Our topic here today is ATV repair manuals. I get a lot of questions regarding these manuals, so I thought I would try to spell it all out here. I have assembled a list of Questions and Answers to help explain the benefits of having the ATV service manual, for your quad.
If you want or need to find out what 411 is included in the manual before you buy, just keep reading...
1. What is an ATV repair manual?
An ATV repair manual is just that, a book that tells you all about your ATV. Now, I'm not talking about the 10 page comic book that is usually referred to as the owners' manual. We are talking about a soft cover book, with a couple hundred pages in it, showing how everything goes together, and comes apart. There are lots of pictures and diagrams to assist you in servicing your ATV. Most manuals also include a complete wiring schematic to boot. This will help assure more time on the trail, and less time spent wrenching in the garage.
2. I have a newer ATV, do I really need an ATV Repair Manual?
I have to say yes, you do need all that info. My personal motto is "Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best." With that in mind, once you have your ATV repair manual, you will be ready for any repair or maintenance you need to make, at any time. Besides that, if your ATV is newer, you need to stay up on the periodic or scheduled maintenance to keep it as new as possible, for as long as possible. Even the new ATVs require oil changes, filter cleanings, chain adjustments and such. With your ATV repair manual, you not only can get it done, but done right!
3. I plan on using a dealer or shop for all that stuff, should I get a manual?
Again, I gotta to say yes, you should. Even if you won't be doing the actual work on your ATV, it's never a bad idea to double check the mechanic or garage. If you have a mechanic who says it will take 2 days to change the air filter for you (yes, this is a very exaggerated example, but it is to illustrate a point, so bear with me.), check that against your manual, to verify what he is telling you, before you whip out the credit card or checkbook. So, you flip open your ATV repair manual and see that there are only four screws to remove the cover, then pull out the old filter, pop in the new one, replace the four screws, and your done. So, you learned two things here, first, that garage or mechanic is severely ripping you off, and second, you can remove the four screws, and change the filter yourself. An ATV Service Manual can save you time and money, whether you have someone else doing it for you, or you end up doing it yourself.
4. Is there one ATV repair manual that's better than another?
Well, basically, there are three options here. Before we get to that, please keep in mind that the info is the same, as they are all based on a complete tear down and rebuild of the specified model.
First is the actual "factory" ATV repair manual. This is put out by manufacturer, and they are available from the dealer. And based on my experience, they run a several (that can mean alot more!) dollars more than the other two. Again, it is the same info as from the other two companies, it's just the cover says "factory repair manual" on it.
Next, we have the Clymer Company. They have been putting out these ATV repair manuals for years, and have a history of producing accurate manuals. As with the factory manuals, they are based on a complete tear down and rebuild. So they are very thorough. They also produce manuals for cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, pwc and more. I have used Clymer manuals before and I have no problem with their products.
Next, we have the Haynes Company. Like the company above, they have been doing this for quite a while. And their ATV repair manuals are also based on a complete tear down and rebuild. They are very thorough as well. Again, they also have manuals for cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, pwc, and more. I have also used Haynes manuals before, and have never had any problem with them, either.
Any of the three choices above is a good one, so pick the one that works best for you.
5. What information comes inside an ATV repair manual?
There is an incredible amount of information between the covers, but here is a brief overview of what to expect.
General information... Contains general specifications, including dimensions, weight, engine type, drive train, clutch type and electrical components. A periodic maintenance chart telling when something needs to be checked, adjusted, or replaced. Torque chart showing torque specs and bolt grade for every nut and bolt on your machine. And there is a diagram or two showing how to correctly run all cables and linkages through the frame, body and around the gas tank.
Fuel System... Covers all fuel system components, how to adjust, maintain, or replace the throttle and cable, choke and cable, Carb adjustments, replacing jets and needle valves, rebuilding the carb. Servicing, cleaning or replacing the air filter. air filter box, and surge tank. Checking the gas tank, and the fuel petcock.
