Go Back   Harley Davidson Forums > Harley Davidson Motorcycles > Softail Models
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search


Softail Models Standard, Custom, Night Train, Deuce, Springer, Heritage, Fatboy, Deluxe, Rocker and Cross Bones.

Reply
 
 
 
P
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 07-25-2011, 07:18 PM
cmosentine's Avatar
cmosentine cmosentine is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 439
Default Adjusting the rear shocks

Hi all: I need to adjust the rear shocks as the previous owner has them set very stiff. I am confused about a few things. The service manual says to turn the adjustment plate towards the jam nut to increase the preset load and away from the nut to relax the load. Can some put this into clockwise / counter-clockwise. Also, this seems counter intuitive as turning the plate away from the nut (clockwise) would turn the plate in thereby compressing the spring????

Second, how hard is it to turn the adjustment plate. When I tried to turn it the entire shock housing rotated, not just the plate. Is this correct? It seems to me they should move independently. I sprayed some wd-40 on the plate just in case the plate the outer housing are fused.

What say you?
__________________
2008 FLSTF "Copper" K&N AC, Rush Slip-ons, Andrews 37s and SERT.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-25-2011, 07:42 PM
wiktor wiktor is offline
One Of The Regulars
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 243
Default

I just adjusted mine and yes the whole shock body also turned. The more threads that are exposed on the shaft, the softer the setting.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-25-2011, 07:54 PM
cmosentine's Avatar
cmosentine cmosentine is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 439
Default

how freaking hard was it to turn the plate? When I tried I was afraid something was wrong so I gave up.

Also, you know how much spring rate one full turn will produce?
__________________
2008 FLSTF "Copper" K&N AC, Rush Slip-ons, Andrews 37s and SERT.

Last edited by cmosentine; 07-25-2011 at 08:00 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:21 PM
wiktor wiktor is offline
One Of The Regulars
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 243
Default

It was pretty stiff turning the plates. Keep an eye on the shaft and make sure it doesn't turn. In my owners manual, it says 1 turn out for 165-220, 2 turns for 220-275, 3 turns for 275-335, 4 turns 335-395, 5 turns for greater than 395. This is for a 2011 FLSTF. I weigh 210 and turned mine out three turns. It's a decent compromise for me alone and when my wife rides. Good luck!!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:31 PM
cmosentine's Avatar
cmosentine cmosentine is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 439
Default

Forgive this stupid question, but then you say "x turns out", from what are you measuring? All I see is a the threaded shaft with no markings. I have no idea where the shocks are currently set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiktor View Post
It was pretty stiff turning the plates. Keep an eye on the shaft and make sure it doesn't turn. In my owners manual, it says 1 turn out for 165-220, 2 turns for 220-275, 3 turns for 275-335, 4 turns 335-395, 5 turns for greater than 395. This is for a 2011 FLSTF. I weigh 210 and turned mine out three turns. It's a decent compromise for me alone and when my wife rides. Good luck!!
__________________
2008 FLSTF "Copper" K&N AC, Rush Slip-ons, Andrews 37s and SERT.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:40 PM
tmitchellof PG tmitchellof PG is offline
Elite HDF Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Punta Gorda,FL
Posts: 3,698
Default

It is just the opposite of what seems logical.
On the Softail, the longer the shock gets the firmer the setting. When you look toward the front of the shocks, the more threads you see the softer the setting.
HD sends all the Softails with the shocks set at their softest setting, which means you should see approximately 3 to 4 threads showing.
My complete shock always turns when I adjust the shocks. I painted a white stripe on the bottom of each shock running fwd/aft so I can count how many full turns I do to each shock. It is fairly important to have both shocks set the same.
Tom
__________________

2005 Fat Boy SE
D&D, Fat Cat; Carriage Works,Spider wheels; Thunder, Iron Bags
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-25-2011, 08:52 PM
cmosentine's Avatar
cmosentine cmosentine is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 439
Default

