If you’re familiar with UTVs, you’ve most likely recognized the noise that comes from your shocks when the suspension drops out and the full weight of the tire, wheel, and suspension hangs off the shock. When that happens, the shock tops out, and you hear that tell-tale ‘clunk.’ Here are the Reasons Your UTV Needs Limit Straps and How to Stop Front End ‘Clunk’ with help from our friends at Shock Therapy.
Most UTV shocks, for example, are designed for OEM wheels, tires, and suspension. If you upgrade to larger tires and wheels or heavy duty a-arms –– and thus add more weight –– the force exerted on the shock as it tops out increases and the methods used by shock manufacturers to top-out gracefully cannot handle the added load, resulting in a very evident clunk.
While this noise on its own is annoying enough, it can also cause damage to the shock. Over time, it eventually leads to a critical failure. The little piece of shock shaft whose nut holds the whole piston assembly together will shear off right at the washer; the piston will pop off and the entire shaft comes right out of the shock.
Limit straps are designed to stop the suspension and shock system from hitting full extension, and can also arrest the system prior to extending past the maximum CV angle.
Nonetheless, the ostensibly simple job of arresting the shock prior to full-extension with any given strap presents a host of problems to consider –– from the location of its attachment point and adjustability, to the necessary maintenance of factory geometry so as to reduce leverage.
Aftering searching around for options on the market, we found that Shock Therapy has the most comprehensive system. Additionally, they make them for most UTV models on the market, including most Can-Am Maverick X3, Polaris RZR, Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000, Honda Talon 1000, Yamaha RMAX, and more.
Limit Straps from Shock Therapy:
Primarily –– and as you’d expect –– the limit straps stop clunk, likewise saving your shock in the long run and potentially preventing you from costly replacements. Whichever limit strap on the market you choose, it will stretch after some use from its original length when purchased new. Buying shorter straps intentionally in anticipation of natural stretch over time isn’t a great option, as one inch of strap can translate to up to two inches of suspension travel reduction. Notably, from our research, Shock Therapy makes the only limit strap that is completely adjustable at the shock body mount.
Moreover, their patented billet aluminum upper clamp attaches to the body of the shock at the head, so there’s no need to worry about welding. The clamps are also ‘clock-able’ so they can spin around to clear body panels/other clearance items during installation.
In contrast to limit straps that connect to the frame or some other inbound location on the car, thus increasing the leverage on the strap, Shock Therapy’s limit straps remain in parallel with the shock itself –– thus retaining optimal geometric alignment and increasing strap life.
Shock Therapy also uses a unique tether design to handle excess slack. When the shock is compressed and the strap becomes looser, issues can arise with it getting caught on sway bar links, brake lines, or anything else in the way. Then, when you jump, for example –– and it extends –– it will rip it right off. Thus, Shock Therapy created a patented extension tether design that keeps the slack of the limit strap in position.