Total Control Suspension (TCS) - ATV Suspension - Long Travel shocks for Project QuadSport Z400 ATV

Nov. 01, 2004 By Dean Waters

November 2004

Nearly a year ago, we upgraded the front suspension on our Project LTZ with long travel a-arms. At the same time, we added a complete set of TCS shocks. In the front we used the TCS 19" Sag Control Series shocks. In the rear we sent TCS our stock LT-Z shock so it could be re-worked to match the front suspension.

Total Control Suspension (TCS) is NOT a new company. Todd Davis created TCS after working at Race Tech and has been building shocks for over twelve years. In 1998 TCS was started in the back room at CT Racing and has been expanding ever since.

Sag Control Series

The Sag Control Series (SCS) shock is a no-preload or zero preload shock, which allows a lower ride height. The SCS shocks use a triple-rate spring in the front. With the SCS, the top spring is very soft and basically compresses to ride height. From there the main springs take over and do all the work. The light spring does help the shock expand when unloaded.

Inside, the SCS shocks use shim stacks to control compression and dampening. The rebound shims are generally found on the topside of the piston and the compression shims are located on the underside of the piston. When you hit small bumps and small terrain changes, the oil flows through the shims and the shock valving provides minimal dampening. When you hit large bumps, jumps, or G-outs, the oil travels much faster due to the increased shaft speed, which in turn causes the shims to bend due to the force of the fluid. This restricts the amount of oil and therefore provides more dampening. The thickness and diameter of the shims are changed at the factory to match your rider skill and terrain. Shims provide the ultimate in custom suspension tuning as you can set them up to be soft at slower speeds and stiffer at higher speeds or with larger jumps. You can change the slow, mid and high speed damping by using different thickness and diameters of shims in the shim stack and get the best all-around suspension performance.

Now how do you get adjustment? That is where the remote reservoir comes to play. There is a clicker knob which adjusts the size of the orifice controlling the oil coming into the remote reservoir. Adjusting the flow of oil into the reservoir affects the compression and gives you a place to do fine tuning.

Rear Shock

To match the new SCS shocks in the front, our rear shock was sent to Todd to be completely reworked. TCS will take your original Z400 shock and perform magic. The body is hard-anodized. It is changed to a two-spring zero preload setup. The travel is increased with an additional 5mm of shaft travel. A TCS piston kit is installed and the shock is valved for your weight, skill level, and type of riding that you do. All of this is done for only $400. You now have a complete custom rear shock at nearly half what a brand new one would cost you.


Two bolts and your front shocks are in place.
Attach the reservoir to the frame with the clamps and mounts provided.

TCS remote reservoir shocks in place on the front of our LT-Z450.
Here is the lower rear linkage with the rebuilt TCS Rear in place.


Project LT-Z450 at the finish line for Vegas to Reno, the longest off-road race in the United States.

We have put literally hundreds of hours on our TCS shocks with no sign of failure. This includes the BITD Vegas to Reno race which we completed after running for nearly 12 hours straight.

In this case, you actually get MORE than you pay for - TCS shocks are priced somewhat lower than some of the aftermarket shocks currently available and we have found no lack of performance. We have been very happy with our suspension choices on project LT-Z450.

Suggestions, comments, products you would like to see tested and installed on Project Quadsport Z450? Please let us know via Email.

  Contact Information

Total Control Suspension / TCS
561 Chaney Street
Unit E
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
909-245-7484 Newsletter
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