warrior shock upgrade
Decided to upgrade the suspension on my 99 warrior. Had originally installed some Banshee shocks front & back about 5 years ago. It did seem to enhance the overall suspension a bit but after getting bucked off in Cal-City last year on some whoops and breaking several bones in my leg/ankle I decided it was time to look into a better performance suspension option.
So, after much research I decided on the following: Front suspension YFZ 450, back suspension Raptor 660. I debated on whether to go bolt on or get a relocator bracket for front. Decided to attempt a straight bolt on to see how it would work. I could always defer to purchasing the relocator bracket if necessary.
So here is a quick tutorial on the install. Remove the stock front shocks is easy. Just jack up the front part of the frame to take the weight off, remove top and bottom bolts, take shock off. I removed all pre-load from new shock (pre-load rings adjusted to top of shock) to allow for easier compression of shock as it is a bit longer than stock. After installing bottom shock mount with bolt/nut you can then have a buddy push down on top of shock to settling into top bracket, or in my case I used a large screwdriver under the bracket and on top of the shock to leverage it into position. Once bolted on go on to the other side. Tighten all bolts. You can see by pics the shock sits nicely in the brackets w/o any clearance issues. The bike sits a bit higher and may require some camber adjustments.
As for the back shock it is a bit more of a project. You will need to remove seat, batter, rear fender and air box. Then jack up the frame at rear grab bar, taking all weight off wheels (make sure you block front end!).
Remove the resi bracket bolts and let resi hang down. Remove bottom nut/bolt from shock and proceed to remove top bolt/nut. The shock will come out easily with bottom of shock coming out first. Set new shock into place and install nut/bolt on bottom first. Since the new shock is a bit narrower both top and bottom you will need a couple of larger washers to shim in between where it mounts both top and bottom (see pic). Make sure you position the shock so the resi hose is facing out on top. Once you have the bottom of shock bolted on then position the top head of the shock over the mounting bracket. Once again, it is a bit longer and you will need to push the shock down until it seats into position. Bolt in top, make sure you tighten nuts/bolts. Now for the new resi location. My new 660 shock had a much shorter hose connecting the resi which didn't allow it to go back to the original location. Some of the various year 660 raptor shocks don't have a remote resi...I don't know if the non-remote resi's will work w/o some major air-box modifications. I mounted the resi on the top left of the frame, just left of the air box. You will need to disconnect the electrical wiring that runs along the frame and make sure you get it out of the way of resi/clamps/etc. I used a couple of rubber resi cushions (you can get them off ebay or most shock companies sell them separately...see pic) to keep the resi off the frame and away from all wiring. Make sure all wiring is pulled away from frame and it doesn't get pinched under the clamps! I also took a piece of 1-3/4" rubber connector (lowe's/home depot plumbing dept) to protect the resi making for a bullet proof install. Re position and zip tie all wiring down and out of the way, making sure you allow for the air box to go back into place. Before you re-install air-box/fender/seat/etc you need to set pre-load on top of shock. I set mine down a bit (see pic) and will try and tweak the rebound/compression settings to dial in. Re-install air box, fender, battery & seat. I trimmed the fender to allow easy access to resi.
Sit on the bike. First thing you will notice it sits a bit higher. Stand up and jump up and down...very plush feel. Make any adjustments necessary. I have yet to take it out and ride in normal conditions but will follow up once I have a chance.
On a side note, I had to remove my skid plate for install. When I removed it I discovered why skid-plates are so necessary! There were scraps, dents and dings along the entire bottom of skid plate, along with a nice ding (see pic) in the exact same location my swing arm linkage is. Definitely worth the investment if you ride in any desert/mountain terrain.
Overall investment on this project was approx. $370 (front shocks $200, back shock $170). I think for the $$ this may be the best suspension upgrade available without spending big $$$ on works/fox/etc. You may be able to get the YFZ front and raptor back shocks for less $$ but I opted for new back (never installed) and polished/powder coated fronts.
Will need to download pics in two separate threads.
CALIFORNIA CITY/MOJAVE JUNKIE
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