How To Align UTV Tires
Has your UTV been pulling to the side or shaking and wobbling your handlebars as you ride? If so, it’s possible that you need to learn how to align UTV wheels. A solid UTV wheel alignment will get your rig back into perfect working order, without that much work put in.
Not only will it improve your riding, but a UTV alignment will also help to reduce uneven wear on your tires and keep your UTV in good shape for the long haul. Manufacturers recommend that you align your UTV tires once every three months. Obviously, this will depend on how often you ride, but it’s still an important thing to get done often.
Get the Rig on Flat Ground
Having the UTV on flat and level ground will make your job much easier. Find a place in the garage or outside that is relatively flat. If you have trouble finding flat ground, you can try jacking up one side to make it level as the UTV won’t be moving as you align the tires.
Secure the Handlebars
In order to stop the side to side movement, you want to tie down the handlebars. You can accomplish this easily with a ratchet strap looped around both grips and to the rear mount. You don’t need it to be too tight, just enough to stop the play.
Loosen the Tie Rod End Nuts
Using two wrenches, one to hold the locking nut and one to hold the tie rod, loosen the end nuts so you can make further adjustments. Once you have them nice and loose, you can move on to getting an idea of how much of an adjustment you need to make.
Measure Front and Back
In order to know the correct adjustments to make, you need to measure both the front and the back distances between wheels. Take a measurement from the center of the front left tire to the center of the front right and write this down. Next, move to the back and do the exact same.
The terms toe-in and toe-out refer to the difference in distances between your tires. With a toe-in situation, your front tires are closer together than the back. With a toe-out situation, your front tires are spaced further out than the back.
In an ideal world, you want a toe-in measurement of approximately ¼ inch. This will change depending on what you are doing or the UTV you are riding, but it’s a good place to start.
Make the Adjustment
In order to shift your toe-in or toe-out measurements, you simply need to twist the tie-rods. This can be done by hand or you can use a special wrench if they are being stubborn.
You’ll need to take measurements multiple times as you make the adjustments, which can be an annoying process.
Once you have the measurements right where you want them, tighten the end nuts back down firmly and you’re all set!