Ahh, I have about 3/4 to 1 inch of threaded shaft showing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmitchellof PG View Post
It is just the opposite of what seems logical.
On the Softail, the longer the shock gets the firmer the setting. When you look toward the front of the shocks, the more threads you see the softer the setting.
HD sends all the Softails with the shocks set at their softest setting, which means you should see approximately 3 to 4 threads showing.
My complete shock always turns when I adjust the shocks. I painted a white stripe on the bottom of each shock running fwd/aft so I can count how many full turns I do to each shock. It is fairly important to have both shocks set the same.
Tom
__________________
2008 FLSTF "Copper" K&N AC, Rush Slip-ons, Andrews 37s and SERT.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:39 PM
Dorkman's Avatar
Dorkman Dorkman is offline
Ultimate HDF Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,580
Default

I copied this from elsewhere, possibly from this forum awhile back:

Instructions:
1. Determine whether your suspension is too stiff or too soft for your liking. Take into consideration whether or not you will be riding solo or 2-up most of the time.
2. With a white paint pen, put a mark on the face of your adjuster plate at the 6 o’clock position. This will be your starting position. Do this to both shocks
3. While holding the adjuster plate in place with the spanner wrench, break the adjuster nut free from the adjuster plate by turning the nut counterclockwise

If you are adjusting for a heavier weight (stiffer ride):
A. Continue to turn the adjuster nut counterclockwise (the nut will move towards the front of the bike) until it stops.
B. Now using the spanner wrench, turn the adjuster plate counterclockwise no more than 4 complete turns. Count the number of times the white mark crosses the 6 o’clock position.
C. While holding the adjuster plate in place with the spanner, tighten the adjuster nut up against the adjuster plate by turning the nut clockwise.
D. Now repeat the exact process with the other shock.

If you are adjusting for a lighter weight (softer ride) :
A. Now using the spanner wrench, turn the adjuster plate clockwise no more than 4 complete turns. Count the number of times the white mark crosses the 6 o’clock position.
B. While holding the adjuster plate in place with the spanner, tighten the adjuster nut up against the adjuster plate by turning the nut clockwise.
C. Now repeat the exact process with the other shock.

Note: - When you turn the adjuster nut - only the adjuster nut should turn.
- When you turn the front nut - only the front nut should turn.
- When you turn the adjuster plate - the canister might turn too. Some people find it easier to turn the adjuster plate and the canister at the same time.
- If the canister turns or not - it doesn't matter - the canister does not affect the outcome.
There are a limited number of threads. Count the number of threads visible
Use the "rule of thumb" chart below:
- 4 threads = Preloaded for a softest spring (<180 lbs)
- 3 threads = Preloaded for a softer spring (181-237 lbs)
- 2 threads = Preloaded for a softer spring (238-293 lbs)
- 1 threads = Preloaded for a stiffer spring (294-349 lbs)
- 0 threads = Preloaded for a stiffest spring (>350 lbs)

Best description I could find at the time...
__________________
What, me worry?
2000 Fatboy | 1969 Honda CB750
2004 Sportster | 1966 BSA Hornet 650
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:44 PM
soft 02's Avatar
soft 02 soft 02 is offline
Big Kahuna HDF Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: San Luis Obispo
Posts: 31,601
Default

The one thing I will ad is if you are having trouble with using the spanner wrench I used an oil filter soft strap wrench. 2ct.
__________________

2032.0cm³
07 FXST Bored n stroked.
66 triumph tiger DOA
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-26-2011, 06:19 AM
cmosentine's Avatar
cmosentine cmosentine is offline
Senior Rider
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 439
Default

Thanks. But I do need a clarification. What point of reference are you using when counting the threads? The only real point of reference I can think of is to spin the jam nut fully forward until it stops and then count the threads from the nut back to the adjuster plate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorkman View Post
There are a limited number of threads. Count the number of threads visible
Use the "rule of thumb" chart below:
- 4 threads = Preloaded for a softest spring (<180 lbs)
- 3 threads = Preloaded for a softer spring (181-237 lbs)
- 2 threads = Preloaded for a softer spring (238-293 lbs)
- 1 threads = Preloaded for a stiffer spring (294-349 lbs)
- 0 threads = Preloaded for a stiffest spring (>350 lbs)
__________________
2008 FLSTF "Copper" K&N AC, Rush Slip-ons, Andrews 37s and SERT.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2011, 06:19 AM
 
 
 
P
Reply


Tags
2012, adjust, adjusting, boy, davidson, deuce, dose, fat, harley, lo, nightrod, rear, shock, shocks, softail, springer, standard


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Join HDForums

Advertising
Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory
Sponsors

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:30 PM.


© Internet Brands, Inc.