Blog

It's Here: Everything There is to Know About After Shock

We dropped a different kind of build on Destination Polaris' Project X this Sunday. Raise your hand if you were surprised. OK put your hands down before someone sees you. The aptly named, After Shock, was built from the ground up to be the ultimate Low Talent Recovery Unit and we spared no expense in making sure it was the perfect vehicle for the job. This thing is filled to the brim with everything we need to get your vehicle up and running again on the trail so read on to see every single detail of After Shock.

We started with the frame

We started this build with a base model 2017 Ranger 1000. A hardy work-horse of a vehicle to be sure, but we knew we were going to be pulling all sorts of big machines out of an array of situations and we couldn't have the frame buckling. So we beefed it up from end-to-end with welded in square support tubing and added an extra super-structure around it - we made a frame around the frame. Now with massive weight applied, the frame doesn't flex at all.

The cab

After Shock under the seats Also on the dash, we mounted a dual-band radio from Rugged Radios so we can keep in touch with home base while we're out on a recovery mission. Under the seats in the cab we have our duel air compressors - 1 for the air horns up top; 1 for the air hose in the back - and duel batteries so we can run lights and equipment without having to have the engine running or cranking up the generator every time. Oh yeah, there's a generator, but we'll talk about that in a minute.

The front end

Most of the action is in the back of this thing, but we didn't want to ignore the front. After all, After Shock has to get to the spot in the trail that crippled your vehicle and be able to tow you out, so it needs a little protection of it's own. After Shock air horn

The suspension

We had to go big on the suspension because the suspension carries a lot of the burden. And we were planning on burdening it. We were already stressing it by adding the extra frame support, tools, and boom, but imagine how stressed it will be when we're towing a 4-seater Teryx out of the mud. First things first, we put 4" portals on there for the much needed gear reduction and extra clearance. We paired that with our 6" lift kit to get us 10" of clearance total over stock. We stuck 32" Intimidators on our 14" Healy Fast Beadlock wheels and filled them with TireBalls to keep them running smooth even when punctured. And finally, we installed our Rhino 2.0 Axles to hold the whole thing together. After Shock suspension We didn't forget shocks either. For those, we went with Walker Evans and we knew they had to be stiff. The front shocks have a 600 lb spring rate and the rears have an 800 lb spring rate. That's heavy enough to handle quite a bit of weight in tow without bottoming out on a rough trail.

The utility bed

The utility bed was all completely hand-made here in-house and has plenty of cargo space. Each side of the utility bed has 4 compartments, one of which is a pass-through compartment big enough for us to climb in and stretch out (we just packed it full of tools though). Hidden in these compartments, you'll find a generator, a power cord reel, an air hose reel, a full welding rig, and of course, controls for the hydraulic boom and winch. But there's plenty of space besides, and the backside of the side compartments is made of clear polycarbonate to make it easy to see inside. [gallery ids="4441,4422,4419,4465,4460" type="columns"] The compartment doors flip up and slide into the body of the utility bed to allow easy access even on narrow trails and each can be locked at the latch. Cube lights and runner lights run along the flanks and rear of the bed to illuminate the entire work area. The top of the utility bed is fitted with more custom cage tubing for protection but also gives enough space up top to strap in a cooler of extra organs in case you pile up really hard. We'll probably just put some drinks in there for now. After Shock rear winchAt the very back of the bed we have another 4500 lb Black Ops winch. This one has a few more potential uses than our front winch whose primary purpose is to get After Shock out of trouble. The rear winch can also get After Shock out of a jam, but it's main purpose is a supplemental towing winch in case we're dealing with an excessively large or overwrought vehicle. This winch's lower position will get any vehicle to the stinger where we can secure it and tow without the vehicle swinging around all over the place.

The boom

The boom is what makes a wrecker a wrecker. After Shock would just be an awesome Ranger 1000 without it. Our 6-foot boom was made from scratch in-house just like everything else. If we can't fix you up on the trail, this thing will drag you out. After Shock stabs down It's equipped with our new 5000 lb winch (for those of you keeping score we're up to 3 winches on this machine now) and it's been able to drag out anything we've attached it to so far. But we're not quite done. We knew this thing would be used in all kinds of terrain including some very slick mud. So we took it over-the-top and added 2 stabs in the back. These hydraulic stabs anchor After Shock to the ground so it can pull on anything without losing traction.

