How to Remove Links From an ATV Chain

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Removing links from an ATV chain can be a daunting task without the proper tools and knowledge. To execute this task successfully you need to follow a few rules and you may need to purchase an additional tool that isn't in most everyday toolboxes; the process is much simpler with the use of a universal chain breaker, which can be found at most motorcycle dealerships for around $20.00.

Things You'll Need

  • Chain breaker
  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • screwdriver (flat head)
  • Or w/o chain breaker:
  • Bench grinder
  • File
  • Hammer
  • Punch

Breaking the chain

  • Remove the master link with a flat head screw driver and count the links on the old chain. Don't take off more links than you need to. This is a step that cannot be undone easily, so make sure you know exactly how many links you are removing.

  • Line the chain breaker up with the rear pin of the link you wish to remove. If you do not have a chain breaker, you mush file or grind the head off the pin until it is flush with the link.

  • Twist the chain breaker screw bolt until there is tension on the pin and, using an adjustable wrench, twist the chain breaker screw bolt until the pin is pushed out the bottom of the chain. If you are using a grinder, once the head of the pin is ground down, place the punch on the head of the pin and hammer the pin out through the bottom of the chain. Make sure your punch is a smaller diameter than the pin so it can easily pass through the chain. Also make sure that there is an open surface below the link or you will be pounding the link into the hard surface below.

  • Reinstall the chain onto the ATV, checking both fit length and path of the chain. Make sure the chain is on the sprockets and rollers correctly.

  • Use the master link to reattach the chain to itself. With a flat head screw driver spread the link clip apart slightly to slip it over the master link pin while holding it in place with a pair of pliers. This can be a tricky task but some patience and concentration will go a long way.

Tips & Warnings

  • Having a chain breaker makes the process much easier, and is a highly recommended tool for any ATV owner with a chain on their machine. It is well worth the investment even for the few times you will use it. A company called Motion Pro makes a universal chain breaker of high quality, for around $20 to $30, depending on where you look.
  • Be very careful if you are doing it the hard way with a grinder and a hammer. This process makes the job much more dangerous, and you can damage the chain, as well.

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