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By Jim Denton
I was gifted four King Quad 300's, they were used to tow portable snow guns around the slopes. All of the plastics are trashed and racks bent up from rolling down the mountain. The lone Quadrunner is a 98, and will be the initial point of focus, as it reportedly ran before being parked in the field of lost dreams.
Well, I bought the Axis 500 sold at Lowes for $8999 a couple days ago. This post will be about my impressions as I use, fix, and abuse the machine. I will add to the post as I gain experience with it.
Thanks to other posters on this site warning of new machines with loose hardware, one of my first actions was to crawl all over it checking fluids and connections. Zirks were all freshly greased, fluids in engine, and gear boxes were up to level. One of the little gas struts that help lift the bed to dump was dangling with only one end connected, and the other strut had not been fully tightened.
Here are some things I don't like:
The rear gearbox does not have a differential in it. It is essentially a solid axle. Tight turns on lawn will leave tracks, and turns are not as tight on pavement. In my case this won't matter much, but if you plan to use it on a lawn, this will create tracks on turns.
To check engine oil you need to remove both front seats and a plastic cover. This according to the manual. I'm pretty sure it can be checked with that stuff in place, either from under or above, but that remains to be seen.
I am not used to a CVT transmission. I am used to a clutch and multiple gears. This one requires giving it plenty of gas out of the hole and then backing off to get it to shift up. I'm sure I will get used to it, but I'd like to be able to take off quietly if I want to.
The doors have bungie cords to act as springs to close them. I removed the driver door so I would not need to fight the constant pressure to close. Problem solved. I will leave the passenger door as is. Gotta keep the grandkids safe.
The status display is hard to read if the sun is on it.
Here is some stuff I like:
I was concerned about there being enough torque to slowly climb a steep hill. There is. I will elaborate more on this when I've had it on my steeper trails.
The display has dedicated lights to indicate status of gear position, low oil pressure, over temp, and a bunch of other stuff. This helps a beginner with feedback that an action taken was successful.
The sparsity of knobs on the tires dig in well on most surfaces. I bet they wear out fast on pavement.
The tilt bed has a tail gate that is easy to operate. Much like early Japan pickups.
Steering is responsive and little slack. Remains to be seen how long to get loose since the u-joints are operating at quite sharp angles.
Seats are pretty nice. Will be interesting to see how long it will take me to poke a screw driver though them.
Seat belts are included to hold grand kids in. Won't go over 5 mph if both aren't buckled. Yeah, it works to buckle them empty. Doing this leaves the belt high on back, so you don't have to sit on it.
Hauling it home, my trailer wheel wells were too close together to clear the tires of the UTV. This required driving it off center a bit, with one set of tires inside the wells and one side driving over the wheel well. Creeping over the one well required climbing a 10 inch vertical well. The ability to lock the front axle differential kept both front wheels pulling as I drove the one side up and over the wheel well. The guys at Lowes were impressed. They won't touch any but an unobstructed flat trailer loading.
As I gain more experience I will add to this topic,
Hi guys. Wanted to share a tip. When doing rear diff work and you don’t have the tool for the pinion nut. Go to your hardware store and buy black cast piping . Grind nut down to fit in kawi nut . Be sure to buy the pipe with ID large enough to fit over pinion
So got my Quad and in a matter of four weeks it's proved a game changer in my hunting prep. I used it to haul all the material to build a suspension bridge across the creek in the back of my property. That creek is a ankle deep trickle mostly except when it rains and then its up to my waist or higher. Kinda limits access during rain. Secondly iI hauled all my stands, climbing sticks and equipment out using the quad. So nice to have the mechanical muscle now.
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