Sloppy front left wheel - Honda ATV Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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Sloppy front left wheel

Hello everyone. This is my first post and I would like to thank everyone ahead of time for any and all help you provide.

I have recently purchased a 1999 Fourtrax FW. I was able to get it for a very low price because it has a few issues. Okay, I'll be honest, it has several issues. I admit to not knowing a whole lot about ATV repair. I have been making my own repairs on my older cars, trucks, and motorcycles for about 25 years now and I have found that I enjoy ATV repair and modifications SO much more than any other vehicles. I have successfully repaired and replaced everything from broken welds to electrical problems. On this lovely little red gem I have learned the beautiful art of removing broken and stripped bolts and screws.

Sorry for the rambling little rant back there. On to my problem. As I mentioned in the title, I have a sloppy front-left wheel and I can't figure out how to make it stop. When I realized the issue I just thought it would simply need a new set of wheel bearings and all would be well again. This did fix it until i took it for a ride. Once again it loosened up. So I continued to ride. It continued to get more and more sloppy. The issue appears to be around the axel but there isn't anyting missing. All the parts are exactly the same on the left and right side but the right side is just fine. When I call my local dealership they won't answer any of my questions and of course want me to bring it in and pay a mechanic $50/hour and probably replace a bunch of parts that may or may not actually need to be replaced.

Any ideas because I am stumped. Thank you in advance for your help!

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1999 Honda Fourtrax 300 FW
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 12:53 PM
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Welcome jason are you sure the wheel studs are in good condition? Not stripped out or damage to wheel? Lug nuts not lock nuts?

Have you swapped front wheels—sure it’s not the wheel?

Click link for Honda service manuals! 👀 see, right here👇🏻 Click it 👇🏻
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 01:34 PM
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when you replaced the wheel bearings, did you use oem from honda ?, or some stupid after market bearings from amazon or ebay that is china junk !. did you inspect the knuckle to see if where the wheel bearing rides is not messed up ?. tie rod ends good ?, upper and lower ball joints good ?. shock good ?. a-arm have good upper and lower bushings ?.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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I admit, the first time I did use cheap bearings from Amazon. I honesty did wonder about the bearings too. The second time I used All Balls bearings and it didn't seem to last any longer than the cheap ones did. That is kind of what made me start to wonder. I have changed out the top and bottom ball joints expecting the problem to go away and it didn't.

I have not tried swapping the front wheels or tried OEM bearings from Honda. I am sure that the wheel studs are nice and tight though. The problem seems to be happening in the knuckle between the wheel bearing and the axle. The first time I honestly thought I didn't get the axle nut tight enough and it allowed everything to slop around and kind of slowly wear the bearing out. For a second I thought there had to be a part missing or something. The previous owner wasn't too keen on putting everything back when he made repairs, if that's what someone would like to call it. I checked and double checked and everything is there as it is suppose to be.

1999 Honda Fourtrax 300 FW
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:51 PM
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when you replaced the bearings, did you remove the dust cover to LOOK and see if there was any grease IN the bearing housing,
it is VERY common to find bearings NEW with little to NO grease in them

and also, when replacing the bearings, how tightly did they fit
as if they fit in real easy, they will wear a LOT faster and the knuckles can wear out, and need to be replaced to hold things as they should!

SOME folks have used shims to make them fit tighter and last longer, but its a band aide fix at best!
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