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Here's a good article and video on the basics when it comes to ATV front end wheel alignments.
When you hear the words front end alignment what comes to mind? Automobiles and potholes may be the first thought. There are other four wheeled vehicles out there running over a lot more than potholes. ATVs and side-by-sides live hard lives crawling over rocks, hauling loads, and crossing trails no other man-made vehicle would dare.
One of the most basic services these vehicles call for is the adjustment of the toe-in of the front wheels. The Suzuki Eiger LT-F-400F calls for this to be checked initially after 100 mi. or 1 month of use, and every 600 mi. or 3 months for the rest of its operational life. Be it a Yamaha Banshee, 50cc mini-quad, or Kawasaki Mule this is a periodic maintenance item that is essentially the same no matter the scale of machine.
Toe-in specifically refers to the amount the front wheels are pigeon toed. At axle level the center of the front tires are closer in the front than in the back. Most ATVs and side-by-sides call for the front wheels to be slightly pigeon toed to parallel.
Keeping the toe-in aliment in specification and adjusted correctly is important for performance, safety, and tire wear. If the front end of the vehicle is in a toe-out position, duck footed, the tires will wear more rapidly and the vehicle will be inherently unstable. In addition, if the toe-in adjustment is in specification but it has been improperly adjusted it may put excess strain on the steering components.
The first step in checking the toe-in is to check the tire pressure. Make sure the tire pressure set correctly in all four tires. The air pressure in the front tires should be as close to the same as possible. Place the vehicle on a level surface and position the steering straight ahead. Be sure to check with the appropriate service manual to see if there are any extra specifics for the vehicle. The Suzuki Eiger for example calls for the vehicle to be weighted as to simulate the rider.
Make a chalk mark on the front, center of each front tire at the height of the front axle. If available set up a toe gauge so that the pointers line up with the chalk marks.
Measure the distance between the front chalk marks. Record this measurement as A. Rotate the front wheels 180° so the marks remain at axle height, but are now facing to the rear. Record the distance between the marks on the backside of the tires as B.
Subtract the front measurement A from the rear measurement B to calculate the toe-in. If the number is negative you have a toe-out condition. Compare your toe-in figure with the factory specification found in the vehicles service manual.
To adjust the toe-in loosen the lock nuts on the tie-rods. The outer tie-rod lock nuts often have left hand threads.
Turn the tie rods with a wrench at the flats to change the toe-in. Be sure to evenly adjust the left and right tie-rods for proper alignment. Check with the service manual to see if there are any specifications for the length of the tire rods or the amount of threads that should be showing. If the tie-rods are not adjusted according to the OEM specifications the proper toe-in may be achieved, but the vehicle will not steer correctly and it could be at risk of breaking a tie-rod.
When the adjustment is correct hold the tie-rod flats and tighten the lock nuts to specification against each side of the tie-rod. Take a slow test ride to make sure the steering functions correctly.
Check out this additional video on ATV wheel alignments:
Ok so I have taken the front hubs apart everything is good and working fluids changed and full In 2 wheel drive the bike works great However in 4 wheel drive high I get a grinding clunking noise right near the foot pegs The universals are all brand new in the complete bike The problem just started after my last ride Sometimes I have to change the rpm to get the bike to go into gear in forward and reverse The bike doesn't make the grinding noise when I have the bike in 4 wheel driver low gear only in high gear Could the shifter need adjusting any help would be great Thanks for your time
the problem with the four wheel drive is instrument indicator will not go to two wheel selection in resonable time. cold or warm same. i have noticed occasional clunk from front differential on de-exceleration sometimes. advice or solution needed, thanks.
Hey there all,
First off thanks for the board. My Bayou 220 has survived 3 teenagers and is on its 4th now. Up until recently it has been a virtual tank....until I decided to fix it;)
Noticed some smoking from the engine block (not exhaust) so figured it was time for a quick top end rebuild. Now that I have it all back together, it fails to start. I've pulled the starter rope until my arm is tired.
So I will be as detailed as possible and hopefully get some help.
-New Head gasket
-New Valve seals
-New piston (standard)
-New rings (standard)
-All new seals
-Cleaned up head and valves (didn't do any resurfacing, as it all cleaned up pretty easy)
-All torqued to spec
-Piston ring gaps all checked out
-Valve clearances (Intake: .18mm, Exhaust .20mm). Not too tight, not too loose.
-Engine IS making decent compression
-DO have spark
-Will fire for a split second if I drop some gas in the spark plug hole and pull start. Will NOT from carb and or intake valve.
So I followed the guide of: TDC
-Flywheel aligns on the “T” mark on the engine site hole
-Cam gear mark aligned with the cover mark
Seeing as this is my first time doing a top end rebuild on an ATV. Here are my questions and concerns:
-I didn't realize (dummy me) that there are 2 TDC's. 1- Compression, 1-Exhaust.
How do I know if I'm on the right one?
-Does the cam need to be aligned a certain way when put back in? I just aligned the cam gear dimple with the cam and put it in. No alignment.
Thanks ahead of time. I feel like I'm 90% there, but I'm missing an important step for completion.
Looking for advice on what to try next I bought this quad and it’s has spark and fuel but won’t stay running only fires when I hold the starter button in even when spraying gas into the carb it still dies right away oil was milky white so I was thinking it maybe went under water 150 psi compression so I might be wrong but not a head gasket I am stuck Cause it should stay running with the straight gas through the carb so what should I try
Hello i have a linhai 300 of the 2004+- era. I had a cluch problem so we changed it. After changing it has a hard time to start going. When you pop it into gear and press the gas it barely drives but when it starts going about 20km/h it start driving well the acceleration is normal and everything do you have any idea of what could be the problem
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