January 31, 2001
Some kit shocks come with the spring moulded in place. Not only is this hard to
paint convincingly, but they don't look very realistic. You can easily rebuild
the kit springs into ones that look more realistic.
- First measure the 'spring' length in between the top and bottom of the
- Cut off the upper and lower ends of the shock.
- Drill an appropriate sized hole in the shock ends to accept a length of
music wire. Drill the holes at least 1mm deep. 1/16" or 5/64" are
- Cut the music wire to the length of the 'spring' plus 2 to 4mm.
- Now you need a shock body. You can make this from brass or aluminium
tubing that fits over the music wire. Cut the tubing to the required length.
- To make a new spring, wrap 28gauge or heavier wire around a length of the
shock body tubing. Making sure the spring spacing looks like the plastic
- Paint all the pieces.
- Assemble with CA glue.
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are the parts to the Honda
Z50J-III Gorilla shocks before painting. The kit 'spring' is to the right of
the assembled shock.
May 28, 2001
Some kits include metal springs for the shocks that need to be painted. To get a nice
uniform coat of paint and the proper colour, the metal should be primed. Before
priming, lightly sand the metal spring with 400 grit paper and then prime with White
Primer or Flat White paint. This will give the gloss colour coat a textured surface to adhere to.
Handle the painted springs with care during assembly. The 'primer' and paint
can chip fairly easily.