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New purchase: Lowes, Hisun, Axis 500


geezer99

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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,

tom

 

 

 

 

Edited by geezer99
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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's an update to my Axis 500 experience:

There is an annoying amount of gear noise any time the engine is pulling or using engine braking.  It reminds me of an old late 40s vintage truck in low gear I drove working for a dairy in the 60s.  I don't know if it comes from front or rear axle gear boxes, or the transmission.  I checked all for proper fill and they were correct.

I am not experienced with the CVT transmission.  It annoys me that I have to rev the crap out of the engine to "git 'er going".  After reaching desired speed, I can back off the throttle and cruise with a reasonable engine RPM.

Tools that came with it included a special wrench to adjust the stiffness of the springs.  It is stamped from soft steel, and rounded off the knobs that engage the spring adjusters on first use.  On the front suspension I got the job done with a big-as* water pump pliers.  But that won't work on the rear, and I need to find or make a descent tool for long term use.

I've only got about 6 hours on it so far.  The little beauty is filling it's role well so far.  Will keep you posted on developments.

tom

Edited by geezer99
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  • 2 months later...

Well, it's been three months since I bought the Axis 500.  I've got about 60 miles on it in approximately 40 uses.  No problems to report.

There are some things that annoy me though:

Worst is the gear noise.  I reported that last time, but it doesn't seem to be changing.

The safety inter locks are also annoying.  I leave the seat belts clipped together all the time except when I take my grand-kids on a ride.  Gotta be a good example, you know.

In order to change between H, L, R, you have to step on the brakes hard, or it won't shift.

I really like the dump box for the stuff I do. 

I used the winch to pull a log off one of my trails.  The winch seems to be a realistic size, and can skid all four tire.  No need for a bigger one.

Chores I used to use a wheelbarrow for,  I use the buggy. 

I need a better name for it.  whoopy, buggy, quad, ATV,  whatever?

tom

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23 hours ago, geezer99 said:

I need a better name for it.  whoopy, buggy, quad, ATV,  whatever?

I like the name UTV, utility terrain vehicle. We run a Kubota RTV (they call them rugged terrain vehicles) on the farm and I don't think I could ever go back to not having one. It's literally used more than the tractor. Only job it doesn't do as well as a quad is chase cows as it's top speed is about 1 mile an hour faster than a cow haha. That being said, they are not really any fun to "play" with, they are made to work.

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A roll cage is a safety feature that is designed to protect the occupants of an off-road vehicle (ORV) in the event of a rollover or other accidents. While a roll cage itself is not an accessory, there are roll cage accessories that can enhance the safety and functionality of your polaris rzr accessories. Here are a few examples:

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Remember to choose roll cage accessories that are compatible with your specific ORV model and that meet safety standards.

 

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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 polaris rzr accessories 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.

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On 5/3/2023 at 9:30 AM, radhrv said:

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 polaris rzr accessories. 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.

 

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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Just did y first engine oil change.  It was a messy pain in the as*.  Access to oil drain is through a small opening in the belly pan.  While I like the concept of underside protection, this pan has many holes of varying sizes.  There is no way to avoid a gush of oil onto the hand or tool unscrewing the drain plug.  Even if you use a really big oil drain pan, it runs out many holes and makes a big mess.

The oil filter is even worse.  It is located horizontally, near the top of the engine, in a valley.  There is no good way to remove it without a mess to clean up.

tom

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I know the feeling been there, go through a hole, lay down on your back, make sure you go through the right hole, my  drain plug was like 21 or 22 mm couldnt find a short socket that big, so had to put something in the deepwell to keep the bolt from falling down in there so i could start the bolt back in the engine, with long extension, lot of messing around for a 5 minute job. Luckily my oil filter was easy, screw on type. 

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  • 2 months later...

Almost a year on the Lowes-Axis 500.  It was dying at idle unless I gave it some throttle.  That made shifting into gear result in a big lurching clunk.  This problem was intermittent.

I first checked the fuel injector.  I removed it and let it spray into a coffee can.  It made a nice even spray.  I used a magnifying lens to examine the nozzle.  It had no signs of contamination nor poor geometry.  The coil measured a reasonable resistance, and banging it with a screwdriver handle made no difference in coil resistance.  Neither did flexing the wires make any change.

So I reinstalled the injector and unplgged and repluged every electrical connector in sight of the engine compartment.  Yahoo.  For over a month now it has been running fine.

As an avid tinkerer and builder of electronic projects, I have noticed how many faults turn out to be poor electrical connections.  I guess the moral of this story is that before replacing electrically driven parts, check all connections that are remotely related to the  system under suspicion. 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

tom

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Damn right Geezer. I'm always amazed how many people present a long list of parts they have replaced to try and fix a problem, but they haven't checked for broken wires or bad connections..

If your problem comes back you better check all the connections one at a time, trying the bike for a day or two to make sure which connection it is.. haha..  I hate it when I inadvertently fix the problem but don't know what it was I'd done.

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14 minutes ago, Mech said:

Damn right Geezer. I'm always amazed how many people present a long list of parts they have replaced to try and fix a problem, but they haven't checked for broken wires or bad connections..

If your problem comes back you better check all the connections one at a time, trying the bike for a day or two to make sure which connection it is.. haha..  I hate it when I inadvertently fix the problem but don't know what it was I'd done.

I'm with you on testing one thing (connection) at a time.  But, I'm impatient.  So did 'em all.  I figured if the symptom comes back, I'll use the systematic approach.  I did examine each connector as I went, but did not see any obvious problem. 

If the saga continues, I'll update this post.  Thanks for the reply, your advise is great.

tom

Edited by geezer99
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  • 6 months later...

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