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How do I lighten my steering?

Discussion in 'ATV / UTV Snow Removal' started by whitegoldrider, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Outside of putting in an aftermarket power steering kit on my 2005 Suzuki Eiger 4x4 400cc, which can be very expensive, does anyone have any hacks that they can share to lighten the steering on their quads? It's darn near impossible to turn the wheels when I am at a complete stop with the plow blade up. I have some tight corners on my driveway so I lose some precious real estate when I have to get the quad moving before I can turn the handlebars. I can lower the blade but more often times than not, this just makes a mess. I know Arctic Cats can replace OEM bushings with what's called Steer Lite bushings that really improve steering. It works by moving the a-arm forward to adjust the caster angle on the suspension. Are there any "universal steer lite" type bushings or other options?
     
  2. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I just did a wheel alignment and while it wasn't the results I was hoping for, the difference is noticeable. For those DYIers, this video helped in figuring out how far out of alignment my wheels were.

    http://youtu.be/AQZpY2SyvUE
     
  3. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing Senior Member
    from SE PA
    Messages: 198

    make a box for the rear rack and fill it with dirt or something heavy. Same thing we do with our pickups to level everything back out due to the weight of the plow assembly. It'll help with traction too. Try to find out how much the plow weighs and add at least that much to the rear end
     
  4. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Yep, do that with my garden tractor when I plow. Helps with traction quite a bit with the chains on. I have thought about doing it with my ATV but I have 4x4 and worry that weighing the back wheels down will just make me lose some traction in the front wheels. Should be easy enough to test out though. I have cinder blocks I can strap onto my rear rack.
     
  5. jmbones

    jmbones Senior Member
    from NE PA
    Messages: 236

    Becareful with those blocks and make sure they are very secure. One sudden stop and you will be visiting the chiropractor! I use an 80lb bag of rock salt strapped to the rear rack.
     
  6. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Yep, I used ratchet straps. I also lined the rack with some non-slip shop tiles I had laying around. Sadly though, I couldn't tell the difference with the weight on or off.

    I plopped a 50lb bag of ice melt on the seat of my garden tractor and sat on it while plowing. Ripped a hole in it once without realizing and that was fun to clean up.
     
  7. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    The farther back you have the weight, the more noticeable it will be. If you have a receiver hitch, you can put a platform in that that holds the weight well behind the rear wheels. That should help, also make sure you have plenty of air in your front tires.
     
  8. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Go to the gym...
     
  9. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I do have a receiver hitch and tray. I'm willing to try it but, again, I don't know if I'm willing to sacrifice lighter steering for less traction in the front wheels. It's pick your poison, I guess. Thanks
     
  10. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    Not the point

    That's one way to do it. But then I'll be posting a thread about how to fix my steering column because I muscled the turn and broke something off. I would rather tune my machine so it can do the the heavy lifting for me.
     
  11. DaveCN5

    DaveCN5 Senior Member
    Messages: 236

    Keeping the front tires inflated properly is key. You can go from barely being able to turn the handle bars when stopped, to being able to do it 1 handed. And like everyone else said, weight on the back helps.
     
  12. whitegoldrider

    whitegoldrider Member
    Messages: 37

    I've had my tires pumped up to 8lbs already. It was a PITA but I went around the steering shaft and put some fresh grease and adjusted torque settings on bolts to spec. I think the culprit might have had to do with the steering shaft holder. Bolts were way out of spec. Right when I loosened the bolt on the first holder, their was a "release" of sorts. We've had a real cold snap lately and noticed the stiffness right around the same time so I wonder if it's time to move the ATV into the heated garage but so far so good.
     
  13. Reb

    Reb Senior Member
    from Wyoming
    Messages: 136

    Quite a few years ago when I was looking at buying a new atv I borrowed different brands and models to try out. One was a rubicon. It was very hard steering but after inspection I found one of the frame brackets the A-arms were attached to was bent so it was severely out of alignment. I adjusted it as best I could, which helped some, but it was never right. Maybe thats something to check out on your atv.