Created: December 27, 2021
[00:00] What’s up guys? Do you have a bent, broken, or need to upgrade your A-arms? Well, SuperATV has you covered with our new Sidewinder A-arms. Today we’re going to show you how to install them. Let’s get to it!
[00:44] First, you’re going to want to remove your front wheels and tires. As you can see, we’ve already done this step. One thing that may be different on our machine compared to your machine is that we have portal gear hubs installed, so the tear down’s going to be a little bit different, but we’re going to walk you through the steps if you have portals or if you don’t have portals.
[01:03] The first thing you’re going to do is come to your axle nut, which like I said, we have portals. So we’re going to have a cotter pin on our output shaft here. We’re going to go ahead and remove it. We’ve already loosened ours up. And then you’ll come to your brake caliper, and go ahead and remove it. So then you’ll want to take your brake caliper and lay it out of the way. This brake caliper is going to hang by the line. You will notice that your brake line is braided, stainless steel, so it’s not going to hurt it to let it hang.
So here’s the trick to get the hub off of the output shaft. You will take one hammer and place it square on the shaft. Take another hammer and give it a hit. Your rotor should come off.
[02:05] If you’re running a stock machine and you don’t have portals, you’d start by disconnecting the brake line hardware.
Since we have portals, we’ll need to remove the recessed nut cap and then disconnect our axle nut. Then we’re going to disconnect our brake lines and our ball joints completely from the A-arm. (If you have factory A-arms, you’ll have to drill your rivets). So whenever you do that, be sure not to damage the factory brake lines. Now, your brake line is disconnected from your A-arm, and you can lay your caliper out of the way.
[03:08] Next, you’re going to find the end of the tie rod and remove the cotter pin from the bottom. One thing I always do is take my tire rod and put the hardware back in it—that way I don’t lose it. Now we’re going to go ahead and disconnect our shock. If the shock gets stuck, which this one did, take your impact and unthread it. Sometimes the bushing gets in the arm a little sideways and makes it harder to get the bolt out. Again, take the hardware and put it back into the shock, and start your nut on it, so that way you have it.
Now we’re going to get our strap ready and hook it in the arm. Before we can lift our arm up here, we need to go ahead and disconnect our sway bar link—it’ll be a 15 mm socket. So now we’ve got our nut removed and you can take your sway bar link and pull it out of the A-arm.
[04:28] You will want to prop the A-arm up, so you can reach your ball joint (sometimes it can be a pain to get the upper ball joint loose). A lot of the times what I try to do is get the lower arm off and out of the way, get the axle out of the way, pick everything up, get the upper arm way up, and get the axle out of the diff. Then, I will take an extension and put it through the lower hole on your knuckle, which in our case would be the backing plate. So we’re going to show you how to do that.
Sometimes they get stuck. If they do, the easiest way I’ve found to get it apart is to take a punch and get it in the center of the bolt, so you don’t tear the bolt up, and give it a few taps. A lot of times, once you get it moving, it frees it right up and you can pull the bolt right out. And with portals, a lot of times where it pinches it, it’ll get ahold of that ball joint pretty tight to where it’s not going to want to split very well. So you can take a flat headed screw driver and place it between the split on the backing plate.
[05:48] Raise your upper A-arm all the way up to pull out the axle. You can leave your axle to rest on your tie rod for just a minute. And here’s this trick I was telling you all about in getting this Can-Am X3 upper ball joint removed. We’ll need to remove our cotter pin first, and then what I like to do is take an extension and put it up through here.
You’ll want to run the extension through this hole, and then we can use our impact to remove the nut so we’re not sitting here wrenching on it. Take your extension, slide it through, and place your socket on the ball joint nut to remove it.
We’re going to have to smack this knuckle to get this to separate. You will want to put a couple threads on that, so when you smack it, it doesn’t fall on your toe or hit the floor and break. So again, we’ll use the old two hammer method—one right here and one right there. Give it a couple good smacks. It splits, and you can grab ahold of your hub (or portal, in our case), and go ahead and remove it and set it aside for now. Then we’ll put this nut back on this ball joint, even though we’re not going to be using these ball joints—we’ll be using some new ones.
[07:35] Our machine has a winch and a SuperATV front bumper. So, we’re going to have to get the other side torn down as well and we’re going to start removing some hardware off of our upper A-arms. Then, we are going to remove our front bumper.
Next, we’re going to remove the following hardware securing the front fascia to the front bulkhead. If you’re running a SuperATV front bumper, you’re going to want to remove this front piece here that has the fairlead mount on it. You’ll have four bolts. Two here and then two on the bottom.
So if you have a stock bulkhead, at this point, you’d be able to go ahead and remove your A-arm nuts off of your upper and lower. If you’re running a SuperATV winch mount, you’ll have to remove the winch and the mount from the frame of the machine, which we’re going to do that now. You’ll have two bolts on either side that you’ll have to remove. And then again if you have a winch installed, you’ll have to remove both of your wires off of the terminals on the winch itself. Then, we can go ahead and remove our two bolts on this side.
Now we’ll disconnect the bulkhead from the shroud for the radiator. We’ll do this for both sides. Then, we’re going to remove all four of our front A-arm nuts.
[09:39] So we’ve got our passenger side A-arm up out of the way. Now we’re going to come up on top of the diff. we’re going to have three screws that are going to be securing the module to the top of the diff and then one here. If you have a Visco-Lok differential installed, you don’t have this module and you don’t have to worry about it. So to remove this, you just pick up on this tab and remove it out of the way.
