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I've always ridden motorcycles but last weekend I bought my first atv. It's a 2013 AC 550 limited with 900 original KM, 1 owner, paid $4,800 CAD.

I travelled 3 hours to see the machine and by the time I arrived it had turned dark, seeing it the next morning was not an option unfortunately so I did my best to check things out with my cell phone light. From what I could see at the time everything looked good and I did not see any issues. Took it for a test ride and it seemed to run well. 4x4, reverse, etc all functioned properly so we made a deal for $4,800.

Well here is where the I feel like an idiot part starts. I got the machine home and began taking a closer look in daylight. Jacked it up and pulled all the wheels off/skid plate off so I could see better and here is what I found.

-steering has about 1-1.5 inches of play. I did not realize this when buying because the quad was sitting on ice/snow covered driveway and I test rode it on snow.

-ball joints need to be replaced.

-tie rods loose

-gear oil leaking from the seal where the rear drive shaft enters the rear diff.

-pulled the skid plate off and found oil sweats at the bottom of the engine.

-all 4 shocks leaking.

I know ultimately it's my own fault and nobody forced me to hand over the cash but how bad did I get screwed here?
 

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Either the PO beat the crap out of it and didn’t care or mileage is wrong. With 900km it should almost be mint. Is there any aftermarket stuff on there? Bigger tires than stock? Snorkel kit? If stock tires they should be in great shape.
 

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All it takes is replacing the dash cluster. Mine shows 230 miles or less and looks not so mint. I bought a cluster when the motor and trans rebuilt as the cluster was destroyed by the previous owner.


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Somehow this just does not work he had to beat the living crap out of it and it should show more damage... I had 13000km on my 14 500 replaced 1 ball joint, and one bearing, clutch half, and 2 pinion seals in all that time.. I rode hard and did not baby that machine... Pulled teh bearings before i sold it they were all good so i greased and popped them back in..

Luckily most of that stuff is cheap and easy to replace.. ATV tires canada or what ever they are called now has decent prices on replacement parts... The engine oil leak i would not worry about just watch your oil levels before you go riding.. Rear oil seal is going to be a bit of a pain.. easier to pull the diff and do it
 

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Yep- we've all had those moment where we get caught up in the euphoria and buy something we shouldn't. And then the next morning we have buyers remorse. This machine had the he11 beat out of it.

Focus first on the ball joints and fixing any handling issues.
 

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Thanks for the replies all. Placed an order for new ball joints, heavy duty tie rods, wheel bearings, bushings for all 4 sides, etc so will be wrenching on it and should hopefully give me many miles of enjoyment. Replaced all the fluids today minus rear diff as I have to get that seal replaced first, not entirely confident in my mechanical skills go tackle the seal at this point.
 

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When I bought my pre-owned 1999 Yamaha 600 snowmobile, I brought my experienced sled mechanic with me - for an onsite pre-buy inspection. He visually checked this, checked that and he took for a test drive - since I didn't know what to focus on. After buying and within my shop the next few days later, I discovered it needed 1 x idler roller bearing and 1 x plastic slider replacement. Not too sure if Seller really knew about these wear / tear broken parts....

When I bought my 2011 AC 550, I discovered a few days later it needed a battery box plastic cover (under the seat) and oil/filter change - cause he BS's me the last time he changed oil/filter. I also replaced its axle oil as well. And, afterwards I found a few other things the seller BS'd me on as well.... Like light trail usage only and I found snow plow mounts (which means hard kms/miles) under its belly. Very sad face...

Long mumblings short.... When buying "used", there's always some things the seller don't know and some know about but don't purposely tell you. There's even some sellers who "will out right lie about things". And, they sleep very well at night afterwards. Sad to say but true....

Sorry you had to experience a seller who "out right lies" about things. Hopefully, bad Karma comes around to nail them in the long run....
 

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Either the PO beat the crap out of it and didn’t care or mileage is wrong. With 900km it should almost be mint. Is there any aftermarket stuff on there? Bigger tires than stock? Snorkel kit? If stock tires they should be in great shape.
The only aftermarket parts are mudzilla tires and a k&n air filter.

Somehow this just does not work he had to beat the living crap out of it and it should show more damage... I had 13000km on my 14 500 replaced 1 ball joint, and one bearing, clutch half, and 2 pinion seals in all that time.. I rode hard and did not baby that machine... Pulled teh bearings before i sold it they were all good so i greased and popped them back in..

Luckily most of that stuff is cheap and easy to replace.. ATV tires canada or what ever they are called now has decent prices on replacement parts... The engine oil leak i would not worry about just watch your oil levels before you go riding.. Rear oil seal is going to be a bit of a pain.. easier to pull the diff and do it
Wow unreal mileage with little issues! Thank you for pointing me to that site, I placed an order for everything I think needs replacing and more.

Yep- we've all had those moment where we get caught up in the euphoria and buy something we shouldn't. And then the next morning we have buyers remorse. This machine had the he11 beat out of it.

