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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gents,

Raced the Parker 250 last weekend and even though a sheared tie rod bolt ended my race early, what concerns me more is the terrible shock springs on the 900XC. I am looking to replace the shocks, so I was wondering if anyone has tried any shocks from a RZR 800/900/etc or something else. I am open to any suggestions as I have to have a better suspension than what the OEM shocks are giving me.

Thanks,

V22Driver
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Gents/Vendors,

Just to add to my above post.....I think the Walker Evan shocks are okay, but they suffer from having to use the terrible OEM springs. I have no knowledge of how to set up shocks or springs for a better ride. I think, but don't know, that even just changing out the springs would help.

So if some person or vendor has some info, I am all ears.

Thanks,

V22Driver
 

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V22Driver,

I would reach out to Walker Evans and see if they can offer anything for your shocks. Sorry I don't have any better information for you.
 

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I only have 25 miles on my 900xc and so far a great improvement over the 570. So what exactly is wrong with these oems?

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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I only have 25 miles on my 900xc and so far a great improvement over the 570. So what exactly is wrong with these oems?

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Nothing for normal use, he was racing his and they could stand to be beefed up for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Gents,

Thanks for the replies. Have another update for those that want to look into adjusting their shocks. I have the crappy, expensive polaris maintenance (not owners) manual and after reading it extensively and reading everything I can on tuning shocks off the interwebs, a lot of my issues are my own fault. The manual states that you should change out the oil in the shock (something new to me since I was used to ATVs before) when 1 of these 2 criteria are met: at a minimum of 1500 normal miles (earlier if they are hard miles like mine) or at least annually. I have about 1400 hard miles on mine and although I didn't race at all in 2019, I should have changed it then.

I did call Walker Evans numerous times (Chris from WE probably thinks I am a moron with all my questions) and he did say that I could purchase a stiffer set of primary (big) springs for $70 a piece if I really wanted to, but he was reluctant to push that offer. I also asked about putting RZR 900 shocks on my ACE, but that was before I understood how shocks are tuned. His comment was basically I would have to rebuild the entire shock to work for the ACE because they are set for the RZR 900. So I learned even more.

Luckily, my Dad has a friend who's brother tunes shocks on the side and through some phone calls and a lot of questions and answers, I am currently (waiting on parts) rebuilding the shocks and putting new oil in them. Will my buddy's experience he had me move some shims around, remove some shims and change the order of the shims from all terrain to specific desert racing type. Once I get them back on the ACE, I can do some test runs and see if I need to tune further or leave them set up for the next race in March (which will most likely be the outcome). I plan on doing some test runs, weather dependent, in my back 40, but as long as the back end stops trying to swap with the front end I should be much better off. That and adjusting the ride height where the front end is about 1/2" to 1" higher than the rear should help me in the bumps exponentially.

As for the springs, and I can only go off my buddy's experience even though I was blaming them hard, he says that polaris and WE (not sure what they had to do with it) have put a lot of time and money into deciding what spring rate the ACE needs and for now he thinks these will be fine. I did a lot of research on the interwebs, specifically Eibach's site, and figuring out what spring rate to use is a huge undertaking that involves weighing each corner, and having the angle of the shock at extension and retraction and all kinds of other things I'm definitely not ready to tackle yet, so the OEM springs will remain for now. I will tell you this, trying to figure out or get a straight answer from polaris (you know what I am talking about if you have ever sent them an email through the website - polaris connections out of minnesota), no one will give you what their spring rate (to include 2 emails to polaris asking) on their shocks are. I think I have figured out through the OEM parts # on the springs (and anybody who can confirm or deny please let me know) is that the front springs are 130# and the rear springs are 210#. Not that it matters, but for me knowing the current spring rate gives me an option to work with companies like Eibach to change out the springs. RT Pro also has a set of 900XC springs that they sell for $199, but when I pressed them for the spring rate they flat out told me they wouldn't tell me. Polaris just never would answer the question.