[10:04] So now we’re just going to start removing our rear most upper A-arm bolts. If you have a SuperATV frame stiffener installed, you’ll have to remove these four bolts and then move the plate that goes across the tube out of the way, to gain access to the rear hardware for the A-arms. The frame you’ll have to get that out of the way, to gain access to the rear hardware for the A-arms.
So with the frame stiffener being installed on this machine, we went ahead and cut two holes in the skid plate, here. That way we can stick a wrench through and get on the bolt. If you don’t want to cut the skid plate and you have a frame stiffener, you’ll have to have somebody come inside the machine with a long extension with a 19 mm socket, and then they can use an impact or a ratchet.
Our frame stiffener, whenever you go to remove the lower A-arms, you’re going to remove the whole lower section of the frame stiffener. So, just be mindful of that whenever you go to take these arms off of here, this plate will fall. We’re just going to grab ahold of the plate, slide our A-arm off of the hardware.
[11:39] So when you get your arms out of the box—whether you have purchased them pre-installed or non-preinstalled—you’ll have to press in your ball joints. You’ll have to install your bushings. The bushings are very easy to install—you just put each of yours caps in and then your sleeve. You’ll have to install your zerks. Then, you’ll have to take a measurement of your pivot blocks to your ball joint. So you take a measurement from here to the center of the ball joint and compare that measurement to the arms that you removed from the machine and apply it to these arms.
[12:11] Alright, so now that we’ve got our bushing, ball joints, and our lower A-arms are all prepped up and ready to go, we’re going to go ahead and reinstall these arms. If you’re using a frame stiffener from SuperATV, you’re definitely going to have to have someone to help you get these arms reinstalled. If you don’t have a frame stiffener, you can absolutely do it by yourself. You can do one side at a time. But with this fame stiffener, we’re, gonna have to put the A-arms on simultaneously.
So what we’re going to to do is grab your frame stiffener. If you have a winch, go ahead and run your winch wires through it. We’re gonna get our hardware lined up in the holes of the frame stiffener. That’ll kind of hold it there for us for just a little bit. Then, we’re going to grab both of our A-arms at the same time. This little piece right here is going to go onto the A-arm like that on both the A-arms at the same time.
So as you can see there, getting the arms on with the frame stiffener is a bit of a job. As long as you keep working it and you have somebody here to help you, it’s not that bad. It just takes a little bit of time. You just want to make sure that everything is aligned. Make sure that your bushings stay in too because if you try to put the studs in those bolts in at an angle, it will try to push the bushing out.
[13:44] Once you’ve done that, we’re going to go ahead and put our rear hardware on and fully tighten it. Then, we will put our brace back on the center tube on the frame, and then we’ll work our way back up and start installing our bulkhead, upper A-arms and all that stuff.
So now we’ve got our arm all prepped up and ready to go to get it installed on the machine. One thing, like I said previously, make sure that you take a measurement on your stock A-arm from the center of the mounting hole in your bushing to the center of the ball joint. You’ll want to apply that measurement to this A-arm before you install it. Now, these are pre-set and if you’re running a stock—32” tire to a 34” tire—your camber is going to be good to go. But if you added portals or anything of that nature, you may have to make some minor adjustments after you get it down and get the suspension settled.
So we’re going to go ahead and slide our arm into position. With this frame stiffener, these arms do fit tight just as the stock arms do. So just take a rubber mallet and just kind of tap them into place. Just tap them until the bolt holes line up and you can get that bolt in. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to go through and tighten all four of your jam nuts on your pivot blocks. Because once you get everything installed, it makes it pretty difficult to get to these to get them tight, so right now you want to go ahead and get them fully tightened down.
[15:30] So, once we have all our hardware in our A-arms, we’re going to grab the front bulkhead for the front winch mount, and go ahead and get it slid onto the studs. So once we have it up there and it’s setting in position we’re going to go ahead and start a nut. That way, we don’t lose anything and it doesn’t hit the floor.
So now we’re going to reinstall our bumper. Slip it in here like this, and then you’ll just line it up with the pre-existing hardware that is protruding through. Then, we’re going to reinstall our bolts that fasten the bulkhead to the winch mount. If you have the winch mount and bulkhead, make sure all the A-arm hardware is tight. And then, if you have a smart lock differential in your machine—after you get your hardware all tightened up for your A-arm—go ahead and reinstall the module. And then we’re going to start getting our hubs, or in our case portals, back on.
[17:13] At this point, you’d reinstall your knuckle—we’re going to reinstall our portal. We’ll just go ahead and fully tighten our upper ball joint hardware. Then, put your cotter pin in and bend it away from itself. So now we’re going to pick up on our portal, and pull it out. Then we’ll grab our axle, line it up, and slide it in. Go ahead and get your shock lined up and place the bolt in.
[18:24]Next, we’re going to grab our brake line clips and four of the small allen headed screws in the hardware kit. Now we’re going to take our lower A-arm and get it slid into what would be our knuckle, or backing plate, depending on if you’re running portals or not. And once your hardware is started, you can go ahead and reconnect your tire rod. So you’ll have a washer on top and a washer above your nut.
In our case, we have portals, so we would have to reinstall our recessed nut. If you’re not running portals, you would have to put you castle nut on. And then, you would install your rotor and your brake caliper. But like I said, we are running portals, so our reassembly is going to be a little different than yours.
So, that’s all there is to installing SuperATV’s Sidewinder A-arms on this Can-Am Maverick X3. To pick yours up today, be sure to check the link in the description. While you are there, be sure to drop a like, comment, and subscribe. Thanks for watching, and we’ll catch you on the next one.