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Discussion Starter #1
I just ordered front cv axles, bearings and seals for my 1998 Sportsman 500. Any advice on what else I should check and/or replace while I have the machine apart? I'm new at this.

TIA
 

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Ball joints, a-arm bushings, tie rod ends, steering post bushings, front housing seals, struts and all brake components should be checked, serviced and/or repaired if necessary while you have it all apart and easy to get to. It would also be a good time to replace the front prop shaft u-joints with greasable joints so you never have to worry with them in the future.
I'd also check that the radiator is good and clean and that the fan and other cooling system components are in top shape while its all easy to get at.
Once you have the front all refurbished you shouldn't ever have to worry about anything in the front of the machine again for many years.
 

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I didn’t see changing the front gear case oil in that list. If you’ve never changed it, and this ATV is new to you, it probably needs changed. Also, not sure if the ‘98 has the same spaghetti mess wiring circuit board as my ‘97, but I cured several intermittent problems by taking a pair of needle nose pliers, pulling off each connector one at a time, squirting some electrical contact cleaner on the connector and it’s male counterpart, squeezing he connector a little with the pliers on the ones that come off way too easy (to make it a tighter fit, don’t overdo this), and putting it back on. Mud gets up in that board over time and eventually causes some bad connections.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow, thanks for the detailed answer, Polman500. You just cost me a some $$$'s, but likely saved me a lot of hassle, long term.
I got this Sportsman on the cheap, so investing a few dollars in it makes sense.

Ball joints, a-arm bushings, tie rod ends, steering post bushings, front housing seals, struts and all brake components should be checked, serviced and/or repaired if necessary while you have it all apart and easy to get to. It would also be a good time to replace the front prop shaft u-joints with greasable joints so you never have to worry with them in the future.
I'd also check that the radiator is good and clean and that the fan and other cooling system components are in top shape while its all easy to get at.
Once you have the front all refurbished you shouldn't ever have to worry about anything in the front of the machine again for many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah, I changed all the fluids and filters when I got the machine. And I do have that rat's nest of a circuit board under the pod, I'm gonna take your advice and clean that up. Maybe I'll trace the 6 or 7 taped off wires that are plugged into nothing, a gift from the PO, maybe I'll actually have instrument lights when I'm done. :)

Thanks for chiming in!

I didn’t see changing the front gear case oil in that list. If you’ve never changed it, and this ATV is new to you, it probably needs changed. Also, not sure if the ‘98 has the same spaghetti mess wiring circuit board as my ‘97, but I cured several intermittent problems by taking a pair of needle nose pliers, pulling off each connector one at a time, squirting some electrical contact cleaner on the connector and it’s male counterpart, squeezing he connector a little with the pliers on the ones that come off way too easy (to make it a tighter fit, don’t overdo this), and putting it back on. Mud gets up in that board over time and eventually causes some bad connections.
 

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Wow, thanks for the detailed answer, Polman500. You just cost me a some $$$'s, but likely saved me a lot of hassle, long term.
I got this Sportsman on the cheap, so investing a few dollars in it makes sense.
LOL, You may not actually need to replace much. Its just a good idea to thoroughly inspect it all while you have it apart and service/repair what needs it while easy to get to. One thing to note is that your machine's original OEM ball joints where greaseable joints and thus the reason for the grease fitting on the strut. Those joints are getting very hard to find nowadays. The newer ones are a greaseless "lifetime" design like the u-joints Polaris and many other manufacturers now install. The reality is that their 'lifetime" is ever how long it takes for the mud and water to wear them out so you can throw them away and buy new ones. You can't lubricate them to push the water and mud out to make them last like the older ones. Apparently they call this "progress"??
 
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