How to Align a Side by Side

Have you been noticing any shaking or wobbling while riding your side by side? If so, it may mean that you’re ready to learn how to align an ATV. An alignment with the right measurements will make your tires get the traction they need to take on the terrain that you’re tackling, no matter what. If you’re misaligned, your steering is compromised, potentially leading to a serious accident in the future.

Here, we’re going to go over how to align your side by side so you can get the shaking and wobbling out of your riding and make sure you have the most effective rig you can have. An alignment needs to happen pretty regularly. If you ride often, you’ll want to do an alignment every three months to make sure the rig is exactly how you want it. When you ride intense trails, the tires will start to point in different ways, making everything more difficult.

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Level the ATV

First off, you need to level the ATV. This ensures that when you do the alignment, things will be properly straight. A small incline or slope can seriously throw off the measurements and make the ATV ride worse than before.

During the leveling, inflate your tires to the proper tire pressure measurements as low pressure can put your ATV on an unlevel surface. Plus, it’s a good time to make the necessary adjustments and do the maintenance you want to.

Fix the handlebars down

In order to work on the wheels and adjust their positioning, you need to fix the handlebars down. This can be done by threading a ratchet strap around both handlebars and through the rear rack. Tighten it down so that the handlebars don’t move easily with some force. You’ll be torquing on things pretty hard.

Adjust camber

The first step of an ATV alignment is to adjust the camber. Take the proper measurements and adjust your pivot blocks to the camber angle that you want. If you’re looking for a more aggressive ride that grabs to the trail on sharp corners, get a more negative camber. If you’re just beginning, go for a zero camber setting where the wheels are straight up and down.

Toe-in and toe-out measurements

The toe refers to the degree that your wheels point outwards, or inwards, away from, or towards, the driver. Most quads only have a ¼ inch toe-in alignment, so if you aren’t looking for anything specific, you can aim for that.

Take your toe measurements by measuring the distance between the center of the front tires and that of the back tires. The difference between this two will represent your toe measurement. If the front tires are further apart, you have a toe-out alignment, and vice versa for front tires that are closer together.

Adjust tie rod measurements

If you need to adjust your toe at all, you do that with the tie rods. Using two wrenches, you’ll loosen the locking nut on the tie rods and then make your adjustment. Hold the tie rod in place with one wrench, and loosen the locking nut with the other.

Make the adjustments simply by turning the tie rod clockwise or counterclockwise until you have the correct toe measurement for your tires. Fasten the locking nut back down, and you’re good to go.


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