In the rebuild process, since I know I have bottomed out numerous times, I pulled the rubber bumpers at the top/bottom (depending on front or rear shock) of the shaft and all of mine were pinched (actual slices into the rubber) and the circle around the shaft was deformed on all of them. So if you decide to change out your oil and you know you have bottomed out jumping your ACE, you might check those out also. If you do want to change them, polaris doesn't keep them in stock and all of the OEM parts sites I order from (partzilla.com is my new OEM parts site) have to get them from polaris so it takes about 2 weeks (6-10 working days) to get them. Just an FYI.

If anybody has any questions about the process or wants the maintenance manual pages on rebuilding your shocks (mainly just how to inspect/change the oil - they have absolutely no tuning advice and I have found that it is a lot of trial and error/roll the chicken bones and almost no one will tell you how they decide which shims to use) I can pdf a copy sometime later this month.

Hope this info helps somebody out because after all the research and teardown, I feel like I am on the road to getting my PHD in shock tuning.

V22Driver
 

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For future reference, Bandit makes an Ace 900 XC spring upgrade kit with helper spring delete. There is a guy on FB that installed it. He said it is a better ride than factory springs.
 

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Gents,

Thanks for the replies. Have another update for those that want to look into adjusting their shocks. I have the crappy, expensive polaris maintenance (not owners) manual and after reading it extensively and reading everything I can on tuning shocks off the interwebs, a lot of my issues are my own fault. The manual states that you should change out the oil in the shock (something new to me since I was used to ATVs before) when 1 of these 2 criteria are met: at a minimum of 1500 normal miles (earlier if they are hard miles like mine) or at least annually. I have about 1400 hard miles on mine and although I didn't race at all in 2019, I should have changed it then.

I did call Walker Evans numerous times (Chris from WE probably thinks I am a moron with all my questions) and he did say that I could purchase a stiffer set of primary (big) springs for $70 a piece if I really wanted to, but he was reluctant to push that offer. I also asked about putting RZR 900 shocks on my ACE, but that was before I understood how shocks are tuned. His comment was basically I would have to rebuild the entire shock to work for the ACE because they are set for the RZR 900. So I learned even more.

Luckily, my Dad has a friend who's brother tunes shocks on the side and through some phone calls and a lot of questions and answers, I am currently (waiting on parts) rebuilding the shocks and putting new oil in them. Will my buddy's experience he had me move some shims around, remove some shims and change the order of the shims from all terrain to specific desert racing type. Once I get them back on the ACE, I can do some test runs and see if I need to tune further or leave them set up for the next race in March (which will most likely be the outcome). I plan on doing some test runs, weather dependent, in my back 40, but as long as the back end stops trying to swap with the front end I should be much better off. That and adjusting the ride height where the front end is about 1/2" to 1" higher than the rear should help me in the bumps exponentially.

As for the springs, and I can only go off my buddy's experience even though I was blaming them hard, he says that polaris and WE (not sure what they had to do with it) have put a lot of time and money into deciding what spring rate the ACE needs and for now he thinks these will be fine. I did a lot of research on the interwebs, specifically Eibach's site, and figuring out what spring rate to use is a huge undertaking that involves weighing each corner, and having the angle of the shock at extension and retraction and all kinds of other things I'm definitely not ready to tackle yet, so the OEM springs will remain for now. I will tell you this, trying to figure out or get a straight answer from polaris (you know what I am talking about if you have ever sent them an email through the website - polaris connections out of minnesota), no one will give you what their spring rate (to include 2 emails to polaris asking) on their shocks are. I think I have figured out through the OEM parts # on the springs (and anybody who can confirm or deny please let me know) is that the front springs are 130# and the rear springs are 210#. Not that it matters, but for me knowing the current spring rate gives me an option to work with companies like Eibach to change out the springs. RT Pro also has a set of 900XC springs that they sell for $199, but when I pressed them for the spring rate they flat out told me they wouldn't tell me. Polaris just never would answer the question.