Cooling System... Covers the components involved in cooling the motor, such as the radiator (if applicable), water pump, and thermostat. You will see how to inspect, remove, repair, and re-install all of these items.
Engine... Everything you need to know about how your motor works. Items can include cylinder head cover, camshaft chain tensioner, camshaft and chain, rocker arms and rocker shaft, oil pipe, cylinder head, valves, piston(s), and of course the exhaust system.
Clutch System... Components discussed include the clutch, clutch lever, clutch cable, clutch release lever, friction plates, clutch springs, and the kickstarter.
Engine Lubrication System... Engine oil and the oil filter of course, but then there's the oil screen, and it's cleaning, and of course the oil pump.
Transmission... Just in case you need to find out about the gears, shift forks, the shift lever, balancers, or any of the bearings inside the case, it is at your fingertips. And ready to help, at any time.
Wheels and Tires... Of course the tires and rims are covered here, but you also find out about toe-in adjustment, steering centering, hub removal and installation. as well as the the hub bearings, front and rear.
Final Drive... What is covered here is chain maintenance, adjustment and replacement. If your ATV has shaft drive, your info will be here instead of the chain and sprockets info. Oh, the sprockets are here, both the engine sprocket and the rear one, not to mention the rear axle, and it's carriers and bearings, too.
Brakes... Here are your brake shoes or pads, and rotors or drums. But you also get the brake lines, master cylinder(s), rear brake pedal, and the parking brake are here as well.
Suspension... Here you will find out about shock adjustment, lubrication and removal. You can also learn about the suspension arms (A-arms), struts, removal and assembly, replacing the A-arm bearings, and of course the swing arm and bearings, both removal and adjustment.
Steering... Covers the steering stem and knuckle, and their bearings, tie rod end adjustment, replacement, and inspection. Needless to say the handlebars are covered here too.
Body... How do you get all those plastic pieces apart and back together the right way? Here's the answer!
Electrical system... Dive into the magneto and cover, spark plugs, ignition coil, CDI modules, lights and switches, cooling fan assembly, and of course the wiring schematic.
Troubleshooting... Great way to diagnose your ATV, one component at a time. Very helpful when your ATV isn't running quite right, but you're not sure what the problem is, or what to fix or adjust to make it right.
6. How much does an ATV repair manual cost?
The current price range is usually between $18.00 to $27.00, depending on the model. Like we said earlier, the factory manuals do run a few bucks more, and are only available from the dealer. When you order from our website, the shipping charge is about $4.00 for the first manual and just a buck more for each additional manual purchased. What a deal on the shipping!
And if there is anything you might need in the way of parts, accessories, apparel, or anything else ATV related, you can find it here at ATV-411. You should find what you're looking for by following one of the following links:
ATV Apparel for the best choices in helmets, motocross boots, jerseys, riding pants, goggles, gloves, and even motocross socks, be sure to check out our selection from the best vendors available.
ATV Repair Manuals be sure to get a repair manual for your quad, it will allow you to keep your ATV in top running condition, which translates into more time on the trail. We have a large selection that covers most popular makes and models.
ATV Laws be sure you are in compliance with all title, registration, and ORV licensing requirements, before you hit the trail. Click through to see the ATV laws for all 50 states, what a handy resource to have.
ATV magazines unfortunately we can't ride every day, so having a few ATV/motorsport mags to read is a good thing. These also make a great Christmas or birthday gift for you favorite ATV nut or gearhead.
ATV insurance let's face it, ATVs aren't exactly cheap. And most homeowners or renter's policies don't cover your favorite toy. Be sure you, and your pride and joy, are protected. Learn about theft, property damage, comprehensive, and liability policies available.
ATV clubs riding is definitely more fun when you have a couple of friends on the trail with you. So, here is an easy way to find an ATV club in your area, we have listings for almost every state, and Canada too.
ATV video games ever wish you could go riding, and not leave the couch or your recliner? No matter what gaming system you have, you can choose from a great selection of the most popular games available.
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