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Discussion Starter #1
I have and 03 LT with 41K miles on it. over the last couple years, I have noticed what seems to be the rear shock weakening. Recently had the bike in for service and asked the mechanic if he had any "Used and in good condition rear shocks laying around". To my suprise he said that he had a "Take off" from a bike that was purchased new and converted to a trike. We agreed on price and it was installed during the inspection.

Just picked it up and rode it home. Here are my impressions.

1.I can now sit flat footed with the load tensioner cranked to High.
(couldn't before (I have a 29 - 30 inch inseam))
2. It seams much easier (than the original) to adjust to high while on the side stand.
3. In the "Low" position on the pre-load adjuster, I can sit on the bike with the side stand down and easily get the side stand to rub the pavement while in the upright position.
4. With the pre-load adjuster in the "High" position, the bike seems to elevate about 1 inch.

In general, the shock seems "spongier" than the original when it was new.
It rides lower also.
It also does not elevate the rear of the bike anywhere near what the original shock did when new.

Is it possible that a new old stock shock could loose hydraulic oil?
Would storing it on its side cause harm?
Shouldn't a new shock provide a firmer ride?
 

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1.the oil dissapears on the bike so why not when lying around
when you wind down the adjuster does it have pressure right from first click? if not then low on oil.
2. lying around ,probably wont hurt it
3. you would think it would be firmer but you are only taking the guys word for it how old it is.
4 if you have your old shock, with the bike on centrestand all preload off the new shock measure the spring length they should be the same, sounds to me like the new one is shorter
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestion.
I think what I will do first is ride and observe.

Reason: I just took it out for a ride a few minutes ago and maybe, just maybe it is a tad bit better.

Here is what I am wondering: Is it possible that this shock was sitting somewhere on it's side or in some goofy position for and extended period. If the shock has seals and pistons that have been only partially bathed in hydraulic oil did they alter their characteristics and will this change once placed back into service???

If not I will either top it off or take a trip to the dealer.
 

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Someone will jump in if I'm wrong with any of this, but factory shocks are only meant to last for around 30,000 mile and then be replaced. You can't rebuild them, thou there is someone out there that has found a place that will do it.
A lot of people including me have gone to either Wilbur or Olin shocks. The nice thing about these is that they are built for you to fit your riding style and weight. Also they can be rebuilt fairly inexpensively.

If you'd like more information on shocks in general I'd refer you to Ted Porter of Ted Porters Beemer Shop . He is very helpful and will educate you about shocks and the pro's and con's of the Wilbur's and Olin's. I picked the Wilbur's myself.
 

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The hose expands over time - the fluid does not go anywhere, it simply occupies more volume.

The description above of how to refill has one VERY bad piece of advice: DO NOT use a screwdriver or any metal device to push the piston back down - use only a wooden dowel of other similar soft, blunt tipped object.
 

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davek1 said:
I have and 03 LT with 41K miles on it. over the last couple years, I have noticed what seems to be the rear shock weakening. Recently had the bike in for service and asked the mechanic if he had any "Used and in good condition rear shocks laying around". To my suprise he said that he had a "Take off" from a bike that was purchased new and converted to a trike. We agreed on price and it was installed during the inspection.

Just picked it up and rode it home. Here are my impressions.

1.I can now sit flat footed with the load tensioner cranked to High.
(couldn't before (I have a 29 - 30 inch inseam))
2. It seams much easier (than the original) to adjust to high while on the side stand.
3. In the "Low" position on the pre-load adjuster, I can sit on the bike with the side stand down and easily get the side stand to rub the pavement while in the upright position.
4. With the pre-load adjuster in the "High" position, the bike seems to elevate about 1 inch.

In general, the shock seems "spongier" than the original when it was new.
It rides lower also.
It also does not elevate the rear of the bike anywhere near what the original shock did when new.

