sixity how-to repair guides

How To Replace and Install an ATV Axle

When to Replace Your ATV Axles

The obvious answer to this question is when the wheel stops turning. Unfortunately most ATV enthusiasts will discover they have an axle problem when they are deep in the woods, flying through mud holes, or banging down a rocky trail. The problem then becomes how do you get the ATV back on the trailer without doing additional damage to the vehicle?


If you want to avoid this "dilemma in the woods" then you should regularly check the condition of the parts that are likely to cause the ATV axle to fail in the first place. Other than normal wear and tear the CV boots are the most frequent reason for axles to go south. Check the boots to ensure the rubber is not split or cracked. Look for signs of a fine misting of grease in areas adjacent to the boot that might indicate the boot is leaking lubricant.


Front end axles will often give you an audible alert that a boot has gone bad. If you hear a ticking or clicking when you steer left or right it may be the bearings inside a boot making the noise because all or most of the lubricant has drained out.


If you discover a damaged boot you have discovered an axle that needs to be replaced.


Disclaimer

The steps we provide below are general in nature and are not meant to replace the instructions found in your OEM owner's manual. Obviously different brands may have different torque specifications and axle mounting configurations. When in doubt, follow the OEM instructions. Our tips are intended to show you that this repair can be done as a DIY project saving you professional labor costs and, believe it or not, enhancing your overall ATV experience.


Things You'll Need:

  • A reliable jack and wheel blocks
  • Torque wrench
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Socket wrench set
  • Rubber mallet
  • A cotter pin
  • Penetrating oil like PB Blaster
  • Slide hammer or pry bar (if removing old axle becomes a challenge)

Preparation

Before you attempt this task clean the gunk, caked on mud and debris from underneath the ATV. The last thing you want is to have dirt or debris fall into the exposed differential.


You can limit this washing to the area around the failed axle but why not do the whole thing as a smart preventive maintenance measure?


Make sure you have a reliable jack that can take the sideways pull required to remove the axle. Use wheel blocks to secure the ATV.


Removing the ATV Axle

  1. Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheel off.
  2. Place the lug nuts back on the hub and lightly tighten.
  3. Use a needle nose plier to remove the cotter pin on the axle nut securing the hub. Remove axle nut with a socket wrench (typically 27 mm).
  4. Remove the hub exposing the knuckle.
  5. Remove the upper bolt that holds the knuckle on the axle.
  6. Push the upper arm up and away allowing you to pull the knuckle off.
  7. Grab the axle and give it a swift tug to remove it. This is where things could get dicey. If the axle doesn't want to come out spray the area where it joins with the differential with penetrating lubricant and wait a few minutes. If it's still difficult to remove use a slide hammer or pry bar to gain leverage.

Installing the New ATV Axle

  1. Insert the new axle and line up the splines with those in the differential.
  2. Using a rubber mallet, give the end of the axle a couple of whacks until you hear it "snap" in place.
  3. Slide the knuckle back on, lower the upper arm and reinstall the upper bolt.
  4. Reinstall the hub and axle nut and tighten.
  5. Insert a new cotter pin (this is the weakest point in the entire assembly don't reuse an already stressed cotter pin) in the castle nut securing the hub.
  6. Remove lug nuts from hub, install tire and secure with lug nuts.

The process is pretty straight forward and unless there is an issue removing the axle from the differential it can easily be accomplished within an hour even if it's your first experience.


- End of Procedure -


Return to all Repair & Install Guides

shop sixity atv axles

How To Replace and Install an ATV Axle

When to Replace Your ATV Axles

The obvious answer to this question is when the wheel stops turning. Unfortunately most ATV enthusiasts will discover they have an axle problem when they are deep in the woods, flying through mud holes, or banging down a rocky trail. The problem then becomes how do you get the ATV back on the trailer without doing additional damage to the vehicle?


If you want to avoid this "dilemma in the woods" then you should regularly check the condition of the parts that are likely to cause the ATV axle to fail in the first place. Other than normal wear and tear the CV boots are the most frequent reason for axles to go south. Check the boots to ensure the rubber is not split or cracked. Look for signs of a fine misting of grease in areas adjacent to the boot that might indicate the boot is leaking lubricant.


Front end axles will often give you an audible alert that a boot has gone bad. If you hear a ticking or clicking when you steer left or right it may be the bearings inside a boot making the noise because all or most of the lubricant has drained out.


If you discover a damaged boot you have discovered an axle that needs to be replaced.


Disclaimer

The steps we provide below are general in nature and are not meant to replace the instructions found in your OEM owner's manual. Obviously different brands may have different torque specifications and axle mounting configurations. When in doubt, follow the OEM instructions. Our tips are intended to show you that this repair can be done as a DIY project saving you professional labor costs and, believe it or not, enhancing your overall ATV experience.


Things You'll Need:

  • A reliable jack and wheel blocks
  • Torque wrench
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Socket wrench set
  • Rubber mallet
  • A cotter pin
  • Penetrating oil like PB Blaster
  • Slide hammer or pry bar (if removing old axle becomes a challenge)

Preparation

Before you attempt this task clean the gunk, caked on mud and debris from underneath the ATV. The last thing you want is to have dirt or debris fall into the exposed differential.


You can limit this washing to the area around the failed axle but why not do the whole thing as a smart preventive maintenance measure?


Make sure you have a reliable jack that can take the sideways pull required to remove the axle. Use wheel blocks to secure the ATV.


Removing the ATV Axle

  1. Remove the lug nuts and pull the wheel off.
  2. Place the lug nuts back on the hub and lightly tighten.
  3. Use a needle nose plier to remove the cotter pin on the axle nut securing the hub. Remove axle nut with a socket wrench (typically 27 mm).
  4. Remove the hub exposing the knuckle.
  5. Remove the upper bolt that holds the knuckle on the axle.
  6. Push the upper arm up and away allowing you to pull the knuckle off.
  7. Grab the axle and give it a swift tug to remove it. This is where things could get dicey. If the axle doesn't want to come out spray the area where it joins with the differential with penetrating lubricant and wait a few minutes. If it's still difficult to remove use a slide hammer or pry bar to gain leverage.

Installing the New ATV Axle

  1. Insert the new axle and line up the splines with those in the differential.
  2. Using a rubber mallet, give the end of the axle a couple of whacks until you hear it "snap" in place.
  3. Slide the knuckle back on, lower the upper arm and reinstall the upper bolt.
  4. Reinstall the hub and axle nut and tighten.
  5. Insert a new cotter pin (this is the weakest point in the entire assembly don't reuse an already stressed cotter pin) in the castle nut securing the hub.
  6. Remove lug nuts from hub, install tire and secure with lug nuts.

The process is pretty straight forward and unless there is an issue removing the axle from the differential it can easily be accomplished within an hour even if it's your first experience.


- End of Procedure -


Return to all Repair & Install Guides

shop sixity atv axles