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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2, Page #36
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Make Your Own Shock Absorbers

George Hanson of Salem, Mo., recently called FARM SHOW to tell us about the shock absorber he made for his 1996 Polaris 2-WD 250 ATV.
  "I built it for less than $5, and it works a lot better than the original shock, which was built from very thin material," says Hanson.
  Hanson says he uses the ATV to do farm chores such as fixing fence, feeding cattle, and other general farm work. He was riding it one day when the right front shock broke in half. "I was left stranded and had to walk a mile back home just to get help so I could get it back home.
  "I called the Polaris dealer but was told a new shock absorber would cost $97.50, not including tax. So I decided to make my own."
  Here are the parts used: 1) an 11 1/2-in. length of muffler tubing with an outside diameter of 1 1/2 in. - the same diameter as the factory shock; 2) a 1 31/64-in. freeze plug, purchased at an auto parts store; 3) a 1 3/4-in. dia. by 1/4-in. thick spacer; 4) two 1 1/4-in. dia. by 1/8-in. thick washers for the oil cushion; 5) a ram wiper cut from the sidewall of an old tire.
  The only part of the original shock absorber that he used was the ram.
  He welded the freeze plug into the bottom of the tubing, then checked to make sure there were no leaks. Then he removed the nut from the bottom of the ram and installed the two washers with the spacer between them. He put the round piece of rubber into the tubing to act as the ram wiper. Then he inserted the ram into the top of the tubing, filled it two thirds full of 10W oil, and welded the top end of the tubing shut. The last step was to reassemble the nut and bolt the unit back onto the ATV.
  "The 1 1/4-in. dia. washers are smaller than the inside of the tubing, leaving room for oil to go by them which provides the shock action," notes Hanson.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, George Hanson, RR 2, Box 539, Salem, Mo. 65560 (ph 573 729-6235).
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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #2