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Ok Redman,
A simple show and tell about how to adjust your shocks. If people want a LOT more in depth article on how the shock works and how to adjust I posted some links in the Suspension section.


Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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It's good to see this stuff coming out. I still have some concerns about how it appears that AC set-up the suspension, particularity the front shocks. When the Wildcat was in Elk River MN the tender springs (upper spring) was bound up, collapsed flat at ride height, and the sliders were upside down. In pictures from Barstow it appears to be the same, with the Wildcat sitting at ride height the upper spring is again bound up. Has anyone asked AC about this. It seams as if their running too light of springs on top or too short of springs on top or both. The way it's set-up now they really aren't getting the full benefit of dual rate springs. Amazingly the reviews of how it handles is good, in spite of the front spring set-up...anyone??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I asked about the upper springs. Basically they know that people are going to hammer these test ride vehicles (rental car mentality) so they are setting the front suspension stiff. I can tell you they are not done tuning the shocks. They are working with Walker Evans daily and I'm fairly certain that the setup on the test ride vehicles is not what will go into production. Valving in particular is being worked.
 

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Thanks for the reply RedMan...but their explanation doesn't cut it. This is not directed at you but them. I can understand setting the cars up stiff, but that can be achieved with heavier lower springs and compression valve adjustment. The great thing about dual rate shocks is that spring lengths as well as rates (lbs) can vary in order to achieve different ride characteristics. I can't possibly see them playing with valving before they get a spring package close to what it should be. I'm not hating on Arctic Cat, I've been a Cat fan my entire life, but this issue to me shows an almost lack of understanding of how these shocks work. To help make the point, most shock manufactures/ tech guy's that I've talked to have said that when a car has the correct spring(s) based on the weight of the car that the generally accepted preload on the springs will be about 2" of compression, or about 2" of thread above the preload collar with the car at the desired ride height. The Wildcat has almost 6" of thread above the collar. It doesn't add up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good points. Hopefully this is just one of those unfinished items and the production units will take care of it.
I think the good part is that Walker Evans is planning to make several options available to tune this suspension.
 

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The interesting thing about the Wildcat is if this car...(SXS whatever people want to call it) handles this well in rough terrain now....and Arctic Cat is still getting the bugs out...just wait until guys start playing with coilovers and Bypass shocks!!! These coilovers can be valved and adjusted to do a pretty good job...but with Bypass shocks, now your tuning and dialing in a suspension that really performs!
 

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I am just excited to see CoilOver shocks being used as much as they are in these cars. The ones Polaris uses aren't even on the same level but they are still hands above the crappy shocks on my ATV. Now the Wildcat using dual rate shocks speaks to AC commetment to building the car comsumers want. I agree 100% with you WildOffRoad. Just wait until guys get thier hands on one. People are spending $2,000+ to put better shocks or rebuild their stock shocks on the Polaris rigs. So if I spend that kind of coin on the Wildcat shocks what will I end up with???

Life is going to great for everyone. I have been getting into trouble over on the RZR forums. I got a warning for not playing nice.
 

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Yes but with the static sag adjustments that they are making available on the wildcat the 6" of thread that you are seeing can be used to dramatically change the purpose of the wildcat. When I was racing ovals with my DVX with the elka shocks that I had on it I had it set up real low. Not much thread left on the top side. When I was running motocross, I had a lot of thread showing. I needed to be somewhere in the middle to handle the big hits from the doubles. The spring rate is going to remain constant. The only thing that is going to change is how rapidly it reaches the point of full compression. The coil is the same size regardless. You can change characteristics about the spring but the rate doesn't change. The wildcat is not a car it is designed for off road driving and the many different terrain types that you can come across. Dog
 

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dog..let me take a stab at this... believeing that your responding to my post:D


Yes but with the static sag adjustments that they are making available on the wildcat the 6" of thread that you are seeing can be used to dramatically change the purpose of the wildcat.

I agree, as long as you can make use of all of the 6" of available preload adjustment. The upper spring I see bound up has only 4 wraps, and looks like a very light spring...I bet it's no longer then 5" tall in a free state...and yet we have 6+" of available adjustment to use, and that's before the preload to simply hold the vehicle at nominal ride height.

When I was racing ovals with my DVX with the elka shocks that I had on it I had it set up real low. Not much thread left on the top side. When I was running motocross, I had a lot of thread showing. I needed to be somewhere in the middle to handle the big hits from the doubles. The spring rate is going to remain constant.

again I agree, the rate is constant, but what you are changing is the amount of useable spring rate, for example a 10" spring will have a stack height (compressed height) of aprox 5"...kind of a general rule of thumb, a spring will collapse to 1/2 it's free state height. Say that spring is a 200 lb rate spring. It'll take 200lbs to compress that spring 1" and double every inch for the remaining 4" of compression. 5" of spring compression yields 3200 lbs total spring load, changing the compressed height 2" less yields only 800 lbs of spring load.



The only thing that is going to change is how rapidly it reaches the point of full compression.

Full compression..That's the thing I want to avoid...that's when things bend and brake
...been there done that!

The coil is the same size regardless. You can change characteristics about the spring but the rate doesn't change.

unless you change the rate...200 225 250 275 300 325 and on and on


The wildcat is not a car

In my book if it has 4 wheels and a steering wheel it's a car....an offroad car


it is designed for off road driving and the many different terrain types that you can come across. Dog

The great thing about good suspension is that it's adjustable and infinite...My front shocks will be on my workbench the first night I own one!!!:cool:
 

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I am guessing that adjuster on the WE shocks is a low speed just like the fox on the rzr. Why not put high speed only if you are doing single compression only? Low shaft speed compression adjustment is basically worthless for offroad riding as most people are going to care more about fast shaft speed dampening such as sharp whoops, jumps, or drop offs. Also, why state changing preload is an adjustment for ride characteristics? Every thing I have ever read on shock adjustment says preload is meant to serve 1 purpose only, to set the ride height, not a means of dampening.
 

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X2

I am guessing that adjuster on the WE shocks is a low speed just like the fox on the rzr. Why not put high speed only if you are doing single compression only? Low shaft speed compression adjustment is basically worthless for offroad riding as most people are going to care more about fast shaft speed dampening such as sharp whoops, jumps, or drop offs. Also, why state changing preload is an adjustment for ride characteristics? Every thing I have ever read on shock adjustment says preload is meant to serve 1 purpose only, to set the ride height, not a means of dampening.
We must have read the same book!
 

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I also found this puzzling. I spoke to Mark and another engineer there. I was not about to argue with the lead engineer on this, but to me if you are adjusted to the point of coil bind, you are outside the working range of the spring, period. A spring is not a spring when it is totally coil-bound.
 

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A good answer for an AC engineer could be that "we're concentrating only on the primary spring to determine the best rate, after were happy with that we'll add the tender spring later!

:rolleyes:

but I haven't heard that...:D
 

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I tried to ask about the upper spring too and got nothing but jibberish at my event this weekend. But I didn't forget you guys and did ask..............................does that count for anything?? :confused::confused:
 
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