Check your bolts oftenSo 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 nutsNyloc 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. So 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 nutsJust 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.
NoisesI 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.
Tie rod endsLet'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. So 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 bearingsWheel 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 jointsNext 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.
BushingsBushings 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 beltsWhen 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!
The RaceAfter heavy rains, track conditions were thick and muddy on race day, but by the time the flag dropped that afternoon, the track was firm and dry - ready for the precision driving and the high octane racing of the unlimited class. Tyler started in the 4th position of 7 racers and quickly took his #4919 RZR Turbo up the pack to 2nd position. Soon after, the first place driver floundered a turn and Tyler took immediate advantage to secure the first place position. He managed to hold that position over jumps and through turns with little drama for the remainder of the race and took the checkered flag for Team SuperATV - a decisive victory and a clean race.
The RideTyler was racing his #4919 2017 RZR XP Turbo with several modifications and upgrades from SuperATV and had no issues with his vehicle during the race. For suspension, his Turbo was decked out with a SuperATV 3" long travel kit for superior stability and control. He was rocking Rhino 2.0 axles, Healy Fast Series Beadlock wheels, and SuperATV's low-profile front bumper to keep him moving while he ripped through turns and over jumps. Under the hood he ran a SuperATV Rev1 Stage 2 tune with a matching clutch kit - a huge boost to performance that left his competition reeling. A perfect race day combo. http://youtu.be/-J0CecbS6to Race 4 in the King of the Shell Series is coming up on July 22 at the Dirty Turtle Off-Road Park. We hope to see you there!
• Round 1 - 9th in class; 9th overall • Round 2 - 9th in class; 19th overall • Round 3 - 6th in class; 9th overall • Round 4 - 14th in class; 24th overall • Round 6 - 11th in class; 11th overall • Round 7 - 15th in class; 32nd overall • Round 9 - 11th in class; 29th overall• Best in the Desert UTV World Championship Race: Desert Race - 31st of 90; Short course - 16th of 102 • Mint 400 - 17th place http://youtu.be/TS1utMuksKg [gallery ids="2888,2889,2890,2891,2892,2893,2894,2895,2896,2897,2887,2898,2875,2876,2877,2878,2879,2880,2881,2882,2883,2884,2885,2886,2874,2873,2871,2870,2869,2868,2865" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"]
Rugged RadiosRugged Radios is well know for high-quality vehicle to vehicle communication solutions. They make radios for most high-noise vehicle applications including emergency vehicles and aviation, but their focus is on off road vehicles. They offer a full gamut of communication products from handheld 2-way radios to integrated helmet intercoms to top-of-the-line, quad-band, dash mounted radios. Rugged Radios is located in Pismo Beach, California which means they have access to dunes, mountains, and rocks all around them - a rider's paradise. They were featured on Destination Polaris last year and if you watched that episode, you know they wear their love of UTV's on their chest. It's no wonder that they've been making custom vehicles for years now. You've probably heard of their Baja RZR that combines a VW Bug with a 2015 RZR XP 1000. It's a cool and iconic buggy and should give you a good idea of what those guys who make radios can do with a UTV.
The Rugged GeneralThis time, Destination Polaris came by for a Project X build aptly named The Rugged General. For this build, Rugged Radios' affable owner, Greg Cottrell, explains that they started with a Polaris General 1000 and promptly removed the frame and bodywork to make way for the dramatic modifications they were adding. Their goal - to turn a General 1000 into a WWII era Willys Jeep, combining the grandfather of off roading with the best modern off-road vehicle available. Now, Rugged Radios doesn't make aftermarket parts for Generals, so they enlisted the help of some others in the industry. That's where SuperATV came in. We sent over our Polaris General 3" Lift Kit to help them get the suspension where it needed to be on the Rugged General. Our 3" gave them the space they needed to fit their 32" Ivan Stewart Edition GMZ wheels and their custom flat fender flares. They finished the whole thing off with a canvas roof, custom decals, and a custom hood along with dozens of little touches to keep it authentic and unique. The focal point of the whole vehicle, though, is that genuine flat-fender Willy Jeep front grill and windshield. It's immediately identifiable as a Willys Jeep and will make you look twice before realizing it's not actually a Jeep at all. And it all comes together really nicely - the boxy cage, the spare tire on the back, the ammo cans and flat fenders - they all give the impression of a heavy-duty, retro, work vehicle. It's an awesome, total transformation of a General 1000. Your only clues that it ever was a General come from the shape of the doors and the remaining plastic bodywork. It's a perfect union of new and old.
What it's made ofHere's the full rundown of parts Rugged used to make their vision a reality: •SuperATV 3" high clearance lift kit •Custome canvas roof, cage, ammo cans, and hood by NVFab. •32" Ivan Stewart Edition Gmz tires •15" Casino Beadlock Wheels •Walker Evans 2.5" shocks •Assualt Industries Tomahawk steering wheel •PRP Seats •Matching painted HJC open-face helmets •4 Sets of KC Hilites •XTC turn signal kit •Bubbarope 50 ft synthetic winch line •Factor55 recovery tow points •PowerTank Trigger onboard air system to hold 2 20oz air canisters And let's not forget the radios! •Rugged Radios RM50-MB 50-watt Multi-Band Radio •RRP660 PLUS Bluetooth intercom •Magellan Explorist TRX7 GPS Now that you know everything it takes to build this beast you can get started building your own, right?
Coming up...We've got our own Project X build coming up right around the corner. I can't say anything about it but it should be pretty surprising. We'll be giving you a few hints here in the coming weeks so be sure to check back often! In the meantime, you can continue staring at the Rugged General with envy. https://youtu.be/bYPh74kvHkA [gallery ids="3018,3019,3020,3022,3023,3021,3024,3025,3026,3027,3028,3029,3030,3031,3032,3033,3034" type="rectangular" orderby="rand"]
Chances are, you have some idea about what the ECU on your vehicle is and what tuning your ECU does. But the true complexity of what is happening in your ECU before and after a tune may have eluded you. If you want to know more about what they do and how we tweak them to get the very best performance (we won't tell you everything. We've got to keep some secrets, right?), feel free to read on and enlighten yourself.
Do you think your side-by-side is powerful already? Why don't you try taking the limits off your machine with our Handheld ECU Tuner and seeing what your machine is really capable of?
When it comes to upgrading your machine, you have to think carefully about what, where, and how you upgrade. Here at SuperATV, we love taking OEM parts and making them better, and that's exactly what we've done with our A arm bushings.