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would someone be so kind to explain the advantages to long travel, and all the other terminology with a-arms and shocks, i know i want to be able to blaze threw the trails and take some jumps without as much jarring as the stock set-up, what should i run up front and what should i run in the rear, i see swing arms with different + or - sizes, axles , hubs, spacers, etc WTF? i would like someone to give some advice on what kind of set-up i should go with front and rear , i do know im gonna get some elka elites series in the front and the rear as well but i would like some guidance , i ride trails and eventually i will be jumping somewhere along the line, i want to build a bad ass raptor!!! LET ME KNOW
 

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good luck with this topic, I shot one out a ways back ask'n about the same stuff.

I ended up going with a long travel up front (+3 inches each side) with Elka Elites
.....I think the long travel is just that. longer travel... one the compresion you only get as much travel as your ride hieght will allow (till you bottom out)... but you get more drop out of the setup..as your front end lifts off the ground your tires drop... and when they load back up you have a longer rang of absorbed travel.
......as for the +3.. this widens your stance, making your quad more stable. how wide you want to go depends on your ridding style. I ride mainly dunes and no trails.
......on the rear I went with a +4 (don't have it installed yet) this is mainly to help keep your front end down under hard acceleration. If you go too long you end up loosing traction and just spinning tires.


like I said...I was in your shoes a while back and had trouble getting others to chime in. This is just what I have gathered since then, so If anyone sees any errors please let everyone know.
 

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The simplified answer:
Wider A-arms simply corner better and fight any tipping that the quad may try to do stock. They also typically improve suspension response due the the higher response geometry. IF the shocks are valved for it.

ZPS-Zero pre-load (on long travel) means that the shock has some travel that pushes out if the front wheels come off the ground (jumping / pot holes etc.). Therefore you get extra shock travel and dampening when this happens. Much smoother and more controlled landing on jumps / woops or smoother ride over pot holes. If you ever see a baja trophy truck or CORE offroad truck race you can see an extreme example of this due to the vehicle weight. They ride low in stroke and the wheels drop out about a foot over a jump.

Trust me on this...Long travel with ZPS is the way to go. It is like having an extra couple of inches of shock travel only when needed so it doesn't add ride height that would make the quad more tippy.

Springs:
single rate-Just like stock (sucks)

dual rate-Better than stock. On stock length this means that there is a softer spring for chatter and minor bumps to make the ride smoother and a stiffer spring or rate for big hits.

triple or quad rate- This is the cats ass...One spring rides normally compressed. It is responsible for pushing out the long travel distance described above. The others simply dampen at different rates to improve handling, ride, etc. Triple rate should be considered a must for a ZPS shock.
 

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Before you buy a set of arms, read the description carefully. There are wider a arms that have the shock mount in the same position as stock, so you use your stock length shock. These are better than stock but you dont gain as much as a set of long travel arms. The difference is that the long travel arms place the lower shock mount lower and farther out to accomodate a longer shock...hence long travel.

From your description of how you ride, I dont think you would benefit from a longer swingarm. The only reason I run one is to keep the front end down when running paddles in the dunes.

AS far as what shocks to run, thats a personal decision. Find out who has the features you want for the best price. There are piggy back resivoirs(on the shock) and remote resivoirs(has a line to place the resivoir away from the shock, and in the air stream). BJH already gave you some info on springs.

You mentioned hubs, these hold the wheel studs at the end of the rear axle and the front of the spindles.

You mentioned spacers, these bolt up to the hubs to space the wheels out. Id rather see you go with a wider rear axle. Its more expensive, but a stronger design with less maintainence.

Keep in mind its not a must to do everything all at once. If you have the money and inclination, by all means knock yourself out. My reccomendation is start with wider arms and work your way back. If you get long travel, you need new shocks, no way around that. If you get standard travel arms, the stock shocks will bolt up but be underdamped and under sprung.....but rideable till you get new shocks. Dont forget longer brakelines!!!!
 

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Maybe I should add that I don't believe wider a-arms are a good idea with the stock shocks. At least on the Raptor. Wider a-rms have a higher leverage ratio. Therefore they put more load on the already weakly sprung and valved stock shock. You might be able to overcome it with the 450 type shocks though.

If you are going to go to the trouble of wider a-arms it makes good sense to go ahead and go long travel. Typically that means going to an 18.25" shock. You cannot use a stock length shock on LT a-arms. As Glamis said, make sure you pay attention to what a-arms you are buying.

If you ride trails +2 is a great set-up. If those trails are in tight woods then consider +2 with 4-1 offset wheels works very well. +2/4-1 is a good GNCC type set-up for the Raptor.

On the rear you would be better off going with a wider axle than spacers or hubs. It is a much stronger set-up. Lone Star makes a nice -1 to +2 adjustable axle for tight woods. Or the +2 to +4 adjustable axle for trails / MX and dunes.

Again just to confirm what Glamis said. Longer swing-arms are for hillshooters and sand guys. They are not recommended for trails. You will typically sacrifice some handling on the trails with a longer swing-arm.
 
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