Tuesday, June 9, 2015

4-Wheeler Maintenance

In our ongoing effort to maintain operational readiness, Sir Knight and I have been diligently going through all of our equipment and making sure it is fully functional and in good repair.  One of the items on our "to be maintained" list was our 4-wheeler.

Our 4-wheeler is more of a workhorse than it is a recreational vehicle.  We use it for all manner of work around the homestead, not to mention we have taught all of our younger children the basics of shifting on the 4-wheeler (before they graduate to motorcycles and automobiles). 

Sir Knight keeps up on general maintenance, such as oil changes and air filter replacement, on a regular basis, however, other issues arise that compromise our equipment's usefulness.  The 4-wheeler needed new tires this year.  Actually, they probably needed new tires two years ago, but tires are expensive!  Finally, when our tires were no longer holding air, we placed and order with Bike Bandit for new skins.  The tires were shipped to our door and we had a local tire shop put the new tires on the rims.  What a difference that made! 

While the tires were off, Sir Knight changed the 4-wheeler's CV boots.  My dad had noticed a small tear in one of the boots while visiting this spring.  Sir Knight immediately took the 4-wheeler out of service and ordered replacement boots.  The kits were inexpensive (Bike Bandit again) and fairly easy to change (with the help of youtube, of course).  And because they were changed before any damage could be done to the CV joints, we spent less than $20 a side versus $200 a side!  Maintenance is your friend!

After the mechanical issues were taken care of, we tended to some cosmetic problems.  One of the children (Master Hand Grenade) had rolled the 4-wheeler and broken the rear fender plastic (many years ago).  We ordered new plastic through our local Yamaha dealer (the plastic is too expensive to ship) and Sir Knight and Master Hand Grenade installed it - a time consuming job!  While we were at it, we ordered (Bike Bandit) a new seat cover.  Ours was ripped and nasty looking and we had considered having it reupholstered.  Once we found an inexpensive replacement cover online (Bike Bandit), we thought we'd give it a try.  It worked like a charm (thank you, youtube!) and looks great.  We wouldn't hesitate to recovered any of our seats on our own now.

We still have a few odds and ends to take care of, but our 4-wheeler is absolutely operational and ready for work.  With new tires, CV boots, fender plastic and a seat cover, I'm sure that in the coming year the 4-wheeler will plow it's share of snow, carry a number of deer carcasses from the fields to the shouse and haul fencing supplies by the board foot. 

Now, on to the next order of business....


  1. Most of the 4 wheelers in my neighborhood are play toys for the young but we do have a few that are, like yours, work tools. You can usually tell the difference by how loud they are.

  2. Get some silicone spray for the cv boots-they'll last longer.Silicone is also good for rubber bushings,cables,and moving plastic parts. Boots are cheaper and easier to install than CV joints. Another idea to consider-a grease injector for sealed bearings. Looks like a heavy needle with a grease fitting on it. Well worth the few bucks it costs. You can patch up damaged plastic body parts, but it's time consuming (JB Weld or PC-7 and screenwire, or Plasti-Zap for small stuff...and a lot of careful sanding).
    Two jobs ago, part of my job involved small engine maintenance...