Step - by - Step How to

Axle and Bearing replacement

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Axle and bearing replacement is a common maintenance replacement item to all AATV's. Argo, Max, Hustler and others all used simular systems and concepts, some have the inner bearing in a sheet metal flange, as shown below on the outer bearing, others ride on a single brass bushing on inside. Some axles are splinned but the replacement concept is the same.

Machine shown in a 1999 MAX II, Solid round axles with inside bearing and disc brakes.

We at ROUTE6x6 and RICHARD"S RELICS stock and supply all bearings, axles, flanges, brakes, sprockets for most machines at discount prices Click to go to CHASSIS PARTS PAGE


Axle and Bearing replacement

Always disconnect negetive battey cable before servicing your machine.

First remove tire assembly and jack up machine, clean bearing flange area as shown in photo.

Yellow pointer is showing the set screw hold in the ecentric locking collar bearing. Note there are two holes in this collar, one with set screw, other one is drilled but untaped.

Remove set screw ( yellow pointer) Note: There may be another set screw under the top one. Remove both with the correct size allen key tool.

Click on PHOTOS to see larger view


You are trying to loosen the locking collar from the inner race of bearing, this collar's purpose is to "lock" the inner race of the bearing to the axle, this prevents axle from coming out or spinning inside the bearing. It does this by bearing inner race being ecentric shaped with the locking collar round, when you turn the two against each other, they "lock" together.

After removing set screw (s) Turn bearing untill you see the drilled untaped hole, shown by yellow pointer. Take a punch and a hammer, tap (hard) on punch, held in drilled hole, first try clockwise (CW) if the collar does not come loose tap counter clockwise (CCW) untill collar spins free of bearing inner race.

Locking collar is now free and spins on axle.

Click on PHOTOS to see larger view

Working insdie the machine remove the through bolt holding sprocket to the axle, see yellow pointer. Sprocket should slide back and forth on axle with ease.

You do not have to remove chain or disconnect brakes to do this job. Now is a good time to check condition of sprockets, brakes and chain.

Note: Some machines do not use a bolt, some use a coil pin driven in, instead of a bolt, others use a set screw, to locate sprocket to axle, this is usually on splinned axle machine.


This machine has a inner bearing in a cast iron flange, Remove set screw as shown by the yellow pointer.


What you are doing is: Releasing the inner race of the bearing from the axle, this is just a set screw bearing, some machines will have a ecentric locking bearing here too, if so remove collar as described in above steps.

Working back outside machine. Tap out axle with a hammer

Note: Sounds easy, but rust and damage can keep axle from coming out, apply lots of PB Blaster and let the axles soak, where they go through bearings and sprockets.

This view is inside machine, shows axles coming out of inner bearing as one taps on axle to slide it out.

Note: If your machine is a early MAX II then you will not have this inner bearing, your axle is machined on inside and spins on a brass bushing instead. This old system is really pretty good, with th brass bushing outlasting the outer bearings many times. we ar tRICHARD'S RELICS stock these brass bushings too.

Axle coming out of outer bearing

Click on PHOTOS to see larger view

To replace outer bearings, note location of the three nuts holding sheet metal flanges to the body, remove these bolts as shown by the yellow pointer.


Note: Some machines will have four bolts

Note: See how bearing is installed with inner race lip outwards, this is what the locking collar "holds" on to.

With nuts removed, you will see you have two flanges with a bearing between the two flanges, seperate the flanges with a screw driver, remove outer one as shown.



Note: The red grease. Be sure to use some waterproof grease on the flanges upon ressembly to prevent water from leaking though the flanges.

Outer bearing can now be removed and replaced

We at ROUTE6x6 and RICAHRDS'S RELICS feel due to low cost of these bearings and high degree of effort to "get at them". We always replace old bearings with new ones.

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Back on inside of machine. To remove and replace inner bearing, remove the bolts as shown by yellow pointer

Take cast iron bearing assy to the bench and clamp in vise as shown, tap or turn bearing 90 degrees to remove from cast iron housing.


Check iron housing for cracks as this occurs often.

Install new bearing same as you removed old one. and install cast iron flange back on inner frame.

If your machine is equipped with disc brakes now is a good time to check or clean them. attachment points as shown by yellow pointer.


Reassembly is a direct reverse of above steps:

With addition:

Obviously: Rusty axles should be sanded clean before reassembly

With bearings loosely mounted, slide axle through both bearings. Tighten mounting nuts. Axle should slide in and out of bearings with little effort. If not: Loosen flange mounting nuts on outer bearing and tap axle with a rubber mallet to change bearing position. Retighten nuts, check to see if axle will slide freely. If not loosen nuts and repeat procedure untill axle slides in and out freely.

Locking collar bearings will have to be "relocked"

1st: Make sure you have installed bearing with locking race outward. Then sliding locking collar into inner race of bearing as shown in photo.

Click on PHOTOS to see larger view

Take same punch and spin locking collar into the inner race untill it turns no more.


Note: Make sure you do not tap on hole that has threads for the set screw, use other hole.

Install set screw:


Note set screw is only used to keep locking from releasing from inner bearing, not to hold axle to bearing.


Final step:

Make sure all bolts are tightened, chain is still in alignment, on most machines it is possible to "move" the axles in and out depending on where you lock the bearings down to axle, therefore if chains are not in alignment, simply move axle in to out and relock locking collars and set screw bearings.

If you have any questions, you welcome to contact us at
or call 812-944-1643 8am-6pm weekdays and will will help you.

Replacement parts available at RICHARD'S RELICS ATV Chassis parts page