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Quad Suspension. A primer...

Discussion in 'Custom Offroad Builds' started by rivermobster, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    There is a ton of info out there on whats what with quads. I thought I'd try and clear a few bits of this info up.

    Front: Basicly there are 3 main types of front a-arms available. Stock shock, long shock, and long travel.

    Stock shock is any a-arm that uses a 16" shock. They normally come +1 to +3" wider on each side than a factory a-arm. You'll see some that are listed as +2,+1. This means the ball joints are 2 inches further out, and 1 inch forward of the stock ball joint position.

    [​IMG]


    Long shock a-arms use anywhere from a 16 to 20" shock. They use ball joints, but the main difference is, every manufacturer uses a different legnth shock! A shock built for a LoneStar a-arm will not work on a Laegers a-arm. The shock has to be built for that arm. Dimensions are called out the same way they are for a stock shock arm. It's interesting to note, wheel travel is not much different with a stock shock a-arm! Why? A ball joint can only articulate so far, so wheel travel is limited by that. The longer shock DOES provide a much better ride, and that is the main difference here. Most people call these long travel a-arms, when really in fact, they are not. (if you look closely at the two different pics, you can see the only real difference is where the shock is mounted)

    [​IMG]

    Long travel a-arms actually use heim joints. Heim joints have a much greater range of articulation, and allow for a MUCH greater range of wheel travel. Call out dimensions are the same, as well as each shock being need to be built for each paticular manufacturer of a-arm. Long travel shocks are 19 to 20" inches in legnth, and very few people actually build these type of arms. Roll Design is the most popular brand.

    [​IMG]


    Hope this helps!
     
  2. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Well-Known Member

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    0513102050a[1].jpg




    And then there are bastard setups like this,+2+1 with a 14" (from mount to mount,installed and sitting on ground)shock,with heim joints.
     
  3. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    Flat track set up. Nice. :thumbsup :D
     
  4. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Well-Known Member

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    It is? Wanted something for Duning.
    When I stated on the ground,I meant the shock was compressed to this length at rest. Overall the quad sits at "normal" height. I have yet to play with this setup.$ priority$$$$ and more $$$$.
     
  5. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    I know, jus kidding. :p

    Real flat track set-ups use shocks even shorter than that, and the chassis are just inches off the ground!! It takes a lot of time and effort to get something "just right". Oh, and that $$$ thing too. :grumble:
     
  6. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Well-Known Member

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    Mobster whats your opinion of the Elka rear shock linkage upgrade they sell for the Banshee?It seems by the price THEY are very proud of it. Supposed to give about another inch of travel and smooth the ride a little. Know anyone running this?
     
  7. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    In reality, they are the ONLY one's doing this right!

    When you change the linkage, you change the shock "ratio" (how much distance the shock shaft travels for every inch of wheel travel).

    Shock builders know the "stock" linkage ratio, but if you did swap out the linkage, the builder would need calculate your new linkage ratio, to build the shock properly for you. Unless the shock builder has your quad, and can make all the required measurements to calculate the ratio properly, all you getting is a best guess on the shock.

    Since Elka is selling a "matched set" linkage and shock, you will get the correct set-up from them!

    With all that being said, I'm not a huge fan of Elka shocks. I've had lotsa people buy em, and then send em in, to get em re-valved properly for them. :rolleyes: Unless your a pro, with Elka's team back in your trailer, your just paying for all the "free stuff' the pros get.

    The best set-up would be a stock linkage with a new Axis shock, or a converted stock shock, if your not going to compete.

    Maybe Doug Gust would notice that extra inch of travel, but I dont think a mere mortal could tell the difference! A correct set-up beats more wheel travel every time.
     
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  8. nordic454

    nordic454 WWW.METALWORXLV.COM

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    I actually noticed quite a big difference with the new linkage. I raced ITP quadcross, and supermoto for about 4 years, with my heavily modified 03' ltz-400. Denton Racing in socal built everything for me, +3 +1 front arms, which i actuall DID'NT go long travel. I kept with the stock location for the shocks. Not really for any reason other than to try and save a little bit of money on my $20k quad. A + 1.5 swingarm, +4 racing axle, TCS triple rate shocks all around, with the linkage out back, and it did make a big difference. I also had a full built 450motor from Anthony at Truimph Motorsports in Corona.
     

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  9. pronstar

    pronstar President, Dallas Chapter

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    I've got all of this except for the linkage.
    It really transformed my Raptor.

    The TCS stuff is priced like Elkas these days, I was lucky enough to get a setup from rivermobster right before they hiked their prices. Despite the price, they sure do know their stuff :thumbsup
     
  10. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Mobster, I bought my quad with a suspension kit (86 honda 250r) the previous owner didn't know what kit it was and everybody I've talked to trys to sell me a new kit.:grumble: 2+2 A-arms works reservoir shocks, + 5 swing arm. The suspension is horrible feels real front heavy. Who could I take the bike to to find who made the arms and swingarm and get the suspension dialed in ?
     
