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quad pulling different directions

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Old 11-12-2010, 08:58 AM   #1
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quad pulling different directions

So I finally got around to working on my 1996 Kawasaki Bayou 220. It has been sitting for 5 years. I noticed that it will pull to the right or the left when braking. I'm wondering if this is a tie rod or shock issue. The shocks are not leaking and appear to be in good shape, so I'm assuming it has to be the tie rods.

Does anyone know if I can tell if my tie rods are bad just by visual inspection?
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:19 AM   #2
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What kind of brakes does that thing have? If they're hydraulic, bleed them, if not adjust them manually. As far as the tie rods, with the quad not moving, move the handlebar slightly side to side, how much play to you have (there shouldn't be much). You can check the alignment roughly using a tape measure, it should get you close enough for an ATV (disclaimer, don't do this for your truck, you can't be nearly precise enough). Lastly, check your tire pressures and make sure they're even side to side. Pressure differential front to back won't make a difference.

Edit: that's an old and light ATV that doesn't have braking control like a car. Some of it could just be caused by the tires grabbing at different times assuming you're on a loose surface.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedontronics View Post
sounds like an alignment issue to me
I thought that but he said only when braking and it pulls different directions. My neighbor had one of those and they're squirrely when they're brand new because they're so narrow and light. Any off camber and they pull hard when braking. Good thing is it's simple to check through all the stuff I listed within an hour, there's not much to those ATV's.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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If you are riding and let go of the handle bars what does it do? If it pulls then it is your steering, if it only pulls when you hit the brake then it is your brakes.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
What kind of brakes does that thing have? If they're hydraulic, bleed them, if not adjust them manually. As far as the tie rods, with the quad not moving, move the handlebar slightly side to side, how much play to you have (there shouldn't be much). You can check the alignment roughly using a tape measure, it should get you close enough for an ATV (disclaimer, don't do this for your truck, you can't be nearly precise enough). Lastly, check your tire pressures and make sure they're even side to side. Pressure differential front to back won't make a difference.

Edit: that's an old and light ATV that doesn't have braking control like a car. Some of it could just be caused by the tires grabbing at different times assuming you're on a loose surface.
The pulling occurs on all surfaces, including pavement. This is not something that happened before it sat for a couple year when I used to ride it, so I know there is an issue of some kind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hookedontronics View Post
sounds like an alignment issue to me
I think if it was an alignment issue it would only pull to one direction. When slowing down, it pulls to whichever side the steering wheel is favoring.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern01Taco View Post
If you are riding and let go of the handle bars what does it do? If it pulls then it is your steering, if it only pulls when you hit the brake then it is your brakes.
Good point, it will pull to either direction if I let off the gas and no brakes are applied. Thinking tie rods for sure now.

Do busted shocks have the same symptoms?
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
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Do the no hands trick. If it only when braking bleed the system as others have said. Check the brake lines for a collapsed line as well and check the pads.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper02 View Post
Do the no hands trick. If it only when braking bleed the system as others have said. Check the brake lines for a collapsed line as well and check the pads.
Brakes by cable, no fluid involved
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:02 AM   #10
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I've checked the brakes and they don't appear to be sticking
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlampRevamp View Post
Brakes by cable, no fluid involved
Ah. Not too familiar with the older quads.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlampRevamp View Post
I've checked the brakes and they don't appear to be sticking
A busted shock can cause symptoms but I don't think it'd be as severe as you're talking about. How much play do you have with the steering rack? Your brakes could be warped also after sitting for that long. I'm assuming they're disc brakes brakes? How about adjusting the brakes to make sure both sides are grabbing at the same time?
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