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Hey guys, I'm new here, picked up a 1998 Foreman 400 a month or two back and have been lurking here for tips and tricks. Its got about 1400 miles and 230 hours on it and is in pretty good shape. Had the bigfoot package installed at Honda when bought with those dang expensive Maxxis tires on it, glad there is still a lot of life in em! Here it is on the day I brought it home and out playing:





I got this because I wanted something to putz around on with the wife and little girl. Before the little one came around we spent a lot of quality time on the Vmax, but it doesn't seat three real well so we needed something different. Just because I love my bike still, here it is:




So, cause we ride 2.5 up most of the time, we were dragging over fallen tree, etc. a lot on the trails. So, I figured a small lift was in order. I didn't really like the look of the bracket lifts, so after some research on here decided to pursue the 450 shock swap. Found a set on ebay and gave em an offer of $30 shipped and they took it. Pulled the rear first and here is a shot comparing the 400 to the 450 (right at 2" longer eye to eye, perspective is funny, but the bottom of the square is in the center of the eye):


The rears swapped out easily without any modifications or grinding. I did have to take the bolts holding the muffler to the frame out to give me some more wiggle room, but nothing difficult. Moved around to the front, pulled the stock shock and compared it to the stock rear which was taking its place, again about 2" longer:


You have to press out (I used my vise) the rubber upper sleeved bushings from the shock eyes and switch them in order to get the rear to work in the front and have the stock upper bolt fit tight. No grinding was required for the swap and they fit right side up. Now, with the A-arm fully drooped, you will not be able to squeeze the rear shock into the front slots with compressing it. So, I bolted the bottom in, then rigged this contraption of a crowbar and some webbing together to pry against the frame to get the upper shock eye to set into the upper cup:


Worked pretty well actually. Then I used a screwdriver wedged between the upper eye and the top of the bucket it sits in to compress the shock a bit to get the bolt and hole to line up. Now she sits pretty level and a fully loaded shakedown ride reveals no front axle noise and relative comfort. I put the frame about 2-3" higher off the ground after this swap. I made the ultimate mistake and didn't measure before hand... :wacko:

But, I had another before picture and so I took an after from the same angle.

BEFORE:


AFTER:


I like it!
 

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Really nice job and write up. I especially like the crow bar set up. Gotta make due with the tools that are available!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the kind words guys, I'm enjoying this, my first foray into four-wheeling!

One more thing. Is that a homemade back rest or did you buy it? Looks simple got any hints on that.
It is pretty simple, just a couple hour job to keep the wife from sliding off the back. Its a couple pieces of plywood put together at an ~80 degree angle or so with a brace. Then just some cheap poly fill quilt blankenting for padding and vinyl stretched over it. I'll try and take a couple pics when I get a chance to give you a better idea. It ain't real pretty but it works good and is a little easier on the passengers back then a cooler.
 

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I'm new to the forum, and I know this was posted some time back, but i just purchased a 98 foreman 400 4x4, and I'm interested in the spring swap you did. Just out of curiosity, what was the work time and amount of difficulty (1-10) would you rate this project? Also, what size tires are on your bike? Thanks!

Looks great by the way!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm new to the forum, and I know this was posted some time back, but i just purchased a 98 foreman 400 4x4, and I'm interested in the spring swap you did. Just out of curiosity, what was the work time and amount of difficulty (1-10) would you rate this project? Also, what size tires are on your bike? Thanks!

Looks great by the way!!
Welcome to the forum GAM012, and congrats on the foreman purchase. I probably had about 3-4 hours doing the swap, but I would say about half of the time was spent failing at compressing the front shocks to fit into the upper mount. If you can figure that part out its pretty simple. Its a bolt and unbolt affair otherwise, and I would put it at a 3 on the 1-10 scale.

As a side note, both my outter CV boots have since ripped in half. This doesn't bother me too much since they were over 15 years old and then I stressed them. I think new boots will last ok once I put them on. As a preemptive strike, and in hindsight, I would probably just replace the CV boots with the shock swap.

Oh, and I think my tires are 26".
 

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you can also do the 450 a arm and axle swap. I did that on mine and it made a world of difference
 

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Yup! I'd do the swap too if I could find a used 450 to get parts from!
 

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I got all my stuff on ebay. I got all four arms for $60 and both axles for $70. I just picked up another set of 450 axles last week.
 

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Nice looking bike and mod,personally I don't like to ride doubles,that's why I got the wife a automatic Suzuki Eiger.:lol: That way if I want to gouge on it some and something did happen I would be the only one taking the fall. Also good excuse to the wife to get another bike. B)


Tony
 

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Welcome to the forum GAM012, and congrats on the foreman purchase. I probably had about 3-4 hours doing the swap, but I would say about half of the time was spent failing at compressing the front shocks to fit into the upper mount. If you can figure that part out its pretty simple. Its a bolt and unbolt affair otherwise, and I would put it at a 3 on the 1-10 scale.

As a side note, both my outter CV boots have since ripped in half. This doesn't bother me too much since they were over 15 years old and then I stressed them. I think new boots will last ok once I put them on. As a preemptive strike, and in hindsight, I would probably just replace the CV boots with the shock swap.

Oh, and I think my tires are 26".
If i'm reading this correctly, only the CV boot had to be repaired/replaced correct? Not the joint itself?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If i'm reading this correctly, only the CV boot had to be repaired/replaced correct? Not the joint itself?
You got it, the joint is still behaving properly and no clicking/popping/grinding. The boot rubber was old and dry and when the increased angle stressed it, it gave out.
 
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