How to Adjust ATV Shocks Without Tool

Most ATV maintenance requires a crazy number of specialized tools that can eventually run you broke if you go ahead and buy every single one. The fact is, you can do things like adjust your ATV shocks without a tool that’s made specifically for one job only. In this case, we’re talking about a spanner wrench. Spanner wrenches work to apply torque when needed in maintenance and repair. Luckily, there are some other ways to get the same job done.

A spanner wrench is used to adjust the ATV shocks by compressing the springs just enough to get to work on them. Surprisingly enough, you don’t actually need that much leverage to get the movement you need. It’s possible to use your hands, with gloves as protection, to perform a simple ATV shock adjustment. If this doesn’t work out, other wrenches work just as well, you just need to practice more care as you go through the adjustment.

All in all, we can help you adjust your ATV shocks without the tool if you don’t want to go buy it. In general, buying the specific tool will help you in the long run. If you’re hoping to do more maintenance in the future, go ahead and get it. You can continue to use the right tools in the future and know that you’re ready with it in hand.

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How Shocks Work

The shocks of your suspension system are made up of two main parts, the springs and the shock absorbers. The shocks work to keep your wheels on the ground as they compress when hitting terrain, and rebound to keep the wheel in place.

The thing is, riding with only springs in your shocks would be a disaster and would be completely out of control. You need something that helps to control the movement both during compression and rebound. The shock absorbers exist to serve this exact purpose. Shock absorbers are oil filled tubes that have a piston inside. You can adjust how the piston moves inside the tube by changing how much oil can flow through it at a time.

Essentially, the shock absorbers slow down the speed at which the spring compresses and takes on a lot of energy so that the springs don’t rebound so strongly that the ATV is trying to throw you off.

With these two parts, you can adjust the shocks to maintain a different style of ride on your ATV, you just need to know how to do it.

Making Adjustments Without a Tool

If you have a more advanced shock system, you may have clickers installed. These are easily adjusted by hand and work to control the amount of oil that moves through the piston in your shock absorbers. They make audible clicks (why they’re called clickers) when making adjustments. All this takes is a gloved hand and access to the clicker.

Another option is to use an adjustable wrench or even just your hand. All you need to do is get enough compression in the springs to clear the grooves on the collar and make your adjustment. This is much easier than many people assume at first, which is why they head off to the store and get the spanner wrench immediately.

Overall, adjusting the clicker’s position is an easy thing to do without any complicated tools. Making these adjustments are simple and can have big results when you add them to your ATV. A small shock adjustment can make it so you stop bottoming out or even make it so you get a significantly smoother ride on the trail.


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