The ultimate Low Talent Recovery Unit

LOW TALENT RECOVERY UNIT! We're excited to bring this beast out to events and trails soon. We expect to be pulling all sorts of poor saps out of their self-made messes. So keep your eyes peeled for the flashing lights and blaring horn the next time you're ripping through a trail. We're on an important recovery mission, and if you're lucky, we might just rescue you from your Low Talent moment too. Check out all our video coverage below! And if you're ready to start your own custom build, head on over to SuperATV.com! https://youtu.be/30eXjI8UUCA https://youtu.be/emOMPqBLKwM https://youtu.be/4A6JhPPtsvU https://youtu.be/bMqyaqxIgQw https://youtu.be/IoXA5bR3TZw After Shock in the mud

It's Almost Here...

Destination Polaris came by SuperATV here in Madison, Indiana to take a look at what we've been cooking up for our Project X build. We've got something really special under wraps here the should surprise you. Here's what I can tell you about it: We started with a Polaris vehicle, added a bumper and a winch, then did a whole bunch of other stuff, and then we painted it orange. Oh, you can see that all in the picture, you say? Well how about this: we named it... I can't tell you that either. Check out our Depth Finder build and our Bad Blood build while you wait for our full breakdown next week!

These SuperATV Black Ops Winches Will Pull You Out of Anything

Your winch is your lifeline. It's your get-out-of-jail-free card for when you take your machine where you shouldn't. And you want to make sure it can get you out of any situation whether you bury it in mud, sand, quicksand, river beds, or you just can't get over those rocks or up that hill. So let me tell you why our Black Ops Winches are the right winches for the job.

Read more

Manufacturing at SuperATV: We're Making Your Machine Better

SuperATV might make the widest variety of products of any aftermarket company out there. There are winch guys out there and bumper guys and axle guys but we specialize in... everything. We endeavor to bring you any part you want, at the best quality, and the lowest price. We've done a good job of it so far but we're always improving and always adding new products. And all those different products take a diverse set of equipment and a lot of manpower to manufacture and fill our 232,000 square foot facility. We've got routers for windshields and skid plates, brake presses, lasers, lathes, CNCs, mills, welders, and tube benders and we're adding more all the time. Let's look at a few of these and what they help us do in more detail.

Windshields and Skid Plates

First of all, we've got our CNC routers. If you don't have a clue what that is, CNC is basically a fancy acronym for "it uses a computer to know what to do" and a router cuts stuff. We uses these guys to cut flat sheets of material into precise shapes that are exactly the same every single time we cut them. Those materials are either UHMW or Makrolon polycarbonate and are bent in brake presses to become skid plates or windshields respectively. [caption id="attachment_4153" align="alignnone" width="4928"]SuperATV Skid Plate Router A brand new skid plate is forming.[/caption] Those windshields and skid plates then get boxed up with whatever hardware and brackets they need before getting moved out to the warehouse. They don't stay there long, though. We crank these things out non-stop on multiple routers and can barely keep up with demand.

We have a big laser

Lasers are exciting. They're all over the place doing all sorts of complicated things. But the really exciting ones - the ones that can actually burn holes in things - are reserved for science fiction and manufacturing. Well we're in the business of manufacturing so we've got ourselves a big fancy laser. Ours is a big 60 ft table with an arm over it that carries the laser. We put huge sheets of steel, Domex, or anything else at all different thicknesses on there and the laser cuts through it all like butter. We can used this to cut out all the parts for 100 boxed A arms, lift kits, or bumpers in a single sheet. We also use it for portal gear lift plates, and anything else that uses plates instead of tubes. [caption id="attachment_4150" align="alignnone" width="4928"]SuperATV laser We need a cool nickname for this bright orange laser beast.[/caption]

