So, I've been eye-ballin' the SuperATV Disc conversion kit, but was a little concerned when I didn't see my '05 Rancher 400FA AT listed as one of the compatible bikes. But the friendly folks at Super ATV assured me that as long as I had 12" wheels on the front, I was good to go.
With that, and a whole bunch of threads all over the internet, I ordered the kit. After sucking up all of the discounts SuperATV offers, I got the kit to my door for just south of $200.
The kit itself was very well made with good quality hardware. I was also impressed with how quickly the installation went. It was pretty simple to get everything together. In fact, I had just commented to my wife about how quickly and easily the kit was going together when I hit the "brake line routing" wall...
Four frustrating hours later I still hadn't figured how to run the brake lines to the calipers and have them not rub either the rims or the tie rods at the steering stops. The problem is that the Rancher's stock brake lines are run along the front of the A-arms, which makes it really tough to get them to reach the rear-mounted calipers. Rerouting the lines along the back side of the A-arm gave me enough hose length to get to the caliper, but created more rubbing issues and conflicts with the tie-rods. Plus, the hose brackets just didn't work very well at all in this configuration. After many hours and assembling and testing, and disassembling about a dozen different configurations and multiple variations of those configurations, (a couple of which involved my wire-feed welder and some spare 1/4"-20 nuts - not a successful option.) Frustrated and angry. I gave up and went to bed. I was beginning to understand maybe why the 400 AT was not listed on the compatibility list..
The next day at work, my brain was still working the problem in the background, when I found myself staring at the front disc brakes on a friend's car and it struck me... the calipers were mounted on the front of the rotor. D'OH!! I could do that with the SuperATV disc kit by rotating the mounting brackets 180 degrees and swapping the calipers from left to right so that the bleeder is on top. That would put the caliper perfectly in-line with the stock brake line configuration. Hmmmm.....
So, when I got home, I did exactly that- I rotated the mounting brackets 180 degrees and swapped the left/right side calipers so that the calipers sat on the front of the disc with the bleeders on top. And bingo! the brake lines in their stock configuration connected perfectly! The only mod I had to do was cut a section out of the A-arm brush guards to clear the calipers as they swung around to the steering stops. (I've attached a cut-out pattern to help with cutting the brush guards to fit.) :icon_ banana:
Had I known this ahead of time, the whole conversion would have taken about two hours, start to finish. I also took the opportunity to replace the brake fluid with fresh fluid. And the disc brakes definitely make a huge difference on stopping distance! Well worth the time and dime. I really recommend this kit, and if you reverse the mounts and calipers, it all fits and works perfectly on the 400 AT. And my guess is that this "caliper flip" would probably work on any of the Honda utility quads that have their brake lines running along the front of the A-Arms.
*************** UPDATE May, 2013 *************
I've had this conversion now for over a year and over 400 miles. Still love it, still recommend it! But I have a couple of comments.
First, I developed a deafening squeal with these brakes. Turns out, I have no clue how to properly use Brake Quiet, but I figured it out. You must apply it toboth of the pads on each side. I disassembled the calipers and bpulled the pads. Took a popsicle stick and spread the Brake Quiet material on the central portion of all of the pads, and allowed it to dry for about an hour. Then reinstalled pads, lubed caliper guide rods, and reinstalled the wheels. I pulled the brake handle once to set the caliper, and then let it sit overnight. Next morning I took it for the first run. No more squeal!
Second, while I had the pads out, I checked how much they had worn in comparison to a brand new disc pad set I have on hand. Visually, I could see no difference in thickness. Mic'ing it out I got a .001" or so - not much. And I use my front brakes hard and frequently given the hills I ride out here.
Overall, a great upgrade.