  11. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    That quad (stock) had some of the best factory suspension ever. To strech it out 7 more inches would make it REAL hard to turn!! Right now, its set up to be a hill shooter. Gotta be tough trying to rip through the bowls.

    The only way your gonna fix THAT issue is to shorten the bike back up. (prolly why everyone wants to sell you new stuff) The easy fix would be to find a factory swing arm and components, and get the rear shock revalved.

    Its gonna be heavy in the turns utill you get it shortened back up a bit. :(
     
  12. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup Thanks, I tried to pull the swing arm bolt out but it seems like it's seized in the bearings ? It spins I tried a 2x4 and a hammer then got pissed and grabbed a sledge hammer and the bolt wont come out :mad:
    Any suggestions ?

    Also, I went to a local suspension shop and said he wouldn't rebuild or re valve my works shocks because its a pain in the ass to get parts from works ? Rear shock has an aftermarket spring on it and is waaaay to stiff for me even after softening up. I'd rather rebuild the works shocks rather than buy new shocks.

    I can build a motor but when it comes to suspension I'm clueless :p
    Really appreciate the help.....
     
  13. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    RaceTech bought TCS and Todd works over there now. He can turn Works into real shocks. He's done a ton of em over the years.

    No easy fix on that bolt. Lay the quad on it's side and SOAK the the thing in some kinna rust penatrent (sp?). Soak it every day for a week or so and then hammer it again.

    Or....

    just go ride the think with the nut off/loose. mine came right out that way. :grumble:

    Heat is your friend in these issues. :p
     
  14. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    RaceTech.com ? I'll try to give them a call and send shocks out next week if i can:thumbsup Location ?




    I thought about pulling the motor and cut the damn bolt out with a sawzall!!!:eek:
     
  15. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    yep, you got it. out in corona.

    you dont wanna send the shocks out till you have the components all figured out.

    a sawzall might work well too! hehe
     
  16. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Components ? As in what Swing arm im going to use ?
     
  17. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    Yes. And linkage. I highly recomend you go stock on the linkage as well.

    There are some factory swing arms that came without a linkage. Do not get one of those arms!! Those quads had some variances year to year, and i dont recall all the details. Some homework will need to be done. Google is your friend on these issues. :thumbsup
     
  18. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    It still has the factory Pro-link linkage on it , That's not going anywhere ! I was thinking +1 or +2 on the arm, It has a 350cc stroker motor in it I wanna be able to pull tire but also be able to drop the clutch at comp and not spill all the beer outta my cooler when I drag six pack rack !:D
     
  19. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    Holy f'n shit batman!!!!

    Well, with that info...

    Leave that swing arm on it and go buy a different quad. (if you want something that turns). Sounds like its set up just about right. i wouldnt change a thing. :D
     
  20. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    I still think the shocks need to be redone . I't won't pull tire at all with that swing arm and its all over the place thru the whoops ! I ave fun with it, just feels real front heavy heres a pic of me trying to get it to pull tire I pulled back a little to much it woun't carry the front end over the woops!!!:eek:
     

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  21. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    +5 is never gonna be good through the whoops. and its never gonna turn like a quad with stock suspension.

    (im jus giving you straight out honest advice)

    But, if you send the shocks over to RaceTech, Todd will give you the best ride you can possibly get.

    (jus tryin to manage your expectations) :cool:
     
  22. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    I understand, thanks :thumbsup I just needed somebody to go to or get some advice to get the optimum performance out of the current suspension I have. Ridden Shees from stock to aftermarket suspension as well as a hondas very similar to mine with STOCK shocks with arms on it and a STOCK arm and there is no comparison to mine . Should take the bike to racetech and tell them what I wanna do and go from there ? Seems to me that they would want to see the current combination to set me up ?

    Again I REALLY appreciate this thread and as well as your input. A shop close by kept saying "oh your good with that set up it should work fine, maybe you should just buy these 1500.00 elkas , that will work! " :grumble:
     
  23. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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  24. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    As long as you have the stock linkage on there, Todd can figure it out. No worries.

    It prolly bucks WAY too much thru the whoops Im guessing. He can figure that out with the right valving and spring rate too.

    Call him directly, and say Joe from ATV Suspension Tech told you to call. I'm positive you'll be happy with the results.
     
  25. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Thats EXACTLY what it does !!!!!! I'll give him a call as soon as I can:thumbsup
     
  26. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Went on their website, tech support louie ? ask for Todd ?
     
  27. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    Todd Davis. Ask for Erica first (but im not sure if she still works there).
     
  28. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Just talked to him 2 week turnaround !!! :party2:

    Thanks, shoulda done this last year :rolleyes:
     
  29. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    < will be waiting for the ride report :cool:
     
  30. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    :thumbsup:D
     
  31. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Well-Known Member

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    :eek:A 350! and it won't pull those tires? Have you played around with tire pressure? And what about gearing?

    As far as it being all over the place,maybe look at your front alignment,a very small change there can have a rather large impact on how it stears.

