Your Can Am X3 is great but don’t let these shortcomings hold you back.
We love the Can Am X3- its an extraordinary platform with a very robust powertrain and insane growth potential. Needless to say, there are a small set of issues that plague these cars from the showroom floor. This isn’t going to be your typical ‘ASAP Upgrades’ article where we try and convince you that you NEED some ridiculous $800 lightbar or that you NEED a windshield. We’re talking essentials here with a few niceties thrown in the mix, help us help you.
Let’s Talk Tacos.
We’re going to be talking about tacos here but maybe not the kind that you’re envisioning. We’re talking about your FRONT LOWER control arms.
So what’s the issue here? Well if you look at the back of your front lower control arms, you’ll notice a nice little bend that was designed into the arms. Unfortunately, this is the most common failure point for your control arms on the Can Am X3 (see picture above). As the heading implies, this portion of the arm likes to fold up or ‘taco’ on itself. It’s a quick way to ruin your riding weekend and doesn’t take much force to induce. You can actually buy a ‘weld-in’ anti-taco kit BUT you really should consider some better control arms to ensure the well-being of your offroad ‘investment’. We recommend HCR for some insanely strong chassis parts- they have a brand new lineup of super affordable control arms, the HCR Sport Line, just for your 72″ X3.
The Front ‘Not So Bulk’ Bulkhead.
Yep! We said it, the front bulkhead or subframe of the Can Am X3 is notoriously weak and inadequately designed for the rigors of offroad riding. If you’ve ever noticed, the ‘gussets’ and ‘plating’ used on the X3 is paper thin. The attachment points for your control arms (see above) are made out of this same thin steel and can easily bend/deform over time. What’s more common than this, however, is the tendency of the corresponding bolt holes to ‘oval-out’. The single shear setup of the X3 frontend often leads to loose bolts and resultantly, wallowed holes. Once this occurs, the frontend of your X3 will be forever loose, adding significant undue stress to all of your components. It’s exponentially easier to fix this shortcoming from the get-go than after the fact. We recommend SuperATV for some awesome, and highly affordable, double-shear gussets for the X3 front bulkhead.
Your Lower Radius Rods.
They may look strong and they may look adequate but do not be fooled! The radius rods on the very back of your X3 sound like a tin can when you drop them- we have no idea how they pulled it off but these things are dangerously light, waiting to bend. The greatest problem with the radius rods is how dependent the rear-end of the X3 is on this component. If your radius rod bends bad enough, and it eventually will depending on how you ride, you likely will incur a bent trailing arm and a broken axle. This can make a relatively low-cost, preventative fix (just swapping out some lower radius rods) a very expensive repair. Many people will just buy aftermarket lower radius rods, as they often bend first and are much cheaper than a full set, for the peace of mind here. For most people, this is a perfectly fine avenue to keep your X3 safe. If, of course, you ride hard we would highly recommend buying the full set. Your call!
It’s Time for an Intercom
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk accessories. We understand that an intercom setup can be a costly upgrade, at least several hundred dollars, but it is absolutely one of the best upgrades for your UTV. No more yelling and stopping for a conversation- you can PEACEFULLY talk on the fly while ripping around in your UTV. Especially with a nice headset, you will effectively eliminate most of the wind and engine noise over the course of your trail ride. At the end of the day, your body will thank you: no more coarse voices from the shouting and less fatigue from the absence of wind and engine noise. If you ride with other UTVs, the addition of a radio will be an equally incredible transformation as you can talk with everyone in your group whenever you please. As you would imagine, this makes the day’s trail ride so much more fun. These upgrades, as we see it, are ones that we simply would never ride without. It’s tough to understand the value initially but once you use a radio/intercom in your UTV, you’ll never go back to the way things were previously. We trust Rugged Radios for all of our communications needs- the customer service is awesome and the products are even better.
And Finally, How About Some Seats.
Oh yes, you need some seats. The factory seats on your X3 are so firm, transferring every single bump directly to the driver/passenger. When your trail ride is over, you shouldn’t have to deal with all of the fatigue from the day’s adventure. The difference when you ride in a UTV with quality seats, such as PRP, is night and day. All of a sudden, the ride becomes incredibly smooth and exponentially more enjoyable. Especially if your looking for an upgrade to make your X3 standout, PRP seats are the perfect compliment: you can literally design the color scheme on these seats exactly as you would like. Some people will recommend suspension work to relieve the bumpiness but honestly, a quality set of PRP suspension seats will suit the casual trail rider much better. Once you make this upgrade, you will never look back and will have a hard time riding in other people’s UTVs with factory seats.
Driver of the #428 Draco Motorsports Polaris RZR. Co-Driver for the #804 Can-Am X3 during King of the Hammers. Ultra4!!