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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys, I have a question. i know it's been covered before, but I'd like a little more insight into the answer. i just bought an 03 300 4x4, and i'm looking to get some bigger tires for it. I've read that you need to run an inch bigger in the rear, but I want to know why that is. I don't know anything about diff gearing or anything like that, but since it doesn't have a locker on the front, i can't see why the tire size would matter. Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Ok guys, I have a question. i know it's been covered before, but I'd like a little more insight into the answer. i just bought an 03 300 4x4, and i'm looking to get some bigger tires for it. I've read that you need to run an inch bigger in the rear, but I want to know why that is. I don't know anything about diff gearing or anything like that, but since it doesn't have a locker on the front, i can't see why the tire size would matter. Can anyone help?

Thanks in advance!
The front is geared different then the rear where the front axle turns faster then the rear axle. Since the front axle is turning faster it requires a smaller tire so the front and the rear travel an equal distance on the ground when driven by the engine.

It's still a 4x4 even though its not 4x4 lockable and requires the 1" smaller tire in the front. In 4x4 mode, both rear tires and at least one front tire is under power. Call it 3 wheel drive. If it had 4x4 lock both front and both rear are under power or 4 wheel drive.
 

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I can understand that, but would 1" really make that much of a difference??? Especially given that some tires are made in front and rear varieties and can vary slightly in actual size anyway. I don't want to cause undue stress or worse, break something, but i just want to know for sure before i go shelling out $500-600 on new tires. I've just never heard of anyone running smaller tires on the front before reading about it here. i understand that sometimes they come that way from the factory, but not replacements. doesn't it look strange?

this one that i just bought has 25's all around, for what it's worth.

Now don't get me wrong, i'm not doubting or questioning your answer, i just want to have as much info on this as i can get.

Thanks again.
 

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front is 3.1 gear and rear is 3.6, which is why they need smaller tires on the front, you can run the same size all the way around if you are in muddy cond. all the time and dont run hard pack in 4x4, were you will put strain on the bevel gear and wet clutch.

Pic of 25x10x12 on the front and 26x11x12 on the rear in my sig below, doesnt look strange to me.
 
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I can understand that, but would 1" really make that much of a difference??? Especially given that some tires are made in front and rear varieties and can vary slightly in actual size anyway. I don't want to cause undue stress or worse, break something, but i just want to know for sure before i go shelling out $500-600 on new tires. I've just never heard of anyone running smaller tires on the front before reading about it here. i understand that sometimes they come that way from the factory, but not replacements. doesn't it look strange?

this one that i just bought has 25's all around, for what it's worth.

Now don't get me wrong, i'm not doubting or questioning your answer, i just want to have as much info on this as i can get.

Thanks again.
Every one inch of tire size difference effectively changes gearing by 4% Meaning if the rear tires are traveling 30 MPH and the same size tires are used on the front also, the front tires are traveling at 31.2 MPH. Just 4% doesn't sound like much until if you look at it this way... The front end is dragging the rear tires 1.2 miles every hour when traveling at a constant 30 MPH. Quite inefficient in putting power to the ground. This can add a lot of extra wear upon the ring gear, pinion gear, transmission gearing, tire wear and affect handling. Another way to visualize it. For each mile traveled, the rear tires rotate about 807 times miles and the front tires are rotating about 839 times with a 4% difference.

It is true some tires measure different heights or depending upon air pressure and rim width. However the rolling circumference is closer to the same when the same size. Circumference is what needs to match close front and back.

Is 4% too much difference? The engineers at arctic cat seemed to think so. So they use 1" smaller tires on the front of the 300's.

Before you purchase tires, I think it would be a good idea to check with one of the online parts suppliers and pull up the parts diagram for your actual ATV year and model and double check to see what it came with from the factory. Check the original wheel diameter. Or check with a dealer they should be able to look it up too . Maybe you have a ATV that came from the factory with same size tires??? Maybe someone put the wrong tires on it when replacing tires in the past????? If it originally came with tires of unequal size front and rear I think you would be wise to stay that way even if you went with larger tires

EDIT: JUST LOOKED AT COUNTRY CAT PARTS DIAGRAM FOR THE 2003 300 4X4 AND THEY LIST THE SAME PART NUMBER FOR BOTH FRONT AND REAR WHEELS? SO I'M CONFUSED MYSELF TOO NOW!

http://www.countrycat.net/pages/Oem...ASSEMBLY/A2003ATF4AUSR-2003-138/441380737-503
 

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front is 3.1 gear and rear is 3.6, which is why they need smaller tires on the front, you can run the same size all the way around if you are in muddy cond. all the time and dont run hard pack in 4x4, were you will put strain on the bevel gear and wet clutch.

