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400EX Redo

1701 Views 5 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  UnkleRaRa
Decided to make a build thread so I could have a record of everything. More for me than anything :D

It all started with a buddy of mine picking up a 400EX off of one of his buddies.

I've always wanted a quad ever since I was a kid, and getting a chance to ride one REALLY got me excited about the thought of getting my very own!

I went and checked out a couple of quads, the main one I ALMOST ended up buying was a Polaris Outlaw 525 IRS.

It was a nice quad, needed some TLC, and I could have gotten it for a good price.

But I had to go to the guys mother in-law's house, uncover the quad, pump up the tires, and jump start it just to be able to test drive it, so that had me questioning the whole deal right off the bat.

My buddy was very leery about it, and he kept telling me to look for a 400EX.

"Air cooled Honda motor, their bulletproof" is all he kept saying.

After about a month of looking around online, I stumbled across this add:

It was nowhere close to my house, about 2 hours away, but it was the quad I was looking for, in a good price range, so up early and off we went to check it out.

When I got there, the guy had the quad out ready for me to take a look at.

Really nice guy with a ton of toys, and I could tell he took good care of his stuff.

He had a couple of really nice bikes, and showed me his wife's bike that he just "lowered" so she could actually get on the thing haha.

He inspired confidence in me as a buyer is what I'm saying.

The quad looked to be in GREAT shape, no cracked plastics, no janky or loose parts, plus already had a few upgrades like the oil tank, skid plates, nerf bars, bumper, grab bar, shock covers, and a set of race cuts!

My buddy was drooling over the thing haha.

After a test drive (and seeing the bike fire right up), I decided to make an offer.

I always bring cash in hand when I make a deal with someone, so they know I'm a serious buyer.

He had people call him up to come see the bike and either not show up, show up with no cash and try to haggle, or just call to haggle the price without even seeing the bike.

I told him, "I have an envelope with 2k cash that's yours if you want it".

He looked at me, looked at the envelope, and said "deal".

That was the beginning of my quad life right then and there haha.

This was the first day she was brought home:

This was last October.

I didn't do much to her the first 6 months of ownership, just an oil and filer change.

Cont'd below
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Over the winter I managed to blow out the steering stem bearing, so that was the first "upgrade" I did.

Busted Bearing:

Grinding the bowl of the steering stem to make room for the new bearing:

Hoisted up to be worked on:

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Next upgrade was some MUCH NEEDED new tires.

Since it was winter I figured I may as well get some winter tires for the back.

I got a KILLER deal on 2 rears and 2 fronts from a local company who shipped all 4 to me VERY quickly, and it was VERY inexpensive.

In retrospect, getting the "flat profile" front tires wasn't the best idea for winter as they don't cut through the snow very easily, but they made a world of difference compared to the worn Maxxis tires that came on it.

New Rear Winters:

New Fronts:


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Once the snow and ice melted and my riding opportunities diminished, I decided it was a good time to wrap my header.

Having an aftermarket header with not guard ruined a few pairs of pants, so I decided to wrap the header for protection.

Pulling off the header required me to pull off the oil tank, which required me to pull off the oil cooler, which required me to pull off the gas tank...

Since I had started more of a tear down then I wanted to, I figured I'd go all the way and repaint the frame.

What I thought was going to be a 2 or 3 week endeavor, turned into a 3 1/2 month long process haha.

A lot of that can be contributed to the cool and rainy summer we've had, while some of that time can also be chalked up to not enough time, other projects, or just laziness haha.

The tear down started in March:

All this:

Just for this:

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Once the tear down started, I would paint smaller pieces so they had plenty of time to dry before re-installing.

Had I known I'd be doing this for 3 months, I probably would have just pulled everything off, and painted as much as I could at once... oh well haha.

The first pieces to get some colour were the swing arm, header, muffler, swing arm linkage, and muffler mount.

Linkage and Muffler Mount:

Swing Arm before paint:

Swing Arm paint progress (motor mounts painted gold as well):

Then came time to start paint some accessory pieces.

Airbox: Painted the outside gold and the inside black

Next up were the Foot Pegs, Front Bumper and Nerf Bars.

They got CAKED in rocker guard for extra protection considering they will take more of a beating.

I soaked the Nerf Bar mesh in some degreaser and stain remover to bring some of the colour back too.

Decided to paint the oil cooler in a VERY thin coat of gold paint just for some accent colour

Got the Rear Brake painted gold while it was off the bike as well

Also painted the Regulator/Rectifier gold too!

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Once I had the bike disassembled, it was time to start painting the frame.

I attempted to pull the motor, but the swing arm bolt was NOT coming out without being cut...

I had no unusual play in the bearings, so I just left the motor and swing arm mounted while I painted the frame.

Would have been much easier and quicker if I could pull the motor, but you work with what you've got right?!

Motor wrapped and frame ready for paint:

Frame Painted:

Undercarriage Soaked in Rocker Guard:

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