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I have a 1998 Arctic Cat 500 4x4 with just under 2,000 miles. This past weekend I was on a hunting trip, driving across a field, and happened to notice over my left shoulder that my left rear tire was sticking out about 2 ft past the fender....I immediately headed to the trailer and loaded it up.

Upon inspection once on the trailer, I could slide the tire and axle out completely.

Before I start tearing into to everything to try and figure out what the problem is, can anyone provide links to videos or anything? I've worked on many different mechanical things, but this is the first time I've messed with a rear-end or rear axle.

Has anyone been through this repair that could offer advice?

Are there upgraded parts that would be worthwhile to use?

Is my cheapest option to just find a used rear end assembly from salvage/junkyard/eBay that I can just swap out and go? There's one on eBay, OEM 1998-2002 ARCTIC CAT 400 454 500 4x4 REAR DIFF DIFFERENTIAL AXLES AXLE ASSY, for $300 + $60 shipping, but I'm worried about the used aspect of it since I don't know the history. Would hate to buy it and get it on there, only to have the same thing happen again a month or two later. Anyone have experience using used/salvage parts off of eBay?


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Would it not be just the C clip # 15 corroded enough to let axle and bearing "walk" out on you?
 

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Would it not be just the C clip # 15 corroded enough to let axle and bearing "walk" out on you?
Thanks for that link, that's been the best parts diagram I've seen so far, especially since I can zoom in! I'll cross my fingers that maybe that's all it is. Going to try and find time tonight to finally start looking at it.
 

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Well, it isn't as bad as I thought. The failure was the bearings at the end of the tube....no ball bearings to be seen anywhere. The rear differential appears okay, I drained the oil and it appears fine.

The axle shaft has a groove in it now near the spindle where I was driving it with the wheel sticking out unknowningly, axle was almost all the way out. As thick as this axle is, I think it will be okay as-is.

I have no idea how to get the bearing races out of the "tube" or axle housing or whatever it's called. Is there a puller or tool to help with this? Maybe I spray with penetrating oil and let it sit a day or two? I was just going to try heat and a hammer to start with.

Where's a good place to get bearings from?

I suppose I should probably go ahead and do the other side too for peace of mind.

I'm also going to clean out all the old grease, does it matter what grease I put back in there?

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I think you'll need to soak inner race good and probably need to hammer it out with a long bar. If you google the Cat bearing number 0402-003 it will cross over to a 305020-2RS bearing. I think you'll have to thoroughly clean out diff and tubes as it should not be grease but 80W-90 hypoid gear fluid. You could use synthetic if you like. Here's a link to a service manual for you if you don't have one. May as well do other side too.

 

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I think you'll need to soak inner race good and probably need to hammer it out with a long bar. If you google the Cat bearing number 0402-003 it will cross over to a 305020-2RS bearing. I think you'll have to thoroughly clean out diff and tubes as it should not be grease but 80W-90 hypoid gear fluid. You could use synthetic if you like. Here's a link to a service manual for you if you don't have one. May as well do other side too.

You sir are a lifesaver! Thank you for the link to the shop manual! Fig 6-55 on page 6-14 is where I was talking about grease, just calls out a multi-purpose grease.

Also, thank you for the cross-reference on the bearings, definitely much cheaper than OEM.
 

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I see that with the grease. Didn’t realize that’s a sealed diff.
 

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Hey 660, that manual reads 454 on page 1, then 500 on page 3. I'm going to look at a 1998 454 tomorrow (been outside 10+ years, no idea of the condition, I am VERY new to ATVs) - will that manual work for the 454? I downloaded it just in case - thank you for posting link.
 

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Hey 660, that manual reads 454 on page 1, then 500 on page 3. I'm going to look at a 1998 454 tomorrow (been outside 10+ years, no idea of the condition, I am VERY new to ATVs) - will that manual work for the 454? I downloaded it just in case - thank you for posting link.
Nevermind - it's in there - I have to reference the non-bold letters for the 454
 

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Good, cause I’m out of town. Hope you figure it all out
 

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That whole axle assemblies needs to come off the machine and dissembled and cleaned.. Looks like a bunch of crap has gotten in their and contaminated everything. All the bearings should be inspected and if nothing else re greased...
 
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