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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all I tried to search but couldn't find a direct answer. I am looking to lift my outlander 450, but I am not sure if shock spacers are the way to go or the frame mount kit that highlifter sells. Do both of these affect the axle angle and will likely cause an axle failure? Just want some extra ground clearance. Tires are probably next at some point but the stock ones will suffice at this point. Thanks for the help.
 

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2015 Outlander XMR 650
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Welcome to the site

The shock spacers lift merely pre-tensions the coil spring to accomplish a bit of lift. That does affect your spring rate, but not much else. The shock is still the travel limiting factor, so no real axle issues to report. If a soft cushy ride is important to you, just know that stiffening your spring rate will combat that.

The bracket lift doesn't affect the spring rate, it leaves the relationship between spring and strut alone, and just pushes everything down. However, it does allow for more axle droop than previously expected, which can lead to pulling axles out of diffs. It's not a set in stone thing, some bikes report those issues, others don't. Hard to say why/what's the difference.

They both accomplish the same thing, just do it differently. They both have their pros and cons
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the site

The shock spacers lift merely pre-tensions the coil spring to accomplish a bit of lift. That does affect your spring rate, but not much else. The shock is still the travel limiting factor, so no real axle issues to report. If a soft cushy ride is important to you, just know that stiffening your spring rate will combat that.

The bracket lift doesn't affect the spring rate, it leaves the relationship between spring and strut alone, and just pushes everything down. However, it does allow for more axle droop than previously expected, which can lead to pulling axles out of diffs. It's not a set in stone thing, some bikes report those issues, others don't. Hard to say why/what's the difference.

They both accomplish the same thing, just do it differently. They both have their pros and cons
Thank you for the reply. So would you say that based on the axle travel that the spring spacers would be the safer option at this point? I don't feel like dealing with axles and their problems at this point. How much do the spacers stiffen up the ride quality. Is it all based on the quad and is it really noticeable?
 

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For what I'm understanding you're after, I think just a simple set of shock spacers would be the way to go. They're so cheap, too, that if you're not happy with the ride after install, you're really only out $20-30, maybe even less

The shocks on your bike don't get the kindest reviews period, so honestly, stiffening the spring rate a little probably won't "hurt" that much, lol.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
For what I'm understanding you're after, I think just a simple set of shock spacers would be the way to go. They're so cheap, too, that if you're not happy with the ride after install, you're really only out $20-30, maybe even less

The shocks on your bike don't get the kindest reviews period, so honestly, stiffening the spring rate a little probably won't "hurt" that much, lol.
Lol, I hear ya. That is what my thinking is. For that price point you are only out 20-30 bucks not over 100. What is a good brand of spacers? I found some on Ebay. I guess they are fine?
 

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i bought the 20$ ebay special spring spacers from china and it works fine now .... have them installed for 2 years.
yes the ride is a bit firm (no nose dive) . only thing is, when you drive mostly on pavement the geometry of the front suspension changes and you get a weird pattern on tires but nothing crazy..
9/10 would reccomend (y)
 
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Not sure what the spring spacers are but would guess they are adding preload by compressing the spring more. if this is true they do NOT change the spring rate any appreciable amount. what happens when you add preload is the spring is compressed and the force needed to get the spring moving (on its true rate) increases. This scenario means you increase the amount of force needed to get the spring working but then revert to the same spring rate.

A over preloaded spring will feel harsh initially but will have greater suspension travel AVAILABLE ( total travel does not change). This is why the machine will sit higher the added preload simply means the weight of the machine is not compressing the spring as far. Because you are on the same spring once moving the spring will collapse just as fast as it did before only have farther to travel. Make sense?

What you do not want is to compress the spring to the point you have coil bind where the coils have no more space between them because at that point you have no more suspension and will transmit any forces straight into the chassis likely breaking parts. Adding a bit of preload does no harm and you can see if it helps for short money usually. In the end the springs may need replacing to truly improve ride and handling. If you have plans later for a long travel lift then wait until you do then as you may need longer travel damper units at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Went with the spacers. Amazon for 17.99. My friend of mine has put them on other people's quads but has used ratchet straps. Are the straps better than the spring compressors? Or would getting a pair of spring compressors be safer/ make the job easier?
 

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The strut spring compressors that all the auto parts stores rent to use, can work, they're just a little oversized for our springs, kinda makes the job cumbersome, but you can figure out how/where to hook 'em to get the job done.

I wouldn't have any issues using a few ratchet straps per spring, just be mindful of condition and don't point the spring at your eye, y'know, that kinda common sense stuff.
 
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Putting a set of spring spacers on mine as we speak. Ratchet straps with the shock in a vise are working fine so far, its just an atv shock ;)
 

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Ok I will go ahead and eat those words now.
Had to come off this project last nite and get back on it this afternoon. After an hour or so of fighting it, I admit defeat!

These little springs are kicking my butt.

Ratchet straps work fine for removing the springs....



...but even with four straps the xtra compression needed to fit the spacer is just not happening so off to hf and picked up a spring compressor kit.
Ive needed a kit anyways and owning instead of renting means I can modify the "feet" on the compressors for an atv spring since the small compressor kit is impossible to find in this town.
Time to quit dicking around and get this done we have a warm spell starting today and goin thru the weekend and this boy is ready to RIDE!!!!
 

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Has a set of 2 jaw spring compressors... spring ended up shooting out... went and got a set of single jaw with lock and they worked perfect.... used em once and probably never use again... but safer

Sent from my SM-G781W using Tapatalk
 

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The ratchet straps were getting sketchy trying to get full compression to fit the pucks.
Went much much smoother with the compressor tool and now that the automotive feet are modded to fit the body of an atv shock.
Just had to grind some off to make them thinner without losing the lip that captures the spring and make some clearance on the inside to fit the shock body and the plastic sleeve.
Really needed full spring compression on the backs.
101039

101040


Pulling the tires and attacking the fronts now....
 
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