4WD KEEPS KICKING OUT

ARCTIC CAT 500 4x4 QUESTION

A DIRT WHEELS FAN WRITES: “I have a 2006 Arctic Cat 500 4×4. I found out I did not have 4WD when I got stuck! I could not hear the actuator cycle to 4WD. I pulled the actuator off. The inside was dry, and the gears looked good. The actuator would stay in the 2WD position until I removed it from the machine and put it in the 4WD position. As soon as power was applied it jumped to the 2WD position. I pulled out the gears and hooked it back up to the plug and actuator motor turns fine. But when I put the actuator back together, and reinstalled it, it would immediately jump to the 2WD position. Is there any way to test the actuator other than this?

– Scott Peterson, Canastota, NY.

OUR PRO ANSWER: When the actuator stops working, and the cause is not water entry, it is usually the electronic relay inside the actuator. This relay controls the motor direction for two wheel drive to four wheel drive. Internal components are not available from Arctic Cat and they will only sell the complete actuator. Note that the actuators are not cheap! And to make matters worse, that part is discontinued. Ebay or an ATV salvage yard may be your best friend, Scott.

There is however a temporary fix to obtain four wheel drive. To manually engage 4WD, remove the actuator. The differential engagement pin is spring-loaded and will default to 4WD if the actuator is removed. Take apart the actuator and position the control arm back so that it can not push on the differential pin (4WD position). Reinstall the actuator but do not reconnect the electrical connection to the actuator. The ATV is now in full time 4WD mode by default. Not the best solution but it does give you your 4WD back – but it is now full time.

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ATV & UTV ANSWERED QUESTIONS FROM READERS

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