We like to bend things

Our tube bender fits in the production line right alongside the laser. Instead of cutting out flat pieces, though, it bends and cuts tubs precisely to be welded into bumpers, A arms and other tubed parts. These flat pieces are taken to the brake presses (we get a lot of use out of our brake presses) where they're bent and sent to welders to assemble. Walking by our row of welders, you'll containers full of these bent flat pieces and pallets full of their raw finished assemblies - stacks and stacks of a single bracket or A arm. After these parts are assembled on a jig, welded, and checked dimensionally, they move on to our powder coating area. Our powder coating guys clean the parts, cover them in powder, and then bake them until we get that nice gloss or wrinkle finish we're looking for. [caption id="attachment_4160" align="alignnone" width="4928"]SuperATV Welding Portal plates waiting in line for gussets and pivot blocks.[/caption] If it's a portal gear lift part we've put together and powder coated, it'll be sent to our portal assembly cell. If you've bought one of our portal kits, you know they come with a lot of different parts. In order to make sure we get these kits right, we have a couple people that specialize specifically in assembling them in house. These guys are also responsible for putting gears and seals into the portal boxes as well. If you walk around their area you'll see hundreds of empty portal boxes waiting for their guts to be inserted. We haven't looked at our CNCs yet. Like our CNC routers, our CNCs use a computer to tell them what, where, and how to cut. Unlike our routers, CNCs are used to turn a big block of metal into a clean and precise metal part. No UHMW or Makrolon here. Most of the time you'll see these machines churning out steering arms and pivot blocks for our portal gear lifts, but we started making carrier bearings on them when we began offering those a few months ago. [caption id="attachment_4151" align="alignnone" width="4928"]SuperATV American aluminum Blocks of aluminum ready to be machined into a new part.[/caption] We didn't cover everything like our wire-cutting EDM that has it's own climate controlled room, and all of our lathes and mills that we use to make all sorts of miscellaneous parts. But I think you get the idea. We work with cutting edge machines (there's a pun in there somewhere) run by top notch talent to bring you the very best home-grown parts we can. And the story of our manufacturing is never-ending. There are machines and gadgets we use that I haven't even hinted at and next week we'll have more new tools that I've never heard of before. Check out our Machine Shop Monday series of videos on YouTube to get a closer look at some of the stuff we do here. https://youtu.be/IyBWPWaeCys    

Kaden Danbury Racer Bio

Kaden Danbury

TEAM: Team SuperATV AGE: 9  YEARS RACING: 3 Kaden Danbury has been racing SXS’s competitively for (3) years. With over (51) races, (2) Championships, and (40) podiums through May of 2017, Kaden has become one of the most consistent youth drivers to hit the winner's box for the Youth SXS’s classes. Kaden Danbury is 9 years old and is currently racing (2) Polaris RZR 170’s this season. He currently has a 2015 Polaris RZR 170 that runs in the 250 SXS Production/ Modified Class at World Offroad Championship Series (WORCS) and Best In The Desert (BITD) and 2012 Polaris RZR 170 in the Open 200 Production class at Dirt Series. Kaden’s racing takes a team of dedicated people to make it happen. Danbury Racing consists of his Mom, Sarah and Dad, Dustin Danbury along with his extended race family that gets his (2) SXS’s prepped and dialed in for every race. Kaden is dedicated to off-roading on and off the track. When he is not racing or prepping his RZR’s, Team Danbury Racing is spending their weekends in Ocotillo Wells, CA camping and driving through the desert. In Kaden’s spare time he trains in his SXS’s as well as in carts with WORCS Pro SXS driver, Shelby Anderson at Shelby Anderson Racing Academy to sharpen his skills. We look forward to his race future. Kaden Danbury/ Danbury Racing has been fortunate enough to have been with Team SuperATV since August of 2015 and hopes for many more years to come! Check out Kaden on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. https://youtu.be/vv_srE9NdgU https://youtu.be/rdXI9CnrnOs   [gallery ids="2964,2963,2962,2961,2960,2959,2958,2956,2955" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"]        

Rhino 2.0 - We've Got an Axle for Any Rider

SuperATV's Rhino 2.0 axles are hot right now. With it, we've proven that we can make the strongest axle on the market and one of the most affordable. And while anybody could use a Rhino 2.0 axle, some people's needs are a little different. Maybe you just like to putt around the farm, or take it on easy hunting trails and you happen to break an axle by some fluke. You're not looking for the be-all-end-all axle, you just want a quick easy replacement so you can get going again. You might want an AD

Read more

Are You Checking Your Bolts?

I bet you've noticed that a lot of your machine is held together with bolts. I would argue that most of your machine is held together with bolts. And unlike the other things that hold your machine together (welds), bolts are designed to come apart. They go on the machine and stick pretty well, and they come off the machine without too much fuss whenever you want them too. Well the convenience of having fasteners that can be unfastened means that while you can do your own maintenance without busting out the grinder, sometimes those bolts will come loose of their own accord. And that can be a problem considering the aforementioned ubiquity of bolts on your machine.

