ok Olivermango, it's 2:30am and I'm done
Here is a zip file with an example video of the final thing and the actual mb/ma files for maya ( I didnt know if you have 4.0 or 4.5 so I made the .ma one)
anyway, once you open the file, you'll figure out how is it done...
you asked about the weight affecting the shock, well you can do that by keyframing the places you want and where you want it to bend... but you'll get the idea...
if you have any questions on a certain part, just ask and I'll explain more.. now I'm too tired to write up what I did... :o
I'm off to bed!