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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 10th August 2020
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Default Early Sportster Shock Absorber Disassembly

Anybody know how to disassemble the early Sportster shock absorbers? 1957-64? I can't figure it out.
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Old 10th August 2020
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I'm not familiar with that generation but I've disassembled lots of other shocks. You'll need something to safely compress the spring and there should be a collet of some kind at the top that locks the top retainer into place. Or, the top mount may be threaded onto the shock shaft. Regardless, the spring needs to be compressed before anything else happens. You can buy motorcycle spring compressors from MotionPro, Progressive or other vendors. Be careful, those springs have lots of tension on them!

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You will need two things:
1.) Factory Service Manual
2.) Shock compressor

The shocks need to be compressed, then the bottom eye rotated 90 degrees, then the compressor slowly released. I can post photos of my shock compressor if you need to see it. It would be a bit dangerous to attempt it without a proper shock compressor.
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i made my own compressor. photo uploader Magneto Sportster has the H-D factory version.
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Shovelhead clutch steels work as well. One on each end, all-thread to pull it all together.
I use a press. Just gotta make sure you have the top spring eye in there correctly. You're trying to compress the spring and spring cover...if you don't see the upper collars start to loosen up, something is in a bind. When youre doing it correctly, the collar will open up. Sometimes the fall out, sometimes you need to give them a little wiggle with a long screwdriver.
Caution is needed...but you're not taking apart a strut. Just pay attention to those collars, and watch them to see when they move.
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Default Early Sportster Shock Absorber Disassembly

Thanks for the responses. I will be back in the garage this evening and will try to disassemble shock again.

I now have a decent shock absorber compressor so I have the right tool for the job.
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