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Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

This is a discussion on Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures) within the Modified Tech Discussion forums, part of the PRF Tech Forums category; My Ranger has always seemed to wear the front tires sort of wierd, the "Toe out" was always visible, but from reading around I knew ...

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:08 PM   #1
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Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

My Ranger has always seemed to wear the front tires sort of wierd, the "Toe out" was always visible, but from reading around
I knew the Rangers front end is supposed to be toed out from the factory, so I didnt think much about it.
But after I added the 2 inch spacers, it just made it even more obvious.



So today I finally got around to actually checking it
After a quick check with the tape measure, it was instantly clear I would be adjusting the front end alignmen.
So I broke out the camera again to document.
Its a very easy process, took me less than 15 minutes even with snapping all the pics and stuff.

If you dont understand "Toe in" vs "Toe out" just take a look at your feet .
Put your heals together and point your big toes apart \_/ thats "toe out" , now put big toes together and your heals apart /_\ thats "toe in"

And this is really the only adjustment the Ranger has. There is no Camber adjustment. (camber would be leaning in or out at the top of the tire)

The correct adjustment is 1/8 to 1/4" toe out.

Tools needed:
Tape measure (a short ruler is helpful also, but not required)
BP Blaster lubricant spray. (you could also use wd-40 or something else but BP Blaster is far superior, available at walmart)
2 = 19mm or 3/4" wrenchs (I used one of each)
1 = 15mm wrench
1 = 17mm wrench
1 = large vise grips (might be needed to hold tie rod)
1 = pliers (for removing cotter pin)

First I took a measurement of the width at the front of the tires, every brand tire is a little different if you can find the exact center then use that, I was doing it myself so there was no way to hold the tape measure so I went from the outside edge of the center lug on the passanger side to the outside edge of the center lug on the driver side.
Across the front on mine was 56 & 1/8th inches


Then I repeated this accross the back of the front tires, moving the tape under the Ranger as high up and as I could.
I measured again to the outside edge of the center lugs and it measured 55 & 1/4 inches.


Nearly 1" difference ! yep thats a problem nice job with assembly Polaris

To correct this the tie rod ends need to be screwed out more to adjust the toe in.

I inspected my tie rods and could tell one was much farther out than the other. Thats wrong, they should be very close to the same on both sides.

Drivers side:


Passenger side:


Using a little ruler I have, the passenger side threads of the tie rod measured almost 6mm.



And the drivers side measured about 3mm.



So at least one, or both, sides were going to need adjusting.

I sprayed BP Blaster on the threads of the tie rod, and the bolt that holds the tie rod end in place. (this makes everything easier)



First point your steering wheel straight forward:


Next: Loosen the Jam nut that holds the adjustment in place on your tie rod.
this takes the 2 = 19mm or 2 = 3/4" wrenches (or one of each) one to hold the tie rod end, and one to loosen the nut.





Once its loose you may as well turn it all the way towards the the tie rod (or all the way loose I guess you could say)
So it will be out of thwe way, and give you the same reference point for measuring for both sides later.



Next: remove the cotter pin from the bolt that holds the tie rod end.



Using the 15mm & 17mm remove the bolt from the tie rod end.
(Turning the tire in or out lets the bolt slide right out)







Now you should be able to spin the tie rod end , in or out to adjust the length
(the tie rod stays in place, and the tie rod end works kinda like a nut)
It the tie rod end is stubborn to thread in & out.
You can hold the rod with Vise grips, and use the 19mm wrench to turn the tie rod end.

The more threads showing the more "toe in" you will get, and the less threads showing the more "toe out".

Mine being so overly toed out and the passenger side being so different from the driver side,
the first thing I did was to adjust the drivers side out to make both sides showing threads match.
(Having both sides match is a good starting point for anyone!)

Then slide the bolts through the ends and back in place, (No need to put the nuts on yet) measure the front and back of the tires again.
Its an exercise you'll have to try a few times to get it right. Pulling the bolts out, adjusting the ends in or out, putting the bolts back in and measuring.
The key your looking for is to keep the length of tie rod threads the same on both sides.
And a measurement of 1/8 to 1/4" wider accross the front than the rear.

For mine it worked out that both sides Tie rods adjusted to almost 5mm


And my tires at 55 & 3/4 inches accross the front



And at 55 & 10/16 inches accross the rear. (this gives me a bit more than a 1/8" toe out, and thats close enough for me)



Once you get it into this happy place.

Re-assemble the Bolt through the tie rod end, then a washer, then the steering knuckle, then a washer, then the nut, then the cotter pin.
Once it all together and snugged up with the wrenchs.

Spin the jam nut back up to the tie rod rod end and using the 19mm or 3/4" wrenchs tighten them together.

Now go for a nice straight drive

Mine now drives and turns easier and smoother than it ever has !

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Old 02-22-2010, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

Great info and great pictures! You da man!
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

Excellent write-up! I have noticed mine doing the same thing....I'll be trying this on mine really soon! Thanks for the info.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #4
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

Thanks, I hope it helps,

If nothing else it at least makes you familur enough with the parts and concepts to get in there and try.


I wonder what the stealership would charge, for such a simple thing
(and keep in mind they are who set them up wrong in the first place)

I am real close to dead on. It could be a little more toed out.
I got kinda excited to get out and drive it.

But I may go back now and actually count the exposed threads
and change the side with the most, to match the side with the least, (if that makes sense to anyone but me )
Since I made them match each other by measuring the threads, now that I am very close I am thinkng I could now actually count the threads and I imagine one side could be 1 or 2 threads different.
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Old 03-03-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

Well, I went outside and measured....just over 2 inches difference from front of tire to back to tire! I adjusted according to the above directions and WOW, what a difference. Thanks again for the write-up. I am going riding this weekend and will update with handling report.
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Old 03-06-2010, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

good deal ,

Mine drives SOOOO much better now, no vibration, turns easier and another thing I notice is I seem to have picked up more top end.
I guess not pushing your front tires like a snow plow helps.
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:02 PM   #7
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

Just got back from weekend of riding...this front end alignment made my Ranger drive like a different machine! I agree it was much easier to turn and drive. I agree when one tire is not plowing, it seems to maneuver better. By far, the best repair I have done to my machine!
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: Front end alignment "How to" (with pictures)

good info!

i just bought(5-20-10) my first polaris ever(ride grizzly's), a 2010 ranger crew, and noticed the toe is out. hard to beleive that the bike leaves the factory in that condition. i haven't driven it yet since purchased.

i have a 6 mo. warranty on it and will be purchasing the extended soon. do you guy's think i should bring it back to the dealer for the toe adjustment or do it myself? i think that following the info on the write up above, i could make the adjustment.

?
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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great info
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Old 08-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #10
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Now im going to have to go home and check mine.. everyone claims 50mph top end on the 700xp, 46-47mph is all mine seems to have.. wonder if this would help ? then again i havent wound it out since i brought it home after the new axle was put in.

Ok, i checked mine, with the steering wheel straight one wheel looks dead straiight, the other pointing out.. so i measured the threads.. there both dead even.. so to correct my allignment , the measurements wont be identical on both sides (ok) just seems weird, will toy with it soon.

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