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We find ourselves running in circles trying to get ready for the weekend's ride, and checking the oil along with adding some fuel are the only things on our mind. When trouble starts it's usually something that could have been prevented. CV joints are no stranger to this as they reside in the line of fire from all trail obstacles, so take the time to inspect the boots before you ride to prevent a costly disaster.
All Tied Up
Having several projects in the shop at one time is the norm for our crew. The amount of parts can be staggering and small parts come up missing very often. When building motors, covers on the engine can be off for days and even weeks thus increasing the chance of lost items. So to fix this perplexing problem I just zip-tie the bolt into the cover it came out of until I need to reinstall them both.
After a recent front end service on the shop's Rhino we found ourselves stuck with a pile of trash and product packages that normally would end up in the round file immediately. After looking over the high-priced containers our ball joints came in I found a use for repurposing these little storage boxes. Plastic push-pins and rubber tank hold-downs were just some of the parts I could store in these little gems, and instantly I had a bit more organization as well.
Keeping It Tight
Many parts on your ATV or SxS are held on by torque, and others are held on by a combination of torque and mechanical engineering. The large nut that holds the hub on many axles is peened into the keyway on the axle to keep it from backing off during trail time. When servicing the axle it's not recommended to reuse the stake nut. After all, would you let a $10 part cause an end to a great day of riding?
Changing ball joints can be a mind-altering job, to say the least. There is never enough room to work on these little devils, and the tolerances are so tight that it can be hard to get the new part in without killing it first. Putting the ball joint in the freezer for a few hours before an install will make the ball joint go in its seat just a little easier!
That ATV looked so good coming out of the dealer's showroom and into your truck, but will you still feel that way after the first few muddy weekend getaways? Keeping your ride looking close to new is as easy as buying some adhesive-backed clear 12 mil vinyl from the local sign shop and covering the areas of plastic that get rubbed the most during a ride. A good set of custom graphics will do the trick also.