Focus first on the ball joints and fixing any handling issues.
Will do. Cannot figure figure out why the steering is loose. The entire steering stem moves together I checked the bolts along it and they were all snug. Tie rods don't move with the steering play. Could it be the part that connects the steering stem to the tie rods?
 

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When I bought my pre-owned 1999 Yamaha 600 snowmobile, I brought my experienced sled mechanic with me - for an onsite pre-buy inspection. He visually checked this, checked that and he took for a test drive - since I didn't know what to focus on. After buying and within my shop the next few days later, I discovered it needed 1 x idler roller bearing and 1 x plastic slider replacement. Not too sure if Seller really knew about these wear / tear broken parts....

When I bought my 2011 AC 550, I discovered a few days later it needed a battery box plastic cover (under the seat) and oil/filter change - cause he BS's me the last time he changed oil/filter. I also replaced its axle oil as well. And, afterwards I found a few other things the seller BS'd me on as well.... Like light trail usage only and I found snow plow mounts (which means hard kms/miles) under its belly. Very sad face...

Long mumblings short.... When buying "used", there's always some things the seller don't know and some know about but don't purposely tell you. There's even some sellers who "will out right lie about things". And, they sleep very well at night afterwards. Sad to say but true....

Sorry you had to experience a seller who "out right lies" about things. Hopefully, bad Karma comes around to nail them in the long run....
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I found that he lied about a few things. Said there were no leaks, mint condition, brand new oil.

Oil looked like it was from 2013 said he changed it last year.
Leaks/sweats here and there. Next time I go look at a machine I will strongly consider paying a mechanic to come with me but even then without taking wheels off, jacking up the quad, removing the skid plate etc etc there's only so much you can really see. Nature of the beast when buying new. I passed up many nice machines without even seeing them because they were asking the same money but with 3-5k more km on them. Perhaps they were properly maintained.
 

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You didn't get ripped off, you didn't do your homework and the seller took advantage of that. Buddy bought a used sled at night and when he saw it the next day, (OMG) was he pissed. It happens. For you, the mudzilla tires whould have set an alarm off. I've purchased used snowmobiles with obvious problems and used the problems as a bargaining point. I sold a boat and trailer a few years ago. Nice boat btw, the trailer tires were shot, not by wear but by tread separation (age) and would have lasted 50 miles max. Im just not programmed that way and put some new tires on it before the sale took place. Guy came from across the state and would not have made it home had i not put new tires on. I told him the story and showed pictures of the old tires. He then paid full asking price. He never even started the engine! But you could tell it was in perfect condition. Yeah, even suggesting having a mechanic look at it is a great idea. If they him haw at that idea, run, dont walk away.
 

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Order yourself the tool for greasing your bearings and add about 3-5 pumps of grease tops.. As soon as you see it come out a little stop... do not listen to these guys that claim they are getting 20-25 pumps if grease.. Then when you do a good clean up every year pump them up again you can leave them on the machine to do it...If yours does not have em look up the posts on adding grease fittings to your suspension arms... you dont have to do it but it helps..

The guy that bought mine came and looked at it in the dark to. i pulled out my big flashlights and my yard is lit up quite well.. Also told him any work i had done to it. He came back the next day to pic it up and never did look it over again... All depends on how honest the seller is.. I have had people try to sell me crap and i go right home and post up on their add that its just that crap
 

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When I bought my AC 700 Diesel, it had only a few miles. Owner had replaced the pod, I guess. Bet it had 5,000 miles. Still, after replacing a few parts it has been awesome! Bet you'll be happy once you get it sorted.
 

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Thanks for the replies all. Placed an order for new ball joints, heavy duty tie rods, wheel bearings, bushings for all 4 sides, etc so will be wrenching on it and should hopefully give me many miles of enjoyment. Replaced all the fluids today minus rear diff as I have to get that seal replaced first, not entirely confident in my mechanical skills go tackle the seal at this point.
If you are going to that much trouble and repair, you might want to consider checking out your axles while you have it apart. Take the tires off the front and with it jacked up see if there is slop in the rotor. Up and down and then side to side (check camber and caster play). If that is not tight you might have shot u-joints, bad bearings, etc. Replacing the axles is not that hard and you can buy them fairly cheap from sixity.com (not sixty, but sixity). The nice thing about the sixity axles is that they come with a plastic protector on one end that is the PERFECT fit for putting in new oil seals if you need to. That round plastic piece fits just right to drive the seal in flush.

I did almost the same thing as you with new wheel bearings, bushings, axles, oil seals, etc. Mine was all in the front though and the back was in good shape. I had 2 big challenges, getting the old bearings and races out was a bit tough. Because I don't have a brass drift or a press I had to be really careful. Also, getting the old oil seal out can be tough too because you need to be really, really careful not to gouge or scar the mating surface. It's not a total crisis if you do it just creates additional problems to deal with.
 
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