Shock rebuild question

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Feb 24, 2003
Las Vegas
Running into an issue I've never had before on some shocks I'm working on. Typically I pull the dust cap off the bottom of the shock body where the shaft enters into the shock. Slide that down the shock, make sure there's no pressure in the shock. By hand compress the seal head or whatever it's called into the shock just a bit, pull the cir-clip out of the bottom of the shock body and then slowly pull the shaft out of the shock body with the seal and piston and everything.

Well, this time it seems like the seal head is seized in place or something. There's definitely no pressure in the shock, in fact I removed the end cap with the schraeder valve in it completely and can see the dividing piston in the reservoir currently. When I compress the shock I can see the piston travel up and down in the resivoir. Using a 3lb sledge and a block of wood swinging VERY hard I was able to compress the seal head into the shock just barely enough to pull the clip. I'm at the point that I need to simply pull the shock apart but I can't physically do it.

I'm out of ideas short of strapping it between two vehicle bumpers and playing tug-a-war with it which I don't want the mess or the damage when it all comes apart and hits the ground. LOL

Any tricks to get a stuck seal head out of a shock body?



Senior Member
Jan 18, 2006
Fullerton, CA
Point the shaft in a safe direction and charge with nitrogen? Slowly of course. Or take the top cap off and push it out from the top with wood dowel and that same sledge.


Senior Member
Sep 27, 2013
VenTurA 805!
Guy beat me to it.. but yeh Ive had to do this too.. I dial down the conpressed air as low as it will go at the tank and then very slowly add then release pressure in the reservoir until the seal head starts moving.
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Senior Member
Sep 8, 2010
Phoenix Az
if its as jammed as he says, that thing will be a rocket. not to mention the mess of oil everywhere.

on second thought, do this but film it for us 😁

i have nothing to add other than maybe heating up the body of the shock to expand it, just be sure to put new seals in the bearing/seal head/what ever the hell you wanna call it.


Senior Member
Jan 18, 2006
Fullerton, CA
heating up the can could work, but could also have the same result as charging it as heat will increase pressure. i second for a video


Mega Member
Jun 28, 2006
San Diego
^^^^ I had my seal heads in my radflo bumpstops get seized up. Lot harder to hold on to because no rod ends to stick a bolt thru, etc. I would may try some pulling method.. like a winch or something??

But, I did what was mentioned above. I stuck it in the vise... pointed it at the ground and made a "bullet trap" out of softer shit like rags on top of wood. Put my regulator to like 200 PSI or something... blast it!

It was a little sketchy... and pretty much sounded like a gun went off, but in all honesty, wasn't nearly as bad as I expected.

So yea, worked like a champ. I was expecting the projectile to have more energy than it did.

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