Check your bolts often

So make sure you check your bolts. Most people do a check just once a year, but you should be checking your bolts every few rides at least. It's easy. Just grab a wrench and walk around your machine. Check every bolt you can - A arm bolts, tie rod bolts, shock bolts, bumper bolts, etc. If any of them feel loose just tighten them up! Your most common problem bolts will be your shock mounting bolts (pretty important) and your A arm bolts (even more important). Although any bolt can come loose at any time, and I guarantee that the bolt you don't check is the bolt that will come loose. Now after you check all your bolts and tighten the 2 or 3 that were loose, you take your machine out for a ride and hear a noise. Every time you hit a bump you hear a loud clunk! Maybe you have a stick or a rock wedged somewhere. Maybe you blew a shock. You know it couldn't possibly be a loose bolt since you just tightened them all this morning. Well you'd be wrong. That shock bolt that you tightened this morning is loose again. Now why would that be? Turns out the culprit is your nuts - your nyloc nuts.

Nyloc nuts

Nyloc nuts, if you don't know, have a nylon collar inside them so that the bolt becomes locked to the nut when it's tightened down. They're great and cheap and they're much more secure than a standard nut. SuperATV another nyloc nutsSo yesterday when you took the nyloc nut off of your shock to mess with your A arms, you damaged that nylon collar. This morning it was loose again and when you tightened your loose nyloc nut, the repeated threading of the bolt through the nylon collar deformed it so much that it no longer locks down on the bolt effectively. Now on your ride today, you were just a few bumps away from your shock coming loose and wrecking a lot of stuff when you started hearing the clunking. Some people will argue that nyloc nuts can be reused over and over again without losing their locking ability. In our experience, that's not the case. And honestly, we here at SuperATV don't care about those arguments. One of the most trivially easy things we can do to ensure our ride is safe is to replace nyloc nuts every time we take them off. We'd like to be better safe then sorry, and we're OK with dropping $5 for a bag of nyloc nuts that will last us months. So, don't reuse nyloc nuts! They're disposable.

Lug nuts

Just to make sure we've covered all our bases I want to remind you specifically to make sure you check your lug nuts when you check the rest of your bolts. You really don't want to have your wheel fall off in the middle of a ride for no good reason. Trust me.

Noises

SuperAT Nyloc Nuts I already mentioned the characteristic clunk of a shock mount bolt coming loose, but your machine can make all sorts of noises as you let it fall to pieces. A arm bolts make more of a rattling noise. If your lug nuts are loose it might be more a thumping noise. You really need to pay attention to the noises of your machine - learn to speak its language made of metal and strain. Then you can hear precisely when your vehicle needs to stop and when it can go a little further.

What if it's too late to check my bolts?

Maybe it's too late for you. Maybe you went one day to long without doing a bolt check and now you machine is sitting in your garage in a dozen pieces waiting for replacement parts to come in. Your significant other is complaining because that heap of junk is filling up the garage and they have to park outside and walk through the rain. If that's you then SuperATV will be more than happy to help you get out riding again and get your machine healthy enough to move back to the shed. We've got a ton of stuff to get your vehicle looking and performing better than ever, and we have super fast shipping so your downtime can be days instead of weeks. If that's not you then just be safe and stay in one piece! Have fun riding and leave your worry at home knowing you took care of your machine before you put it on the trailer.      

Summer Maintenance: Do It!

Summer is the time for long days, warm nights, good vacations, and great rides. For many, summer is the off season - a time to reap the rewards of all the chores and maintenance you did to bring your machine back to life in the spring and just have fun. Now you can focus purely on enjoying those riding trips you've been planning and testing out all the upgrades you made. Unfortunately, you're setting yourself up for a world of hurt if you totally dismiss some basic maintenance on your ATV or UTV while you're out playing. Unlike your regular seasonal maintenance where you can do a one-and-done check of fluids, fuel, corrosion, and whatnot  (you're doing that, right?), summer maintenance needs are less predictable. Just because you checked your ball joints in the morning doesn't mean they're in good shape in the evening after you ride. What you should be focused on throughout your riding season are your wear items. We're talking about wheel bearings, ball joints, bushings, belts, tie rod ends, and anything else subjected to constant abuse through normal use. Most of these things are easy to check and your machine will generally let you know that somethings going bad even if you're not checking it yourself. Although once your machine starts complaining you're already doing extra damage.

