003 - Clearance, each X 2 = .006"

0.026 - Calculated stack all clearances, actual will be less, not linear
2.7 - Relay arm leverage ratio
~ 0.07 - 0.08 Total theoretical stack, as if linear, but that is a flawed theory.

~0.05 - 0.07 Measured up/down (flawed) underside of tire with jack under headers/no front suspension influence.


I used this for comparison to what I have on my stock shock, my stock bolt and collar, and the Hagon Shock.

Here is what I found:

There is a wear spot on the stock bolt for the lower shock mount. I can't measure the depth of that wear mark, but I can feel it with my finger nail. Also, on both the stock shock clevis and the Hagon, there is slop between the bolt shoulder and the clevis hole.

The bolt and the collar (bushing) for the lower shock mount measures very close (within 0.002") of what Ray got.

Difference between the stock shock clevis hole and the bolt shoulder (measured in about 4 places) = about 0.010"

Difference between the Hagon shock clevis hole and the bolt shoulder (again, 4 places) = about 0.015"

So the Hagon clevis is looser than the stock one. And the Hagon clevis is an alloy metal, so I got concerned, remembering what happened to Josh's Penske clevis.

I had some brass 0.005" shim stock laying around, so I cut a shim about the width of the part of the bolt that goes into the clevis (shoulder part), and long enough to wrap around the entire shoulder (0.010" shim total). With some help from a friend, we were able to install that in the hole and it took all of the "feelable" slop out of the bolt.

I'm going to email Hagon and confirm what I've done is proper.


As to the Relay and the bearings, that still moves up and down in all 3 locations. How much I cannot say - maybe about 0.005" for each - similar to what Ray measured. I didn't remove the center and frontward parts of the relay (center stand is in the way), but I checked (by hand wrenches) to make sure they were tight. All good there.

As to the rear connection for the relay, the bearing freely moves around on the inner race. The seals are in great shape. I greased everything up real well. I don't think I have a bearing failure going on there. For those that have done so - do you pull the seals out and shove grease in the bearings to service this? Or do you buy new bearings and press them in with a socket, and then grease it up before installing new seals?

I'm not inclined to replace the bearings on the relay arm - I think the result would be the same. I was worried about that shoulder of the bolt moving up and down - that will only get worse and at some point, the clevis could break. I'm inclined to email Hagon to confirm, but just ride it a bit and then check it in about 1000 miles and see if the shim is wearing any. I could order a new bolt too.

Thoughts, anyone?
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