RZR Front Wheel & Steering Wheel Alignment
(Note: This was performed on a Standard 50")
Apparently, most all RZR's from the factory come with the alignment screwy. So we just have to get busy reworking our units. I found leaving it on a trailer not only gave me measuring points (the side rails), but I didn't have to bend over so much to work on everything. Do not jack anything up.
1. Check your steering wheel for centering. It should be able to turn 1 1/2 rotations left and right. Position in the center of this movement. If your wheel is cockeyed, then you must now straighten it. The hard part is probably getting your steering wheel off. I did mine by removing the wheel's center cap, then unscrewing the nut. That part is easy. To remove the wheel off the splines, I left the nut part way off (so's not to mess up the shaft's threads) and hammered on the nut while simultaneously pulling the wheel off with my knees and one hand. Persistence is important here (and some WD-40 on the threads may help) as it can be a bugger to get off. As it comes loose, remove the nut to get the wheel off completely.
Once off, turn the loose wheel in your hands to straight and reposition back on the shaft's splines. Some grease or non-seize compound on the splines will make future removal easier. Then tighten the nut back on. Then replace black cap with the logo.
2. Now you must align your rear wheels with your trailerís rails. If you donít have side rails, you can clamp some angle iron or 2x4ís vertically off the outside trailer frame rails to rise up like posts to make side measuring points. Some folks use some frame part of the RZR, but I figure the unit is going to follow the rear wheels more than the frame, so I go off the rear wheels. You can use string around the four wheels, but that's only good if all four of your wheels are the same size and the rears are straight. I used my trailer rails as my baseline measuring points to first line up my rear wheels (which was accomplished by yanking on the front bumper to pull the front one way or the other). My rears have some toe out, so I just average them out side to side to position my unit to straight ahead.
Note that they don't have to be the same distance from the rails, only the same variance from the front to the back of the wheel/tire. (For example: one tire might be 5 3/4" from the rail at the front of the tire and the back at 5 7/8", while the opposite side might be 2 1/2" from the rail at the front and 2 5/8" at the back. Then both rear tires are even at 1/8" toe out.)
3. Next, check to be sure the steering wheel is still straight. If not, wiggle it until it stays straight. Then I measured from a rail to the front tire (which can be done, but the tire is curved and has side tread lugs on it, so is imprecise). So I used the rail to the rim as far forward and as far back on the lip of the rim as I could which told me I had the front of my tires pointing out a lot (or toed out). An alternative here is to use a center point on the tread, front and back, but your frame might be in the way for a straight across measurement on the front and rear of the tread.
4. To adjust each front wheel's toe, I reached over the top of the tire and located the tie rods (one on each side) coming from the steering box (located at the bottom of the steering column) and going to the rear area of the inside of the tire. After loosening the locknut (and they may be left hand thread, so loosening could be opposite normal direction), while holding the nut closest to the tire still. Then I could twist the tie rod shaft by using a wrench on the flat areas part way up the shaft from the lock nut one direction to move the rear of the wheel in, the other way to move the rear of the wheel out. These two flat areas on tie rod shaft can be hard to see, but you can feel them with your hands, too. Then measure from the rail to tire rim to determine whether the front of the tire is pointing in (toe in) or out (toe out) in relation to the rail. Once the wheels on both sides are at the same measurement and you are sure your steering wheel is still straight, tighten up the locking nut while you hold the nut closest to the wheel centered. Note that the wheels do not have to be the same distance from the rails on each side. What is important here is that the front of each front tire is toed in or out based on the distance from the rail on that side, not necessarily the same distance as the opposite side--the same way as it is on the rear.
Some folks (and the factory) suggest a tiny bit of toe out on each wheel. I made mine toe in a tiny amount (tiny to me means as small an amount as I can measure with my retractable tape). Other posts on this subject have given reasons for one way or the other, so I won't go into that. For most of us it doesn't matter as it changes while we're riding as we hit bumps, turn, change speeds, twist the frame, change vehicle load weights, springs sag, and we're accelerating or slowing--all of which is going to change our alignment slightly anyway. If you have no toe, but leave the wheels perfectly straight, you probably will have some wander as you go along straight stretches, especially on pavement. I personally just don't think an inch of toe out on one wheel and none on the other is best (which seems to be a factory norm).
article written by GJRonK
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