+ Keep an eye on your axle bearings
Check your axle bearings at regular intervals. Pull the axle out. Turn the bearings with your fingers, if they roll smooth and even, they they are good
+ Keep your bearings waterproof and put your freezer to work
Whenever you take your bearings out, or putting seals in, put gasket material on the outside of the seal to make it more waterproof. Or, before putting bearings in, put them in the freezer for a couple of hours... it shrinks them, making them easier to put in.
+ How do I know if my axle bearings are worn?
Check for worn axle bearings by putting your quad on a stand, grabbing the rear tire from the side, and wiggling it back and forth, looking for signs of sloppiness.
+ How do I check my wheel bearings or ball joints?
Check for worn ball joints or wheel bearings on the front end by doing the same check with your front tires, putting your quad on a stand, grabbing the rear tire from the side, and wiggling it back and forth, looking for signs of sloppiness.
+ How to make removing and installing bearings easier
When removing bearings from cases, use a propane torch to heat the case or housing, this will make the housing let go of the bearing. Freeze the new bearing prior to installation. It will easily drop into its bore.
+ Remember to grease your shock pivot bearings
Shock pivot bearings need to be greased occasionally just like all other pivot points.
+ Do you have brake drums? Here's a water-proofing tip
If you remove the brake drums on a Honda utility or 4x4 quad, make sure you apply a thick coat of water-proof grease to the rubber dust seal as this is the primary barrier to water entering the brake drum.
+ Mud and water riders should pay attention to brakes and wheel bearings
Mud riders will also want to pay particular attention to their brakes and wheel bearings. If you ride in water and mud that is axle deep, you should remove the tires and brake drums and clean out any accumulation of grit. If you don't, you will eventually ruin $200 worth of wheel bearings and brake pads before their time.
+ Keep an eye on your brake foot pedal
Riding in lots of water could cause your foot brake pedal to eventually rust up. Soak the shaft in penetrating oil to help keep it from rusting and freezing up.
+ Customize your clutch and brake levers
The angle of the clutch and brake levers may not be right for all riders. If you're an aggressive rider and stand up a lot, angle the levers downward.
+ Transfer power to the wheels on the ground
If your ATV gets stuck with one wheel spinning wildly in the air and one on the ground not getting any traction at all, try tapping the front brake. This will often be enough to activate the positive traction feature of your front axle and transfer power to the wheel with more traction.
+ How to properly lube your cables
The only way to properly lube your cables is with a cable luber. The difference it can make with clutch and brake action is incredible.
+ Don't forget to change the brake fluid
Once brake fluid has boiled, it will boil easier again. Change the fluid if you use your brakes to the point where they fade.
+ In transportation use your parking brake, not your gearbox
Don't leave your machine in gear to keep from moving in the back of your truck, this will damage the gearbox in a hurry. Utilize your parking brake, cinch it in place, or zip-tie around the front brake lever.
+ Every 500 miles important maintenance tip
This tip is from Mike Reid from Sudbury, Ontario Canada - Brake Seal Wheel Seals are expensive, so every 500 miles or so, remove your front hubs, rear axle hubs, and brake drums, and coat the seals with marine grease - this will stop water from getting the brakes, and the axle seals won't dry up and leak.
+ What maintenance is required for chain driven ATV's?
Side Winder products make a new chain lubricant called P-51. This chain lube is especially designed for O-ring chains and doesn't fling off, dry out or attract dirt and grit like conventional chain lubes can. Also, unlike WD-40, which can dry out the O-rings and cause premature chain wear, P-51 keeps them lubricated and operating at peak efficiency.
+ I need to replace my chain, any tips?
Even though O-ring chains cost more, they are more than worth the extra money. Don't skimp when it comes time to replace your chain.
+ Do I need special tools to remove flywheels?
You do need special tools to remove flywheels. In many cases if you remove a flywheel with a universal puller, it will ruin the flywheel. Use the right tool for the right job.
+ Always remember to turn your fuel petcock off
Always remember to turn your fuel petcock off. Believe it or not, gravity will cause the carburetor to flood. Be sure and always carry a spare spark plug in the correct heat range for your machine should it flood out.
+ Metal gas cans are better than plastic
If you use gas out of a plastic gas can, make sure you rotate the gas through it regularly. Gasoline deteriorates more rapidly in plastic cans than it does in metal cans.
+ Increase octane and make your own race gas
You can make your own race gas by mixing premium pump gas with octane extender and get an octane rating of around 104.
+ Avitation gas and higher octane fuel
AV gas is not necessarily the hot setup for racing engines. The octane ratings on Aviation gas don't include a motor knock test that is included in the testing of race and pump gas. This additional test can change the octane rating of the fuel and show AV gas as having a higher octane rating than it actually does. AV gas is also harder starting in colder weather. Therefore, it is not as good a value as some riders might think. Always consult your engine builder before using AV gas.
