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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was out at camp for a couple of days and did some adjusting and other work on the Cats. When I was breaking in the '07 500M, I noticed that the shifting was pretty bad. After looking at the shift lever, I noticed that the toe end of the shifter was way too high. I adjusted the shift to bring the toe down a bit and the heel up. After that, I took it out for a test ride. The up shifting is much better although it takes a fair amount of pressure on the lever to get it to engage the next gear. That was the good news. The bad news is that downshifting is very inconsistent. False neutrals up the ying-yang. Today I had a good look at the shift lever and realized that the bottom of the toe was contacting the floor board before the gear could engage. I assume that may be causing the false neutrals. I was getting ready to leave so I didn't have time to re-adjust it. I'll have a look at it when I go back.

Now, as far as the 500M is concerned, I must say I'm impressed. I went for a twenty mile ride by myself on gravel road, goat trail, and just plain nasty terrain. I climbed up a long steep hill (goat trail). At the top of it was pretty much rock, stumps, downed dead trees, holes and ditches. One would have difficulty walking in this stuff let alone riding in it. I rode to within fifty feet of a cliff, parked the machine and walked through a line of trees to take some pictures from the edge of the cliff. It's not too high. Maybe 200 feet or so. Real nice view up there nonetheless. The ride up was pretty rough so I thought I'd take a different route down. Wrong decision. I only had to travel maybe 150 yards to get back to the goat trail but it was the meanest 150 yards I've done on any machine. A lot of the obstacles were hidden under the fallen four foot long swale grass. Stumps, pieces of trees and big rocks made a real tangled mess. Then there would be a drainage ditch about two feet deep and nearly as wide under the grass. I had that Cat in such extreme angles, it was a struggle to stay on it. A couple of times I though I was going to fall over the handle bars. I had no choice other than to keep going forward. There's no way I'd be able to reverse ten feet never mind back up the hill. When I finally got back to the goat trail, I had a sweat on and was very much relieved. I grabbed a pop to cool down and looked back at the mess I had just crossed. It became very clear to me at that moment that these big cats are no ordinary machines. A person in their right mind would not have intentionally tried to take an ATV down that piece of hell. Because I had made an error in judgment, I got myself into something I normally would have very much avoided. Unless you're a person that goes to extremes, it unlikely that you'll ever appreciate what a big Cat can do. It's comforting to know the machine is as capable as it is. Just the same, I wouldn't intentionally do that again. Too much freaking work! I took a few pics while I was up there. Unfortunately, I didn't take any shots of the obstacle course. Maybe next time I go up. I will post one of a nicer part of the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Today I was doing some comparison riding on both the Auto and the manual. Other than the shifting quirks, the manual initially seems to have all round better performance. It seems to have better acceleration, runs at lower RPMs at equivalent speed and it is certainly a lot quieter at lower speeds. All in all, it's doing what I had hoped it would do. In addition to that, it also seems easier on fuel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah. It wasn't the wisest thing I've done. It would have been a long walk out if I had been hung up bad enough. I probably could have winched it off if it did. Getting injured would have been a different story. First of all, I'm sixty miles from nowhere to begin with then I travel another ten miles deep into the bush from there. Would have been a long wait if I couldn't get myself out. That ol' timber wolf would have been good company I'm sure. They get real friendly when they arrive in numbers. Nice woofy, nice woofy.
 

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Your shifting problems wont go away, My 03 500 had similar problems and 3 trips back its better, but its still no honda, shifting wise. Honda manuals shift great, Suzuki manuals shift like shift ( minus the "f")The biggest problem is that they haven't re-designed the 500 for years, it's a great engine and a great auto trans, but the manuals arent so good and they have a few problems. Take it back and have them contact a Cat tech, otherwise most mechanics dont have a clue as to how to fix it right. Mine still pop's out of 2nd or 3rd(grinding noise) once in a while and it always shifts hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (tiggershark @ Apr 21 2007, 07:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Your shifting problems wont go away, My 03 500 had similar problems and 3 trips back its better, but its still no honda, shifting wise. Honda manuals shift great, Suzuki manuals shift like shift ( minus the "f")The biggest problem is that they haven't re-designed the 500 for years, it's a great engine and a great auto trans, but the manuals arent so good and they have a few problems. Take it back and have them contact a Cat tech, otherwise most mechanics dont have a clue as to how to fix it right. Mine still pop's out of 2nd or 3rd(grinding noise) once in a while and it always shifts hard.[/b]
My old '87 Suzuki LTF4WD shifted like a dream. Up and down. Way better than the Cat. I also own an old Suzuki dirt racer that is a slick shifter. My Cat is up-shifting fine. Takes a good stab on the shift lever but once you have the procedure figured out, it's shifting consistently well . Down shifting is another issue but I'm fairly sure that it's due to the toe of the shift lever hitting the floor board. The trick will be to adjust the shift lever to have enough throw at both ends. Although I'm not impressed with the way the machine shifts, I'm still pleased to own a manual. If I have to live with shiftty shifting (minus the "f") well, so be it. In the meantime, I will be looking at ways to improve it. The last machine I had that shifted this bad was an expensive BMW R100 - 1000 cc boxer twin motorcycle. That thing shifted like a farm tractor. Actually, any farm tractors I've driven shifted better!
 

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I removed the heel shifter on my 500m and raised the toe slightly. This allows me to shift up and down with the toe like on any other quat. Probably one of the best modifications I've done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (jww500 @ Apr 21 2007, 11:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I removed the heel shifter on my 500m and raised the toe slightly. This allows me to shift up and down with the toe like on any other quat. Probably one of the best modifications I've done.[/b]
I tried shifting with the toe and it took too much force to make the shift. Also, there's no foot peg to use as a pivot for your foot. I find the only way to up shift was to lift my whole foot. Not my preference. I drive a motorcycle and have no trouble using a toe shift. This Cat transmission seem to need a fair amount of force to change gears. I'll just keep trying things to make it better.
 

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I find myself shifting with my heel, It has way too much pressure on it to use just the toe. The Cat mechanic totally ripped out my entire engine and had the transmission in 2000 pieces. Finally someone from Cat explained to him how to tweak a few parts. It had all new shift shafts, shift forks installed and it still popped out of gear. His next step was a new case (thats the engine also) He ended up welding some parts and grinding them down to make tighter clearances. I'm not sure which parts he did this to but it shifts pretty good now. Once in a great while it will hang between gears but not very often. I can live with that. It's also faster than any of the other 500 quads we ride with, they are all auto's. They get me off the line, but once I hit about 40, I go screaming past them all. It's an 03[attachment=69321:DSC00171__Custom_.JPG]
 

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Found that mine was a little notchy when it was new, but now that I have about 2000 miles on it, I guess it's wore itself in. I found it a lot better when I switched to synthetic oil too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I suspected that the manual seemed to have longer legs. I gave it a short high speed blast down the gravel road and hit 53 mph (GPS reading) and had plenty of throttle left. I wouldn't doubt that this machine is capable of 60+ mph w.o.t. Not that I need that kind of speed. Fifty mph is plenty fast for me. For a 500 with only 40 miles on it, the engine seems good and strong. Once I have exhausted all of the adjustment opportunities, I'll try synthetic oil at the next oil change.

I appreciate all of the input from everyone. Thanks.
 
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