RZR Turbo S First Suspension Upgrades
Hey everyone, I know I left off last time putting a Rugged Race Radio as a communications system into our car. But since then we upgraded our RZR again.
We decided to ditch the factory radius rod since we’ve already ditched all the suspension components and upgraded to the ZRP Radius Rod Kit as well as the ZRP Billet Tie Rods.
ZRP RZR Radius Rods
You can see I already removed the factory radius rods. These are pretty heavy duty rods so much that I would be willing to bet that these weigh over 20 pounds. These are already pretty solid but there are a couple of reasons why I want to change them. One of those reasons mainly being the weld that grooves the tube. Even though the welding on it is legit the problem I have with it is that this is a cast piece. Cast pieces are strong but they are dissimilar metal welding and I am personally not a big fan of that.
There is a reason why OEM manufacturers like Ford, Chevy, and GM do not weld their cast parts. You can delve deeper into dissimilar metal welding for your own comfort. But since I have a background in welding and fabrication I stay away from this stuff.
So even though the factory radius rod is a heavy-duty part I don’t like the welding part of it. Therefore, we are going to do away with that. Traditionally, cast parts are softer than steel.
Let’s jump into our upgrade.
To start I got the driver’s side lower radius rod on and it’s always a painful process to get the nut back in on the backside because you can get your fingers in there or drop the nut. You really got to fish it out from underneath the dip and it sucks.
It’s not hard to do if you know the tricks.
Here’s one trick:
Take the nut (it has a built-in washer on the shoulder), place it in the wrench, take any kind of tape (I took painters’ tape), put it over the backside of the wrench, and make sure you grab the sides of it and push it on. That way the nut can not fall out.
Before you proceed make sure your ratchet is ready to go. At this point, it does get a little bit tricky. You have to fish in the wrench back in and access the slot with your free hand. You can control the angle of the bolt by pulling up or down on it.
It’s a very simple nut bolt setup but they’ve made the access a bit crappy. Remember when you put your rear radius rods, use tape and put them in the wrench, lock it onto the tape and use your ratchet once you get in there.
This is where you make sure you don’t mess with the misalignment of the rod.
This side goes to the front.
Remember, on the top radius rod there is a misalignment spacer that needs to be pointed forward or up against the chassis side. It has the taller misalignment spacer. The reason why it’s like that is because of the offset. When you’re cycling the suspension it makes sure the radius rod isn’t banging into the chassis. Keep that in mind when you are installing the rod.
ZRP RZR Tie Rods
When on the steering we are going to replace the factory tie rod (which sucks). I won’t lie here because it’s not the easiest thing to remove. It’s not difficult but it’s not easy as well, you will get a little dirty.
It’s going to take a T-50 to put that in place. Remember there is an element lock on there which is going to face forward. Also, we are setting the boot on after that.
First things first, remove the boot. Cut the tie off. If you have a set of flush cuts, those work best and don’t damage the boot. You can buy one of these from any store. It’s also important to use these to avoid cutting your hands open when opening the zip tie. Save yourself a bunch of injuries in only 10 bucks.
Never take the tie rod end off of the spindle first. You can break it loose and run the nut down, so don’t take it off. What I use is a standard pipe wrench. Most you you will have that in your homes. A pipe wrench is adjustable and grabs great.
To remove the tie rod, I use my foot to push it and it breaks. Remember to only do a little bit of turning at a time on it.
You can’t really get a crescent wrench in there.
I turn the wheel to the passenger side to allow me access. I’m not going to move it back until I have the next one installed.
This is your factory tie rod. It’s basically another cast piece with a knuckle of your tie rod. It's a two-piece construction.
Cast pieces are okay for what they are. They are soft so if you take a big hit it’s going to bend.
You normally only see the boot.
What you don’t see is this part.
We are going to ditch that because that’s just too thin on the leverage point and needs regular maintenance. There are some instructions on taking the tie rods off on the ZRP website. You can download them as well for your convenience. To remove it, you just have to spin it off, break it loose, and take it off. We are going to replace the original tie rod with these ZRP Billet Tie Rods.
It's a one-piece construction. Remember, your adjustability is off your rod ends. We will put on a clevis (stainless steel construction) similar to what you would see on your truck. This is what we are going to replace with the previous quite useless end of the tie rod.
On the other end of the tie rod, we will use 12-point hardware. This is going to match up with the Cognito suspension upper and lower arms.
Once we get everything tight we are going to slide the boot back over it and re-secure with a zip tie.
That’s a lot for a day.
We eliminated the weak point on the factory system and replaced it with a clevis. I’ve never really wanted to get involved with the tie rods as they get you a little worried about breaking something. But if you take your time and follow the instructions on the ZRP Radius Rods or watch the associated video with this post you get a clear idea of what you are supposed to do and how.
Don’t be intimidated by the installs. We have an entire Youtube channel to help you out.
We did a lot of cool upgrades for the 2020 Turbo S but we are not done yet as we still have a long way to go.
Some of your questions might be there as well. Like,
Do we necessarily need to change this stuff out?
No, we don’t but there are a lot of benefits to it. We get away from a couple of things like dissimilar metal welding on the rear radius rods where we replaced three parts with a single radius rod. We now have a billet machine one-piece radius rod that’s made in the USA.
We replaced the tie rod consisting of three parts with one rod. One of the factory tie rod parts needed maintenance on a regular basis because you have to grease it now and then. We also saw how this was at the very end contact point where all the leverage is.
The aftermarket stuff is stronger and lighter compared to the factory stuff, particularly on the Polaris. Usually, the Polaris stuff is pretty beefy so it’s a decision you guys want to make if you want to do it or not.
Another cool thing that came after the upgrade is that we now have spare parts to put in our car. I have two spare tie rods and a spare set of radius rods if I ever need them or if any of my friends need them. You can even sell them to help pay for the new parts.
I am pretty pumped how this little machine is turning out and can’t wait to use it. In my opinion, this is a pretty cool car built. Remember that everything that we are using in this car to make all these upgrades, you can get them from the UTV Source website. So, check out our website, we’ve got pretty badass stuff for you here.
There is more coming for this particular machine. We have power products and race radios to cover up as well. I am pretty excited to put all this agency stuff on it and I hope so, are you. Let me know in the comments what you think!
I hope you are enjoying putting your car together, if not go prep your car out. It’s fun doing that and besides, why not?
If you are already not on the subscribers’ list or the newsletter get on it. It’s pretty cool and we do a lot of fun stuff there. See you soon.