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Bman

Foreman 400 A arms different angles?

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Had to replace an right upper A arm recently on my 98 400 while installing a lift. The replacement arm came off a 96. Though i read they interchange from 95-03. Noticed the upper a arms on my machine have a completely different angle at the ball joint then the one I ordered. My machine the angle is almost parallel and the 96 A arm is at a much sharper angle. Got some pics to show what i mean. I know with the A arms on my machine i couldn't get the shock back on the machine with the lift brackets installed, however with the other A arm installed I was able to assemble it quite easily and its a noticeable difference in how much the A arm allows the suspension to droop. ive got a picture with the right side installed and you can see what i mean.  Any reason for this difference in design? Went ahead and ordered the left side upper from the seller as well and plan on swapping the left side as well as it seems to fit and function better with the lift.

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Hi BMan , welcome to ATVHonda , I would have to guess either the seller  is selling you something off another model ATV , maybe a 450  , or if you are not the original owner of your atv , someone before you changed something on yours ----that arm is very expensive OEM $329 

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I'm not the original owner of my machine.  And that's what has me confused.  Both arms seem to be the same length. Only difference being the angle where the ball joint is.  Ball joints best I can tell are the same size. And I know they are quite expensive that's why Im buying them from ebay. They range 15-35$ on there.     I also noticed on a honda parts website the upper a arm had two previous part numbers that had been replaced by the current one. Revisions? 

 

Wasn't sure if the 400s had different arms through the years. 

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4 hours ago, Bman said:

I'm not the original owner of my machine.  And that's what has me confused.  Both arms seem to be the same length. Only difference being the angle where the ball joint is.  Ball joints best I can tell are the same size. And I know they are quite expensive that's why Im buying them from ebay. They range 15-35$ on there.     I also noticed on a honda parts website the upper a arm had two previous part numbers that had been replaced by the current one. Revisions? 

 

Wasn't sure if the 400s had different arms through the years. 

They change part numbers for several reasons , like you say revisions , then change of vendor who supplied the part will change number for traceability -----   I thought maybe the seller sent you a 400EX arm , looked at the part list and the 400EX didn't come out till 99 ,  the year after your 98  and looks different anyways --------- does the ball joint pad look like factory welds , maybe someone was attempting some type of lift 

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Looks to both be factory welds. if you scroll ebay for upper a arms for a 400 foreman in my opinion you'll see more of the ones with more angle to the ball joint pad. but the ones like what i took off the machine are on there as well just not as many.   like i say the extra angle lets the suspension travel down more. i thought it was a 450 arm, but its not really longer like people say it should be. 

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29 minutes ago, Bman said:

Looks to both be factory welds. if you scroll ebay for upper a arms for a 400 foreman in my opinion you'll see more of the ones with more angle to the ball joint pad. but the ones like what i took off the machine are on there as well just not as many.   like i say the extra angle lets the suspension travel down more. i thought it was a 450 arm, but its not really longer like people say it should be. 

I  have a couple fo 450s , one arm is longer than the other , the diff is not centered ----  not sure about the 400s 

 

 

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I imagine its similar? Thought the 450s have different arms, axles, ball joints, and i think different drive shafts if im not mistaken. though i believe the diffs can be interchanged. 

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I think the way the front diff works with the 400 and 450 is , the 400 didn't go electric 2wd/4wd till around 2004 , where the 450 went electric in 2002 , so the front full time 4wd  diff for a 400 up till 2004 is the same as a  450 from 1998-2001 ---- now that I think about it , I have read where the swing arm between a 400 and a 450 was a swop people did , can't remember which way gave the advantage ---- I was just looking at the parts breakdown of my 450 and was shocked at the prices ,  one arm  cost $460 , one $350 , and the other side both upper and lower are $225 --- maybe you have 450 arms and maybe cv-shafts also on your 400 

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Well the only reason I'm doing this lift is because it rode so low it would hang up all the time.   Though it's possible it had the arms and cvs and no one ever put on the shocks?  

 

I actually just put a 450 rear end in it as the original stripped the ring gear splines.  This 450 rear end isn't far from doing the same thing but I assembled it with fresh bearings and seals and welded the axle to the ring gear. Figured once they break I'll just end up replacing both anyway. 

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I don't think they ever put the selectable front diff in a 400 Foreman.  They did in the 04-07 400 Rancher AT, but that was a completely different beast.

 

400 and 450 Swingarms bolt into the 05-11 Foremans and 05-14 Rubicons to give you about a 2.5" stretch.  Don't think there is any difference in them other than the early ones had a welded on trailer hitch, while the later ones the hitch was bolted on.

 

My guess is those are later 400 arms.  If they're the same length as the old ones, put new ball joints in them and run them.  The angle will help a hair with ground clearance.

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Posted (edited)

Just got the other in today and will install it later and see how she lookes. Once I make sure everything works good and yard ride it I'll order some ball joints. Wheel bearings. And the disc brake conversion.  Possibly new cv axles. Now I've heard you can run 450 cvs in a 400 but not the other way around?

Edited by Bman

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Posted (edited)

Well other arm installed easy. Steers and rides good. No popping or binding.  I can tell it's made a decent difference. Before this thing would get hung up just unloading from the trailer on its foot pegs cause of how low it sat.  

I need to re align it. I replaced inner tie rod ends (not fun when those let go while riding) before and it was out of align and the lift made it a bit worse.     Seems to ride better though I didn't put it through any major obstacles. Just took down to the creek and back.  And I know the rear looks crooked it's just where at some points the bolts fell out of that side of the rack and it's letting the rack and body sit that way.  My father in law who owned this before me beat this atv, rolled it I don't know how many times.  It's had it rough. 

 

So at this point would doing the shock swap (stock rears to front and buy 450 rears) net any more lift? Or just stiffer suspension? I mean really I'm a heavy guy 250 easy.   And it's a bit soft for my weight.   I also plan to go to 26s. Got 24s now and this thing is ridiculously low geared. Could ride in 5th just putting along no prob even with my weight. 

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Edited by Bman

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In my experience, adding longer shocks give you lift, but will probably make the right a little harsher. 

 

Of course, if you go bigger on the tires, you could run low PSI in them for a little more cushion

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Are they any clearance issues with say 26"?  I'm talking like tie rods or anything like that contacting the tires

 

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I'm not absolutely certain on a 400, but I know it won't cause problems on a 450, or a host of other Hondas that came with 24's (300's, 350 Ranchers, 400 Ranchers, 350 Fourtrax, etc). 

 

Honestly the tie rods and all that should be tucked in the wheel circumference, so the only thing you have to worry about tire-wise is the tires contacting the fenders.

 

 

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Well ive got to get the body straighten back out and fix a few of the fender support rods. fairly sure he had most of the body held together with self tappers haha. amazes me what you can put a honda through.  These shocks, despite being a royal pain to try and compress,  are pretty soft. and if they were a bit stiffer id get alittle more ride height i reckon.  Are there upgraded springs available?  These don't have the adjustable spring preload.

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Might be able to find some old stock Highlifter springs, but probably better off just buying some slightly longer shocks.

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