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How To Fix Your ATV Rear Drive Shaft Popping Out When Riding

One of the many symptoms of a broken ATV rear axle is the drive shaft popping out when riding. Now, this is a serious issue that can quickly lead to damage or more injuries as you ride around. When you take on challenging trails with an aggressive riding style, you want everything to be in place and a drive shaft popping out is the last thing you want.

Now, you’ll need to fix your rear drive shaft before you can ride anywhere at all. If you’re an experienced mechanic, you might already know that this is a tricky task but can be done with the right tools and the right amount of patience and determination. It’s also possible that the circlip on the axle splines is completely worn out, meaning you can get the rig fixed and running without too much effort at all.

rear drive shaft

Pull the Axle

The first thing you need to do is pull the axle out to examine it. This will require jacking up your ATV, removing the tire, the castle nut, the brake caliper, the hub, the shock bolt, and finally the axle. If you’re new to taking all of these parts off, make sure you can arrange it correctly to put it back together.

Clean the Splines

With a wire brush, clean both the OD and the ID splines thoroughly. This alone can be the root of the problem you’re experiencing, so you don’t want to short yourself by giving it a poor attempt. Broken axle repair requires paying attention to the small parts and all of the little details. The splines are one of those small details that you need to focus on.

Check the Circlip

Here’s where your problem could possibly be coming from. If the circlip is worn out on the axle splines, the driveshaft will be popping out any time you take a sharp turn or ride more aggressively. This often happens with lift kits installed because of a poor installation or the difference in setups and ATVs.

The circlip should be completely round and when you put the axle back in the transmission you will feel it lock in tightly. If you can take it out too easily, that’s why the axle is popping out. If you’re experiencing a popping axle still, you can take a set of needle nose pliers to the circlip and work around it to expand it outwards. Keep working until you get more resistance when trying to remove it from the axle.

Reposition the Axle

Finally, you need to reposition the axle. This is just about retracing your steps to get every piece back where it belongs. If you get confused at any point, be sure to look up the setup for your exact model ATV.

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