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Just finished changing out both front fork springs and rear shock spring on my '15 Vstrom 650 ABS to accommodate my heavier-than-average body weight. Front forks were easy. The rear had the predicted difficulties including removal of the remote preload unit and the removal of the set screw holding the preload collar on the shock. Did a 150 mile ride today and the change in the suspension proved to be great.

My question, though: How do you get the tiny set screw from the preload collar with out stripping the screw socket or breaking your tool? I did both and had to resort to drilling out the set screw entirely. It was very tedious, trying not to drill into the softer, aluminum, collar or into the shock body. Either error would have made the shock a total loss.

Tips elsewhere on this forum were very helpful, but no one seems to suggest a foolproof way to get the little screw out.
 

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I have a new-to-me '12 DL650A. I'd love to be able to get away with just swapping out the springs and rear shock spring, as you did, without doing valves and emulators etc. I've done this on a DRZ in the past. Can I ask what brand parts you used? I am 190lbs geared up. Are you anywhere my size re: spring rate?
Thanks.
Kyle
 

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There are several avenues of attack for that little setscrew.

1) Pour on the Panther Piss - use your favorite penetrating oil. I'm partial to Kroil, but the merry elves who make it are sort of weird, so it's not available in stores for some unfathomable reason. It's a little hard to get and expensive, but worth it.

2) Choose your weapon carefully -- in these eensy beensy sizes, there's quite a bit of variation in the microscopic details of hex bits and keys. I rummaged around my garage and found about six or seven in the appropriate metric size (I forget what that size is, TBH). Out of these, about half were pretty sloppy, and one seemed to fit the best, so that's what I used. YMMV.

3) Heat - a good-size soldering iron is a good way to get some heat into the screw. It has some thread locker, so it really helps to melt this. The problem is that it's a teensy steel screw in a large chunk of aluminum, so the heat departs pretty quickly. Heat it, then quickly try to move it.

4) Worry it - it's going to take many rounds and several efforts before the screw breaks free. Don't lose patience and go gorilla style on it -- keep applying pressure, "bouncing" the hex key, etc. Develop the ability to feel when it's yielding vs. when you're about to strip the hex.
 
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Heat can help especially if a locking fluid was used to keep it there. I was amazed at how much heat I had to put on the screws of a BMW key device on the steering stem. Got it really hot and the paint, finish never bubbled.
Might be the same of a shock in a vice. it's a veritable heat sink. Maybe one of the modler type of heat gun with a fine tip? Better to heat the surround than the actual screw.
 
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