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Warning...critical maintenace info

4931 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Corndog
We had a recent thread where we had some dissagreement on running non OEM wheel offsets and bigger tires...etc. This thread is not meant to convince you to not run big wheels or funky offsets. This thread is to recommend the following critical maintenance YOU SHOUL PERFORM that could keep you from damaging expensive Rincon parts or even more expensive human body parts.

Here is how to check your rear suspension out.

To eliminate rear end bag pipes sound.

1) Remove your seat and push rear suspension up and down and listen or feel for which side is making the noise. Noise comes from “dry” upper shock bushing 90% of the time. You can feel vibration in shock from the side that needs attention or you can just do both sides. Mine never does it on both sides at the same time, so I just fix what is squeaking…and do only one side at a time.
2) Place jack under rear in center of trailer hitch. I do this repair without removing the wheels which makes it quicker. Before lifting, use ratchet on head of bolt (under seat) that is at top of shock and box wrench on the backside of shock head on the nut. Remove the nut; leave the bolt in for now. Sit with your crotch against rear wheel and one leg in front of and behind the wheel. Slowly raise screw jack while pushing on bolt, when shock is at sweet spot and has no load in it, the bolt will slide right out.
3) Let top of shock rotate down toward rear end and then remove inner shaft (hollow cylinder that shock bolt goes through) from top of shock. You may need to drive it out which requires rear wheel and shock removal. If you keep up with this maintenance 1 or 2 times a year the inner cylinder will just slide out. The friction is occurring between the cylinders outer surface and the inner surface of the shock bushing…NOT BETWEEN THE BOLT AND THE CYLINDER. When you look at the cylinder removed from the shock head you will see the polished areas that are squeaking.
4) Clean up the outer surface of the cylinder and the inner surface of the shock bushing with light Emory cloth or similar. Grease up everything, even the bolt which can run dry, so all will be quiet.
5) Slip cylinder in the shock head and reposition shock back up between the ears of the mount. Bolt should slide right back in with minimum of fuss because it’s still lined up from the jack you still have under the trailer hitch. Tighten bolt to 25 ft-lbs (I think, check book). Rear end will be quiet.
6) If all you remove and grease is the bolt….you didn’t correct the issue. The bolt should be torqued, if you loosen bolt some to “correct” squeak all you are doing is letting shock rotate at the wrong place and you can trash the shock mounts.

Now, while you are at it, check the next thing that WILL wear out on the rear end. If you run offset wheels or heavy wheels this place will wear even quicker. The place I am referring to is the upper knuckle bushings that the long shaft that goes through the upper A arm and the lower shock bearing rides in. Mine unfortunately is toasted badly on the left, the right side feels like new but has been previously replaced. So I have new knuckle pivot bushings, inner, and outer grease seal on order. I may even need a lower shock bushing too, which I will order if available. To check this pivot quickly and easily, jack rear end up until wheel is hanging about ½ inch above floor. Grab tire at 12 and 6 position and twist it up and down. The play you feel is this pivot or the wheel bearing. You may need a friend to rock the wheel while you check where movement is occurring. It won’t be hard to identify. None of the pivots should have any lateral or radial play…they should just rotate.

The last time I did this on the right, I was able to get the old bushings out without removing the knuckle, thus leaving the wheel hub and axle installed. I will finish this write up later in the week with pictures of the knuckle bushing repair for my Rincon friends.

The next place to check is the front upper a arm bushings…particularly the rear one of the pair. These wear out about every 3000 miles. The lower front shock bearing should be replaced at about the same time. Check just like the rear…jack up quad without weight on front wheels and just pull and twist on things to look for play anywhere. A little play at the upper a arms is OK, you be the judge how much is too much. This repair has been detailed by myself and others so I am skipping the details on this one for now. You can even install a grease zerk on this a arm if you like, I just regrease mine annually by removing the bolt.

And lastly…check both the inner and outer tie rode ends.

My experience is the rear knuckle bushings will go south at around 5000 miles. The front upper a arm bushings at around 3000 miles. This is on a quad with stock wheels and 25 inch big horns that almost never goes under water and rarely gets mud bogged. I do ride fast and that is what hammers the suspension on mine.

My rear knuckle is bad enough right now that the ATV is out of service except for yard work until I get my bushings in and R&R them. Last fall when I checked it, the bushings were just a little worn.

Ride safely, and don’t let your wheels fall off and pass you up going down the trails.
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I just found out the upper knuckle bushings are not available from honda...if anybody has a part number for them.....HELP ME. I replaced the lowers last time and they are available....sheaaat.

If not, I will need the entire knuckle assebly that comes with all bushings installed and wheel bearings pressed in also. It runs $140. But all I need are the 2 bushings each side of the shock.

P.S. - I have already PMd you BKR and ATV guru.

Also, does anybody have a set of stock rear shocks for sale. I do not want ones with HL springs...I want the originals please...or just 1 if the other you have is wasted.
Is that guy ATVtech (Sp?) still on here? He maybe could help out with the parts too Corndog.

Good write-up. Look forward to your pics and play by play.
Moose Utility sales a rebuild kit for the rear a-arms and knuckle. It has everything except the wheel bearing and wheel seals.
pm parkgt . He had some springs and shocks for sale a while back.
Just finished doing my upper a-arm bushings, 3 of 4 tie-rod ends, right lower ball joint and new left front hub assembly. Quoted $1100 from the local Honda dealer but instead picked up the parts for $300 and did it myself. 9000km on my machine. Tracks probably didn't help much.
Thank you grumpy...I will check with them. The bushings are different than the ones available for the a arms.
Some excellent info Corn, and I'd have to agree on the safety aspect.

A few years back I was riding my little Suzuki Ozark on the trails behind my house. I never beat the crap out of it, but I had racked up plenty of seat time cruising around the woods. At about 15mph on the side of the railroad tracks my ball joint failed, the whole tire/wheel/knuckle assembly buckled and wedged up into the fender sideways which tore up even more parts. I managed to see it coming with just enough time to lean way back and try to ride it out with some throttle, but I still nearly flipped end over end as soon as the tire got some traction.

The real scary part was I had just rode over a 70 or 80ft tall train bridge a few hundred feet before, had that ball joint failed 30 seconds earlier it would have likely sent me off that bridge and into the shallow river below.

So don't forget to check the ball joints! I have 2 ones ready to go on mine, the seals get a little chewed up after a few CV boot replacements and it only takes a month or two to start getting some play in them once they're exposed. Tie rods are also important like you guys mentioned; also make sure your CV joints are moving freely every now and then, one of those lock up on you and you'll be flying just like Superman through the trees haha.
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Since Oilcan shamed me I went looking for this post. It was not named well.
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Lookit you... I asked you for your kind assistance in helping others with your awesome post on HOW TO fix the squeaks, and you went 1 better.

Sorry if you felt shamed into it, but I need all the help I can get these days.

With all the stuff we have done and posted in the past, instead of repeating ourselves, I'd like it to be easier to find the real important stuff.

Posts like yours CD are a true value for everyone.

I'll find a way to keep these kind of posts front n center, as you discovered...... the search engine returns vast amounts of stuff to sort thru which is simply a time consumer.

Thanks CD, we all appreciate your time and effort!


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I am bumping this thread in honor of a lost friend and Rincon lover. This is the only picture of Oilcan I could find. God speed my good friend.
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