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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2002 750 that is in need of new shocks. I would LIKE to put Progressive 430 or 440 shocks on since my wife and I ride two up quite often. Since I am a cheapskate, I hate to pay new prices when some good deals appear to be available on Ebay. However, the shocks that fit without modifications are limited. My question for you all is this: Which model Progressive 430 or 440 shocks have you been able to install and what modifications did you have to make in order to do this? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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There's a lot of info in the Vulcan Verses on installing progressive springs in the stock shocks:

http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1116

Maybe that helps.
Good info there Ceal, but I'm afraid the question is about REAR shocks, not front fork springs which is what most if that link deals with.

Stock rear shocks measure 12.5 inches "eye to eye"....so any shocks off another bike using the same mounts and around the same length can be used.

I had a set of Progressive 420's. think they are a bit cheaper than the 430 or 440 series. With preload set up a tad they were fine for two up riding.
If you or your passenger is a bit heavy...they make a "heavy duty" 420 that might be better for you. If you and your passenger are under 300 lbs and you do alot of solo riding too the regular shock should be fine.

There's a few threads on using Harley rear shocks here somewhere too..
 

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The progressive 412HD is available for around 225 to 250 bucks new.The HD has heavier springs than the regular 412,I ran the 412 on my 1500 till I put bags and a trunk on it and if I buy new ones it will probably be the 412 HD since I am a heavy weight.The 412 was a good performing shock,But I needed more load carrying capacity.
 

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lol sorry... I kept reading the word "shocks" on the Verses info and didn't pay much attention to other stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
First of all, thanks for your replies, folks. I do appreciate your suggestions. However, I'm still scratching my head a bit. I know I can go online any day and buy new shocks that fit the 750 ideally. However, I'm looking for an Ebay deal. I don't mind doing a bit of modification to make something work but I don't want to bang my head against it only to find I wasted the money and got nothing for it but a headache. As an example, a set of Progressive 440s (model number 440-4050C) with only 1500 miles on them is currently listed for a pretty good price (about 1/3 of new). They came off a Harley FXR bike (don't know any more than that). Of course, checking the internet to see whether they fit a 750, it says they don't. But the same would be said about a VN900 seat on a 750 which we know can be done without too much trouble.

So... what have you all found that works reasonably well and has anybody worked with that particular model of Progressive 440s?


BTW, with regard to weight, when my wife and I ride together we put about 375 pounds on the it without luggage and I'm not saying SHE'S heavy! She thought she was marrying Robert Redford and got the Pillsbury Doughboy instead!
 

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Jack of all trades
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I believe as long as you get the correct length shock you can press in the bushings from your stock shocks. Shouldn't be an issue. I'm sure someone will chime in with the definitive information.
 

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I believe as long as you get the correct length shock you can press in the bushings from your stock shocks. Shouldn't be an issue. I'm sure someone will chime in with the definitive information.
The progressive bushings are not interchangeable with Stock Kawi. At least not on the 412. Been there ,done that.

I bought mine the same way the OP did,used ,on another forum.:smiley_th
 

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R/R = Relocated Redneck
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I put a set of used Harley progressive shocks on mine. The holes in the bushings are smaller and wider than the mounting studs. Rather than press out the stock bushings and swap them into the new shocks, I used a 9/16" drill bit and drill press (9/16" is just a touch big but I couldn't find the perfect bit). I also used a cutoff wheel to take some of the width off of the bushings. They bolt right up and dropped the rear by about 1 1/2" at the top adjustment spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Are all the Vulcan mounting bolts the same diameter so that a shock that fits, say, a Vulcan 900 or Mean Streak would fit the 750?
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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i have used a pair of shocks from a 650 suzuki savage(s40 boulivard) before i replaced them with progressive 412's
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thought I would file an update on my project. Thanks to all for you feedback. It was really helpful.

Just for reference, my VN750 is a 2002 with 23,000 miles on it. I am the second owner. As far as I know, the shocks that were on it were original.

The shocks I got were heavy duty Progressive 412s (model 412-4001). After reading feedback from a variety of sources, I determined that for my needs the heavy duty shocks would be important. The end result is a ride that is soooooooooo much better. As to make me wish I'd done it a lot sooner.

