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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I finally got started on the AGLT mod for the front end of my old 96 ZRT 800 that I just acquired back into my possession. I sure do love this sled. I will show some of the progress I have done so far. Can't wait to complete it. I have already done the rear suspension when my stepson owned it a few years ago, but I am now considering a 136 in the back. If the torque link is good then the 136 will be even better!!

For anyone wanting to do this I found it is easiest to take the nuts off the bolts for the a-arms and tilt the arm down and slide the arm off completely and then align the bolt with the holes in the belly pan and take them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
With everything off the sled on this side don't throw out the tie rod ends. Because any of you looking for the old Black Magic torque links and can't find them you now have part of what is needed to make the link with these old tie rod ends. The ends just happen to be (3/8" x 24 right hand thread) and the other is a (3/8" x 24 left hand thread). All you do is buy the tie rod end (left handed side) from HPE for 7.95 ea. and your done except for the plate. I will get into that later. If the tie rod is too long simply cut it in the middle and take out what length isn't needed and have your local weld shop tig it back together at the length you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got some 1/4" aluminum stock 1 3/4" wide (can be wider, maybe 2"depends if you have electric start. Need clearance for the ring gear) and 5 3/4" long and traced a rough outline from measurements taken off the cylinder onto the plate and used a cut off tool and drilled and filed most of it in about 1/2 hr. using hand tools. Then, when I was done, I hit it with some paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I got the sway bar out and saw that it has a slight bend in it. Not all that bad for over 6600 miles on it. I got a hold of speedymetals.com and they sent me out what I needed and got it in about 3 days. I purchased the 5/8" square stock 4140 cold finished annealed. I got a 36" piece for $10.42 plus shipping. I had a local guy cut the ends to insure the arms would go onto the shaft with enough clearance for the bolt to go into it. He only cut two corners instead of the 4 that everyone else does for strength. The bar turned out to be 2.5" longer just as A G stated it should be. One thing I did notice was that the sway bar appears to be pinned at each end. So cat had this in 3 pieces for some reason. If you were to look at the ends there is a small hole that appears to have the pin in it. Can't see it in the pic. If anyone is doing this mod you will see it!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, next was the A-arms. Finally got everything needed and put some grease fittings into the arms. I got some fittings at our local hardware and drilled and tapped the holes. Degreased the holes and red loctited the fittings. Then I wire brushed the internals of the arms to remove any crud and rust with the bench grinder. Now its off for some sand blasting and then paint. Here is a handy tool for those hard to reach areas. It fits right onto your grease gun. Make life easier and isn't very expensive at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got the spindles back last night and now they are gonna be stripped and painted. I know of guys that sand blast them but I don't want sand in the spindles so I am having them stripped instead. Had to have some reliefs cut into them for the A-arms to function correctly. Got these off e-bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
While waiting for everything to be completed that was sent out to be stripped or blasted, I moved the steering rack up and replaced all rubber washers #3's with steel ones under the bottom to lift up the assembly. This was very easy to do and A G assures me this will pay big dividends in bump steer so I did it. I want the best I can afford and it only cost my time and a few washers. This pic is for my 96 ZRT 800. If you are doing a mod for another model sled you'll have to check the pinned section or get a hold of A G your model may differ. Keep in mind all this was done without engine removal. Just the panel underneath. Really quite simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
There were 5 washers altogether I replaced and one I added to the other bell crank on the right. Take out the rubber ones on the top (#6, #21, and #22) and replace with steel ones underneath to raise the assembly. Be sure to lube with (high) temp grease not low temp. You don't want the engine heat to melt the low temp grease you use on your spindles and suspension.
I am editing this as after doing a few I have an easier way to do it. If you can, tact weld the the bottom washer to the bushings in part #22. be sure its flush Makes life easier. I put one tact and then ground the bottom off so it was smooth then added the other washer on top of that. Now when putting it in from the bottom it will not fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
You will need to take out the rubber washer in each one of these, and put the steel ones on the bottom to raise this up as shown in diagram above. This is washer 5 and 6 all in total.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While doing this mod to the steering rack I hooked a rubber strap on the ends of the handles bars to make the bolts and joints more accessible. When I get time and some of the stuff back I will post more for all to see. If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask. This mod is so easy. It just takes a little of your time!!
 

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tcat, thanks for taking the time to take pics, post and share your experience. I'm still in the part acquisition mode but will be doing the same soon enough on my ole' '96 580 EXT. This really helps me out A LOT.

Thanks again and keep us posted!
 

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Just a thought about the torque link. If it is too long, instead of having it welded, maybe cut off the side with the standard threads (not sure if it's left or right hand thread) and re tap it. I have thought about doing this one. Do you have a picture of where it mounts to the frame?

Great write up!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well kev, my bad. I should of mentioned that the threads inside are raised threads and if you cut the end off the inner diameter is way larger. I took some pics of the location and the inside of the tie rod. This is why I suggested to cut the section not needed out of the middle.

When installing the bolt to hold the torque link onto the frame, leave the head of the bolt outwards so that the secondary clutch (when open) will not hit the nut or the bolt. Black Magic used to sell a special bolt (with the purchase of the link) with the head ground down 1/2 way so you could just get a wrench on it. Also, mount the link on the bottom of the aluminum bracket instead of the top as I did. The angle is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey Kev,

How did ya ever make out with that engine brace? Do you see what I mean about the inside threads?
 

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I haven't really looked into it yet. I guess I never really thought the tie rods could be hollowed out larger then the ends? That means the ends have the thread portion pressed in somehow. It kinda threw me off. The other thought I had is the ZR 800's and 900's have torque rods going forward I thought. Wondering if there is anywhere to connect one forward on ours. Also picked up another project sled with AGLT potential so I think my focus will be shifting to that now.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, got the parts back after a long time out. Here they are in primer and then in paint. Again notice how easy it is to install by tilting arm down and sliding the arm on the bolt as apposed to trying to line up the holes in the A arm and frame for the bolt to go through. Remember: the bushings go toward the front. Slide the bushing on first then the A arm. The spacers I made were out of 1" aluminum stock. I drilled the top bushing to a 3/8" hole and the spacer was 1/2" wide. The lower spacer was a 7/16" hole and was 5/16" wide. You can use front shock spacers but they may need to be drilled out after cutting to the correct width.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I slide some 3/4" ID heater core hose over the new sway bar to take up the extra space due to the longer sway bar installed. This was cut at 1 3/8" long. At the current time I can't afford to get new shocks (with all the other projects going on) so I cut two pieces of pipe 14" long and welded a washer at each end and used this as my shock. This way I can move it around and not worry about the suspension collapsing. Hopefully, I will be able to buy some new shocks soon. Kinda like to take it out in the grass now!!

NOTE: Some spindles require the top bolt to go in from the other side. I changed mine after taking this last picture and discoved that the hem-joint for the steering hit the tip of the bolt and limited steering radius.
 

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Lookin' great! Not worthy:

The grass run might allow you to percieve more stability due to the width, but with the 'solid' shocks it would likely feel more stable even with the stock arms (side to side). Bumpy trails will be the place where you will truly realize what you've built.

Looking forward to your real world ride-report next winter! :chug:
 
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