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I Posted this already on a thread but I was thinking this would be a good spot to have this information also.

I know many great people are on this forum know about shocks and willing to help others learn... I hope this information might help some new guys out.

I have Elka shocks and rebuilt a few and had always had to adjust them to my type of terrain or conditions.

Before you even begin to tackle the tough job of dialing in suspension, you need to know what type of riding you will be doing. Whether its trail, sand or desert, proper suspension will make you faster or allow you to ride longer with out getting tired. After you have decided which type of riding is most important to you, you can start to set up your suspension to best suit the terrain.


What is Next

First start with the ride height to raise the ride height you will need to tighten the spring pre-load adjuster to put more tension on the spring. To lower the ride height you will need to loosen the spring pre-load adjuster. They have a threaded collar ( large thin nut) that you can twist to increase or decrease pre-load. It is much easier if the sxs is jacked up and the shocks are free of dirt.

If the terrain is smooth with out big jumps, you want to be low to the ground, so that you can turn well. But when it is low it will not take jumps or bumps as well. If the terrain is rely rough, then raise it up so that it can handle those conditions.


There has to be a balance between turning and handling. 1 inch of ride height change can make a difference. This is something you need to experiment with. You should bottom out lightly or else your not using the full travel of your shock. You don't want to bottom hard though which that will wear out parts faster and you.


Shock Spring

All springs get progressively stiffer when compressing through its stroke, but they have a level progression. A progressively wound spring starts off softer and then gets a lot stiffer. When using the multi spring stack you can adjust where the progression changes through the stroke.


What to Look For

Remember that you use the spring's pre-load to set the ride height. Spring preload also stiffens or lightens your spring rate.
But if you are to stiff of a spring setting it will not transfer the weight properly and you will lose traction and also have a rough ride. And if you springs are to soft then it will have excessive bottoming and to much body rolling. There is not a perfect setup that will work for everyone. The aftermarket companies that you buy your suspension from will get you in the ball park, but you will still need to tune to best suit you.


Setting the Adjusters

low speed.

You want to turn this as little as possible. The further out, the softer the ride will be and the more traction you will get and the more the wheels will stay on the ground. How ever, to handle constant bumps like desert or rough woods riding, it may be necessary to use a stiffer setting. Never keep the dial all the way in as it may cut off oil flow.

High speed.

You want to turn this as little as possible to tune out stutter bumps that really get the shock moving quickly.

The basic rule of thumb is to use the minimum amount of compression adjustment that suits the terrain you are riding. With the compression knob out or on the lowest setting possible, the sxs will have better oil flow, keeping the shock and oil cooler.


Rebound


Remember the faster you get from one bump to the next, the faster you want to rebound. For example on a flat terrain with the occasional jump, you can go with a slower setting to keep the sxs low in the rear for better traction. For a whooped-out road or rough trail, you need quicker rebound to reset the shock for the next compression stroke. If you sxs doesn't rebound before the next bump, it wont be using all of its travel. Do this bump after bump and the shock will pack up and the shock will stop moving. Also if your sxs shock packs it will kick side to side. However if you rebound is set to fast it can cause it to kick off the face of the first bump it hits. So again this is an area that has to be experimented with every time you change terrain you ride in.


Experiment

So with any suspension changes you will have to spend time adjusting all of the components of the shock to get the right balance for your riding ability and terrain.
 

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Thank you for this.
 
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for those of you saying the suspension is way to stiff make sure you are softening both the low speed and the high speed adjusters. I would also recommend slowing down the rebound a little and adjusting the crossovers up a little to help the crossover point.
 

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for those of you saying the suspension is way to stiff make sure you are softening both the low speed and the high speed adjusters. I would also recommend slowing down the rebound a little and adjusting the crossovers up a little to help the crossover point.
so, when slowing down the rebound is that a counter clockwise move from the stock settings? How do you adjust the crossovers, is there a clicker for this as well?
 

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Can anyone explain to me exactly HOW the clickers adjust the low/high speed compression and rebound? I'm coming from the rock crawling world and am very familiar with coilovers and triple-bypass fox shocks but i can't find any explaination of the function of clickers on utv shocks.
 

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Here's the basics.

