Using the stock 22mm wrench to adjust the rear suspension preload on the Yamaha Phazer models is difficult. The wrench is short, and there isn’t much room up in the suspension to get the wrench to rotate through the cam adjustment. It’s a bugger.
So, we’ve gone back to an old trick from years past, the â€œspeed wrenchâ€. The easy way to make adjustments to your spring blocks, or cams, is to take a socket speed wrench with a 7/8â€ socket (most of us have one of these, very-very close to a 22mm) and you can flip the Phazer cam adjusters with amazing ease. This works far better to control the cam movement (as it comes past center) than a ratchet-socket combination, which allows the cam to slam into place due to the freewheeling ratchet action. A ratchet that allows you to â€œlockâ€ it would prevent this from happening, and should work.
Generally, you want to rotate the block towards the open end of the spring, which would always be from the top of the cam towards the rear of the sled. Having an assistant unload the rear of the sled (take the weight off the springs) also makes it easier to rotate the cams. Make sure the socket is all the way onto the plastic adjusters, a slight misalignment can easily strip the edges of the plastic â€œnutâ€ on the cam.
This technique works well on all brands of machines with cam adjusters, and allows you to do the job from the outside of the suspension without having to get your hands slammed around, or get your knuckles skinned. Leave the short wrenches for on-trail adjustments (and have your gloves on at all times when doing it the old-fashioned way).
And despite popular belief to the contrary, you do not have to have both sides set the same. The cams both apply their pressure to the same shaft, so you can set each cam individually to provide you with more possible settings. Instead of just low-low, medium-medium-medium and high-high, you can also set the blocks to low-medium and medium-high for five different settings instead of just three!
Ideally, the spring preload and cam settings should be selected to provide the proper ride height of the machine, or ride sag when the rider hops on. This generally is 30-40% of the suspension travel from a fully-extended position, and is simply a guideline. If the suspension is equipped with coupler blocks, you want to make sure the blocks are not yet engaged with the rider on the sled, or the ride quality will be in the â€œcoupledâ€ mode almost all the time. Generally, you want the couplers at a â€œmid-pointâ€ in the static (stationary) setting to provide an uncoupled (smoother) ride quality for the first portion of the suspension travel, and then crossing over to a firmer, more controlled ride when the blocks are engaged for the remainder of the suspension travel.