The guys in the shop had an adventure yesterday attempting to replace a part of a shock without a spring compressor. If you've ever taken apart a rear shock without proper equipment, you know recompressing the spring takes the will power of a Spartan. We knew this fact and attempted to mitigate the damage early by covering the spring with dozens of zip ties in an attempt to keep the spring compressed when we removed it. The spring quickly was converted into an unholy cactus of zip ties and wire.
More than a few cuts were sustained creating this medieval torture device, but it was all for naught. The zip ties stretched when we removed the spring from the shock. Attempting to reassemble it was essentially trying to fit a square block in a circular hole. So we had to channel our inner MacGyver to find a solution. How do you generate enough force to compress a spring that can bounce a bike weighing several hundred pounds? Our solution: A hydraulic car jack. But how do you keep a spring compressed long enough to also put it back in the shock? More zip ties of course. We backed Elton’s truck in front of the shop and positioned the spring in between the jack and Elton’s trailer hitch. We pumped the jack until the rear wheels of the truck were barely touching the ground.
And we returned to our task of applying nearly a hundred zip ties. The realization that the ties could all snap at once and spray us all with plastic and metal shrapnel only graced our redneck MacGyver brains near the end of the zip-tying phase. We essentially had a live grenade stuck under Eltons truck, with the potential to blow the second the jack was released. So we did the logical thing; added more zip ties for safety, and prepared lower the lower the truck and hoped we didn’t end up in with a Darwin Award. Luckily, the bomb didn’t blow. We returned it to the shock only to find it still didn’t fit. We soon realized what was wrong. We hadn’t used enough zip ties. Another round on the truck and some zip ties and hose clamps and we were ready for our final push. The spring still didn’t fit, but after some persuasion with a pair of crowbars, we managed to pry the sucker into place.
We stood bloody and battered after our duel with our coiled foe, but we stood victorious. We decided it was in everyone’s best interest to just order a spring compressor for next time rather than going a second round with a spring again. Our zip tie contraption was just stupid enough to work this time. But as a wise man once said, “If it looks stupid but it works, It ain’t stupid”