Pic of 25x10x12 on the front and 26x11x12 on the rear in my sig below, doesnt look strange to me.
Yes. The Arctic Cat 300 from 1998-2003 used the Suzuki engine and driveline components for the most part. Based on my old manuals, they didn't used the standardized differentials we've seen in Arctic Cats since 2006, but it's still close to a 3.1 vs. 3.6. I think that's the 300 we have in question here... But I could be wrong.

The reasons have been covered, gearing is different in the front and rear... but by how much?

Gearing info from the manual: (assuming it's the Suzuki 300 Cat)
Primary: 3.15 (63/20)
Secondary: 1.125 (18/16) [250 = 1.0625, (17/16)]
Final: 3.09 front / 3.647 Rear

So the rear is 3.647:1 and the front is 3.09:1. The front is geared about 15% higher than the rear. A 1 inch shorter tire will be about like gearing down 4% (if factory sizes are 24 inch tires). So the one inch shorter tire up front doesn't affect much.

A few ATV models have higher gear ratios in the front differential and run same size tires (Polaris Sportsmans, a few Hondas, some Can-ams, etc...). A lot of people will run same size tires on the 300 Arctic Cat and have few problems.


Another thing to note that if this is the Dual Range model (Suzuki engine) then your final ratio in low gear first is 126:1... that's lower than any ATV ever made, and is about 75% lower than the 650 H1 Cats with 4.0 gears. That's insane. And that is also why a lot of guys buy the Cat/Suzuki 300 model and put 29.5 mud tire on it... because it can spin them better than some 500+ bikes can.


If you don't have the model with the Suzuki engine and the Dual Range transmission, then disregard everything I've said. :Bangin:


Every one inch of tire size difference effectively changes gearing by 4% Meaning if the rear tires are traveling 30 MPH and the same size tires are used on the front also, the front tires are traveling at 31.2 MPH. Just 4% doesn't sound like much until if you look at it this way... The front end is dragging the rear tires 1.2 miles every hour when traveling at a constant 30 MPH. Quite inefficient in putting power to the ground. This can add a lot of extra wear upon the ring gear, pinion gear, transmission gearing, tire wear and affect handling. Another way to visualize it. For each mile traveled, the rear tires rotate about 807 times miles and the front tires are rotating about 839 times with a 4% difference.

It is true some tires measure different heights or depending upon air pressure and rim width. However the rolling circumference is closer to the same when the same size. Circumference is what needs to match close front and back.

Is 4% too much difference? The engineers at arctic cat seemed to think so. So they use 1" smaller tires on the front of the 300's.

Before you purchase tires, I think it would be a good idea to check with one of the online parts suppliers and pull up the parts diagram for your actual ATV year and model and double check to see what it came with from the factory. Check the original wheel diameter. Or check with a dealer they should be able to look it up too . Maybe you have a ATV that came from the factory with same size tires??? Maybe someone put the wrong tires on it when replacing tires in the past????? If it originally came with tires of unequal size front and rear I think you would be wise to stay that way even if you went with larger tires

EDIT: JUST LOOKED AT COUNTRY CAT PARTS DIAGRAM FOR THE 2003 300 4X4 AND THEY LIST THE SAME PART NUMBER FOR BOTH FRONT AND REAR WHEELS? SO I'M CONFUSED MYSELF TOO NOW!

http://www.countrycat.net/pages/Oem...ASSEMBLY/A2003ATF4AUSR-2003-138/441380737-503
Rim size wouldn't affect ratio... that's just the overall diameter, which depends on the tire. Tires are listed as opposite sizes. We have a Suzuki 300 (same basic set up) that has 1 inch smaller tires up front. I'm 99% sure it's all factory and that's how it was from the manufacturer. I would think Arctic Cat would do the same. However, a quick Google image search seems to paint a picture that Cat used the same height tires front and rear.
 