Purchased the shocks on Ebay for $100 including shipping. For comparison, the best new price I saw was $349 for the heavy duty 412s and 430s/440s were approximately $500. As far as the bidding went, the ones I got were actually the third set I engaged in a bid for. I had set a top dollar and let it automatically run. I lost two other similar sets that went for quite a bit more. These shocks came from a HD Sportster though I don't know the year. Seller said they only had 1500 miles on them. I know Ebay is kind of a crapshoot but everything my seller said was up front and correct. They arrived well packaged and in excellent shape and came every bit as fast as if I'd bought new from an online seller using standard shipping. I did have to make two purchase compromises doing it this way. First, was getting the 412s instead of the 430s/440s. In addition, I had hoped to get all black shocks but no deals popped up and I got with chrome instead. Neither of those were bad things in the end.

I chose 12.5" shocks to match the stock length. Though a quite a few riders have used different lengths successfully, installing factory length shocks was pretty easy as it allows for leaving one side on while working on the other side. I can't speak to how much a different length would complicate the job. It must not be prohibitive but the install was not hard at all using the stock length.

Let me give a write up on how I went about it. I should have taken pics as I went along but, frankly, I was focused on the task at the time and didn't think of it. I welcome comments on how I might have done this better so I can learn from it.

Removing the old shock was easy. Put the bike up on the center stand, remove the mounting nuts/washers and coax it came off. Again, I did all the work on one side before doing the other but both sides were done the same.

As I expected, the mounting hole in the new bushing was NOT the same as on the old shock. It was significantly larger. Initially, I thought maybe I could just take the old bushing out and put it back in the "new" shock. However, the old rubber looked pretty rough and I decided not to reuse it. Since I bought the shocks used, they did not come with replacement bushings. So I replaced the metal ring inside the bushing (don't know the right name for this so from here on I will just refer to it as the "insert") on each eyelet as follows. BTW, I verified with a caliper that the outside diameter (OD) of the old and new inserts was the same before doing this. They were. Perhaps this is some kind of industry standard or maybe I was just fortunate.

I began by pressing the insert out of the new shock. I put a a socket end with an inside diameter (ID) larger than the OD of the insert on one side and a socket end with OD just larger than the ID of the insert on the other. I just eyeballed this so I can't say what sizes the socket ends were. I put this arrangement in a bench vise and tightened it up until the insert pushed out into the larger socket end. The only glitch to this was the smaller socket end was close enough to the size of the hole in the rubber that it jammed in there. I pressed the socket end out by inserting a short extension into the socket and used the vise to press it on through into the larger socket end.

I THOUGHT I could do the same thing with the old insert. However, the stock insert must be glued into that rubber hole or age must have somehow have fixed it in place because it wouldn't press out. So, I pressed the whole old rubber out using a similar arrangement of sockets only having one large enough for the rubber piece. Then I cut away as much rubber as possible using a utility knife. Next, using a bench grinder I ground away most of the remaining rubber careful not grind all the way to metal. Finally, I "captured" it between washers and nuts on a 3/8" bolt, chucked the bolt in my drill press and "sanded" the rest of the rubber off with a fine grit sand paper. The result was a nice, clean, smooth-surfaced old insert that was just slightly longer than the new insert. I ground that extra length off and smoothed the down on the benchtop grinder until the old and new matched. The result as an insert the same OD, proper ID and correct length to fit the new shocks to the bike.

The altered insert was pressed into the new rubber using the vice and two wood blocks to protect the new shock eyelet. I used a bit of WD-40 to lubricate the insert so it slide in nicely.

I installed the new shock on the mounting bolts of bike with just a little persuasion hammer and replaced the washers and nuts. Because I changed the length of the insert, I used a couple of additional washers so the nut could tight up properly. I just tightened them up til they seemed good and snug but ought to borrow/buy a torque wrench and tighten them up to specs before I really call the job done.

All told, this project went well and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again or recommend that others do so as well. Purchasing new inserts made for the bike would have been worthwhile but I'm not sure where to get them.

Anyway, that's how it went for me. Saved a couple of hundred bucks and did I mention how much nicer it rides?
 

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Very good. Thanks for the write up on altering the "inserts" as you call them.(I always called the rubber the "dampeners" and the metal tube thingy the "bushing".

HD's being American I would guess are not metric. So my thnking here is any metric bike would be a simple bolt up proceedure.

Anyway, new shocks are good. Stock units do suck on this bike.
 

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Thought I would file an update on my project. Thanks to all for you feedback. It was really helpful.

Just for reference, my VN750 is a 2002 with 23,000 miles on it. I am the second owner. As far as I know, the shocks that were on it were original.

The shocks I got were heavy duty Progressive 412s (model 412-4001). After reading feedback from a variety of sources, I determined that for my needs the heavy duty shocks would be important. The end result is a ride that is soooooooooo much better. As to make me wish I'd done it a lot sooner.

