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P500 Request: Air Shock Update /Review

Discussion in 'Pioneer 500 Accessories and Modifications' started by Texas_Newfie, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. Texas_Newfie

    Texas_Newfie Active Member

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    Hey all,

    I'm hoping to hear some input from the people who have installed air shocks and have significant miles/hours on them. I've read the install threads and initial opinion threads, but looking for guidance from those with a lot of miles/hours on their shocks.

    I have some questions if any of you have answers:

    1) How many miles/hours/years do you have on them?

    2) Any big issues so far? What's the maintenance schedule like?

    3) Do you run a dual shock setup?

    4) What kind of terrain do you typically ride?

    5) What psi do you find best?

    6) Can your shocks "see" each other? Or are they isolated? (Passenger to driver side).

    7) How would you rate your new setup? Would you recommend? Are they a bigger pain than they are worth? Or are you glad you made the swap? Basically over time, has the swap been worth it?

    Bonus! If anyone has swapped too or from Elka/W.E shock and air shocks, id love to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

    I'm looking for a softer ride, but have some concerns with airbag longevity in the areas I ride (dusty, muddy, and sandy). I heard dirt pile up can cause premature bladder failure.

    Any input or info is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. pFive

    pFive Well-Known Member

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    Miles are low since I never go over 10mph and typically never see a road unless its to get from trail to trail, I seem to get led onto hardcore trails by people that really really want to throw stones and make fun of the P5, seriously I ride with a lot of guys on the 1k RZR and sometimes guys from one of the industries largest suppliers of UTV parts goes along and I need to "Represent" for Honda. (I have heard "What the f#ck is that thing" on a few occasions. No luck getting them interested in A-Arms for me tho...

    My limitations are no locker and a short wheelbase, climbing a steep hill with a kicker at the top is easier on a long wheelbase RZR-4.
    I would like to ride with sane people once and see if that's any fun, maybe hunting or exploring some of those trails that look like roads out west.

    As for how long I have ran them, the suspension thread will show dates.

    Dual shocks are required, NO, you cant "Get by" with singles for several reasons, one is that on the trail, a cheap 12v compressor cannot make the needed PSI required to lift the thing up, and if you air it up enough at home to that super high PSI you could get a harsh ride that bangs the shocks when they top out and subsequently damage the shock. Or even blow a line.

    If you are the kinda rider that got a Honda so you never need to work on it and don't have minor fab skills and/or it intimidates you I would not do it.

    If your riding can cause you to fail on a hill because you had one front tire lift off the ground and lost traction then it's a must, but if you are a flat lander and have not nearly rolled down a hill on your side due to a failure of no locker then you might not need it. If your goal is a plush ride then I'm sure it helps a lot but again, at 5-10 MPG whats it matter? The few times I have gone wide open on a gravel road to get from trail head to trail head I have noticed that holes and ruts do not jar or hurt anymore.

    I have a HOKE valve to let the sides see each other, it is useful on aggressive rock crawling but not needed for casual use IMHO. In fact on off camber situations you need to be mindful that if you open that thing you get really gooey really fast and can lean more.

    I think I spent around $200 and would do it all over. If your concern is a bladder failure on a shock this cheap keep in mind they have survived 20 years+ old on trucks or cars that are now in a junk yard, pretty durable. If mud chafes through an air bag its about the cheapest UTV repair going. But, pressure washing up inside them seems to keep me safe and working.

    You did not mention this but the shocks provide lift and a LOT of added articulation, be sure to check for a bind in the CV joints, I run aftermarket front axles after my boots were torn and I loaded up with sand one time and ruined the stockers.

    I would do it again, without a doubt. My front suspension does not suffer from spring bind and with air you will have more travel than any shock with a spring that fits a p5.
    I am sure I am forgetting something.
     
    JWB likes this.
  3. Texas_Newfie

    Texas_Newfie Active Member

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    Thanks bud, really appreciate the info!

    Yeah, I usually have at least 1 kid riding with me and my primary goal would be a soft cushion ride in the 10-15mph range to help whiplash on their little necks. But, it needs to still be functional for when I go play in the mud.

    I do most all the work on all the toys I own, so that isn't an issue. Just trying to figure out if it was worth it to put in the work, or after some time/miles the sparkle wore off and people went back to stock/W.E/Elka or something.
     
    JWB likes this.
  4. JWB

    JWB Well-Known Member
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    First, thanks pFive for yet another great review, and everything he says is the facts. I have air shocks (doubled) on all four corners, and aside from some really slow leaks, 2-3 days to leak down, the set up has been completely bullet proof for over 1100 miles of pure abuse. I have a 200psi compressor with a 2.5 gallon tank, and valves to allow individual adjustment 'on the fly' to each wheel individually, in pairs, or all four at once that allows me to lean the machine into a hill in either off camber (crossing) or straight up or down. It also allows for maximum articulation when traversing obstacles -like a rock crawler- just on a much smaller scale. Adjusting for the weight of the snow plow, or gear, or passenger load is as simple as lifting a valve to level it all out. I can drop the machine as much as 9" to get under obstacles, like garage doors, enclosed trailers, or low tree limbs etc., and 3"+ over stock height to get over obstacles. I can also tell you that the stock cv joints do not bind at all under maximum extension or compression. The ride is way (way) better than stock, but I doubt it's as good as any of the high end replacement shocks. But, even with 8 air shocks, compressor, tank, lines, fittings, valves etc, I'm still under $1000. If you care to see the whole 'air shock saga', here's the link to the page where I first joined the site with the idea. P500 - p5 suspension There's a ton of good information in general about the different mods guys have done as well. A few other guys on the site have done the full air set-up as well. It's been a lot of fun for me to build the set up, but the improvement it's made to my machine just makes my day every time I ride it:)
     
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  5. Texas_Newfie

    Texas_Newfie Active Member

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    Thanks for the update!
     
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  6. Brooks

    Brooks Member

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    My .02
    5 to 10 mph they do not ride as smooth as the stock shocks. At 200 psi they will not tote the load the stocks will.

    If you want to tote the front tires 3 or 4 foot in the air topping a hill. Or cross 8 inch deep ruts on the Rev limiter. I don't think there is a better shock.
     
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  7. JWB

    JWB Well-Known Member
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    Hey Brooks, are you running the air shocks doubled?
     
  8. AlR

    AlR Well-Known Member

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    @Texas_Newfie. Any ties to Newfoundland?
    Edit: disregard. Did a keyword search and answered my own question.
     
    #8 AlR, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  9. Brooks

    Brooks Member

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    Yes. I had based my setup off of yours.
     
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  10. Texas_Newfie

    Texas_Newfie Active Member

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    Yes sir. From Torbay.
     
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