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Yes. The Arctic Cat 300 from 1998-2003 used the Suzuki engine and driveline components for the most part. Based on my old manuals, they didn't used the standardized differentials we've seen in Arctic Cats since 2006, but it's still close to a 3.1 vs. 3.6. I think that's the 300 we have in question here... But I could be wrong.

The reasons have been covered, gearing is different in the front and rear... but by how much?

Gearing info from the manual: (assuming it's the Suzuki 300 Cat)
Primary: 3.15 (63/20)
Secondary: 1.125 (18/16) [250 = 1.0625, (17/16)]
Final: 3.09 front / 3.647 Rear

So the rear is 3.647:1 and the front is 3.09:1. The front is geared about 15% higher than the rear. A 1 inch shorter tire will be about like gearing down 4% (if factory sizes are 24 inch tires). So the one inch shorter tire up front doesn't affect much.

A few ATV models have higher gear ratios in the front differential and run same size tires (Polaris Sportsmans, a few Hondas, some Can-ams, etc...). A lot of people will run same size tires on the 300 Arctic Cat and have few problems.


Another thing to note that if this is the Dual Range model (Suzuki engine) then your final ratio in low gear first is 126:1... that's lower than any ATV ever made, and is about 75% lower than the 650 H1 Cats with 4.0 gears. That's insane. And that is also why a lot of guys buy the Cat/Suzuki 300 model and put 29.5 mud tire on it... because it can spin them better than some 500+ bikes can.


If you don't have the model with the Suzuki engine and the Dual Range transmission, then disregard everything I've said. :Bangin:
J-Fred, The 300 you are thinking of.... Is it the one with the step through frame, rear engine design right? That's what I was thinking anyhow and I know it has the smaller tires up front then the rear.

See the link were I posted the parts diagram of the 2003 300 4x4. If you look at the wheels and tires drawing it shows the same part number for all four wheels front and rear and a non-step through frame. Seems like it would be a little difficult installing different size tires on the same wheel.
 

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I like that I've created quite the discussion here! But that's why I asked, because I've heard both arguments. Just for the record, the Cat I have does have the Suzuki engine and the Low/Super Low setup.

Keep it coming guys, I want to hear more!

Also, while we are on the topic, what are your opinions on largest tires i can fit under her without lifting. It already has the small 1"-1.5" lift brackets like these...
 

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J-Fred, The 300 you are thinking of.... Is it the one with the step through frame, rear engine design right? That's what I was thinking anyhow and I know it has the smaller tires up front then the rear.

See the link were I posted the parts diagram of the 2003 300 4x4. If you look at the wheels and tires drawing it shows the same part number for all four wheels front and rear and a non-step through frame. Seems like it would be a little difficult installing different size tires on the same wheel.
I'll have to look at the 300 Suzuki we have at the shop... but it seems we are thinking about the right Arctic Cat. The 300 Suzuki has different size tires front and rear. But it also has same size rims front and rear (10 inch). They make 24x8x10 tires as well as 25x9x10's. That would allow for the same size rims but different tire heights I think.

I like that I've created quite the discussion here! But that's why I asked, because I've heard both arguments. Just for the record, the Cat I have does have the Suzuki engine and the Low/Super Low setup.

Keep it coming guys, I want to hear more!

Also, while we are on the topic, what are your opinions on largest tires i can fit under her without lifting. It already has the small 1"-1.5" lift brackets like these...
Well, I don't have many doubts that you can't turn up to 29.5 tires... that low gear ratio of 126:1 is almost too low even for me (that's a good thing). As for fitment, here is one with 29.5s, and I don't think it has a lift:



Looks like 2 inch lift and spacers and you can keep your floorboards. Full thread:
http://forum.highlifter.com/OFFICIAL-Arctic-Cat-300-AND-250-Picture-Thread-m4256229.aspx
 

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I'll have to look at the 300 Suzuki we have at the shop... but it seems we are thinking about the right Arctic Cat. The 300 Suzuki has different size tires front and rear. But it also has same size rims front and rear (10 inch). They make 24x8x10 tires as well as 25x9x10's. That would allow for the same size rims but different tire heights I think.
Yes that is true. And thank you. Damn if I know, Getting into an area that I really don't know much about. So I should just shut up and listen. I still think the best way to solve this; (same diameter size or not same diameter) is to just call the dealer, with the part numbers from the parts drawing for the front and rear tires and get the details on what size they actually are from the factory when new.
 
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