In the rebuild process, since I know I have bottomed out numerous times, I pulled the rubber bumpers at the top/bottom (depending on front or rear shock) of the shaft and all of mine were pinched (actual slices into the rubber) and the circle around the shaft was deformed on all of them. So if you decide to change out your oil and you know you have bottomed out jumping your ACE, you might check those out also. If you do want to change them, polaris doesn't keep them in stock and all of the OEM parts sites I order from (partzilla.com is my new OEM parts site) have to get them from polaris so it takes about 2 weeks (6-10 working days) to get them. Just an FYI.

If anybody has any questions about the process or wants the maintenance manual pages on rebuilding your shocks (mainly just how to inspect/change the oil - they have absolutely no tuning advice and I have found that it is a lot of trial and error/roll the chicken bones and almost no one will tell you how they decide which shims to use) I can pdf a copy sometime later this month.

Hope this info helps somebody out because after all the research and teardown, I feel like I am on the road to getting my PHD in shock tuning.

V22Driver
Thank you for that awesome explanation. I would be very interested in that PDF. I think you will be amazed on your shocks after you rebuild/tune them. My brother did his stock shocks on his ktm and the difference was night and day.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gents,

Finished rebuilding my ACE 900XC shocks and will be doing some preliminary testing this weekend (weather dependent). As promised, I have made the pages of the manual for rebuilding the shocks into a pdf for those that would like them. Send me a message with an email and I will send it to you.

V22Driver
 

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Gents,

Finished rebuilding my ACE 900XC shocks and will be doing some preliminary testing this weekend (weather dependent). As promised, I have made the pages of the manual for rebuilding the shocks into a pdf for those that would like them. Send me a message with an email and I will send it to you.

V22Driver
Great, I look forward to hearing how they work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gents,

A little update.....did some back yard testing and with info from the guy helping me, shocks were still bottoming out coming off of a small jump (15"-24" high maybe) so back to the drawing board. Purchased the whole shim kit from WE ($200) and went to work after getting all the parts in. Maxed out the shims thickness and told the guy helping me what I was seeing and after some condescending remarks at my skills, he threw in the towel and stopped helping me. So I went to where we all go when we need information.....the internet.....and continued on my quest for a PHD in shock tuning and boy is there a lot of info and some of it even helps.

Since the first test, I rebuilt the shocks 2 more times and now have a tune that keeps me from bottoming out, although it is with 9 clicks (I want it at 4-6) on the reservoir adjuster which doesn't give me much room for adjustment. I stopped there because I was supposed to race the SS300 on May 1st, but it is in limbo right now with the world shutdown, so I have elected to hold what I got and see when they reschedule the race. I will be rebuilding them again and I have 2 more tests I am going to work on to try and get them to the 4-6 clicks. I also am working on figuring out what the spring rate of the springs are (since both Polaris and WE won't tell me) and I will probably add some spring rubbers to increase the spring rate of the springs for now and will probably put some new springs on next year.

Some takeaways I learned through this so far:

1) Working with anyone who treats you with condescension isn't worth it
2) You can do a lot of things with some hard work and learning
3) Shock tuning is a never ending quest for the perfect setup

For those that would like a PDF of the maintenance manual pages on how to rebuild (not tune) your ACE 900XC shocks (but it will probably get you in the ballpark for just about any shocks), shoot me a message with your email and I will get it out to you.

V22Driver

P.S. I tried to attach the PDF to this post, but not sure if it works.
 

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when you have your springs off next, have you considered measuring the OEM rate? many spring manufacturing companies can test them? I would be very interested in that info if you ever get it, for the tender and main springs
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gents,

For all that are interested, the next time I have my shocks have (as I still have more valve testing to do to get them where I want them) I will do a test on the main springs, for sure, and maybe the tender springs to see what spring rate they are. I tried once, but I didn't do it right so I will do it again and then check the #s against the formula and some calculators online. Once I get that info (not sure when that will be but definitely before the Vegas 2 Reno race in August) I will post it here.

V22Driver
 
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