Shopping for a Project ATV, questions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kckndrgn, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Shopping around on CL for a "Project" to do this summer/fall. Something I need at my hunting location is a decent ATV, currently all I have is my feet or a small riding mower.

    I found a couple of ads on CL, indicating that the ATV "needs work", but I was wanting to find out from people with more experience with ATV's what I should look for?

    For example, this AD:
    I have a 1990 honda fourtrax 300 4 by 4 runs good it's fast but needs both CV the front with.out it the 4 by.4 dnt work only the 2 rear ones and has no brakes have any
    questions call/text (901) ••• •••• asking 400 or Maybe trade know wat u have

    Might be able to offer a bit less, I did a quick google and found the CV Axles and break parts online. It would be another couple hundred to fix both parts, but my question is what happened to the front CV Axles? Is the problem really in the transfer case?

    I'm handy enough with a wrench, but by skills stop short of an engine rebuild (though I'm sure I could get through it)

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have two '86 Honda 4Trax that have been run ragged, since they were New. Both have had Gas Tanks replaced, Carbs replaced, Brakes done, Batteries & Starters replaced, Ignition Switches replaced, and at least 4 Sets of Tires worn out. They both still run if we charge the Batteries, and put air in the leaky tires. They have been replaced by our Yamaha Rhino 660, which will do a lot more work.... .....
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I went with a Polaris Ranger for a number of reasons.
    The bench seat can hold 3 people (average size or less). It can run over 50 mph which none of the other side by side seating ATVs can do. It has a higher payload than most all the other SbyS ATVs. Higher suspension travel than the rest and as I recall, maybe incorrectly, better ground clearance. Boat loads of aftermarket assessories. Polaris started making a diesel version a couple years ago that gets over 40 mpg but it is big bucks. The 700 series from 7-8 years ago are starting to get reasonable in price. Biggest negative is their noise, when going 50+ mph you can hear it coming a half mile away in open terrain. US Army has latched onto the Rangers and has hundreds and hundreds of them.

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  4. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    i have artic cats and love em ...
    but just for around the hunting lease ....
    in LA u cant go wrong with a honmda big red 3 wheeler ... price is usually good and in my neck of the wood everyone has 2 or 3 rotting in the back yard for parts....
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    My personal experience with ATVs is nil. BUT, my personal experience with engine driven things tells me don't buy without laying eyes on it, verbal descriptions don't tell the tale, and pics usually don't either. Busted CV joints and no brakes points at abuse, methinks. How far is 901, close enough for a pre-buy look?
    stg58 likes this.
  6. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    @ghrit, yes it's in my neck of the woods and I would never buy w/o looking first. Someone saying "the engine doesn't smoke" means nothing to me. If I fire it up and the smoke is thick enough to run the mosquitos away, it's a no brainer that the engine needs some work.

    @KAS, I don't care for 3 wheelers, never have prolly never will.

    Thanks all for the input. I figured busted CV's would mean some sort of abuse, but how much? Breaks, could just be they never bothered to maintain them and wore them out, dunno.
  7. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I can't tell you much about ATVs ( I have never owned one) but I did build and rebuild all manner of driveshafts PTO's and CV shafts for a number of years. @kckndrgn , are you familiar with replacing u-joints?
  8. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    @kellory , yes I replaced/rebuilt the rear axle on an '88 F150 a couple of years ago, along with replacing all of the u-joints (that was a fun project)
    kellory likes this.
  9. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Good, then you already know not to let a roller bearing drop when pressing in the caps. That is about the hardest part of swapping out the u-_joints in CV joint (that and man handling it into the press) they don't like being straight.
    A press works best, but it can be done with a large C clamp and a socket or old u-joint cap to seat the new caps.
    I would suggest, if you are going to rebuild it, use the best ujoints you can find, like Spicer or Rockwell. They last longer.
  10. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    When looking at used ATV's take a look at the rear differential case. If the aluminum is gray or shiny, good. If it is stained brown or clay (dirt colors) color, look more closely at the machine for abuse. Allegedly to achieve this generally requires the differential to have gotten quite warm/hot while packed in mud to stain the aluminum an abnormal color. Had a guy who bought and sold hundreds of ATVs as kind of a side business tell me this is one of the key things he looks for. I don't know if this is a valid indicator but seemed a bit logical.

    Sapper John, BTPost and Georgia_Boy like this.
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