Is it possible that a new old stock shock could loose hydraulic oil?
Would storing it on its side cause harm?
Shouldn't a new shock provide a firmer ride?
You may want to consider more heavy duty springs than stock. Hyper Pro springs at $239.00 for front and rear can make a HUGE difference. They are a pita to install but worth the effort. For 95% of LT riders this is an excellent choice instead of spending $$$$ on aftermarket stuff.

Hyper Pro USA - Catalog
 

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rab1967 said:
Someone will jump in if I'm wrong with any of this, but factory shocks are only meant to last for around 30,000 mile and then be replaced.
I think you are wrong... But that is just my opinion. My 02 has 45,000 miles and as per the local dealer/service, I can replace it for you with new shocks, but yours are fine and you probably won't notice a difference.

After might be better, but I feel that depends upon how you ride the bike and your riding weight. My local dealer feels that mine will probably be good for another 20-40,000 miles... Maybe he doesn't know what he is talking about, but why would he prevent a $1,200 sale!
 

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Dan, no offence taken, just wanted to say that up front.

The comment I made about the shocks was after doing some research on this forum. This was about a year and a half ago and I can't remember which thread or who said what.
 

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My stock shocks, with 36,000 miles, were still absorbing the bumps and keeping the tires in good contact with the road. No wallowing through corners or anything of that sort. What they were doing is getting closer and closer to the ground. I think the shocks are fine. I think the springs are not (I did the oil add).
I put on the Hyper Pro springs, on a pair of low mileage OEM, for around $280.00 for two springs. Definite difference on rough road in that the shock doesn't bottom out. I'm happy with them. I'll let you know how they are in another 30,000 or so.

John
 

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rab1967 said:
Dan, no offence taken, just wanted to say that up front.

The comment I made about the shocks was after doing some research on this forum. This was about a year and a half ago and I can't remember which thread or who said what.
Bob, you might be correct - I've been thinking about new shocks ( why I discussed it with local service ) because from day one, it feels like I'm bottoming out where my driveway hits the street. I still have the original shocks on my SUV with 88,000 miles! Original brakes too..

If I really felt that new shocks would make a positive difference, I'd replace them in a heartbeat.
 

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With the stock shocks it seems I hit a lot more on the speed bumps 2up. I think Hyper Pro said the springs were $239 a pair............. :D
 

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I just followed the top up procedure for my adjuster (2002 model LT) and after topping up the oil, found that the bike was noticably higher when the adjuster was in the same place as previously set. I had experienced the problem of insufficient lean on the side stand on level ground. The problem was such that I would look for a slope to put the bike on the side stand with the stand down slope. This solved my problem. I would agree the rubber hose expansion could account for the apparent loss of oil. Was an easy fix. . . . Bohn
 

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RonKMiller said:
The hose expands over time - the fluid does not go anywhere, it simply occupies more volume.

The description above of how to refill has one VERY bad piece of advice: DO NOT use a screwdriver or any metal device to push the piston back down - use only a wooden dowel of other similar soft, blunt tipped object.
+1 on using something soft to depress the piston.

A small nit on the volume, the oil doesn't occupy more volume ... it just now has more volume that needs to be occupied! :)
 

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RonKMiller said:
Norm Crosby was my father. :D
Was? I didn't know he had passed away. My condolences. :)
 

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My used '02 LT used to sit way too close to vertical on the sidestand. Just did the oil tpo-up and it made a terrific improvement. Who'd a thunk it was this easy? Thanks guys.
 

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Rodders said:
My used '02 LT used to sit way too close to vertical on the sidestand. Just did the oil tpo-up and it made a terrific improvement. Who'd a thunk it was this easy? Thanks guys.
This is a great info guys,
I'm so glad, I lurked in today. I was wondering about this for a while and it looks like you just answered my question.
I did notice that when my wife sits on the bike, this thing sags low, lower than it used to. I blamed this on her weight gain (don't tell anyone...) but even though she may have gained a few pounds, this "missing oil" makes sense.
With almost 30k on my LT it's about time to check the shock oil level and top it off.
 
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