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by Jacob Layton

With just over 1600 miles, and the car having several sets of hands on it for updates etc. It is time to do a full prep on the car. This prep process we started with the clutch, front diff clutch pack, and now a full suspension check and more! I cover all of the things we found and some of my thoughts!




















(0:00) Hey everybody, Nick Olson, Chupacabra Offroad. Behind me is the Speed, well, most of it. We are scrambling to get ready for a quick little Baja ride this weekend with our buddy Fred, and this is going to be a two-part video series. Basically, the first part we want to talk about a full prep that we did, that's the purpose of this video. The next video, which should be on our channel, will cover some of the upgrades we did with some of the wiring. You'll hear me comment on that, but that is such a lot that we've been working on the car here, we want to put it in two separate videos to make it easier to digest. So, the car has got over 1,600 miles on it, probably been driven about as hard as most all other cars that exist because we go to the dunes, go to Baja, go to San Hollow, out here in Arizona. So, we think we kind of put a big stress on almost all elements of the car, so we had a lot of prep to do just to double-check and see what we found. Robbie Gordon said, "Hey, you drive it like a race car, you need to prep it like a race car," and a lot of you guys probably want to know after it's been driven this hard for this many miles, what did we find? So, let's get into it.

(1:00) [Music]

(1:09) Okay, let's start off with an issue that I brought up in a couple of videos: the front clutch pack. It seems like the four-wheel drive wasn't working as it should. Robbie Gordon reached out, sent me a new clutch pack, which we installed. It was a bit of a bear; we had to remove some of the silicone and add some more to it. We didn't get much video of it, but basically, it's inside of the front differential. Unfortunately, I haven't driven it yet, but we're taking it to San Hollow soon, taking it to Baja. I'll let you know how it feels, but it felt like it was slipping a lot easier. It wasn't pulling as hard as it needed to, and really the real test is going to be on the rocks. So, we'll follow up with how it works, but it's something that I thought was an issue. I think it's been an issue for a while. I felt it slip and get worse, so they sent us a fresh one. We installed it; it was easier than us having to take the car out to have them install it, so we did that.

(1:59) Moving on, we did another video that's on the YouTube channel already: clutch tuning. Go and check that out. We basically installed a few parts to optimize the performance as well as increase the longevity. The belt was looking good; that video is already on the channel, go and check that out if you want.

(2:15) Next, suspension. So, you know, for years before this car came out, I was so stoked that we've got a car. The suspension is my favorite part of this car: the boxed A-arms, it's got full heims and all that. I was the first guy to make fun of ball joints. Well, the ball joints on some of these other cars seem to last longer than the heims on the Speed, so we had a couple of issues with the upper heim on the upper A-arm. We replaced a few of them; one completely broke, but I guess it was installed backwards. So, we decided to take the suspension apart and get it repowder-coated. It looks pretty now; we got matte black and of course, we had to do the upper arms in teal just to match the look of Chupacabra as always. But we bought a complete kit from Speed. The downside of these heims is that they're not very high quality, we learned, and there's no other option to replace them. Originally, we reached out to FK to see if we could get some high-performance, high-quality replacements. Well, the misalignment spacer up top here is one thing, but how much the heim articulates was a problem for an off-the-shelf JMX heim from FK. So, that was going to limit steering angle, something that there's no replacement for at this time. So, we just went with the Speed kit, which came with a lot of extra hardware. So, now we have some extra heims.

(3:34) Pulling apart the suspension, the upper heims, the lower heims had a little bit of play in them, and the rear had a little bit of play too. The rear probably could have lasted another 1,000 miles, I feel like, but where we noticed some issues were this little link here that connects to the sway bar. These use incredibly cheap links, and the one on this side was really bad. On the other side, it wasn't as bad, but these wore out exceptionally fast. Here you can see we've got the new hardware which we installed. You have to press it out, so it's a bit of a pain. For me, having to do this type of prep work, my guy who's filming here, Jacob, did most of the prep work. He deserves all the credit, but this is pretty excessive for your average side-by-side owner. We've done this with a race car; this is something that on a race car, a lot of guys will prep every 500 miles, replace along with the bolts just to be safe. But it was a bit of a pain, to say the least. Like I said, this and the rear wasn't that big of a deal. The fronts had a little bit of slop and play. We've talked to Speed about this a couple of times; they said they all have some level of play in the front, and they just deal with it. But I want to get this car nice and tight, so I'm hoping to report back with a nice, quiet, tidy car now that everything's been prepped with the suspension.

(4:46) So we had the whole car apart, as you can see. We wanted to check basically everything, so we decided to check the power steering. The power steering fluid looked a little bit low. Sometimes there's a little bit of a whine to it. I'm still having issues with the feedback. The electric assist part that Speed developed still isn't available, so a lot of people have been commenting online, "Hey, maybe you can try to bleed it." So, we did try to bleed it, which basically requires getting the front end up, turning the steering back and forth with the cap off, and adding more fluid until air comes out. We did that; we topped off the fluid. So, I'm very curious to see if it, you know, if I have any whining or if it helps at all with the feedback. We'll report on that in a later video.

(5:25) Next on the list: basic stuff. We've greased the wheel bearings. Greased these a couple of times. It's something that you probably should check every 500 to 700 miles. It's a bummer, it's messy, it's annoying, it's something that you not necessarily do on a lot of other side-by-sides, but we've been doing it. And another thing that's honestly the biggest pain is the CVs. So, we took the CVs; we bought some fancy grease. I think I have a tube of it. We bought this from our local off-road shop, which is called FODs. It's $42 for this tube, and basically, you want to squirt in each corner, inner and outer, of the CVs. Most of these axles on this car have been replaced; only one is still stock, the driver's side front. So, we went and lubed those up. It's just a mess with that stuff and getting the gun and loading it all up, but we got that dialed. So, like I said, crossing our T's, dotting our I's. We pulled the bed, we checked all the hose clamps, went through everything, warmed the car up, checked the fluids, topped off a little bit of water, it was a tiny bit low. Recharged the battery, threw in a fresh air filter. Like I said, the clutching is already dialed. We're double-checking ride height; we're going to raise the rear a little bit. The shocks look really good, no issues with those.

(6:36) So, looking at my notes here, the wheel bearings, like I said, that's something the suspension heims do need to be replaced. You'll probably have some wobble in them. They do recommend the upper heims at a 500 to 700 mile wear part, which is a bummer, to be honest. But other than that, I don't think we came across many other items. It's just double, triple-checking. I've mentioned this on videos; this car has been back to Speed several times. Lots of people have touched it. It's had a new motor, it's had a new trans. So, we just wanted to, of course, drop the skid plate, check the linkage. We had to check the driveline; we replaced it with higher quality hardware, which came stock after we went and installed that new front clutch pack. So, I'm feeling pretty good. I think we did what we could, and if there are any issues, we're not going to be too surprised. I guess we're going to know how to hopefully fix them. Hopefully, the car runs really safe and sound here for the next 1,500 to 2,000 miles. We're going to be driving it hard, taking it back to the rocks of Utah, taking it to Baja, and of course driving it here locally, even though it's summertime because we ride all year around.

(7:45) So, hope this was helpful. If you guys have a Speed, go ahead and comment below if there's any questions. We're trying to kind of work together and help each other, and we're all learning. This is what we've uncovered so far, but excited to get back in it. Check out the next video we're about to shoot now, which is going to be some of the electric upgrades we did to it with some new parts. So, thanks for watching. If you guys like the content, like and subscribe. We'll see you on the next one.

(8:09) [Music]


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