Purchased the shocks on Ebay for $100 including shipping. For comparison, the best new price I saw was $349 for the heavy duty 412s and 430s/440s were approximately $500. As far as the bidding went, the ones I got were actually the third set I engaged in a bid for. I had set a top dollar and let it automatically run. I lost two other similar sets that went for quite a bit more. These shocks came from a HD Sportster though I don't know the year. Seller said they only had 1500 miles on them. I know Ebay is kind of a crapshoot but everything my seller said was up front and correct. They arrived well packaged and in excellent shape and came every bit as fast as if I'd bought new from an online seller using standard shipping. I did have to make two purchase compromises doing it this way. First, was getting the 412s instead of the 430s/440s. In addition, I had hoped to get all black shocks but no deals popped up and I got with chrome instead. Neither of those were bad things in the end.

I chose 12.5" shocks to match the stock length. Though a quite a few riders have used different lengths successfully, installing factory length shocks was pretty easy as it allows for leaving one side on while working on the other side. I can't speak to how much a different length would complicate the job. It must not be prohibitive but the install was not hard at all using the stock length.

Let me give a write up on how I went about it. I should have taken pics as I went along but, frankly, I was focused on the task at the time and didn't think of it. I welcome comments on how I might have done this better so I can learn from it.

Removing the old shock was easy. Put the bike up on the center stand, remove the mounting nuts/washers and coax it came off. Again, I did all the work on one side before doing the other but both sides were done the same.

As I expected, the mounting hole in the new bushing was NOT the same as on the old shock. It was significantly larger. Initially, I thought maybe I could just take the old bushing out and put it back in the "new" shock. However, the old rubber looked pretty rough and I decided not to reuse it. Since I bought the shocks used, they did not come with replacement bushings. So I replaced the metal ring inside the bushing (don't know the right name for this so from here on I will just refer to it as the "insert") on each eyelet as follows. BTW, I verified with a caliper that the outside diameter (OD) of the old and new inserts was the same before doing this. They were. Perhaps this is some kind of industry standard or maybe I was just fortunate.

I began by pressing the insert out of the new shock. I put a a socket end with an inside diameter (ID) larger than the OD of the insert on one side and a socket end with OD just larger than the ID of the insert on the other. I just eyeballed this so I can't say what sizes the socket ends were. I put this arrangement in a bench vise and tightened it up until the insert pushed out into the larger socket end. The only glitch to this was the smaller socket end was close enough to the size of the hole in the rubber that it jammed in there. I pressed the socket end out by inserting a short extension into the socket and used the vise to press it on through into the larger socket end.

I THOUGHT I could do the same thing with the old insert. However, the stock insert must be glued into that rubber hole or age must have somehow have fixed it in place because it wouldn't press out. So, I pressed the whole old rubber out using a similar arrangement of sockets only having one large enough for the rubber piece. Then I cut away as much rubber as possible using a utility knife. Next, using a bench grinder I ground away most of the remaining rubber careful not grind all the way to metal. Finally, I "captured" it between washers and nuts on a 3/8" bolt, chucked the bolt in my drill press and "sanded" the rest of the rubber off with a fine grit sand paper. The result was a nice, clean, smooth-surfaced old insert that was just slightly longer than the new insert. I ground that extra length off and smoothed the down on the benchtop grinder until the old and new matched. The result as an insert the same OD, proper ID and correct length to fit the new shocks to the bike.

The altered insert was pressed into the new rubber using the vice and two wood blocks to protect the new shock eyelet. I used a bit of WD-40 to lubricate the insert so it slide in nicely.

I installed the new shock on the mounting bolts of bike with just a little persuasion hammer and replaced the washers and nuts. Because I changed the length of the insert, I used a couple of additional washers so the nut could tight up properly. I just tightened them up til they seemed good and snug but ought to borrow/buy a torque wrench and tighten them up to specs before I really call the job done.

All told, this project went well and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again or recommend that others do so as well. Purchasing new inserts made for the bike would have been worthwhile but I'm not sure where to get them.

Anyway, that's how it went for me. Saved a couple of hundred bucks and did I mention how much nicer it rides?
I imagine a call to Progressive would have given you your answer. They'd prolly send you the parts bag with washers and different sized bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Regarding an inquiry to Progressive, I did try to call the number listed on their website but never got through to a live person, their online chat was always offline and I tried to email but never heard back. I also tried to call a dealer listed in their dealer locator options but was just told the computer said that shock didn't fit my bike -- which, of course, I already knew.
 
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