Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

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Wildhorse800
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Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Wildhorse800 » Sun May 30, 2010 5:06 am

Well, it took a little while to get everything just the way I needed, so here is a play by play.

The front struts on the newer models (I believe they started in '05) have @ 31mm more travel, not to mention the tube is longer...yeah, I know....duh!

Anywho,
The struts/springs I tried to use off an '08 were just way too much lift with axle boots rubbing and crazy axle angles. I could have done more modifying, but I was NOT out for lift, but rather a cheaper alternative compared to buying new struts and HD springs.

So next I tried using the newer struts with the old springs.
Well, now there was too much travel as the springs had way too much slop. The relaxed '08 springs are nearly 3" taller than the older ones.

So I needed some way to take up some of the gap without hitting the same height as the '08 springs which would have brought me back to square one.

Enter Rubberdown Customs.
He was the ONLY one that I found to make a smaller 1.5" spacer instead of the 2" ones, not to mention the pricing was more than fair. I bought the front end lift kit, but only used the spring spacers as the newer struts already had increased tube length and did not need to be lifted.
Soon my '08 SP WILL have a full Rubberdown 1.5" lift as all I want is just a little more height, nothing major. Strong, well made aluminum pieces. Highly recommended.

I will say if anyone is gonna try this also, that they make sure to get the the hardware ( mainly BOTH nuts) at the top of the struts. The newer struts use a larger diameter nut. My old rear lugs from my Scrambler were the same thread size. This is why you throw NOTHING extra in the trash!
The rear springs/shocks from the '08 will NOT work as the springs are wider and will hit the rotor on the older transmission setup.

It was a match made in heaven. No rubbing boot issues at all.
Just a small ride up the alley and the difference is just amazing.
Hitting curbs is barely noticeable now! Can't wait to field test the machine now.

Heres my cost savings:
Used struts/springs from '08 SP 800 incl. shipping $45.00
Rubberdown Customs front end lift $86.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTAL $131.00

2 new struts and HD springs from Polaris---------@ $300.00
Plus I would have the same short travel struts.

And now for the pics....
Before:

Image

AFTER:

Image


BEFORE:

Image


AFTER:

Image
Last edited by Wildhorse800 on Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2008 Polaris SP800 HO
1999 Polaris SP500
2008 Suzuki M-50
1988 Honda VLX 600

I've been told I joke around too much.
So one day I tried being serious.
Everybody laughed!

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Ken
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Postby Ken » Sun May 30, 2010 4:22 pm

LOL..looks really tired, in the before pics.
The last words spoken before a YouTube video is filmed: "Hold my beer, now watch this..."

Regards,
Ken Hower
RTF Director
http://www.rubicontrail.org/

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Wildhorse800
Knows UPS driver on a 1st name basis
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Wildhorse800 » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:04 pm

Update:
Well, what started as a way to save $$$ has now cost more!

I had a problem with a tightness in the steering, so further investigation led to the discovery that while up on stands, the front struts lifted up every 3/4-1 turn. Here the u-joint end is binding from the extra lift. So two new axles and a little over $300 later, and the problem should be fixed. Have to wait on the other axle, but I am 100% sure this is the problem.

So while costing more is a downside, the quad still gets more travel and a better ride, especially without the nosediving into corners.

The new axles we got from AxlesExtreme on Ebay. The u-joints have more clearance to eliminate the binding.

Since the newer Polaris' have inboard CV joints, they dont have this problem.

More on the next test drive... [-o<
2008 Polaris SP800 HO
1999 Polaris SP500
2008 Suzuki M-50
1988 Honda VLX 600

I've been told I joke around too much.
So one day I tried being serious.
Everybody laughed!

User avatar
Wildhorse800
Knows UPS driver on a 1st name basis
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Wildhorse800 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:26 am

So far,so good. Everything is working properly. No leaks and the new armature plates have the hubs working perfectly again.

New tires are on the way as we are tired of that "balloon" tire roll over feeling.

Not real happy with Tires Unlimited right now. I called to make sure they had the tires in stock and they,of course, said yes. 2 days later I call for a tracking # only to find they are being drop shipped and they haven't been shipped yet! So I was lied to just to get my order.

RMATV didn't have the tires I needed for those stupid Popo 10" rims in the rear.
2008 Polaris SP800 HO
1999 Polaris SP500
2008 Suzuki M-50
1988 Honda VLX 600

I've been told I joke around too much.
So one day I tried being serious.
Everybody laughed!

User avatar
Wildhorse800
Knows UPS driver on a 1st name basis
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Wildhorse800 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:29 am

Bottom line, just buy the original replacement parts from the start. It may seem expensive, but as you can see, it gets even more expensive when you begin to modify!!! #-o
2008 Polaris SP800 HO
1999 Polaris SP500
2008 Suzuki M-50
1988 Honda VLX 600

I've been told I joke around too much.
So one day I tried being serious.
Everybody laughed!

User avatar
Ken
Site Admin
Posts: 7501
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:23 pm
Location: Auburn, CA
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Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Ken » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:39 am

Ooops.
The last words spoken before a YouTube video is filmed: "Hold my beer, now watch this..."

Regards,
Ken Hower
RTF Director
http://www.rubicontrail.org/

User avatar
Wildhorse800
Knows UPS driver on a 1st name basis
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Wildhorse800 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:52 am

Well, tore both clutches down, cleaned and lubed them, shimmed the driven clutch out, installed new belt, new brakes, new tires...wife cracked the hub...went out to fix it and had the the thing missing and carrying on. New plug, valve adjustment. Ended up rebuilding the carb and now it runs like a champ.

See, if I'd have bought new, I'd have missed out on all this fun! #-o

Here are those Swamp Fox tires by AMS. They are AWESOME!!!

Image

Image

Image
2008 Polaris SP800 HO
1999 Polaris SP500
2008 Suzuki M-50
1988 Honda VLX 600

I've been told I joke around too much.
So one day I tried being serious.
Everybody laughed!

User avatar
Ken
Site Admin
Posts: 7501
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:23 pm
Location: Auburn, CA
Contact:

Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Ken » Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:37 pm

that's funny....in a I didn't have to do it, sort of funny way.
The last words spoken before a YouTube video is filmed: "Hold my beer, now watch this..."

Regards,
Ken Hower
RTF Director
http://www.rubicontrail.org/

User avatar
Wildhorse800
Knows UPS driver on a 1st name basis
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 3:39 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Customizing Front Suspension on '99 Sportsman

Postby Wildhorse800 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:44 am

=D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>
2008 Polaris SP800 HO
1999 Polaris SP500
2008 Suzuki M-50
1988 Honda VLX 600

I've been told I joke around too much.
So one day I tried being serious.
Everybody laughed!


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