Tie rod ends

Let's start with tie rod ends. These little guys can ruin your day if you let them get away from you. And by "let them get away from you" I mean letting them loosen up until the shock from a bump finally snaps it off your tie rod and sends you careening out of control into a tree. tie rod end SuperATVSo instead of doing that just jack your machine in the air a little bit, grab your tire and try turning it gently. If you feel some slack before the rack engages and the other wheel starts turning, then it may be time to get some new tie rod ends.

Wheel bearings

SupeATV Wheel BearingWheel bearings can have a similar feel to tie rod ends when they start going bad. The difference is that a bad wheel bearing will cause your wheel to have play no matter how you shake it whereas a tie rod end will only have play in the direction the wheels actually turn. If your wheel is flopping all over the place just get a new wheel bearing.

Ball joints

Next let's talk about ball joints. Like any key part of your suspension, catastrophic failure of your ball joints can be a lot of fun when it happens to someone else. Who doesn't appreciate watching someone's wheel fly off and catapult their car end over end? You. That's who. That's why you check your ball joints before every ride. Give the rubber boot a quick look before you do anything else. If it's damaged there's a good chance you've got dirt and mud working it's way in there and it will seize up soon. If it's already starting to seize for any reason, or it's just getting a lot of use, the stud and housing can start to wear down and loosen in the spindle or A arm. You should check for that looseness. The uppers are easy; just take the shock off and stick a pry bar between your upper A arm and axle and do a little prying (but don't go crazy. You can do this test just by grabbing it but it's a little easier to keep your eyes on the ball joint if you use a pry bar). The A arm, ball joint, and spindle should move as a single unit. In fact, you shouldn't even be able to move the A arm when you pry. If the ball joint moves in the spindle or the A arm then it's time to replace it. For the lowers you can use a similar technique; just jack your machine up so your front tires are barely off the ground. Stick a pry bar under the tire and pry up against it so you move the whole spindle slightly. Again, make sure the A arm, ball joint, and spindle all act as one solid piece. SuperATV has heavy duty ball joints for all sorts of vehicles if you find out your ball joint is shot.

Bushings

Bushings are another easy one to check. Just take your wheel off and check for play in your pivot joints. If your A arms or trailing arms shake then get some new bushings. We offer UHMW bushings for many vehicles which last quite a bit longer than OEM bushings. The main thing to remember about all these suspension parts is that if one starts going bad, it's going to affect the wear on all the rest. That's why you want to stay on top of it. If you catch a tie rod as soon as it starts going bad you could save yourself a couple hundred dollars by not replacing your ball joints and bushings as well. Not to mention that crashing into a tree situation I mentioned earlier.

Drive belts

SuperATV Drive Belt When it comes to belts you have to be a little more observant and it takes a little more work to check. What makes things worse is that you don't even get a spectacular wreck if you lose a belt. You kind of just slow down and stop (maybe that's better than wrecking). Most of the time, your first clue that your belt is going bad is that it slips - in the middle of giving it throttle your RPMs spike and you feel the machine lurch a bit before the belt catches and you start accelerating again. You might also notice the smell of burning rubber as well or you might smell it and not notice a loss of power. The point is, you need to be aware of what your machine is telling you, and if you feel your belt slip or smell it burning, you should get a spare on there as quickly as possible so you don't get yourself stranded. You can avoid putting a damper on your day by visually inspecting your belt before you go out riding. Take your clutch cover off and check your belt for cracks and loose fibers sticking out of the side. Your main culprit, though, is glazing. Glazing is caused by belt slippage and looks like smooth shiny spots on the side of belts (the friction and heat caused by slipping polishes a smooth spot onto the belt). Your clutch can't grip these glazed spots and your belt will end up slipping more and more until your not having any fun anymore. Even if you think your belt is good you might as well bring a spare along. SuperATV belts are relatively inexpensive, they're not hard to change out, and they only require a simple toolkit. Just make sure you don't burn yourself if you change out a belt that's already smoking.

Do it!

So the moral of the story is to make sure you pay attention to your machine. Your seasonal checks may be one-and-done for the most part but your machine needs a little TLC throughout the riding season. It will tell you when it's hurting but if your proactive to check your machine before every ride, you can save yourself a bundle of cash and keep cruising without issues year after year. We've got a large selection of parts over at SuperATV so there's no excuse. Keep your ride happy!