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I have had my rancher for about a year, when i brought it home it pulled to the right slightly, another month or so it got worse so i took it back to the dealer. I sat at the dealership for about 4 to 5 hrs while the technician kept bringing it out to me asking if it was ok. It was finally time for me to go as I had a prior engagement so I just took the bike as it was. By the way this was an 1.5hr drive for me. The atv is still pulling to the right hard enough in 2 wheel drive that it wears me out. I called the dealer and he said to bring it back in and they would take another look at it although they couldnt fix it the first time. Has this happended with anyone else? Also worth mentioning I think, is that the atv has never been wrecked.
Check the toe-in adjustment on the front end. You are probably going to be shocked. I have bought three new hondas in the past 6 months and none of them were even close in adjustment. All three were toed out in the front at least 3 inches. Yes, I said 3 inches or more. They handled terrible and wouldnt turn in a tight circle without pushing the front end. Put a piece of paper tape in the center of each front tire and draw a dot on the tape with a marker. Measure the distance between the two tires from dot to dot. Now roll the machine backwards until the tape is on the backside of the tires and measure again. This will show you how bad out it is. Adjust both side equally on the tie rods until you have either straight ahead or a slight toed-out in the front about a quarter inch at the most and the machine will handle like power steering! We have checked several other new machines and found all of them to be way off on proper adjustment. Check it out. You will be glad you did and it will become a pleasure to ride instead of a hassle.
Thanks for the replies, I took it to an older friend of mine that used to build and race stock cars. Of course he adjusted things like mentioned before for every track.
He used methods similiar to what you had mentioned. He also mentioned using a squared and a string. Any way he has it ligned up. Its much better. He has each wheel within an 1/8th of an inch. When he started he said the left wheel was off almost 2" and the right was off about an 1". What still amazes me is that I took it to what was supposed to be a certified tech and he couldnt do it in 4 to 5 hrs. While my friend did it in about 1.5hrs. And what is even worse is that it should have been right when i bought it. Thats why i bought a Honda, or at least I thouhgt. Don't mean to sound to down on Hondas it was just a lot of trouble and now it is a pleasure to ride.
By the way my friend is James Satterfield, he owns what i believe is the largest towing service between St. Louis and Memphis. Any of you old timers in the area remember him racing? If so let me know. He's a laid back Harley man now.
The front end alignment isnt even on the pre-inspection sheet when you purchase these things. Apparantly the tierods are probably put together so many turns on the assembly line before they are ever installed in the four wheeler chassis. Probably just judged by eye and zipped right on through. Never checked again. Its not just Honda though, when I first made a post about this problem people wrote back with all brands saying they checked theirs and they were just as bad out of spec as my Hondas were. Just the fast paced world we live in now days I guess. I will always check any new purchases I make in the future as well. It makes a world of difference and the tires will last so much longer. Also safer to ride when you can handle it!
Yep, I jumped our set-up guy for not setting the toe on new wheelers and it turned to a heated discussion. He didn't tell me that it wasn't written in the set-up sheets, He screamed it at me. So I hit the books, sure enough it doesn't say Jack SSpam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word Spam wordSpam word t about the toe settings like in the past. On the PDI sheets eather. But there is a spot on the PDI sheet where all performed service bulletin numbers is to be written when the sheet is completed. There is a service bulletin for checking the jam nuts on the tie rods, and I told him that common sence would be to check the toe in after rechecking the nuts. Thats when the service manager stepped in and cooled me down and I explained to him that the last 40 units he had me check the air pressures in the front wheels because they pulled to the left, had toe issues. With the handle bars straight, the left wheel is out and the right slightly less, toed in. And if they would read my diagnosis I write on my work orders, they would realize there was a problem reverting back to set-up. Then I walked away. I will have to call BS on Honda's decision to remove toe setting from set-up. It wastes my time, and normally is a freebie to the customer because it should be warranty. The dealership doesn't eat the time, I do, the tech who ends up doing for free. A few times is OK, but in large numbers it gets real anooying.
My 2˘ on that subject. The toe in is more than likeley off from the factory.
----- Gimpster -----
Not all winners are heros
Honda Pro Wrench - Red Level Certification
Let me tell you I went through 2 05 rancher AT's with pulling to the right problems, first off dealer asked if I checked tire press. YES, what they didn't ask me was after I checked the pressure were the tires the same diameter? Well that was the problem with pulling issues, if one tire is taller than the other it will pull, adjust press to make diameter equal and that should fix the problem, I was just making the pressure equal without measuring the diameter. I experienced this with 2 ranchers stock tires and same thing with an aftermarket set of ATR holeshots on fancy rims, after I equaled the tire pressure it still pulled , man was I pissed!!! IT"S DIAMETER!!! and those brand new tires were off so I had to run the left one a little harder than the right one to keep it from pulling. Next thing, changing the alignment will not really fix a pulling issue, I played around with different settings, it will just cause the handlebars to be off center, or when you do hold them straight the bike will veer off to one side. Next, the manual calls for toe out I believe 5/8-9/16 out, my manuals out in the garage so don't quote those exact measurements but they do call for toe out. BTW if they just slapped the tie rods on at the factory the handlebars may not be centered, If you measure the distance between each locknut on the tie rods make sure there equal so your handlebars will be centered, then after you change toe settings make sure the distance is still equal. Easy way to measure diameter or tire height I use a yard stick and a capenters square, make sure your on even ground like your garage floor, hold the yardstick against the tire at 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock and slide the square down the yardstick till it just touches the highpoint on the top of the tire, if the left tire is taller than the right it will pull to the right and vice versa. Try it!
Ok that's enough outta me...have fun!
changing the alignment will not really fix a pulling issue
Umm yes it will
Rear tire size on a live axle will make them pull ( like we all found out on ATCs ).
I will take a 19 mm wrench with me ride the wheeler, let off the gas and the handle bars and note which way the unit pulls. Then break the tie rod jam nuts loose and adjust the tie rods. After several times doing this, I remeasure the toe out to make sure it is within spec. The reason for so much toe out is that under braking the front suspention compresses. causing the wheels to toe in. If there is too much toe in the unit will tend to dart out of control in whatever direction it wants to. Uneven rear tire stagger ( size ) will influence the unit the most to pull one way under braking or deceleration if there is not enough toe out. Under acceleration the unit will naturally toe out and rear tire stagger is not noticed as much . That is why I set toe while decelerating, and also so the unit can be controled under emergency stopping situations.
----- Gimpster -----
Not all winners are heros
Honda Pro Wrench - Red Level Certification
I don't know what your riding but my 05 rancher AT TOES IN if you raise the front with the wheels hanging off the ground and toes out when you put weight on it. Think about it, not to mention reverse inertia. Why would the wheels toe in when you slam the brakes on when everything is pushing back and out. I just jacked mine up and that's what it does.