    And like Mobster said,dont expect it to ba a turn carver with all that arm and the +2 front end,but I expect you could embarass the 450 guys at the hill:D

    Looks like a killer quad,I dig it:thumbsup
     
  32. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    Gearing is perfect 43 in the rear and I think 12 or 13 in the front. I havent checked the alignment latrely but I'm gonna put heim joints on soon. I'll make sure to check it then. I've messed with the tire pressure every time im out , don't think thats an issue.

    When the 450's came out all my buddies where buying them and putting bolt ons on them and I wasn't about to go finance a new $ 6,000.00+ quad and then put another grand or 2 into it like they were . I was anti Banshee because everybody has one so I built a big bore Honda just to blow off the 4 strokes :cool:

    I went by my buddies house the other night and I noticed a new bike in the garage he went out and bought a tricked out efffin' Banshee :grumble: . His excuse was I want my 450 zuki to be reliable. :rolleyes:
    He's had 2 450 yamahas all tricked out before the zuke and he still couldn't beat me at the hill !!!!:smackbum:

    Thanks for the props on the quad:thumbsup
     
  33. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Well-Known Member

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    With that gear it should pull like a scalded dog.

    13-43=3.30 gear

    For a comparo,my wifes 250R with a 14-44=3.14 pulls top gear well,and looking for 7th.If im mistaken on the front gear it would be a 13-44=3.38(I dont do 12s),pretty close to your own. Its a 250 with a couple cleanup bores,mid range porting,fmf gold series mid range pipe,and about 160lbs of cylinder pressure.By the way,its an 8 paddle tall hauler,and with a little clutch work,will leave in 3rd.
    Maybe do a comp. check on it? Something doesn't sound right,it should pull hard out of the hole and pull top gear hard with that gear.
     
  34. Hammer

    Hammer Well-Known Member

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    It pulls hard outta the hole, I have to start in 2nd at olds cause i cant shift into 2nd fast enough. i wind out 4th at the top of olds. pretty close comparison though. I had 10'' 9 paddle extreme haulers on it when i first put the bike together and I hated them. that was 5 years ago, I had 8 paddle haulers on my wheeler been running them on the quad till last season when I i bought some 8 paddle haulers with a taller sidewall. blew up the motor on thanksgiving didn't even make it out of camp with the new tires !:thumbsdown:grumble:

    I really can't complain though, I've been running the crap outta that motor 5-6 trips a season since 2004 !!! :thumbsup

    No MFG. bashing here so I won't get into the MAJOR issues I had with the motor the first 2 seasons. :grumble:
     
  35. stokerwhore

    stokerwhore aka bordsmnj

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    Rivermobster,
    does racetech re-do elka shocks? i bought a pair 2 years ago and put them on. they are for a rider that weighs50 lbs more than i do. i have an 04 yfz set up for desert...kinda.i built it backwards from the motor out. it's +1 all the way around. it's just a bruiser of a ride. my wifes bone stock raptor 700 feels like a catillac by cmparison. i would like the ride to be correct but i dont have a lot of money. i can post pics if you would make a recommendation.thankyou -Jas
     
  36. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    Hey Jas...


    Yes, they actually do. Todd will throw away their valving though, it really does kinna suck.

    The problem with Elka is...

    You dont get anything close to the shocks the pros do! All you are doing is giving Elka money, to give the pros stuff for free. The shocks us mere mortals get from Elka, well, lets just say they aint the best!

    Todd does wonders with them. :thumbsup
     
  37. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Well-Known Member

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    Another old thread revival:)

    @Hammer
    You get the 250r dialed in?
     
  38. Devilman

    Devilman lol, yeah, sure, ok......

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    lol, yes that is a heckuva thread bump. :D

    on the chance that he hasn't... I had the exact same situation on my Honda 250R years ago in regards to the swingarm bolt...

    "Thanks, I tried to pull the swing arm bolt out but it seems like it's seized in the bearings ? It spins I tried a 2x4 and a hammer then got pissed and grabbed a sledge hammer and the bolt wont come out"

    It would spin freely but wouldn't come out for shit, even whaling on it with a sledge hammer. What finally did work, was an air hammer. I got the suggestion from a cycle salvage outfit called Dirt Cycles up in North somewhere. Found their ad in the back of Dirt Wheels magazine (may be dating myself, lol) Drove it out like nothing. The vibration from the air hammer was what did the trick, versus the the slow/individual hits of the sledge, is how it was explained to me. Funny, the guy called it a burp gun. Or "boip" gun as he pronounced it, lol... :D

    Either way, thanks for the stroll down memory lane, I miss my ol Honda... :cool:
     
    rivermobster and Gelcoater like this.
  39. rivermobster

    rivermobster Club Banned

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    2010....

    Jezus.

    I wish I could have continued with ATVSuspensionTech, but when things were just starting to get moving, my dad passed away, and his care taker tried to steal everything my mom and dad owned. Two years of court battles will preoccupy your time like nothing else. Fun times till that happened though.

    Life moves on...

    :)
     

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