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Old 03-25-2012, 05:40 AM
PolarisRich's Avatar
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Location: Belle River, Ontario, Canada
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How to set wheel alignment. "Now with pictures!"

I thought I would make a quick "How-to" on setting wheel alignment since I was flipping my tie rod ends and I was going to have to re-align the wheels anyways.

Here's some of the tools you will need...

1.) Start with the ATV on a smooth and level surface, like a cement garage floor or driveway.

2.)Center up (Eyeball It) the handle bars and lock them into place with 2 ratchet straps, one on each side of handle bars. This of course prevents them from moving when your adjusting the tie-rods.

3.) Place two Jack Stands approximately 2 feet in front of the atv even with the outside edge of the two front wheels.

4.) Wrap a length of string all the way around the ATV and Jack Stands, Start and end at the rear hitch. Make sure the string is the same height from the ground on all 4 wheels. I like to attach a few elastic bands to both ends of the string before attaching the string to the hitch. This makes it easier to adjust the strings when moving the Jack Stands.

5.) Break lose the inner and outer tie-rod nuts. NOTE! Make sure you use 2 wrenches, one on the nut and one on the ball joint. Damage can occur by only using one wrench.

6.) Adjust the string by moving the Jack Stands in or out untill the string just touches both of the side surfaces of the rear tires on each side of the ATV. This will take some time to get it right but it needs to be done! The strings should be as close to the centerline of the rims as possible.

Check manufacturers wheel alignment specifications on your specific make and model before you adjust any components.

For this wheel alignment I'm using the Polaris Specs which seems to be a common setting.
Polaris - The recommended toe alignment is 1/8″ to 1/4″ toe out. This is a total amount, not per wheel.

7.) On the front rim, measure the distance from the string to the rim at the front and rear edges of the rim. The rear measurement should be 1/16″ - 1/8″ (.2 to .3 cm) more than the front measurement.

8.) If an adjustment is necessary, Turn the tie rod itself with a wrench or your hand in small increments. It doesn't take much to move the tire a long way, so go slow. Keep re-checking your measurement's until you have a 1/16″ - 1/8″ differance to the string.

9.) Once your satisfied that you have the correct "Toe Out" measurements you can tighten up the inner and outter tie-rod nuts on both sides. AGAIN...make sure to use 2 wrenches.

10.) Now take your ATV for a test drive to test your adjustments. If it still pulls one way or the other, just repeat the above steps to tweek the adjustments again utill your happy.

The whole process only takes about 15-20 min.
2005 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
26" Mudlite XL's, Clutch Kit, 3 Headlight Mod, 1/4" Front Wheel Spacers, 1" Front Spring Spacers, Uni Filter, Heated Grips, 12V Electrical Accessory Panel, Etrex GPS Handlebar Mount and hardwire, Passenger Seat with Cargo, Horn, Snorkeled Vent Tubes, Mossy Oak Graphic Vinyl Wrap, 2500 Runva Winch, ShockPro's Camo Shock Covers
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-25-2012, 09:13 AM
bgirard420's Avatar
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Nice job with this Rich!
2013 Polaris XP 850 HO LE EPS
  • Full Ricochet Armor (Black Anodized), ATV GURU Cobra F & R Brush Guards, Polaris L&R rear box w/Backrest & Bags, Scrambler LE Hand Guards, Symtec Heat Demon Grips, Rotopax 2+2
2010 Polaris 500 HO
  • 25" GBC Spartacus, EPI Clutch Kit, Full Ricochet Armor, Polaris 2500 lb Winch Rear Box & Hand Guards, SuperATV Bumpers
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:24 AM
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Location: Rome NY
Posts: 120
will have to bookmark this! great write up.
1996 Sportsman 500--- Old be dependable... starts and runs good, just needs tweaking

ITP 25" XL Mudlites
STI HD2 Matte Black Alloy Wheels
48" Polaris Plow
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Old 03-25-2012, 09:34 AM
dbmachine's Avatar
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Awesome...needs to be a sticky at the top
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:24 AM
cwlongshot's Avatar
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Location: Central Connecticut
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Good useful writeup!

I have been using the 36-48" X 3/4" alum angle iron method for about 25 years on my jeeps and ATVs. Simply attach the angle to each of the front tires, centered and even. Now measure between the ends... adjust as needed>

Versions of the same, GOOD JOB!

2007 Polaris Sportsman 700 EFI
Running 26" Maxxis Big Horns on Crusher Black alloy rims, 1.25'' Spacers, EPI clutch kit W/spring mods, HD springs F&R, Moose front/Ricochet rear CV guards, Moose tank bag, Polaris rack extensions, Lock-N-Ride lo & hi windshields, Acerbis hand guards, CUSTOM mirrors & mounts . A 3000# Gorilla winch, W/Am-Steel blue synthetic line, running thru a winch saver and an aluminum fairleed. Thor's foot pegs and CUSTOM rear rack support frame. L&R WES seat box W/LED light & internal 12V plug. L&R Sportsman Box W/ internal multi 12V and USB plugs. CUSTOM front and rear mud flaps, CUSTOM dual side mounted 1.5 Gal Kolpin gas cans, Modified stock muffler with a rear exit & 800 air box lid W/UNI air filter, for better flow in & out.

Next mods: Thor fender flairs & 800 Head pipes.

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Old 03-28-2012, 11:12 AM
AKStew's Avatar
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Awesome post!

2011 Sportsman 500 HO Touring: Polaris 3500 lb. Winch, Kimpex Adventure XL Trunk, 7" Passenger Foot Risers, UNI Foam Filter
2006 Sportsman 500 X2 EFI: Superwinch Terra 25 w/Synthetic Rope, Kolpin 4 gal Gas Pack, 3" Passenger Foot Risers, 3-Headlight Mod, K&N Filter

SOLD 2010 Sportsman 300: Polaris 2500 lb. Winch, Kolpin Rear Seat (for the dog), UNI Foam Filter
SOLD 2006 Sportsman 700 Twin EFI: 27" Mud-Lite XTR, Superwinch Terra 35 w/Synthetic Rope, Polaris HD Front Springs, OEM Front Bumper Guard, WES Rear Seat, Kimpex Fender Guards w/Footpegs, 3-Headlight Mod, K&N Filter, Symtec Heated Grips
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:44 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to show us!

Owner of Thor's TheATVSuperStore.com. Where we test what we sell and only sell the best!

2012 Sportsman 850XP Orange Madness. TheATVSuperStore.com lock and ride rear box, 60" American Eagle Plow w/ETS, Collett headsets, heated grips/thumb, shield, ATV Mirrors, 3 in 1 ATV hitch, RotoPax fuel pack built in front box, Orange Ricochet A Arm Guards, 26" STI Black Diamond XTR tires on HD3 Wheels, TheATVSuperStore Helmet & HID lights all from www.TheATVSuperStore.com
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:27 AM
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Old 07-07-2012, 09:54 AM
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Thanks for posting these pics. :-)
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:29 AM
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I thought I would make a quick "How-to" on setting wheel alignment since I was flipping my tie rod ends and I was going to have to re-align the wheels anyways.
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