A-arms do a lot more work on a side-by-side than on any other vehicle. They’re responsible for keeping the suspension together in the face of constant abuse from brush, sticks, rocks, mud, water, dirt, and bad driving. All that crap is why it’s important for new riders to know what their A-arm parts are called and what they do.
So instead of saying you need a new long doohickey that’s connected to the flat thing, let’s walk through the different A-arm parts and explain them in basic terms.
Pivot blocks connect your A-arms to your UTV’s frame. They’re called “pivot blocks” because they actually pivot on the bolt that mounts them to the frame.
SuperATV’s A-arms often come with adjustable pivot blocks. Adjustable pivot blocks allow you to change your UTV’s camber and caster. It’s an extremely useful A-arm part when you add lifts or other accessories that mess up your camber.
Your A-arm bushings fit inside the pivot blocks to make sure your suspension moves smoothly.
Learn how to change your camber, caster, and toe.
A-arm bushings are small plastic tubes that go inside of your pivot blocks. They make sure that your A-arm can move freely on the bolt that connects your A-arms to the frame. They are a press fit (meaning the tight fit is what secures them in place), and you can tell when they’re wearing out because your A-arm will have play against the frame.
A bushing kit will usually come with multiple plastic bushings along with steel sleeves. These steel sleeves go inside the bushing and prevent the bolt from running against the plastic material itself.
Some A-arm bushing kits also include steel caps. These caps protect the exposed portions of the bushings.
There are two common bushing materials that you’ll see most often: HDPE and UHMW.
HDPE is what you’ll find in most stock machines. Stock replacement bushings kits are usually HDPE as well. This material is tough and durable, but will need to be replaced eventually.
UHMW is a higher quality plastic that’s only available as an aftermarket upgrade. It lasts much longer than HDPE, and depending on how you ride, may not need to be replaced ever.
Ball joints are another fundamental A-arm part. They’re only used on the front A-arms and press fit into them. Most ATVs and UTVs have upper and lower ball joints.
They connect the A-arm to the spindle and pivot as your wheels move up and down. If ball joints couldn’t articulate, your suspension would be frozen in place and not move at all.
Ball joints wear over time and need to be replaced. When they wear, the ball and stud loosen and you’ll notice play between the A-arm and spindle. They’re also one of the first things to break if you smack your suspension into an obstacle.
The shock mount is the metal tab that your shocks mount to. This crucial A-arm part can be part of your upper or lower A-arms depending on the model. It’s usually reinforced with gussets and extra material around it.
Your sway bar mount is the smaller metal tab that your sway bar links attach to. Sway bar links connect driver and passenger-side A-arms together. This way, both sides of your suspension move in unison, preventing body roll. The result is a more stable ride and it prevents your suspension from rebounding too harshly.
When you have a good understanding of your A-arm parts and what they’re for, you’ll have a better time explaining to dealers and mechanics what’s going wrong with them. You’ll also be able to tell how damage to a certain part will affect your ride back to the trailer.
So take a minute and walk around your machine to see where each of these parts are on your UTV or ATV. You’ll be an A-arm expert in no time!
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Question 2017 ranger xp900 2 seater 6 in superatv suspension lift . When will there be upgraded version that will hold up and not bend and welds crack etc. like apex arms highlifter makes .
Hey Chaz! We actually sell a ton of those kits weekly with overall excellent feedback and results. However, we do understand things can happen while off-roading, which is why we cover our suspension parts with a lifetime warranty. If you’re having repetitive issues, we’re confident we can help troubleshoot and get problems resolved. Just give our customer service team a call with your order information ready at 855-743-3427. We appreciate your feedback and support!
Just installed a set of SuperATV A-Arms on my 2015 Honda Pioneer 700-4 and about to button up the rear end. The stock sway bar links appear that they may be too long to connect to the new A arms. Do I need shorter links, and if so, do you sell those as well?
Hey Gary, thanks for checking in with us! If you take a look at the instructions for these arms, you can see how the stock sway bar and link mount. Here’s a link to the instructions: https://www.superatv.com/amfile/file/download/file/1959/product/14483/ We appreciate the support!
Where can I purchase new adjustable pivot block?
Hey Drue, give us a call or email us and we’ll get you taken care of. Thanks for reading!