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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-12-2002, 11:14 PM
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2001 400ex front end alignment/ - NEED HELP!!

I bought this quad about 3 weeks ago. I have noticed that it can make sharper right hand turns than left. After looking the front end over I found that the "steering stem" is bent. The original owner just adjusted the steering arms to offset the damage. Well, I bent back the steering stem as much as I could by hand. It is still bent a little - but the bars and the bottom part where the arms bolt on are pretty much aligned together now. There is a slight bend side to side in the stem that I can't get out without taking the front end apart and putting the stem in a vice to straighten. Anyway, would I just be better off buying a whole new steering stem and getting the "alingment" done from there? I also noticed that my quad seems very "skittish" - like the front wheels are not aligned and fighting each other a little. The wheels look straight - but can you actually adjust them enough by eyeballing it? Also, I noticed that the front wheels "tilt" or camber in a little. By using a framing square (quad was on level concrete) I found that one wheel has about a quarter inch more camber or tilt-in to it. I looked real hard but could see nothing else that looked bent or tweaked on the frame or a-arms. Anyway, I need some help from you experts on what I should do. I adjusted the alignment as good as I could be eyeball - but the quad still seems a little skittish side to side. Should I just take it to my local atv shop and have them get a new steering stem and look for any other probs and have them align it or should I just live with it for now? I mean, I can ride it fine the way it is, but of course I want it to be right - and I also don't want to have the poor alignment cause any other probs down the road. I realize that this isn't a car and that the alignment probably isn't as important on a quad, but I don't want to be fighting my quad all the time either. Your advice/knowledge would be greatly apprectiated!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2002, 03:22 PM
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Re: 2001 400ex front end alignment/ - NEED HELP!!

sounds like the previous owner crashed it and screwed the front up...to make the wheels so the dont fight eachother just adjust the tie rods until it drives the was it should..i owuld get a new steering stem, prefeably aftermarket the stck ones are junk, and then just adjust the tie rods to the stock setting
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2002, 10:14 PM
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Re: 2001 400ex front end alignment/ - NEED HELP!!

Thanx, 98warrior.... I took it in to my local shop today and they told me how to fix it. I had already bent the steering stem back pretty straight by myself. The front wheels were "toe'd in" pretty badly (about an inch - no wonder it was skittish). They told me to take a tape measure and hook on to the treads of the tires on the same spot on the front and back of the tires and adjust it until the measurments were the same. It worked very well - I should have thought of that myself. I did try to measure in between the inside of the rims but could never get a good measurement that way. I also found out why the right front tire was tilting in a little more than the left. The bolt that attaches the top a-arm was loose. I tightened it and every thing straightend up well. After the adjustments I rode it and everything felt much better - it didn't have that "skittish" feeling any more. Pretty nice of my local shop to tell me how to fix it for free! Now I can spend those extra bucks on some other upgrade for my bike. BTW, I put a white bros e-series silencer on this weekend and 6 of those "breather buttons" in the air box lid. My bike has some more get up and go now!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2002, 11:02 PM
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Re: 2001 400ex front end alignment/ - NEED HELP!!

Some more info on setting up your front-end....

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