HOW-TO: Install an ATV Axle

During the making of our project Raptor 734 we gathered parts to widen it up and beef up the suspension. Part of matching the longer Houser A-arm setup is a wider racing axle, like the one we got from Tusk for under $200. The $196.95 axle is adjustable from 2 3/8 inches wider to 4 3/8 inches wider than stock, depending on which spacers you use for the hubs. This particular axle requires a 70mm and 46mm axle nut wrench, or a giant crescent if you have it, so make sure you have all of your tools ready beforehand! So, let’s dive in!

Start off by lifting the rear of the quad onto a stand or jack. Remove the rear wheels.

Remove the cotter pins (if applicable) on the axle nuts on the ends of the axle. Use an air-impact or large-drive wrench to spin the nuts off, and then slide the hubs off the axle.

Next, remove the large axle nut. Most ATVs will have some sort of set screw in the nut to keep it from backing off, so make sure you remove these first. Use an axle wrench or large crescent to back the nut off. The easiest way is to have someone apply pressure to the rear brake while you turn the wrench to keep it from spinning.

Remove the rear brake caliper and set it aside (don’t undo the brake line). Also, unbolt the sprocket and slide it off the axle.

With the caliper removed, you can now slide the entire brake rotor assembly off of the axle.

Now, slide the axle through the swingarm’s bearing carrier. It only comes out one way. If it gets stuck, gently nudge it with a rubber mallet.

Now you need to remove the sprocket hub and install it on the new axle. Most, like this one, have a spring retaining clip inside that you’ll need to pry out with a small, flat-blade screwdriver. Before you install the hub on the new axle, put some grease on the splines to prevent corrosion.

After you install the sprocket hub, grease the center section of the axle and slide it into the swingarm bearing carrier.

Grease the splines for the brake-rotor assembly and slide that on too. Then, spin the lock nut on hand-tight.

Reinstall the sprocket and brake caliper, using LocTite on the threads. Torque to factory specifications.

Now that your rear brake is working again, use it to hold the axle while you tighten the lock nut all the way. Also, install the two set screws again.

Slide the wheel hubs on, ensuring you use the same spacers on each side of the axle to make it even. Tighten the nuts, install the cotter pins, and throw the wheels back on and you’re ready to ride!

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