The top screw NUT on the shock is High speed compression. Turning clockwise will harden the compression. Makes the wheel come up slower when hitting big bumps. An example for this is landing from a jump or hitting a rock. You'll feel more on normal bumps but less chance to bottom out on big ones.

The screw inside the High speed compression nut is low speed compression.. The low speed compression adjuster affects ride height, smoothness over small bumps and grip. Also, it's when the wheel moves up and down slow like a series of wide whoops or the action from the G force in the turn. IE.. going through a dip or sandy conditions will move the suspension in and out slowly.

Bottom is rebound.. Moving this clockwise makes the wheel release slower after being compressed. Will keep it from bucking you up.. but needs to be fast enough to stay on the ground to keep you in control. If it feels unstable, loose and rather bouncy then the rebound damping should be increased Also, if it doesn't go back down fast enough it can pump down over a whoop section.
 

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Well thanks Capt. Obvious, I understand what compression and rebound are and how to turn clicker knobs. What i am trying to figure out is what physically is going on inside the shock to adjust compression and rebound when you turn those knobs
 

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Well thanks Capt. Obvious, I understand what compression and rebound are and how to turn clicker knobs. What i am trying to figure out is what physically is going on inside the shock to adjust compression and rebound when you turn those knobs
LoL. I actually got a lot out of his description. You have to remember, most of us are not shock experts, and I have been racing (and winning) on several off road machines for years! 10 years on Asphalt and Almost 20 years in the dirt now, and my understanding of all these dam clickers is still minimal at best. LoL
 

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Thanks DirtRocket ! Suspension has never been my area of expertise (kind of like women). From your post, it sounds like I need to back off the preload (on the outside of the shock) to lower my ride height an inch or so and see how that feels first. I never bottom out and it feels as though the rig is a bit high centered in hard corners. This forum is very helpful for SXS novices like me, thanks again.
 

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I took this advice from Dirt Rocket on the first page and have to tell you that it made a huge difference in how the car rides. I lowered the ride height by about 7/8" by turning the rings on top of the springs back five turns. I ride mostly forest service roads and now the suspension allows the car to just float down the road and is much less harsh when I catch a pot hole. It seems to handle better on the pavement too. Jacking it off the ground after loosening the lock nut allowed for easy adjustments. Thank you for the advice Sir !


"What is Next

First start with the ride height to raise the ride height you will need to tighten the spring pre-load adjuster to put more tension on the spring. To lower the ride height you will need to loosen the spring pre-load adjuster. They have a threaded collar ( large thin nut) that you can twist to increase or decrease pre-load. It is much easier if the sxs is jacked up and the shocks are free of dirt."
 

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I've done a considerable amount of testing with the stock X2's on the SS/SE and here are my settings. I started with the manufacturer's "aggressive" settings and adjusted until happy. This should suffice for most riders, but still bottom's out a bit on big jumps/bumps.

○ FRONT
§ HS Rebound: 2 Out
§ LS Rebound: 1 Out
§ HS Comp: FULL Out
§ LS Comp: 3 Out
§ Preload: +0.5" @ 1.5"

○ REAR
§ HS Rebound: 0.5 Out
§ LS Rebound: 1.5 Out
§ HS Comp: FULL Out
§ LS Comp: 1 Out
§ Crossover: 3" 7/8" - Top of spring to bottom of crossover
§ Preload: Stock
§ NOTE:
□ Current Preload rear 2"7/8" to the spring
□ Current Crossover rear 3 1/4" to top of spring to top of crossover
□ This should work out to 3 7/8" to the bottom of the crossover, but I didn't specifically measure it

Results:
Much less chop at high speeds
Much flatter off the top of jumps/bumps
Less dive under breaking
Less body roll while turning
Much more confidence inspiring
Much harder on the skid plate (bottomed out) due to increased confidence and larger jumps

Opinions:
- These settings are 99% dialed in for a combo set up where you're not hitting bug jumps or worried about bottoming out the car
- Might benefit from 0.5 turn less LS Compression as well as 0.5 more LS Rebound in the rear
- Might benefit from less rear preload, but I'm concerned with the amount of bottom out it already has
- Not big enough spring/shock to handle this car in big air conditions
- Fiddling with the knobs has resulted in a much better handling/performing all around car through the chop, whoops, sand, turns, and small g-outs

Hope this helps some folks out there!

Cheers!
 
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