+ Increase air intake to lean out
This tip is from Pat Disney of Walker, LA. I installed a High Lifter High Performance Kit on my 2002 Honda Rancher 4x4. I had a hard time leaning it out, so I decided to put on a snorkel to increase air flow. I then decided instead to cut an air intake inlet opening at the top of the gas tank at a 45 degree angle, to let in more air and lean it out perfectly.
+ Keep the dust from sticking to your lense
If you are going to ride in dust, try using Moose Dustr on your goggles. It really keeps the dust from sticking to the outside and inside of the lens.
+ Keep oil on the foam to keep dust out
Before riding in sand or dusty conditions, pour vegetable oil on the foam around your goggles. It will help keep debris from dropping in.
+ Keep your motor cool for more horsepower
High Lifter carries an engine cooling kit for both air-cooled and liquid-cooled 4-stroke ATVs, as well as 2-stroke, liquid-cooled quads. The kits consist of exhaust wrap tape, additives for the engine and coolants that help lower operating temperatures of these machines quite dramatically. They are a great way to keep your motor running cooler and cut down on heat-related horsepower loss.
+ Rethink the oversized tires for max power
Oversized tires suck up horsepower. Make sure you really need them before making the swap.
+ Aftermarket exhaust and horsepower gains
Aftermarket exhaust pipes generally add more horsepower to two-strokes than four-strokes. A good four-stroke pipe can bring in ten to 20 percent more horsepower, but most pipes make more noise as well.
+ Easiest and cheapest horsepower gains
The cheapest and easiest horsepower gain can be had by venting the airbox lid and re-jetting the carb. Remember to tape the lid back up if you're going to run in the mud.
+ Remember your clutch when adding more horsepower
Any time you modify the engine, there is more load put on the clutch. Keep it in shape with heavy-duty clutch springs if you've added more than 20 percent to the horsepower.
+ Thinking about adding aftermarket lights?
When adding aftermarket lights, run about 50 watts less than what your rewound stator can handle. This helps keep your lights brighter at low rpm.
+ Looking for better lighting? Here's a tip
This is from Mark Mitchell. If you're looking for better lighting for your ATV, then the Moose headlight kit is a great idea. I have a Polaris Expedition and with this kit at 120,000 candle power it lights up the whole trail ahead. Also, for people looking for more ground clearance, I purchased a lift kit for my Polaris Expedition from High Lifter and it took me from 7.5 inches up to 11 inches of ground clearance, on stock tires and rims. Thank you High Lifter for helping me bring my stock Expedition to a high riding mud machine. Bought the big wheel kit, but it would have never worked without your lift kit. I now sit 4 inches higher than a Sportsman 500. Thanks again High Lifter.
+ Upgrade shocks now to save money later on
If you love jumping your ATV and you bottom your suspension regularly, you need to upgrade your shocks or rebuild them. Excessive bottoming will fatigue the frame and swingarm costing you even more money in the long run.
+ Engine sputtering in water?
If your machine starts sputtering and missing while crossing streams, then you probably need to either get a new waterproof spark plug cap or apply dielectric grease to the spark plug boot. You should be able to find the grease in any auto parts store.
+ Access your spark plug easier
Cut the flap on the front of the rear fender on LT-80s. This allows you to access the spark plug much easier.
+ Always check new spark plug gap
Always check the gap on a new spark plug - there's no such thing as a pre-gapped plug.
+ How much air pressure should I run in my tires?
Do not run excessively low air pressure in your ATV's tires. Too low an air pressure (3 pounds or less) can cause the bead on the tire to become unseated and flatten the tire. It will then be much more difficult to fix in the field. A good range is between five to seven pounds. Also, for severe mud, use the higher air pressure since doing that will make your tires a little taller and add some ground clearance.
+ Increase tire size to overcome the rev limiter
If your four-stroke is hitting the rev limiter a lot, change to larger diameter tires to increase your speed without overreving the engine.
+ Achieve custom grooving with this tool
TT and MX racers do a lot of custom grooving on their tires. The White Brothers Tire Groover Tool sells for $75.
+ Don't get stuck with a flat tire
This is from Pat Disney of Walker, LA - Always carry a small container of various sized (mainly short & fat) sheet metal screws in your pocket when riding. If the terrain you're in has lots of big thorns, the screws plus the Air Lock Tire Sealant will get you back to civilization, unless you're running tube-type tires.
+ What are some safety tips for towing?
When towing a friend out of the mud, be sure to attach your tow strap (never use chains) at a low point on the quad that is about the same height as the axle. That gives you the best drive when pulling another quad.
+ Consider aftermarket cams for these results
Cams control the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves. There are aftermarket cams designed for more low-end, mid-range or top-end power.
+ What are the advantages of having wheel spacers?
If you ride in the mud a lot then you might want to add a set of wheel spacers to your quad. This will increase the stability on side hills and allow you a wider track over the ruts left by previous quad riders.
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