How to Change the Wheel Bearings on a Polaris Sportsman

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Service to the rear suspension on the Polaris Sportsman consists of periodically checking bolt tightness, replacing the control arm bushings and servicing the rear spring/shock unit. On occasion, the rear bearings may become jammed or worn out, leading to a locking hub. When this happens, there is usually an audible clicking noise coming from the axle area where the bearing is out. New rear bearings for the Sportsman can be purchased at your local Polaris dealership.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydraulic jack
  • Socket wrench
  • Standard screwdriver
  • ThreeBond compound
  • Antiseize compound
  • Cotter pin

Removal

  • Place the ATV on level ground and set the parking brake. Block the front wheels so the vehicle will not roll in either direction. Raise the rear of the vehicle with a small hydraulic jack. Place blocks under the frame to support the vehicle with the wheels off the ground.

  • Remove the rear wheel using a socket wrench. There are four nuts that need to be removed. Remove the hub cap and cotter pin. Discard the cotter pin. A new pin should be used during replacement. Remove the now exposed castellated axle nut and washers using a socket wrench.

  • Remove the rear hub from the axle by pulling straight off the axle. Remove the bolt and self-locking nut securing the upper control arm to the rear axle bearing carrier using a socket wrench.

  • Hold on to the axle and pull the rear hub from the drive axle. The rear hub carries the wheel bearings. Turn the bearing carrier over and place it on wooden blocks. Using a standard screwdriver as a push tool, place the end of the screwdriver in the relief and carefully tap on the perimeter of the outer race and remove the bearing from the bearing carrier.

Installation

  • Slide the new bearings into the bearing carrier. If necessary, slightly tap the bearing into place using a suitable size socket that matches the outer edges of the bearing until it is completely in place. Install the circlip making sure it fits within the groove to prevent the bearing from falling out.

  • Replace the rear hub from the axle by sliding it straight on to the axle. Replace the bolt and self-locking nut securing the upper control arm to the rear axle bearing carrier using a socket wrench.

  • Replace the hub cap. Using a new cotter pin, secure the hub to the axle by sliding the cotter pin through the openings in the castellated nut and rear axle. Replace the tire and tighten the four bolts using a socket wrench.

Tips & Warnings

  • Placing the new bearing in the freezer and chilling it slightly reduces the outer diameter of the bearing while heating the bearing expands the diameter.

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References

  • "Clymer, Service Repair Maintenance"; Primedia Publishing; 2003
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