Long known for their performance springs, Eibach has been making race vehicles handle better for 50 years. In that time, their products have been on vehicles that have won at disciplines from Formula 1 to Baja.
Tuning suspension is as much an art as science, but that science is as steady as mathematics. Taking known parameters such as weight times force times angles and working out a formula is best left to the experts. Luckily, companies such as Eibach are the experts when it comes to spring rates and how they affect shock performance and therefore the performance of your ride.
Recently Eibach has turned its eye toward UTVs with their Pro-UTV spring and antisway bar systems. Eibach produces their kits for the Polaris RZR XP1000 and XP Turbos, Cam-Am Mavericks, and the Yamaha YXZ 1000R. The YXZ’s come stock with high-quality and multi-adjustable Fox Podium X2 shocks, so there’s no problem there, but fiddling with the clickers on shocks are just one aspect of fine-tuning a performance suspension. Getting the correct spring rate for what you’ll be doing is just as important. The best part is swapping out springs is fairly easy.
It was on a YXZ SS that we watched as they swapped out the stock springs and antisway bars for their new Pro-UTV units. The Eibach kits come in Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. The Stage 1 is simply a stock replacement (and really, who wants stock?). The Stage 2 have a stiffer spring rate than stock and are designed for two- and four-seat vehicles that will be rode hard, while the Stage 3 are stiffer still and are for vehicles that will have things such as spare tire racks, jacks, spare fuel, and other items that add weight to the stock vehicle. They’re perfect for racing and hard driving with things that you’ll need to do those long distance treks.
Called their Pro-UTV spring system, these Pro-UTV Systems include springs, sliders, stop rings, and setup instructions for an easy, bolt-on installation.
One Wednesday each month the Eibach guys are in Barstow to help customers dial in their vehicles. They will install springs, check things like ride height, and generally help to make your car, truck or UTV handle better, soak up the bumps better and generally go faster. It was there (in a howling wind!) that the Eibach crew installed their kit onto this YXZ. We noticed a difference immediately.
They put the suspension back to totally stock settings, and we’d run the Yamaha up and down the roads and rutted racecourse that is “Barstow Main.” The stock rearend did kick up but the Eibach-equipped YXZ didn’t. It was faster and more controlled through the whoops than the stock setup. It also stayed straighter than before when attacking those whoops.
The other pieces of the Eibach puzzle are the Pro-UTV Performance Stabilizer Bars. They are also stiffer than stock and are, of course engineered to work with the new springs. They have multiple end-link attachment points to allow further fine-tuning of the suspension action. We found that they reduce body roll and keep the YXZ level even through hard turns in sandy conditions.
The combination of the Pro-UTV springs and antisway bars gave the Yamaha a much more controlled feel in virtually every condition. We could push harder than before with more confidence and less concern for those hits we didn’t see coming.
Follow along as Eibach installed their new Pro-UTV system and see how easy it can be to get your UTV to work better, go faster and generally be more fun to drive.
To keep the YXZ flat through corners, they offer Pro-UTV antisway bars for both the front and rear. The front units are 16mm thick while the rears are nearly double that at 35mm thick. They come with new bushings and are designed to work with the new springs.
The YXZ comes is a serious performance vehicle that will only get better with the addition of the Eibach springs.
Coming stock with high-quality, fully adjustable 2.5 Fox Podium X2 shocks, the YXZ has 16.2 inches of travel up front. Antisway bars are stock items as well.
The rearend has 17 inches of wheel travel, again with an independent, dual-wishbone design.
We met up with the Eibach crew in Barstow with a YXZ. The first thing they did was to ensure the YXZ suspension was put to stock settings.
Eibach put the YXZ through a few hard runs to gauge what the stock suspension settings was doing.
We also took the YXZ up and down Barstow’s thoroughly whooped-out sections. The stock settings did make the backend kick up on square-edged hits, and though it tracked relatively straight, it did have a little side hop. Now to see what the Eibach springs will do.
Even with the wind howling, the Eibach crew got to work re-springing the YXZ.
Here, one Eibach tech loosens the stop rings while another is pulling mounting hardware. One key to making things easier swapping out the springs is to loosen the stop-rings while the shock is still on the vehicle as they are on tight and are a bear to deal with a loose shock on the ground.
Care does need to be taken when removing or installing the shocks as to not ding the reservoir.
Eibach has a very nice portable spring compressor, but you at home can use the wrench down type. Just be careful as the springs are under a lot of pressure.
With the springs compressed and the spring retention collar removed, the stock springs are lid up and off the shock body.
Eibach supplies a setup guide with their springs. Here, the stop rings are set for 9.5 inches from the top of the shock body. The jam ring will be tightened against it but care will be taken not to move the stop ring from moving.
Eibach supplies more stop rings with their kit. They are installed and run down.
Careful measurements are taken to ensure that the stop rings are in the same position on every shock.
When satisfied, the Eibach crew installs their new Pro-UTV springs and sliders. Notice that the shorter of the two springs are installed first.
The springs are collapsed and the upper stay is installed.
The shocks go back on the YXZ.
With the rears done, the front shocks are put through the same treatment.
With the front springs in place, that part of the job is done.
A vital consideration is after the springs are installed, a measurement is taken to ensure that the vehicle is level side to side.
These Eibach springs were made here in the USA.
With the springs on, Eibach next eyed the stock antisway bars. This upgrade will also include their Pro-UTV antisway bars.
Though it takes a little maneuvering, the stock bars can be removed without too much trouble.
Eibach supplies new bushings as well as grease, so the bushings are prepped before installation. Do not spare the grease, as slick bushings are a must so every ounce of grease is used.
With the new Eibach bar slid back into place, the stock bushing brackets are used to tie them in.
Here the endlinks are installed, but notice that there are two mounting points on the Eibach bar to give as many tuning options as possible.
With the Eibach Pro-UTV springs and antisway bars on, the front end is done.
The stock rear antisway bar was also removed and replaced with a new Eibach Pro-UTV bar.
Back out on the whooped-out straight, the YXZ now stayed planted, and there was no side hop to be had.
Thanks to the new bars, the lack of body roll allowed us to throw the YXZ into sand corners with little fear. We did stay hard on the throttle though.
While Eibach is a German company, they do produce springs here in the USA at their Corona, California, manufacturing facility. They do it all as rolls of wire come in one side of the building and come out the other end as springs. The process is fascinating to watch, so we thought we’d show you what we saw.
Though the main headquarters is in Germany, Eibach calls Corona, California, home too.
Massive rolls of steel wire, each about 6 feet in diameter and weighing thousands of pounds, is just the beginning of the manufacturing process.
The wire stock is fed through this spring-making machine and cut to length.
Eibach is big on quality control, and the springs are tested for tension and length throughout the manufacturing process.
The springs go through a shot-peening process to ensure they’re ready for the final powdercoating stage.
Springs by the hundreds are placed on a gigantic rotating assembly line where they are robotically powdercoated.
The springs come out the other end of the machine coated and ready to go to the packaging and shipping areas.
A few though are pulled from the line and tested yet again to ensure they are exactly as advertised.