Check your shocks for leaking fluid, check them for clunking when bouncing, check them for Nitrogen loss! If these problems exist or are lurking on your side x side it will cost you a whole lot more $$$$ in the near future.
UTV shocks are a priority.
We are guilty of thinking of maintenance on our UTV as if it were our SUV or our daily driver. If we need to replace our automobile shocks we simply go to the local parts warehouse or mechanic and buy a set. This way of thinking about our UTV could not be farther from the truth. So, let’s change our mind set and go through UTV service and maintenance.
My customers ask me all the time if they should rebuild their shocks or just buy new ones? My reply is “Do you have $3-5,000 and about 8 months to wait for new shocks?”. Most of the UTV shocks are designed to be rebuilt at a reasonable cost.
But if you wait until the shocks have been damaged due to lack of fluid or Nitrogen, the body of the shock could need to be replaced and the seal head may be damaged as well. Now the shock rebuild will easily double in price because of the damage.
Let’s take, for example, the last pair of Fox 1.5” piggyback shocks of a 2013 Polaris RZR 800-S 2-Seat. The estimated shock rebuild for a pair of shocks was $318.50 if it was a maintenance service. This Polaris had 4800 miles on it and the customer brought in the rear shocks only.
First, I notice there is black grease and oil all over the springs and hardware with fluid trails coming out of the seal head area. When I removed the springs I noticed the shock shaft collapsed without any pressure. When I took the shock apart it was apparent that one seal head was damaged and both the bodies of the shocks were worn, like sand paper and ridges in them, where the seal rides.
We had no choice but to purchase new bodies and one seal head. We were lucky that there was only a 5 day wait and they were available. The unlucky thing was this pair of shocks when the rebuild was finished had increased in cost for the customer to $691.00 + tax, more than double the cost had they not been damaged. New shocks were available to purchase at $595.00 each for a total of $1190.00 + tax. So, the rebuild was almost half the price of new ones.
According to the shock manufactures Polaris and Can-Am your shocks need to be rebuilt every 1500 miles to keep them operating properly. For trouble free driving the recommended process below is the quote out of a Polaris service manual for a 2018 Polaris XP 1000 with Walker Evans shocks.
“Recommended Service Intervals
Walker Evans Racing Shocks will perform the best if
serviced at regular intervals:
• Every ride – Wash and dry the vehicle and suspension
• Every 100 hours – Visually inspect shock seals
• Every 1500 miles or Annually – Change shock oil and
Then they quote for trouble free driving this is our recommendation.
I believe this was a nice way for them to say if you wait until our shocks have leaks and problems you will spend a lot more money fixing and replacing expensive parts on our shocks.
AT UTV Service we are currently rebuilding approximately 2 sets of shocks a week and when the shocks do not have damage it is a straight up rebuild and we stock all the seals with a 4-5 day turn around and your shocks are ready to ride.
When there is damage and the bodies need to be ordered the turn around time just became minimum two weeks if not longer. For the past two years parts have not always been available and delivery is questionable.
Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who cares that owner of UTV’s don’t spend unneeded money on things that can be easily prevented.
Your shocks are right inline with the dentist maintenance program. With regular maintenance you will catch things early and they are relatively inexpensive. Compared to waiting for a problem and repairs later then they get down right expensive.
When was the last time you cleaned and dried off your shocks and springs? Had the Nitrogen checked?
My suggestion to you is spend some money on maintaining your current shocks with a good rebuild and some new springs. This will be the best upgrade your UTV will ever feel and they work for you every time you ride it. Then if you still want to buy aftermarket accessory’s make sure to put your shocks first on the list!
If you want to read more about these UTV shocks click here to another of my articles.
If you would like to watch a video on the importance of UTV shock rebuilding including Fox and Walker Evans Shocks.
I am really just trying to get some education out there to help owners of UTV’s to stop making really expensive mistakes and to get an idea how to keep your shocks in tip top shape.
Till we ride again.