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Howdy from NorCal

1172 Views 5 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Here 2 help
Howdy -

Newbi checking in from NorCal - Bay Area. New to ATV's and just picked up a 04 400ex. Had to do some general maintenance on it, cleaned up some surface rust on the frame and gave it a fresh coat of OEM paint. New sprockets & chain, then when I went to put new pads on I found out the calipers were shot so swapped out the fronts for some double piston YFZ's and stayed OEM on the rear. ( Fronts made a huge difference) At the same time, I removed the E break and replaced the clutch handle.

Had it out this past weekend at our closest OHV park and had a blast. Looking forward to hitting the trails this summer!!


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Welcome to the forum.

BTW - would someone be kind enough to explain why removing the parking brake is the rage?
From my understanding they were eating pads up. Mine was not working anyways, so just made more sense to pull it off.

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If they eat up pads, its because they are not adjusted correctly or the cable is bad. Most problems are due to a lack of maintenance.

My 04 (purchased new) has all the original cables still on it. I bought a complete set of new cables when I got the machine in anticipation of being out in the sticks somewhere on a Sunday and have a cable stick or break. Each winter, I do detailed maintenance. I remove all the moving parts, wash out old grease, put in new grease, replace all bearings that exhibit any abnormal movement, wash my cables in solvent to flush out dirt and grit and then lube the cables. When I install the cables, I use waterproof grease on the ends that connect to the levers so the end piece can rotate in the lever without binding. At the same time I adjust the valves, but the valves get adjusted (or at least checked) about 6 times a year (every other oil change) and the engine gets a new piston about every 2 years.

If a cable will not slide through it's sheath under it's own weight, then it needs to be replaced.

I dispute the claim that the parking brake causes premature wear on the pads. Depending on the quality of the pad, riding conditions, operator usage and the maintenance of related parts, the pads should last a satisfactory length of time. I ride woods, lots of water, mud and sand. I ride the rear brake slightly for control and decreased reaction time. I use the front brake primarily, but use both brakes always. When I am able to ride every weekend for about 2 hours each ride, I replace the rear pads about twice a year and the front pads about once each year. I adjust the parking brake before each ride. It's part of the routine of checking engine oil, tire pressure, chain tension, air filter, fuel and cable free play. I guess it can be summed up as; just my way of doing things. Since 2004 I have never had to be pulled out of the woods. My machine has never left me stranded.

Just me being me - some others might maintain their vehicles same or better than I do, but the vast majority don't consider maintenance until it quits or breaks and then they bitch about the cost of repair.
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Yeah, I definitely agree that maintenance is the number 1 key. I knew as soon as I pulled the calipers off that was not one of the top lists with the previous owner. Hell it still had the OEM 2004 pads in there. It also did not help that this was primarily ridden on coastal beaches / dunes so there was a good amount of corrosion internally.

As far as the E brake, I know it's not 100% necessary so instead of spending money on replacing everything, I figured I would just order a caliper with the plate already on there and call it a day.

If I find that I am missing's an easy fix that can be put back on.
If you park on flat land or in sand you won't miss it - park where we ride here in the heartland and it might be gone when you turn around even when parked in gear.

When parked in gear, it's just the compression in the cylinder holding it. It will loose pressure slowly and creep (some faster than others) - I have seen them creep 20 feet in a minute. and if you want to leave the engine running while you get off to move an obstacle, you either have to park it against something or set the brake.

Happy motoring!
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