Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Scott (DT Swiss) Equalizer 3 Shock - Disassembly Instructions (Basic)

This guide is a work in progress (as haven't had time to add in all the pictures and details yet) for the Equalizer 3 (and Equalizer 2 should be similar process), if you require disassembly for the Equalizer 1 then see here.


The Scott Equalizer 3 shock was engineered for Scott by DT Swiss and features on the Scott Genius range of bikes.

Unlike most rear bicycle 'push shocks', the Equalizer 3 is a 'pull shock'. It features 3 modes of operation:
  1. Full travel mode
  2. Traction mode
  3. Lock-out mode
Disassembly process

Neither Scott nor DT Swiss will provide a diagram or the tools to disassemble the shock for the public - hence I take no responsibility for any damage you may cause to your shock or yourself should you choose to follow these instructions.

Hopefully this guide will encourage TF Tuned to begin selling the seal kits for this shock on their website.

You will need the following tools:

Large 4 pin tool for (-) negative chamber
Small 3 pin tool for (+) positive chambers
Inverted slot head screwdriver (3mm diameter)
Socket wrench (Torque wrench recommended but optional)
42mm socket
26mm socket
Vice with soft jaws
T10 Torx star bit
Tipp-Ex correction fluid (or white paint)

Step 1 - Remove Equalizer 3 shock from your bike

First set the shock to full travel mode using the 3 position lever on the handlebars

Then undo the two small screws on the plastic access panel on the side of the Equalizer 3 shock using (insert allen key size here), then undo the small grub screw inside using (insert allen key size here) this will release the cable.

Now undo the two allen bolts that secure the shock to the frame of the bike using (insert allen key size here) and remove the shock from the bike un-threading the cable as you go. You can also pull off the black guide and store it in a safe place.

Step 2 - Depressurise shock (IMPORTANT!!!)

Undo the air valve caps for the (+) and (-) chambers (shown by orange arrows) and use a small screwdriver to press each valve pin until all the air from both chambers is released. You may find that some oil is also released through these valves together with the air.

Step 3 - Sag Guide removal

Using a (insert allen key size here) remove the Sag Guide from the shock

Step 4 - Reset rebound adjusters

Turn the red rebound dials on both the (+) positive chambers clockwise until the number 1 lines up directly with the red line on the side of each chamber. Then using a T10 Torx star bit undo the screw on the top of each red dial and remove.

Step 5 - Reference marking the chambers (IMPORTANT)

If you do not own a torque wrench it is important to add a reference mark on the top of each of the 3 chambers before undoing the caps. This ensures that when you come to reassemble the shock you will not under-tighten or over-tighten the threads. Mark the 3 chambers as shown in the photo (see orange arrows) with some white paint or pen correction fluid like Tipp-Ex (please note that shock fluid will dissolve these markings so be careful during disassembly not to rub them off).

Step 6 - Clamp the shock

Before proceeding to remove the caps from the chambers it is important to clamp the base of the shock in a vice with some soft jaws (see orange arrows) to protect the mounting. This step is essential as it keeps the shock upright preventing oil spill and helps the pins on the cap removal tools seat evenly with the locating holes of the chamber caps when they are undone.

Step 7 - (-) Negative chamber cap removal

Compress the main piston so that the shock is fully compressed. Then line up the Large 4 pin tool with the 4 holes on top of the cap head. Then using a 42mm socket undo the head of the shock (6 full anti-clockwise turns). But, do not remove piston just yet.

Step 8 - (+) Positive chamber caps removal

Line up the Small 3 pin tool with the cap holes on top of the 1st (+) positive chamber. Then using a 26mm socket undo the cap head of the chamber (6 1/4 full anti-clockwise turns). Repeat for the
2nd (+) positive chamber cap head. But, do not remove pistons just yet

Step 9 - Oil removal

It is tricky to remove the old oil from all 3 chambers at the same time. The best method I found was to use a pipette to first suck up the excess oil from (+) positive chambers. Then I connected a shock pump to the (-) negative air valve and very very gently inserted some air into the large (-) negative chamber, this will make the large piston rise and push some of the oil into the top of the (+) positive chambers. Use the pipette to suck out as much oil as you can from all 3 chambers repeating the process until as much oil as possible is removed.

Below is an image of all the old oil (around 75ml) I collected, I hardly spilt any but I imagine the amount is closer to 82ml (which is mentioned in a Spanish Powerpoint document I read on servicing the Equalizer 2)

Step 10 - Large piston removal

With all the oil removed you should be able to force a small amount of air into the (-) negative valve to push the large piston out of the shock body. Do this very gently and hold onto the piston so that it doesn't pop out and onto the floor.

Step 11 - Small pistons removal

With all the oil removed you should now be able to force a small amount of air into the (+) positive valve to push the two small pistons out of the shock body. It is a good idea to keep your fingers over the top of the open ends of the chambers so that both pistons rise to the top of each chamber. Do this very gently so they don't pop out and onto the floor.

Step 12 - Bleed valve removal

Use the inverted slot-head screwdriver to remove both the bleed valve screws. Be extremely careful as there is a small spring and dome shaped valve pin beneath each screw and they are easy to lose.

Step 13 - Completion

You should now have you Equalizer 3 shock disassembled. Use a clean paper towel to soak up any oil residue or dirt from inside the chambers. Check the chambers for signs of wear.

Step 14 - Service and reassembly

See my service and reassembly instructions here


  1. Hi this was all very useful, now whats the procedure for reassembly do you put the small chamber pistons in and then fill with oil? how much oil does the large cylinder chamber have and does it have oil on both sides of the seals or above the piston only?
    It would be great if you can help.

    Cheers Mike.

    1. I haven't written it yet, there's a Spanish set available if you search on Google though.

    2. I've now put my version online here